Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween Week: Scary movie

Of course we had to see a scary movie during Halloween week, so when we saw that the International Cinema at BYU was showing Låt den rätte komma inn (or in English, Let The Right One In) we jumped at the chance to see it.
Briefly, it's a Swedish vampire movie featuring twelve year-olds. Not so briefly, it was an amazing film about love, loyalty and free will. I don't want to give too much away, but it has been a long time since I've been so engaged by a film. The characters were so well-played and the story line was so compelling that I often forgot it was a film about vampires.

Don't get me wrong: there were freaky vampire skillz, gory deaths, gratuitous blood shed and the occasional spontaneous combustion - in short all the ingredients for Halloween fun. But I wouldn't recommend for your annual Halloween shriek-fest. Not unless you want to spend the next couple of hours in quiet contemplation of selfless love and moral agency.

As for me, I went home and had a really intense dream about vampires wanting to kill me, but not until I sympathized with them to the point of wanting my own death for their benefit.


Isn't that Stockholm syndrome?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween Week: Paper pumpkins and gettin' crafty

Friends, sometimes I am just too adorable for words. This is one of those times.

Now, I'm not generally what you would call a crafty sort of girl. Sure, I knit and have been know to sew in a button, but on a day to day basis I'd much rather spend my spare time on movies and the internets. Y'know, useful stuff. The kind of thing that fills you with a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.

Today, however, the power of the craft was upon me. After a day of cold and snowy weather, no car and too much internet, I knew I had to do something. So I whipped up these little beauties.

I found the instructions on a visiting teaching website, so they have a spiritual quote on them. Which works out fine, seeing as I made them for the girls I visit teach. But it would be super easy to adapt the instructions to make them plain, just by cutting your own paper strips and leaves. In fact, they were so quick and satisfying to make that I'm thinking about getting some pretty card stock and making a few more.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Week: A spooky scary playlist for you!

It's been a long time since I last did a weeklong project, so to remedy that I give to you: Halloween week!
Every day this week I will be doing some Halloween related activity that I will then post about right here on my happy little blog!

First up is this fabulous playlist that I have put together for your very own spooky enjoyment. Please note that the 80s and early 90s had a tremendous impact on my early life ( I imagine, due to the fact that my early life took part during the 80s and 90s), so much of what fills my heart with delight is from that time period. That does not mean I condone tucking your skinny jeans into your slouchy knee-high leather boots! My goodness, talk about things that fill my heart with dread.

But I digress.

What I meant to say was, enjoy this playlist, jam packed with Halloween classics, old and new! Just perfect for your very own Werewolf bar Mitzvah.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Project Eco Geeko: Freecycle

In a quest to not entirely devote this site to Mormon Mommy Blogging, we will return to our regular, pre-pregnancy programming. At least briefly, until we get the nursery decorating underway. Or buy a stroller. Or something.


As I have mentioned previously, I hate waste. The thought of sending something off to the landfill when it could be recycled and repurposed into something else makes my little heart sink. Almost as much as the thought of leaving said item here to clutter up my house. I hate waste and I hate clutter. So what's a girl to do? What's anyone to do when they get a new television, and the old one is still functional, but not really worth selling to anyone? What do you do when you pretty up your kitchen with a new kitchen tap (faucet, to those of you who don't speak my language) but the old one is in perfectly good condition?

Enter Freecycle.

Freecycle describes itself as "a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns." Basically, it's Craig's List, or the classified ads, without the money transaction. And I love it with all of my young girl heart.

Mostly we use it to get rid of stuff we don't need anymore: televisions, old stereos, a rice cooker than needed new fuses, etc. One of my very favourites was when our old, fake Christmas tree went to an old man with a brain tumor who was confined to his bed. His daughter was looking for a tree to decorate his room, so we gave her ours.

Just recently I decided that pregnancy might provide exactly the kind of objectivity that I needed to go through my closet and weed out the things I don't wear anymore. I soon ended up with a big pile of stuff and a much roomier closet. Then I realized that, really, the pile of stuff had just been relocated from my closet to my bed. Clearly, this would be a problem by bedtime. So I went downstairs, pulled out my laptop and posted a quick message to the Spanish Fork freecycle community, informing them that I had a bag of women's clothes up for grabs. Within an hour I had a taker, and had made arrangements for her to come and pick them up. Within 3 hours, they were gone for good. Tadah! Clean closet and warm fuzzies for helping a mother of five without money to spend on herself.

Now. There are a few things to consider about Freecycle.

  1. Safety, safety, safety. I never say things like "stop by at this time, because I'll be home alone all day" or "We won't be home between these hours." Just because someone says they're a mother of five with no money and a broken leg, doesn't necessarily mean that they're not a 300 lb. man with personal boundary issues. The safest thing is to meet people in a public area, but that's admittedly not always the most convenient. I usually arrange for people to stop by when we're both home, and I always keep whatever they're picking up right by the door so they don't have to come inside.
  2. More safety. If you're already giving a stranger directions to your house, don't give them your full name, email address and phone number as well. Use a junky email address (think fluffybunnykins at generic email provider dot com). This won't stop a "professional" identity thief, but might keep the eager amateur at bay.
  3. This is a small one, but most Freecycle communities ask that you give more than you request. A good idea to keep the freecycling moving, but frustrating if you really need something and don't currently have anything to offer.
  4. Also note that using Freecycle limits donations given to your local thrift stores. I have donated plenty to both and feel like they are both good causes. Thrift stores, like Good Will or Deseret Industries, use the money they make on sales towards humanitarian aid as well as to help their local communities and that is not to be sneezed at. However, a lot of what is donated to them, just gets tossed because it won't sell, or is out of season. Freecycle, on the other hand, allows you to donate whatever you like, with the only restriction being what people are willing to take. DI will likely throw away something that doesn't work well, but a freecycler might want it for parts or to restore themselves.

In our first married, starving student days (and before IKEA came to Utah), we requested things like a bed frame to get our mattress off the floor. When I was relearning how to knit, I got bags and bags of yarn to play around with until I knew what I was doing. Just before we found out I was pregnant, we got a retro awesome desk for our office. Now our office is about to become a nursery, and the desk needs to go to make room for cute little baby things. So we will freecycle it!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Project Baby: It's a... and the winner is...

Holy freaking comments! It seems that if you want people to comment on your blog, host a giveaway! Twenty-three of you commented, and that is pretty significant for my little page o' silliness. Thank you!

Before I posted this little competition, more or less everyone we talked to guessed that we were having a girl, so we were expecting your guesses to be heavy on the girl side. But as it turned out, twelve of you guessed girl and eleven guessed boy, so that's a pretty even split.

At this point I can reveal that roughly half of you were right.

Three of you clicked the "like" button and one of you requested "more, please!". To you I can only say: more giveaways or babies? Sadly, none of you laughed at my "a womb of one's own" joke.

And for those of you who haven't already scrolled down to the bottom to see the results, let me reveal that:

We are having a boy!

And the winner is...

who said:

PS, that rather masculine hand is Nick's, not mine. The only masculine thing about me is my baby boy.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Project Baby: Guess the Gender Giveaway!

We will find out the gender of our baby this coming Wednesday night, so to celebrate I'm having Project Project's first ever giveaway!

Naturally, you all want to know what you can win. Naturally, I want to tell you: One lucky winner will get to pick the prize of their choice from the following selection, soon to be lovingly hand-knitted by me.


Prize Option 1
As this is a baby-themed giveaway, what prize could be more appropriate than your very own hand-knitted baby?

Prize Option 2
Or, should you be more scientifically minded, I will knit you a uterus, complete with ovaries and fallopian tubes! A womb of one's own!

Prize Option 3
Not too enthused about the whole baby thing? Don't need a uterus just yet? Then option 3 is the one for you: your own little monster to take home and love!


The Rules
Here is how this competition will go down:

  1. The competition is a short one, and will close at 6:30 P.M. MST on Wednesday, October 7th( that's 2:30 AM on Thursday morning for you Norwegians). That is the time of our doctor's appointment, and I very seriously doubt we will be keeping things quiet for much longer than that.
  2. Enter the competition by leaving a comment on this post, specifying 1) if we are having a boy or a girl (those are your only options) and 2), which prize you would like.
  3. Don't forget to tell me who you are, if it's not already obvious.
  4. Once we know the gender, I will take everyone who guessed correctly and drop their names in an old-fashioned, impartial hat. Then a mostly unbiased judge (Nick) will pick the winner!
  5. The winner will be announced with much pomp and circumstance, along with the gender of the baby, on Thursday, October 8th.
  6. At this point I will begin making the chosen prize, and the winner will just have to wait patiently (with much pomp and circumstance!) for me to finish and present it to them.

Let the games begin!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Project Cheer: Aubrey is amazing

Somewhere in all the craziness of summer with morning sickness, a last desperate push to finish school and leaving the country, I ended up very sadly remiss in reporting back on the most amazing Project Cheer to date!

For those of you who might have forgotten, or joined us later, Project Cheer is my small way of keeping my dad's spirits up while undergoing cancer treatment. I asked anyone who reads this blog to do something kind for someone else in honor of my dad, and then report back to me. And thank you so much to anyone who has! You have brought sunshine to an otherwise dark and scary phase of my family's life.

Enter my lovely friend Aubrey. That's her up there in the photo with her cute family. When Aubrey heard about Project Cheer, she decided to help out. Then she decided get two birds/parents with one stone by organizing a yard sale for her mama who just moved in honor of my papa. Or in Aubrey's own words:

"I got to thinking…what act of kindness could I perform for Reidar? The garage. Then I think I got a bit carried away. Helping my parent in need could help Tamsin’s parent in need. Doing something difficult both mentally and physically could help us remember Reidar’s difficulties. Clearing out my mom’s garage seemed overwhelming and discouraging. Thinking of how it would help my mom and how it might cheer Reidar could give us the perspective and encouragement we needed to accomplish the task. "

Oh, how I love my little Hauber. Please go to her blog and read all about her adventures in yard saling and project cheering in honor of my daddy-o. It will give you all kinds of warm fuzzies, even if you aren't a) pregnant or b) the proud possessor of a poorly parent.