Monday, November 30, 2009

museum, beach, friends, cookies, games, hair care and...

"Oh we were definitely talking about poop," Laura said in voice mixed with disgust and amusement.

My brother had just said goodbye to his girlfriend and I kind of apologized for the way the conversation had gone. My parents, who had not been in the room, were curious to know what we had talked about. Cue the above statement. Well hey, you haven't really had a conversation in my parents' home until it has touched on bowel movements. Also, I thought it was kind of adorable how my 17 year old brother really wanted me to meet her. I might be tempted to say she seems out of his league, but then I remember how crazy awesome HE is, and I think they are a fine pair.

While we were in California, Joel took Ainsleigh to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to see a special exhibit on Richard Avedon, one of Joel's favorite photographers. Ainsleigh, of course, loved it. Joel said at one point they were viewing this painting:

And he asked Ainsleigh what she thought it was. After careful consideration and contemplating the uneven dark surface with the faintest glimmer of red trailing down it, she replied, "I think it's a volcano. And that red part is a tiny bit of lava running down the side." Joel realized there were people behind them only when he heard one say, "Huh. That's a great observation." And her companion agreed.

Here, Joel is attempting to get Ainsleigh to replicate Marilyn's expression:

asleep on the train ride home

Of course, no trip to California would be complete without a trip to the beach, Joel's favorite place. And the day did not disappoint. With clear skies and crashing waves, Joel was in heaven. The kids were pretty happy, too, mounding sand as high as they could before running to avoid (and not always succeeding, Donovan's case) getting pummeled by waves.

(look for about a billion more beach photos in the days to come)

One evening Ainsleigh and I met up with some dear friends for dinner and it was wonderful to reconnect with them. Amazing, that we have been gone for over three years. Comforting, that we can slip back into the comfortable conversation from the good ol' days. We look forward to seeing them again, but are grateful, in the meantime, for email and blogs and phones. Oh, and you should really try the fried macaroni and cheese at The Cheesecake Factory. Don't be embarrassed at the decadence of it all - it's outstanding.

What else - oh, my mom (with Donovan's "help" - though he mostly just giggled because of the name) made some ridiculous cookies, aptly (and gorgeously) named "Big Butt Cookies." I don't remember the exact recipe (ahem, MOM), but something about a chocolate cake mix and a brownie mix and a couple eggs and some oil and then a bag of Reese's peanut butter chips. Bake them until the dough is just warm and then funnel it into your mouth. Or maybe until they are set. They were delicious.

Have you played the game 'Facts in Five'? Because I always tend to forget about it until I'm home and then we play and I think, "Why don't I own this?!" It's a great way to test how quickly your mind blanks, say on something as easy as naming a fiction writer whose last name starts with A right after your dad says, "Hypothetically speaking, if A were the letter, Jane Austen would be acceptable and Arthur Conan Doyle would not." (for the record, I put Hans Christian Anderson).

Also, Becca brought some kind of magical hair serum that exfoliates all the build-up on your hair. I'm not sure if the placebo effect is in play here, but I think I've had some really good hair days since then. I can't remember what it's called (ahem, BECCA), but I heartily endorse the product. Placebo has nothing to do with noticing that I can use far less shampoo than before. And that's probably interesting to only me.

So, in closing: museum, beach, friends, cookies, games, hair care. And poop. Yep, that about sums it up.

one more:


wanda said...

Great pictures, Joel!

I hope you didn't get points off for misspelling Hans Christian Andersen. My two Danish friends (last names Andersen and Graversen) get irritated when someone spells their names 'O-N' instead of 'E-N'. Apparently, Swedish names end in 'O-N' and they don't want to be mistaken for Swedes!

Becca said...

Kevan Murphy hair exfoliant! The green bottle! I believe it's not quite mainstream yet though, at least when I got it my hair dresser said this stuff was underground hair care...I do love to live dangerously!

Sarah said...

MOM. You can't comment on my spelling if you are going to ignore the less-than-subtle hint for the RECIPE. Andersen. Andersen. I will never make that mistake again. (agen?)

GWACK said...

Again, we had such a good time with you guys! So glad that the entire trip was fabulous. :)

I mentioned to my mom on Friday, how nice it is to have friends that, although we haven't seen each other in a year, feels like you never left. I'm sure Claire would agree as well.


wanda said...

Sorry about that.... I was too lazy to get off my big butt to get the recipe. But here it is:
Big Butt Cookies
1 cake mix
1 brownie mix (cheapest you can find, not with extra choc sauce or extra moist)
4 eggs
2/3 C oil
1 pkgs Reese's peanut butter chips
Bake at 350 for 10 min. Maybe more if you use the cookie scoop for choc chip cookies.

mathistown said...

OK, soooo i feel creepy. But I've been reading your blog for a LONG time {years} and I really, really love it. I lived with Laura {as in, your sister} during my senior year at BYU and luckily we've remained friends because she's so awesome {I'm sure you know that}. In a fit of boredom, I found your blog on her blog one day, and I've been hooked ever since. I hope it's not too creepy to say, but I think your whole family is seriously rad. I'm sure I don't need to tell you why. :)

Anyway, I just wanted to out myself and let you know I'm reading, so I can feel a little less invasive about the whole thing. It seemed appropriate, since I'm anxious to make that cookie recipe ASAP; I've made at least 3 recipes you've listed because they all sound so great, and have yet to be disappointed.

Hope that's not too much information..but it's nice to be admired..right? :) Keep up the good work!

Sarah said...

Ms. Mathistown! You totally made my day. And not creepy at all - I kind of love to hear from people I don't know may have or are reading, and that maybe they're enjoying. All the more fabulous if they're enjoying the same food as me. So read with a clear conscience, and pat yourself on the back for bringing a bit of cheer to someone's day. Thank yoooooou!

Anonymous said...

Nice pics. Minor detail, but there was also a somewhat important announcement during your stay, I guess not as important as poop.


Allison said...

And there was also a notable absence amidst this family awesomeness that went unmentioned. Jerk. Come to think of it, you also never mentioned *my* important announcement 6 months ago. What with infertility and all, it's a medical marvel!

I'm totally not speaking to you. Except I'm going to email you my new address so you can send baby clothes. THEN I'm not speaking to you.