genny

Tromping Through Mud In Portland


I spent several days in Portland and Camas, Washington, a handful of days ago. I brought my camera. I also had my phone in tow. That has a camera, too, you know. I took a smattering of pictures while I was up there. Most of them came from trips around Round Lake, just down the hill from Pete and Genny’s. My niece, Catherine showed me her special stopping places, to throw rocks, toss sticks in the lake for Shady to retrieve, stomp across the bridge, and fall in the mud. I didn’t take a picture of the mud incident, but this led to the removal of her pants and wearing Genny’s tall socks to keep her legs warm. New fashion style!

Shady brought us a gift on one of our walks. Squirrel for dinner? Yum!

Shady's Squirrel Hunting

Catherine kept on calling it an otter and told us that otters swim in the water. Genny tossed it into the bushes. About an hour later, Shady brought it back again. Shady is such a nice dog, bringing gifts.

We also spent some time at Powell’s bookstore. I am so glad that I do not live closer to that store, for the sake of my bank account. It’s three stories and entire city block, filled with used, new, rare books and plenty of other bibliophile memorabilia as well. Genny had to text me after a while and remind me that we were with a toddler and couldn’t stay forever. So then we took the toddler to a spice store!

In the end, it was relaxing, Catherine played with me and even sat with me for some of sacrament meeting. And it was nice to return home again and be with Nathan. (He stayed behind to hang out with Pogi, oh and work, too.)

My First Elkins Christmas


Last year, Nathan and I shared our first Christmas, but we were a few days short of being married so I slept at my parents, then drove over to our condo to exchange gifts. It was so nice this year to wake up next to him for our first married Christmas.

I could go on and on about everything that we did to celebrate, include all sorts of details and go off on tangents, but then this blog would be too long for Nathan to read 🙂

Instead, here’s the summarized list of a beautiful Christmas:

  • Having a real pine tree in the house smelled festive.
  • Dinner on Christmas Eve with Ryan, Laura and Bears was tasty, relaxing, and fun to open gifts from them and Mom & Dad.
  • I’m really blessed to have such wonderful in-laws (besides giving great gifts, they’re also just great people that I love spending time with).
  • Christmas morning, Nathan and I opened gifts from each other and everything was just what we needed.
  • My favorite part of Christmas was going to church–Nathan spoke in our ward and brought the spirit to the meeting, then I had the chance to accompany my Mom who was a special guest playing an arrangement of Silent Night on the violin. Mom, Dad, Grumma, Pete, Genny, and Cat all came to our ward with us so we shared the meeting with family as well as ward family.
  • After church, we went home to wrap gifts and call Mom and Dad Elkins to wish them Merry Christmas in Texas!
  • Sunday afternoon was the traditional lunch at Grumma’s where she served lil’ smokies on an orange because we all told her it wouldn’t be Christmas without them! The great grandkids had a blast with a white elephant and then the grandkids (which includes me and Nathan) received a special book this year that Grumma made for us. I love it.
  • Christmas evening was with my parents and the entire family where we spent a long time opening presents because of the number of people exchanging gifts we got for each other. Good thing we draw names so we’re not opening even more gifts. Grumma would just love that.
  • At times, the get togethers would get really loud with so many people in one room and so many excited children, but it reminded me of something Nathan told me he’d been thinking about in preparation for his talk: that when Jesus was born, we sing about it being a Silent Night, however, it probably wasn’t silent at all up in heaven. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to think that I at least tried out for the choir of angels who sang at his birth 🙂

Episode 55: Birthdays and Work


I’ve heard a rumor around these halls at work that the time clock wishes you happy birthday. What a nice time clock.

I have NO IDEA if it’s true, though.

I don’t work on my birthday.

The very first year I celebrated my birthday while employed here, October 14th fell on a Friday. Several things happened that day: I took the day off, Daniel Craig was announced as the sixth official James Bond actor and I slept in. Later that day, I met up with Janet to make a trip down to Las Vegas because who doesn’t want to spend their birthday weekend on their feet all day moving from one store to the next, purchasing makeup you hardly use from Sephora and clothes you still wear from Urban Outfitters? Good birthday.

The next year, my birthday was on a Saturday. For some reason, though, I don’t really remember what happened that year. I probably didn’t sleep in because I had a soccer game. But again, I did not work. Oh and also, Chelsea FC’s goalkeepers both suffered serious injuries that day against Reading FC—Cech fractured his skull and Cudicini had a concussion. Defender John Terry had to finish the game as keeper.

Moving on now to 2007: My birthday fell on a Sunday. I slept in! Church didn’t start until 1:00pm. I believe at the time, I probably sat in really uncomfortable pews so I was utilizing a blow-up “back pillO.” Yep. Getting older is superb.

Bring on 2008. I planned a last minute trip with James and Maren to visit Peter and Genny! So I woke up (probably late enough to consider it sleeping in) in Portland, Oregon after spending time in Seattle and hitting up Cannon Beach the previous days. Pete had to work so the rest of us made our way to Multnomah Falls where we raced a train took a lot of pictures and hiked all the way to the top. Mighty cool birthday.

And now we’ve arrived at this year. My birthday fell on a Wednesday. Right in the middle of the week. Kind of awkward. So I just took the one day off. I woke up at 7:30 am, read a text on my phone and then remembered, I could sleep in. So I dropped my head back down on that pillow and went right back to sleeping. Once I finally did get up, I ate breakfast, did laundry, returned texts and went to the gym. Then it was back home to make soup, burn my tongue eating it, finish laundry, clean up and go over to Tracy’s to see the demolition of their kitchen and have my four-year old niece perform several happy birthday dances for me.

Jane’s happy birthday dances were incredible.

Eventually, Jane and Abe came with me to play at my house for a bit, drew all over dozens of post-it notes and stuck them on my fridge.

Dinner was at my parents’ with my siblings. Besides the great gifts, they all went around the circle and told me nice things about myself. We may tease my dad for being cheesy in his “old age,” but I sure do appreciate this new cheesy tradition we do.

After all the eating, gift opening, complimenting Larrie, and sweeping up peanut shells that were all over the kitchen floor, I went over to Kasey’s for delicious cake and celebrations with my friends.

See how great my birthday was? No working! (I briefly checked email around 3:00pm and sent one response because I was worried about anything going wrong on a project when I’m gone for ONE day.) It felt like a holiday. Larrie Day.

Birthdays at work don’t feel like holidays.