Monday, August 30, 2010


Gid and I were able to spend the weekend with family in California for my sweet cousin Tommy's wedding. I know I always say this, but it was a breath of fresh air to get out of Boise. I don't try to make it sound like Boise is claustrophobic; it's not. Boise has been great. But I sure do love to get out whenever I can. Especially when I get to go with Gid. I love seeing my family. Not only was I able to see my Aunt Patti and Uncle Mike (everybody needs an Aunt Patti and Uncle Mike), but I was able to see my Grandma Julie, and my sweet mom, along with other relatives. I just adore my mother. While we were visiting with some of our extended family, one of my uncles said in reference to my mom, "That woman just walks on water." And I thought to myself, "I think she walks on water, and she's my mother..." Like I got to see her in her best and worst moments, and I still think she's the most Christlike person in the world. I just adore her. She's the best mother in the world for me.

Aunt Patti and Uncle Mike were so much fun to be around. Gideon, not used to the heavy dose of awesomeness that one is exposed to being in the Peterson home, was laughing so hard from sunrise to sundown, (especially when me, patti, mom and grandma were getting dinner ready) and I feel confident he got an excellent abdominal work out.

Gid and I were also lucky, because we were able to hit Disneyland on Friday! We made the half hour drive down in my Uncle Mike's beloved porsche with the top down. It was saw-eeet!! And my hair- my hair was bodaciously amazing. We hit all the rides we wanted to, and ate disgustingly expensive disneyland food. We spied on Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty (who was wide awake by the way) signing autographs, and we met a kinda grouchy Mary Poppins who was threatening little girls under her breath. I don't think Julie Andrews would approve, but if I was wearing that heavy of an outfit on that hot of a day, I think I'd be ready to kill everyone before you could say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious too. It was a magical day. We definitely got lost in downtown LA on our way home, and had to stop some policemen to get back on the right freeway, but it was a truly magical day. The only thing that would have made it more magical would have been if I was able to meet Prince Naveen from the Princess and the Frog. I've had a mad crush on him for a few months now. It's ok. I like Gideon more. Like alot more. And we had such a lovely time in the happiest place on earth.  I've got to be honest though: Minnie and Mickey got nothin' on hanging out with my family. The fun we had with family was really the epic part of our trip.

Tommy's wedding was lovely. Classy, elegant, comfortable, and lovely. Isn't it crazy how much family changes in such a short period of time? I hardly recognize my cousin's kids, and I noticed a gorgeous girl while I was photographing the wedding, and then realized she was my cousin Rachel. She's the type who without meaning to, makes you feel like your resume is about the size of a gum wrapper. So accomplished. So gorgeous. And, thats right- related to yours truly. I love my family. I love them so much. Aunt Patti and I cried like babies when my mom had to take off, and then we cried again when I had to go. Patti is one of a kind. She's funny and sweet, smart and accomplished, and can make anyone in the world feel like they are the most important thing ever. Compared to her, I have the personality of a shoe. My Uncle Mike is basically the most charming man on the face of the planet, and watching he and aunt patti joke around with eachother makes me so excited to grow old with my Gid. I was able to spend several weeks with Aunt Patti and Uncle Mike when I was in college, and I had such a marvelous blast with them. So spending time with them, is very similar to being home. I know where the jelly bean stash is. Need I say more?

Everybody needs and Aunt Patti and Uncle Mike. And a sweet tommy. And a gorgeous Rachel. And an funny grandma julie. And a bunch of adorable 1st cousins, once removed. And an undeniably perfect mom. And everyone before, after, in between and throughout.

Oh family. How I miss you. I can't wait till next time.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Fair Evening.

So. Gid and I went to the fair. We've been looking forward to it for weeks now, and it was my first fair out of West Texas (needless to say, it's a little different here...) Anyway, we put on our "fair best", and made the trip out to the Boise Fairgrounds. 

At first I felt like a kid in a candy store: which booth do I go to?? Face painting, no- bizarre jewelry,-- No-cowboy hat booth, NO- sweaty gypsy palm reader! It was a very spastic evening for me. I know I said kid in a candy store, but now I'm thinking puppy in a pet toy store is more accurate. I was all over the place. And the food. Oh, the food! Gid and I got the biggest, most disgustingly mustard covered corn dog we could buy, and ate every bit of it. We shared a large strawberry lemonade. Memo Ladies: when you decide to buy a larger size and share it with a boy, you've GOT to be assertive. You suck every bit out of that straw when you get the chance, because you can be your boots your sweetie will be doing the same thing. We ended up eating a funnel cake and a snow cone as well. We saw the world's biggest pig (which I'm convinced is a horse that just happens to look similar to a pig), and the world's smallest horse (which coincidentally, I'm convinced is actually a pig who just happens to look like a horse). It was a weird night. Lots of interesting people. Some people would describe them as weirdoes. You know how people say all the weirdoes come to Wal-Mart from like 11:00 pm- 4:00 am? I wonder if those people have ever been to the Idaho State Fair. 

We'd eaten. We'd explored. We watched people get sick on the scary rides. We'd tested pillows that had little massage motors in them, and we'd listened to the musicians rock out. Our evening was pretty much wrapped up. But there was one thing I still secretly wanted to do. The thing was- Gideon was around, and I didn't want him making fun of me for the rest of forever. We walked by the booth. I took a breath and tried to find a way to jokingly suggest that one of us (me, obviously) try it out. 

You guessed it: it was the sweaty gypsy palm reading booth. 

There was a line. But once Gideon had figured out that I wanted to do it (without me actually saying it out loud), he put me right in line. Behind the teenage girls. And the older women. I felt really stupid on the outside, but inside, I could not wait. Finally Madam Divina let me inside the tent. She looked basically how I imagined a palm reader at the Idaho State Fair would look: dark eyes, thick hair and a warm smile. I sat down, and handed her my palm. At this point, I started wondering what the church's stand is on palm readers. Should I repent after this? Hmm. But once Madam Divina started talking, I focused on separating her words from the loud fair noises. 

She immediately told me that the number one important thing was that the universe understood me, and I understood the universe. I thought to myself, "Well. I have the gospel. So, yeah." Then after peering at my hand, she smiling told me that I had a long and healthy life ahead of me. Then she paused, and said, "But you really do need to start eating better." That was interesting, because I have been eating poorly lately, and Gideon has been on my tail about how fruit snacks and popcorn are not substantial enough for the human body. Madam Divina went on to tell me I'd have three children (I raised an eyebrow at that; since I've always planned on having more. Maybe she missed the crease in my hand that said, "Hel-oo, I'm Mormon." After asking about what my husband does for a living, Madam Divina told me that he was angry, and he was bringing troubles from the office at home (ahem- NOT true). She told me to have Gid kick the outside of the door three times before he comes home and the bad spirits from work won't enter our home. I'm totally having him do it, even though he always is a good sport when he comes home from work. Lady Gypsy then told me things about me that many of my close friends didn't even know about. Things from my past that I need to learn from. That was a little creepy. Then she told me that I had the capability of telling people where to go if they made me mad. I stared at the crease she was peering at, and thought, where the heck is she seeing that? In-nteresting. She told me that I was meant to travel around the world, and see all that life has to offer. I agreed enthusiastically. Madam Divina then pulled her card out of the side of her shirt (it must have been hiding near her underarm, or maybe in her bra, and handed it to me. I really had no interest in touching anything that had been any where close to her armpit, but I took it (carefully with two fingers) and gave her an uncomfortable smile. She told me in her mystical voice, "I sense that you will contact me again within the year. Just call the number on this card". I looked skeptically at the card, then Madam Divina, then back to the card. Then, dropping the mystical accent, she said in a much more normal Idahoan voice, "I'm in Nampa". 

 As I walked out the tent, I found Gideon sitting on the edge of a fountain next to the men who I imagine were waiting for the other girls getting their fortunes told. I gave him the basic summary, and we headed home.

It was a fairly lovely evening.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dirty, lousy, good for nothin'...

If you couldn't tell by my title, I had a rough, horribly disappointing morning yesterday. I've registered to take a ballet class at the University here, and I've been looking forward to it for several weeks. I don't want to go into too much detail, because everyone knows that no one likes a debbie downer. I apologize up front, however, for the detail I know is inevitably going to spill out. Hearing the sound my fingers make typing noises on a keyboard is therapeutic in a way, and sometimes I just can't stop myself.

This is a venting post. I'll try to not write too many more like this. There are so many more lovely things to write about, don't you think? Yeah. If I were you, I might try to get away now.

You should go check out the new fall anthro line, or maybe one of my favorite uplifiting blogs.

Last chance. Reading this is entering into Alyssa's grouchy day world. My lame-o morning was a combination of a zillion small irritations, that exploded me into a blubbering mess. When I was trying to clean the kitchen, I spilled a bunch of hamburger on the floor, and then when I realized I was spilling, dropped the frying pan holding the meat on my little toe. It really hurt. I almost cried, but, mustering up all of my strength, I decided to not let the stupid frying pan get the better of me. I felt pre-tty heroic. Until I looked in the fridge. I added going grocery shopping to my mental to do list, and tried to not dwell on what a bad wife I feel like I am when I see how limited my husband eating options are. Have I mentioned I love grocery shopping about as much as I love rabbits? (PS- I absolutely hate rabbits. Another story for another day.) Maybe it's more clear to say I hate grocery shopping about as much as I hate touching raw meat. Is that not clear enough? I hate it as much as I hate crusty mullets. If that doesn't illustrate my dislike of shopping for groceries, I really don't know what will. Plus I'm running out of time.

Later, as I was getting myself ready, I spilled an entire bottle of my favorite make up remover all over the bathroom floor. Really annoyed now, I cleaned the mess up. When I was looking for a pair of shoes that was in my duffel bag from last weekend (which NO I still haven't fully unpacked, and YES, I realize that's ridiculous since I've been home for 72 hours now), I discovered my travel shampoo exploded all over one of the pockets. At this point I was ready to throw a tantrum. You know, like a two year old. I cleaned it up. After I made the bed, straightened up the living room, and grabbed my keys, I was determined to be in a better mood, but I was still unusually grouchy. I got in the car. I turned the car on. I thought mean things about the moron drivers. Excuse me. I thought disagreeable things about the other drivers on the road (who happen to be fellow children of God).
I don't want to go on.

You can always tell when I've been crying, because my cheeks get a lovely shade of pink, and the skin around my eyes stays nice and dewy and moist. It's basically an un-fun, but free skin care program. Also not fun is the fact that when I cry for more than 5 minutes, my eyes are sore for the rest of the day, and my nose runs for at least a few hours afterwards. Oh. And I feel like everyone can tell that I've been crying (even though they can't), because I can physically feel it.

When I got to work, I had what felt like a pinched nerve in my back, and had every intention of quitting if anything went wrong or if anyone so much as looked at me in a less than 'happy to see you' way. I had just had it. I'd had it, and it wasn't even noon yet. Gideon had texted me right after my class was done, "How did your class go?" I didn't answer. I didn't want to talk about it at all, let alone through texting. A few hours later he wrote, "Hi. Are you ok?" I love my husband. He can read me like a book, even when I'm silently not texting him. I wrote him something about how it wasn't my day, I loved him, and I would talk to him later tonight. All I wanted was to get through the day.

I did. I got through work, and successfully went grocery shopping without killing anyone (it was a close call). When I got home, I sat in the car, a lump still in my throat, and tears on the verge of surfacing. I just wanted to be able to walk in, hug my husband, and act like it had been a normal, happy day. I did pretty good at first:

Me- "Hi honey, I'm home!"
Gid- "Hi hon, how are you?"
Me- "Good, how was your day?"
Gid- "Fine."
Gid- "So you didn't have too good of a morning?"
Me- (lump in throat coming back, and horrible pouty face surfacing) (sniffle) " ...No."

Gid just came over to where I was standing, and hugged me, as the sniffles turned into tears. Frustrated, I started thinking about how all of the things that had made my day seemed so silly. But thinking about how I was such a crybaby only made me cry harder. I'm lucky Gid is patient. A lot of guys would probably just give me a few bucks and suggest I go rent a chick flick, and buy some chocolate (maybe even midol).

Not my gid.

I think some days are just harder than others. And I think that's ok. As long as you be sure to pick yourself up (or in my case, let out a good cry), and keep moving forward. As my good friend Anne of Green Gables says,

"Tomorrow is new. 
With no mistakes in it. 

Thats all for now, my bloggy buddies.

Hopefully my grouchy post didn't scare you away.

Wishing you a lovely Wednesday.

Monday, August 23, 2010

hawaii photoshoot!

okay. things on my live list

1-Walk barefoot in the sand 
holding hands with the one you love.

Gideon and I had the honor of having a photoshoot with 
 photographers Kylie and Spencer Turley.

People. I've seen a lot of photo-shoots in my life. 
These two were IN-credible; and a large part of the reason 
Gid and I decided to stop by Oahu before our week in Kauai.

Ky and Spence took us all over the island and captured some really incredible photographs of us by the ocean, in a more jungly setting, and basically everything in-between. Super reasonably priced too. 

If anyone is going to Oahu anytime soon, 

I'd definitely take some 
time out for a shoot with them.

Here are just a few reasons why: 

For more information on their photography business, 
or if you just want to see more of their work,
 check this out. 

Thanks again Ky and Spence!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Once Upon A Time...

there was a boy.

Who fell in love with a girl.

And then
 (long story short)
 they got married.

Jordan Tait has been a good friend for several years. I remember one day rushing into a class we both were taking as I obsessed over a photograph that was due in an hour. As I harshly and loudly critiqued each possible flaw, Jordan interrupting me, said in the most reassuring voice possible,
"Alyssa. It's perfect."

The assignment was actually far from perfect. But the fact that someone thought that I could take even a decent photograph was exactly the boost I needed that day. At that point, I didn't know that Jordan would trust me to photograph the single most important day of his life.

I'm so glad that he did. I've always thought that he and Heather belonged together (so didn't mean to rhyme), and I may or may not have gotten emotional a few times to see the complete wedding day bliss going on between these two.

It's tough describing photo-shoots without comparing them to each other. I don't want to say, "Heather and Jordan are the most beautiful couple I've ever photographed" or "This was the single most lovely day I've ever been privileged to be apart of", or "This was the most gorgeous family I've ever spent a day with", because I've photographed hundreds of beautiful couples and families on similarly beautiful days. I think however, this day was especially beautiful because of the people who surrounded the couple. Jordan and Heather's parents were unbelievably sweet and accommodating to me, their charmingly funny brothers and gorgeous sisters included me in conversations, and at the end of the day, I couldn't have felt less like I had been working.

Like I said, I always feel like it's wrong to declare 
"This was the BEST WEDDING EVER",
because I feel in some way it will disrespect other weddings I've done, or will do in the future.

But I will say this:
This wedding really made me fall in love with life all over again.
And I think it just might have been the most lovely day I've ever photographed.

Congrats, you two.
I love you with everything I've got.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Just so you know...

I don't consider myself a needy person. I've never felt super-de-duper attached to any guy I've dated (until gideon, and I don't think I felt that attached until he proposed to me), and in most cases I'd be likely to choose to run errands alone rather than with a partner. Ok?

I also wouldn't think that I'm a scardy cat. Hello-- I like roller coasters, was a gymnast for 13 years, and spent four winters in rexburg frickin idaho (and rarely wore wool socks by the way). I'm just sayin'. "Needy", and "chicken" have never been used to describe me before.

I just wanted you to read that before you read this.

I miss gid so much right now.
I'm in an airport, waiting to board a flight to California to shoot a wedding for a dear friend. I love weddings. I love this friend. And if anyone who is reading this has ever met me for even a minute they would know that I adore traveling.

But when I kissed Gideon goodbye and left him at the ticket/security entrance, I felt an unfamiliar large lump in my throat. I already missed him. As I walked through the line, took off my shoes, and put my bags through security, I snuck peeks over at the front of the line to see if he was still standing there. He was. In fact, as I was being scanned by a huge machine I turned my head the slightest angle so I could check again if he was still there, and a rather grouchy security lady snapped at me that I mustn't even blink or she'd have to start the scan all over again. Then, after the check was over, she smiled at me, and said, "don't worry sweetie, I don't think he's going anywhere too soon." Sure enough, after I passed all security levels (I was selected to be super "secured") Gideon was still standing at the beginning of the line, which seemed much father away than it was, and was grinning with his charming grin, and waving goodbye. I walked to my gate, and tried not to noticeably sniffle. How very un-alyssa of me. If ever I had any doubts of my being totally in love with that boy, this moment changed all of them completely.

Before too long, I felt I had returned back to my normal independent self. I got on the flight, and sat across the aisle from an adorable little girl sitting in the window seat next to her mother. The little girl was soo excited for the "big bird to fly", was trying to pry her window shade  higher so she could see more, and kept bouncing up and down in her seat laughing loudly. I wasn't too amused, because I was reminded of a horrible experience when I was sitting next to a little first flier once, and he threw up all over me. Wasn't too cute. As the plane accelerated speed, the little girl gave out a happy holler, but sure enough, as we got higher and higher in the air, her little gleeful giggles subsided. I prepared my senses for the aroma of kid puke. But, instead of what I anticipated, the little darling slammed her window blind shut as hard as possible, threw herself next to her mother's side, and hid underneath a blanket for the duration of the 2 hour flight. I heard her small voice several times ask her mother sometimes if the bird was done flying. Poor thing.

I kind of felt the same. I thought I was mostly done missing gideon. When the plane started taking off, I thought of all of the times I'd been driving home from work, and I would jealously watch flights sailing off away from idaho. I smiled to myself as I thought how nice it would be to get away for a weekend, but around the time the little girl dove under her blanket, I missed Gideon just as much as ever. I missed looking through the skymall magazines with him and joking about what Christmas presents we would get each other. I missed how he always orders Orange Juice (weirdo?) when the complimentary drink cart comes by. I calculated that the last at least 24 flights of my life, I've been sitting next to Gideon.

On this flight, I was sitting next to a man who, after digging through the magazine holder, found a half wrapped lolly pop, and was eating it. I'm not kidding. I watched him casually wipe the lint and peanut crumbs off the tasty treat on his seat before putting the doomed candy into his mouth. After he was done with it, he used the stick to clean his fingernails out.

I miss gid.

Oh, and the flight had horrible turbulence. I think my stomach is lingering somewhere over the grand canyon still, and I definitely had a few day mares consisting of myself, the little girl, and the rest of the passengers experiencing an unhappily ended end.

There was one point of turbulence on the flight, that I had to close my book, and take my chin off of my resting hand (because the jerks were making me slap myself). I sat in great discomfort, next to the lint eating candy enthusiast, grasping my armrests tightly (usually I try to avoid those ever since I was a kid and my mom gave me a talk about germs in public places), and tried to relax what I know must've been "crazy lady eyes". After a skidded and swerved landing on the runway, what sounded uncomfortably close to a fire alarm went off for about 10 seconds. Not a single passenger so much as raised an eyebrow. I would have probably let out at least a "what the??", but I was too busy making sure my pants were still dry after the terrifying landing.

You know those scenes in movies when sailors finally reach the coast, and they lie face down in the sand, basking in the glory of earth? I felt like that. Really.  I thought about laying down on the airport floor when we landed, and kissing the carpet with exclamations of "land!" I concluded however, that I didn't want to mess with the germs, or hold up the line.

Not today, anyway.

What is going on with me? How much more un-alyssa can I get? (And yes, I've noticed that the term "un-alyssa" seems dramatic; kind of like "un-american", but all about me, making it sound like I worship myself. I actually don't; and in case you were wondering, I'm very patriotic.) It's just that turbulence never used to bother me. I used to laugh at people who got airsick. And look at me: I'm sitting in an airport, waiting to board yet another flight, and I've got my insides all twisted up. And I miss my sweet husband so so badly right now, it kind of hurts. And it's not hunger. I already tried eating.

But I'm not needy, or a scardy cat.

Just so you know.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dear Gideon.

thanks for making my day.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Just another reason...

I'm grateful for blessings:

Today I had to stop by Walmart on the way home from work.

I hate Walmart. 

But I had to buy some toilet paper.

It was important.

So I went. Annoyed. Just as I parked the car, I felt my phone slip out of my pocket and fall behind the driver's seat. More annoyed. I actually thought for just a second, "Why? Why on a day when I'm already in a grouchy mood does my phone have to fall out of my pocket and into the back seat?!" But I needed my phone. So I grouchily got out of the car, opened the back seat door, and picked up my phone. And then I noticed the Wal-mart bag that had bike locks in it that Gideon asked me to return to Wal-Mart.

It became very clear.

Had my phone not fallen out of my pocket, I would not have gone to the back seat. And had I not gone to the back seat, I wouldn't have seen the bike lock bags, and had I not seen those bags, I would have forgotten to return them today. Which would have resulted in another trip to Wal Mart. So basically, I think Heavenly Father encouraged my phone to fall out of my pocket so that I would be saved from another lame-o trip to Wal Mart.

I'm blessed.

Lovely Wednesday to all of you.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Letters to my Future Children #2

To My Dear Little Boys,

Boys, I know right now as you (up in heaven) watch me write to you, you're probably interested in what it is that I want to talk to you about, here in 2010. I'll tell you, boys. I just can't wait to play ball with you. I know it's going to take a while. First, you have to get here. Then, you have to grow. Rather, I have to grow you. After you learn how to sleep more than 2 hours, snuggle with mommy for more than 2 seconds, and walk more than 2 steps, I'm going to take you out to a park, or to the backyard of the lovely cottage I'm sure we'll be living in (or will we still be in this one bedroom apartment?), and I'm going to play ball with you.

"Which ball", you ask? Why, all of them.

I'll bring a soccer ball, a football, 
a baseball, a tennis ball, a kick ball, 
and more likely than not, a disco ball

And we're going to play. Heavens know we won't play the technically correct way. But that's not what is important. We're going to have the most lovely time ('lovely' is more of a term I'll use with your sweet sisters, we'll have a ROCKIN' time). We'll have the most rockin time playing ball. There is a good possibility that your sisters will be playing with us, boys. You'll have to learn to be patient with them, and give them turns. There is a chance they'll be good at ball. Maybe even better than you. My guess is that they'll be playing hide and seek, and daydreaming about the lovely bedtime stories I'm going to make up, and won't be too incredibly interested in playing ball with the 'stinkies'. (They're referring to you, boys. I'll talk to them later about respecting their siblings.) I hope you are always good to your sisters. Don't worry. I'm sure to remind the ladies to be good to you. Oh, and do be patient when we pull out the disco ball, and put on our flowing skirts. And you must join us in only a few dances. Don't worry. I'll be sure that you are taught the macerana well.

The days when we go out and play ball will be nothing short of magical. Of course you'll have afternoons when your wonderful father will take your hand, walk you out to the field, and you will have wonderful times, just the boys. You'll probably love those afternoons quite alot. Afternoons free of flowers, of frills and of the pastel colors I plan to adorn your beautiful sisters and myself with.

I know from first hand experience what good company your great father is. He'll love creating memories, and playing with you boys.

But I promise- you'll never have a bigger fan than me.

I could thumb wrestle your father for the title of biggest fan, but there's no question who would win that short battle. He comes in a very very close second. Maybe one and a half. Alright boys, maybe it's a tie.

When you get to school, sometime playing ball becomes less fun. I don't care if you never play a 'real' ball game in your life. That is, after we have our fun play dates when you finally join our family. I know I'm jumping the gun, boys, but all I'm really trying to say is that I can't wait to play with you.

Soccer and disco ball alike. 
We're going to have a fabulously rockin' time.

Hopefully it won't be too long till you get here,

ps- your father drives me crazy when he corrects my spelling.
When he corrects your spelling, just try to be patient with him, boys.
Ok? Ok. Love you.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Photoshoot: Pretty In Pink

Just how many emotions can 


fit into ONE photoshoot?

Lets take a little look...

                    HAPPY!             not so happy.
and a million things in between...

*kudos to bobby who was the solo male in this shoot...

...needless to say, it was a fun shoot.

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