Thursday, October 31, 2013


The past few years, we haven't had time. 
We haven't had motivation. 

But this halloween, we decided to dress up. Nothing over the top, nothing that cost more than a few bucks.  Just needed a newsboy cap for gid, really. 

I already had the skirt, the button up top, the boots and the ribbon for a belt and bow.
Also had a handsome boy to play my chimney sweep, of course. What a cutie.

Our friends lent us the most phenomenal umbrella. 
Very Mary, if I do say so myself.

Our last Halloween in graduate school, friends. 

Such sweet memories for us to cherish for the rest of our lives.

Hoping you all are having a spooky fun evening as well,

Monday, October 14, 2013

dear fall.

I found myself resting under the heavy covers of our bed. It was a saturday morning, and even though I'd been awake for several minutes, I couldn't move. I tried to consider getting out, (after all it was almost nine in the morning) but my pillows begged me to stay, and the sheets pulled me deep in, like some sort of sleepy riptide. Of course Gid had already gotten up, done his homework, made breakfast (I could smell the eggs), and probably run a few marathons. He reminds me of a kitten I had when I was a kid, who would fall asleep right next to me, and then in the morning would disappear. My husband is the stealthiest bed fugitive. I'm a light sleeper, but it doesn't matter. He always manages to sneak out well before my heavy eyes flutter open. Anyway, back to the bed. That warm, wonderful bed. I was determined to stay in it. All day. 

It's fall break this week, friends. Normally fall break is the best thing ever. A week to recuperate, to catch up on homework, get groceries, or in my case, hopefully to finish the choreography for my thesis piece. (sigh)

Not this year. Fate dealt me a nasty hand this autumn. No fall break. Instead: 10 hours a day in the studio working on somatic based studies for a scholarship that I (luckily) was selected for. 

And so, because this particular Saturday was my only day free until the semester began again, I stubbornly stayed in bed. I was absolutely determined to relax. To experience a fall break, even if it would only be 1 day.

Gid came in the room, cheeks rosy, smile wide, and cheerfully asked me what I wanted to do today. "Anything you want," he insisted. I stared at him, lips pressed together thinly, and informed him that I wasn't getting out of bed. Ever. 

My husband is sweet. Instead of telling me how lazy and ungrateful I am, he crawled into bed with me and joined me in watching mindless television for almost a whole hour. Let me explain something: my husband- he doesn't watch mindless TV. Not ever. He watches the news, and an occasional basketball game. That's pathetic for the likes of Gideon Tolman. Don't you realize he could be doing something productive? Listening to conference. Washing the car. Balancing the checkbook. Saving a baby. He has better things to do than catch up on "Parenthood". But somehow, on this special saturday, I didn't even have to beg him to be lazy with me. I don't know anyone else who he'd do that for. So sweet. After watching my favorite show and coaxing me out of the warm covers, Gideon drew my attention to the warm vibrant color of the leaves outside. And immediately, I knew what I wanted to do on my one day of fall break.

We got our little tripod out, dusted off my camera, and grabbed the handheld remote we never use. And then we took family fall pictures. We didn't have to go more than a minute away from our apartment to find the perfect spot. And with the brisk fall air around us, the leaves happy to participate as the perfect backdrop, and the sound of the football game as our mood music, it made for a pretty lovely afternoon. A nice memory to store away, you know?

While I was metering for light, Gideon didn't realize he was posing for some really hunky shots. I'll have to use that as a trick next time to get him to pose seriously...

We walked. And caught up on life. Goodness, I sometimes forget how little we get to see each other with our school schedules. After our shoot, Gid took me out for ice cream and shopping. 

Hands off ladies, he's mine.

...all mine.

And now, thanks to my handsome sweet, kitten of a husband,
I didn't stay in bed all day long after all.

Even better, we now have something to remind us of our
last fall break in graduate school.
The end.

Here's hoping the rest of you are enjoying a real fall break,

Sunday, September 22, 2013

in case you were wondering what handsome looks like...

My sweet hubs turned 29 about a week ago, friends. 

While he was working on a big paper, I quietly sneaked around the living room, decorating, wrapping his presents, and getting his birthday cheesecake ready. 

 Sweet candles, right? (They better be-- they were like $5 a piece...)

When I called Gid into the room, he looked like a kid who'd just discovered it was Christmas. So darling. He still gives me butterflies. Look at that smile. I love him when he's scruffy. That's how you know gid is stressed: check his scruff...

This birthday feels a little more significant than the others we've celebrated together. For one, its Gid's last year in his twenties. Isn't that nuts? I'm going to be married to a thirty year old! Stranger still- I'm right behind him. The other night we watched that Jennifer Garner film, "Thirteen Going on Thirty". Gid is very selective of which films (especiiaaallly girly films) he'll watch with me, but he really enjoyed it. Good flick, even by Gid standards.

Anyway, I think Gid will make such a handsome thirty something. When men get older, its not necessarily a bad thing. When I notice a wrinkle, I cringe a bit. When I see a wrinkle on Gid, all I can think is that he looks more sophisticated than ever. He should be the mayor of handsomville. 

Why does this birthday feel so different? Is it our thirties sneaking up behind us, preparing to give us a wedgie (as part of a welcome to our post twenties)? Maybe. 

I've also started to (finally) realize that this is our last year in graduate school. Maybe our last year in the education system forever (depending on what you identify as "the education system"). Next time we celebrate either of our birthdays we'll have graduated. I know it sounds silly, but it seems significant. Who knows what will be going on a year from now when gid blows out his birthday candles? I wonder where we'll live? What jobs we'll have? (Will we even HAVE jobs?!) So much to find out in this next year. 

Anyway, here's lookin' at you, kid. 

Like I said-- what a hunk. 

Good luck next week friends,

Monday, September 2, 2013

dear september,

I've missed you. The summertime is always sweet to me; I love the warm evenings and the sparkling fireworks. I love the smell-- a combination of sunblock, the ocean and coconut (is that just me or do you agree?). I love the food: the berries, the snow cones, and the light salads. Oh, and the hot dogs. I love hot dogs. Mmmm, and potato salad. And chips. I love the classic summer activities: the beach, the camping, the evening strolls, and the movies out on the lawn accompanied by popcorn, soda and licorice. 

Summer is great. 

This summer, however, wasn't the best one I've had. Actually, this summer was easily the worst one I've had in a long time. Too much on the schedule. Too much stress.Too little sleep. Too little time with family. I felt like a different person. Grouchier. Busier. More frustrated, and grayer (hair and otherwise). My relationships, both social and personal suffered. I lost motivation. Desire. Anything that took more energy than I already had to use.

Last week when the academic year started and I got back to the grind of graduate school, I actually felt like a major weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. The weight of summer. Summer. Isn't that supposed to be the most carefree part of the year? I'm so relieved its over (though the work load is still hovering dangerously over my head). 

And the smell. It smells like dew this morning. It smells like clouds coming over the ocean. It smells like change. Even though the leaves haven't darkened, and pumpkins don't line the doorsteps (yet). 

It smells like change. For the better I'm thinking. 

When I woke up this morning, September, I noticed your soft glow seeping out of my curtains, instead of summer's piercing obnoxious beams that used to force me to wake up like a military sergeant with a megaphone. 

There's a moistness about your air, like the clouds are trying to decide what's better: rain, or almost rain. (Touch decision for me too...) 

I've always liked you, september. You feel like new school supplies and scarves with leather boots (and wool socks). Gideon's birthday on the 13th, our anniversary on the 18th. You're a special month in our family. But this year, I feel an even more special pull to you. You released me from this year's summer.

Here comes hot cocoa and pumpkins,
(and thesis concert...)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

the rest of the skirt story, or, why today didn't suck after all.

I think I know what you're thinking. 

You're thinking, "Move on, Alyssa. Move on." 
You're thinking, "We've heard enough about this magical skirt. 
We get it. You really really like it."

You're right. 
This is my third blog post about this skirt.
 I can see how I might look super excessive.

But can I just tell you the part of the story I've been hiding from you? 
Can I tell you the dramatic details? Because believe it or not, 
this pesky skirt story has had a lot of ups and downs to it. 

And after today, I think I'm ready to share them with the rest of the world.

It is with great pleasure and honor that I present : 


My sister buys a lovely skirt. I drool over the pictures as I research all the different places you could potentially buy it. The cheapest one I find is over $200. I decide it'll be one of those garments that I dream of owning one day, but never would, because there's no friggin way I'm going to spend that kinda dough on a skirt. Even if its perfect. No friggin way. I convince myself that I probably wouldn't even like it on me anyway. 

I happen to be in my hometown at the same time my sister is visiting, and you guessed it: she brought THE skirt. I beg her to let me to try it on, and she allows it. I fall in mad, crazy love with the skirt. I feel like a princess, a ballerina, and audrey hepburn rolled into one entity. I continue to research retailers who might carry it where it might be cheaper. No dice. Still around or over $200. (sigh) I convince myself that, even though I adore it, I'd never have a place to wear it. A little part of my heart aches when I give the skirt back to my sister. 

Gideon surprises me by purchasing THE skirt for my birthday. Over the course of two minutes, I die a little bit. 

First I die of shock, because remember how it was crazy expensive? 

Then I die of fear. On the designer website that Gideon ordered from, they have a very clear policy of NO RETURNS. Talk about commitment right? I was terrified that Gid might have accidentally gotten the wrong size, color, or something else important. (FYI: He didn't. He's an impeccable secret shopper.) 

Then I die of shoppers remorse. I start asking myself if I really liked the skirt, or if I just felt entitled to any piece of clothing that my sister owned. I wonder where in the world I would wear the skirt, (remember how I wrote a whole post just about being brave with cool clothes? I'm such a hypocrite!) and start feeling guilty that my darling husband bought me a darling skirt that would never be worn. 

After my three stages of death, I finally just embrace the fact that I got an amazing skirt, and try to feel nothing but grateful. I give Gid the big thank you kiss he so rightfully deserves. 

The. Very. Next. Day. We happen to be at downeast outfitters. You know how they've started selling anthro items that are out of season? Yeah. So we're at downeast, and I find THE EXACT SAME SKIRT, (same size, same color) for THIRTY DOLLARS. I die my three deaths all over again. Poor Gideon looked sick when he saw me and my discovery. 

Gid sends an email to the New York designer, respectfully acknowledging the no return policy, and asks if there is any way, any possible way we can return the skirt we've ordered, explaining that we found another one through an anthropologie vendor. The designer takes a few days to respond, but surprisingly makes a gracious exception for us on one condition: the skirt needs to be returned within one week.

Immediately I take the skirt to the post office (it's Monday). I send it priority just to make sure it gets safely to NYC by Friday. They ask if I want insurance and a tracking number for an additional five dollars. Being a crazy cheapskate, I say "no thanks" and skip away, totally unaware of the major distress the decision will give me soon after.

Its Thursday. Gideon emails the designer, asking if the skirt has arrived. She replies that it hasn't. All day  Friday I'm flipping out, but there's nothing to be done, because smartie pants over here decided not to pay fiiiivvve bucks of insurance on a TWO HUNDRED DOLLAR delivery! 

I pray hard. Really really hard. "Please, please please let the skirt get to New York City today," I beg to the heavens. Friday comes and goes. The skirt doesn't arrive. Days go by. Then more days. Then a week. Big, fat tears stream from my eyes when I realize, not only that the skirt didn't arrive in time for us to get refunded, it's gotten lost in the mail. I mailed off two hundred dollars, and it got lost. It's probably sitting next to some vacated apartment, and will be thrown away. So I cry. Gideon holds me, runs his fingers through my hair, and says something along the lines of, "its ok. It's just a skirt." This only makes me cry harder.

This brings us to today. Can I just say, it's been a lousy day? I woke up early in the morning sick to my stomach (not preggo), and spent the better part of the morning in the bathroom crouched over the toilet. Not my cup of tea. I drag myself to class. The whole afternoon I'm clammy and have chills. I have a meeting that goes 30 minutes longer than it should, which makes me lose my break to grab a bite to eat.

I'm grouchy, tired, sick, and soo hungry. All I want to do is get my hands on a machete and go to town on everybody in sight. 

And then I check my email. Notice a message from Gid. The subject says, "Good News!" 

Turns out the package finally did arrive. 
And it turns out, the designer is making yet another gracious exception, and is refunding us our money.

Not a bad day, after all.  


ps- I think I'll send her a handwritten thank you card and have flowers delivered to her.
What do you think? Too much??

Phew! I'm glad I got that all out, friends! 
Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

a post about missing boise

I've been missing boise lately, friends. I miss everything about it. 

I miss the running on the greenbelt. 
And I never miss running. 

I miss the cute downtown that had a million darling shoppes and resturaunts that I’d explore on the weekends. I miss the people. My sweet friend paige who would make me laugh without the slightest effort. Darling libby who I adored and carefully observed so I may someday be just like her. My Courtney; THE sweetest, kindest, and most perfect girl you could imagine; the only pen pal I’ve ever been able to connect with for more than just a few letters. 

I miss the weather. Is it me, or does boise have phenomenal weather? 

Today I miss our lovely apartment with central air. 

I miss having a job that pays well that I enjoy.

I sooooo miss working for a chiropractor. Getting free treatment was pretty much the best thing ever.

Today I miss the greek café we lived right next to with the funny redhead. 

I miss the consignment stores in boise; they had the best consignment stores.

Now, Salt Lake is great. There are some great people here. I do have to say most of them have no idea how to drive and never should have been given a drivers license. 

I love the shopping; we have some darling boutiques and terrific malls like city creek. I love that the salt lake temple is the one in my district. Who would have thought when I was a kid that the picture of the castle would be the temple I’d attend regularly in graduate school? That’s sort of amazing, right? 

I like that I discovered a boba café that makes me any kind of boba drink I like. So that’s good. And I have to say, I love our ward. 

I’ve been blessed with great bishops in my life, but never have I had a bishop as rad as the one I currently have. Most loving. Least judgmental. Hilarious. Patient. Empathetic. Ever empathetic. I have some incredible friends in salt lake. Heidi, who makes me laugh so hard I have to put a huge effort into not allowing snot out my nose. Krista, who keeps me sane throughout grad school and provides me comic relief in the most desperate times. McKaye, who always always delivers when I call her for a random grocery item to borrow (tomatoes, onions, sugar, vinegar, ect.) We’ve been really lucky.

Like I said, Salt Lake is just great.

I’m just dying for boise today.

That's all. Thanks for listening.

Friday, July 12, 2013

a post about connections...

I love realizing that I have more in common with people than I thought. I love finding out that we enjoy the same (not so common) book, style, era, or favorite dessert. I love discovering that I share the same unique dreams with people. So fun to find out that someone shares my obscure taste in music! So funny to find out they share the same guilty pleasure that I enjoy.

So relieving to discover that we share the same frustrations. (Frustrations that I thought I was the only person in the world to experience, in the history of time, space and complete existence.) So validating to be reminded that we all have days when we're fighting a tough fight. Days when we're postponing going to bed specifically so we can avoid the inevitability of yet another day. 

Days when we watch crappy reality dating television shows so we can attempt to feel better about ourselves. ("At least I'm not desperate enough to be on this dumb show....that I watch every monday religiously... since that's not pathetic")

There are some days when I'm in a super mood; real swell. Walking through campus like I own the place. High fiveing my classmates just because. Feeling pretty. Feeling accomplished. Feeling fulfilled and good about the future. 

But some days, I'm not in the mood to high five anyone. I don't feel good about the way I look. Some days I don't feel super optimistic about the future, and all I want to do is eat sugary cereal and try to remember to avoid the bathroom scale. Some days I get bummed and sort of hate stuff.

And when I do, I can't tell you how much it helps to find a friend who is also feeling a little bummed and sort of hating their own stuff. We laugh about how annoying bad drivers are. How much we hate exercising. How we secretly love things like pizza, ding dongs, and making fun of the bachelorette. How we wish we could just fly to paris, eat macaroons and never worry about finding a job or raising kids that don't end up nuts like us...

Like I said, I can't tell you how much it helps to find a part of me in a friend.

And I like to think that they're relieved to find themselves in me, too. 

So grateful that its friday, friends.
Lets enjoy the weekend, yes? 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

another post about being weird.

Hi Friends. 

Remember this post?

Remember the magical skirt? 

Last week, my sister and I were in Texas, and she let me wear it for 10 whole minutes. 

I begged my mom to take a few shots so I could pretend that it really belonged to me, and reminice through photographs of what it would be like to own such loveliness. 

So much talent in that woman.

Until next time, skirt. 

That's all, friends. Just wanted to share.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

summer checklist

1. Read some books.
(I'm only 1/2 way through Les Mis though; 
finishing it actually might take the entire rest of the summer...)

2. Take some photos.

3. Bake some delicious cookies. 
(Also, eat lots and lots of popsicles.) 

4. Watch Movies! 
(Summer cinema is the most fun, wouldn't you say!)

5. Go to the Beach! 
(We're planning a trip to California set for July. 
Here we come, Sea World!)

6. Begin the plans for a lovely trip next Summer. 
(Can't wait can't wait can't wait....)

7. Tackle that pesky linens closet.

8. Go to a wedding or two.

9. Shopping anyone? 
(more likely than not, it will be window shopping-- you know, the kind without money...)

10. Write in a journal. 
And a blog. 
And maybe some letters every few weeks.


Wishing you all lovely summer planning as well,
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