Friday, August 31, 2012

Random Photo Friday-a lesser man would kill me for this edition

Remember when Heather and I went to the Book of Mormon children's display at the Church History Museum?

We went back.

On thing that didn't get covered in the last review was the fact that there is a little place where you can dress up in (child size) Mexican dancing costumes and dance along with professionally made videos of traditional dances.  So fun!

Unfortunately, there were no dancing clothes in Enrique's size.  No matter.

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Don't even try to pretend that you aren't jealous of me.  Really, how could you not be?



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Next thing you know, I'll be turning this space into a craft blog--and if you believe that you should just click off to somewhere else right now because you OBVIOUSLY don't know me at all. Also, isn't this the longest title EVER???

So, remember when Heidi and I decided to get an awesome photo session with our little girls?

I love those photos, but I couldn't decide what to do with them.  They (probably) weren't going to be our Christmas card this year.  I mean, we absolutely consider Eden and Heidi a part of our family, but I'm thinking it might be a little bit confusing to my cousin Matthew in North Carolina (who I'm pretty sure isn't a regular here at quirksville) if we were to send out a Christmas card with a surprise new blonde five-year old in them you know?  I mean what's the story there?  Secret adoption that didn't make it around the family grapevine?

(TANGENT ALERT:  I'm reminded of the time when I sent out my college graduation announcements.  I listed my name on them as "Charlotte Julien Corry".  It took no time at all for my mom to get a call from my grandmother asking what the deal was with the whole Charlotte Julien thing, since to her recollection I didn't have a middle name.  She was right of course.  I've always regretted not having a middle name, and so in college I took matters into my own hands and gave myself one.  Not legally or anything like that, but I have plaques with that name on it, and when I designed my graduation announcements, Charlotte Julien it was.  But anyway, back to matters at hand.)

Likewise, I wasn't sure that a picture of Eden and Heather would fit in all that well in the family collage in the entryway of our house, which was kind of a bummer.

But then, as luck would have it, I remembered a tutorial that I had found via pinterest awhile back.  It was this woman who took a photo of her two daughters, had it blown up by Office Max or some other office supply store, adhered it to sheet insulation, and hung it up in their bedroom.  At the time I read it (pre photo-shoot), I felt a little bummed.  It seemed like such a good idea, and so economical, but I only have one daughter, and to me, the thought of a big four foot shot of Heather's face plastered on the wall of her bedroom just screams, "my mother is doing all she can to encourage any spark of narcissism that I may have", which isn't really my intention.  So, I filed the thought away at the time, resolved that I wouldn't be taking advantage of it, but bummed all the same.

Well, I bet you can tell the rest of this story.  As I looked through the photoshoot pictures, it occurred to me that Heather's bedroom would be the perfect  place to do something along these lines.  After all, Eden is the closest thing Heather has to a sister, and vice versa, so putting something like this together would work great.

So, I did.

I used a hybrid of the original tutorial  and this one here, because I found that wrapping the foam worked better for me than painting the sides.  Also, I got my pictures printed at Sams, because I wanted color prints, and word is that the cheapies that you can get at OfficeMax have to be black and white.

Make no mistake, I hated putting this together.  Yes, you read that right.  I hated every minute of it.  That's because I do not enjoy crafting, and (consequently) I'm not great at crafting.  Crocheting?  Yes, I'm a (totally humble as you can see) master.  I love doing it, I love planning out what I'm going to do, I love looking at my finished work.  Crafting?  Totally different story.  I do NOT love doing it.  I do NOT love the mess it makes.  I do NOT love the helpless feeling that I get when things go a little wrong and I have to scramble to make it work out somehow (something that never phases me if it's a crochet problem).

However, as unenjoyable as the process was, I LOVE LOVE LOVE how these turned out:

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Yup, that's my camera flash right there between Heather's and Eden's heads.  Oh well.

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They aren't perfect.  One side is cut a little bit crooked.  The "canvases" are wrapped in butcher paper rather than fabric, which up close, looks pretty cheap. (This is because by the time I realized that painting the sides wasn't going to work, I didn't have the energy to go out and buy fabric, and I had a whole roll of butcher paper just sitting there.)  They don't always hang straight (though I think I've finally fixed that with a little bit of removable velcro), and there are other issues as well.  They're not 4 feet long either, but I'm good with that.

In spite of all those flaws though, I adore these pictures.  The perfectly capture the personalities and love of two of my very favorite girls in all the world.  What's more, I find myself again and again roaming aimlessly into Heather's bedroom for no apparent reason, other than to stare delightedly at their bright faces.


So I guess the big question is, was it worth it?  

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Oh yeah baby, you better believe it.  




Monday, August 27, 2012

a trip to gorgeous Tony Grove

For those of you who don't know, I grew up in Southern Utah, Cedar City to be exact.  I have four brothers and one sister, and six years ago we were all spread out all over the country, working, going to school,completing internships, and raising children.  Since then, not one, not two, but three of my brothers have returned home to settle, and my other brother is trying to get his ducks in a row so that he can return as well.

Sometimes, I think about my beloved red canyons, the mountains full of quaking aspens, the general easy-going nature of the local Cedarians, and especially the great family times I'm missing, and I get a little bit wistful.

But most of the time, I feel pretty darn pleased to be living in Cache Valley, where I'm surrounded by gorgeous lakes and wildflowers, more frequent viewing of a greater variety of wildlife (in my experience), locals who are salt-of-the-earth, and most importantly, loads of great Cantwell family gatherings.



Here's a little smidgen of photographic proof:

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Beverly (Eric's mom) can name every one of these flowers, and every other one pictured in this post.  Next time we do one of these little excursions, I'm taking a notebook along with the camera.

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Six years ago, none of these people were in my life.  Now they top my best-loved list.  Lucky.  (Lucky me, I mean!)

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Random Photo Friday-Pippi Edition

Last December, I chopped my hair.  I don't regret it, but I soon tired of the look, and so I've been growing it for awhile now.

I'm proud to announce that I've once again reached a hair milestone.

BRAIDS!

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Photo by Heather.  Notice Dora the Explorer once again saving the day in the foreground.  Muy Bien!!!

Yes, I am forty-one years old.  Yes, braids are generally for grade-schoolers.  No, I don't care.  For those of you who stalk encounter me in real life, you won't see me sporting this fashion at work, at concerts, in church, or in any situation where I am striving for respect or admiration.  However, Saturday mornings?  The Gardeners Market?  Camping?  Hiking?  Cities where no one knows me?  You better believe it baby, it's braids all the way!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

peppy tunes on parade

Heather and I, and at times Eric tend to have "song phases", which is to say favorite songs that when they come up on the playlist, we stop whatever we are doing and jam out, singing along, being ridiculous, you know, the usual family stuff.

This morning I got thinking that it might be fun to list some of the songs that have obtained our favor over the past three or four years.  So, here you go!



What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction:  This is our current favorite.  Awesome beat, awesome lyrics, awesome message.  We're loving it.  Eric gives his eyes an extra roll when we get to the "na na na na" part, because he is too much of a music snob to enjoy songs that don't have enough lyrics without resorting to the old "na na na" trick.  Heather and I don't care though.  We are impervious to eye rolls.

Life's a Happy Song from The Muppets:  Heather and I once did a full-on performance of this in Sams Club, her in the cart, me swinging the cart around, both of us singing among the bulk bags of almonds and Craisins.  I have no pride.  Shocker, I know.

Let My Love Open the Door from Pete Townsend:  I think this one is self-explanatory, no?

Rumor Has It by Adele

We Built the City by Jefferson Starship

Ray of Light by Madonna:  This was one of Eric's contributions

Have a Little Faith in Me by Mandy Moore:  We've been singing this one for years.

Obviously.


Tears of a Clown by Smokey Robinson

I Like to Move It Move It from Madagascar

Feeling Hot Hot Hot by Buster Poindexter

Dynamite by Taio Cruz

Tokyo by Imagine Dragons

Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars

Forever by Chris Brown


Any suggestions from the rest of you, peanut gallery?  We're always on the hunt for some good peppy tunes.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Thoughts on a Friday

(Note--I wrote this Friday night, but didn't get around to posting it today.  Those are the breaks I guess.)

I'm sitting outside on our front steps on a Friday evening, alternating between eating caprese salad (thank you, back patio garden), writing this post, and giving Heather artistic direction and encouragement as she creates yet another chalk masterpiece on our sidewalk.  One of these days she's going to master the Dick Van Dyke method of creation, and we'll be off on a fairy tale adventure, with carousel horses that leave the carousel, and penguins that feed you little cucumber sandwiches and dance around while you eat them.

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Probably not today though.

It's been a nice week.  The festival season is closed for another year, which means that this is a rare time of quiet for me, work-wise.  I love this time of year.  Since I don't have to deal with the whole back-to-school thing 'till 2014, it's a really relaxed, lovely time.  Work is more low-key, the weather is cooling off (slightly), and it's a great time to take a little breather from the hectic pace of life.  Once Heather starts kindergarten, I imagine that will all change, but for now, the living is easy, and I'm enjoying it.

A funny (as in, awesome) thing happened about two weeks ago.  Heather and I were visiting a family in our neighborhood.  One of the children there was (is) going to be baptized soon, and so I was running through some of the logistics of that event, as well as introducing some of the points of the Faith in God program for her.

When we were finished with that they asked us if Heather had any love for dress-up clothes.  Um, hello???  That would be a big yes!  Come to find out, they had a whole tub of princess costumes, with no girls little enough to fit into them anymore.  Thirty minutes later, we left the house with two Cinderella gowns, a Snow White dress, a Sleeping Beauty gown, and an Ariel gown, all in Heather's size, and all just waiting to be worn and loved.  In a further bit of serendipity, a few days later, my mom came for an overnight visit (to see the last of the operas on her list), and just happened to bring her sewing machine with her.  Since some of these costumes had been extra-well loved and used, it was a magnificent blessing when the master seamstress got to hemming and patching and mending, turning these well-worn hand-me-downs into costumes worthy of Halloween or even a princess tea party.  Hooray!

Turns out, all of this was extra serendipitous, because at the same time that it was all happening, Heather was striking up a pretty strong friendship with two sisters in our neighborhood.  The three of them have spent a large part  of nearly every day over the past two weeks alternating between our house and their house, and I bet you can't guess what the toy du jour has been during that time, can you?


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It's a small thing of course, having a foot-locker full of princess dresses that you got for free.  However, having a house full of darling girls, all playing and laughing and sometimes tattling and pretending and doing a little bit of growing up together is absolutely not a small thing.  To me and Heather, it's a big thing.  A big, wonderful, slightly miraculous, happy, joyous thing.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Part 5

If you've just tuned in, the following explanation may prove helpful:  

A bit ago, my neighbor and newest commenting reader requested that I tell parts 1, 3, 4, and 5 of our love story (having read part 2 here.)  I figured, why not?

So here, in a similar format as was used in parts one, two, three, and four is part five, the conclusion (kind of) of our story.

December 2006

-On the first Saturday in December, Charlotte and Eric walk, hand in hand to "where Utah gets engaged" to look at rings.  Unfortunately, about 200 other couples have the same idea, and since they are all 20-something year olds (read: your typical rural Utah engagement candidates) as opposed to late-thirties-year olds, (and wearing sneakers and jeans no less!), no sales associate gives them even a glance, let alone the time of day, let alone a sales pitch about diamonds.  Eric & Charlotte have a good laugh at this, and promptly go to another jeweler.  (One where Idaho gets engaged?  Where Wyoming gets engaged?  Where Montana gets engaged?)  Charlotte shows Eric her general tastes (round diamond, simple design, nothing frilly on the sides), and once Eric feels confident that he's got it under control, they leave.  

-Two days later, Eric heads back, and secretly purchases the perfect ring.  It takes another day or two for it to be ready, sized, etc.  

-Just one week and one day after Charlotte and Eric determine that they want to marry, Eric picks Charlotte up for a standard "dinner and a movie" date.  Before they can eat though, Eric needs to drop by his parents' house, because he needs to make a car switch there.  No one is home as they enter the house, so Eric switches the keys and they make to leave.  At that point, Eric mentions that his parents have a book on Pisarro (remember him?) that he'd like her to see.  Charlotte secretly wonders how they are going to make it to the movie AND dinner if they sit down to look through this book, since they are already running late because of the whole "car switch" thing, but it's not a big deal to her, so she says nothing about it.  (2012 Charlotte would do well to remember this and try to be more like 2006 Charlotte in this aspect.  We will soon see that Charlotte could have ruined everything if she hadn't been able to just go with the flow.)

-The couple sit down in the front room.  It's beautifully decked out for Christmas, with white lights, several nativity sets, three tall beautiful trees decorated with delicate tatted ornaments, all made by Eric's mother.  As they look through the book, Eric's throat starts to go dry (not that Charlotte notices).  

-About eight or nine pages in, Charlotte turns the page and finds a yellow ribbon bookmark tied around a gorgeous ring, featuring a beautiful round diamond, a simple design, and not a frilly little decorative gem in sight.  


I'm not a huge fan of the little "pocket of color" around the ring here, but it's the best picture of the ring that I've got.


-It takes her a minute to figure out what is going on, and by the time she does, Eric is kneeling on the floor in front of her, asking her to be his, for eternity.  Oh joy!  Oh rapture!  Unsurprisingly, she says yes.  They hug and kiss and giggle with glee.  Well, maybe just Charlotte giggles.  They leave and go to dinner.  On the way, they call Charlotte's parents and give them the happy news.  (Charlotte's parents are expecting this call, since Eric has called Charlotte's dad only a few days previously to ask permission for this little proposal.)

-A few days later, Charlotte announces on the blog that she is marrying Eric.  


December 2006 through April 13, 2007

-Charlotte & Eric's engagement is a glorious one, full of all kinds of experiences.  Such as:  






April 14, 2007

-Eric and Charlotte arrive at the Logan Temple, nervous and excited.  

-Eric and Charlotte kneel across a sacred altar in the temple, in front of all their parents, siblings, most of their aunts and uncles, and a whole bunch of friends, and make a bunch of sacred promises to each other, and to God.




-It's the best day ever.




-And it's followed by many many more.



THE END.
(or at least--the end of the beginning)



Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Thank You, Providence Stake!



This year, on the Saturday before Pioneer Day, our Stake held a special Pioneer Day Celebration.  It started out at 7:00 a.m., with a 5K Fun Run (which we skipped--we don't do 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday, no way, no how), followed by a free breakfast for everyone.  Additionally, there were different stations where you could play pioneer games (like tug of war) and games that were really fun, but not quite so pioneer-themed (like water balloon volley-ball).  Word is you could even dress up in old pioneer clothes and get your family picture taken that way, but we never found that particular booth. (We were too busy filling up on French toast and chatting with our neighbors to venture too far away from the picnic tables, truth be told.)

The big event of the day, at least as far as we were concerned was the children's parade.  As many children as were willing decorated their bikes, wagons, scooters, and tricycles, and as the grand finale of the event, they rode them around the church as spectators clapped and cheered, and doting mothers (including yours truly) followed them around, snapping photographs like the paparazzi that we are.

It was the highlight of Heather's week, easy.

Heather started prepping for it about a week before, trying to determine exactly what kind of decor she wanted to showcase on her trike.  I even went so far as to borrow some pioneer costumes from the opera company for her to wear, but she wasn't nearly as excited about decorating herself as she was about the bike, so the costumes stayed in the closet and returned (never worn) back to the opera company.

Anyway, here are a few shots of the fun:


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A hard-fought match of tug-of-war.
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They're off!
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Taking time to cheese it up for the camera.
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The day was hot.  I mean really really hot.  I mean, at 11:00 in the morning, after walking around the church one time I was sweating and roasting, and feeling heat stroke coming one (that last bit might be a bit exaggerated).  The kids were supposed to get popsicles at the end of it all and I was planning to snag one for myself as well, but there was some kind of timing snafu and they didn't arrive in time for roasting hot Eric, Heather, and Charlotte to take advantage.  No matter.  It was a fabulously great time with or without popsicles.

Monday, August 13, 2012

I love . . .




. . . when Heather's little friends come over and don't realize that I have a name, and they call out,  "HEATHER'S MOM!" when they need something until I appear.

. . . pretending that puppy is a real dog and making him yip and lick Heather's face, causing her to giggle and squirm, which completely undoes all the quiet bedtime singing I've done to get her settled down, but what can I do?  I just can't help myself.

. . . attending our stake baptismal services when we have eight-year olds getting baptized.  I think it's my very very favorite part of being the Primary President. (But really, scrambling to find teacher substitutes at the last minute, or having heart-to-heart talks with 10 and 11-year old boys about reverence are really my favorite part of the job.  HAHAHA!  I'm cracking myself up!  Yet another thing that I love!)

. . . writing silly things here and feeling totally justified because I had the foresight to name the blog "just a little bit of quirky-ness".  Perhaps I should have called it "a whole freaking lot of quirky-ness" though.  Oh well.

. . . seeing Eric walk down the sidewalk, particularly from the back.  His arms swing in this confident, salt-of-the-earth, everyman way, and I just love watching him.  Knowing that he's mine all mine doesn't hurt either.

. . . my solar powered mosaic garden lights-even though after three years, they don't provide any actual light anymore.  I love mosaic things in general, especially bright and sparkly and colorful mosaic things.


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I Heart U image courtesy of Doug88888

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Rainfest 2012 (also known as this year's Corry Reunion)

This is a long one.  Don't feel like you have to read it all, okay?

When I was packing for the Corry Reunion, we were enduring a record-breaking heatwave in Cache Valley.    Come to think of it, we'd had unseasonably high temperatures and low rains throughout the whole state, resulting in wildfires throughout the state, which resulted in campfire restrictions/bans throughout the state.

So, with that in mind . . .

You'll remember the mammoth mountain of stuff that I assembled for the reunion, right?  Well, let's just say that there weren't a whole lot of coats or blankets in that pile.  In fact, Eric didn't have a long sleeve shirt at all.  Heather had a few, I had two.  We brought three sleeping bags, one small Heather-sized blanket, and one larger adult-sized blanket.  We also brought swimsuits, shorts, short sleeved shirts, and flip-flops.

Most of that last bunch never made it out of the bag.  :)

It took us about 6 hours to get from home sweet home to Corryland sweet Corryland . . .
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but once we arrived, our joy was unbounded!

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That night, after supper we celebrated the birthday of my Uncle Steve.  Uncle Steve has had a rough year health-wise, so it was a treat to see him looking so healthy and so happy.  I also got a kick out of the specialized birthday cake my aunt ordered for him.  Those Corry boys.  Dodger fans through and through.
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After dinner, there was time for some playing around, as usual.  We had a girls against boys teeter-totter time.  Ty was supremely confident, (and they won . . . )
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But we girls definitely had a better time.
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You might remember that I was in charge of a breakfast for the whole gang (of 120+ people).  It was to be held the first morning of the reunion, or roughly 12 hours from the time of the great teeter-totter match.  After many e-mails with my committee (which was primarily made up of my parents and siblings, with a few aunts & uncles & and cousins thrown in), we determined that we would serve French Toast and biscuits and gravy, along with bacon, fruit, and drinks.

Unfortunately, we found that, due to a lack of communication, we had lots of bread, lots of eggs, lots (and LOTS) of bacon, lots of biscuits, and no gravy.  Luckily, some quick thinking, a semi-miraculous pocket of cell phone coverage, and an indulgent brother who while nearly on the mountain, saw fit to turn around, head back to Cedar City and pick up a bunch of gravy packets, solved the problem and breakfast was saved.

But not before Jacob remarked (teasingly) that if we were on Celebrity Apprentice together, he would definitely be "throwing me under the bus" as project manager for my lack of following-up.  He was right of course.  I obviously need to take my meal chairmanship more seriously.  We had a good laugh, all the same.

Bright and early the next morning we were cooking french toast, biscuits, gravy, and bacon,
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as well as fancy schmancy strawberry glaze for the french toast.
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We fed the starving hordes, and then these amazing four kids washed almost all the dishes.  We're talking hundreds of forks, knives, and spoons, pots, pans, bowls, you name it.  It was a mammoth job, and they did it with smiles all around.  I was totally impressed.

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With our big meal over, it was time to chill out, relax, and enjoy the rest of the reunion.
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So naturally, it started raining.

It rained all afternoon,

and all evening,

and throughout the night,

and the next morning.

Forced to stay under the pavilion (thank heaven for that pavilion!) with nothing but ourselves for company and my camera for entertainment, we resorted to a photoshoot of all who where willing to indulge us.

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This is Eric's "I'm cold and wet and tired and I want to go home, but I'm toughing it out 'cuz that's the kind of man I am" face.


Finally, in an absolute first in the 33 years that I've been attending the reunion, we all determined that it was time to call it quits.  Those that were in charge of the final meal of the reunion announced that it would be moved to the Cedar City backyard of one of my cousins, and we all scurried around to break camp.

But wait!  Ending the reunion before the horseshoe tournament is fully complete?  Blasphemy!!

So, we sat in the sprinkling rain while the men tossed mud-covered horseshoes into one mud pit and then the other, until a winning pair was crowned.  I don't even remember who the winners were, but I may never forget how first my dad, and then my brother lugged a pail of water from one pit to the other, so that the players could wash off most of the mud from their horseshoes.  Dedication man, that's dedication.  (and a little bit of silliness, right??)

quirky 8-12
I know that this picture makes that look like dry dirt, but trust me.  That's muddy muddy muddy mud.
Nutso.


After all that, we packed a bunch of muddy wet clothes into the trunk, packed the kids in the car, and headed down the mountain.  Heather and Jane were thrilled to be able to spend more time together.  I was thrilled to be dry.
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All in all, not the reunion I had envisioned or planned for, but even so, three days of fun, food, laughter and lots and lots of family.  What can rain do to destroy that?  Not a single thing.





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