Thursday, December 29, 2011

We'd like to think we're hardcore...

... but really, we just ride on the coattails of other people's coolness.

For Christmas my nordic-blooded brother gave us a trip to the shooting range and permission to use his blue-steel beauty.  It was empowering.

I used to wonder why in the movies all the bad guys were such bad shots.  Now I know.  It is HARD to aim those things and then when you think you've got it just right there's a sudden kick-back.  I now feel like I can relate to the poor StormTroopers in Star Wars, although I'm not sure laser guns present the same issues.
Zach: Poor StormTroopers.  At least they had that sweet armor that deflected even Ewok arrows.   Oh, wait...

 I've heard rumors that women tend to be better shots than men.  Alas, this was not the case.  Zach in all his macho glory whupped my trash.

Zach: One of the few things I've ever beat Clarissa in, I assure you.  My chest shots on my man target ensured low misery and a merciful kill.  That said, if it had been a zombie horde, its no wonder that studies have shown that 73 percent of wasted ballistic wounds come from some type of handgun (The Zombie Survival Guide, pg 48).  That means more time at the range and more reason to own a machete.

Thanks for the sweet Christmas present Hans! 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch

I didn’t know it when I married him, but Zach is a total Grinch when it comes to certain aspects of Christmas. 

Take, for example, decorating the Christmas tree.  Tree decorating is a near sacred ritual in my family.  Each person receives an ornament every year that represents something we’ve done or a place we’ve gone.  We gather around with eggnog, peppermint cookies,  and the Kurt Bestor Christmas album and line all our ornaments up by year and put them on the tree in order as we tell the story behind them.  Warm fuzzies abound.

I thought it was huge treat when I told Zach that we could decorate the Christmas tree a few weeks ago.  His response was that I could decorate if I wanted, but he was going to study.  “Oh, and by the way I’m sorry but I drank the eggnog and cookies are probably just unnecessary calories.”

Little girl heart full of Christmas joy and happy memories = BROKEN.
 Zach: Just so you know, I went out and bought more eggnog.

Turns out Zach doesn’t like Christmas shopping, reenacting nativities, or chocolate dipping. According to him, putting up decorations is only half a step up from doing the dishes.  Talk about a heart being three sizes too small.

There is, however, one tradition that we both enjoy.  Every year my family takes a trip up to Salt Lake to see the lights on Temple Square, stay at the Little America Hotel, eat the breakfast buffet in the morning (in my opinion the best part) and see “A Christmas Carol” at Hale Center Theater.

The Little America has perhaps the finest breakfast in all of Utah.  Continental eat your heart out.

The Little America. Much like the Grand America. Only half the price, at the cost of nation's finest commodes.

The Hale Center Theater.
Zach: After fine dining, and watching the stirring performances at the Hale Center Theater (Clarissa: honestly, I cried at least three times during the play, and I caught my 6'6" hulk of a man brother doing likewise), my small heart (or belt) grew four sizes that day.  I should now have strength of 10 Grinches plus two!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Our Christmas Card To You

We wanted to send out Christmas cards this year, we really did.  All the cool people do it, and we desperately want to be cool like that. 

Randy, the ever-loving, patient, and talented photographer graciously took our festive picture and I was quickly snookered in by Vistaprint's cheap inexpensive showcasing of his talent.

$0.50 a pop?  We're all over that. 
Oh, a $5 picture upload fee?  I guess that's fine.

I think not.
Zach: you know we love you guys, but...

The thing is, we spent two days of extreme effort composing the four-line rhyme on the back, and I could NOT let all that work go to waste.  So, for your enjoyment, we present to you...


Now, squint your eyes, and pretend that you're holding a 100% recycled material matte-finish card in your hands, fresh from a hand-addressed envelope that arrived a full week before Christmas.

We love you guys!  Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Devious Plot

Zach and I have adorable nieces and nephews.  Like really cute.  So, in an effort to steal them away while they are still in their tender years, we are slowly addicting them to caffeinated, sweet drinks.  We are thereby attempting to make them associate us with a delightful, sugary surge of sensation.

Zach: I  couldn't figure out why he was sucking so intently
on the bottle until I realized there was a small, but well-utilized leak.
 If we do this long enough hopefully they'll choose to come live with us.  In the meantime, they fulfill the first major purpose of a blog: cute baby pictures.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lessons learned from Thanksgiving break

Lesson #1:  The McRib really is back. We decided it didn't QUITE live up to all the hype, but it was delicious enough not to make it all the way home.

Lesson #2: Although we fail at making a decent curry, you really can make your own sushi.  We are so very proud of ourselves.

Tempura Master
Bamboo placemat Rolling Mistress

Lesson #3: If you're assigned to make roles for two dozen people for Thanksgiving dinner, you really should think out your baking schedule so you don't have to fit 52 rolls into your fridge at one time.

Lesson #4: You really can graduate from the kid's table.  Ladies and gentlemen, I have arrived.

The kids table.  Sans ME.

The very adult table.  Somehow not as glamorous as I'd always imagined.
Zach: Notice I am not at the adult table... I imagine it is glamorous...

 Lesson #5: It doesn't matter if the Turkeybowl consists of my cousins and uncles playing in our 50 foot front yard, Zach will STILL talk animatedly about the depth of talent in his 3 man team for at least half an hour. 

Zach, QB Extraordinaire
 Lesson #6: Sleeping in every day lets your body know that it's time for hibernation.  In addition to still demanding extra sleep, my astute body has even wisely started packing on at least five pounds to keep me warm and comfortable this winter.

Zach: Zombie lesson #7: Machetes don't need reloading.  Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Dad is the Bravest Man I Know

A few weeks ago I was sitting calmly in class discussing codes of egress when I got a phone call from my mom.  I ignored it because, hey, I was in class.  Then I got a text:

"Dad was in a bad bike wreck.  Going to the hospital.  Meet us there ASAP."

Naturally, I freaked out.  I ran home, grabbed Zach and the car and we rushed to the ER.  I was expecting something like this:
What we found wasn't much better.  If you get squeamish, I would skip the next few pictures.

It may look horrible, but I knew Dad was ok when the first thing he said was, "Oh, Zach is here?  Let's get him to x-ray his ankle while they do my face!"  And then he proceeded to repeatedly ask about his bike, which looked like this:
That's the front fork, completely sheared off.
We're not entirely sure what happened, as my mom was in front and my dad doesn't remember, but somehow Dad went through the back windshield of a car.  Other than a broken occipital bone, a nasty contusion on his arm, and a sweet jagged cut on his face he was miraculously ok.  In fact, he even managed to use the bathroom by himself when he first arrived.

After Hans and Zach gave him a blessing we left Dad in the very capable hands of the plastic surgeon.  The next day he looked much, much better but he could still give you the blood red EYE like none other.  Remind you of anyone? (It was only on one side of his face.)

That day we got a very panicked call from my little brother on his mission via his mission president.  Apparently Hans had sent him a picture, but no one had sent any REAL explanation or update of status.  In his words it was like "getting a picture of your father's broken body and then letting you sit and wonder what happened."  His letter of retribution was swift.

One week later Dad looked even better.  He'll have a wicked awesome scar.

Now, three weeks later the scar just adds to his ruggedly handsome good looks.

My Dad is the bravest man I know.  Two days after the accident he was looking at a new bike.  A month after the accident he's planning another 100 miler in California.  The man is unstoppable.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

No Picassos We

Have you ever seen one of those modern, abstract art looking things and thought to yourself, "I'm pretty sure I could do that.  In fact, I think my 2 year-old niece could do that."

Yeah, that's what we thought.  Until we actually tried to do it on a double date with my old roommate and Zach's cousin (yes, I openly admit that I'm trying to get Kristin into the family even if it means shamelessly setting her up on blind dates with unsuspecting but willing relatives) and produce our own abstractness artistically.

As you can see from our Bizarre Tree of Life  and Fingerpainting Toddler, it's a little harder than it looks.  Based off the results we decided we needed to express our creativity using other outlets.

Zach: Guess whose is whose.  Hint: I can't do straight lines. or curved lines.

Zach's creativity was a little more forced because I had to manage a "construction project" for class. This meant that while I could draw the plans and supervise, I could not actually touch the model.  This also meant that I needed slave labor, or at least someone who would work for back rubs.  Enter Zach.

My professor gave him (I mean me) full points for the model, but told me to tell Zach that he probably shouldn't be switching majors any time soon.

As for me, my creativity was expressed via strategically stabbing a squash.

Happy Halloween!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Soggy Frozen Veggies

Last Thursday morning while I was getting ready I felt something bump my leg, and looked down in surprise to see Zach scooting along the floor on his butt from our bedroom towards the kitchen.  Looking defiant, he claimed that it was "not as unmanly as it looked."

I sure hope not.

But I couldn't really blame him.  You see after my intramural volleyball game the night before, Zach took the opportunity to show his woman how it's DONE.  He was hitting some pretty hard core spikes at the far wall, totally showing me up, when I popped a ball up a little too far back.  In the heat of a smack down he went for it anyway and next thing I know he's hit the floor all wrong and we ended up with something like this:

Oversized Cankle
And this:

Zach: My foot looked weird then, but later the entire foot swelled uniformally and
actually looked quite nice and cherubic as can be seen below.
And this:
Oddly enough, his foot is beautiful.  Seriously, that is my favorite color right there.
 A week later Zach is finally crutchless, but he now has the shuffle walk of the living dead.  Between his ankle and my knee (curtesy of the Ragnar), we make quite the pair on Friday nights with our BYU Creamery ice cream and Wipeout to keep our minds off our various maladies.

And I'm not sure how, but lately it seems we've been going through a deplorable amount of frozen veggies.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cabinoference: Winner

This last weekend Zach and I participated in one of my favorite traditions: Cabinoference. Every April and October my parents pick a few lucky participants to join them at the cabin that was built using my and my brothers' child slave labor.  I love it now, but back when I was 9 carrying rocks and planting bug bombs was met with much protestation and attempts to hide out in the bathroom.

The only Cabinoference rules are:
1) Relax as much as possible
2) Bring enough delicious food to feed 12 times the amount of people actually present

Zach: For those who don't know, Clarissa and I like to make little competitions out of just about anything.  For example, earning the most money during the summer: Clarissa; foosball: Clarissa; least student debt: Clarissa; and so on and so forth.

We got up there and Dad put us right to work.  Zach provided awesome slave labor.  In fact, I'm pretty sure he positively enjoyed it. 

Zach: I did enjoy it.  One thing though, one does not "dig" in Utah.  One "de-rocks" the earth.  This is me smashing rocks into pieces small enough to pry from the ceramic clay that makes up the state.  But... it did make me feel pretty manly.
Zach: Winner and feeling manly
Rissa: Winner for just watching him do his thing
Admittedly, I was less manly when I attempted it.  But I feel like a winner just for learning how to properly swing.

Zach: Clarissa actually did quite well with her swinging.  Because zombies have poor coordination and cognition skills, a single swimming pool can trap a whole hord of them indefinitely!  The trick is digging it fast enough.  But I think Clarissa has it in the bag.  Way to go love!

 Zach broke Rule Number One by bringing his homework: Loser.  This prevented him from facing me in ping pong and Lost Cities which prevented him from losing further.
Final ping pong games score:
Rissa: 11 games
Zach: 0

Final Lost Cities score:
Rissa: 3
Zach: 0
This brings our all time game score to 50:50.  Yes, we really are that geeky that we've been keeping track.  And yes, we are statistically that well matched.

I love this picture of my parents.  I'm a winner just for having them around.  Or maybe THEY are the winners for having such a great kid.  Plus have you ever seen such gorgeous colors?

I included this next picture because a) you can see the cabin and b) you can see the amazing leaves and c) you can see my awesome hair, courtesy of the Zach Salon.  Way to go babes.

Finally, we are all winners for the ability and privilege to listen to modern day prophets share the word of God with us in Conference.  Even if the Pepto-Bismol choir dresses were... less than winning, I am so grateful for all the men and women that lead our church today, and the blessings it brings to our lives.  Definitely winners.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Brun Hilde

They say that money can't buy happiness.  But what it CAN buy is an apartment with air conditioning, a dishwasher, laundry machine, counter space, and honest-to-goodness real-life carpet.  And that makes Zach and I very happy.  What do "they" know anyway?

We love our new compact flesh-colored abode that's only 4 minutes away from my classroom door.  There's just one problem: 

Brun Hilde.

Brun Hilde is the crazy lady that lives in our attic.  We're not sure what she does during the day, but she comes out at night to use the dishwasher, the dryer, our towels, and to shake her head all over the carpet.  Never mind that the previous tenant had black hair- this stuff still shows up in clumps even after a professional carpet cleaning and half a dozen vacuum jobs done by yours truly.

Zach: Well, I brought this up one night as a joke explanation as to were this hair was coming from.  After laughing, we both just sat there for a few uneasy seconds as the thought of a crazy lady living in the attic settled into our minds.  I would have checked then and there... but having seen "the grudge" a few years ago, decided that not being certain if a crazy lady was coming out of the attic at night was better than sticking my head up there and knowing there was a crazy lady coming out of the attic at night.

It seems that since we've moved in Brun Hilde has acquired a blonde companion (Helga) because there's quite a bit of golden stuff accompanying the black.  I'm sure it can't possibly all be mine.  I'm in denial that I could ever lose that much hair, much less that it could spread itself all over the apartment.  'Sides, ZACH is the one who's concerned about going bald.

We've really got to have a chat with those ladies, as the hair is becoming rather unappetizing, but neither of us are brave enough to poke our heads up into the attic.  If you're up for it, please feel free to visit anytime.