June 24, 2013

Father's Day Weekend + The Rest of My Utah Trip

The night I flew in happened to be the night my high school girlfriends were getting together, because our friend Amanda also happened to be in town. My flight didn't arrive in time to get dinner with everyone, but I made it to the post-dinner bash at Amanda's parents' house. Some of the girls were still around, and it was so, so fun to see them! Lee and I were the only ones NOT pregnant! (And let it be known that these are NOT first babies. These are second and third babies!! Basically, by the time Lee and I -- or at least I -- have babies, my friends' babies will be old enough to BABYSIT my babies. Ha!)

me, Sue + 1, 'Manda + 1, Raech + 1, Lee (photo from Amanda's phone)
The pregnant ones! Look how cute they are. :)

Oh, and Chris and I saw the most AMAZING sunset (from the Walmart parking lot- ha!) the night before the wedding!!


Since my sister got married the Friday before Father's Day, I decided to stay the whole weekend to celebrate the ACTUAL day of Father's Day at home.

But first Saturday. Now Saturday, I basically took nearly ZERO photos due to a combination of forgetting my phone in the car all day and my phone overheating. Saturday consisted of yard sale-ing with my mom and brothers in Park City, eating lunch at Cafe Rio (where an entire gaggle of Mormon girls in pioneer skirts -- they were in the middle of a youth conference pioneer trek of some sort -- joined us. I tried to take photos but they were all blurry, because I was trying to be discreet!), bike riding with my youngest brother, making tamales with my dad and his mother, then eating said tamales with my mom, dad, dad's mom, and my two youngest brothers (and all of us falling asleep to an obnoxious TV movie afterwards).

But actually, let's back up just a bit. The yard sale-ing with my mother deserves some elaboration. In fact, it deserves its own header. Like this:

Yard Sale-ing w/My Mother, Queen of the Bargain Shoppers

My favorite story goes thusly:

We drove past a particular yard sale and stopped by. The family had a sign in front advertising their swing set (for sale for $50). My mom went to look at it (even though no one in our family is young enough to actually USE a swing set anymore... But hey! $50!), and while she was in the backyard with the father, she noticed a shed. That was still in use and was definitely NOT for sale. (She wanted to use it as a doghouse, because our crazy dogs don't like their current kennels very much.) And my mother, being my mother, was somehow able to talk the man into selling her the shed that wasn't even for sale! AND he said that if she took the swing set, too, he would personally deliver everything to our house in the Ogden area! And everything (including the swingset) for the low price of $75! That's one heck of a drive, people! She didn't take any of it, but I loved the fact that she persuaded someone to sell her something that wasn't even for SALE!

A few other bargains: 

We found two (older-but-still-good, mountain) bikes for sale for $10 each. My other talked them down to $10 for BOTH bikes. And so we acquired two bikes for $10! She also purchased an upholstered rocking chair + ottoman in great condition... for $4. $4! She DEFINITELY talked the seller down on that one!

So, yes, that was Saturday.

Saturday night, I stayed at my dad's, and we drove his mother to Provo on Sunday morning. She is staying in California for a few months (she came from Guatemala to stay with one of her sons) and drove to Utah with my aunt and cousin. We took her to Provo where my aunt was staying so they could drive back to Cali.

As I mentioned before, this was the first time in my memory that I've met my dad's mother. (I mean, sure, she met me when I was a baby, but I have no recollection of it.) And again, the circumstances of this are a terribly long story that is best saved for another day. Or maybe not, because I'm not sure on the details of all these circumstances. In fact, in an effort to document our family history and really to just clear the air and establish the truth once and for all, I sat down with a notebook with her and my dad and asked them both to tell me the story of my dad's life (together, at the same time). Suffice it to say that their versions didn't exactly match up. Some details did; others weren't even close. I don't know that I'll ever know the full truth of everything that happened, but I was grateful for the opportunity to ask my grandmother my burning questions -- questions I've been wanting to ask her for a very long time. 

Before we dropped her off, we took a three-generation photo (Darn blurry iPhone photos! Can't believe I forgot to bring a REAL camera on this trip...). (Re: her little hair turban. I thought it was kind of cute, but really, she said her hair was too unruly and she didn't know what to do with it/she didn't want to deal with it, sooo she kept it on. Now I know where MY hair unruliness comes from...)

Re: the height department... I never even had a chance! I mean, look at where I come from! And I'm in HEELS here!

We also hung out with my aunt and cousins and my cousins' cute babies!

Little Tristan on the right is such the little charmer! Little girls of Provo, watch out for this heartbreaker! ;)

We made it back from Provo in time to attend Sacrament meeting with my mom and brothers. After Church, my dad took me to visit my friend TaNisha, who just had her beautiful baby girl, LyNea. I LOVED meeting Baby LyNea and visiting with T and her husband, CJ! TaNisha was one of my girls during my second year as an R.A. in college. We became great friends that year and were even roommates for a year before our missions. I was a bridesmaid at her wedding right after my mission, and I'm grateful that we're still friends after all these years and across so many miles. :)

Blurry photo, beautiful baby!

We capped off our Sunday with a Father's Day BBQ at my mom's house.

This one cracks me up!

And then we watched the Spurs vs. Heat game, I rode bikes with Chris, I packed my stuff up, and my mom and brothers took me to the airport.

I took a red-eye flight home, and the only good thing I have to say about red eyes is that there was hardly anyone at the airport, and I didn't have to wait forever, which was amazing!!

In conclusion, I had a lovely trip! See you at Christmas-time, Utah! :)

I Want to Name My Child Anakin


I finished watching 5 of the 6 Star Wars movies this weekend, and I've decided... I want to name my child Anakin! I LOVE the name Anakin! And then Ani for short?? It's downright adorable.

This all started when I mentioned to David and Stephanie that I'd never seen Star Wars. They  proceeded to nearly disown me, then they changed their minds and decided to "educate" me instead. David's preferred viewing order was: 4 & 5 on our first night (a month ago), and 2, 3, then 6 this weekend. We skipped 1 entirely, because David says it's not worth watching. (Don't worry: I'm going to watch it anyway.)  

But anyway, back to Anakin...



So, yes I know that Anakin grows up to be Darth Vader, join the Dark Side, and kill the babies and Jedi, but remember when he looked like this?

and how then he grew up to look like this?


And remember how much he loved his wife and just wanted to make sure she was OK??


And how even after he'd gone over to the Dark Side, Padme still saw GOOD in him??

and how there WAS?? (and Luke knew it??!)


Surely that gives him a little credit of some sort!

You probably still think I'm crazy, but I don't care. Anakin is a cute name, and I want to use it. (But maybe I'll make it a middle name. I"m not going to be that terrible of a mom, you know...)

Up next in my "education:" Indiana Jones! (Which I've also never seen...)

June 19, 2013

My Sister's Wedding

I went home to Utah last week for...

my sister's wedding!!

As is usually the case when you're part of the bride's or groom's family, it was a little crazy, so I didn't do the greatest job documenting the event (thank goodness for the real photographer, right??), but I'll share what I've got. :) I also failed to remember my REAL camera, soooo get ready for a lot of iPhone shots! Whooo!

So, one thing that my sister did brilliantly was to decide to have an afternoon ceremony (aka I got to sleep in AND there was still enough time to get ready! In fact, I had so much extra time, I even had time to make a flower crown (see below)!). I've always said I wanted to do this, but after experiencing the results from HER wedding, I am DEFINITELY getting sealed (married) in the afternoon!

I finished the flower crown on the car ride down while my sister chatted away with the groom.
My sister and her now-husband were sealed in the beautiful Salt Lake LDS Temple (same place my BFF was sealed to her hubster last year, 'member?). I've been privileged to attend the sealings of various friends and family members over the past six years, and I'm always amazed by the simplicity -- and yet the profoundness -- of the ceremony. The actual ceremony lasts but a few minutes. But the impacts of that sealing ceremony will last into the eternities.

Speaking of eternity, that's basically how long my sister took to get dressed after her sealing. We waited and waited and waited and.... waited (sing it to the tune of that "Pioneer Children" song about how they walked and walked and walked and... walked), and nothin'. They took so long, two other couples came out before them (one of whom were sealed AFTER Kim and Daniel were!). We started feeling a little crazy.

This is my dad's mother (whom I met for the first time  (since I was a baby) at the wedding... Long story...), wearing the OTHER flower crown I made.

And finally, they were OUT!!

Seeesters. My mom says all she ever wanted was two girls, and that's what she got. The three boys were just an added bonus. ;)

The real photoG took some real photoS outside the temple, but these are my iPhone versions:

Dad, Kim, Mom


My oldest brother couldn't be at the wedding, bc he is on a mission for our Church right now, so we made a cardboard cutout of him for the photos. :)

That concludes the Temple portion of our photos. Now, the reception. But first! A story about my sister's wedding shoes. She really wanted to wear Toms. Specifically, yellow Toms. more specifically, yellow CROCHET Toms. Unfortunately, no such Toms were to be had. BUT! Through a stroke of good luck at 10pm the night before the wedding (Thanks, Mom, for not buying milk, so I had to run to the store!), we found THESE:

Thanks, Walmart!

And thanks to Christopher's brilliant suggestion inspired by my own DIY Toms, we decided to PAINT them yellow! And Kim loved them!

And now that I look back through my phone, I actually failed even more at the reception. It was so crazy and busy, that I apparently only took three shots. Oh, well. (Again, this is why we hire professional photographers and not one's sister to document our celebrations.)

First dance!
Baile del dolar
I was SO done with heels at this point. (Thanks, Gap City Flats!) Also, she makes me feel TALL.
In conclusion, happy wedding day, Kim & Daniel! I sure hope your photographer did a better job at capturing your day than I did!*

** Though to my credit, I failed to take photos, but I DID nag the real photographer (well, maybe not nag... How about, "gently prod?") now and again to make sure he captured certain moments I knew K & D would want photographed. Go, me!

June 07, 2013

Zavala's Take DC: Mother's Day + a Day on the Mall

Day 2 of my family's trip was Mother's Day! We went to church, invited the missionaries over for Mother's Day dinner, played Clue (thanks, Steph!), and got to video chat with my missionary brother! :) It was a good day, and I'm sad I didn't get any pictures of A- all of us at church, B- my mom's flowers, C- dinner? D- anything that actually mattered. One of my favorite parts of Sunday was the late night part. I stayed up late and chatted with my parents, updated them on things with me, got advice, etc. It was nice to be with both of them at the same time to talk about certain things and get their joint perspective. It's not something that really happens much, if at all, when your parents are divorced.

Monday, we slept in (we sure needed it!), then got ready and headed to the Mall! My brothers had three museums on their must-see list: Air & Space, Natural History, and American Art (mainly to see the video game exhibit, which we later found out is no longer there. but more on that later.).

Spencer on the left with the Capitol, Christopher on the right with the Washington Monument
Mom 'n me

Air & Space was our very first Museum.

Followed by the Museum of the American Indian (where I maybe fell asleep while watching a video about Native American storytelling?).

Christopher's dramatic pose
When the museums closed and kicked us out, we explored the Hirshorn Sculpture Garden and frolicked on the Mall some more.

It was a lovely day, and I know I wore them out!

The funniest part of the day was in the evening. After being super exhausted, not being able to go another step, etc., my parents perked up(!) when I took them to my local Latin market! They were like kids at Disneyland, and I'm pretty sure this store was the best part of their day. :) One fun thing about the DC area is that there are SO many Salvadorians, which MEANS there is lots of Salvadorian food to be had. My parents went cuh-rAY-zy buying all sorts of delicious Latin foods -- some of which they hadn't seen in YEARS. (In Utah, the Latin population is mostly Mexican, so all the Latin markets are filled with Mexican goods.)

THE greatest find: a "Chavo del Ocho" piggy bank! 
It was a lovely day, and a good way to kick off our DC adventures!