Tuesday, October 30, 2007

the sky is falling...or maybe just the camera

Last night Matt and I came back from a work day to get ready to play tennis. On the way in the house, I dropped my camera on the cement. It has ceased to function since. While on our way out, Matt dropped his phone on the cement. Although sporting a cracked outer covering, the phone still works--but we left before anything else could happen.

I suppose this means I will not be able to visually document our life, but will need to focus on a writing style so good, it will suck the reader in without visual encouragement.

This does mean our budget plans have changed. Instead of placidly trying to lock away a bit of money each month, we now have a focused goal of a specific amount to be able to afford a new camera next month. That's what I call motivation.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rocking out at work

Last week I learned how to *render* for the first time. At my job, I've learned how to model 3d objects rather serviceably, but usually they just look bland. Rendering means basically to paint the 3d objects.

So I wanted to share my first render here on our blog. I modeled these chairs using T-Splines (the software my company makes), then rendered them using a software called VRay.


Just as I wrote I would do yesterday, I discovered a way to connect to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail within close proximity of our house. But there is an adventure that goes with it.

First, when I got to the end of the road, there were these buckets with "No Trespassing" and "Warning" signs on them. I hesitated, because it looked like there was a trail leading off of them, but I decided I better not risk it.
But just as I turned around, a nice man who lives on the corner and was mowing his lawn, came over and asked if I had turned around because of the signs. When I answered yes, he told me there was no problem with me going up as a walker or a biker or a horse-rider; the signs were to deter motorized vehicles and druggies. So, I turned around and headed up the mountain. I headed for that crevice in the mountain in the picture below.
And it turns out there was a trail to the right of the crevice! So I headed down it. It was narrow and on the top line of the hill, as you can (kind of) see below.
It afforded a FANTASTIC view!
But I could see a trail below and didn't any connecting trails, so I made a trail of my own through this grass (the view is at the bottom looking up to where I had come down from)
and I made it to the clearly marked trail. I followed it for a while, then turned around, headed back, and was met again by the nice man who told me about how he had helped the BLM dig out the trail. He also told me of various rocks I should try and see by following the trail toward Provo. They are rocks that came down in rock slides and made the news.

And so the adventure must continue...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

discovering Springville

This morning was one of discovery. Our neighborhood sits quite close to the mountains of Springville, and I wanted to see how to get up to them (if possible) from the neighborhood. So I took a 30-minute walk around my neighborhood. I followed a route that covered a good chunk of the neighborhood, but I didn't see any feasible place to get up to the mountain, even though people's backyards WERE the mountain. (Jealous.)

So I came back and used my googling skills to see what I might find online. I found out that if I head in a more northern direction, I have a good chance of connecting with the Bonneville Shoreline Trail--up in the mountains! On the map below, I've mapped out my proposed route tomorrow morning.

I will try to take pictures when I go so you can see what it looks like. :) AND Matt and I are interested in either hiking around here or up Hobble Creek Canyon on Saturday, so more pictures are sure to follow.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

New Eritrea


I've been away from Trish the past week at a conference for industrial designers in San Francisco. It's been great to reconnect in the evenings with my cousin Sandra, her husband Justin, and their hearty three-year-old, Carter, who were kind enough to put me up.

Tonight we went to an Eritrean (African) restaurant. I had never heard of Eritrea, turns out it is a country in eastern Africa that gained its independence from Ethiopia in 1993. 5 million people, about the size of Pennsylvania.

The food was interesting--and spicy. We had a platter of beef, lamb, and chicken that we ate without silverware by tearing off a part of a sourdough crepe and using it to pinch off some meat. We agreed that likely this was more meat than these Africans got in a month, but it was tasty!

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Today I finished the project I started in the front dirt plot (see a few entries ago were I weeded the area): I planted bulbs! This is my first experience so I was perhaps obsessive compulsive about the instructions (I measured every hole and width from bulb to bulb), but I was so pleased to put in some work that (hopefully) will result in some beautiful spring flowers.

I chose the following:

Daffoldils: These little guys (I bought the smaller kind) make me so happy when they start poking out of the ground! I believe they will come up "early" spring.

Chionodoxo luciliae: I picked these purely for how they looked on the package. They will bloom in the assorted colors of purple, pink, and white. They're cute little guys (I think). They should come up "very early" spring.

Hyacinth: I chose these because deer don't eat them. (It turns out that in the middle of the block we live in is a little "forest" (a wilderness, if you will) that is occupied by a group of deer.) These beautiful guys should come out "late" spring.

So, I should have a symphony going on come spring. I'll be excited to post pictures of the REAL flowers in my yard next spring!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I am dedicating this post to Bob, one of the students I tutor. He is from Malawi, Africa, and arrived in Utah at the end of August to study English at UVSC before taking regular courses. The beginning was rough for him, but he survived the first term: he was passing all four of his classes! However, in each class he had a glaring weakness: he is horrible at taking tests.

So, we've been tackling that problem together by taking practice tests, learning the material in and out, using testing strategies, and finding patterns to be able to remember in a crunch. The result? After scoring a 60% on his first test in Listening and Speaking, Bob got a 95%! And, after failing his first two grammar tests, Bob got an 86%!!! I was so happy for him I was screeching--and we were studying in the public library. (So much for decorum...)

Here's to Bob, who has worked hard and stayed focused and is now beginning to see the fruits of his efforts.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


This past weekend, Matt and I headed up Provo Canyon to Hope Campground for some good 'ol campfire fun. We went with the Sederberg side of the family and met up (unexpectedly but pleasantly surprising!) with Nephi, Matt's old friend. Michael, Matt's brother, needed to go on a mile hike for scouts, so a group of us headed out while the rest stayed behind to start the fire. On our hike, we discovered beautiful aspen trees, a bit of trash, piles of wood (purportedly left by land beavers...), trees to climb, and a limb that was perfect for limbo! Here Maria shows us her talent:

Then we went back and gathered around the campfire for hot dogs and smores. I'm not going to lie: I ate 3 hot dogs. Yup, 3. I downed them with pretty good speed, too. While around the fire, we played various games that kept us laughing.

After our campfire fun, we headed back to our house with Maria, Ang, and Michael to have a sleepover. We all were drenched with smoke, so we took showers and didn't get to bed until after midnight. On Saturday morning we had a waffle breakfast with all the fixin's. After we took the troupe home, Matt proceeded to pick the rest of the garden that was left by the previous tenants of our duplex. He found some peppers that looked small and innocent--they almost looked like green peppers that hadn't matured yet. He was curious about their hotness and so took a small bite of one. I could guess the hotness of the pepper when Matt immediately started jumping, stuffed a bagel in his mouth, and went to the fridge to grab a piece of bread. His lips burned the rest of the night. We're not sure what kind of pepper it was, but it was hot.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Thanks to all of Trish's work in assembling our dining set and directing the couch delivery men in the right direction, we decided our house is finally put together enough to entertain friends.

This happened with perfect timing, since some of my favorite college roommates happened to be in town. So we invited Joe, Tim, and Tristan over, and met Tim's neat wife Rachel for the first time. Maria and Amanda were also there.

So here's a picture of the Tim and Joe talent show. Unfortunately, the camera was still on night setting from my jump roping escapade that morning.

But the MOST important event yesterday: we had our one month anniversary! Here's a picture of Trish all dressed up for me when I came home, making one of our favorite dishes: chicken divan. Unfortunately, you can't see that Trish is wearing a skirt that is one of my favorites. However, she is (deliberately) wearing earrings I bought her in San Diego. I know they're not the neatest earrings ever, but she made me feel like I was a really appreciated gift giver.

Monday, October 8, 2007

creative solutions

My husband likes to go running in the morning to get in some exercise as a fresh start to the day. (Morning usually means 6:00 or 6:30.) He has graciously invited me on a few of his jaunts, but I do not have his stamina nor desire to go as far and fast as he would like to. But his invitations were welcoming to me as exercise that I could do with my husband before he left for work in the morning.

And so we had the dilemma: what can we do for exercise? We first thought of other sports--like frisbee or basketball. But at 6:00 in the morning it is too dark to see the ball (er, or frisbee). Then we decided we could run together every other morning and then Matt could do harder runs on the days we didn't run together. That got a bit jumbled, so we were back to Square One.

And then came the solution: last night it dawned on Matt that we got a jump rope for our wedding. So, in order to increase the intensity of his run but still maintain my pace, he could jumprope while I ran. We tried it out this morning, and it worked beautifully! Matt was even tired before I was. (And I still made him jumprope a bit more so I could snap this shot when we got back.)

Friday, October 5, 2007

'twas the fourth of October

'Twas the fourth of October and all through the city,
Many people were stirring--they were all very busy.

Many people took advantage of the beautifully crisp air,
To spend a bit of time to make their yards look rather fair.

And in the city center, people hurried to and fro',
Making purchases in preparation for the season's upcoming snow.

The construction workers toiled in the heat of the day
As busy car drivers honked for the right of way.

And just outside the city were fields of golden pumpkins,
Harkening my memory to days of trick-or-treatin'.

I drove to the WalMart to buy some gift card treasures,
But the day was just so beautiful, I took in the outside pleasures.

When outside my window there arose such a building,
I focused my attention on the scenery unfolding.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a Wendy's and Gandolpho's--and both were so very near!

All the sudden in my mind, I could appreciate this place,
(Even more than before), and I felt a big smile grow on my face.

And so you have the story of me driving to WalMart in Springville and encountering two places that I love to eat at! It harked back to memories of wandering through streets in Santiago, Chile just to see if--instead of the ubiquitous McDonald's--there was a Wendy's to quench my cravings. The incident in Springville seemed to add icing on the cake of the day (as it were), and I immediately thought of the words from the poem Twas the Night Before Christmas that say, "When what to my wondering eyes should appear..." So I started constructing this poem in my mind. I suppose it lacks climax, or at least disappoints in that regard, but I decided to keep it true to the source of inspiration.

In a different strain, I didn't realize being a "homemaker" required as much manual labor as I have encountered. A lot of our furniture has required me to put it together, and I am familiarizing myself with the intricacies of wood-working. I put together a 6-shelf bookcase, a drying rack, a shoe rack, a closet organizer with four shelves, and (just this morning!) a bench and a table. I am appreciating the plethora of tools Matt has available.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Last night Matt and I began the pleasant task of writing thank you's to all those who gave us gifts for our wedding. In the process of opening gifts, we were touched by so many people's generosity, but going back to review that generosity was a sweet experience. (Plus we found some gift cards we didn't realize we had...) THANK YOU to all those who were magnanimous in their support of our marriage! We are off to an EXCELLENT start due to your open hearts. (Please notice the lovely pillows to my side that we received as a fabulous accent to the couch we also generously received.)

Lest you think I might not be carrying my load in this relationship (since Matt is in all the previous pictures), please take note of the weeding I did yesterday in the front of our home. The little plot was covered with weeds, and it took me no less than an HOUR to dig them out (most of them had intricate root systems that required a fair amount of digging to get them out completely). Today I plan to get bulbs so we will have flowers in the spring.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Tuesday evening adventures

After downloading the pictures for today's post, I realized this is a shout-out to my husband: he is the sole visual representative of the family for today.

Last night was a full and adventurous evening: we "organized" our billions of books (or put them in general piles for taking care of today), ate Borscht for dinner, put the garbage out (it seems uneventful, but the pictures below show the fun), and opportunized on the generosity of a sister in our ward who was getting rid of a reclining chair.

About that garbage...since we are still moving in, we have a lot of garbage that piles up each week. Springville allows garbage cans to be overflowing, but they don't take responsibility for "spilled out" garbage, so it is to our advantage to keep the garbage maximum to the level of the lid. So, my adorable husband stomps down the garbage by hanging from a tree. (See pictures below that were, unfortunately, posted in reverse order and taken LAST Tuesday. BTW: the garbage man just came and successfully dumped our garbage out without any spills.)

The borscht Matt and I made was delicious! It is a hearty Russian stew with lots of beets and cabbage and dill, eaten with sour cream. We used our crock pot for the first time and let the soup cook for 10 hours. Unfortunately, now our house smells like it. (I have the windows open to get some fresh air in here today.)

An older lady in our ward, Sister Bennett, had a reclining chair that she wanted to get rid of, so we happily consented to help. We called her and drove to her house (two blocks away) and rang her doorbell. When she saw the car that we proposed to use to carry the chair away, she was reticent to have us even try. But she eventually conceded and helped us tie up the chair to the back of my trunk. After getting a wonderfully quaint tour of her husband's carved wood masterpieces, we headed home with me driving slowly and Matt walking/running in back. We made it home successfully, got the chair in successfully, and now I am sitting on it in our front room.

And, finally, this morning Matt wanted to have a "warm" breakfast. So, right before we sat down to read scriptures, he pulled out some frozen cookies we have and put them in the oven. You will notice that the sun is streaming in the window, thereby clueing the onlooker that the 8:43 on the clock is A.M., not P.M.

As a final thought, here is a scripture taken from Romans (our study for this week): "Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

tuna fish

Our first blog post is on the theme of tuna fish. Today at lunch I had the opportunity to decide between eating last night's leftovers of Mexican food (which Matt loves) or eating a tuna-fish sandwich (which Matt hates). Wanting to develop long-term marital habits that would invite happiness, I chose the latter. It was delicious!

Here are some pictures of other goings-on in the Sederberg household last week, including the first snowfall of the season, catching a bug for Angie's bug collection, and the mess that is our apartment as we sort out our "stuff":

This is our dishwasher. :)

And this is us relaxing at night on our bed.