Wednesday, February 23, 2011


maybe clarifier's a better word for it.
either way...

I published my last post before I'd fully made my point
or acknowledged the fact that the virtual banker training I find so patronizing may or may not have left me feeling a bit jaded about the 9-5 life.
I'd normally just go flesh out the original and call it a day,
but the trouble today is
I meant every word I said.

I'm not the routine girl by any means.
It's a challenge for me to feel satisfied just living the day-to-day,
and a big adjustment learning how to be a new kind of busy.

and this is a big but
I do love my life.
every bit of it.

makes you dizzy just looking at it huh?
I just have an exceptionally severe case of spring fever.
I'm ready for a vacation and a hefty dose of vitamin D.

But seeing as all potential 
cabin, biking, hiking, sun-tanning, and tropic trips 
are still a few weeks off,
I'll settle for some weekend fun.
Get ready, friends, to see way too much of me
and love every single minute of it.

With that said, here are 10 random insights on my day-to-day:
1. Our latest and greatest house favorites are
 edamame & nutella toast.
oh so good!

2. The coneheads have reunited for one final season of soccer.
I forgot how much I love coeds.
And playing with Tiff & Kayla
(and baby Chandler!)

Also, please note.
I will be scoring a shirt this season.
There is no way I'm leaving one more championship game without one.
no way.

3.  And while we're on the topic of my BYU days coming to a close, I have a secret.
I've had my diploma for close to 2 months now.
It remains unopened.
And I'm not sure why.
Maybe it's my unwillingness to face reality and accept that I've "graduated" from that chapter of my life.
Or maybe I'm not 100% sure where I put it.
Either way,
it's still in the box!

4.  I am remembering just how happy I am when I have endorphins.
I've been a stranger at the gym the last season or two.
I'm lucky my body tolerated such sedentary behavior as well as it did
and I feel so lucky it's taken so well to this new workout regime.
I thought it'd rebel...fight back a bit maybe.
And it did, at the start.
But in recent weeks,
I feel like it just craves any and all things cardio.
And that's been fun for me.
I feel like my old (and by old I mean young) self again...
well, until I see all the grandmas at Gold's with their rockin' bods.
Then I feel like a real tub
(because I know, at their age, I'll look more like a rollie pollie than one who's been flattened by a rolling pin).
Gotta love the gym...

5. Pictionary with the Langstons.
My condominium.
(no comment).
Kirk's brontosaurus horse,
his goat rabbit,
and his U.S.A.
(no need to comment).
Parker's head-butt.
("You of all people should have known those were goats Kirk.)
Accusations over Lara's Canada.
("Where's your Canada Lara?")
Fights over where to draw the line in ruling out gestures.
("Eye contact.  It's not a problem until you make eye contact.")
And oh so much more.
If I could paint you a better picture I would
(but if I paint as well as I draw...
well, you get the picture). 

6.  I'm in love with interval training and television.
The combination of the two,
not just one or the other.
It makes time fly when I'm running.
I don't feel like an absolute bum for having invested an hour of my life on shows like Glee & the Bachelor
(ok, I do still feel like a bit of a bum...
I'm embarrassed that I look like a typical Bachelor addict.
I like to think I'm above that.
Obviously I'm not.
And is it just me or is Glee a bit too trashy this season?)
I'm grateful for the technologies that let me run and watch TV at the same time.
Who knew the object of every couch potato's affection could actually make me skinnier?

7.  I just scored an $88 make-up kit from Ulta for free.
This is not typical of my day-to-day.
I just wanted to share.
(And no I did not steal it.
I just came in on the tail end of a sweet promotion.
happy day!)

8. My car seems to be falling to pieces...literally.
I went to the post office the other day to mail off my mom's birthday present when CRUNCH...
I leveled a mini iceberg.
It did not sink my wheeled Titanic,
didn't damage it cosmetically either,
so I assumed all was well.
'Til I heard the scraping on the freeway.
I decided to try and make it home before taking a peek
but as I rounded the corner, CRUNCH!
The plastic protector thing-a-ma-bob that lines my wheel well broke free.
I tracked it down as it made a run for it on Olympic Way and chucked it in my trunk.
Dumb ice.
Luckily I think it's just a few bolts short of a full recovery.
And it's given me a good excuse to have a REAL mechanic check out my check engine light
(I learned the hard way that a Jiffy Lube diagnostic is both pointless and pricy.
Thank you oil men for charging me $20 just to reiterate to me that a check engine light means I should take my car to a REAL mechanic to, 
wait for it... 
check my engine!
grease monkeys).
We'll be giving baby Honda a bit of TLC just as soon as the day-to-day dies down
(a.k.a. I have no idea when I'll be taking it in).
We'll make time.

9.  Many a slow day at the bank.
Whether it's the cold weather, the holiday, the post-January slam slump, or perhaps something sinister (this I doubt),
we've had back-to-back SLOW weeks
which makes for very long days.
Fortunately, we have a fun team,
which makes for creative in-between customer activities like:
banker scrabble,
mini-football games,
plastic-wrap PIG competitions,
tutorials on how to accurately shoot rubberbands
(I am no good at this),
story swapping,
and, on the slowest days, a bit of angry birds.

Oh and to answer your question,
yes, we are a professional banking institution.
Moving on...

10. Brother Parker's Book of Mormon manual!
This has been the best part of our day-to-day by far.
I feel like I've spent so much of my life cramming my scripture study into my schedule.
I had too many semesters in college where I studied without purpose,
let the school studies with REAL deadlines take precedence,
and treated my religion classes as credit fillers.
I listened.
I learned.
But I never really STUDIED,
at least not the way I'd hoped to.
But these days, religion is my one and only course
and I can study all I want!
I'm loving every aspect of this new set-up,
like having the time to put events in historical context,
cross reference,
and think in terms of how it relates to my life and my day.
I'm seeing the bigger picture
and it is pretty fun!
This is a definite perk of the 9-5 life.
And one of the many reasons, again,
that I'm loving living it.

happy Wednesday (again)!!!
I really am looking forward to another day just like it.

day to day

my snooze button

The alarm sounds
and I'm off and running
a.k.a. blindly feeling my way to the bathroom door as I fight the urge to ditch the cold morning and re-cocoon up in my comforter.

I know exactly how many minutes it takes to look presentable at work
and refuse to wake even a nanosecond earlier 
and fly through my morning regime in a half-coma before grabbing my oatmeal, yogurt, and apple and falling out the front door
then make two return trips to grab my cell phone, bank keys, vitamins, sanity, and all else I managed to forget the first go-around.

I hop in the car to make my way to work with just exactly the three minutes I need to get there
only to be stopped by the elementary school's neon-vested, stop-sign brandishing, veteran volunteer crossing guards
every time,
without fail.

I scramble through the back door of the bank with seconds to spare
before breaking my self-allotted + or - 5 minute buffer
and spend the rest of my morning sneaking bites of breakfast in between small talk with the team, customers, dust bunnies, you name it
if it has ears, I will ask about its weekend, the weather, its grandkids, etc. etc.

I cruise home for lunch 
squeeze in an episode of Hulu, contemplate napping, then skip the nap to start a crock-pot dinner, call and catch up with a friend or two, or dream up our latest YW's craft
then speed back to the bank to practice opening accounts, school the bankers in scrabble, and listen to at least 3 grumpy customers decry debit cards, interest rates, savings accounts, national holidays, the Civil War, and our  "unwillingness" to sell stamps to women 
"If I was a man you'd give it to me!"  
You're right.
I'd give you directions to the post office, an apology, and a smile and call it a day because,
last I checked,
the federal government does not endorse Wells Fargo as a subsidiary of the U.S. Postal Service.
I'm just sayin'...

remember this Tiff?
By the time my feeble mind's ready to wave its white flag
and i have two hours + to go...
I somehow find my way home and back into Parker's arms
and make many empty promises and threats to never EVER go back.

I double-check our dinner menu to ensure I have everything I need to make it
all while resisting the urge to scarf down half our pantry
then lace up my tennies 
mentally prepare for the pain I'll face via Insanity or Gold's
and sprint off to try and tack on 10+ years to my life.

Parker and I sweat a few buckets worth before speeding home 
to ensure I have enough time to shower, finish dinner, and shovel it in despite my now lacking appetite,
so I can gather my MiaMaids and make it to YW's by 7:00 on the dot
or 7:05ish...
because it's me.

I chatter away the next two hours,
giggling over boys as the good cop,
corralling my crazy teens for clean-up as the bad.

And when we've finished with our impromptu post-activity presidency mini-meeting I make my way home and crash on the couch next to Parker.
who has been catching up on studying like a little angel and missing me every minute in between.
I muster up the courage to floss
every other night...I'm not as dedicated to the program as our dear Parker
then brush my teeth, wash my face, and add the finishing touch to my bedtime regime with a bit of Latisse
the bottle I bought for the wedding, never used, and am now trying to put to good use before it's expiration date.
The results...
I'm in love with my spidery long lashes.
My only concern...
how on earth I'll manage when that little bottle runs out.
It makes me sad to think of every returning to the little stump lashes I once had.
One of the many ways I'll learn the meaning of sacrifice in these early years of marriage...

I'm conscious just long enough to squeak in scripture study and prayer with Parker
which, last night, included a mini WWF match as Parker tried to dodge his husbanding duties of warming my frostbitten feet
before cuddling up in his arms and slipping into a peaceful slumber
again, so proud of him for finally mastering this.  its' the best part of my day!

only to be blasted away by my iPhone's island marimba alarm a short six hours later so I can relive this day 
all. over. again.
it's like Groundhog's day, really,
minus Punxsutawney Phil,
a piano,
and 100+ comedically unsuccessful suicide attempts.

I've wanted to be this girl
the one with the routine
the one who makes use of every single second of her day.

The girl who's 
working hard,
eating healthy,
working out,
playing wife
planning parties,
landing promotions,
cleaning house,
keeping up on current events,
visiting teaching,
lesson planning,
attending the temple,
catching up with family,
making time for friends,
magnifying her call,
growing her testimony,
loving her life.

These days are the closest I've ever come to being that girl.
And I'm happy.
I am.
so, so happy to finally be tackling my to-do list and laying it out like a linebacker
you could say I'm the Pendleton of "to-done" lists these days

somewhere along the line,
I lose sight of that last little box
which may, in fact, be the most important checkmark of all.
 without it, 
every other accomplishment seems quite small.

Loving life.
Whenever I'm dominating the day-to-day I lose a bit of this somewhere along the way.

I start to go a little stir crazy.
I'd give anything to mix it up.
anything to escape the tedium of the routine.

I feel like I need to do more, have more, see more, and learn more
about something, somewhere, someone.

I crave curveballs like 
social scenes
weekend plans
romantic dates
exotic vacations.

I long to take the "next step,"
to move on to whatever's just around the corner
be it a new season, a new position, a new school, a new city.

I want to break the routine just as soon as I've set it.
And I hate that...

I get what I want.
I get what I've worked for.
And then, 
it's not enough.

It's like I reach my best and immediately reset the bar higher
convincing myself I need to do more.
which is good.
it makes me grow,
keeps me from complacency,
and gives me the chance to reach new highs
and greater successes.

But it also keeps me from appreciating what I do have,
what I have become,
what I have achieved,
and how hard I worked to get there.

I am 99.9% certain this is Patrick from Spongebob
and that makes me laugh.
wise words from Mr. Starfish.

Is this just me?
Please tell me it's not.
Because I'm nearly certain adding 
"stop being crazy" 
to the to-do list will be my breaking point.
And I'm thinking once I'm broken,
there's not a chance I'll be checking that one off the list ever.

until then...
happy Wednesday!!!
looking forward to a Thursday just like it

Monday, February 14, 2011

the commercial holiday

"The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more; 
that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds.  
And that's what you've given me.  
That's what I'd hoped to give you forever."

my breath catches.
i become unsettlingly aware of my heartbeat,
the humming in my ears,
the tightness in my chest.
i swallow hard in an attempt to dislodge the lump that's crippling my windpipe.
my once misty eyes begin to fill to the brim.
it's as if my body's warning me.
stop fighting.
you can't win.
you won't win.

but I refuse to let my second x-chromosome get the best of me.

"This isn't real,"
I remind myself.
"This never happened."

I squeeze my eyes tightly shut, tune out, and try and logic my way through the wave of emotion.
it's my last act of defiance.
it always is.
but tonight it seems like a marathon swim back to the shores of good sense.

in the blink of an eye, 
quite literally,
i've surrendered to the tide of tears.
my tear-stained cheeks speak volumes more than a white flag ever would.
I've lost.
and lost it.
all to some silly movie.

The Notebook

This is the story of my Friday night fight.
The account of how I tried, time and again, to keep myself from becoming an absolute puddle-bucket over Noah & Allie's star-crossed summer romance.

I'd seen it before,
liked it,
appreciated the sweetness of their story,
and absolutely loved the idea of being so in love.
But I'd never, ever cried.

Call me heartless,
call me cold, callous, pitiless, unfeeling.
a shell of a person if you will.

do understand,
I did not get it.

that is,
'til Friday night came 'round...

"I think our love can do anything we want it to."

I'd fared relatively well up until this point;
masked my sniffles with feigned sneezes,
hid my haphazard breathing patterns behind exaggerated sighs.

But when I heard this line I lost it.
My eyes, once teeming with tears, spilled over,
sending a salty cascade down my nose and cheeks.

Each time I tried to fall back on my reality check I failed.
Because every time I tried to tell myself
"This isn't real.
This never happened."
I realized, more fully, that it is real.
it does happen.
it just hasn't happened to us

That's the key word.
And that realization just about broke my heart
because I can't imagine my life without Parker in it.

He's in every memory of the past.
every experience of the present.
every hope for the future.

It's like he's always been part of my life,
and always will be.
And that's exactly how I want and need it to stay.

"I want all of you, forever.  
you and me. 
every day."

that's what I want.
that's what I'll always want.
and that's why, I think, I cried that night.

As my tears spilled onto Parker's chest,
thoroughly soaking his shirt,
he finally clued in.

"Chels...are you crying?"

my uneven tone fully gives me away.  
so much for sticking to one syllable answers.
he always sees right through me.

"Yes you're crying."
he wraps his arms more tightly around me, bringing me closer to him.
"sweetie, why are you crying?"

"Because I get it."

"You...get it."

"Yes, I get it.  
I finally understand what it's like to love someone that much."


"I think I might love you too much..."

He laughs.

"Oh beeder. No more chick flicks for you. 
You can't handle the drama."

I try to wriggle out of his arms.
This is not comedy hour.
Where's my romantic out-cue?
My line?
I want a line.

And then, as if he's read my thoughts,
he leans in,
kisses me softly on the forehead,
and whispers...

"Sounds like you finally love me as much as I love you."

(and this is why I keep him...)

so, long story short(ish),
I finally got it.

Go Notebook, for helping me fully realize what I thought I knew all along.

Note to self: realizing your happiness is so contingent upon the existence of another person is absolutely overwhelming.
This is likely what it will be like when you have kids...
i pray you can handle it.

And now that I have you all fully convinced we have THE perfect marriage,
I'll refrain from filling you in on our little tiff over Valentine's Day.

(it was a doozy...
but we're good.
we always are.)

Just know, Parker B. is still full of surprises
and I am still head over heels in love with him.
Happy Valentine's Day

In case you're curious about our itinerary,
Nightboarding @ Brighton
two adrenaline junkies + 12° temps = L.O.V.E.

a couple's massage

I had not the slightest idea.
I was under the false impression that our "reservation" was for dinner
and that the blindfold was simply an attempt to add an element of mystery and intrigue.
I smiled as he hurriedly assembled a blindfold
(a.k.a. let me hide under a towel and play my iPhone so as to spare my freshly applied make-up) 
and made me promise to keep my eyes closed until we'd walked through the front door.
It took me a second to realize where we were.
It was SO not what I'd expected.
The last thing I ever thought he'd spring for.
And it was perfect.
and so needed
(as I decided, just this week, that I want to be an athlete again. 
my body's still paying the price).

Thank you sweetie, for being so thoughtful.
such a sweet surprise...

Rock and Roll Sushi
Tack on our cococabana rolls and coconut ice cream at Tsunami,
his & hers Dolce & Gabbana: The One,
and about a million-and-one I love yous,
and there you have it.

our PERFECT Valentine's Day weekend.

Thanks for being my valentine Parker B.
I want all of you,
you and me.
every day.
and every commercial holiday too.
so happy you're mine.