Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saratoga Farmers Market

It has been raining almost every day for weeks now it seems like.  Ever since my family left.  But when this morning dawned bright and sunny we knew it would be a perfect day to go check out one of the local farmers markets.  So even though I have a huge project that I am still working on for the upcoming trial I have been staffed on, we ran over for half an hour to enjoy looking at all the offerings. 

Although Campbell has its own farmers market that is within walking distance, it is on Sundays.  So instead we went to the Saratoga farmers market that is actually right next to where we go to church. 

There were beautiful flower booths with orchids, narcissus (which I bought - take a moment to appreciate the irony), tulips, cyclamen (that's for you Jessica), gerber daisies and a whole bunch of others.

And of course there were tons of fresh fruit and vegetables.  Like mushrooms.

And strawberries (we bought some).

And beets.  I thought of Dwight Shrute.  And my dad.

And farm fresh eggs.

And fish and other seafood.

And breads.

And swiss chard.  I don't even know what that is or how to cook it, but it was so beautifully and gaily colored that I had to take a picture and I want to figure out what to make with it now.

And cabbage.

And honey.  Oh boy was there honey.  I love honey.  So, so, so much.

This is butter lettuce I think.

And of course, since we are in California, there was lots of fresh citrus.

Somehow I missed getting photos of all of the booths with ethnic foods.  There were people selling Indian, Afghani, Vietnamese, and Greek foods and products.  Almost every booth lets you sample items so we tasted a lamb curry on naan that was baked while we watched (Paul's favorite), fuji apple slices and incredibly strong apple cider, spinach afghani flatbred with a garlic mint yogurt and sweet jalapeno sauce (my favorite), and fresh salsa. 

And as we were leaving, we saw trees that are already fluffing out in white blossoms.  Not just buds.  Blossoms.  In January.  I love living here. 

Friday, January 22, 2010


Just a sampling:

I secretly listen to the christian rock station and not so secretly to the classical station on the radio.
I hate sharing an umbrella.  No reason really, I'm just greedy about my space.
I would bake cookies every single day if I didn't have to suffer the consequences.
A roommate once told me that you should always eat two cookies or two cupcakes to balance out your hips.  I think that is a great philosophy.
I always wear pajamas to bed even though they sometimes ruck up around my knees in my sleep.
Even when my contacts are killing me, I will suffer just so I don't have to wear my glasses.
In the morning the first thing I do is drink a half glass of orange juice.  The second thing is check my email.
I have ugly knees.
I don't know how to send a text message.  I tried to send one on Paul's phone tonight and gave up after one sentence.
My eyelashes and eyebrows are transparent/white which really bugs me.
I prefer homecooked meals almost all the time. 
Pink is not my best color.  It's navy.
I love to exercise but I am one of the slowest runners I know. 
This year I turn thirty.  Three-Oh.  Bummer.
On Valentine's Day Paul gives me chocolate covered strawberries which are my favorite.
I have a crush on every picture of Paul as a 12-14 year old. 
I prefer to think that my eyes are grey rather than blue.  Paul and I have fought over this.

I'm not sure why I wanted to post all of this.  But thank you for stopping by.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Casebolts in Campbell

This last weekend we got to show off our new apartment and the surrounding sights to Amy's parents and her sister Jessica. We picked them up from the airport Thursday evening, and began planning for the next few days. Amy had to work Friday morning, so she missed out on breakfast at Stacks, in downtown Campbell, where I enjoyed the BEST banana pecan belgian waffles. We drove up to Palo Alto and picked up Amy at noon and then headed up to San Francisco. First stop was the Golden Gate bridge:

After taking some pics from the battery on the north side of the bay near Sausalito, we went to Fisherman's Wharf for some lunch. Amy and I took them to Boudin, our favorite spot for clam chowder in sourdough breadbowls.

Lunch was quickly followed up by a visit to Ghiradelli Square:

Then we checked out the shops on Pier 39 and headed off to see the "Painted Ladies" at Alamo Square, a famous row of Victorian houses featured in many films, as well as the opening credits of Full House.

After a long afternoon in San Francisco, we returned home to get ready for Saturday. With rain forecasted for the next 8 days, when we woke up Saturday morning to sunny skies, we decided to head down to Carmel and Big Sur for the day to enjoy the good weather while it lasted. We took Hwy 1 south out of Santa Cruz and stopped along the way to see a large pride (herd?) of sea lions on some docks right next to the road in Moss Beach. We then took the 17-mile road and saw an island virtually boiling over with sea lions and harbor seals.

We also stopped at Pebble Beach Golf Resort and checked out the 18th hole and clubhouse.

We arrived in Carmel just in time for lunch, and ate at Flaherty's, a delicious seafood restaurant. Russ's jumbalaya was definitely the best dish at the table. After wandering the shops and galleries in Carmel, we drove south along the cliffs of Big Sur and watched the huge waves come in ahead of the arriving storm.

After a long day of driving, we arrived home and enjoyed some Round Table pizza for dinner. The next morning, we went to church at 9:00, where Amy and I happened to be giving talks in sacrament meeting. After church, we took a drive up Hwy 9 through Saratoga and over the Skyline ridge of the Santa Cruz mountains. We dropped down into Big Basin Redwoods State Park and took a short walk among the huge trees.

I was in charge of spotting a banana slug, but never did. For those of you who don't know what one is, here's a photo of one I took when I spotted one about a week ago.

Although it was pouring rain Monday morning, we decided to drive over to the beach in Santa Cruz. As soon as we crossed over the summit, the rain stopped and we even got some blue skies. We walked over to the lighthouse to see if there were any surfers, but the storm-powered waves were too crazy.

We went out on the wharf and saw dozens of sea lions swimming in the water on either side of the pier. Amy also tried to get close to a pelican without getting attacked.

On our way back to Campbell, we stopped in Los Gatos and had lunch at Andale before walking the streets window shopping. Amy and Cheryl went over to Valley Fair mall to do some more shopping while the rest of us hung out at home. We loved having them visit us and were sad to see them leave this morning. It was a great weekend. Sorry that this read like a 5th-grader's essay. Amy is way better at this.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Funny Face

I totally stole this picture from my sister Jennie's blog, but I couldn't resist the expression on Emma's face.  Can anybody think of a good caption for this photo?  And doesn't she look like a cute little turtle here? 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

One Week

I started work at the Job one week ago today.  It has been a long, long week.  I'm hopeful that it is only due to the fact that I am being bombarded with information overload in these training sessions that, while helpful, are really overwhelming, and that once I start in on my actual assignments and the formal "trainings" taper off, that things will feel better.  So far there have been some pretty serious ups and downs - kind of like when I started law school:  one day I feel great about everything and just know that I am going to conquer the world with my mad litigating skills, the next day I want to curl up in a ball and suck my thumb because I'm so intimidated by what I've gotten myself into.  Seeing as how I don't have built-in hormones that might have trained me to adjust to such violent moodswings, this has been somewhat difficult to adjust to.

But the people I work with have been super welcoming and supportive and friendly and my commute isn't bad at all.  In fact, I really kind of enjoy commuting.  I can sing at the top of my lungs to Glee without bugging Paul.  And I don't care what other drivers think.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Day One

I started work at the law firm today.  Its been a long time since I have been gainfully employed.  I actually set an alarm, woke up, and got on my way so that I wouldn't have any problems with traffic.  Turns out my commute took a total of about 28 minutes.  I arrived 45 minutes early and was the first new associate there.  I played it cool though.  Real cool. 

Pretty much the entire day was spent talking about different benefit options that we have to decide between and going over training materials and filling out forms like the W-4, the I-9, etc.  But my mentor took me out to lunch at a cute little restaurant in Palo Alto called Saint Michael's Alley where I had mushroom ravioli in a roasted red pepper sauce.  This is slightly embarassing to admit, but every time I order mushroom ravioli I can't help but think of Bella ordering it on her first 'date' with Edward.  You know - the time when he rescues her from the street toughs because he had been stalking her with his mind?  Is it more lame that I thought about that while I was eating lunch on my first day at work or that I actually came home and blogged about it?

The next couple of days are going to be more of the same - lots of orientation kind of stuff and heading home early to hang out with my handsome husband.  All next week is going to be spent in training also with other new attorneys from offices around the country who are being flown out.  Soooo, no actual real pressure or assignments for a little bit still.  Which is good because it gives me a chance to get over first day jitters. 

As for Paul, we're still not sure when he is going to be able to start at his firm.  We're hoping sooner rather than later, but for now he is looking at what his other options might be.  Because what with bar studying and then all the traveling we did, Paul and I have pretty much spent all day, every day together since last May when we graduated school.  And sitting around the apartment by himself waiting to find out that he can start work just doesn't sound like a whole lotta fun.

In other randomn news of television garbage, did anyone else watch "Conveyor Belt of Love" the other night?  I hadn't heard about it at all until I saw somebody post something about it on FB.  I am not at all a follower of the hook-up reality shows like "The Bachelor".  In fact, I don't think I've ever watched an entire episode of that show.  But "Conveyor Belt of Love" is a train wreck like no other.  You can watch it on Hulu here.  Not that I am promoting it as good TV.  I am just sharing the horror. 

You're welcome.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Wandern gehen

Have I mentioned that I LOVE living in CA?  Because this state rocks my socks.  Not that I am dissing on other states you know.  I am just so happy to be here is all. 

In the spirit of my new year resolution to get to know my new stomping grounds better, Paul and I set off this morning to hike up through the redwoods behind Villa Montalvo in Saratoga.  If you didn't know, I speak a little german.  And one of my favorite words/phrases in that language is "wandern gehen," which means "to go hiking."  Its a phrase that has always stuck with me and makes me daydream.  I just think "wandern gehen" is a much more romantic or whimsical way of traipsing around in a forest than merely "hiking."  Although it was cool when we started out, we quickly stripped off our outer layers within minutes of starting the climb and wore short-sleeves the rest of the day. 

If you have never hiked through a redwood forest, then it is hard to understand just how wonderful the smell of the trees is.  It is one of my favorite scents.  And everything was so green.  We even stopped and had a picnic lunch that I packed along in my camelback. 

I promise we had more than just cookies and clementines.  There was yogurt and a peanut butter sandwich too.  Just so you know.

I was kind of struck with amazement the whole morning that we were out hiking in such a beautiful, lush setting on January 2 when just a couple days ago we left snow-covered Utah behind.  Maybe in the future I will find myself missing the snow more, but for now I am happy to be out in nature hiking around without layers and layers of winter-gear and still freezing my fanny off.