Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Farewell Bernadette

Last Friday Ben and I said goodbye to the only car I've ever owned, Bernadette. She was a 2002 Chevrolet Malibu that I received in 2005. I was late getting on board with driving because my mom never drove (and still doesn't) and we made our way by walking wherever we needed to get to in our small town, or taking the occasional bus. But with some training from my ex-step-dad, Tony, I passed a driving test and finally got my license. He purchased the car for me, getting a kick out of the fact that it was a Malibu and I was going to school at Pepperdine in Malibu.

We've been through a lot during the ten years we were together. It was with her that I experienced my first - and so far only - car accident during a sleep deprived drive through the canyon north of Pepperdine. During my time in undergrad my mom moved up to Nor Cal and so, along with having some friends and a job one summer in the area, I made many, MANY trips up and down the state, including one amazing trip in which I took hwy 1 the entire way up. I loved the freedom of driving and I took advantage of that freedom frequently. Then, after marrying Ben, we took her across the country to Indiana and back, and then on a west coast tour.

She, of course, was not without fault. The radio only worked during the winter; a problem that started in 2007 as a small quirk. When I drove over a bump the radio would stop working but then driving over a second bump would bring it back on. It was sporadic and manageable. Soon, however, the time between going out and coming on increased and merely driving over a bump wouldn't fix the problem. Eventually I noticed that the sound would just be out when it was hot and on again months later when it was colder. No mechanic could ever figure out what the problem was; therefore, it never got fixed.

There were also a few instances of overheating and cracked head gaskets; which is ultimately what the final problem was. The one that was too expensive to fix. The one that would cost more than she was worth. Funny enough, the last mechanic we saw, the one who diagnosed the final cracked head, thought he might know what was wrong with the radio...

Bernadette didn't actually get her name until last summer. I wanted to encourage her as we were going up a mountain between Colorado and Wyoming and felt that "you can do it, car!" seemed insufficient. I liked the name Bernard, which meant "brave as a bear"; however, the Malibu was definitely more feminine so we went with Bernadette, the female version of Bernard. Little good it did us since she broke down a couple weeks later.

Now we have a new car, a 2011 Dodge Caliber. Neither Ben nor I had bought a car before, so that was an exciting experience. It's scary to drive away from a dealership in a new (to you) car without actually having spent any money that day. We have yet to name this car. It's more masculine looking, so I'm leaning toward something like Bruce. We'll see. We both like the car so far and can't wait to see where he'll take us. What adventures we'll have together. What lessons we'll learn. What we'll see. But for now my heart still leaps when I pass a gold Chevy Malibu on the road and think "there's my car!"

Monday, February 9, 2015

Farwell, Daisy Tillou

The run of Hale Center Theatre's Is He Dead ended Saturday. I was able to see it one more time on Friday before it closed and it was such fun! Despite what you may assume, I hadn't seen the show since opening and it had changed in some subtle and silly ways. The actors had really settled into the humor of the show and added some great bits, both playing with the audience and one another. Because Ben changes back into his Jean Francois Millet costume for curtain call, we hadn't gotten the chance to take a picture together; me and Daisy. So, of course, I had to sneak backstage at intermission to take advantage of our final opportunity for a photo op.

Me 'n' Daisy

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Week A Mormon Calls Into a Foodie Podcast

The exciting thing that happened this week was that Ben was the feature caller on one of our favorite podcasts, the Sporkful!

The podcast's tag line is "it's not for Foodies, it's for Eaters" and it focuses on how to make the most from your eating experience. Whether that be to fold your slice of pizza in half, cheese-side out, to have immediate contact between tongue and cheese (an idea I disagree with, but admittedly have yet to try), or whether or not it's best to have more bite variety or bite consistency, when you listen to the show, opinions arise in you that you didn't realize you had, and it's really fun! Dan Pashman, the podcast's host, interviews various food experts, restaurant owners, food bloggers, Weird Al, and even a meteorologist, about their approaches to food and eating, as well as getting glimpses into places like the Campbell food test kitchens (they have five "types" of kitchens that reflect different eating/cooking personalities of their consumers). It's a really interesting show that I highly recommend to anyone who gets any enjoyment out of eating.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Back in the Swing of Things

On Sunday (the day I actually typed most of this post) Ben and I enjoyed a romp through YouTube introducing one another to various choral and orchestral music that we each either grew up with or discovered at some and really enjoyed. It's a nice Sunday tradition that I would love to keep. It all started with Rene Clausen's "Magnificat." Our lesson at church this morning was in part about Mary's response to the angel who announced that she would birth Christ so I felt compelled this evening to find a performance of this song, which I sang with my high school choir. It is a gorgeous song, that I highly recommend listening to at some point.

This week was a LOT of work for both Ben and me. The Utah Opera opens Pearl Fishers next Saturday so they asked me to put in a few hours extra to help get everything finished. I'm assisting in crafts, which generally isn't my forte but I've really enjoyed it. I've made all the turbans for the chorus and two male leads, and gotten to do some jewelry things, which I've never done before. It has been a great learning experience. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy 2015!

Last year was a sad, sad year of blogging. And for our "goals for 2014." Granted, we did a lot of amazing things that weren't on the list, like complete grad school (I can't believe I didn't put that on my list, I mean, that was an easy thing to cross off! It's like adding things to my to-do list after I've completed them to make myself feel better...), move across country, and put together a Western-states tour of Ben's show. We had a freaking awesome year! Ben reminds me of this when I complain about how I never finished blogging about our summer tour and didn't finish the Book-To-Movie Challenge I had set out for myself. In fact, there are four more blog posts that are sitting as "drafts" because I read the book but never got around to seeing the movie. They may actually get posted this year... I mean, I did put in the work to read the book and write a post about it.

Alright, I just checked those four posts, and three of them just have a title... So they may never get posted, and I'm choosing to be okay with it.

That being said, there are THIRTY-EIGHT books coming out as movies this year and I WILL READ THEM ALL!!!

Just kidding. But I am putting a book list together for this year consisting primarily of books off my own shelves and Nook, with merely a handful of these movie-books thrown in; just the top few I'm really excited to see, or planned to read anyway (like Frankenstein!)

I'm also aiming to blog each week throughout the year. I did in 2013 and really enjoyed it, plus it gave me an excuse to take, go through, organize, and post photos.

We have a few other goals that we've focused on making simple and attainable. We have dreams, folks, and we're going to get 'em!

Late in April a tiny person is joining our family and will undoubtedly turn all our beautifully arranged "goals" on their head, but we'll take it in stride and figure it out when the time comes.

I'm a little rusty and have forgotten how to gracefully end a post... so for now, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here's a pretty photo collage of us and my new years' sparkles:

Monday, August 18, 2014

Abbotts go West Part 1: Bloomington to Utah

So we said goodbye to our friends...

... painted our walls (remember when we first moved in?) ...

... packed up our things ...

... and hit the road!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Silver Lining

A few weeks ago Ben and I taught a workshop for the local youth of our church at their annual youth conference. The conference was held about an hour and a half south of Bloomington and was in the midst of our packing, working, and hosting my mom, but we were looking forward to the event and discussing a topic we feel passionate about: people feeling like they don't belong, specifically at church.

The workshop went really well and it felt great to have a fairly large thing crossed off our list (another big thing was speaking at church that weekend... it was a really busy weekend). The kids seemed to enjoy the discussion and they got a really big kick out of Ben (he's pretty great). Free lunch was consumed, great conversation was had, and we left for home to work on the many things we had to work on.

Then, twenty minutes into our drive, our rear breaks blew up. We knew they needed work and we even had an appointment to take the car in the following Thursday (this was Friday...) which was the soonest the mechanic could see us. Nevertheless, the breaks decided that specific moment was their time to go. We pulled into a Wal-Mart parking lot, learned we were in Washington, Indiana, and desperately searched for a mechanic that could squeeze us in. We drove a short distance and found ourselves "downtown" about two blocks away from Main Street. Washington is a seriously small town with seemingly little to offer; nevertheless, we decided to explore on foot while our car was getting repaired.

Almost immediately upon turning onto Main (only really a few blocks long) we stumbled upon the local museum. It didn't look like much, certainly only one, maybe two, rooms with handful of artifacts from town locals. Little did we know we were in for a treat!

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