Chad, Jessica, Jet and Aijiahlyn

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Pickles and Ice Cream

I seem to be having all these odd cravings lately; maybe being pregnant has something to do with it. HHHhhmmmm, maybe. Yes, it’s official people, we’re having a BABY!!!! Sometime in the middle of July, we will have our own little Jessichad, or Chadica, and we’re so excited.

Luckily, I’m getting past the nausea stage, little by little. It has been stinkin’ torture feeling nauseated ALL DAY LONG, and having your throat burn, and being hungry, while everything in the kitchen looks disgusting. Finally my appetite is starting to return, and I can start eating like a normal human again, who has normal taste buds. Yeah, morning sickness is a stinkin’ myth people!!! Try ALL DAY SICKNESS…..morning? That’s a luxury!!!! Morning only? PUH!!!

Over the past month I’ve craved, pickles, raw veggies, Little Caesars $5 pizza w/o the cheese (yum), anything citrus, (including Tostito’s, Hint of Lime chips…yum!) tons of milk, toast, mac and cheese (easy-mac was kinda a lifesaver for a few weeks….the easiest meal ever, that I actually liked), granny smith apples, manzanilla olives, and light popcorn…..yeah, not the healthiest bunch, but it’s better to eat something, than nothing. And BTW, I don’t crave pickles and ice cream…..together anyway. That still sounds disgusting. Even the picture on this post is pretty gag-a-rific. Yeah, I can’t look at it anymore……GROSS….EEEWWW…..BLECK!!!!

Meat, mostly chicken and beef, anything fishy, and surprisingly most chocolate things, completely gross me out. Well, those chicken nuggets that have been on the McDonald’s commercials lately do look good.

“When I dip, you dip, we dip.” Anyone remember that corny hip-hop song? Well, I had a whole night dedicated to it. Cravings and food aversions were raging. All I wanted were raw fruits and veggies, and bread. So, I had “dipping” night. I dipped veggies in dressing, apples in caramel (just a little), and planned on dipping baguette pieces in oil and balsamic vinegar, but had toast instead. Yes, I danced a LITTLE hip-hop, and then Chad brought home cookie dough, and I dipped cookies in milk. What a lovely evening. Luckily, Chad wasn’t home, so he didn’t have to eat my weird dinner.

Also, I turn into a prune every night. Nice and wrinkly……MMMMmmmmmm. I LOVE THE BATHTUB. Get me in the bath!!! Right after work, I hit the tub. And our lovely water heater only has enough hot water to fill the tub half full!!!! What?????!!!! LAME!!!! ‘Course, it’s probably good, cuz it’s impossible for me to get overheated.

So, that’s part of my journey so far. Chad has been wonderful, and so has all my family. Thank you so much for making things easy on me! I am seriously beyond thankful!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Death, Gigs, Anti-Stepford-Wife-itis, and Callings

Time for an update, eh?

So....recently we had a death in our family. Our goldfish died. As he was flushed, I cried. I think the last time I cried about a dead pet fish, I was in the 3rd grade. But this was a special fish PEOPLE!!! For our wedding reception, we had live goldfish for the centerpieces. Chad and I took 2 home, as did some guests, including the Knerrs who named their fish, Chad and Jessica : ) Well, Chad's fish, Gus Gus, died about 2 years ago, and I thought it was an omen that Chad would be the first to optimistic of me, I know....but luckily....the Knerrs' fish, Jessica, died first, so the two cancelled each other out. fish, Bruno, died a few days ago....that made him at least 3 and 3/4 years OLD!!! Talk about a record! But as you can see, Bruno was quite sentimental to me. Chad wouldn't even attend the funeral in the bathroom, where I sang, "God be with you 'til we meet again." (Erica....remember our bouncy ball funeral?) He said it was because he didn't want to see Bruno in the toilet, but I really doubt it. Sounds a me. Don't you love bad puns?

I couldn't resist capturing my feelings....well....I was kinda bored. Didn't he have a beautiful bowl? my heart.

I hope you can be still be my fish in heaven. (This is really true.)
Luckily, we still have Dakota!
Watching for squirrels.
Moving on. I got my first paying piano gig! Yahoo! It feels really good actually, since I always play the piano for free....and now I'll be getting paid. You are looking at the assistant accompaniest for Springfield High School's Spring Musical! I'm really excited because I'll be able to be a part of SHS Theater again, at least in some small way. I really would have done it for free, but they offered.....and.....I couldn't say no, because I'm going to have to spend MANY hours practicing 280 pages of music. They'll be performing, "Dam# Yankees." Is it a bad sign that the show title has a curse word? NAH!

Anti-Stepford-Wife-itis. I DO NOT want to clean, cook, or get ready. I am still doing these things....well.....less cooking......but I'm so sick of getting ready! Why did someone have to invent the hairdryer, and hair straightener, and make-up, and all this crud? Why can't we be all-natural like guys? But, sadly, I am SO ACCUSTOMED to smooth, straight hair, and a lightly "painted" face that I dare not go ANYWHERE w/o it. Except for those late night trips to get a red-box or animal crackers (love 'em) where you inevitably run into someone you haven't seen for a long time. Why can't haggard be the new beautiful? Yeah....I don't see that happening any time soon.

So....the primary president must have read my last blog, because I have a new calling. I'm the Primary Chorister! Those poor little children. JK. I think I'm doing okay, and it has been going really well so far. I'm already doing silly things like wearing aprons and conducting with spatulas. We currently have 10 sunbeams, and at the beginning of the year, we'll have 10 NEW sunbeams....oh boy....and that's all I'm gonna say.
Like I said, I was bored, and I don't really like watching TV.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I Have the MOST Embarassing Calling.

I’m pretty sure that I currently hold the potentially most embarrassing calling in the ward. Luckily I have grown to love it, and have become decent enough at it to ward off any future disasters (at least I hope so), but I thought this may uplift some of you who may not be feeling too great about the calling you have.

Ward Organist.

About 2 years ago I accepted this call, having played piano for most of my life, and the organ for none of it. Let’s just say the organ takes much more brain power than the piano, and if you mess up, EVERYONE KNOWS, except for the people who sing so loud that they can only hear themselves. Hurrah for them.

Embarrassing moment
I’m playing the sacrament hymn, things are going swimmingly as I am concentrating as much as humanly possible, making sure my feet and fingers are all playing the right notes, at the right time, at the right volume. Oy yoi yoi. At the end of verse 3, I stop and go to sit down, and breath a small sigh of relief. Then I realize that the congregation has just taken a simultaneous deep breath, preparing to sing the 4TH VERSE!!! I turn around in horror to see all these wide-open mouths, waiting to sing, but unable, because I ended on verse 3, and not verse 4. Yah…..whoops. I got back on the bench and finished, a little traumatized, but we all made it safe and sound.

Embarrassing moments involving the volume pedal.
With the organ, you don’t have the luxury of controlling the volume of a note with how light or hard you touch the key. The only thing that affects the volume of the organ is the volume pedal. So, not only are you playing all the base notes with your feet, you have to adjust the volume with your feet in between everything else. The BIG problem is that every time you set the volume before you play, you can’t really tell how loud it’s going to be, you can guess, but you’ll only know until you start playing the intro. Talk about being set up for embarrassing moments.
I remember the time that I thought I had set the volume to a nice, soft level, when I go to play the first notes and blast everyones’ ears out. What a great way to invite the spirit! Everyone ofcourse started laughing, and later made appreciative comments about how I helped “wake them up.”
Or the time after that, when I wanted to be extra cautious, I set the volume really low, thinking I could raise it during the song. Well, the base line was so, “all over the place” that I couldn’t manage to get to the volume pedal, and everyone was singing in this ridiculous whisper because of it. When I decided to forego a few base notes to get to the volume pedal, I hit it too hard and WAHHHH!!!! Hello organ! Everyone was blasted again! Totally embarrassing! “Ha ha, that silly organist is at it again.”

Embarrassing moment
On the way back to my seat, walking down the steps from the stand, my shoe decides to slide off the edge, catapulting me down toward the sacrament table. Miraculously, I did not land on all fours, but did attract the attention of the 1st counselor who was conducting, and ofcourse he had to make some comment about the incident, attracting the attention of all those who may have missed it.

Or there was the time I started playing the sacrament hymn before the high councilmen did the callings and releasings that he was supposed to do. The whole bishopric turned around to look at me, I froze, looked at the confused congregation (who I thought seriously looked embarrassed for me), and stopped, laughing it off. I was just so anxious to play, “Again We Meet Around the Board,” that I couldn’t help myself!

Or there are the times when you accidentally hit a key while someone is speaking. Luckily, I haven’t done it when the bishop asks if anyone is opposed to someone receiving a calling……”Any opposed, please make the same sign, “ “Wah” says the organ. “Well EVERYBODY, apparently Sr. Durfee is opposed.”

Also, I am SOOOO bad at intros to the songs. They are awful, and that’s the only part that people are just listening, not singing. It had been a train wreck too many times, and don’t ask me how the congregation finds their first note.

I also must apologize to any tenors in our ward, because if I have to skip a note because my brain can’t process everything quick enough, your note is always the first to go.

Luckily, I have improved A LOT since I was first called, and Chad doesn’t have to be quite as ashamed at church anymore….jk. But seriously, there is no other calling that can lead to as many embarrassing moments as the ward organist. But honestly, now I really do like my calling. Some people know me as the “piano lady” because I’m the ward organist, primary pianist, and choir accompaniest (I could be mute, and no one would know. Also, please don’t think I’m bragging about my callings or some other silliness). Unfortunately, when I think of “piano lady” I imagine this scary old lady with long arm hair, and moles in weird places. Don’t ask me why….and I don’t fit the bill, people!

I would like to thank my parents for giving me piano lessons for so long. That sentence had no sarcasm in it. I truly am grateful. But to all those closet pianists out there, WE WILL FIND YOU, and you WILL PLAY THE ORGAN ONE DAY!!! MOO ha ha.

On a side note, I'm not hinting to anyone that I want to be released. I am perfectly content.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Where is my brain on/off button?

Do you ever wish you could turn your stinkin' brain off?! I just want to say, zip it!!! Sometimes my mind is such a mess of random thoughts it makes me feel like I've had a really busy day, but it was really just normal, and my brain was busy. "Brain....just chill out. Can't you just relax and listen to those annoying cars passing by, which are abnormally loud cuz the street is wet?"

Okay, in hopes of a somewhat relaxing weekend, I am going to spew this random babble from my brain, into my blog, so maybe it will stop bothering me. Hopefully it's somewhat amusing, because I'm a weirdo, and weirdos are typically somewhat fun to laugh at....or with... : )

I am a vacuum. I am hungry all the time! Why?!!! I just want to eat, and not be hungry 2 hours later. I hate having to think about what I need to eat all the time, because all I want is bread with various toppings. Can't I just stay full, or have a chef to cook everything? Cooking is fun and all, but not when you have to do it so often, AND clean up every single stupid pot or utensil or plate or bowl you used to make it.

I have started incorporating songs into my daily chores. Call it the Snow White syndrome. For example, the song, Neverending Story....well, when I'm doing the laundry, I'll sing, Never Ending Laundry...da da da da da da da da da....or it can also apply to dishes. Or today I came up with a great one, you know the primary song, Pioneer children sang as they walked, and walked....and walked.......well, I say, Jessica Durfee sang as she cleaned, and cleaned, AND CLEANED!!!!! How on earth is there so much to clean when only 2 people and 1 dog live here?!!! How?!!! It seriously baffles me.

Okay, sorry to all the seamstresses out there, but why do you like sewing? How is it fun? I don't get it. You have to make all these tiny cuts, and pin all these stupid things together, and little pieces of thread get everywhere, and almost every time I make something, I have to get the seam ripper out!!! I only sew because I can make things cheap, because I'm obsessed with saving money.

I love when people laugh out loud when they're reading books.

Sometimes I get so sick of being nice to people at work, because it doesn't pay off. They're just rude to you anyway, and complain about stupid stuff like not being able to have lawn ornaments by their I seriously had to negotiate with this lady who wanted to put up a squirrel figurine, a wind chime, a swan planter, another squirrel plant stand, and this stupid bee whirly-gig. I try not to talk about work on my's hard sometimes. I have some stories that would kill you.

How bad is the economy going to get? Everyone is ALWAYS talking about it, and I'm thinking about it way too much. It's gonna get ugly, I'm practically sick of waiting for it to get REALLY bad. Can't it just get really bad now, and we can all live in boxes already?

Food Storage. I am so confused. I'm not sure what to store, but I know we need more. But then I don't want to rush into it because I don't want to buy something we'll never eat.

Why do the scuzziest and filthiest people hang out at family parks? Can't we have a park just for them, labeled, "this park is for those who want to smoke pot, or haven't showered in a fortnight, or scare little children, or scare adults." Jk. We take Dakota to this adorable park behind a new subdivision, and yesterday these freaky people started screaming when I passed by them. Then they chased down 2 boys riding their bikes. Why did these mad-hat ruffians have to prove they were falling off the edge of psychosis? The mullets, slouchy posture, ugly and feak leather jackets, and constant outbursts of "hey man," already gave it away.

Head over heels. That phrase does not make any sense!!! Am I missing something? Your head is always over your heels. When people say that, I picture someone swooning so hard over some dreamboat, that they faint, and their "heels" go over their head. Shouldn't it be, "Heels over head" then?

Wow, I really feel better. See what an odd, tangled web my mind can create? I honestly feel like a weight has been lifted....I can stop thinking about those things now and move onto....weekend bliss!!! Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cafe Yumm is knocked off!

I'm a stud....well to put it more humbly, I'm proud of myself right now. : ) That's better. I didn't rob Cafe Yumm....literally.....just sorta......I was just being proactive about my situation.....someone else started it. A total stranger, ripped off their Yumm Sauce recipe, posted it on their blog, I found it, and have since used it to my advantage. That's all. : )

Recently, I finally convinced Chad to go to Cafe Yumm with me. It was quite a feat considering it's vegetarian food and he's a complete guy's guy. But Cafe Yumm is very mainstream for vegesaurus food, which is probably why they are popping up everywhere like the spiders near my front door. Don't ask me how many spiderwebs Chad has run into while walking from the garage to our front least I think it's funny. Anyway, back to the Yumm story. For him, vegetarian food = hippie food, or weird chic food. I once tried to get him into Laughing Planet Cafe, yeah right! Once he saw there was no meat on the menu and half the customers had dreadlocks and exposed, hairy armpits, he begged to leave. So, you can now understand why it has taken me a few years to get Chad into Cafe Yumm.

For any who don't know, Cafe Yumm specializes in "Yumm bowls" which feature, rice, beans, and Yummy sauce, with toppings (diced tomato, avocado slices, olives, shredded cheese, and sour cream), all served warm. Yumm+MMmmmmmmmm. And Chad concurred!!!! Ha! When we were done, we wanted more. Chad said, "I bet we could make this at home." I said, "I know....we just need the recipe for the sauce and the rest would be as easy as falling asleep in Sacrement Meeting on High Council dad-in-law just got called to the High Council so I had to put a wise-crack in.

Well, I did it. I can make a Yumm bowl from scratch, and I mean, SCRATCH scratch. The best part is that the main ingredients are rice and beans.....hello....perfect for food storage and super cheap, and tasty, and easy, and the list goes on.

First I found the sauce knock-off recipe online. It had some funky stuff in it, but it turned out great. Among the ingredients were garbonzo beans, and soybeans. The first time I used canned garbonzos and silken tofu....but I knew I could get the recipe to be much cheaper by using dry beans, and cooking them myself.

Armed with the internet and my cooking skills I bought dry beans in bulk from WinCo, dirt cheap man. I had NO IDEA how to make my black beans go from dry, to the kind in the can. I knew they had to be soaked, and I thought that was it. So I soaked them overnight. When I sampled them in the morning, they were chewable, but not like normal beans....eeek. So I soaked them another embarrassing. (oh yeah, one of the tubs overfilled onto the counter because I didn't know how much the beans expanded) The next day, they tasted exactly the same. But luckily the internet rescued me, and taught me that I have to cook them.....oh dear.....that should have been obvious. I cooked them in some water for an hour on the stove, and my beans were like canned beans, but cheaper! So now, I can make Yumm bowls with my beans from food storage.

So, Cafe Yumm, I regret to inform you that I will no longer be your customer, but I will always admire your modern dining areas, and your ability to make "hippie-food" popular among the masses.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Crater Lake

This summer, Chad and I took a weekend trip to Crater Lake. Neither of our families are big on camping, so we had ever been there....which I felt was pretty shameful. Crater Lake is famous around the world after all! But we still didn't really know what to expect. HOLY MOSES!!! It's AMAZING!!! We couldn't believe our eyes! I didn't know water could be that least not in America. I thought I would have to see Grecian oceans to see water that blue, but nope! After our excursion, I consider Crater Lake to be the sapphire of the northwest. Why didn't people tell us how beautiful it was?!
Okay, I always thought water was the color of the sky (cuz water reflects what the sky looks like)....but that is not entirely true. An information board explained why Crater Lake is so blue, and then I remembered that I had learned about it in middle school....tehe. So, I'm going to try to explain it, cuz it's so cool, but I know it will be confusing...but you just have to know how it works....cuz the world is so neat! Basically, colors are bouncing around everywhere, and we can't see them. Colors are constantly hitting everything. Let's say they hit your red car. The paint in your car has tons of different elements/chemicals etc, and it absorbs all the colors except for RED, the red is refracted back, and that is why your car looks red, because all the other colors were absorbed (i don't know how, but the red bounces back to your eye. I hope that generally makes sense, I'm not an expert. Anyway, let's apply this to Crater Lake. At the bottom of the lake rests weird elements and chemicals that absorb all colors except blue, so the color bouncing back into our eyes, is blue. Hurrah!
It was surreal.
Phantom Ship, see it?
Can you believe that's water?
Closer angle of Phantom Ship.

We had planned to ride our bikes around the lake.....yeah right!!!! Tons of websites had advertised bike we took our bikes. You would be a serious nutter if you rode your bike there. The road is SOOOO thin (I made Chad drive), and STEEP (I don't think we could have even gotten over half of those hills on bikes...torture!), plus you can rarely see the lake from it.....LAME! Basically, all you can do there is hike. Cool, I LOVE to hike.....Chad on the other hand hikes because I like it. Weird huh? I thought all guys liked hiking....isn't it supposed to be the other way around, where the hubby is always trying to convince the wife to go hiking, then he learns to never take her cuz she complains too much? (Chad didn't complain though) So, I saw this really cool trail, and I convinced Chad to take it. It wasn't even bad, plus we got incredible views.

It was a great little getaway. But because there was only hiking, and no biking, we only stayed one night (instead of 2) so we could get back to our We took her to the coast the next day instead.
Isn't he cute?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


So....I went to visit my sister in Bellevue, Washington in June, and I still haven't posted anything about it. tehe. I took the train. Not only was it a bargain, but I LOVED IT!!! It was so relaxing. I liked it so much, I would take a trip just for the train ride. Plus, all the train stations have these intricate architectural details. I love the charm of old architecture, and the train stations certainly don't disappoint.
This is where my sister, Nicole, works. It's like living in a just gleams. She works in this huge design showcasing place, where tons of designers display their pieces ranging from light fixtures, to furniture, to fabric, carpet, rugs, everything you can think of...I think it's 5 stories high, and brimming with the most gorgeous things you could ever imagine.
So, Bellevue is Seattle's eastside neighbor. I know they call Seattle the Emerald City, but its more like Water World. Everywhere you turn there is water, whether it's fountains, bays, waterfalls,'s ever-flowing and glistening. This is a picture taken from the road Nicole drives on everyday to get to work. Serene!
More water.

Here I am at the FIRST Starbucks ever!!! Although I don't drink coffee, and I'm sure there are plenty of bad things about Starbucks, I do appreciate how they brought the coffeeshop lifestyle to America. I love to sit in their modern cafes and read while drinking tea. They have really been able to make it popular in the US, and not just Europe.
What do you know, another fountain!
And another one
And another Bellevue. This is among the most beautiful parks ever!!!
This fountain is close to the space needle, and music project. Surrounding it are all these really unique benches. We couldn't resist a photo shoot.

Snow-qual-me falls. I don't know how to spell it, but that's how it's pronounced.

What a fun time!!! I want to go back and visit! I love Bellevue! Thank you Choles!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ode to my lost chum

My dearest chum, Amy, has left. No she isn't dead, she's off to New York for her Master's Degree. Yep, she's a smart cookie.....and we always have fun together. About 10 years ago we founded the

Antiquated Daft Chum Society of Giddy Noodle-Users..... ADCSGNU......"The" Society

We have a handshake, a mantra, and a commitment to being fabulous in every way.....tehe.....we both love cooking, traveling, funny accents, acting, reading, music and other wonderful pastimes. Can you believe we've been friends since 1st grade? Destiny, I tell ya.

Every year we go to "our spot" on the river, to sunbath, jump in the water off this big log, rampage through orchards, play swamp monster, and have a picnic....with a side of home-canned pickles.

Sadly, we could only do it once this year, and we had to fore-go the picnic, and the sunbathing, and the swimming.....but we still made it!

It was an absolute MUST to have High Tea at Ruthie Bee's before she no brainer

One lump? I'll take 4!
How dare you steal my scone!
Tea cozies double as boxing gloves......I think I could totally take her....well....maybe.
Where's the next course?

These are pics from the river spot. It's a killer to get there (probably a mile walk, but we have to climb over barbed wire, shuffle past blackberry bushes, and nettles, and then we have to cross this marshy area, sinking knee deep in mud and algae (that's where swamp monster comes in), but it's always worth it.

Sad, our only trip for the WHOLE summer. : (
I had to borrow Amy's OLD jeans from when she was more curvy to avoid getting my legs scraped, so I thought I'd try to make myself as ugly as possible in this pic....I think it worked....... : ) Hey good lookin'! We're so cool.....geez......I think we're like the coolest people we know. (Say that last part in a Napoleon Dynamite voice (that's how I intended it, like when he's talking about the picture he drew of that girl.....or the liger.....I think its like the best drawing I've ever like that)