19 January 2011

make art make.

our fall-over-sleep-under-a-joshua-tree campsite at joshua tree nat'l park. yes, it was legal.
during our grand tour of four california national parks this summer, one of our stops was joshua tree. now, i previously gushed about how i love everything desert. but ben had a different take.

he loved how the trees got their name. legend has it mormon immigrants thought the yucca's limbs resembled joshua's arms raised toward heaven. while we are NOT mormon (we are christian—they are NOT the same thing), ben appreciated how the immigrants' minds were so god-focused, they gave the plant a biblical name.

later, he went on to name sequoias something from revelation.

for our anniversary, ben and i go all out on presents. since it's so close to xmas, we usually forgo gifts for dec 25 and save up for jan 7. i knew he really wanted this book, so that was easy. then i decided to finally print our wedding pictures to fill a collage frame (let's all shake our heads together that it took so long). but what else? for fun, i googled the traditional and modern anniversary gifts. (sidenote: the traditional present for the first anniversary is paper—so my mom, creative genius that she is, sent us origami paper that year. SO COOL!) well, for the fifth, the modern present was silverware. BORING. "here, honey, eat with these." plus, we already have a beautiful set from my grandparents. but the traditional gift for the fifth? WOOD. perfect.

i knew just what to make. i spotted this last fall, and filed it as to-do-someday (along with 7.2 billion other projects).

for my take, i inverted the colors—ivory to warm black. also, i used some found weather-beaten pallets instead of wood flooring. 

my dad would be happy—i even got to buy a new tool. my very own x-acto knife. (actually it's a stanley, but whatevs. it's like kleenex. everything's kleenex even if you use puffs with lotion. like i do. because my nose is delicate. stop laughing.)

i was incredibly happy with the outcome. ben was, too. gotta love a man who likes his art rustic.

soon, we'll bring it in from outside (joke) and hang in our freshly painted medium taupe brown living room. very excited.

and what did ben get me? peach roses, a cinnabon breakfast in bed, the killers live from albert hall dvd&cd and the entire border trilogy by cormac mccarthy, neatly bound in one swanky volume. with its own attached ribbon bookmark. (it's own attached ribbon bookmark!)

i'm in love.

15 January 2011

we are now in the golden land.

 image by TheVoiceThatSaid
ben and i celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary on jan 7. how fun to reach a landmark number! how did i know it was a landmark number? well, because card makers sell special "fifth anniversary" cards, that's why. but in all seriousness, it's been a good five years. it started out pretty rough (starting life together on a reservation far from home and friends can do that to ya) but we've gone through much and are currently in our honeymoon phase. yes, it took four years to get there. but i'd trade a rough four-year start for (god willing) 60 more years of fun with your best friend.

the lead image sums it up pretty well. i never knew marriage could be this nice. or maybe i did—on jan 6 2006. but real life hits and sometimes it hits hard. i remember when ben and i were dating in college. my dad was talking to me, and made a comment about how "didn't we feel like we could change the world?" i remember thinking, "wait—that goes away?" and it does, for a time. but it returns, in a subtler, richer way.

ben and i have a friend who's in college right now. and he's questioning everything. i love people who question everything. and i loved my own season of questioning in college. what made it all the more interesting (and i say interesting in a slow voice) was that my own season collided with the toughest years of my marriage. yes. very interesting.

i was married for 2-1/2 of my college years. it was tough. i got lots of flack from students for being "so young." blah blah blah. i felt some were standoffish because i was "that married woman." i remember being angry when my friends and acquaintances saw me, the question was never "how is your art?" or "how is your faith?" it was always, always "how is married life?" i was pegged. and i hate pegs. like how here animal shelters and free puppy givers are prejudiced against us because we live on the reservation. surely a puppy can't be safe on reservation. (have you met my happy, healthy dog?) frankly, i care less if people think i'm crazy because i live on a reservation. i really. don't. care. but i am offended when people assume it makes me a bad puppy parent. just like how i was offended when i was treated as the "other" in college. just for choosing my mate "early."

but i have zero regrets. none. while ben and i had some really dark years, we are now in the light. i say that in the full spiritual and emotional sense. we have come to the other side, and it is very, very beautiful.

i love you, my best friend.

taken 3 aug 2010 at the jefferson nat'l expansion memorial (aka st louis arch)