Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Real Way to a Man's Heart?

I don't actually know. But as it turns out, it is not through his stomach. At least, not with my husband. If that were the case, he would have been off running (probably to the nearest bathroom or garbage can) almost a year ago. The first meal I ever cooked for Brock somehow tasted like a combo of burnt frying pan and "I Can't Believe it's Not Butter" spray. This meal was a bold (yet miserably failed) attempt of me to convince him that I did indeed possess good wife/mother material.

Luckily I've been able to display my maternal/nurturing qualities in other ways. I managed to gain a nice five lbs in just my hips, subconsciously illustrating my fertility. (Most of which lbs were frantically "elliptical machined" off in preparation for the wedding.) Last fall, I somehow found myself regularly babysitting a couple of little kids for literally $5 an hour. If this doesn't show a pure love for the little ones, I don't know what does. I've since been able to help decorate our little newlywed house with a charming mixture of repainted Craigslist gems and particle board Ikea specials. But the cooking thing? Sadly I still don't think I have it down.

Don't get me wrong here-I am not one of those girls who thinks she is too cool to cook. I don't consider it empowering to have so many other important things consuming my glamorous life that I can't possibly stoop to the low level of "kitchen". On the contrary, I love the kitchen. Probably too much. (I mean, my body automatically gravitates to the fridge every time I enter the house.)As much as I would love to put my favorite room of the house to good use, I seriously just seem to have the worst luck when it comes to mixing and heating simple ingredients. No joke- I ruined a salad last night. A salad! You can't tell me there is another human in the world who can somehow take some romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and balsamic dressing and make it taste like a battery. And our nice Sunday dinner last week? I must have had a little too much fun with the sea salt grinder, because our slow simmered pork roast was so salty we each guzzled three powerades before I admitted defeat and dumped it down the trash. I think there is still a charred quesadilla nesting in a bush outside our back door. I frantically threw it out the door the other night after it (and almost the hot pad I removed it with) caught on fire. Our house smelled like a seedy motel for days.

I am not giving up though. This determination comes from a combination of a true desire to develop a useful talent and the sad realization that we can't afford sweet pork salads every night. Luckily where I lack in cooking skills, Brock makes up for in eating skills. And more importantly, kindness and politeness. And a non-existent gag reflex.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How I Might Have Broken International Law... And Other Tales from Our Honeymoon

So I guess I have to face it- I am that girl who just can't say no.

This isn't necessarily because I have no spine, self-esteem, or father figure in my life. I personally like to think my eagerness to please people stems from a deep rooted, Christlike love I innately have for people. Ha ha.

Or maybe I am just a total sucker.

I’ll start at the beginning. For our honeymoon we were able to go on a 7 day Caribbean cruise, made possible by's "hot December deals", my dad's generosity with his frequent flier miles, and the little stash of cash we were able to save by only going to Cafe Rio once a week during the month of December. (A sacrifice, I know.) The cruise ship was absolutely amazing; never before have I enjoyed the presence of so many rich foreigners or soft serve ice cream cones. Our ship’s first stop was on the island of St. Thomas. It was beautiful. But since its main tourist attraction consisted of a rock covered in iguanas and a strip mall of duty-free handbag shops, there wasn’t much for Brock and I to do. Even tax-free, Gucci and Prada purses are a little out of my newlywed price range. (I did however purchase a solid $10 pair of “Mary Kate Olsen-esque” orange sunglasses at some French named boutique on the ship. Much more at my level.) We also went to Aruba, Grenada and Bonaire, where we were entertained aboard a glass bottomed boat by a chain-smoking Dutchman who literally told the same joke at least seven times. He was a gracious tour guide, however, and even provided us with some little melty cheese things and some sort of weird Salmon wrap creation.

The next island, Dominica, was where my refusal skills were truly tested. Dominica is one of those islands where the tourist industry is pretty much the only way for the natives to make money. The island has this beautiful pair of waterfalls which they have whored out completely, turning it into a merchant filled tourist trap. And man, are these merchants aggressive! Most normal people just say no or ignore these people completely when attacked with watered down cologne and novelty keychains. But I always feel the need to stop, humor them and pretend to be interested in the crap they are selling. I don’t know why! I always just feel so bad… I bought a $1 paper flower from a woman who had only about a third of her teeth. Her sales pitch-“it’s for the children!” – is what got me. We somehow ended up in a crucifix adorned tour van, and after being shown the island’s waterfalls, hot springs and random medical school, we thanked our guide and driver with a tip. This is when the driver asked us for a favor. Of course I said yes before even knowing what it was. (See, SO Christlike, right?!) They wanted us to go get them a drink. I figured they probably wanted a Pepsi or Sprite or something. Those tour vans were pretty hot, after all. Then, after looking around and ensuring no eyes were upon us, he sneakily slipped us $18 with instructions to get the large bottle of Bailey’s Original from the duty-free liquor store. The store that the island natives are forbidden to enter. I should have just given back the money and refused to participate in this illegal, immoral transaction. But instead, I just nodded and dragged my astonished, disgusted new husband across the street to the liquor store, while our thirsty tour guides waited anxiously in their van. I’m pretty sure Brock was contemplating a marriage annulment throughout the entire transaction. Who knew his wife had such a lack of integrity? Buying alcohol for our tour guides? Well, maybe if I weren’t so na├»ve, I would have realized that the phrase “buy us a drink” only refers to Pepsi in Provo, Utah.

Luckily the little exchange went off without a hitch and we were soon back on the cruise ship, sailing away from Dominica forever. Brock still loves me, despite my momentary lack of sound judgement. So far, no customs authorities have tracked us down. Let’s just hope this blog doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, huh?

It's time to face it. I am now a mature, married grown-up. I am somebody's wife, for heaven's sake! It's high time I learn to "just say no."

Here are a few (possibly incriminating) pictures of the honeymoon:

Brock kept wanting to take pictures of the cruise ship. Every time it docked. Because you know, maybe one of these times it's going to suddenly look very different.

My cute husband and a not so cute iguana.

No, I didn't feel the need to wear makeup that day. Or any other day, come to think of it.

Snorkeling. The Dutch guy with the crappy jokes and salmon snacks took this picture.

Glass bottomed boat. It was advertised as once belonging to a friend of Jacques Cousteau. Probably the most claustrophobic, yet scientific, I have ever felt in my life.

Brock posing by ye olde historic artillery. I sheepishly discovered recently that I have been using the word "artillery" wrong my entire life. No, it is not a ranking you earn in the military. Actually, the sheer fact that I have been casually incorporating "artillery" into conversations is also quite embarrassing.

See the dollar bill in this snake charmer's hand? I told you- Dominica has literally whored out all natural beauty their island has to offer.

Turns out, fake coconut is much better than the real stuff.

Dominican waterfall. This was right before I fell off a slippery rock.

And post slippery rock. This picture doesn't do it justice. It was quite the battle wound.

And finally, caught in the act. In case any former/present church leaders, parents or particularly saintly acquaintances see this, I DIDN'T DRINK A DROP! And I'll never support anyone else's consumption either. Promise.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Official Consummation of My Marriage (don't worry, it's not what you think...)

Well I guess this makes it official.

I am now a full on dinner-prepping, bed-sharing, (and most importantly) blog-posting married woman. Because after all, everyone knows that starting the token "married couple blog" is the real way to consummate a marriage these days.

I've been Mrs.Sargent for exactly 3 weeks now, over which weeks I've acquired the following:

4 crock pots
1,300 baking sheets
1 wallet that won't snap shut, due to the large volume of Target gift cards within (not complaining)
1 decent tan/sunburn
5 lbs of extra body fat (a sarcastic thank you to the Caribbean Princess Cruise Ship and its sugar and trans fat laced buffet spread)
57 kitchen appliances (and most importantly, a new found desire to use them)
1 Costco membership
2 sisters (this is a very exciting first for me)
0 UTIs (sorry to be graphic, but I proudly feel this is something worth noting)
1 new (and most importantly) normal last name

Oh, and most importantly- the best husband I could ever ask for.

I promise I won't get too cheesy here, but really- so far this whole "being a wife" thing has been amazing. I feel really lucky to be where I am in life. I guess I feel like getting married to Brock somehow validates every past decision-good or bad- that I have ever made. Because that combination of decisions led me here. And this is exactly where I want to be.

Now, to make things even. What did Brock acquire out of all this?

2 wedding bands (1 nice one, 1 cheap CTR ring for backup... or for when we meet the prophet and want to impress him with our dedication to the Lord and each other)
1 shower full of girlie products (and probably hair balls- I'm sorry ladies, but when it comes to bathroom cleanliness, I'm convinced boys are actually neater than us)
1 iTunes account full of Gossip Girl downloads
1 large dresser drawer full of lingerie
3.5 billion attempted accents, recycled jokes and strange sound effects, courtesy of his witty and hilarious wife

Like I've always told him, I'm really getting the better end of the deal here.