Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My twin brother's wife

Meet Nate and Venessa Durbano. The newest Mr. and Mrs. Durbano, as of August 24th! Nate is my twin brother, and Venessa is his lovely wife, and my latest and greatest sister-in-law. I had little faith that there was any woman out there in this world that could tame my dear brother, and my testimony in miracles has therefore increased. Venessa did it! She is the sweetest girl I have ever met, and I can confidently say that I think they are perfect for each other. A perfect balance. They got married in the Salt Lake Temple last Friday in the very same sealing room that Rhett and I got married in a few months ago. I thought it appropriate, we being twins and all. A pat on the back to my parents for hosting two weddings in their yard in one summer. The yardwork has been extensive. (I sculpted the hedges with a chainsaw, I'm very proud to say)
Venessa is from Burley, Idaho, and so they had a formal reception up there on Saturday night. I've never seen such a picturesque setting. Her family lives right on the Snake river, their backyard has a dock that they pull the boat up to, and they wakeboard in their backyard! It's amazing.
And let me just illustrate how cool Venessa is: She was wakeboarding ONE HOUR prior to her reception.

She's good enough that she didn't even get her hair wet. This is her getting back INTO the boat, after doing little jumps off the wake and everything. Dry hair and a smile.

Then I got cocky and thought, I can do that. Into the river I go, certain that I can also wakeboard without getting my hair wet. Not so. I faceplanted it.


But I will say that once my hair was good and wet, there was no sense in holding back, so I tried to go for a good jump. I'm not very good at wakeboarding tricks - so far I've pretty much mastered getting 6 inches of air and I've been quite proud of that accomplishment. But there on the Snake River, I broke my air record, as documented below.

PS I landed it.
Overall, it was an amazing weekend. We had such a good time boating with Venessa's family, and the reception was beautiful.

Here's Rhett and I on the boat. Rhett went waterskiing after I went wakeboarding, but I didn't get any pictures of him because they dropped me off immediately to jump in the shower and try to get ready in time for the reception. Sorry Rhett!
Here's to the happy couple! Don't they look good together?

Love you guys!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

and yet I survived

I was just attacked by a large jumping insect. It looked like a combination between a cockroach and a cricket. It must have been a loco Vegas hybrid. It had huge antennae, about 2 inches long. I realize that I should have snapped a picture so that this new species could be identified by bug scientists, but in the heat of battle there is little time for a photo shoot. The sneaky little devil was hiding in the folds of the hand towel in the bathroom, and when I went to dry my hands, that's when he sprang toward me. Clearly an experienced assassin, he went straight for the throat. But little did he know that I also had a weapon - my high-pitched shrieking and flailing of limbs frightened him into retreat. Like a true coward, he tried to hide, but he could not escape the trap of the tupperware that awaited him. I captured this intruder and sent him to a watery grave down the toilet. Experience has taught me that sometimes the vilest of creepy insects have an advantage over the surface tension of the water, so I saw to it that he was covered by a blanket of toilet paper to crush that advantage. Genious, I know! My only regret is that he did not live to tell his friends about the certain destruction that awaits if they ever try a stunt like that again.

I miss the rain

Today it is pouring rain in Las Vegas. This is the first time I've seen the rain here, and I realized I really miss the rain. This is also the first time I've thought it was pretty down here. Honestly, the brown-as-far-as-the-eye-can-see landscape is not much to speak of. But now with a backdrop of dark grey clouds, the treeless mountain plateaus surrounding this valley look more red than brown, and the wet dirt has become shiny. The desert is pretty today. And the rain is loud. I love that. Our patio covering has metal shingles, which turn each drop into a percussion performance, mixed with distant thunder.
I have always loved the rain, and I really love the rain in Utah - a good summer thunderstorm with fantastic lightning displays is my favorite. Sometimes I'll position a chair in front of a window with a good view and stay up for hours watching the lightning late at night. I love the smell of rain, like the earth is somehow renewed and clean again. I love the rain in the fall when the leaves are changing colors and the mountains start turning their vivid colors in a pattern that reminds me of rainbow sorbet. I love watching the raindrops land in puddles, especially when there are puddles inside the fallen leaves scattered on the lawn. The rain makes me want to have tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch.
The rain gets me reminiscing. These are 3 rainy memories that came to my mind today:
1) In elementary school when it would rain, my next door neighbor Angie and I would get blankets and take them out to the little wooden fort/swingset in my backyard and seek shelter underneath the 6-foot plastic tarp that served as a roof. We would each bring our favorite book and try to read as much as we could before the rain stopped, although we probably did more giggling than reading.
2) On the day before my wedding - the morning of the wedding barbeque - frantically putting up tents in the yard for hours in the heavy rain/hail when I should have been getting ready for the events. I will forever be grateful to my mom for clearing out the entire stock of banquet tents at Sam's Club that morning, and to the strong and organized help of my dad and brothers, my soon-to-be in-laws, the helpful neighbors who came over without being asked, and of course my fiance. It was a cold day and a cold rain, but for some reason the task was enjoyable thanks to the happy smiles and helpful hands of everyone there. And no doubt thanks to the prayers of my friends and loved ones, the rain cleared up that evening for a couple hours - just long enough to have a little barbeque, before it started raining again. It was perfect.
3) Probably my favorite rain memory for the rest of my life was in Mexico on the island of Cozumel in May of this year. Rhett and I were there on our honeymoon. We had enjoyed an entire week of gorgeous sunny weather. Then on the last evening before we left, the rain clouds rolled in. It was like you'd see on national geographic, where you can literally watch the wall of water sweep in like a curtain. It was a terrential tropical downpour. Like many of the resorts in Mexico, our hotel was mostly open to the outdoors, so to get from our room to the restaraunt, we had to run through the landscaped jungle paths, through the courtyard and past a couple of pools. The rainfall was the kind that left us completely drenched after 3 seconds; we might as well have been standing in the shower fully dressed. So after dinner, since we were completely soaked, we decided to embrace the rain rather than running from it like the squealing ladies scurrying to their rooms, trying to squeeze 4 women under one umbrella. We changed into our swimming suits and ran full-speed down to the beach to try to catch the cloudy sunset. (PS you can't see the sunset when it's completely overcast.) We pranced around in the rain like children, practicing our leaps, racing on the sand, and pushing each other into the ocean. Even though it was a warm rain, it must have been a degree or two cooler than the ocean because the contrast made the ocean feel like a hot tub. It was exhilerating and truly delightful. We'd frolic around on the beach until we felt cold, then huddle in the ocean to get warm, then run around again, then jump in the ocean, and back and forth until it started getting dark. With what light was left in the sky, we ran from the beach through the jungle paths back toward our room, passing a couple of swimming pools on the way. No sense in going around them, we had to dive through the pools (or cannonball into them), which also felt like hot tubs compared to the rain. Holding hands and running and singing and skipping and laughing through the rain, we looked like a couple of fools in love. And that we were.

Some friends are demanding

Some friends are demanding. Take my friend Jessi, for example. We were roommates for years, and yet to my amazement I do not make her "blogs I heart" list. Heartbroken was I. And so, to save the friendship, I struck a deal: If I display a picture of her on MY blog, she adds MY blog to HER list. Like I said... demanding.

That's Jessi there on the left. Although instructed by the photographer to be a love tiger, she instead went for the rattlesnake move, (certainly stolen from the dark-haired twin of Bette Midler in that one movie where they're twins... anyone know the reference or the movie? It's late and I can't think of it and I don't care to look it up.) Regardless of her modeling abilities, I still think this shot captures the essence of Jessi. And I think we can all agree that Shanna wins the prize for best love tiger.

Now a behind the scenes explanation of the picture. Once upon a time a couple of winters ago, my blonde roommates and I went to a party at this house with the colorful walls. The owner of this bed instructed us not to go into his room under any circumstances. He was embarrassed that it was dirty, with good reason, I might add. It was dirty. For this reason, this particular UofU med student with the intials DD will not be named. And so the photo shoot and pillow fight that followed is how we entertained ourselves once he left us alone near his bedroom door. We showed him the pictures later. That was a great party.