deep down

Here’s what our weekend was like.

Friday night was the first high school football game. Jace went. With his friends. It was a proud moment for me. He has normal friends and is doing normal high school things. The schools our here are like something out of a movie. You know, the one where everyone has a role in school—athlete, cheerleader, really smart kid—and the whole city goes to football games [unless the tickets are already sold out, of course. because that actually happens here] because football is such a big deal. It’s crazy. Almost a little Stepford Wives form of perfect. But in a good way.

Saturday morning started bright and early. We fell back into our routine of Saturday cleaning. Grass mowed, cars washed, floors mopped and vacuumed, garage cleaned (okay, that chore may have been frequently skipped in our old house), the works.

In the afternoon was feeling a little ambitious, so I baked some apple pies. Actually I’m not really that ambitious. I just needed to know which recipe tasted the best. So I tried three different ones.


I really enjoy baking, but I’m a pretty obnoxious cook. I like to pretend that loud music makes my food taste better, so I have my speakers cranked up and my iPod is perpetually covered in flour. I’m also overly strict about allowing people into the kitchen while I’m baking. I hate people traipsing around in my workspace because I’m a possessive control freak. A little bit.

On the other hand, my control disorder (is that a real thing? if it is, I may be at risk..) has led to me being a pretty decent cook. I relish in having complete control, in working carefully and precisely, in watching a big pile of ingredients turn into something beautiful.


I find comfort in the rhythm of baking, the way I can steadily peel, core, and slice apples, measure flour, blend things together. The way I don’t even focus on what I’m doing, I just do it.


I love the smell of cinnamon on my fingers; it smells the way I think fall should. It brings excitement as I remember that fall is right around the corner. Normally I’m all about summer and sunshine, but living in this sweltering heat has changed that. I’m excited for my first real fall, for the weather to cool off and to wear scarves and jackets and to eagerly anticipate snowy days where apple pies will be completely appropriate.


Perhaps the rarest aspect of my affinity towards being in the kitchen is the gratification I find in cleaning up after myself. I look forward to cleaning up my mess afterwards, because I think doing dishes is as enjoyable as cooking is.



Cooking and cleaning are both therapeutic for me. I can be busy doing things but have my mind occupied elsewhere. When my hands are mindlessly occupied is when I can think the best, when my mind is most clear. I love seeing things start as a disorganized mess and slowly come together into a delicious pie or a clean stack of dishes or a freshly washed and waxed car.


I think my mom enjoys that I enjoy it. Ha.


Saturday night my mom was feeling spontaneous. We needed a few more ingredients for our Sunday feast, necessitating yet another run to Wal-Mart. We schlepped Kenyan and Aria in their pajamas, and between them and me…well…were looking pretty homely. As we passed the jewelry counter my mom saw a sign for ear piercing and decided that both Kenyan and Aria needed to have their ears pierced. Right then. It didn’t matter that it was late or that she’d been planning to have Kenyan get it done in a different state or that we were at Wal-Mart for goodness’ sake. Nope, it was going to be done. The girls were thrilled. And a little shocked. But mostly thrilled. Actually, there was quite a range of emotions:

There was joy.


There was fear.


There was drama.


There was a little bit of pain.


But mother was there to hold their hands, so it was all okay.


Then there was pure delight.


And a tiny bit of eye watering. Yep.


Interrupting the squeals of joy were frequent proclamations of “I love you momma!” and “You’re the best, momma!”IMG-20110827-02876Earrings aside, she is the best.


Look at those faces. Pure joy.

Sunday we had the missionaries over for dinner, crossing another task off of our list of things-that-make-home-feel-like-home. It was the second official dinner we’ve hosted here, cooked completely by yours truly. {If you ever need a boost of self esteem, whip up a three course meal for thirteen people and let the praise roll in. It’s good for the soul.}

Aside from my family, these people know my cooking best:


They and their two sons have been staying with us since we got back to Utah (and they’ve since decided to move to Lubbock. Crazies.) and have been keeping us company. They’ve been a nice distraction from things—they’re interesting, they’re entertaining, there was never a dull moment with them around. However, Sunday night they put an end to our late night runs around town and long talks and random assortment of foods and midnight movie marathons by moving into their own house.Pictures1

Our house has seemed empty and quiet since then. Good thing their new house is just around the corner.

This weekend was spent in the company of so many good people. Texans are pretty friendly, and we know a lot of good people who like to just drop by. I was never really a fan of unexpected visitors until I moved here and my perspective changed. I love it. I love that people come by to say hi, to check on us, to see how our day is going. I’m always saddened when they leave, but brightened by the prospect of them coming back tomorrow.


Because they usually do.

the browns

[Okay, disclaimer. I had to draw this because I never have any pictures of them. They don’t really look anything like this in real life. And they usually have clothes on. But oh well. Please don’t be offended, Browns.]


And they always just make each day better than the last.

[Title from Heaven Can Wait by We the Kings]


  1. Okay so where's the winning pie recipe? Mine are all very par. I have one that I'm waiting to try from a man who makes about 3 apple pies a week and is famous for them. I'm a little scared to make pie crust. So tempermental. If I could live anywhere Texas is at the top of the list. I've always loved big hair, big cars, and...big men. Christy

  2. "I love seeing things start as a disorganized mess and slowly come together into a delicious pie or a clean stack of dishes or a freshly washed and waxed car"...

    Bridian, you are more than welcome to come join us in Portland anytime you want!!!! We'll make sure to let you organize/bake/do the dishes to your heart's content! ;-)

  3. I mean I already knew we would be best friends, but after reading this post there is no way we couldn't be :) I feel almost the EXACT same way about cooking and cleaning! and I love to bake things that take a long time like pies and sugar cookies. It is so therapeutic! Hooray for not being the only weird one :)

  4. If you love taking a disorganized mess and turning it into something nice, please consider coming to my house next time you visit south Florida. Ever see the show Hoarders? Imagine fixing a house like that! A dream come true for you! :)

  5. BRIDIAN!!! Those pies look DIVINE!!! That's it. I insist that you come and live at our home for a time...and we can just cook together ALL THE TIME!!! What do you say...I'll even move the baby into my room and you can have your own space! I'm serious here. I'm really really serious!

    Oh and this is Deb not TJ...just sayin.

  6. If you get two comments from me it is because it looks like my first comment didn't get published. Anyways...your apple pie was delicious. I love our picture too. I love that even though I am "naked" I am toothpick thin. Isn't that every woman's dream come true? We are glad y'all are here. You are a blessing to us all. :-)

  7. "I like to pretend that loud music makes my food taste better, so I have my speakers cranked up and my iPod is perpetually covered in flour." Haha I love this! I love this whole post. :) You crack me up, Bridge-I-am!

  8. Why does looking at these little girls getting their ears pierced make me teary eyed? I'm too emotional, hahaha. But it's beautiful to see them so happy. :) I miss your entire family