Birthdays and Birds

Jared's birthday was Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving.

I sort of struggled to figure out how I could make the day special for him.
He was in classes for most of the day, and the only place on the bus route I could go to get him presents was a little hardware store with random home goods. Nothing screams "Happy Birthday!" like a tiny rug and a string of ten colored Christmas lights, right?

Good thing both of our parents were able to send gifts down here for him. Jared was genuinely so happy at the end of the day, especially after we got to see Intersteller at the local theater and he opened his presents.
Next year I'll have to remember to go birthday shopping for my guy five months in advance, when we're in America for the summer break.
Thanksgiving, the next day, was another non-traditional event.
Since we're not in America, Jared still had classes, and I had to pick up the slack at work for my co-workers who were busy preparing feasts and celebrating. I was grateful to keep busy though!

There was a moment when I got back from the pool mid-afternoon, after my mom posted a picture on Facebook of two beautiful Thanksgiving pies she had made, when I had a  minor meltdown (nothing dramatic, but clearly this is my first time living far from family). But I immediately Skyped home and then began prepping for our own dinner, and the joy was restored.

 Our Thanksgiving feast was a spread of green beans, mashed potatoes, baked chicken (the price of a turkey, shipped from the states, is an abomination), and cranberry juice. I "slaved" for about an hour and a half in the sweltering heat of our kitchen, listening to the "John Denver & The Muppets" Christmas album on my phone. Jared cleared his study table off and pulled it away from the wall for the special occasion, and we had what was probably the most memorable Thanksgiving dinner of our lives, there in our little bedroom in Grenada.
^^Perhaps not the most beautiful picture, but I feel like it captures the evening just perfectly.
^^Jared in feast mode. We were able to Skype with Jared's extend family and my extended family after dinner (we are grateful for modern technology!) and Jared's shirt perfectly matched my Dad's shirt and my Uncle Bryce's shirt. Aw, family! That was one of the major items on the cue when we went "around the table" a few times and said what we were grateful for. Don't worry, we got that all on film. Haha.


I also wanted to thank all of you who commented on my last post, when I asked for your advice about Macs. Everything you said was so helpful to me! I did a little bit of extra research, and in the end I ended up buying a refurbished MacBook from Because I bought it refurbished, I was able to get a sweet deal on a 17" MacBook Pro. Like, it was much cheaper than the 13-incher I was looking at getting during a Black Friday sale, even if it is an older model.

Once I get it and am able to play on it a bit, I'll let you know how my experience buying refurbished is. If it's bad, then I can return the machine and get a new one, no problem. But if it's a good experience, then man, that's a game changer, because that deal was off the chainnnn.


  1. Joe got a refurbished laptop (PC, not Mac, but still...refurbished!) and it has worked like a dream. No complaints and he's had it for a year!

    PS: Thanks for posting your question and choice because I was panicking that I need to buy a Mac before I graduate and lose the option student pricing forevermore, buuuuuut now I'll look into other options!

    1. Yay! Ya, I felt like rookie asking questions, because apparently everyone else already hopped on the Mac train years ago or something, but I'm ready to see what all the hype is. I'll let you know if it was worth it to buy refurbished!

  2. can we please have a conversation about interstelllar because i have so many questions.
    1. why did they go to the water planet if matt damons planet was the one they thought they could live on???
    2. why did they need the data from the black hole?
    3. so did murphy just like create a spaceship world or something then?

    i assume you and your husband are much smarter than me ahahhha

    1. Um, yes! But actually, I'm still kind of confused so I'm not sure I actually know what I'm talking about :)
      1. Jared says that they thought that the water planet might be livable, even though it wasn't supposed to be good as Matt Damon's. They just went there because it was closest, so if it worked out it would have been better?
      2. I think the black hole was supposed to solve the gravity equation about how it transcends all time. I think they just hoped it would work because they couldn't find the data anywhere else, so he just went for it.
      3. I think so? Haha, I was a little confused about that too. It seems like the earth was about to do so they just made a bunch of good space stations or something.

      But who put the wormhole there?? I know he said a more advanced civilization did, but was it like them in the future? And if so, wouldn't that be a paradox? And if not, why would some random other civilization even put one there? That's what I couldn't get past. I feel like their answer to that was kind of a cop-out.

    2. wait did my last comment go through?

    3. ah my comments aren't going through!!

  3. 1. How is your skin so dewy and magnificent? Also-them hairs.
    2. Chicken is better than turkey. Just saying.
    3. Happy Birthday to Jared. Don't feel lame about your gifts. These are the special times that you remember and laugh about for the rest of your lives. I know Dave and I have a million of these moments. Granted-we don't live in a third world country with breathtaking beaches....
    4. How was interstellar? I had a friend that said it gave her motion sickness. I don't get motion sickness much (I mean, I'm a Disneyland regular, I must have a pretty strong stomach) But I get weirdly claustrophobic in movies.

  4. 1. Thanks!! Ok, I'm not too humble to admit that my skin and hair have gotten really great here. Unfortunately, both come at a price, and that price is insane humidity! It's a good thing my hair and skin have softened up here, because I am unable to wear makeup or "do" my hair, since humidity ruins both.
    2. Normally I'd agree with you, but chicken is the ONLY meat we eat here! I'm ready for a change :)
    3. You are so right! I know that these will be the times we will look back on the most fondly, even though they sometimes seem rough in the moment.
    4. I really liked interstellar! I didn't get motion sickness at all. It was kind of like the feeling in Gravity, but the plot was way better.



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