This is a short I-have-a-work-deadline-in-one-hour-but-I'd-really-rather-blog procrastination break.

Mothers-in-law are so great. It's like, "Sweet, a bonus mom!" And moms are just the best to begin with, so if I'm going to have a bonus anything, I'd say a bonus mom is a pretty good thing to have. Am I right? Anyway, a few reasons why my bonus mom is super rad.

Exhibit A: She gave me this guy:
^^This is the hidden pathway to the secret beach right around the corner from our house

Exhibit B: She wins at birthday presents. See sunglasses below:
(p.s. It's not my birthday--my birthday is in May, but when you live on a remote island without much of an ability to send or receive packages, you take birthday celebrations whenever they can come. A month early, when husband's family happens to be in town? Sure! A month late, when you're back in the states with your family? Of course! Three celebrations for me this year. I'm one lucky lady.)

Exhibit C: She always posts the coolest hairstyle videos to my Facebook page. This is extra special, because usually the only things that show up there are birthday greetings and awkward pictures that Grenada ladies tag me in, in which I am 100% of the time makeup-less and with hair like a cave-woman. (Oh, you haven't noticed those? Whoops, someone must have accidentally untagged me.) 

Ok, so I actually have some pictures of times when I followed said hair tutorials and they worked out swimmingly, but in this post I want to show you the fails. 

Fail #1: Wrap-around ponytail. This probably would have been cool, and it kind of was, but my ponytails in Grenada look like actual, literal, gnarly pony's tails, so I finished it off with a braid and it wasn't nearly as beautiful as the video promised me it would be. I'll try this one again laters:

Fail #2: This is actually my favorite thing. The video shows a really cool knotted ponytail, as is seen on the left. In real life, I had Jared do it for me, and he was acting all proud of himself as he was doing it because he thought he was doing such an awesome job, and then when he was done it looked like the picture on the right. It was the best. Knotted ponytail for sure.

Oh! And this has nothing to do with any of the above, but the other day Jared and I went on a walk to the tide pools, and randomly we turned around and saw this massive black pit bull digging out from under the fence of a nearby yard, and next thing we know it was sprinting at us! So we ran to the tip of the tide pools, where we were completely cornered and had no options for escape, but right as things started to get real scary, the dog's owner saw him and called him back. Good thing, too. I was about read to drop my camera and jump into the ocean.
^^If you squint, you can see a dog politely walking away.

Ok, back to work! Next time I'll share some success stories.

Aren't mothers-in-law swell?

Something I was really excited for before we moved to Grenada was the knowledge that I would in essence have two open years for developing old and new hobbies. I anticipated that I would spend a lot of time writing and blogging (those two sound like the same thing, but they're not) and exercising. Surprisingly, the time I spent doing all three of those things dropped significantly when we moved here. Instead I've been taking care of Mr. Jared and editing and looking longingly at pretty clothes on the internet (life without a mall is haaaaaaaard [#thirdworldproblems]), but the greatest portion of my time and energy has been spent simply adjusting. 

Now that I've adjusted completely, I'm seeing lots more time open for hobbies, and lemmetellya, it's been pretty awesome. However, they aren't the hobbies I'd thought they would be. Instead of writing and running (both of which I have been picking up again), I'm finding myself making up hairstyles and, just this last week, learning how to shoot in manual on my camera. Jared and I have been going on walks almost nightly (well, eveningly). The lighting's usually really pretty during these walks, if a bit dark, so much to Jared's dismay they've become eveningly photo walks.
So anyway, you might be seeing lots of weird/abstract pictures in the next few blog posts, like the one above of the "Cuba House" fence around the corner from us. Long live Cuban fences.


A few days ago I opened my closet to discover that ants had not only devoured most of the 100 little tea candles that we brought down with us, but they had also built tunnel systems in them, like they were living there or something? Lately I've been baiting the ants with some stuff that my uncle  sent me, and that's worked a bit, but now instead of going after our food they're going after our tea candles and mouthwash. Whatever, man. Have at it.

Yesterday I spent two hours playing Diddy Kong Racing on my computer. Three cheers for neighbors who fork over all their Macbook-compatible N64 games. Next month I guarantee you won't be hearing from me because I will be spending all my free time with Link and Zelda.

I'm pretty good at making us healthy main dishes for dinner, but I am the WORST at bringing in side dishes. By the time I finish making the main dish I'm usually covered in sweat (as is the Grenadian way) and like, "Welllll, good enough." When possible I like to make main dishes that incorporate vegetables so that we can actually get some nutritious goodness into our systems, but sometimes we have just chicken breast for dinner. Or just spaghetti (spaghetti sauce is a vegetable, yes?), or just frozen burritos (although I am very happy to report that we have only had those once for dinner this term, as opposed to once a week for dinner last term), and then we have some nutritious gummy vitamins for dessert and call it a day. Two nights ago I had this brilliant idea. I was like, "Hey, maybe I'll make the fruit and veggie sides first, and then we'll have an actual complete meal!" Guess what we had for dinner that night? Roasted cauliflower, and that's it. FAIL. (Actually it was really good though--my eyes are hearts for this cauliflower recipe.) Please tell me this one-course-meal thing is something that will change once we have growing children. 

Two nights ago I was just lying in bed (playing Diddy Kong Racing) when all of a sudden my bed started to shake and all of our bottles of sunscreen and bug repellent starting clanging together on the shelf. You guys. It was an earthquake! It was small enough that Jared, who was engrossed in his studying one room over, didn't even notice, but it lasted a full-on six or seven seconds, and I could hear it moving away after the room stopped shaking. All over Facebook the med school wives all told the same story: "I could feel it and hear it, but my husband who was studying in bed right next to me didn't notice a thing!" (#medschoolwives)

And here are two pictures from when I picked up my boys this morning for their last day of seminary! Truthfully, I stopped teaching over a month ago (because I was in such an intense state of anxiety and depression over it all that I legit had to be medicated--but that's a different story for a different day), but they're still my buds and I love that I've still been able to drive them to seminary on Fridays. The first picture is across the street from two of the boys' house, and the second picture is all of us in front of the LDS church building at 6 a.m. (Hence my face.)
^^Left to right: Miguel, Shimon, Terrel, Tyrone, Natalie Portman (This is my favorite picture from Grenada ever. Those boys, little monsters that they can be, have changed my life and stolen all my change. Gotta love teenagers! p.s. Aren't their school uniforms so cute? It's the best to drive down the streets when all the little boys and girls are waiting for the bus in their cute little dresses and ties.)

This morning I finished up some work and took my Kindle out to the veranda to do some reading. Upon opening the back door, I was met with a face full of lung cancer (aka thick thick smoke) and realized that our backyard was on fire. Normally that would be concerning, but this is Grenada (#TIG), so I just went back inside and decided to blog about it instead. I'm pretty sure it was a controlled fire started by our gardener to get rid of all the dead branches on the edge of our yard. Pretty sure . . .

Just a Normal Week

This past week, Jared's family came to Grenada to visit us.

So. Fun.

About two months ago I finally got into the "swing" of life away from family, but man, after having them over I feel like I now have to start again from scratch! Yesterday when it was just me and Jared we were like, "Wow. This is boring and quiet. Do we need to have babies right now?" (The answer is no, we do not, but that would definitely solve the too-much-quiet problem.)

In the past eight days, I have seen more of this island than I saw in the seven months before then. It has been exhausting and awesome. Here are a few highlights from our week:

+ Saturday: Jared giving the boat driver a thumbs up while we were tubing on Grand Anse beach, thereby causing me to epicly wipe out into the salty ocean on a particularly crazy turn.

+ Sunday: Finding rabid bats perched above our heads as we walked through some eerie and dark old forts. If only they were rabbit bats, that would have been more Easter appropriate.

+ Monday: Ants waking up before us and eating all the cereal. You know what they say--the early bird gets the Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

+ Tuesday: Our friendly island tour guide teaching us how to smuggle a gun into the country, and then pulling his own smuggled gun out from under his seat and waving it at us to illustrate his point.

+ Wednesday: Cramming six people into our little, barely air-conditioned car (this was actually a week-long treat).

+ Thursday: Discovering that our bedroom door doesn't close all the way when Jared's little brother accidentally knocked it open while I was half-nakedly changing into a swimsuit. "Hi entire family sitting outside my door!" Is what I said. (Actually I think I lunged at the door and screamed "NAKED" at the top of my lungs. Our downstairs neighbors were probably home, and their windows were probably open. Such is my life.)

Just kidding, there were some better highlights than those good happenings. Here they are:

+ Saturday: Spending all morning and afternoon at the lovely BBC beach, getting lightly roasted.

+ Sunday: Easter basket and egg hunts (with legit silver coins in our baskets, because them Lamberts love them some precious metals)--thanks Mama L! Conference! A nice drive to see campus and the forts! A holiday dinner with actual family!! (Not that our two-person Thanksgiving dinner wasn't awesome...)

+ Monday: A catamaran ride to do some snorkeling and see the underwater sculpture garden.

+ Tuesday: An island tour where we saw a nutmeg factory, a chocolate factory, a crater lake, some hot springs, and a waterfall. We also ate fruits like cocoa (yes, it's a fruit--the soft flesh around the bean tastes kind of like mango), water lemon, and some weird brown fruit that looked like a kiwi but did NOT taste like one.

+ Wednesday: Dumping Jared's mom and siblings at a pretty beach to get toasted while his dad and I went and waited for three hours in a completely empty waiting room in a government building just to get a renewal stamp in my passport.  Then we all had KFC for lunch/dinner, and when we found out that the movie theater was no longer playing the movie we wanted to see (Insurgent), we instead watched Paul Blart: Mall Cop on a laptop in our living room (that was a good life choice).

+ Thursday: Flying kites at the tide pools, having lunch at the University Club, and then hiking in the wretched-hot afternoon heat to Hog Island. That was maybe not a good life choice. But then we went boogie-boarding in some tiny and oh-so-satisfying waves and finished off the night with fruit smoothies.

Moral of the story, we had lots of fun. I only took pictures during the island tour, but enjoy all 19 of them, because I'm bad at narrowing things down!
 ^^Nutmeg factory
 ^^A nutmeg straight from the tree. The red stuff around the nutmeg is mace.
 ^^Our  tour guide, Martin, explaining how each part of a nutmeg is used.
 ^^The Grenada "hot springs." Basically lots of muddy pits in the ground, filled with warm spring water.
 ^^Jared's sister Annie, rubbing some of the "magic" hot spring mud on her skin. Haha, she's going to hate me for posting this.
 ^^Just a few of Grenada's local fruits, veggies, and nuts.
 ^^Belmont Estates chocolate plantation, where we ate raw cocoa and learned that every chocolate bar we've ever eaten is made with fermented chocolate.
 ^^Annie likes this picture because it includes "the finest chocolate man in all the land" (he does have nice dimples). I like this picture because it shows that Jared isn't the only Lambert who struggles to smile for pictures. Haha, Will . . .
 ^^Martin plucking some cashew fruit for us.
 ^^Cashew fruit. The nut hanging from the bottom is a cashew. I would guess that this is why cashews are so expensive--one nut per fruit, and each one has to be separately de-shelled.
 ^^Our island tour taxi. Grenada's terrible roads are crowded with these types of taxis.
 ^^Mama Lambert, looking very lovely at the Grand Etang crater lake.
 ^^Annie has the very best hair of anyone. Here she is, taking a picture of the gorgeous south side of the island.
^^Annandale Falls--a refreshing end to an excellent day!

Lamberts in Grenada


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