no habla español

I started out Saturday with a four-mile run with Dani, our first run together since last July. When I got home I was still feeling good and the weather was far better than it will be later in the summer, so I did another quick five. I went home, showered, ate some of my trusty Joe’s Os and decided I might as well go to the temple.

Unfortunately, I didn’t check the schedule and ended up in the 10:30 a.m. Spanish session. I now know how the headsets work (and, to be honest, they are kind of fun to use. I liked turning down the volume occasionally to test my rudimentary Spanish). The session was still great and I left, as I always do, ready to take on anything.

My boss gave me an incredible gift basket when she got back from leave, which included this plant. I love it more than I expected I would. Also, it only has to be watered every two weeks. Hopefully I can handle that.

On the way to work yesterday my five year old metro card broke in half. It was unexpected.

Not much else is going on. Jason’s gearing up for some travel. I’m reading All the Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West. So far it seems like one of those books that was written especially for me (not unlike A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator’s Rise to Power which the filmmaker and books-on-the-DPRK-reader in me loved). That said, I’m pretty sure the author likes Edward Abbey more than I do.

We made these chickpeas and accompaniments for dinner on Tuesday night and it was delicious.

I keep forgetting Monday is Memorial Day. We need to figure out something fun to do.

terrible, horrible, no good, very bad commute today

Monday. 8:11 a.m. I left the house as usual, planning on my approximately forty-five minute commute to the office. I had gone back and forth about which book to bring and settled on the useful, less interesting one.

When I got to the station, I heard something over the PA about delays due to fire department activity. That didn’t give me pause, as once a week there is fire department activity somewhere within the metro system. On a whim, I checked online and discovered that yes, there were issues somewhere and yes, it would probably lengthen my commute by a few minutes. No worries. I waited two minutes for a metro train and ambled on with my fellow commuters. We sped along as usual. I enjoyed my book. Then, the train came to a sudden stop, right on the elevated track. Now, I don’t have fear of heights or anything, but I also don’t love stopping on elevated tracks, especially when I am standing sideways staring into the abyss, especially when the abyss is a freeway.

Fortunately the train starting moving again. Then stopped. I was in one of the cars with a half-decent intercom, and the train conductor said something about a problem at Foggy Bottom and a switch problem somewhere else. He also alluded to “several trains” ahead of us waiting to hit the next stop. Truly, there must have been several trains, because it ended up taking FIFTY minutes to travel one stop away from my home.

The doors opened and more commuters boarded the train. We waited. I read. After more than ten minutes, the driver made the announcement that strikes fear into the hear of every regular metro rider: “This train is being off-loaded.”

With many a groan, we disembarked. At this point, I wondered presciently if it would be faster for me to walk to work.

As is always the case with a rush hour offload, the next train to approach the platform was full to bursting. Some of my platform-mates tried to get on, but I knew the game and waited until the next train, which took its sweet time. I finally got onto another train by 9:25, and was once again on my way to work. I had long ago alerted my colleagues that I would probably be late, but was beginning to wonder if I would make it in time for my 10:00 a.m. meeting.

The train jolted along underground, finally hitting the next two stops. Then, at stop three (remember, only four stops away from my house, a journey that usually takes 10 minutes): “Attention passengers. This train is being off-loaded.”

Yes, my second train of the day had been off-loaded. I would definitely be late to my meeting. This is when I started to wonder if I would ever actually make it to work.

Apparently a spate of stations were closed down due to the alleged fire department activity, so our driver announced that shuttle bus service would be available into the city. I’ve taken shuttles before (most notably on the Veteran’s Day Commuting Disaster of 2012) and it’s not terrible. I joined the hoard of disenchanted commuters emerging into the (still swampy) fresh air and crossed the street to where the shuttles would pick up. The folks at the front of the line assured us that the line formed behind them and that they had been waiting an hour and a half. I assumed this might be no more than DC exaggeration. Then, I realized the line stretched down the block…and around the corner. In fact, the shuttle line stretched all the way around the block.

No way, I decided. I texted my colleagues and let them know I was giving up on metro and walking to work. (At this point, I should say I did consider a cab for about two seconds. Then I realized there were none to be found. Shockingly, everyone else had thought of that idea first. When I discovered later that Uber had been charging an almost-5x surge fare, I was glad the temptation to find alternate vehicular transportation didn’t linger.)

Fortunately I’ve run through Arlington a bunch of times. I headed through the city, then walked across the Key Bridge into Georgetown, talking to my mom on the phone the whole way. After waiting for the correct circulator bus for a while, I gave up, took the wrong one, and rode up to Dupont Circle, where I once again descended into the metro. I emerged at my station at 11:20 and walked the last five minutes to work, arriving only 3 hours and 14 minutes after I left the house that morning.

I used to plan for two bad commutes per year. This experience more than makes up for the relatively smooth sailing for the past eighteen months or so. I think the most frustrating part, though, is that I really could have walked (not even run. WALKED.) to work in as long as the metro-walking-bus-metro situation took. Next time: I’m heading right back home.

(To be fair, 99% of my commutes are just fine and this in no way changes my feelings about living in this here great metropolitan area.)

(One more thing: how can I complain when tonight my great husband brought me a big bag of pistachios to soothe my metro PTSD? He is a keeper.)

pies and a weekend

One last picture from the funeral, courtesy of my cousin Stephen. We’re not a bad looking bunch, though Jason would have completed the whole tableau.
I’m back, Jason’s back, and all is well with the Frosts.

I forgot to share that while I was gone Jason represented our family at the ward spring party. Apparently one of the counselors in the bishopric was absent, so Jason as executive secretary got to fill in for the traditional pies-to-the-face portion of the evening.

He is such a good sport.

This weekend we got up early and played two hours of tennis in swampy humidity. We had fun, and by the end my serve was far more consistent (not as though it could get worse). We had pizza for lunch and I took an epic nap. We went for a walk, finished up our grocery shopping for the week, and picked up take-out from the Silver Diner. At eleven that night we decided to clean out our closets, which led to a great purge of clothes we no longer wear and a pledge that we won’t buy any new clothes until 2016. I think we can make it, but no guarantees.

Thanks to Mother’s Day, Jason didn’t have any early meetings on Sunday. We celebrated by making pancakes and bacon and eggs for breakfast, and by being lazy the rest of the morning (though I did prepare my Sunday school lesson). At church, we women were given chocolate after sacrament meeting and the most delicious chocolate croissants (or should I say pain au chocolat) after Relief Society. Church + chocolate = a good day.

We made a feast for dinner and talked to our moms and grandmas before turning in. Good weekend.

Frost Fiscal Year 6

Is it time for another Frost Fiscal Year report already?! This year has flown by, and, though not a year of dramatic changes, has surely been our best yet. I can’t say I love Jason more now than the day we got married, but I think I love him more completely. I knew he was great on May 2, 2009. I just didn’t realize he was everything I would ever need in a best friend and partner. (Sometimes I still can’t believe this is our life.)

We celebrated our fifth anniversary in Mexico City!

It was easily one of the best/most fun trips we’ve taken together.

Attended Sarah and Brian’s lovely wedding in Baltimore.

I eventually recovered from the stomach ailment I contracted in Mexico.

Jason’s mom came to see us and we had a lovely–albeit humid–time together.

We took a load off at the third annual Frost-Holbein beach extravaganza.

I went to New York City to hang out with Roni.

I hosted book club, at which we discussed Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. I am proud that the book has come up at subsequent book discussions, but also a little concerned that the ladies of the ward thing I’m macabre.

I turned twenty-six and celebrated by 1. not working 2. running 6.5 miles (1/4 mile for every year) and 3. eating dinner at the Capital Grille with Jason, who had just returned from a trip the night before!

Jason became nocturnal. In his absence I walked a lot (39 miles over four Sundays), ran a lot, and went to visit the YW at Camp Misty Mount.

We had a lunch date in Georgetown whilst Jason tried to find a navy suit.

The new metro line opened, with serious positive commuting implications for me.

I went to two Nats games with work.

I stopped running so much when I started having shin problems.

Dave came to visit DC!

The three of us went to CT to see Jason’s family and, of course, attended the season-opening BYU football game at UConn.

Jason traveled.

I went to my first ever book sale.

I helped out (by which I mean I didn’t do much at all) with a baby shower for my friend Elayna.

We moved to a new apartment and it was our best/easiest move yet!

I ran my first marathon with Adam, Grant, and my Dad (and the three of us who aren’t going on a mission this year put in for the 2015 race). I can’t think about that day without smiling.

Mariel got married! I can’t think about this day without smiling either.

Jason and I camped (along with the boys) for the first time in five years.

We also spent some quality time in Payson Canyon, a.k.a. one of the most beautiful places in the world.
payson lakes jason
I spent three miserable days covered in urgent-care-worthy hives. Still no idea what I was allergic to, though my best guess is the particular blend of garam masala I used in our butter chicken.

I got released from Young Womens and called as the teacher of the then-twelve-turning-thirteen-year-old Sunday School class. Jason continued to serve as executive secretary.

We caught our first high school football game in at least eight years (probably longer). It was so fun.

Jason and I were promoted at our respective places of employment.

We Thanksgivinged in Virginia, which meant Jason got to play in the ward Turkey Bowl and I got to watch. Oh, and we cooked our first ever full-size turkey.

I (along with everyone else who likes NPR) got hooked on the Serial podcast.

We took our yearly Christmas photo.

Jason went on a very brief business trip.

We went to Connecticut to see la familia Frost, where we ate all the candy and watched all the basketball.

And we saw the in-progress Hartford Temple!

I finished my thousand running miles and 154 books for the year.

We celebrated New Year’s Eve in the usual way: with a butternut squash and games and no banging of pots and pans.IMG_1588

We set a goal of cooking one new thing a week and have stuck with it so far.

I went to my only Georgetown basketball game of the year. 

Attended Emily and Brandon’s beautiful DC wedding.

Headed up to New York City to see the Matisse cut-outs and had a blast.

I developed The World’s Most Persistent Sinus Infection, which lasted an entire month.

Jason turned twenty-nine!

We had our first (but not last!) snow day of the year.

We spent Valentine’s Day downtown at the Portrait Gallery.

I made cream puffs for a baby shower and they were awesome.

Church was cancelled for freezing rain and we had another snow day!

Jason took another trip.

My parents came to visit us and we had a pretty great time.

We watched a lot of Kentucky basketball. Sorry, BYU.

I went for my first outdoor run of 2015 on Good Friday.

We finally met our baby niece and Adam got his mission call to Baltimore, Maryland!

We both got sick and spent a day sprawled on the couch watching HGTV.

My Grandpa Henderson passed away, so I headed out to Utah for the funeral. While there, I got to see Adam and Grant play high school tennis for the first time.

Jason headed out of town on a business trip. Barring unforeseen travel difficulties, we will be reunited today!

H1936496_1025334054000_389758_nappy 6th anniversary to the best man I know!

Previous Fiscal Year Reports


five days in utah, part II

I got up bright and early Monday morning and went for a run while my mom rode her bike along side. She’s a good sport. We showered and headed over to Grandpa’s house again, where I secured a mini muffin tin. My Grandma Pullan gave me some muffin tins a while ago, so now I have one from each grandma. I really should make more muffins.

We hurried home and got ready for the Payson Temple open house. I have been looking forward to seeing the completed temple since early 2010, when I learned on my metro commute home that a temple would be constructed in my hometown. The outside is incredible, but the inside was breathtaking. I can’t believe there is such an incredible building so close to home.

This picture so much does not do it justice.

Two thoughts about the temple open house:
1. There were volunteers stationed throughout the temple to sort of move the self-guided tour along. At several stations, these volunteers were people I knew (my old piano teacher, my friend Whitney’s mom, old ward members). It was surprisingly touching to see old faces from my past.
2. I kept thinking about my Grandpa and Grandma Henderson and how much they loved the temple. They served in the Washington, D.C. temple for almost thirty years (which, as someone who is not yet thirty, seems like a really long time). I’m so grateful for their example, and felt close to them while I walked through the Payson temple.

After the open house, we ordered pizza from Fat Jack’s and got ready for the viewing that night. I played Scrabble with Grandma, who also rarely finds anyone willing to play with her. It was the most frustrating game of Scrabble I have ever played! Grandma spent the game with all vowels, while I spent the latter half with one vowel per round. I think we each ended up subtracting something like eighteen points at the end, which is really high for Scrabble aficionados.

The viewing that evening was very nice. My Pullan fam attended, so it was good to catch up with everyone. There was also a great slideshow of really old pictures of my grandpa.

That night Aunt Amy and Uncle Mark dropped off Scott and Robbie (who were spending the night), so naturally we stayed up late eating some much of the bounty our neighbors had dropped off.

After a late night, we all made it to the church early for the second viewing and funeral. The service was wonderful. My dad and Uncle Mark spoke, and a representative of each descendant family gave some brief remarks about Grandpa. Hannah repped the Payson Pullan family and did a beautiful job. We processed to the cemetery for the dedication of the grave, then headed back to the church for lunch.

The boys went off to their tennis match and Hannah had class, but Mio, Jordan, and my parents and I enjoyed the standard Mormon funeral fare: ham, funeral potatoes (or, as we have decided they should more accurately be called, funerary potatoes), two kinds of jell-o salad, and rolls. I used to be a little cynical about post-funeral meals because they seem like a lot of work for the ward, but it really is a nice thing we do.

Mio and Jordan went off to run errands and Mom and Dad and I went home. Mom and I drove up the canyon for a bit until we approached the gate a ways past Benny Creek Trail (and I’m pretty sure right around the place we saw a skunk in the late nineties). We saw some deer and the canyon was, as usual, just lovely.

When we got home we took naps and ate more German chocolate bars, then went back up to Grandpa’s to hang out with the fam. We had a great time playing The Bowl Game with everyone and tried valiantly to finish off the aforementioned funerary potatoes. We said good-bye to everyone and headed home, after which Dave very kindly drove all the way down to Payson to hang out for a couple of hours (and to play another round of The Bowl Game because it is so great). With Dave’s visit, I have officially seen everyone in the Pullan and Frost immediate families in the last two weeks (which has never happened before and likely won’t happen again for at least the next two years).

The next morning Mom and I went for a long walk on the Canal Road (seeing a theme here?), but we went a little too far and forgot Mariel and Jordan were coming over, so they came and picked us up. We made some bran muffins (which are so good! I need to get me some bran!) and stood around in the kitchen talking as Pullans are wont to do. Adam stopped in and showed us his super cool 3-D printed car. Mio and Jordan took off for Idaho and Mom and Hannah and I went to lunch at Tadka. Two words: peshwari naan.

On the way to the airport we stopped by Grandma and Grandpa Pullan’s house, where my mom got a much-needed nap. We zipped up to the airport just in time for my 4 p.m. flight. Actually, it worked out really well because I was randomly selected for the TSA pre-check line. Otherwise I’m not sure I would have made it to my gate in time.

I love going to Utah, but I hate leaving. Even when I know I’ll be back soon (hopefully before Adam sets out on his mission, and maybe again in October if this St. George Marathon thing is happening again this year), I hate being far away from my family. That said, I love my life here in Virginia and can’t imagine being anywhere else than right here right now. I’d just like to wrinkle the states in between (who needs Nebraska anyway?) so Utah is within a day’s drive.

My family rocks. Can’t wait to see them again under happier circumstances.

five days in utah, part I

My Grandpa Henderson passed away last Monday, so I headed out west early Friday morning.

Good-bye DC!

Since I bought my plane ticket at the last minute, I had two layovers on the way out. Fortunately I had a great book (How Architecture Works: A Humanist’s Toolkit) and a bag of trail mix to keep me occupied.

I made it into SLC around 3:30 pm and my mom picked me up from the airport. We hit The Red Iguana–the first of many must-hit Utah restaurants–for lunch, where the mole is as good as it is in Puebla. Then we stopped in at my Grandma and Grandpa Pullan’s house. Eventually we picked up Mariel from the airport (she had taken the shuttle down from Rexburg). The three of us dropped in on Jake and Justine so Mom and Mio could meet Kallie, and we FaceTimed with Jason before going down to Payson.

The boys were out and about when we got home, but I finally convinced them to play Scrabble with me (at 11 pm Utah time). Turns out my Scrabble skills drop off precipitously after bedtime. I was the only participant not to hit 100 points, and my mom emerged victorious.

Hands like this may have contributed to my epic loss.

On Saturday morning I woke up bright and early (a benefit of being on eastern time) and went for a run. It was an incredible run for several reasons: 1. I saw the sunrise over the mountains. 2. I saw several horses close up for the first time since we went to NYC (and I am sure these horses were much happier). 3. I got a great view of the spire of the Payson temple.

After a bowl of Life cereal (#vacation) and a shower, Mom, Mariel and I went to Spanish Fork to watch Adam and Grant play tennis. 

We usually play when I come to visit, but this was the first time I have seen them play an actual high school match. I thought for sure I wouldn’t have to opportunity to do so before Adam graduated, so I am glad this worked out! They are basically incredible and so fun to watch. What would it have been like to win matches??

The boys stuck around at the courts while we ladies went to Provo to get Mariel some new pants. She’s a good shopper, so we finished early enough to swing by the BYU Bookstore (I refused to call it The Store. It will always be the bookstore to me.), where I stocked up on chocolate-covered cinnamon bears and picked out a t-shirt for Jason.

We met up with Hannah for lunch at Zupa’s, then headed home for the afternoon. The boys and I were going to play tennis, but it started to rain so we went for another run instead. I had wanted to run to Elk Ridge on Goosenest, but we thought the lack of sidewalks made the route inadvisable. Instead, we ran the Canal Road. I haven’t been on the Canal Road since we used to take Sunday drives there (probably not kosher anymore?) and had forgotten how beautiful it is. From the road, you can look across the whole valley, the patchwork of fields and orchards and tiny houses, with Utah Lake just beyond. It was such a fun run.

That night we went to Sam Hawk for dinner and drove past the Payson Temple on the way home.

On Sunday Mariel and I went to church in the Page Ward with the fam, where we got to hear Grant bless the sacrament for the first time. I can’t believe my brothers are so old. That afternoon we made guacamole and Adam favored us with his Velveeta-cream of mushroom soup-salsa queso of champions. We had shwarma for dinner, then took some German chocolate bars over to Grandpa Henderson’s. That night, we played Backwords, which is one of the more hilarious iPhone games I have ever played.

disjointed thoughts from gate B25

I am sitting in Chicago’s Midway airport on my way home from Utah. I finished my book (one of three along for the trip) and just polished off a bran muffin my mom packed for me this morning. Moms are the best.

Yesterday’s funeral was wonderful (which sounds odd, but is true). The remarks captured my grandpa’s quiet way, but also celebrated the great man he was. My thoughts about this whole thing are a little muddled (perhaps because I saw 1 AM more times on this trip than in the last year). I am just overwhelmingly grateful that I was able to be there with my family. 

It was hard to be sad about Grandpa Henderson’s death. He was almost 96. He missed my grandma acutely. His answer to inquiries about how he was doing was always, “well, I’m still here,” not implying that still being here was a good thing. He maintained his dignity and stayed in his home until the end.

Last week I cried more often because of the kindness that was shown to me and my family. My coworkers were accommodating and sympathetic. Meals and cards streamed in from family and friends. Lara is set to pick me up from the airport tonight after midnight. More people than I can count put a hand on my mom’s shoulder and expressed sincere sorrow at her loss. 

And it is a loss. As happy as I am that Grandpa has been reunited with Grandma, his siblings, and the mother he lost when he was ten, it is hard not to mourn for the end of an era. My dad (I think) noted that the Henderson clan won’t orbit Springville anymore. Soon the house will be sold–the house where my sisters and I grudgingly mowed the lawn every four days in the summer–and we won’t have reason to go there again. My mom won’t buy grandpa’s groceries or take him to the doctor or worry about whether he has fallen again. None of us will call and hear a premature CLICK! before we have a chance to say good-bye.

Not many kids have two sets of grandparents close all through their growing-up years. Mine surely won’t. I hope the fifteen years Grandma and Grandpa Henderson spent in Utah were happy ones. I loved having them nearby.