Monday, March 31, 2008

Two Lines!

Marla: Hello?

Jacob (age 3): Two lines!

Marla: What?

Jacob: Two lines! Two lines!!

Marla: Put your mom on.... Reva - why is he talking about two lions?

Reva: Two lines.... pregancy test.... I'm pregnant.

Marla: Oooohhhhhhhh!!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Potato & MoTab?

Um... there are no words to describe this...
insert mr. potato jim halpert face here

Friday, March 28, 2008

Discovering the World of Shopping in St. Paul

My friend Carla from Orem, Utah came to visit me! We like each other because of many reasons but the main one is that our names rhyme. We are Marla and Carla. And for some reason that just tickles us pink.

I took Carla to Cafe Latte in St. Paul on Grand Avenue. It's one of my favorites because they truly understand the meaning of dessert. It's a self-serve kinda ritzy looking place with yummy salads, soups, and bread but they are famous for their chocolate turtle pecan cake (ps: to die for).

After dinner we went waltzing around St. Paul. There isn't a ton to waltz around but the store Garden of Eden caught my eye. It's a place where you can make your own scents. It turned out to be incredibly lame and ridiculously expensive (seriously $18 for a can or room spray? how bout you just give your house a good cleaning instead) but the good part is that it led to my new favorite store! Ten Thousand Villages. It's incredibly unique stuff - purses, jewelry, journals, finger puppets (my favorite was the sheep - BAH!) from all over the world and it's run mostly by volunteers.

Description from the website:
Ten Thousand Villages is a founding member of the International Fair Trade Association (IFAT) and a member of the Fair Trade Federation (FTF), both of which aim to improve the livelihood of disadvantaged people in developing countries and to change unfair structures of international trade.

Sounds pretty cool doesn't it. The best part? My shopping IS for a good cause! Read it and weep dear old Dad!

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My Knock-Out Sister & My Super Awesome Almost Brudder-in-Law

Darling, darling kids!! Look at them!! They sparkle!!

Hey Levis! You got yourself a fabulous couple for your next poster campaign! Send the 1 million dollar check to Emily and Dan Allen. Many thanks (guys, I get 10% of that).

Blue door, red frame. Nice. Dan - it looks like she's 'leaning'. Want me to help you out?

Serious 'we are seriously in love' faces. Confess - were you giggling in between takes?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Lessons Learned in Maui

The razor cap is there for a really good reason. Use it.

There are 2 types of vacation peoples. One is to be seen by others and the other is to just enjoy being on vacation.

Running in the morning and then sitting in the ocean with my running clothes on is my favorite.

The ocean is really salty!

When I don’t have my glasses and I go snorkeling with sea turtles and one comes up for air, I have a major freak out and think it's a shark.

Minnesota TV is just as good as Hawaii TV.

Step Up is a really dumb, embarrassing & badly acted movie.

Hawaiian shaved ice tastes so good when you get it for one dollar.

Those little sand crabs are really speedy!

I always miss my family on vacation no matter where I go.

The sand feels so good on my feet.

I fell in love all over again with the band TRAVIS.

My favorite book was discovered on Maui – The Undomestic Goddess.

Lava lavas are surprisingly comfortable!

Doing the time-share presentation got me 150 dollars to go shopping with!

The best place to lose your camera is on vacation with 25 other people.

Sea turtles travel in packs.

An entire new jewelry collection is necessary in the land of Maui.

The movie JAWS wrecked all chances for me ever making peace with the ocean. Stupid Spielberg.

The flame throwing thing didn’t impress me much. I’d rather sit and watch the sunset.

Some people should not wear bikinis. Or tube tops. Or Speedos.

The Maui vintage store is my favorite.

Chocolate covered macadamia nuts are DIVINE.

Everything tastes better in Maui. Mahi, mangoes, chocolate, clementines, McDonald’s sundaes.

A 25.00 towel card can get you as many towels as you want.

It’s possible to burn only the top of my forehead and the tips of my toes.

Humpback whales are really playful in March.

Ruth Chris Steak House has the best chocolate dessert I’ve ever had in my entire life.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Bite Me
I found the most hilarious shirt online but it wouldn't let me copy it. Dang. So I recreated my own. Enjoy. By the way, shopping at Target today brought me much joy as I found all the Easter candy 50% off. Not only that, I found that someone was genius enough to invent CANDY GRASS. No joke. CANDY GRASS. Parents will no longer find grass lying around on the floor because its been injested. Children all over the world are hyper-spazzing around the living room bouncing off each other, the furniture and anything else in their way. Have fun with that one.

Yesterday we had a beautiful Easter dinner. Becky, Jana and I retired on the floor in the guest room. Jacob and Chloe would run in and out of the room. Jacob made a lethal mistake about an hour after dinner. He walked in with his Easter basket from his Grandma and plopped it right in the middle of where we were lounging. He showed us his candy. He began to share. We ate the candy. All of a sudden the air grew cold and hard. His little face scrunched up like a mini-thunderstorm with eyes like lightening.


Girls: What? Jake SHUSH Mom and Dad might hear.

Jacob: TIME OUT! YOU ALL HAVE A TIME OUT!!! MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Marla to Jana: Let's hide under the bed. Move it. Now.

Jana: Marla, wipe the chocolate out of the corners of your mouth. How DO you do that?

I wonder if I'll ever be grown up enough to not get into trouble. I doubt it.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

What's that sound?

Waking up at 3:30 p.m. yesterday I thought I heard the ocean. I'd gotten used to hearing the sound of the waves and chattering birds. I opened my eyes to see where the sounds were coming and realized where I was.

Minnesota is the only place in the world where I could get confused between the sound of the ocean and a snowblower.

Oh beautiful Land of 10,000 Lakes that I love... with glorious spring time, colorful fall, sweet blessed summer... but seriously, dear frozen winter that will never die, you are trying my patience.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Maui Maui

I don't understand words that are repeated twice - like the fish Mahi Mahi. Isn't one Mahi enough?

However it's growing on me so don't mind if I repeat myself a few times. Maui Maui. Aloha Aloha.

Mahalo Mahalo. Out of my system. Wait, here's another one LOST LOST. It just doesn't work with words not related to Hawaii. But hey - I tried. And PS tonight I will be watching LOST on location.

What you say? That island below looks like the one on LOST? It sure does, doesn't it. A real live coconut. Turns out the juice tastes nasty. But watching the dude cut it with the knife like he was on Castaway was pretty darn cool.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Having a Whale of a Time in ...

From marla-kucera's dictionary (merriam-webster is on vacation too)

Main Entry: whale–shocked
Function: noun
Date: 2008

1 : affected with surprise and wonder

2 : a bunch of Wilson's on a chartered boat in the Pacific ocean watching a bachelor party of grown male whales wrestling with each other in the ocean

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Destination: Maui

Where we're going we don't need coats.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My Record Collection

"This is the story of [insert title here]. You can read along with me in your book. You'll know it's time to turn the page when you hear the chimes ring like this: (sound of [chimes WAV fileschimes] ringing). Let's begin now."

These were some of my most favorite words when I was a kid. I had a record collection. I still have it today. I'm proud to say I claimed it from the storage room when no one was looking so basically it's mine unless my sisters want to wrestle me for it. It was mostly comprised of Read Along records. Oh how I loved them! As soon as I get a record player, I'm going to listen to them again.

I also had a few music records. I played them over and over again - I sang loudly and mostly off key but with deep feeling and wisdom beyond my years. :) My favorite music record had You Light Up My Life on one side with Hasta Manana Til We Meet Again on the other side. Both were sung by Debby Boone. Here are a few lines from the songs. Feel free to sing along as you read.

Hasta Manana
Hasta Manana 'til we meet again
Don't know where, don't know when
Darling, our love was much too strong to die
We'll find a way to face a new tomorrow
Hasta Manana, say we'll meet again
I can't do without you
Time to forget, send me a letter
Say you forgive, the sooner the better
Hasta Manana, baby, Hasta Manana, until then

You Light Up My Life
So many nights I sit by my window
Waiting for someone to sing me his song
So many dreams I kept deep inside me
Alone in the dark but now You've come along
You light up my life
You give me hope to carry on
You light up my days and fill my nights with song

So there you have it folks. Your 70's fix for this week has arrived. Eat your little hearts out.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Just a Few Things I've Learned

Ø Stretch jeans are never a good idea, no matter how comfortable I think I am.

Ø Taking a vacation seems to give me a new perspective on life and makes me more grateful for what I have.

Ø The excitement before the vacation is usually more exciting than the actual vacation.

Ø I really don’t want anything to do with numbers unless it’s looking at my paycheck.

Ø The hair bows from the 80’s were a travesty. Seriously.

Ø Most people I talk to are going through something really difficult.

Ø Dark chocolate is always best.

Ø Clearance shopping at Target is an aphrodisiac.

Ø Laughter really is the best medicine. It’s like playing a big trick on myself.

Ø Not all dogs want to kill, eat or maim me.

Ø Simplicity is more complicated than I thought.

Ø Stress causes me to have sharp shooting pains in my chest.

Ø Farrs Chocolate peanut butter ice cream is my favorite.

Ø Shopping at Goodwill on Tuesdays means you get yellow tag items for 1.79.

Ø Utah State is the most beautiful campus there is.

Ø My sisters make me laugh more than anyone in the world.

Ø Breakouts on your face occur way past your 21st birthday.

Ø The London Bridge was never really “falling down”.

Ø I’d be a lot more productive if TV, naps, and the internet were never invented.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Loud Typer Guy No More

I couldn't take the typing. I'm talking LOUD TYPING. And those capital letters when I type LOUD TYPING does not have the same connotation or tender feelings as when I type LOST (yes, it's a TV show but I'll get help after the finale).

So this blog is to announce that LOUD TYPER GUY is now Lost & Gone Forever (Random - I heart Guster). Why you ask? Because one day, in the heat of another one of his FREAKING LOUD TYPING TANGENTS, I marched over there and said in a very nice, controlled voice 'Hey - do you mind if I order you another keyboard?' and he turned to me and said Why? Do I type loud? And I said Well - yes you do. And he said Ok - fine by me. A few minutes later he comes over to my desk and says 'Just don't get me the ergonomic kind' just as I'm emailing my cube neighbor on instant messaging that I FINALLY COULD HEAR MYSELF THINK because I had confronted the loud typist. I'm hoping he didn't see my screen.

Since I can't put a soundbite of 'the before with the old keyboard and after with the new fan-cee keyboard' on the blog - I will type the way it sounded:


What? Does anyone hear typing? Barely!!

The only issue I am left with now is that people walk by and see his fancy keyboard (yes, we're talking FAN-cee) and they say Why did you get a new keyboard? And then he points to me and says in a self-righteous voice Marla said I type too loud.

My new nickname is Keyboard Nazi. Somebody call Seinfeld. It could be a great episode for him. I just wish I had said something sooner.
Moral of the story: The loudest typer gets the coveted expensive soft touch wireless keyboard.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Swimming Lesson

My mom can't swim. Because of that fact, she made sure that every one of us went to swimming lessons when we were kids. The only thing I remember from all those years of swimming was being on the very edge of the diving board and trying to convince myself that jumping off the end of it was a good idea. I was on that board for a long time. I finally plummeted off the edge and did something that can't even be compared to a dive. Semi-victory it was, but it was over.

Fast forward to this past week. I took Jacob (age 3, almost 4) to swimming lessons. I helped him change into his little gap trunks and gave him to some teenagers who were flirting with each other and didn't seem to know that they were with children. I sat in the bleachers, white knuckled and vigilantly watching. If anything happened, I knew I'd have to rescue Jacob because the other two were smiling dumbly at each other while trying to look cool at the same time (it just doesn't work now does it).

The kids all jumped in the pool. The little ones were at the far end. They had put a table in the pool to stand on and the kids jumped around happily, enjoying the water. Jacob kept getting dangerously close to the end of the table which did not make me happy. Every once in a while he would look over to see if I was still there and he would wave his little 3 year old endearing 'look at me Marla' wave. I, of course, would wave back and nearly start weeping with pride. During the middle of the lesson, I heard a familiar cry. It was my Jacob. I got up, ran over to the edge of the pool and tried to talk to him. Upon seeing me move very quickly to the edge of the pool, the "lifeguards" noticed what was going on. Jacob had knocked his head on the side of the pool. He was ok but I had almost had a cardiac. My first time taking him to swimming and what happens - oh yeah, no big deal, he gets a concussion. The lifeguard told me as I walked back my spot on the bleachers 'Oh, this happens all the time. I've seen worse'. Lovely.

Just when I thought that swimming lessons couldn't get any worse, they let all of the kids go to the diving board. The big bad diving board rears its ugly face once again. It was pure torture seeing all those kids go up, one by one, and try to dive. One little boy was shaking he was so scared - took the tiniest steps I have ever seen - and I had to actually put my head in my lap and hide my eyes. It was like watching funniest home videos but without the music and editing. They assigned one of the "lifeguards" to help the kids. The lifeguard would walk the child to the edge of the board and then lift them into the water if they weren't able to dive or jump off the board. When Jacob's turn came, I could barely look. The previous week, he had done a full-on painful looking belly flop. This week he did ok - he was lifted gently into the water. I wanted to kiss the 18 year old pseudo lifeguard for being so gentle with him. Bless his heart.

I've never been so glad to have swimming lessons over. He came out of the pool and I carried his 40 pound little shivering blue body down to the locker room like a sack of potatoes. He was so scared of falling on the tile when it was wet and that's the last thing any of us needed. I dried him off and took him home in the minivan. I've had enough excitement for at least a month.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Alooooooooooooha ha ha ha ha (7 days until Maui)

Look people. I've never been to Hawaii. I'm just saying. I have to get this out of my system somehow.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Key

"Albert Schweitzer, the noted theologian and missionary physician, declared: ‘I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.’"

(Thomas S. Monson, "Three Gates to Open," CES Fireside for Young Adults, Jan. 14, 2001)