Wednesday, June 29, 2011

So glam.

One day, after I was feeling better from my stupid tonsil removal from hell, Evan was all, "are you gonna start looking for a job again?" Excuse me? No.

But that's not how that went. Because I feel terrible that we've been a one-income family for three plus months and we are going to Ethiopia in omg four months? What? (Time. Please slow down?) And I feel terrible that I spend money all the time because I have a bad habit of needing a new outfit every time I do something and needing makeup and needing to eat and blahblahblah. Also, I had a bad habit of not getting Sybil spayed and now we have 7 kitties and those things are not cheap. (Ps. I need to post pictures of the little monsters! They're so big!)

Anyway. Rambling.

I went to this temp agency because I'm over So over them and their "Wendy's wants to hire you as a manager!!!" Um. No.

The temp lady was so nice, so understanding and so willing to get me a job that I would like.

But I had to leave empty handed. It was a little frustrating, but then I realized I would have one more day of freedom, one more day of fun (at least) before chaining myself to a new job. Then I got home and I literally stepped in the door and she was calling me about a 3 week temp job. Not exactly what I had in mind, but whatever. It was 3 weeks of pay so I took it.

So where am I spending the next three weeks? Mackenzie Disposal.

Yup. That's exactly what it sounds like. Garbage collection. Ew? Yeah, ew.

I'm an office person. I don't touch the garbage. (Sarah, remember when you thought you had a glamorous summer job? Mine is better.) I answer the phone, post bills, enter route info, and type. I've never ever had an office job and I kind of like it. I can wear jeans and flip flops. I get an HOUR lunch break. I get my own desk. I like it. It's completely different than anything I've ever done. It's a nice change.

BUT. Apparently I'm going blind. First day on the job? Migraine by 12:00 because I was attempting to read the tiny little print on a million pages of paper. (I'm spoiled with my kindle. I will never be able to read books, newspapers, or paper and print again.) So I dug out my glasses, that I probs should be wearing anyway, and no more migraines! Plus they're cute. Evan told me I'm a "sexy secretary." I'll take it.

Ps. Is anyone else so freaking excited for July? I am. The fourth (not the third, screw. the. third. I hate you.), anniversary (shut up in here. one year? already?), family reun (sup fam?), David Crowder. OMG. One good thing after another. So. So. So. excited.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

23 before 24 update

"Take a picture of the same place for 12 months."

We went to a little park on the Rims and took a million pictures of this beautiful place I call home. It is the perfect temperature, just over 80, and sunny, and still. I just want to put tonight in a jar so I can open it again and again.

Uh, that's our airport. Our three terminal airport.

And that's my tree town.

sun spot <3

Yucca. I made Evan stop the car and reverse to this beautiful flower. I tried to cut if off because that's how I do, but it was stronger than a tree. I'll have to bring my clippers next time. Or a shovel. For the entire plant. I'm so illegal.

Just look at those clouds.
It was such a perfect night. Minus the two new mosquito bites I got, and how I'm having an allergic reaction to being outside for twenty minutes. Oh, Evan also tried to "bomb some hills" in Simon and that was terrifying. I could just see us rolling down to the highway. I also stole some of those pretty yellow flowers and some sagebrush because I couldn't leave with those pretty flowers AND sagebrush is one of my all time favorite smells. It's basically my childhood. (See picture #4 for pretty yellow flowers.)

Montana, I love you.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Week of Thanks, Week Twenty Four

223. A brand new bottle of mascara, and realizing how old and dry and clumpy your last bottle was.

224. Evening walks in the last bit of sun.

225. Evening walks in the last bit of sun when you walk by a house with a bush of the prettiest flowers you've ever seen. And then on the way home, in the dark, stealing some.

226. Husbands and their "just because" flowers.
227. Going back to the DB to say hello to my friends. (And to see Vera.) But guess who I saw?! BJORG! Best day over.

228. Baseball games under the lights. Oh, those lights make me so happy.

229. Thunder that shakes the entire house. And the lightning that lights up the sky. Like that Afters song that I so love.

230. A new job? What?! Yep. =]

231. People who say "thank you."

232. The way Evan can make me laugh harder than anyone else. And the laugh I have for him and only him.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Is a perfect day for minty mojitos and reading in hammocks.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I do not have an iphone.

But I do have instagram on my ipod. And Jamie just got an iphone so she has real instagram on her real phone and now I'm reobsessed with 1. needing an iphone and 2. instagram.

Here are a few of my new favorites.

[instagram name: larisaacook. let's be friends!]

of course this would happen to me.

Exhibit A:

Please note the wild bird nesting itself on my computer plug in. IN MY LIVINGROOM.

Oh my gosh. Really? Of course.

Of course I would have my doors open to enjoy the beautiful summer day.
Of course I would be minding my own business when a flipping bird flew in and almost took off my head.
Of course I would own three stupid animals who wouldn't even notice a flying creature in their home.

It's going to poop it's gross slimey bird poop in my house. (Most likely on my head, because it's fond of flying directly at me at like 30 miles per hour.)
It's going to lay it's eggs and they'll hatch immediately and I'll have an entire bird family living in my house.


 Oh, here is the stupid bird sitting on my computer as I'm writing a blog about it. (It must have seen itself on the computer screen.) Don't worry, I made a bunch of noise: nothing. Shooed it with a piece of paper: nothing. Shooed it harder: got it off.

So he did. Kinda. He brought his net, because all humans should own a net I'm now realizing (mine would be bigger with a lid and a ten foot pole), caught it, realized it was a pet because it was "friendly" (relative. it flew. at my head. fast. in my world, that's not friendly.) and he's taking it to Pet's Mart or the Animal Shelter. And it is gone gone gone out of my house and I don't have to worry about that terrifying creature pooping on my precious life.

I need a margarita after that.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

happy day to my dad.

Happy Father's Day, Dad! I love you!!!

I adore my dad. I was always a daddy's girl. My dad is the biggest bike fan I've ever met. He rides his bike everywhere and has ever since I was little. I'd sit on the back in one of those child's seats (totally not FDA standards, I don't know how I'm still alive...) and we'd ride to the library and pick out a sackful of books. Dr. Seuss, Babushka, fairy tales. Every night before bed he'd read to me, and when we ran out of books, back to the library on the bike we'd go. 

When I was a teenager, he was a huge proponent of family bike rides. I was not a fan. We'd ride for miles and miles all over town, with him leading the way. Once the sirens went off for a tornado warning and we were eating lunch at a Burger King probably 15 miles from our house. Thanks, Dad.

My dad still rides his bike everywhere, even though the days of me on the back, or even me on my own bike right behind him are long gone. He leaves for work extra early so he has time to bike down there. He stops by my house on his way home to say hello and get a drink.

I remember in highschool when I participated in a Catholic retreat and my dad sent me a letter about how I was his little princess who was turning into a queen. It's one of my most prized possessions.

I remember before my wedding when my girls stepped out of the bridal room and let my dad in. I'd seen him earlier in the day when he helped us decorate, but I finally had my dress on, my makeup done, and my hair fixed. He cried. I cried. We hugged. 

And you know what we talked about when we walked down the aisle? Ties. As in his purple tie. (PS. isn't his outfit great? He picked it out, but insisted I come along and approve. He also wore cowboy boots, which is so my dad.) And then he asked, "Why are you running?" "Dad. I'm nervous!"

My dad gave me the nickname "Rissi Rae." It's so special and it's one of my favorite sounds. 

My dad has been my rock so many times in my life. Through high school when I lost my grandparents, then a friend. Through countless math classes because he's a math major and I am not. In college when I didn't tell my parents I was taking a mini vaca and wrecked my car. He drove two hours in a blizzard to come save me. Through my mom's accident when he could read between the lines and I couldn't. He still takes care of me even though I'm suppose to be "grown up." He mows my lawn, he plants my garden, he fixes my broken.

My dad's the greatest. I'm biased. But so incredibly blessed. 

Blessed with both my parents who continue to support and care for me (and let me leech their health insurance). Blessed with parents who are still happily married. Blessed with parents who didn't put up with my crap. Blessed with parents who were strict when they needed to be. Blessed with parents who insisted on family and family vacations. Blessed with parents who were examples in so many different areas, even though it took me some time to learn that.

Mom and DAD, I love you both.

50 books for 2011, part deux

See my previous post here.

10. The Help, by Katherine Stockett. 
Verdict: I really liked this book, but I thought the ending was rather rushed. Overall, I was pretty hooked through the entire book. I love history, and although this story is fictional, it was inspired by true history. And it was completely different than my usual reads.

11. Family History: A Novel, by Dani Shapiro.
Verdict: At first I loved this book. Then it began to kind of annoy me. Basically, this family has some huge tragedy happen and the author is working backwards to tell the story. But she builds up the tragedy so much you get hooked and then you're let down when she finally gets to what happened. The dad character pissed me off so much I just wanted to skip over whole chapters. It wasn't a terrible book, but when I was finished and I thought about it, I realized I didn't like it as much as I thought I did. If that makes any sense at all...

12.  It's Kind of a Funny Story, by Ned Vizzini.
Verdict: I loved this book so much that I just forgave the improbable and rushed story. I also saw this book on Kaleena's blog and I really love when bloggers do book reviews. So keep that up, people.

13. She's Come Undone, by Wally Lamb.
 Verdict: This book and I had a lovehate relationship. I started reading it and realized I had been reading for a long time and wasn't very far into the book. And I'm a fast reader. Yes, this book was one of the longest books I've ever read and Wiki says there are 386 or 465 pages (hardback then paperback).  
Then I realized there were a ton of errors and I got super peeved. Errors like, "I'mnotdonehereyet." Um, that is not a word. There should be some spaces in that sentence. And other errors like, "Dante, I'm toe         Yeah, literally no punctuation and that doesn't even make sense with punctuation, so.... But my favorite error was: "I'll never sleep/91 thought Then, without warning, .........." Yep. Word for word. Ok, listen, Amazon. I know I only paid $9 for this book but I paid $9 for this book. Ya know? So I complained. Because seriously. For a while, there were at least 3 different errors on each page. And Kindle pages aren't very big. Amazon told me they'd take the book off the website while they fixed it (no they did not.) and then they'd give me a credit (they did.) and then some rude guy (Garret C. Don't ever ever ever everrrr get him as your Amazon help person. Ever.) wanted me to go through the entire book and find every. single. error. So, I was like, "Thanks for the job, Garret! How much do I get paid and when do I start!?!" And he wasn't very happy with that. Um, hi, let me do your job for you and you can just keep the pay check, okay? Okay! 
Anyway, back to the book. I really, really liked this book. It did get a little tedious when this girl dealt with every. single. problem a girl could deal with in her 40 year life. But the story was well told and I laughed out loud (not to be confused with LOL) multiple times. That's important. I recommend, 100%. Once Amazon gets their act together and fixes their junk, that is. Ps. This is a recommendation from Danielle at Sometimes Sweet. I love her taste in books. And did you see her post at Hello Giggles this week? Perrrfect! Also, PS2, Oprah loves this book. Always a good choice with Oprah.

Still reading:
(Still is not to be confused with currently.)

The Memory Keepers Daughter, by Kim Edwards.
Verdict: I have nothing new to say about this book because I haven't picked it up since early May. Whoops! I'll finish it before I buy another book. Swear.
Have you read anything good lately?

Week of Thanks, Week Twenty Three

214. Eating real food again! Hallelujah! When the doctor told me that I would have a three week recovery period where I was unable to eat anything besides popsicles and applesauce, he forgot that I am a rockstar. (Throat still hurts, still scabby, but like 100% better than last week.)

215. Hanging out with friends at a wedding reception until like 1 am. And then hanging out at my house talking about relationships with Jamie until like 3 am.

216. Stacey, a lady who works with Evan and Jamie who is just the most spectacular person I've ever met. She told us her life story, while drunk, and still managed to be the greatest story teller I've ever heard.

217. Worship songs that you just really need to hear.

218. Seeing less fortunate people and truly realizing how well off you are. No matter how much money you don't have, or how you don't have iphones, or the nicest cars, or a flat screen TV. These things are worthless when you think about the things that really matter.

219. Sweet little old people in love and holding hands.

220. Watching Evan sing on the worship team for the first time in front of a million people almost. And then I tried to take a picture and the people behind me totally judged me for having my camera out during worship. Oops.

221. Bartender husband = awesome drinks. My new thing? Mojitos. I don't even like rum and I'm in love with these summery, fresh drinks!

222. Being tired after an entire week of insomnia.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Today, Evan and my in-laws went with our foursquare church and our outreach program to help out a local community that was severely hit by the storms three weeks ago. I walked away speechless at the damage and the stories and the hopelessness I felt at the destruction and the ever rising river merely feet from people's houses.

It was a sad day.

We helped at the Crow Reservation. And, I don't know what things are like in your area, but in ours there is a stigma between Native Americans and "white" Americans. For the most part, and yes, there are exceptions, these two groups of people don't really get along. It's sad because we live 45 minutes away and it's almost like going from my neighborhood to Ethiopia. It's practically a third world, 45 minutes from my doorstep. Any why? So frustrating.

Anyway, so this stigma. I'm not going to get into it, I don't want to offend anyone, but it's there. It's not good.

Evan and I plus his family plus two others went to a house literally 50 feet from this river that had flooded. Their entire basement had been flooded and was covered in mud and water. There were cardboard boxes filled with clothes and papers and food that we just had to throw out. This family just watched as we hauled their broken memories up the muddy stairs in flung toys and garbage and shirts and pictures into the back of a trailer.

These things that they had just stored in their basement because of whatever reason, now destroyed. Couch cushions, mattresses, bibles, books, sewing patterns, dolls, teddy bears, t-shirts, shoes. All ruined.

Luckily they had a cement basement (unfinished?) so there is no structural damage, or if there's any it's a tiny amount and easy to fix.

So there we were, masks covering our faces, throwing away this stuff we deemed as junk while the mom and daughter sat on the couch upstairs weeping at their possession being thrown away. I didn't realize until later in the day that the mask was covering my smile. I kept smiling at them but they couldn't see it. How inconsiderate of me.

Back to the stigma, I'm sure they don't appreciate these random people just throwing away the stuff I've labeled as junk. To them it's memories, possessions, life. I was scooping up papers and little broken toys with a shovel when the mom walked downstairs and I just couldn't. These things have no meaning for me, but to them they do. I couldn't disrespect them anymore so I had to get on my hands and knees (or just as close) on the moldy, soggy carpet and pick up glass and paper and broken toys. I was really worried that I would be viewed as some rich white girl who just does this to look good. That's not true, but does the fact that I worry about that make it true? I spent a lot of the day arguing with myself about who I was and the state of my heart.

Our party had to leave early but by lunch time we got half the wet items out of the house. Almost half the basement was emptied and the back rooms weren't as badly damaged as the front rooms. But, we did have to deal with moldy carpets and moldy food, some very unsanitary issues, and some not very pretty smells.

It was a hard day.

I was out of my comfort zone, but I was so in awe of everyone around me. Everyone, including my husband, just picked soggy boxes up like it ain't no thang (that's my new saying, homies, thanks to Evan), rolling up the moldy carpet, and carrying these wet, heavy items all over the place, not caring if the wet touched their skin or not. And here I am, tippy toeing around so my pants don't get too wet (because I'm not too bright and didn't think to roll them up before I waded through the water...) and carefully carrying up the light, dryer boxes so I don't get too dirty. Because I'm not washable or anything.

The family was so upset about their belongings and the state of their house that they sort of confined themselves away from us. I didn't get a chance to talk to them, or pray with them, or ask if there was anything I could do later on. Disappointed, again.

When Evan and I got home, we talked about whether or not we thought they appreciated us. It's so hard to give up your day off and get down and dirty and then feel like no one even cares. That is not what it's about, clearly, but we were struggling.

And you know what Evan said to me? "Larissa, we're going to do this for the rest of our lives. And there are going to be people who don't appreciate this. We're going to have to learn to not let that bother us." Because it's so true. It's not about whether or not they care. I believe Matthew 25:40 says, "Whatever you did for the least of these, you have done for me." So I'm doing it for a greater power, who does care.

Today was a hard day. But I like being uncomfortable. It makes me thankful. It wrecks me. It opens my heart. It fills my heart up.

And then, sometimes God goes above and beyond and plants a song at church that spoke right to me:

"We want to hear your voice, oh Father, 
go where you lead, oh Father, 
to the sick and the needy, Father, 
to carry your kingdom."

Yup. That's all I got. That, and God is good. All. The. Time.

photo credit: Evan <3

Thursday, June 16, 2011

to the park

Our friends Jess and Joe are puppy owners, too, to a beautiful black lab. They told us about this little lake west of Billings that is perfect to take the dogs swimming in. We've previously tried to get Ginger to swim in the river but she's terrified of the water. She wades through it like it's going to bite her legs, and Snap is two pounds so she's terrified of anything.

So we went. I tanned. Evan swam in the freezing water. Ginger whined about the freezing water. Snap watched and jumped in on. her. own. twice! So much (free) fun!

I cannot remember the last time I laughed as hard as I did when I saw my 7 pound dog, doggy paddling back to me. She's never been in water before and her instincts are so good! I'm such a proud mama!


Bravest man alive to 1. go swimming in the ice pond, 2. get in that dirty water.

She's a horse, kinda.

Cheering about Ginger swimming out to the ball on her own like a big girl.

The end. Exhausted and hiding her ball from Evan.

I wore shorts for the first time this year, and my chacos and bathed in the beautiful sun. I cannot wait till it's a tiny titch warmer, I'm sure this is going to be a common spot for our summer activities.

Also, Evan is playing some NBA game on our SUPER NINTENDO. Guess where we got it? (The game not the console.) A pawn shop. Ew. Anyway, it's from the 90's and so ridiculously stone age and primitive. HAAAA.

I love today. Which is coincidentally Evan's day off which makes today awesome.

Monday, June 13, 2011

the cuteness

Then she rolled over on top of it.

I love love love this one.

We do a lot of sniffing around here.

And a lot of mothering.
I cannot even handle how cute the kittens now are. They respond to my voice so whenever I peek my head into their room they run right to me. And I do mean run. They're little legs cannot come fast enough. They all adore Ginger's tail, even though she can't control it and whips it around knocking 4 of them flat. Our little favorite (pictured above) has quite the purr going on. And she uses it often because she just loves her perfect little life. Snap's getting better with them, but she likes to sniff their behinds just to make sure she knows who is who. She also really really really wants to play so she bats at them and gets in her play stance but they only understand the fast moving tail of Ginger as a play toy. They are becoming so much fun I cannot wait until they can walk a little better and I start finding them in my closet, under my couch, on my bed, behind the washer (still need to fix that death trap....). Ahhhhhh!!! They're too cute.


I love the way our names sound together. I love hearing two words, just random letters put together to make a nice sound, sound so well matched. It's like a rhythm or a melody. It's like saying the names of two happily [married] people over and over until the way you say it becomes comfortable. Becomes awkward if you split it up. And now I say our names to myself and hear that. I hear how his name flows into mine, and maybe just a little, if you're talking about us and you just say his name, maybe it sounds a little naked and bare. And maybe it longs for a companion like, say, my name. 

Evan and Larissa.

I cannot get over the way that sounds. The way that sounds in my mind as I walk by our wedding pictures. The way it sounds when I do married things like sign checks or write cards. The way it always comes to mind when I say the familiar name of a couple friend. The way I say their names and they flow and match. Just like ours.

Evan and Larissa.
I love the way Evan sleeps next to me. How comfortable and routine his sleeping his. That he will search for my feet to hold between his legs to warm them up. And then drape his long legs over mine and curl us together. And if he's having a particularly good non-snoring night, the space between his shoulder and chest is the most perfect mold for my head. The way his breathing deepens and slows and the moment I can tell exactly when he has fallen asleep. 

Evan and Larissa.
I love the ways we fit each other. How he is full where I am lacking. He speaks, I listen. He sings, I dance. He sleeps, I dream. When I step back and examine us, I just think, how could you not believe when I am such a match for him? When he is such a match for me? How could you not believe that God picked him from all the world to be mine. To fit to me. How could you not believe that God fashioned me from his rib, just like Adam and Eve? When we are so alike and so different at the exact same time. When he can hear my heart calling him from across the room, across the street, across the city. When he knows the exact thing to say. When there is nothing more to say than just, we fit. 

Evan and Larissa.
Evan and Larissa.
 Evan and Larissa.  

evan has since shaved that gnarly beard and gifted the shavings to me while i was on my tonsil deathbed. it was terrifying (i have a thing with presents in fists. i just.....can't....) i love that first picture. he's a goof. it's so him. i cropped it funny on accident and loved it. there are such things as good mistakes. i'm also really into blurry pictures right now. so i don't care that this picture isn't perfect. i like that it's messy. we're kind of messy people. it's us. evan. and. larissa.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Week of Thanks, Week Twenty Two

207. Sitting in in the gorgeous day hanging out with my parents while they plant flowers.

208. Sonic slushie on my hot throat. MM MM Good.

209. The night before a day off. And how you can do whatever you want because you have no responsibilities the next day.

210. How Evan brings our little zoo into our bed while we watch TV, read, and blog. We have six babies, one mama, one scared pup, and one protective pup all lounged out on our bed. We cuddle with the kitties and laugh while they traipse around. It's too cute.

211. When my pain dips below a 5 on the 1-10 scale. Success!

212. When I get really sick from my medicine and Evan does everything in his power to make me feel better. "Do you want a foot massage? A neck massage? A back massage? Do you want to watch a show? Read? Play Mario? Play Mario Cart? Play Mario Party? Play Sims like we used to when we were in college and not doing homework?" Such a sweetheart. I love him.

213. Playing Super Mario on the Wii with multiple people. Oh the screaming that ensues.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Obviously, from my lack of posting you can probably tell that this tonsil removal has pretty much taken over my life. Yesterday and the day before were by far the worst, where my pain (on a scale from 1 to 10) was at a consistent 8-9 all day long. I won't go into details because everything about this surgery is just nasty. And if you've had it, then you know. But, today I'm feeling better AND I got my prescription refilled so now the stress of "omg my drugs are running out and I'm still in too much pain and if I run out my body is just going to voluntarily kill itself and omgomgomgomgomg" is gone. (Real texts sent to Evan. He loves me so much right now.)

Anyway. For the past couple of days Evan has brought the kitties (and mama) in our bed to hang out with us for a little while. Apparently baby kitties don't potty (or I haven't found it yet?) so I don't worry about that. We just bring them in and snuggle up with their furry faces and let them climb all over. It's the cutest thing ever. We also recently learned that Snap is terrified of the kitties. If I pick one up she books it out of the room. So I'm making sure to really love on her because I think she's a titch jealous. Ginger, on the other hand, has become the father figure. If she's on the other end of the house and a kitty starts crying she runs to its aide. Sybil is so good with the dogs, she hasn't tried to hide the babies once. She lets Ginger get all close and personal, like laying her head on Sybil's belly and sniffing the babies. I'll definitely need to get pictures of that soon. It's hilarious.

This week the babies have been starting to move around, although their back legs still fail them a little bit. All eyes are open and they're starting to hear. Cutest thing ever when their little ears move around. Ah! Kills me.

We definitely have our favorite picked out (the gray one), in case we do decide to keep one. Evan named her favorite, but that will change if she's ours. Her face is just the cutest little smushed thing I ever did see.

And that's the epitome of my life right now. I just spoke for the first time in 3 days and now I'm light headed. Apparently you're suppose to chew gum to keep your jaw limber and no one told me that. So my jaw opens not at all.

The only real thing I've been doing with my time is reading. I've read 3 books in 7 days so I'll have another book review post coming soonsoonsoon!