Sunday, May 31, 2009

my name

did you know that oftentimes when i introduce myself to someone they respond with "nice to meet you amber" because they thought that when i said "hi, i'm amberli" that i really said "hi, i'm Amber Lee" and that Lee is actually my last name? in fact, on more then one occassion when i've met someone in person who has previously heard my name they will say, "oh i thought you were asian because your name is Amber Lee" and then i have to explain that my name isn't Amber Lee, it's amberli, all one word, just my first name. and when i'm on the phone making an appointment or something and i have to spell my name out because no one ever understands what i'm saying i usually just end up saying "it's amber with an l-i" which generally makes even less sense to them and i end up receiving a confirmation notice in the mail addressed to amterly or anmerlee or annmarie, or what have you.

speaking of ann marie, once i introduced myself as amberli and the lady responded "it's nice to meet you ann marie" then turned to her coworker and said "this is ann marie" to which her coworker responded "it's nice to meet you ann marie" and after about ten ann maries i felt too sheepish to correct them so i just became ann marie for the day. and now i have to remember to look if ever i'm walking down centre street and someone says "hi ann marie" just in case they are talking to me. i could tell this same story just substituting "ann marie" with "emily."

"hi, i'm amberli."
"nice to meet you emily."
it's all very confusing.

not to mention the pronunciation. people tend to stress the "li" because that's the different part of my name. am-ber-LI. i don't mind it, whatever floats your boat. i'll answer to most anything. although when people really struggle and i can tell they feel weird saying my name because they aren't sure how to pronounce it i tell them it "AM-berli" like "KIM-berly." this usually helps, although it also occassionally results that someone thinks my name is kimberly from then on. oh well, add it to my multiple personalities.

it's a novelty to meet someone with my name, although i've never met anyone who spells it the same as i do and no matter what it always catches me off guard since i am so un-used to anyone having my name. one year at summer camp i saw a sign above a girl's bed that said "amberleigh" and i screamed with joy. i spent the week seeking out amberleigh and had a very happy meeting when i told her "i'm amberli." it was cheer camp, so i'm sure we jumped up and down and clapped and shouted "go amberli/leigh." we chatted and were insta-friends although i had to be honest with her "amberleigh, you're making it so difficult for yourself with the l-e-i-g-h spelling! i have a hard enough time with the l-i spelling." we comiserated. we bonded.

then one day i was shocked to hear that "amberli will be saying the closing prayer" from the pulpit my first day in a new ward. "i am?" i thought. but then when the time came for the closing prayer amberly stood up to pray and i realized that amberly was saying the closing prayer, not amberli. having amberly in my ward was my weirdest encounter with another amberli/ly/leigh because our paths crossed on a regular basis and i was always caught off guard when someone said amberly and i thought they were saying amberli. and the -ly spelling is just weird to me. i think it makes it sound like an adverb. like happily, sadly, loudly, amberly. see what i mean? she ate the ice cream cone very amberly. or better yet, the amber waves of grain waved very amberly.

then one day i was walking through the byu bookstore and this employee shouted across the store "amberli, where did you stack those order forms?" sheesh, i don't know! i don't even work here! but then i realized he was talking to amberlee, not amberli. i watched the conversation for a while then finally walked up to amberlee and said "hi amberlee, i'm amberli." it was once again insta-friendship.

i was supposed to be an amberlin. my sister named me or at least came up with amber part. but all my siblings names end with "n" so my parents thought "amberlin" would work but then they realized they weren't a fan of the lin addition and dropped the "n" all together which was a good thing because i went to junior high with an amberlin and let me tell you, i'm not an amberlin. although i knew an amberlin in college and she would have made me proud to be an amberlin. but in the end, i'm so an amberli.

i'll spare you a long dialogue on the nicknames although i will say that most of them are deviations of amberli - am, ames, amby, ber, li, lili, etc. although now that i think about it, many of the nicknames are not deviations of amberli. continuing with the asian theme, my mom calls me "suki" (pronounced soo-kee) which is actually the short version of the real nickname "suki-ba-duki." it's a long story...

my dad was the first to start the "berli" series back when i was in high school. over the years this has morphed into berliness, ber, berber, berls, etc. again, i often find that i must clarify that it's "berli" not "burly" which is a totally different beast entirely. i love berli though and all it's variations. however on a cold winter's day i often find myself turning to an unsuspecting person suffering from the cold after they mutter under their breath "burrrrr." more than once i've turned and said, "yeah?" as if they had said "berrrrr?" the first time this happened was on my mission. i hadn't heard anyone say my name and especially not my nickname for over a year since when you're a missionary you go by "sister (insert last name here)." i had been sister roper for a long long time and had begun to forget that i ever had another name when one day another missionary, suffering from the cold, said "BUR!" and instinctively i turned to him and yelled "WHAT?" it was very funny.

i'll also spare you the highly symbolic and deeply meaningful tale of solidifiying my identity when at the age of eight i moved back to california from idaho and started introducing myself as amberli although until then i had gone by amber. at eight years of age i became amberli and have never looked back.

hm, so i didn't really mean to make this such a long post, but there you have it.

but you can call me ber or berli or ann marie or whatever

Friday, May 29, 2009

when it's raining outside

we usually end up taking lots of pictures inside. and oftentimes when i get on the floor to take a picture of atticus, he gets on the floor to figure out what in the world i'm doing.


today he discovered that those things we put in our ears, that he usually puts in his mouth, actually have music coming out of them. he rocked out to "vogue" for a good five minutes and thought he was pretty funny.


and i realized that it's probably a good thing that atticus spills water on the floor fairly often because otherwise my floors would never get cleaned. i love my wood floors and yet i don't even own a mop. please don't look too closely.


it was a very productive day


i like to pretend

that i adhere to the "no tv until the age of two" rule

but let's be honest

after three days of rain the little guy has earned some shrek 2 time


and he's loving this little couch that he adopted out of some donations that were dropped off for my clothing drive for Room to Grow.

i hope you're having a sun shiney non-rainy day!


~ p&p therapy ~
third rainy day in a row
oh well...
it's nothing a little
fitzwilliam darcy
can't fix


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

~ boston wild life ~

i hope you all had a wonderful memorial day. we played in the water downtown along the greenway which was great.


we also saw a couple of crazy sights. the first was a deer galloping down the esplanade while we were running along the river. it was totally crazy. the poor thing was frantically racing along, trying to figure out how in the world it got into the city, as were the rest of us.

then later we saw this huge monster wasp! the thing was seriously the size of my palm. ok maybe atticus' palm, but it had a four inch long stinger. beast! i'm pretty sure i nightmared about it last night as well. now i've been known to exaggerate a time or two in my day, but this is no exaggeration. this thing could have taken out an elephant. luckily darek's flip flop did the job but not after a violent man-vs-beast battle to the death.

then this morning i saw a hawk while i was out running. he was just chillin on top of a chain link fence tearing apart a plastic bag. it was huge! i'm glad it was just a plastic bag and not a mini rodent of some kind. so anyway, no need for a trip to the zoo this week!


Saturday, May 23, 2009

craigsville beach

we went to the cape yesterday


we spent our time digging in the sand

throwing the sand

Throwing Sand
inspecting the sand

finding treasures with mom in the sand

digging holes with dad in the sand

and climbing in and out of said holes in the sand

it was magical

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

why i love boston reason #856


all the fountains to play in while waiting for dad to get off work


i hope you all enjoyed the lovely weather



~ the simple pleasures of today ~

getting the parking spot right in front of my house
playing in the backyard
going to institute this morning
reading this talk
a bumpersticker i saw: i {heart} lemurs
IMing darek
holding att's hand
wearing my zebra flip flops
seventy nine degrees
squeezing lemon over my fruit
driving with my windows down
getting freebies
watching a chick flick while folding laundry
planning a day at the cape this weekend
putting summer outings on the calendar
having a clean house
14 hours of music newly downloaded on my phone
planning my run this afternoon, so i can listen to my new music
singing baby mine to atticus before naptime
att roaring like the lion from the zoo yesterday
catching up with a friend
eating rice pudding
.being simple.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

we went to the zoo today
and sadly i did not think to take too many pictures
although atticus did think that the waterfall was worth staring at forever

~ enjoy the lovely weather ~

Sunday, May 17, 2009

so sad...

we received word today, at the end of the stake conference broadcast, that the longfellow chapel had caught fire and burned down during the broadcast. we were all shocked and saddened by this news. it's a beautiful building in the heart of harvard square right next to the charles river. it was one of the first LDS chapels in the boston area and holds a lot of historical and sentimental significance for all the members in this area. it houses the singles wards and those that were attending conference today, about 300 people, all made it out safely. we are so sad to say goodbye to this building. this is were i saw clients when i worked for LDS Family Services. it is also where most of our ward baptisms are held and where darek plays basketball. because it houses the singles wards a lot of local members met their spouses there. so sad to see it go.

watch the news story here

Saturday, May 16, 2009

oh the irony doth pain me so
do you see these boys?
they're my fave
their new album came out yesterday
it makes me real happy
do you see their concert tour?
look closely
do you see?
they are playing in boston
whilst i'm in salt lake
and playing in salt lake
after i'm back in boston

. have a green day.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

don't you just hate it when

you're out for a nice little run around the pond and some poor lost souls stop to ask you for directions to the arboretum so you give them directions to the arboretum and then a few days later you're driving past the arboretum and you realize that the directions you gave to the poor lost souls very well could have gotten them more lost than ever? yeah...i do too... sorry poor super lost souls.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

random tidbits

like how i had to get my eyes dialated on monday at my eye appointment and then i walked around all day mostly blind and looking like a thirsty vampire with black eyes. sick.

and how i've recently learned that pulling your hair back in the ponytail is not the same as taking a i've resorted to braids.
and how atticus peed on me on mother's day. all over my lap. which was totally my fault since i was holding him naked after bath time. and how i don't mind so much. i just figure that he was marking his territory.
and how he also stayed in nursery without any problems last sunday which was so so great.
and how i'm organizing a clothing drive for Room to Grow and would love to take any donations of baby clothing, toys, books and equipment that you might have to offer that will go to helping families and children born into poverty.
and how i don't normally blog about shows that i watch probably because i'm embarrassed to admit to what shows i watch and i've been cutting back on shows anyway but that i for sure cried last night watching the biggest loser finale!
and how i've recently made an effort to end my 18 year love affair - aka addiction - with blistex by using the burt's bees chapstick my cute sister-in-law sent me...with minimal success.
and how atticus has only been up for one hour and i'm just about to change the second messy diaper of the day.
and how i made s'mores over the gas stove top flame because i just had to have a s'more two nights ago and that i really feel strongly that a good s'more every now and then should be required by law.
and how i got three pounds of strawberries for $5 at stop and shop yesterday and they are huge and delicious and atticus shoves entire strawberries in his mouth at one time, no biting.
and how we are going to run downtown today and meet up with darek for lunch outside because it's so beautiful!
and how atticus totally knows how to put the curious george DVD in the DVD player and turn it on which means he's in there watching curious george at this moment without my permission.
and how i just discovered this week that you can read stephanie meyer's rough draft of midnight sun, which is the twilight story told from edward's point of view, can be read here, and how i'm still on team edward.
and how i've really been missing my family this week and can't wait to spend july in utah with them.
and how i hope you all have a lovely and perfect day!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

'twas a lovely mother's day
"i can barely put into words
the blessings i've received being a mother.
it has changed me to the very core,
created within my heart
an undying
and unconditional
that i have never known before."
~ excerpt from my journal to atticus

thank you for the lovely weekend, boys!
i hope your day was dreamy

Saturday, May 09, 2009

*my dream house*
*has lilac in the yard*
right next to the big porch we are planning on heading to the lilac festival tomorrow for mother's day
at the arboretum. oh how i love me some lilac

Friday, May 08, 2009

our plans got thwarted

i was so excited when i woke up to the unexpectedly sunny day this morning. i figured we'd go on a nice long run after atticus took his morning nap and maybe stop by haymarket for some fresh market deliciousness. att and i played in the backyard until nap time and then i put him down. he's pretty much an insta-sleeper, or at least plays for a little bit in his crib then goes to sleep without a fight. but not today. an hour later he was still mad that i had had the audacity to put him in his crib at nap time! eventually i just let him get back up since he wasn't chilling out and falling asleep. the second he was out of the crib he was running around, having a ball, happy as could be. hmmm...i suppose it just wasn't a morning nap day. so now we're just making blueberry pancakes for lunch because when your plans get thwarted, blueberry pancakes are always a good backup. i suppose at some point atticus will decide to nap and we may just miss out on the lovely afternoon weather as well. oh well. the sun will come out (hopefully) tomorrow.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


arrived in the mail yesterday, just in time to save me from my rainy week. it was quite a miracle actually, just as the UPS man knocked on my door to deliver my sunshine there was a break in the clouds and lo and behold out came the sun to dry up and warm up the afternoon enabling us to go an a glorious run and play in the backyard! i credit all this miraculousness to my very sweet sister~in~law cori who was so thoughtful to send a dose of her las vegas sunshine to warm me up in my new england spring. thanks sweet cori ~ you saved me from the rainy day blues!

the note says "a box of sunshine just for you! the sun comes up jus tto see what you'll do today!" i love it!
starbursts also graced my sunshine box but those suckers didn't make it through the night!

again today we've got the gloom. but i've decided that when atticus wakes up we're going running anyway. what's a little rain when it's still warm outside? well, fierce humidity, that's what, but whatever, we're going anyway.

so i have a long to do list today and so far i can cross off "waste time online." well, i suppose i've done a few productive things online today like submit my info to see if the university of phoenix wants me to teach an online course in quantitative research (the only subject my social work background qualifiies me for) after which i googled and wikipediaed "quantitative research." hmmm...perhaps i'm not qaulified to teach it afterall. just kidding, i took those courses in grad school, i just needed a little reminder. and it worked. i remembered quite quickly why i slept through those classes.

so anyway, probably the #1 prioroity on my "to do" list, and perhaps the reason i find myself procrstinating today, is to prepare my talk for sunday. i'm a fill-in. which means i only got called a day ago and asked to speak in church. i'm cool with that in general. i can bust out a talk like nobody's business as we all know i've usually got too much to say about anything BUT i feel some hesitation about speaking this sunday only because it's mother's day. not because i want a carefree mother's day because strangely i actually do enjoy speaking in church so that's not a problem. but just because motherhood is such a personal topic and can be such a tender and sensitive subject to different people for different reasons. life experience has taught me to be very sensitive to others in regards to motherhood because we never know what others are experiencing. more and more there are cases of people pursuing parenthood and their plans being put on hold for a variety of reasons and often there is some heartache involved. i know people who don't go to church on mother's day for such reasons. my heart aches for them. i want to be supportive and loving and convey a message of love and support that will touch everyone's hearts and feed their souls. i've been praying for inspiration and i'm feeling the thoughts start to evolve. i'd be happy to hear what you think!

have a "sunshine in a box" day!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

.it was a pandora day.
pandora had to keep us happy and dancing today so as not to add our tears to the endless rainfall. mr. sunshine, don't be shy...
at least we got lots done and had visitors. no sad tears about that.

.sweet dreams.

in all my thirty years

there are just some life lessons i can't seem to fully grasp. i find myself quite inconveniently forgetting previous life experience and learning the same lessons over and over and over again. allow me to share with you the wisdom acquired through repeated mistakes lest you fall prey to the same temptations:
1. never highlight your own hair, never
2. sun-in is not the answer
3. self tanner = OOMPA LOOMPA

however, i admit that on this rainy day in may, without any sunshine to kiss my legs, i again pretened like i haven't done this experiement before and {gasp!} used self tanner! only a touch, only a smallish area, and only jergens natural glow moisturizer. and the verdict...not orange! maybe a small orangish spot on my right ankle but {hopefully} only noticable to me...? and much better than the orange oompa loompa legs i nightmared about last night.

hmmm, it's very disconcerting when 30 years of disasters are suddenly erased with one small success. i must abstain from potential over-confindence here and resist the temptation to bust out the "do your own highlights" kit. perhaps i'll try sun-in first...

Monday, May 04, 2009

~ monday is laundry day ~
i love that little 1950's housewife detail of my lifei pretty much had a perfect week last week, save the gnarly headache that knocked me out thursday night. i kind of wanted to blog about my perfect week but sort of not because of that whole "my life is perfect" blogging epidemic where we read the edited versions of everyone else's lives that seem so perfect and then feel real sad about our own imperfect lives. and i didn't want to make anyone feel sad because let's be honest - no one's life is perfect. but last week, it almost was. it was beautiful and sunny and we did fun things like going to the zoo and circus and the temple and hung out with fun people that are friendly and smiley and there was good sleeping and good eating and good running and good family timing and all that kind of fun stuff. it was great. thank goodness for the imperfect weeks, however, because without them perfect wouldn't be so perfect.

*so anyway ~ some of the highlights*

*cut up strawberries & bananas*
~ with fresh squeezed lemon juice & vanilla yogurt ~

*spontaneous dinner guests*
*being accompanied by elvis*
~ while singing in the car ~
*eating these*
*and baking these*
*playing in the backyard*

*volunteering at Sergi Farm*
~ planting lettuce, getting nice and dirty ~

*watching atticus gnaw on corn on the cob*
*running with derelique around the pond*
*doing the wellness challenge with my family*

*inheriting hand-me-downs from my fashionista friends*
*drinking mocktinis and lime ricky's*

*listening to conference talks*
*reading and reading*
*giving things away*

*planning a clothing drive*
~ for this charity ~
(feel free to donate!)

*spring cleaning*
*and trees in bloom*

*good chats with good people*
*the sun, the sun, hooray for the sun*
(though absent today...*sigh*)

*thinking about you*
*finding old and precious friends*
~ being reunited ~
*moving on*

~ love it ~