If Anna Jean has one overarching, life-altering skill, it is self-embusyment. I can busify any day until it’s actually stressful, with no impressive schedule to show for it. I like structure. I like Little Projects. So recently, just know I’ve been keeping busy. But mischief’s a-brewing.

Mom and Micah and Brooke came to see me. We caught up in fine style, ticked several foods and excursions off my list of family visit plans, overwhelmed the locals, and had some violent encounters on the ski slopes at Loveland. Miss u guys.

Oriana’s wedding fast approaches, so at least I have my pretty dress now. Standby on the earrings and the place I get my hair done. Also, my shoes. And the venue for the bridal shower. Lo, even in the static lines of text, observe Anna’s eyelid twitching.

I tried a recipe for maple syrup pie, and I rather think I want to eat it again before I’m dead, so I plan to retry. Also: learned to lattice my cherry pie crusts, found and tweaked a good mango-avocado salsa recipe, and branched out a little in my salad elements. Thought question: would you like to spread extra deviled egg filling on toast for your breakfast? These are the ways I avoid food waste.

Oh – if you know, you know: I got some bombshell news recently. Rest assured, I’m all over it like a little blacksmith with a hammer and a hot poker.

For our first anniversary, Derek quietly planned a trip to Glenwood Springs while I remained adorably oblivious. Adding hot springs swim to end-of-year list. (Catch the rewritten lyrics: “They put some soupy cheap sherbet in their dented ‘04 Camry / And drove it up to the Springs to celebrate their anniversary…”)

Let’s see…what else am I up to? Tie dye! Marveling at the gorgeous springtime developments on the trees and shrubs (so much so that I caught the bug and planted my own seeds – y’all, I think I may own Swiss chard sprouts). I’ve been exercising pretty well, not that anyone cares. We joined a rec center down the road because Derek was athirst for basketball. Lydia and Timothy Baldridge finally managed to have a group over for our first time playing Dungeons and Dragons, despite each one of their ninety children having strep throat at all times (and I hope this becomes routine, because as I suspected, D&D = my kind of game).

We’re going to heck-freakin’ diddly dang Hawaii over Thanksgiving. George’s doing. Grapple as I might, I can’t find the right word for my excitement because adjectives are trite. (Just a little adjective irony for you; humor!!) The only drawback is, now we have limited available days to travel back to California and elsewhere this year…but Some Of You could always come visit Colorado as well, and just in case you didn’t hear, I’m going to heckin’ Hawaii with the heck heck.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri was so weird. If anyone’s seen it, please talk to me about it. I agree with Derek’s assessment that “it was definitely a bad movie with good parts,” but it surprised me several times, and I do love that in a movie. I may dare to name it refreshingly bad.

My first school year as a career educator is down to three weeks. I think I can make a go of it. In a couple of years I might be a 5th grade teacher. Sniff.

Speaking of which: nobody panic, but I’ve been really hoping to find menial work to busify my summer – preferably involving little pay, less thought and least sitting – so I applied at a restaurant called Ramen House, a snobby garden center, and Ben & Jerry’s. For convenience and range of hours, Ben & Jerry’s would be perfect, but I’d almost given up hope on them until the owner finally emailed me back this morning. I want to keep Ramen House in my back pocket, but they are pretty disorganized (jank), and they only seem to have two nights a week for me to wait tables (nights I hang with Derek and that’s final). If everyone else disappoints me, I shall head for Einstein’s Bagels. Readers, pray for the right work – your Hawaii souvenirs are on the line here.

That just about exhausts the scuttlebutt. I wanted to write a post about, I don’t know, not my everyday life, but I’m too busy right now, cross stitching and fulfilling my daily quota of remedial German and book chapters and stuff. Bis bald!