Thursday, February 28, 2008

Story Telling

Last weekend the library paid for me to attend a Storytelling Conference at Brigham Young University. Truthfully, the conference didn't have a whole lot to do with my library position, but I have always had a love for oral storytelling so I bravely asked for my employer to foot the bill.

Anyhow, for two days I was able to listen to world class storytellers and take workshops on topics like bedtime story rituals, storytelling 101, the power of the oral tradition, and creating a family heritage of storytelling. It was a really great weekend and I left with some ideas that I will use in my weekly children's story time at the library as well as ideas to use when I become a mother. Also, it's hard to explain, but attending the conference made me feel a sense of wonder that had recently been absent from my life. Thank goodness I am starting to dream again!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Wendy and Gabe at a Naming Ceremony

Wendy and I had a wonderful experience the other day that I thought would be fun to share with all of you. Two close friends of ours had a baby just a couple of weeks ago, and they named him Campbell. Jared and Sade, each of whom attended law school with me at some point (though not the same law school) invited us to take part in an important event in the life of their families. Sade's father is from Nigeria, and it is customary when a new baby is born in their family to have a naming ceremony. Wendy and I were lucky enough to be invited to this special occasion.

As you can see, several of the people at the ceremony were dressed in traditional Nigerian clothes. Both Jared (pictured above) and Sade's families were there. Though we have met Jared's family on a couple previous occasions, we were finally able to get to know Sade's family as well. The ceremony was conducted in Yoruba, a language spoken primarily in Western Nigeria. Fortunately, the professor who conducted the ceremony did a great job of explaining what he was doing beforehand in English, because my Yoruba is a little rusty. :)

At the end, we all got the opportunity to participate in the ceremony by bringing a name for Campbell. Each person who brought a name stood up and told everyone what the name was, and what it meant, why they chose it, etc. It was an amazing experience to see so many people united together, some family and some friends, to celebrate a new life in the world. Though I am not sure whether it was a religious ceremony per se, it was a very spiritual experience, and Wendy and I were both deeply moved.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Winter's Death?

The temperatures have only been in the 40s this week, but the city has come alive with neighbors popping out of their little burrows as though it were really spring and not just the hope of it! Gabe and I ventured out to the park on Sunday to read and bask in the relative warmth, but after a mere 30 minutes of "sun worship," we admitted defeat and retreated under covers to enjoy our books. Winter in Utah is usually mild, but this year has been unrelentless-dumping snow continuously. Oh how I long for spring . . .

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Quest for Perfection

One of my yearly goals has been the quest for the perfect cinnamon roll recipe. I'm talking about large, gooey, sinful, lick your fingers perfection. No skimping on the rich frosting! I've yet to find this necessary recipe, although today I am trying a variation on my friend Megan's recipe and I have high hopes.

Admittedly, I am not the greatest dinner cook. I find raw meat repulsive and I have little patience for the drudgery of kitchen work when it is 6:30 and I'm exhausted and hungry from my job. Baking is a different story though. Baking is done for delight not necessity and isn't usually done on an empty stomach. I love the magic and mystery that comes from adding a few basic ingredients and seeing how they mold together in sugary delight. I love the aroma of an apple pie as it moistens and sweetens in the oven. I enjoy the texture of pounding the dough and rolling sticky cookie batter into balls. I find great romance in baking when the mood strikes.