Sunday, September 11, 2011

Back in the Saddle!

Breaking News Flash! Trial of the Century about to begin!

Question: Did Brian and Kelly actually go to Mexico this summer or was it all just a hoax?

Answer: What do these pictures tell you?

Exhibit A - Who's that striking young Mexican man in the hat? Yours truly: El Gringo himself. And in true Mexican fashion, I am sporting my selection jersey, appropriately-colored sombrero, and my five o'clock mustache. Truth be told, I kinda wish the rest of my five o'clock facial hair would even it out a little more...

Exhibit B - Only in Veracruz, Mexico could you find paintings louder than Kelly's shirt. This was our last weekend trip together and we loved it. Despite whatever Kelly says, though, it really was the hottest day of my entire life!

Exhibit C - If you look at the skeleton right by my head you can see the mustache painted on his face. I'm pretty sure that's accurate. When Mexican men die, their mustaches live on. "Heroes get remembered but 'staches never die."

Exhibit D - Tacos al Pastor are the Wizard of Oz of the food community. They are great and powerful.

Exhibit E - Is there any more concrete proof than this? Would I let myself be seen anywhere within the continental United States (sorry Alaska and Hawaii) with that thing on my face? (Side note: that is my real mustache.) Add that sweet v-neck to the mix and I could be an extra in Starsky and Hutch.

Objection! What does this have to do with being in Mexico?
Okay, okay, it has nothing to do with it. But, just look at that tie-fighter shaped cluster of Cheerios I found in my cereal that morning. It's incredible!

Exhibit G - This picture kind of sums up the entire teaching experience for me. We spent weeks preparing for the end of semester play "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" so the kids could show off their English in front of their parents. We made cotton ball beards and dwarf hats for them to wear. The only thing they had to do was wear a "plain" t-shirt. We spent days and days reviewing that a "plain" t-shirt had no words, pictures, or designs on it. All I can say is my boys made me proud that day. Really proud...

Exhibit H - What can we say about Laura? The real problem is that there is so much to tell about her and we couldn't possibly fit it all into one post, let alone the caption of one picture. So, if you are in the mood to roll on the floor laughing and/or be slightly creeped-out, upon our next encounter just say the magic word "Laura" (pronounced La- ooh- ra) and prepare to be enlightened.

Exhibit I - Meet our adopted family (Aime, Javier, and Maria). They are AMAZING! They showed us what real Mexican culture is all about! They are not only hilarious and kind, but they happen to be talented chefs as well. If you are ever in Mexico your time will not be complete without stopping by their shop!

Exhibit J - These people were our lifeline in Mexico. Awesome parents and 3 beautiful little girls. From Left to right: Helena (Brian's biggest fan, and favorite kindergartner. She asked her mom if Brian, solely Brian, could please stay and keep teaching her.) Next is Teo. He would set up soccer nights, teach dance lessons 3x/week, and show us the best tacos in town. Madison is next. She is the brightest little girl and a great older sister. On the end we have cute little Mary. Mary won't let you in until you show her you are trustworthy but, once she has, she will wrap you around her little finger. Last but not least is Rachel. She was the one that helped us coordinate everything with teaching. It was so nice to have her around to enjoy her patience and wisdom.

Exhibit K - This was Kelly's finest moment: the night we all dressed in our personality colors from "The Color Code". If you are looking at this picture and thinking "Those people are definitely yellows!" then you must have met Kelly in person before.

How this picture was arranged:
Reds: We will stand in the back so everyone else needs to find a place!
Whites: Okay. We can sit on the ground if you want.
Yellows: Oooh! We'll come with you guys. That'll be so fun!
Blues: Well that leaves an open place in the back. We better fill it in so the picture looks even.

Question: Did Kelly and Brian actually come back from Mexico or are they still there?

Answer: See for yourself!

Exhibit A - Since there is no other building in the entire world shaped like this, we must be back in Provo. Our friend Aubrey recently went through the Temple for the first time in preparation for her mission in Russia. All we have to say is: Рок на Обри! (This should mean "Rock on Aubrey!" in Russian. If it's something very offensive just blame Google translate.)

Exhibit B - More concrete evidence we are back in Provo: date night at the local Color-Me-Mine. You pick out a piece of pottery, paint it, and then they fire it for you. We decided to do salt and pepper shakers. I'll give you a hint: mine is not the salt.

Dr. Pepper was easy but now comes the hard part. Nurse Salt? Even though Kelly really did an amazing job with this one we decided to start over and just do designs on them.

Exhibit C - Wait a second. Maybe they are still in Mexico. Actually, no they can't be. That guy on the far right is way to white to be a Mexican. Are these not the greatest souvenirs of all time? I've been trying to get people to call me "El Mapache Azul" but it's tough. If I wear the mask around more often I'm sure it will catch on though. For now I just get "Weirdo" and "Freak Show" but that's okay.

Exhibit D - 1st Ward Potluck. That's right. We are in the 1st Ward of the BYU 1st Stake. I am also in the 1st Elder's Quorum (we have two). Isn't that amazing! If you are wondering what the giant coaster in my hands is, it's a Spanish tortilla. It was probably the best I have ever made even though I burned it a bit.

Exhibit F - Stereotypical college couple picture while hiking in the mountains. This was honestly a sweet hike. We hiked for about an hour to get to Stuart Falls and then ate fruit and granola on top of this cliff. That's right; Hiking, fruit, and granola. All we need now is sandals with Velcro straps and a Prius.