Friday, May 28, 2010

This is What I Learned...

(...while jogging on windy days.)

Wind does not whisper in deciduous trees or long grass or fields (or gardens) of flowers. Instead it says, "Shhhh...", which--as I've told any number of Primary children--is as noisy as speaking. While it does not involve vocal cords, it does involve noise. It is true that you can make a relatively quiet "shh..." or a much louder "shh...", but either way, there is sound involved.

A whisper, on the other hand, involves NO vocal cords; and your lips, teeth, tongue, and jaw make no harsh popping, grating, or, well, shushing noises. Because THAT, my friends, is the definition of whispering. By definition, a whisper is quiet.

The wind whispers in evergreen trees.

And now you know.

It's Love!

There is a man who I worked with for a couple of years. I never disliked him. I never avoided him. He was always kind. He just kinda ruffled my feathers wrong. Today I saw him in the cafeteria and said hello. His eyebrows flew up, and he said, "Aundrea! You cut your hair! You look beautiful!"

And just for that, I will love him forever.

Adventures in Running -OR- Cinderella at the COB

I have started taking my running clothes to work with me. When my work shift ends, I change into my running clothes. Then I grab the bus, which drops me off at my car. I put my bag of work clothes into the trunk and head straight out for the daily run, because the track is right by the parking lot.

This is good because if I go home, I get doing other things (like eating cookie dough or going to bed), and I don't go run. This way the run gets done before I even get home.

This is bad because people in the COB (where there is a fairly strict dress code) stare at me in my spandex running gear. I don't blame them, really. I wouldn't necessarily want to look at me in spandex. But I gotta do what works for the run. My apologies to EVERYONE.

Yesterday I threw all my work clothes into my bag and headed outside to catch the bus. Which was already sitting at the stop. So I took off on a run to catch it. The bus driver was nice enough to wait for me (kudos to UTA for hiring nice people!). And I did my run. And when I got home and started unloading my clothes, I realized that I was missing a shoe. I distinctly remembered putting one shoe in my bag, but I was pretty sure the other shoe was still in the bathroom cubicle. *sigh*

This morning I went into the restroom first thing, and my shoe was sitting squarely centered on the flowered ottoman in the outer area. It looked like the picture of Cinderella's slipper on the royal pillow as the prince is searching the land for his true love. (Luckily for me, I already found my handsome prince. And he was NOT in the COB8 ladies' room!)

In a way I'm glad the shoe didn't end up in Lost and Found. That would be the second time I've had to retrieve shoes. (Tonight the custodians will laugh about that shoe being claimed from its royal post.)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dear Seeley,

Dear Seeley,

I look kinda cute today. Can you guess what my favorite part of this outfit is?

Well, you are right. These are very cute shoes. This picture doesn't do them justice. They are beaded, and I love the pointy toes! But this is not my favorite part.

The uneven cut of this skirt (which I stole from Briana's closet this morning) is very cute. But the skirt is not my favorite thing, either.

Except that it's pulled down weird over my tummy, this is a very cute blouse. (Rated PG: I like that I actually look like I have boobs in this blouse!) I love this blouse, but it's still not my favorite part of the outfit.

My favorite part of this outfit is this:

My earrings! I LOVE these earrings! I like to find as many things as I can to wear with them. I've worn them about 4 or 5 times in the past week and a half. And I think of you every time I wear them.

Thank you for these fabulous earrings! I love you!

Fun Night

Landon and I went to Taylor and Ashtyn's spring choir concert at the high school last night. A couple of comments:

The Belles Voix dresses are a bright, bright, nearly-turquoise blue. When I first saw Ashtyn's dress I thought, "Woah!" But they really look lovely on stage. It matches their lovely voices.

Take 10, the men's group, is better this year than I have ever heard them. They sang "Memory" from Cats last night, and it was incredibly beautiful. I love men's choirs, and this one is really fantastic this year!

I'm tellin' ya, the 2011 Mads are going to rock the world! I will admit that I am a bit biased, since our son is one of them; but seriously, this is a talented, talented group of kids. I'm excited to see what they can do!


BEAUTIFUL DRESSES (Isn't she lovely?)


The Madrigals
"Changing of the Guard"

Taylor and his new partner

WJHS Concert Choir

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dear Kathryn Stockett

Do you ever Google your own name, just to see if anyone's talking about you? Well, if you do, you'll find me. Unless you get stuck at Katie Couric. Whatever.

Let me just say that "The Help" was wonderful. For me, it wasn't the kind of book that is I-can't-put-it-down-ish or even one that makes me say, "That was the most beautiful word picture ever!" But it was thought-provoking, funny, poignant, and very well-written. Now I wish I had gone to The King's English to hear you speak earlier this month.

You should thank my friend for recommending this book to me. I recommend it to everyone else.

No Good Title

My husband was born on a lovely spring day, 45 years ago today. His birthday never falls on Memorial Day because if it is a Monday, there is still one Monday left in the year. Every other year, his birthday is within days of Memorial Day, which is fun because we can make it a long, fun weekend to celebrate. We nearly always have a barbecue for his birthday. Sometimes we invite all the family to come barbecue with us.

This year we will not be barbecueing for two reasons:

1. Spencer will be in school tonight. We ended up celebrating his birthday kinda all weekend. He and I went on a date Saturday night. We had dinner at his parents' home yesterday, and we came home and he opened his gifts.

2. It is snowing. It is SNOWING! It is May 24th, and it is snowing. Big, fat, fluffy snowflakes are calmly floating from the sky. But I am not calm because IT. IS. SNOWING.

If it snows on my birthday, we're moving to the equator. Or the sun.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Our Dog is Dumb

Bella gulps her food. If we left her food just sitting out, she would just keep eating until there was no more in sight or she vomited--whichever came first. And when we feed her, you would think that we'd been starving her for months--the food is gone in seconds. It's gross.

She's cute, though. Her ears are particularly adorable. And she's fun to play with. She has a couple of red rubber bones that she loves to play tug-of-war with (but she won't step her hind feet onto the dining room laminate floor, so we always win); then we throw the bone and she chases it and brings it back to play some more.

Yesterday when I went into the laundry room to feed Bella I found her red bone in her dog dish. I wondered what she would do if I just filled the dish around the bone. So I did. And she's too stupid to just move the bone out of the way. She eats all around it. So eating just became a lot slower.

The big question is how long she will continue. Can she learn?

What a doofus.

Monday, May 17, 2010


An older gentleman just walked by my desk and said, "I liked your hair better the other way." Why do they say things like that? And what is the appropriate response?

"Thanks, Jerk!"

"I think your hair is ugly, too."

"I didn't ask your opinion."

Ladies and gentlemen, this is proof that I have a long, long ways to go to be like our Savior.

And in the meantime, keep your rude comments to yourself!

Dear Friend,

Did you know that our gardeners are beginning to take out the tulips and put in the summer flowers? Only not all of them, because our friend, the grounds manager, knows that God created pink tulips just for me; and since they still look nice he is leaving as many as he can where they belong so that I can enjoy God's personal gift for just a little while longer. Even though some of the summer flowers might die in the greenhouse. He loves me. (God AND Mr. Manager--take your pick!)

And I know that you are sitting in your refrigerated living room cursing the heat, while I am outside blessing the "8" that is the first number of today's temperature and shouting to anyone who will listen, "It's about time!"

Tonight you will probably pull out the icee machine and fill a glass with shaved ice and maybe something wonderful like strawberry juice. And your tastebuds will think you've died and gone to heaven. And I will draw myself some room-temperature water, which will neither hurt my teeth nor make me shiver. And I'll maybe have an M&M chaser with my tepid water.

And after bedtime for the little ones, you will perch in front of your fan and wish that you could cool off just. a. little. bit. And I will be on my bed, with my feet tucked beneath the down quilt, wishing that the heat could have lasted just a tiny bit longer.

Loves to people with everything in common, and even more to you!


I took my small bowl of frozen yogurt and almonds for a walk this afternoon. My sunglasses called to me from their case, but in spite of having to squint, I simply HAD to see each minute detail of color--so many colors I don't have names for all of them (where is Crayola when you need them?)! I savored small bites of my treat as I strolled through Temple Square. There were blossom petals and seed pods raining down on me like feather-pennies from the sky. The air slips satiny cool on my skin--no jacket today! I catch the fragrance of freshly-turned soil and sweet blossoms, skimming around and through me with each few steps that I take. There are construction noises--even they are blessed proof that we are no longer cooped inside!--and children's laughter and conversation. The birds phone their neighbors and scold their children.

Soon it will be summer and the world will get just a tiny bit lazy. But oh! blessed spring!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lucky, Lucky Mom!

It's been a week since Mother's Day, but I should tell you how blessed I am to be a wife and mother. My husband is the BEST, and our children are a blessing I could never have anticipated.

I got to sleep in last Sunday--blessed day! (There is something to be said for having the late church schedule.) Spencer got the kids up, and they made me breakfast. I was awake, so I sat up and read my scriptures in the peace. When I got out to the kitchen, they were just finishing fixing breakfast. Spence asked me on Saturday night what I wanted for breakfast. I said, "Orange juice." There was orange and apple juice, hash browns, bacon, waffles, and eggs. Yum! The best part was having everyone there for a meal together!

Ashtyn spent most of the day online figuring out how to fold origami flowers, and I had an entire vase full by the end of the day. Aren't they cute?

The next day when I got home from work, this is what I found on our bed:

I didn't want to wake them by taking too many pictures, but you should know that Ashtyn still has her book propped open, even though she's sound asleep. I love it!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

All Alone

I am home alone. I am not afraid. :)

Spencer and Taylor (and Taylor's friend, Colton) went to Mosida to work on Tay's Eagle project.

Briana and Ashtyn (and Whitney) went to Logan to spend the weekend at Jessica's house (Jax is there, too)--girls' weekend! (How fun does it sound to spend a weekend with all your girl cousins?)

Landon is at a Scout campout.

This morning I fixed myself a healthy, protein-filled breakfast. I just jogged 3 miles (slower than you, Amy. You could have gone another mile and a half in the time it took me to go 3 miles). I'm gonna go outside and mow the front yard. I also need to do the dishes. Because yikes!

Spencer's mom is taking me to the Hale Centre Theatre this afternoon.

It's gonna be a nice day.

P.S. The weather's supposed to get to 75 today. Finally! *sigh of contentment*

Friday, May 7, 2010


This is what I look like today. And Chelsea's floor looks really hairy. This time Spencer noticed. :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Did You Know?

Did you know that Taylor and their group got a "1" for their ensemble at State Solo and Ensemble Festival with their rendition of "Go Ye Now In Peace" (one of the most beautiful songs ever, I think)?

Did you know that he also got a "1" for his solo performance, which totally rocked the world?

Did you know that Ashtyn has only one more day to go, and she will have made it through an entire week at school for the first time in two months?

Did you know that it is May and the high temperature in our fair city for this day is only 46 degrees? The low overnight is supposed to get down to 20 in some areas. Someone forgot to wake up the sun and tell her it's spring!

Did you know that at mid-week next week Spencer and Briana will have only 1 1/2 terms of school left?

Did you know that the word "hallow" (meaning to make holy or sacred) was considered obsolete and was removed from the Miriam-Webster Dictionary until the 7th Harry Potter book renewed the world's interest in the word?

Did you know that I am a master at evil Sudoku puzzles?

Have You Ever Wondered?

Have you ever wondered about genes?

Today a young woman came to my desk. She was brunette, but she had the same eyes and smile as my friend, Suzi.

The woman who works down the hall from me has the same voice and laugh as my friend, Cathy. Coincidentally, her maiden name is the same as Cathy's married name.

Apparently there was a blond me working in a hotel in London a few years ago.

In 6th grade I knew identical twins, and I met their "triplet" the next year when we moved to another town.

Another woman I work with looks just like a girl I knew in California.

Once we were in the St. George temple and one of the workers there had my grandmother's eyes (my dad's eyes are really close to those, but that's no mystery, is it?).

And it makes me wonder. Do these people have a shared 6th great-grandmother who looked just like they do?

It just makes me go "Hmmm..."

Monday, May 3, 2010

How to Live A Happy Life

If you are over 18 and have graduated from high school, you have all the tools you need to live joyfully every day. It's true! Here's how:

Think about all the different kids from your school. Imagine those who are awful just because they can be. Think about the faces of those who are miserable. Feeling happy yet?

Wait, there's more. Think about the smell of the school: the chlorine from the pool, the mixed odors of hot dogs and salad dressing and hot cooking oil, the stale foot and body odor that emanate from the gym and the locker rooms, the raw pheromones.

Still not happy? How about the "pleasant" looks on the faces of the teachers as they greet you for yet another wonder-filled day of Napoleon, the quadratic equation, or sentence diagramming?

Seriously, we ought to all be ecstatically happy every single day because we are no longer in high school.

I have a word on the tip of my tongue that describes the teacher I met with today. Speaking like a Christian and a lady is currently very difficult. See 2 Peter 2:16.

Dear Jen,

This morning I got on the stationary bike. I hope to run today, but my left foot has been hurting me. Spencer taught me some new stretches.

After my bike ride this morning, I stood up and stretched. And did you know? I never stretch without thinking of you. Wanna know what I think?

I think stretching hurts. It wouldn't if I'd do it more faithfully. You love the after-stretch, so I should be more like you.

You also decorate children's doors for Valentine's Day. I should be more like you.

You worry about your calling and if you're doing it right. I should be more like you.

You celebrate the fact that your husband got his dream job, and you teach your children to celebrate. I should be more like you.

You stick to your healthy choices long enough to lose 40 pounds. I should be more like you.

I should be more like you.

You are a cherished friend.

Something I Love About Spring

Each day you can see measurable differences.

Yesterday the leaves on the trees in our front yard didn't look like buds any more. They looked like leaves. In one week we won't be able to see through those trees.

Yesterday there were dark purplish splotches on the lilac shrubs. Today there are lilac-colored flowers.

Today the tulips look yellow. Within the next couple of days, they will actually BE yellow.

Saturday everyone wore their coats. Yesterday they were in sweaters. Soon (maybe today) there will just be shirt sleeves.

If I were clever or witty, there would be a great ending for this post.