Friday, September 30, 2011


And also, I am featured HERE today.  I've never been featured before...

Today's Goodness

I took today off work because we were going to be driving to St. George.  Even though I knew we were not going, I still took today off.  The timing was awful, I have lots to do at work, and I should be there.  But guess what?

That's what!

The laundry is nearly done.  The kitchen is clean.  The front windows are clean (inside and out).  My hair is cut and colored.  The deposit to the bank is made.  And I bought 4 spools of embroidery floss (what exactly IS forget-me-not blue?) for $1.03 at Robert's, which is having EVERYTHING 50% off through tomorrow.

Breezy asked if we could all come spend the weekend in Far-Away Logan.  Tay has to work, Spencer's kind of an invalid, and I just really want to veg in front of Conference all weekend (in addition to taking care of my sweetheart).  So Ash and Lando are headed up for the weekend for a little weekend party time.  Doesn't that sound fun?  I think so, too.

Our life is sweet, rich, a tiny bit sick, full, and beautiful.

And P.S.  2011 in Utah is having THE most beautiful fall EV.ER.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hugely Disappointing

Spencer was up sick all night and ended up at InstaCare this morning.  He has been diagnosed with a terrible infection, which is going to make him miserable for several days (in spite of the antibiotics). 

Most importantly, though, it is going to preclude him from running the St. George marathon this weekend.

You might say, "Oh, there are lots of other marathons."  If you are saying that, you clearly have neither trained for a marathon nor prepared mentally for a marathon.  For the latter, timing is critical.  For the former, timing is EVERYTHING.  The two combined?  Well...

Needless to say, my sweetheart is one sad runner, which is adding terrible insult to the proverbial injury (or illness, as case may be).  Being sad myself is nothing compared to when the people I love are sad.  *sigh*

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sick, Sick, Sick

Sick:  Ashtyn got sick and missed a day of school.  It was only her 2nd missed day, and we are at Q.1 midterm.  Everyone knock on wood--Ashtyn has been well for a long time!

Sick:  Briana got sick, and she texts me heart-wrenching things from Far Away Logan, like, "Mommy!  I want you!"  What's a mom to do?

Sick:  I got sick and missed church and the RS conference (hello and thank you, internet and amazing church employees, for taking care of me) and a day and a half of work (including today).  I'm sure there's more I'm missing because my brain is definitely not firing on all cylinders.  I often wonder, is it the illness or is the drugs?

Happy fall, everyone.  It's a beautiful, beautiful time of year.

Here's hoping that this is my big cold for the coming season.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sharing a Memory -- Grandma C.

My dad's mother was widowed, and several years later she married another man who lived in the beautiful Heber Valley, so the family moved there.  After some time, Grandma became pregnant with my aunt, who, as it turned out, is only 6 years older than I am.  Grandpa built his sweet daughter a playhouse, complete with a dutch door, a "sofa" made from a car's bench seat, a small folding table, and various other wonders.

Much to the chagrin of the older children, the boy grandchildren were not welcome in the playhouse.  The girls, though?  Oh, the heaven of that wonderland!  There were baby dolls and baby carriages and purses and china dishes and a washing machine and laundry to fold.  It was glorious!  There were only a few of us girls, and most of them were much younger than I.  The next closest in age was 3 years my junior, but I loved it when both G and I could be at Grandma's at the same time.

My aunt and I were pretty good friends, too, in spite of the age difference. I suppose in many ways she was just putting up with me, but I sure loved to go spend several days at Grandma's!

Sometimes when we were playing in the playhouse, Grandma would come to the dutch door.  She always wore a house dress and an apron, but she'd come with lipstick on, and gloves on her hands, and her purse over her arm, and she would say, "Ding dong!  Avon calling!"  We'd let her into our little home, and she would open her magical purse and bring out something so incredibly mom-ish that it was all I could do not to squeal in delight.  Sometimes it was a bright red lipstick.  Sometimes it was perfume that we could "sample."  My favorite was when it was the Rose Milk.

Does anyone remember Rose Milk?  My grandma was a die-hard Lawrence Welk fan (to this day, LW reruns take me right back to the basement of my grandparents' Heber home--heavenly!), and she believed in everything they advertised.  Esoterica for her age spots, Geritol every day, and Rose Milk.  Grandma always had two bottles of lotion in the window by the sink:  the Jergen's was something we were welcome to use, but the Rose Milk was Grandma's alone.

So when our "Avon Lady" brought the Rose Milk, it was a special treat.  She would carefully remove her gloves, put a spot of Rose Milk on my hands, and carefully rub it in, all the while telling me about the special qualities of this marvelous product.

She would take our order and wish us a good day.  And then we didn't see Grandma again until she'd bring out lunch on a plate--sandwiches and a pitcher of water and usually some vegetables.  Sometimes she'd stand outside the Dutch door and "call" us on the telephone.  "Ring, ring!" she'd say, and we'd rush to answer the phone on the wall.  "Would you like your lunch in the big house or here?" she'd ask.

I once went into Victoria's Secret, and they had a rose lotion.  The moment I smelled it, the tears welled in my eyes as I longed for my grandma.  Why, when she was so ill and incapacitated, did I not think to rub lotion into her hands or spritz her with a "special" perfume or dab a bright red spot on her lips?  I don't know, but in our next life, that I one of the first things I want to do.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Public Transportation Story

I entered the train with three other people.  One was a young (20ish), very clean, very cute woman.  The other two were men, travelling together.  One was pretty shabby with dredlocks (ew!).  The other thought he was all that in his Nike shirt, with the short sleeves rolled back to show his tats.

We were heading toward the University, so the train was pretty full of young people.  Tattoo-man was sitting across the aisle from Pretty Girl and straight across from his buddy.  He was fairly pointedly ignoring his very uncool companion.  As we traveled through campus, the train got more and more empty, and Tattoo-man moved to another seat (completely ditching his buddy) so he was facing the other direction (facing Pretty Girl).

Finally the two men were getting off the train.  Tattoo-man walks up to Pretty Girl and says, "Hey, gorgeous.  You dropped something.  I think it was your smile."  Then he swaggered off the train.

Well, those of us who were left there burst into laughter.  Poor Pretty Girl turned 14 shades of pink and said, "Can you imagine if I brought HIM home to meet my parents?  Ew.  THAT would go over well."  The man sitting next to me (in his 40's, probably) said, "Please, God, don't let my daughter ever bring someone like that home."

And also, was that a cheesy pick-up line, or what?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A (Short) Story in Pictures

where I finally got to meet and hug
Both of these ladies are beautiful, so I feel
The end.

Sharing a Memory -- Landon

Landon was just 2 years old when Grandma lived with us.  The two of them were pretty great friends.  Landon LOVED to do whatever he could to help Grandma.  I would put her pills on a plate so he could carry them to her, then follow behind with a glass of water.  He loved to carry her dinner plate in to her when she was too worn out to come to the table.  She used a cane, and he would take it all the time.  Finally my mother-in-law gave Landon one of the extra canes so he had one of his own and would leave Grandma's there for her use.

One morning I was standing at the kitchen sink when Landon walked in. 

"Gomma fod," he said.


"Gomma fod."

"Grandma fell?"

"Yah.  Gomma fod."
Sure enough I hustled into her room and found her sitting on the floor against her bed.  She had tried to seat herself on the bed, didn't get on far enough, and just slid down to the floor.  Fortunately she was not hurt.  But she would not let me try to lift her (she probably weighed 90 pounds).  So I went back into the kitchen (where the phone was attached to the wall--remember those day?) and called my brother to see if he could come help us.  When I went back into Grandma's room, Landon was plopped on the floor next to her, the two of them just waiting.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sharing a Memory -- Grandma B

Spencer's grandmother lived with us for about 6 months when she was in her 90's.  She was not a sweet, kind, Mrs. Claus kind of grandma, but I loved her very, very much, and I learned many things from her as she lived in our home.

One day, 6 or 8 months after she'd left our home, I called her and asked if I could take her to lunch.  I picked her up, and as we drove I asked how she was doing.  She was rather melancholy that day, and she said, "You know, I'm lonely. 

"My parents have been gone for years.  I only have one sibling living, and he's my baby brother, living in another state.  And every last one of my friends has died." 

She then proceeded to tell me that Addie, who was her best friend through school in small-town Idaho, had died a few months ago.  She and Addie had remained friends all through the years and had tried to get together once every year or two.  They shared letters, mostly, because neither of them could hear very well on the telephone.

There are two things I learned from this.  One thing I thought was that her "homecoming" when she died was probably very sweet. Grandma adored her mother, and I'm sure she was glad to see many of the people she knew and loved when she was a younger woman.

The other has to do with family and friends.  It has to do with love.  Grandma was never happy in her marriage, and she didn't even mention missing her husband.  Because Grandma and Grandpa were so miserable, life for their two children was also fairly miserable.  Grandma was survived by both of her children, but they were not a lot of comfort to her in her advanced age.  Grandma also never went out of her way to cultivate friendships, so she was very alone.  That's very sad.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Happy Fall

The best part about fall is the colors.

Wouldn't you agree?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Random Thoughts

Kayla, on the train the other day, this guy with a big, long goatee had a coughing fit.  He considerately covered his mouth with his hand.  Then he stroked his beard with the same hand.  I don't even want to THINK about that nasty beard!

Briana,  I love it when you come home.  I'm sorry you have to sleep in the living room.  The next time you come home for good, there will be a place for you.  And also, thank you for letting me nap today.

Amber,  I missed you all week.  I'm glad you are feeling better.

Courtney,  your blog makes me happy and giggly.  If I play with a red balloon will I look as cute as you?

Noelle, what would the nurses at PCMC do if I showed up there?

Amy, what the heck IS a funnel cake?  It doesn't look like what I thought...

Dr. Mackay, thanks for taking care of that cavity today.

UofU football team, would it be possible for you to add another version of "Shut Up!" to Jared.  Maybe duct tape, for example.  Thanks for what you did, though.  (Sorry, Cougars.)

Stacy, I loved our run on Saturday.  Thanks.

Primary class, you rock my world!  And I love you.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Did You Know...

...that noodles are the perfect comfort food?  It's true.  They are!   Especially noodles with some substance. 

Like ravioli, which is beautifully supported by yummy, soothing cheese.

Like a cool pasta salad (filled with veggies, please), which you have to chew and chew and chew, and each bite is filled with tangy goodness.  It makes you smile just thinking about it, doesn't it?

Last night I had the best lo mein ever.  Thank you Wok-King!  I went to bed a very happy woman.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

You'd Think SOMEHOW I Could Be Prepared

But no.  It just never happens.

Today, for example, dear boss asked (again), "Will these books be ready for the meeting on Monday morning?"  All I could do was shrug and say, "Hope so," because I have procrastinated.  Again.  So I spent the morning scrambling to the desks of half a dozen people, asking them as sweetly as I could (with handfuls of apologies on top) for those reports that take all day to be on my desk by noon tomorrow.

I'd hate me, wouldn't you?

So--because I work with fabulously wonderful, professional people--the reports start piling on my desk.  I could start putting them all together, except I have failed to go to office supply and pick up 10 binders.  And now I am the lucky woman who gets to cover the phones for the remainder of the afternoon.  The sad thing is that I might actually be able to get something done if only I had some binders to get started with.

Pulling it together:  It just won't ever happen.

I should stitch that on a pillow...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Seriously Ugly

It occurs to me that with a title like that, it might be fun to have YOU fill in the blank.  Go ahead, blogging friends!  What is seriously ugly?


And now forward to the real reason I decided to post.  Hang onto your chairs--this is gonna be exciting (That's code for "Ya Might as Well Leave Now)!

On Sunday I was cutting up veggies for hobo dinners.  I caught my thumb with the amazing Cutco knife and gouged it pretty good.  It's not a very long cut, but it's at just an angle that it catches on things.  As the skin dies, I'm cutting it back, but I still keep hitting it and causing it to start bleeding again.

The thing is, now it's healed enough that it doesn't even hurt when I pull it open.  So I showed up to work today with dried blood all over my thumb.  So far I haven't found blood spots on my clothes, but who knows?

My thumb is seriously ugly.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thoughts About 9/11

September 11, 2001, dawned like any other day.  I had been a preschool teacher for a whopping ONE WEEK.  At about 7:00 a.m. that day, my sister-in-law called me and told me to turn on the television. 

Briana had band practice that morning, so I took her to school shortly after the awful moment that a second plane struck the World Trade Center.  As we drove the .5 mile to her school, our 5th grader looked at me and said, "Mommy, what does 'hijacked' mean?"  My heart broke a little bit at that moment, as I realized that there would never be a time when our beautiful, innocent children would not know any more what "hijack" or "terrorism" meant.

But off to school we all went.  I had preschool and had to take care of a lot of 3- and 4-year-olds that day and for the next 2 days.  Parents came and went, tears and shock walking in and out of our home like ghosts.  And then it was Friday, September 14th.  Friday was when I stopped and watched the news.  Friday was when I listened to the tales of loss and grief.  Friday was when I saw the aftermath.  The rest of the world had been dealing with the horror for 4 days, but for me it was new and fresh and biting.

Friday was my day to get everything done.  I was running errands in a haze of grief.  All day. I remember crying at the drive-up at the bank, and the sweet teller shared her testimony of the Savior's loving care.  Dear sweet bank teller:  Do you know that it was you that helped me begin the healing?

On September 11, 2002, I took our children to the University of Utah to make a huge, human flag.  Ironically, it was one of the most fun things we ever did together.  But we remembered.

We still remember.


That's our beautiful daughter, on the left.  As beautiful as she looks in this picture, it's not as lovely as she is in real life.  She's happy.  She's talented.  She's kind.  She has balance.  She has common sense.

She also has the tremendous talent of being able to do her own hair before a dance.

Happy Homecoming!

Lucky, Lucky Me!

My friend and her friend spent about an hour with us last week.  Both of them said, "Being with your family was so fun.  I wish I had that."  I wish they did, too.  And I'm grateful we have it.

Our older son agreed to sing in church with me today.  His voice is fabulous, and it was a blessing to sing with him.

Spencer said, "That was one of the best musical numbers I've ever heard in church."  Landon said, "Not one of.  The best."

Hobo dinners tonight!

Huge thanks to Joanne, our pianist extraordinaire; Suzi, a friend of 25 years, for bringing over a sweater for Ash; Jeri Lynn, who lent me her sewing machine AND came over later in the day to make sure I was still sane; and Kayla, who brought over her bolero jacket, just in case.

Also, huge thanks to all of you (special thanks, Daddy!) who responded to my last post.  I'm still welcoming comments.  I'm still trying to be teachable.  I'm also feeling better.

I am incredibly blessed.

Friday, September 9, 2011

I Wish I Had a Big, Fat Chocolate Chip Cookie Right Now

It is amazing how people's words can affect us.  After a conversation this morning, I find myself (remember that capable, confident woman from a day ago?) questioning whether I am actually any good at my job.  I wonder if people are constantly looking at me thinking, "She's unhappy and it shows in her work."  I wonder if I really AM unhappy.  I wonder if there is something wrong with me because I consider my job a JOB in a CORPORATION, not "building the Lord's kingdom."  I wonder if meticulousness is a requisite for someone in my position.  I wonder if meticulousness is a word.  I wonder if I should be less confident--would that make me more capable?  I wonder if it's really that important to think about this.  I wonder if meticulousness or confidence or capability make me a better PERSON.  I wonder if being a secretary or a teacher or a doctor make me a better person.  I wonder if I should go home for the day, because canning peaches not only sounds more fun than PARs but might be more important and productive and person-building.

The person I spoke with used the phrase, "It is evident to me that..." and it's made me think about things that are evident to us.  For example, we see someone who is disheveled and we assume that they are lazy or they live in filth and squalor.  It is "evident" that there is something that is not right (by our standards).  What is not evident, however, is WHY that person is the way he is.  Maybe he's disheveled because he was up all night with a sick child and he overslept his alarm.  Maybe he's disheveled because he has a mental illness and it was all he could do to get dressed and get out of bed.  Maybe he's disheveled because there's been an emergency and he's trying to get there quickly.  Maybe my version of disheveled is his version of put together.  Therefore, it is evident that I should not draw conclusions or pass judgments on what I think is evident.

I believe it is my responsibility to work to become a better, more perfect person.  I also realize that my perception IS my reality, and your perception is your reality.  Now I am considering how much of this conversation I should internalize.  I'm willing (and want!) to be the best I can be in my work.  Do I have to reach a point of total fulfillment in order to be better (best) in my work?  Does it matter?  Is my perception skewed; should I try to have his perceptions more as my own?

Am I OK?

Please comment.  Pretty please?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Worrying About What People Think

I consider myself a confident, capable woman.

But yesterday I got onto an elevator (I was alone in said elevator), and immediately after the doors closed and the ride began it registered that someone with serious body odor had been on that elevator.  Recently.  (I hope.)

God answers prayers, y'all.  Cuz no one else got on the elevator before I got off.  AND there was no one waiting for the elevator when I got off. 

So no one could blame me.

But still, I wanted to put a poster up--"I DIDN'T DO IT!  P.S.  Take a shower, please."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wanna See Something Super Sweet?

Check out  My friend is wonderfully talented.

(And her subject matter is wonderful!)


Having older kids is fantastic is every way except one:  It is IMPOSSIBLE to get everyone to the same place at the same time.

And so--we held our Hilladay on Labor Day, which was the one and only day nobody had to work.  It's also the day when all service opportunities are closed for the day.

So we slept late, ate a homemade breakfast together, cleaned up, colored some boxes for the Utah Food Bank, went to a dollar movie, barbequed hamburgers, and ate ice cream sundaes.

It was probably not the most memorable Hilladay for our children, but it was just what this mama ordered.  And as everyone knows, if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

Ah, bliss!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Back to School

I took the last three month off in my schooling.  Mainly it was to get my funding together, but it was also to psych myself back up for school.

Yesterday I had a phone call with my mentor.  Today I got everything accepted online and found my way back into the class I technically failed last term.  I got an assignment turned in and started on the last task for this class.  I hope to complete it by the end of the coming week.

Next comes a big, fat Finance class, which has me a bit nervous.  I am told by my mentor that it is, by far, the most difficult class I will take.  Luckily, I am surrounded by finance wizards all day.  It's important to know where to go to get help, right?

Please pass the No-Doze.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Own Personal Roller Coaster

I could get all metaphorical here, but fortunately (for you) I am not going to.

I used to be able to ride all roller coasters.  Except for the ones where they lock you in a cage and keep you spinning and/or sitting for a long, long time.  I don't do cages (which could also be metaphorical; but I digress).

There was a period of about 15 years when I did not ride a single coaster of any kind.  And when I went back I learned to my dismay that there are many rides which I can no longer do.  Anything that spins?  No bueno!  Even the up/down and speed stuff can only go on for a short amount of time.  If I go too long (ride after ride after ride), I am guaranteed to be sick.  And you can call me weird, but I don't like to be sick.

When Spencer and I cruise, I do okay while we are on the ship (although I do use the motion sickness patch).  But it takes me about two weeks before the world stops rocking.  It's kinda not cool.

Ten or fifteen years ago I started experiencing extreme dizziness or vertigo while I was at work.  There I was, just sitting there at the keyboard, and the room would start spinning.  It usually only lasted about 30 seconds, and then it was over.  I didn't like it.

Yesterday I started feeling tippy.  Not tipSY.  Tippy.  Like my world is tipping.  Kinda like on a ship.  It's almost a dizzy feeling, but mostly I'm just waiting for things to balance out again--like my center of gravity is off.

It's like having my own personal roller coaster. 

Now you can get metaphorical if you'd like.  Talk amongst yourselves...