Saturday, February 25, 2012

My Senior Moment Made A Mess

This morning I slept in.  It was glorious.  After my glorious sleep-in, I got in the shower.  It was cold.  So I got clean, but got out.  The plan was to shave my legs at the sink, using shave cream.  But the shave cream was in the other bathroom.  I left the sink slowly filling and went to get the shave cream.

Bella really wanted to go outside, so I walked down the hall and let her out the back door.  While I was back there I thought, "I oughtta get a load of laundry going."  But there were clothes in the washer and in the dryer.  So I took the clothes out of the dryer.  I put the clothes from the washer INTO the dryer.  I started another load of clothes. 

And then I saw the shave cream sitting there.  Oh no!

Sure enough, when I got back to our bathroom, it was flooded.  The drawer holding the TP (only two rolls, thankfully) had about 2 inches of water in it.  The drawer holding my hair brushes, irons, and hand mirror had an inch of water in it.  The drawer holding my makeup had a half inch of water in it.  There was water in the vanity (the towels were wet) and all over the floor.  I used all of the already-wet towels to dry up everything in the drawers, on the counter, and on the floor.

Landon and Logan came up from downstairs.  They said the ceiling in Kel's room was leaking.  I said, "Sorry."

Maybe I should give up multi-tasking.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Happy Birthday, My Broe-thair!

When I was three years old, my dad was discharged from active duty in the Air Force.  We were living in North Dakota, and my mom was having a baby.  My grandparents took me and my younger brother home to Utah with them for a "visit."  I don't remember really wondering why we were going.  Mostly I remember the small pillows on the plane.

One day Grandma and Grandpa said we were going to go to the airport and watch the planes.  While we watched out one of the windows, Mama stepped out of the plane onto the stairs (before jetways, you know), carrying our new baby brother in an infant seat.  I knew we were going to have a Derek or a Kristin, but I didn't know it was going to be NOW.

That was the first time I saw my brother, Derek.  He grew to be a fearless boy:  he would try anything, and doing so sometimes landed him in the window well or splattered on the concrete.  One of the Derek's "boo-boos" when he was about 8 was what helped me decide NOT to be a doctor.

Derek was also a huge tease, and of all of my siblings, he was the one I most often wanted to KILL.

Once when I was a junior in high school I was up late, studying for a biology test.  My room was next to the bathroom, and he saw my light on.  It was about 11:00 p.m., and he came in and asked if he could help me study.  He sat there with my flashcards till I had it all down pat, and I think we went to bed around 1:00 a.m.

One day the following year (or so), he pushed every button I had.  I got him cornered in Mom and Dad's room, and I ended up smacking him (open-handed) across the face.  I doubt it hurt him as much as it surprised him, but it knocked him to his knees, and he was instantly in tears.  The action nearly broke my heart, and I instantly remembered our late-night study session.  The incident seemed to be a turning point for us.  He didn't push me so far, and I didn't let it get to me so easily.

After Derek came home from his mission, he lived with us (me and Spencer and our three-going-on-four children) for a while.  It was then that I came to adore the MAN Derek.  He was helpful.  He was thankful.  He was generous.  He was happy.  The neighborhood kids would come to the door to see if "Uncle Derek" could come out and play, and he always did.  He was engaged by the time Ashtyn was born, though he was still living with us.  When the doctor said it was time for me to push, he left the delivery room, but stood just outside.  The door was open, but the curtains were drawn.   The doctor said, "OK, give me a big push," and Derek called out, "C'mon, Aud, you can do it!"  He was the first family member allowed back in the room, and he thought Ashtyn and I were all that.
Derek married a woman who became someone really incredible.  She is and always has been a strength to him, and they are dear friends who adore each other and their family. 

Today my little brother has a birthday.  I loved him as a baby, I loved him as a child, I loved him as a teen, but I absolutely ADORE him as a man.  He is a good as they come, and I am so thankful that we are eternal siblings and friends!

Happy birthday, Derek!

The Way Names Evolve

My SIL has--from her childhood--called her mother "Mother" and her grandmother "Mom."  Before they were married she would differentiate to my brother that she was talking about "Mom:  Mom-and-Papa Mom."  Now she doesn't do it, but when I hear her say "Mom" I always think, "Mom:  Mom-and-Papa Mom."

When I talk to my family about my friends at work, I usually insert "my friend" before I say their name.  I didn't realize I did this till the day I just called Amy "Amy" and our daughter said, "Amy who?"  I said, "Gees!  How many Amy's do I talk about?"  She said, "Just one, but you usually say 'My Friend Amy.'"  Amy has become a friend to everyone in the family, so now she's just Amy.  Or MyAmy.  Because she's mine--duh!

But My Friend Amber will probably always be My Friend Amber.  Our family has all met her; she took our awesome pictures, remember?  But her name is just My Friend Amber.

Bri had a friend who, when she left voicemail, would say, "Hi, this is me, Becky."  She is--to this day--MeBecky.

I had a child in preschool my very first year of teaching.  Her name was Kayla-Bless-Her-Heart.  I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sometimes I Wish We Had More Children

Being a mother is so fantastic.  I adore our children!  I think we could have done OK raising a couple more.  I was sad when I was told that our family was complete.

But every once in a while someone comes by and says, "I need to get out of here a tiny bit early so I can go to the Blue & Gold Banquet."

Those are the moments when I thank HEAVEN that we are past that.

Did you know we are in our last year of middle school? 

I KNOW, right?!

I Gave the Plant a Haircut

I have a black thumb.

I am not afraid or ashamed to tell you that.  I am pretty darned good with kids, but plants?  I kill 'em.  Every time.

I tell people this, and they shrug.  And then they hand me their plants to care for.  Weird.  I guess they figure it's better that I--not they--send the plant into the next world.  My dad says plants do not have eternal souls, so we don't have to worry about it if/when they die.

With that thought it mind, I looked at Dean's poor plant.  It was stemmy and stringy looking.  I thought, "If this were my hair, I would cut it off."  So I got out the scissors and trimmed.  I trimmed a bit more.  And then I CUT.  What was left of the plant was 4 decently-healthy stems, each with a leaf on the end, sticking out of the dirt.

I felt kinda bad.  Not for cutting back the plant (because remember? it doesn't have an eternal soul) but because it wasn't really my plant to kill.  So I traded plants with Dean.  He came into the office the next week (this happened while he was out of town), and he said, "My plant looks really good.  But what happened to yours?"

Today the plant has FIVE decently-healthy stems, each with a leaf on the end, sitcking out of the dirt--with a sixth about to unfurl.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Our First Missionary Letter Arrived Today!

Briana sounds WONDERFUL, and my mommy-heart sighed a huge sigh of relief. 

After Spencer read the letter to me--and we laughed and smiled and sighed and celebrated--we passed it on to Ashtyn.  I handed it to her, she looked at the first line and literally sighed one of those huge, contented sounds that lets you know that everything she wanted or needed at that moment had just been fulfilled.

I will never stop looking forward to these letters, but I feel so much more calm now than I did just a half hour ago.  :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Roller Coaster Ride

When Dean was out of the country, and before they had made an official announcement to his division, they decided that it was urgent that we (Dean and I) move.  They built another office on 11; they took everything from a 10th floor office and moved it to the new 11th floor office.  They insisted that I get all of Dean's stuff packed up and his computer torn apart and EMPTY his 11th floor office.  Then they took all the furnishings from that office and moved it to the now-vacant 10th floor office.  THEN they ordered new furnishings and moved then into the now-vacant 11th floor stuff.  All of the furnishings were exactly the same, so why didn't they just bring new furniture to the new office?  Because that would make too much sense. I mean to tell you, this was IMPORTANT, URGENT BUSINESS, and by the time Dean came back into town, I had moved him and me into our new offices (mine's a cubical, but whatever).  Do you like moving?  Yeah, me neither.

I had been sitting at my new desk for less than a week when the space manager came to me and told me that I was going to have to move again.  I was feeling calm and flexible.  And what are you gonna do?  There's nothing to do but move.  In the meantime, we've gone through nearly every book and file that Dean has had in his office for roughly a decade, and I have stacks of filing on my desk, waiting for the people in his office--who were supposed to be gone an hour and a half ago--to GET OUT so I can put it all away.

Today is move day.  The people in our division are not playing nicely together.  Everyone is completely HELPLESS--Do I take my chair?  How will they know where this goes?  My new cubical is so much smaller.  There aren't enough totes!  My goodness, people!  Pack it, label it, share it, and get over it!

Up till now I've been completely calm and cool and really very helpful about all of this.  But today I just want to SCREAM!  Why did we have to leave the other floor so urgently if now we just have to do it all again?!  Couldn't this have been organized and planned just a bit better!?  And people, you are grown-ups!  Grow up!

Instead of ranting and raving at the people around me, I'm ranting and raving at you.  I bet you're glad you came today, aren't you?  I have a fabulous idea.  Let's all just leave.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Beautiful Week

While Ash had her Sweethearts Day, I spent a lot of time with Briana.  We did some last-minute shopping and lots of visiting and laughing.  I'm so glad to have had Saturday to mostly veg with our lovely daughter.

Sunday was another nice day.  You already saw the Pinterest activities I worked on.  Church was a lot of fun since they needed to combine our class from last year with this year's class.  Can you say, "LOVE"?  Briana got lots of hugs and well wishes, and I think she was mostly ready to be done with all the good-byes.

Monday was a good day at work, and at 8:30 that night there was a large gathering at our house.  Uncle Brant and Aunt Laurie and family, Uncle Derek and Aunt Becky, Stacy, Bestest Friend Brittany and Mike, Lisa, and our family all gathered tightly into our family room.  We were joined by the stake presidency, who came to set Briana apart as a missionary.  We opened with prayer.  President Hansen explained a little bit about what would happen at the MTC.  He invited whoever would like to to share their testimonies with Briana.  It was a sweet experience to listen to the testimonies of these people who love our daughter so much.  The stake presidency, Breezy's daddy, and her brother then stood in a circle to set her apart as a missionary.  She bore her testimony, and the "party" broke up.

But we gathered our little family together and discussed the things we had heard as she was blessed.  She wrote a lot of our thoughts (and hers) and impressions down in her missionary journal.  After a while we were simply sharing thoughts and feelings and experiences together.  Finally we were all laughing together.  It was the best FHE EVER, and no one wanted to leave the living room.  Spencer and I finally broke up the party at 11:30, and everyone was in bed shortly afterward.

Since she needed a companion, Briana came to work with me yesterday (Tuesday).  I'm sure it was all kinds of fun for her.  She went to staff meeting with me.  She joined me for a fix-the-world lunch with Annette and Kim.  We left work early and ended up running a few errands.  Ashie and I helped Briana pack.  We all went to dinner together.

Since Monday, it's been pretty quiet at our house.  No one is sure what to say or what to do.  We know Bri is leaving, and it's kind of a bummer.  I'm not sad about her choice to serve a mission.  I could not be more happy about who she is, what she's choosing, and where she will be.  But it hurts my heart a bit that my little girl is grown up enough to leave, and I will not be a part of every single thing she does.

Taylor's boss gave him the day off work, and the other two kids stayed home from school.  We all went to the Jordan River Temple this morning and participated in baptisms for the dead.  It was lovely, and it is a blessing to be in the temple.  But it was pretty subdued.  We came home and Briana got showered and dressed and ready for her first day in the MTC.  We had some lunch, then we drove to the Provo Temple.  We all got out of the car and gave hugs.  Then the boys left, and Spencer, Ashtyn, and I took Bri to the MTC.  The volunteers there--including the young elders--were wonderful and helpful and patient and caring.  Ashtyn is a sad girl, and she did a little bit of clinging, and that was the undoing of me.  Anyway, we kept our good-byes short and sweet.  Then two elders took Bri's luggage and she followed them down the sidewalk.  There are pictures on our camera.  I'm going to begin a blog for Breezy's mission, so I'll post pictures there (probably this weekend).

Bri didn't cry, but she looked afraid.  My eyes have been leaking off and on all day. 

We stopped at Grandpa and Grandma A's house since we were there.  Grandma was gone, so we visited for a short time with Grandpa.  I don't think we were great company.

After we came home, both Spencer and I took a nap.  I figured a good snooze would help me be more able to cope.  When I awoke, I wished I was still asleep.  You know that kinda depressed feeling?  I hate that feeling.  So Spencer and Landon went to a guys' movie while Sassy and I went to a chick flick.  We talked about what she wants to do with Briana's stuff and the bedroom.  She's in no hurry; we will take our cue from her.

Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers and words.  Thank you for the emails and notes and phone calls.  I am looking forward to hearing from Breeze the first time and even more the second time.  I'm anxious for things to go back to normal at home, and I pray that things will feel normal for our daughter very soon.  Please keep us all in your prayers.  We can use them.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sweethearts 2012

The artists:  Briana, Charissa, Lindsey

The canvas:  Sassy's hair (finished product)

The guys:  Robert, Chris, Kai, Mitchell

The girls:  Jessica, Dorina, Megan, Ashtyn

The group

The couple

The Princess

Cooler Than Pinterest

What was pinned
What I made

What was pinned
What I made

What was pinned
What I made

It was a fun weekend, and I feel really cool.  :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

You Get to Choose the Title

1.  When the Prophet Said to Flood the Earth With the Book of Mormon, He Didn't Mean to Begin By Placing It in the Washer.

2.  Maybe I Am More Helpful When I Don't Try to Help

3.  Reading the Book of Mormon in Bed Involves Opening a Book, Not Reading the Fine Lines from the Lint on the Sheets.

4.  A Page a Day is Too Much!  (How About a Letter a Day Instead)

5.  Leaving a Book of Mormon on Your Doorstep -or- How You Can Tell When I Took the Laundry Outside

6.  New Definition:  Breaking Your Scripture Reading into Smaller Pieces

7.  Dear Dryer Repair Man -- I Don't Know HOW All That Paper Ended Up in the Lint Screen!

8.  You Did Say You Were Looking for a Clean Book to Read, Didn't You?

9.  Dear Brother and Sister-in-Law:  I'm Sorry About Your Load of Darks

Because Sometimes I Just Need to Talk

I will be finished with my 2nd term of my MBA by this weekend.  Do you know what this means?  It means I finally passed that killer Financial Analysis class!  Yes, let's.  Celebrate, that is.  I think today I'm gonna make a cake.

I had a big argument with myself.  It started last night.  It continued this morning.  I won.  I'm home for the day.  Lest you think this is FUN, let me tell you about my laundry room.

Never mind.  It's too depressing.

The countdown to Bri's mission is now LESS THAN one week.  Six days.  I wouldn't say I'm scared or nervous or even sad, but I'm not sure I'd go straight to EXCITED.  How do I feel?  I don't really know.  Ask me in a week.

My sweet aunt used to send little treats in the mail (when our kids were little).  My favorite thing she ever sent was a clipping from the funnies.  It was a haggard mother, picking up all kinds of stuff.  It said, "Trying to clean the house while the children are awake is like trying to brush your teeth while eating an Oreo cookie."

That was my favorite, until yesterday, when she sent me an M&M t-shirt.  Yes, I'm wearing it all day.  Thank you, Auntie!  (This shirt may or may not have pushed me over the edge for staying home today.)

By missing work today, I'm missing my weekly opportunity to fix the world.  That was part of the argument, too.  I will miss you, my friends.  The t-shirt won.

My boss gave me the kindest, most thoughtful gift as a thank you last week.  I don't even know how it came up, but I told him in a conversation about a book that several people had recommended but I had not gone to buy.  The next day he put it in my hands.  I'm really touched by this thoughtful gesture.

I need to be more thoughtful.

I think we're gonna try to go to Hawaii next month.  We're such jet-setters...

(Hi, Sami!  Are you there?  Are you alive?  Are you loving it?)

Loves to all!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

No Hot Dogs? Great!

Once upon a time I was the PTA president at the elementary school our children attended.  I have all kinds of memories and experiences from that time, but this one stands out because it has come back to me so many times.

Our board had planned to hold a reading carnival in the spring.  So we had a buzz session to decide exactly what we wanted to do.  I took all kinds of notes, and then said, "OK, we've talked about a lot of different things.  Let's get organized.  Who wants to be in charge of the hot dogs?"  For 20 seconds no one said a word, so I said, "Alright, great.  No hot dogs."  And I crossed hot dogs off the list.  Then I said, "Who wants to be in charge of balloons?"  Another 20 seconds of silence followed, so I said, "No balloons?  Great!" I crossed balloons off the list.  "Who wants...?"

At that point one of the commissioners stopped me.  She said, "Hold on.  Go back.  I'll do the balloons."  We discussed some particulars, I gave her the budget, and she took control.  I never worried about the balloons. 

The rest of the discussion went well.  Each person offered to head up part of the carnival.  I did not babysit them.  I figured if they wanted hot dogs, they could take care of it.  If it wasn't done, oh well.  No hot dogs!

The funniest part about this is that at least 3 different times when I saw some of those ladies, I got introduced to their friends as "that PTA president who was willing to just cross hot dogs off the list," and the new friends go, "Oh!  That was you!"

Fast forward 10 years.  My friend keeps telling me about a job where she works.  It is an HR position, doing workers' comp and other types of issues.  The woman who currently has the job is busy all the time.  Knowing how irritated I get with stupidity, I said, "Yeah, right.  I'd be the perfect fit for that.  I'd be all, 'Stupid head!  I've told you 14 times that if you don't fill out this form there's nothing I can do for you!'"  She replied, "No cotton candy?  Great!  No form?  Great!"
I might have to think about this job...  ;)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Weekend

I left work on Friday really angry.  I hate it when I get that way, and I knew the best thing to do would be come home and CHILL.  The kids ran to Subway and grabbed us some dinner, then the girls and I sat and watched "Midnight in Paris."  Kinda cute, but not great.

Spencer has discovered Bountiful Baskets.  So while he went to work, I picked up our fruits, veggies, and bread for the week.  The fruits and most of the veggies get juiced or otherwise eaten.  But the onions!  Holy cow!  Does anybody really go through onions that fast?

And then I remembered that you can freeze onions.  So Ashtyn and I got to work, used a lot of Kleenex, and got the onions chopped and put into the freezer.  I cut up a bunch of veggies into sticks so I will actually eat them (cutting them up when you need them just. doesn't. happen.).  By the time all of that was done and the kitchen was cleaned up it was nearly 2:00.  Yikes!

Ashie got busy on her ceramics, Landon had a friend over, and everyone else was at work, so I finally pulled out my computer and my notebooks and got busy doing my Financial Analysis re-write.  Please pray that I got it right this time.  I can hardly bear the thought of having to continue doing this class.  It's so hard!

Anyway, I turned that paper in and finally got a shower for the day.  I know, right?  Ewww!

Spencer and I were going to go out, but we were both wiped out from the day.  So we picked up Mexican and ate it picnic-style on our bed while watching "The Emporer's New Groove."  Uh, I've been turned into a cow.  Can I go?  (This could be my excuse for everything.)

Ashtyn and Landon and Tristan (Lando's girl) went to the grocery store and bought snacks for our family Super Bowl party.  OK, here's the thing.  We don't watch football.  Ever.  We don't care about the game or the teams (who's playing?).  But for some reason it's become a tradition to spend Super Bowl Sunday lounging in front of the TV with all kinds of snacks all around us.  The truth is, we enjoy the commercials more than the game, but whatever.  It's an excuse to hang out and just enjoy each other.

In other news, Sassy's car died yesterday.  Dead, dead, dead.  So frustrating, so discouraging, and SO nothing we can do about it.  So I'm really glad I enjoyed driving Jessie every day this week, because now she will probably go to work with Spencer while Ash takes Hugo.  Clearly, I'm re-committing myself to Mr. Bus and Trax.  That's really how it should be anyway, as it's so much cheaper.  But ack!  I hate waiting in the cold!

Whining tirade over.  Now it's off to Primary.  Hooray!

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Status of My Work

I am now working on a different floor than I did last week.  There will be more changes on this floor, but for now I'm neighbors with many of the men I worked with when I first started working for this corporation.  It feels a lot like coming home. 

One thing I've realized about being neighbors with these guys is that I haven't heard or participated in a complete conversation about scaffolds, rifles, hunting, blood, industrial accidents, or any number of other cool or obscure things in a really long time.

My friend IM'd me this morning to tell me about an opening in her department and her building.  I could probably talk my way into the job if I really wanted to.  It's one pay grade higher than where I am currently.  They wear pants at their building.

But I'm happy where I am currently.  It's a nice feeling.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wednesdays Are for Fixing the World

There are a few of my friends and I who get together for lunch each Wednesday.  We call it our "fix the world" day, because I'm tellin' ya, we have all the answers.  Anyone is welcome to join us, and we have sometimes had a dozen people.  But often it's just the four of us.

This week's Fix the World lunch was postponed (by the four of us) to Friday, so today I took my lunch at 1:00, which is my normal time.  I thought I would be sitting alone, but no!  One of my friends ended up taking her lunch later, so we were able to visit and fix the world.  The best part is there is still Friday to look forward to!