…and then some

I’m about to sit and write another thoughtful post, but before I do I want to take a minute to sincerely THANK you guys for the comments you left me yesterday!  I’m having one heck of a time with this flu, and just reading your short little messages did me a world of good.  Thanks for taking the time to write them.  It boosted my spirits this morning.  Trenton has been sleeping abnormal lengths of time, and I’m severely worried about him.  Danny took him in yesterday and (aside from two very minor ear infections) the doctor wasn’t worried at all.  But I am.  Because he’s STILL sleeping.  Last night, he slept for 19 hours.  Can you even begin to wrap your mind around that?!  And I wasn’t thinking ‘Hey, nice!  I’m feverish and coughing my brains out of my nose and my youngest is nice enough to sleep through it all!’

I was actually thinking ‘What is wrong with my baby?’ And I didn’t rest at all.  I’m still worried, and I believe it is given unto mothers to be so whenever they choose.  Lacy’s recovered just fine, so far.  She crawled up on me yesterday, put her hand on my face, softly stroked it, and said, “Mama, you are warm on you head and you neck and cheeks. I will just take such good care of you and I can SHARE the medicine Daddy bought for me.” I melted right there on the spot, which didn’t help the fever a’tall.

As I said before, I’m going to write another thoughtful post.  Reason being: I learned a lot while I was gone on my little weekend “retreat” and I don’t want it to be forgotten.  I want to store it up -remember it -so I don’t have to spend that amount of money again just to gain a little insight into my life.  I had to spend a weekend in virtual silence to really figure everything out.  From now on, I’m hoping to spend a fraction of each day in silence and a good chunk of Saturday in silence each week.  The plan is: hoard the silence so I don’t have to spend money to get it.  I like to think of it as my year’s supply.

While I was sitting on the ultra-tall bed in my room, I was struck with a sudden memory which I would now like to pass on to you, should you choose to accept it.

When I was 17, a tremendously generous friend of mine paid for a plane ticket for me.  The destination?  Hawaii.  My friend’s mother was already there, was renting a condo and relaxing on account of her health, and we (my friend and I) were set to meet her there and spend the week visiting her.

Getting to Hawaii was an adventure all it’s own -a story for another day, but once we arrived the beauty of island of Maui made it all worth it.  From the balcony of the condo, we could see the beach, right across the street.  The air was warm and beautiful -the colors of the island seemed unreal -especially to an Arizona girl who was used to seeing only brown and brown and petrified wood.

One day, my friend’s mother suggested we take a drive.  The drive, she pointed out, was the thing.  Not the destination.  The drive was famous for being incredible gorgeous, but apparently where the drive ended up was in a little town that didn’t take kindly to tourists and thus did everything in their power to discourage them.  My friend and I hopped in the car with my friend’s mother, and we began the drive.

We all wore our bathing suits, and it felt very natural to.  In fact, since I’d landed in Hawaii, I’d hardly taken my bathing suit off.  Wearing my bathing suit ensured that I could readily take advantage of every opportunity to enjoy the water.

The drive turned out to have MORE than it’s fair share of water.  We would pull off the the side of the road and eagerly jump into the crystal clear water that formed into giant pools under spontaneous waterfalls.  We bought fresh pineapple from roadside farmers, and took pictures of the wonderful nature scenes that surrounded us on all sides of the road.

Oh, the road.  I will never forget that road.  It was narrow -so narrow in parts that only one car could fit at a time.  There were sharp curves and a definite lack of guard rails.  While coming around a curve, a person would have to honk to let anyone who might be coming the other way to stop.  We took the drive very slowly -very, very slowly, and very very cautiously.

When we arrived at our destination, we were greeted by a very unfriendly village and ONE single, solitary, run-down, stocked with overpriced food… concession stand.

I think about that now and realize that I spend too much time focusing on a “destination.”  In fact, I’m so busy thinking about the “when I get there,” I’m forgetting about what’s happening all around me right now!  There’s certainly no lack of spontaneous waterfalls and brilliant scenes worthy of photographing, and I’m afraid I’ve missed out on the opportunity to more fully enjoy them because, quite frankly, I haven’t had my metaphorical bathing suit on.  The road is tough, to be sure.  It’s narrow and scary and there’s sharp turns that I’d just rather not take, but the breathtaking beauty all around me is what makes it worth it.

The truth is: I’m scared over my future.  I’m scared to take that road.  But what good am I doing thinking so much about it?  The fact that I will take it is certain!  Now is the time to pull off the road for a bit, jump into the water, laugh, and enjoy what priceless beauty there is.

I’m not talking about ACTUAL beautiful scenery because if you could see my house right now, you’d never ever come over again. (We’ve been sick since New Year’s, mmm k?) I’m talking about my kids and my husband and the brown, brown desert that actually IS quite beautiful in it’s own unique way.

Now if you’ll excuse me, my daughter woke my son up and he’s performing a wide range of gastrointestinal pyrotechnics.

Somebody? Find my bathing suit.


My daughter is a source of true joy in my life.  She’s has certain independence about her that I just LOVE.  Through dating her Daddy, I learned something remarkable about him: when someone told him not to do something, it piqued his interest rather than put him on guard.

He passed that trait directly on to his daughter.

“Sweetie, don’t spill that.” Automatically makes her think, “but WHY?” and she proceeds to spill.  She knows what she’s doing is naughty, but she does it anyway on account of insatiable curiosity and a small degree of stubborness.

The great side-effect of this trait is that she believes she can do anything.  Anything at all.  And I’ll TAKE that, by jingo!  I love watching her make her way through life perfectly content on believing that there isn’t anything she can’t do.  She’s got confidence in spades.

I’ve been trying to remember to record my latest favorite of her conversational cuteness.  It’s “up yer…”

As in, “Mom, get my crayons.  They’re up yer closet.”

“Mom, can you see my fishy?  She’s up my dresser.”

It sounds so rude when she says it, and her innocent tone makes it all the more funny.

The other thing she likes to do is use “very” in the place of “really.”

As in, “Mom, I very love you.”  It actually does sound sweeter than “I really love you.”

Right now, though, she’s sick.  She feels better today than she did yesterday, and I’m grateful for that.  The worst part about really sick kids (aside from the constant worry, of course) is the way you seem to “lose” your child’s personality.  I sometimes have to keep from tapping on their head and asking, “Are you still in there?”  They always come back, though.  After about three doses of medicine and a few days of mostly sleeping, they always come back.

Last night, she called for me from her bedroom.  I was on the couch on account of my OWN sickness.  I walked in, and she said, “Mom, I just need a hug.”  I crawled under her thick blanket with her and loved on her.  I asked her if she wanted medicine, and she said that she did.   I explained to her what a Priesthood Blessing was (she’s had one before, but little minds sometimes forget) and asked her if she wanted one.

“Jesus,” I said, pointing to the picture on her wall, “Doesn’t want you to be sick.  It makes him so sad because he loves you so much.”  I softly stroked her cheeks that had turned red on account of her very high fever.

“Jesus wants to help make you all better, but he’s in Heaven right now.  He lives in Heaven, but He can help through the Priesthood that Daddy has.  If you let Daddy give you a blessing, Jesus can help make you all better.”  I then asked her if she would want a blessing.

“Yes,” she said, hoarsely.

“Okay, ” I said, “Daddy is going to give it to you because Jesus lives in…” I paused to let her finish the sentence.

“Church,” she croaked out.  I giggled.  Giggling makes me cough, but I couldn’t help it.  Just then, a truck pulled into our driveway and it just happened to be PAPA who lives about 4 hours away!  We couldn’t believe it!  He came at just the right time.  After her Daddy and Papa gave her a blessing, she took a little bit of medicine and went to bed.  She woke up several times during the night.  I was able to help her once, but that was it.  After helping her only once, I literally stumbled back to the couch and sank into it, nevermore to rise.

Sunday night, I had started to run a slight fever.  I knew what was coming, so I used what strength I still had to take care of my sick daughter.  She’d had to miss out on her own birthday shin-dig of cake and ice cream and Great-Grandma’s house on account of her running a temperature.

“Sweetie,” I said, holding her in my arms and looking down into her red, watery eyes, “I’m SO sorry you’re sick!  I just want to take care of you.  I bet Grandpa would be SO SAD to hear that his Lacy was sick.  I bet if he came over, he would read a book to you.  Can I read a book to you?”

“Yeah, you can just read Jim’s book that he gived to me.” She said.  Before I could even ask what book that was or where it was, she added, “It’s under the counter about the kitchen.”

Sure enough, under the kitchen counter there was one book.  I took it into her room, sat on her bed, and started reading to her.  Between page turns, she would ask me questions that had nothing WHATSOEVER to do with the book.

“Bryce is mean to me,” she would say.

“How is he mean?” I would asked.

“He just CRUNCHED my fishy cracker,” she thrust one finger held up high in my face, “Just ONE fishy cracker.  Not ALL of them,” she opened her palm, wiggling all five fingers, and then quickly tucked them all under except one, “Just ONE.”

“What did you say to him?” I asked, holding back a laugh.

“I just telled him to STOP IT,” she said, “And he did.  But sometimes he hits me.”

“He hits you?” I asked, suddenly not even THINKING about laughing.

“Yeah, and he just gets in very trouvle. And they tell him, ‘stand in the corner, fold your arms,’ and he does but he still tries to KICK like this,” she said, flailing her little legs under the thick blanket, “He is mean to me,” she repeated, “And mean to all of us at Primary.”

“And he gets in trouble from the teachers?” I asked.


“Who are your teachers?” I asked, already knowing the answer.

“I dunno!” She shrugged, “I just know that Jesus loves me and even Bryce and you and Daddy and Trenton and EVERYONE!”

“That’s right,” I replied, smiling.

“Mom, what is service?” She asked.  I went on to take full advantage of the “teaching” moment and talked to her about service and why we do it and what kinds of services she can do at her age. I was so excited to have a little discussion with her, and got so wrapped up in it that she took me by surprise when she interrupted me.

“Mom,” she said, “Just read my book to me.”

I couldn’t help but all out laugh out loud.  Every time she woke up last night, she was still burning up with fever, but she popped out of bed this morning, ran into the living room where I was still in a half-dazed Nyquill induced coma and said, “MOM!  LOOK at the SKY!  It is SO BEAUTIFUL.  It’s PINK!” I reached up to find her fever 100% gone.

She crawled on top of me and cracked the curtain open, forcing me to see the goodness of morning.  The trick today will be getting her to REST her little body so the fever doesn’t come back full-force like it did with her brother.

After croup, pink eye, and this obstinate and terrible cold dovetailing each other, I’m MORE than ready for spring.  Who’s with me?!


I didn’t want to step outside.

I cracked open my screen door and hesitated.  I can’t remember the last time I watched the sunrise -I can’t remember if there has ever been a first time.  I woke up this morning determined to watch it -determined to see what I KNEW to be a glorious and beautiful transformation of nature.

But there I stood on the precipice of my personal morning devotional… scared.  I’ve always been afraid of the dark, and I began to doubt if my determination to see the sunrise was enough to get me to step over the line between the comfort of my warm home to the darkness that enveloped my front yard.

With a deep breath, I gripped my quart-size mason jar filled with hot herbal tea, straightened the beenie I crocheted for my husband last year (which he insisted on plunking on my head as I dressed this morning), and I took that first step.

I could barely see a thing.  I looked around for a source of light and found only stars, those “rulers of the night” who persist in feigning the glory of the sun.  They barely glimmered enough light to make themselves known, save one.

One stood out above all the rest.  His glow was far brighter, far stronger than all the rest, yet it was not nearly bright enough.  I looked out on the horizon and saw a hope of a sunrise, and that was enough to satisfy me for the moment.  I gripped my hot tea close to my body and looked around.  In the darkness, there was little movement.  The last few stubborn leaves of fall clung to my trees, rustling in the very slight breeze.  There were no birds singing -no birds flying.  I looked back to the horizon and saw little change.

I folded my arms and asked my Father in Heaven to help me see the beauty of the sunrise -to fully FEEL of it.  I closed my prayer, opened my eyes, and the horizon was glowing brighter.

I looked to the sky and noticed the stars had seemed to vanish completely.  The soft glow of promised sunlight was enough to beat them into silent submission.  In earnest, I looked for the brightest of the stars.  He was still making his presence very much known -still clinging on in the foolish hope that he would come off conquerer.

A movement on my left caught my eye, and I turned to see a bird flying low to the ground as if to test the first light.  The morning breeze picked up, and I took sips from my warm tea in hopes that my body would store up some heat.

The colors of the horizon continued to shift and change, and I watched.

The distant clouds radiated indescribable hues of pinks, golds, blues, and violets.  It was breathtaking.  I fixated my eyes on it, giving myself up to it’s spell-like state.

How is the stubborn star fending? I wondered.  Glancing up, I saw that he had diminished to a tiny fleck, but still glowing.  How badly I wanted to tell him to fade, to give up.  He looked so sad, standing up against the unconquerable force of the Sun.

All at once, I became aware of the freezing temperature around me. Had it actually gotten colder?  I sipped on my tepid tea, and shifted my weight from one leg to the other.  The thought came to me to just… go inside.  Give up.  The sun would rise tomorrow and the next day and the next week and the next year.

Why should you endure it today? The stubborn star seemed to ask.

Had I endured the initial fear of darkness and the bitterness of cold to simply turn back now?  Now?  Just when the Sun was so close I felt as if I could climb a tree and SEE it?

No, I shook my head at the faint star.

No, I will not give up.  I will stand to see you fail.  I will stand to see the Sun.

In a sudden stroke of genius put on by the utter lack of bodily warmth, I put my cold herbal tea down, sipped my thick leather coat up, and began walking.  I turned and walked toward the Sun.

The early morning wind picked up more speed, biting at my face.  I found a safe place to shield me from the wind and offer me a better view of the Sun and waited.  The dim star begged me to return indoors.

I refused to yield, though my resolve was weakening.  I glanced around to see more birds flying, but now they had lifted themselves high off the ground.  The Sun had instilled confidence in their flight.  In the distance, a rooster crowed.  As if the Chorus of the Birds had taken it as their cue, their quiet, soothing sounds permeated the silence of morning.

I stretched out my frame -stretching it out until it was AS TALL as it could be.  I fixed my eyes on the horizon and strained to see…

And there He was.  Rising up against the darkness of night, the Sun transformed the earth with his brilliance.  I took in a deep, satisfying breath.

The fear I had felt upon leaving my front door was completely wiped away, and I took the short walk back home with all of the confidence in the world.  Just as I turned away, I looked up.

The Star was barely discernable in the sky, flickering out his last lights before succumbing to the Sun’s extinguishing powers.  He had lost, but he meant to rise again.

And he will rise again.  Every night, he’ll come out to rule.

But how pathetic is the kingdom he rules -how short-lived is his reign.

There is hope smiling brightly before him and behind him, and that hope is greater than he.  That hope is greater than little me.  That hope is the reason life comes out and fear dissipates.

That hope is the reason I have confidence in today.

He Putteth Away His Wife

My husband done kicked me out of the house.

I don’t like leaving -really.  There’s a million and two things I need to get done, and aside from that I’ve got a week’s worth of preschooling to make up and I’ve got to get ready for the CUTE hair flowers we’re going to be making for mutual and I’ve got to make up for a missing a week’s worth of playing piano at the high school and OH my poor piano students who have had to miss so much on account of my sick kids and then I’d like to get a few meals in the freezer for later and the kitchen counter need  CPR and then there’s the mending and the sewing and the laundry.

And I can’t forget to give Lucifer his bath.

But away I went.  Alone.  I’m not going to lie, I’ve had a total of THREE mini panic attacks about being alone.  I feel downright vulnerable, but I also feel like it’s a good thing to have gotten away from that.  When I was in college, I was PRO at being alone.  I walked myself to my car.  I ate alone.  I was able to spend twenty solid minutes alone in the bathroom.

But now?  Heh.

I depend on my husband and children so much.  They are my shields, my excuses, my reason-for-not-growing.

Okay, that last one is The Truest One of All.  Only I didn’t know it.

The things is: I never had TIME to know it.  Really.  As I’ve taken a giant step back, I discovered something grisly.  It’s my soul.

Have you seen it lately?  It’s shriveled and curled up inside of me, begging for attention.  I haven’t listened to it because frankly, I didn’t have time for it’s needy attitude. I was too busy nourishing the souls of my children and the Sunday School kids I sub for and the Young Women I adore to no end.  It’s as if I’ve been passing the turkey around the table, making sure everyone got a BIG helping at the expense of myself.  Seems dignified, doesn’t it?  Well it’s not.  Because we’re not talking about turkey.  We’re talking about my soul.  The WORST part about it (as if having a malnourished soul isn’t sobering enough) is that I’ve been physically feeding my body all sorts of junk to make up for the hungry-like-the-wolf signals my SOUL was sending out.  I somehow found myself feeding my body and starving my soul.  The more I ate, the more my spiritual insides withered.

I realize that now.

I also realize that though I hate it, I NEED to be alone at least once a week to reconnect my body with my soul and make sure they’re in harmony and not duking it out.  Anyway, that’s what they do when they want attention.  Juvenile, I know.  But I can’t point fingers.  They learned it all from me, after all.

After coming to the GREAT and GLORIOUS and HARROWING knowledge that I’ve been starving myself, I opened up my scriptures, not knowing where I’d end up.  I turned to the index of the Book of Mormon and the word “Feast” stood out to me.  I thought it was a little strange since I was trying to do the opposite BUT I found 2 Nephi 9:51 to be spot on.  “Feast upon that which perisheth not… Let your soul delight in fatness.”  Fatness?  Feast?  HEY!  I can totally get on board with this!  That is WHAT I DO!  After scribbling a few lines in my journal, I got up off the floor I’d been sitting and pondering on.  It looks like this.  I’ll be danged if these floors aren’t everything a girl could ever want out of life.Photobucket

I walked out of the door and went for a very short walk during which I took in some local culture. Then I quickly went back to my truck because the cold was literally BITING my nose off (though it could do with a minor trim. Not gonna lie). I got in it and drove to a book store.
Then I bought a book.
I never NEVER buy books. Because I never read books. Because I don’t have time!
After buying a book -a very insightful one, at that -I walked across the street to indulge my inner-hippie at a small organic cafe.
I plunked myself down in a corner table and ate squash/potato soup.Photobucket
And I read.
And read.
I didn’t bother looking at the time because I knew it was just FLYING BY. I did bother to take the picture for my friend, Tia. It turns out I was the only person who ate organic today. Why? “That crap is for rich people who hate themselves.”Photobucket
Anyway, I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t enjoy the empty cafe 100%.
Because I did.

Halfway through my lunch, I realized with a shocking amount of surprise that I was eating slowly. I’ve never eaten slowly! My husband has tried so nicely to get me to slow DOWN when I eat, and I never have! It’s been ingrained in me, as the younger sister of three strapping boys, to eat or starve.
Obviously, I chose to eat, and I’ve got the shoulders to prove it.

When I realized I had been eating slowly, I grabbed my cell phone in a panic. I must have been there for hours. JUST HOW LONG HAD I BEEN SITTING THERE?! I checked.
Twenty friggin’ minutes.
That’s it!

Usually when I go out to eat with my husband, it seems we only get twenty minutes together but when we check the time we realize it’s been closer to 2 hours. I have to say: today took forever.

Last time I got away for a weekend, I took my husband and it seemed like just when we got there we had to turn around and go home.
This time? Wow. I feel like I’ve been here for a month of Sundays.Photobucket
I haven’t bothered to “pamper” my body at all. No pedicures, no hair cuts, no massages, NOT even a heaping handful of cookies.
But my soul is slowly being babied back to health.

Balance is a crucial thing to keep and an easy thing to lose.
Remind me of that next Saturday when I come with eleventy billion excuses to stay home and NOT venture out into nature for some feasting and fatness.
Just typing that is SO satisfying.

Before I go: if I were chair, I’d look just like this green one. Really, I would.Photobucket
Know how I know? It’s gloriously chipped all over.
Mazel tov.

There’s a Maid Inside of Me Dying To Get Out



inside of me.

Plagued and Blessed but Not Blessed by Plague

A few weeks ago, I dropped Lacy off at preschool and remarked to my aunt (who was teaching) that my son had croup.

“We haven’t been sick for a long time,” I knocked on wood, “So I guess it’s our turn.”

I had no idea the ill forces of germs swirling around me heard what I said.

“You turn?  Your turn?” They buzzed around me, clinging to my jeans and hovering over my lips.

The croup came and went.  Then it was the colds.  Then it was pink eye.  Before Lacy’s was gone, Trent had it.  Before Trent’s was gone, Lacy started coughing.

She’s still coughing.

His eye is still showing signs of The Pink Death.

And last night, in the middle of our mad dash to the city to spontaneously catch a late-night showing of “Tangled,” my dear boy started heating up.  Smack dab in the middle of the action that literally had his sister on the EDGE of her seat, he clawed his way to my chest and fell fast asleep.Photobucket

Last night, he refused his bed and asked in a very worn, small voice for “Mama…”  That voice, it turns out, has the ability to melt me completely and quickly.

Yes, son I’ll hold you.

Yes, son I’ll give you $20.

Yes, son here’s the keys to the car.

Yes, son you can live with me forever.

We had a blast at the movies.  We haven’t set foot outside in days, and it was great to really escape for just a few hours.  The fortunate thing about having my husband as my husband is that he loves his family sososo much.  Like… he does whatever he can to take care of us but still insists on spending tons of time with us.  How he manages it is beyond me.

We took a mad dash to the city on Saturday to take care of our BIG shopping trip.  I hired out one of my piano students to watch the kids from 10 am to 6 pm.  We shopped bulk.  We shopped Wal-Mart.  We shopped Target.  We shopped Claire’s (on account of the birthday girl).  Our pocketbook did not escape unscathed.  So when my husband balanced his checkbook to see how much dough was left over to see IF we could make it to the movies… he drew a dire conclusion: nope.  No movie for the birthday girl.

There’s a local theater, and we thought we’d just take her there.  I looked them up online for movie times and prices, and they weren’t open yesterday.  I texted the news to my husband who instantly texted back that WE WOULD FIND A WAY.  I found a missing check for $30.  He counted the change in his change jar.  We all rejoiced and made the trek to the late night showing on what little we had.Photobucket
(dad bought the kids little kiddie snack combos with his quarters. What a man.)
And you know what?  It was 233449% WORTH IT.  It makes facing yet another day of sickness and cancelling practically everything I’m supposed to attend to doable.Photobucket

Family has a way of doing that to you.

And by “that” I mean sharing sickness.

By “that” I mean making you laugh so hard you cough your lungs into your throat.

By “that” I mean bolstering your spirits when you haven’t had a hint of sunlight in weeks and are starting to show signs of Cullen.

By “that” I mean loving you enough to put two feet under you when you can’t put them there for yourself.

As we were getting ready to leave the theater, my daughter thanked me for “her movie” and then went on to say, “I will just keep my mom and dad and when we wake up in the morning time, we will come to flag and it will be my birthday and I will be FIVE!”

She has NO IDEA how true that is.  It feels like she was born yesterday.  Surely she’ll be at least FIVE tomorrow, if not 15.Photobucket

Birthday Girl!

I just logged onto my old blog -the private one.  I was looking for pictures from my daughter’s past birthdays.  I finally bagged the idea.  I HAD to.  I wasn’t finding any pictures because I was too busy laughing too hard.  That blog was hilarious!  What’s happened to my writing?

My husband and I have have been huddled next to the lap top for the past hour reading, reading, reading.  And laughing, laughing, laughing.  There was the one post I wrote about how I think about death and he thinks about phone upgrades -I longed to be normal like him.  There was the one post where I tried to make birthday invites for my daughter and ended up losing my mind.  I called my husband crying and he laughed at me. He told me it was no big deal that I invited everyone to have cake at Lacy’s Grandma and GRADPA’s house.  That’s right.  I forgot the “N” in gradpa.  I cried.  I literally cried.  But that’s only because my daughter had knocked over a display of batteries, chewed up a box of crayons (which I then had to buy), opened a carton of yogurt, gotten snot on my scarf, dropped her bottle repeatedly in an effort to get yet more attention, and leaned up against the cart in order to SCREAM as loudly as she could.

Makes me want to cry all over again just reading about it.

I didn’t make invites this year.  In fact, I didn’t even plan a party.  She doesn’t care.

My external hard drive has come to the rescue of this post.  I wanted to post 5 pictures -one for every birthday (including the original birth day).  I’m doing this for my sake.  I honestly don’t BELIEVE it’s been four years.  I’m going to prove it to myself.

So that was yesterday, right? RIGHT?!
No. I know.
Because aside from being at her actual birth day, I threw her a party a year later.
She HATED that bow on her head. Seconds after I snapped that picture, she yanked it off her head and threw it down with all the vehemence a one yearling could muster. And I laughed. Any good mother would do likewise.
Her second birthday:

We gave her a small wooden rocking chair that he father promised to sand and stain… Ask him about that next time you see him, won’tcha?
We also gave her an art easel. DON’T ask me about that. Ever.
Third Birthday:

These pictures aren’t having a good effect on me. Can someone hand me a paper bag to breathe in?
Here she is first thing this morning. She’s wearing her birthday princess ribbon and sporting a headband/crown/veil/everything a princess could EVER ask for in headgear.

We just finished decorating her cake. You should see my kitchen. She asked for a square rainbow cake. I’ll make sure she gets it on Sunday when we gather the family together to have cake and eat it too. In the meantime, I thought she’d appreciate making her own cake. She (im)patiently sat on the counter and helped me mix everything up. Can I brag for a sentence?
My daughter is a queen egg-cracker.
No shells! No breaking-of-yolk!
Okay, that was three sentences but I couldn’t help it. My buttons are popping.
A rainbow and clouds -as IF you even needed to ask. Since I snapped that picture, she’s added grass. And her name. And an unfortunate little cake-snowman.
While she decorated, her brother grabbed some of my carrots and made something all his own. You think MY buttons were popping? You should have seen his!
“I MADE IT, MAMA!” He practically screamed at me, hopping up and down.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to log off. My house is strewn with carrots and I’ve got to scrounge around for some pride. I lost it all this morning when my four year old spanked me at Candyland. Thrice.

Midnight Brain

My latest dreams.

I’m accustomed to having whacked-out dreams, but I’m starting to wonder at myself.  My dreams have always been weird, yes.  But the past few nights, they have been weirdly VIVID.  I can FEEL them.  When I wake up, I’m not here.  I’m still in Dreamland, and it takes me a few awkward minutes to adjust.

For example, a few nights ago I lost a beauty pageant.  I knew I was going to lose the minute I saw my competitors.  They were all married to wealthy rock stars.

I mean, you JUST can’t win. I sat in my seat (which happened to be on the steps of a grassy outdoor Colosseum-ish courtyard) and devised a plan to win the next year’s competition.
Pshhhhhhhhhhh. Right.

Beauty pageant? Me? Beauty has never been my gift. I’ve made a habit out of paying other women who are good at the whole “beauty” thing to work their magic on me.
“Eyebrows… there should be two!”

Anyway, last night I dreamed of encouraging one of guys I graduated with to propose to the woman he loved. Not only propose, mind you, but to TAKE HER HOME to meet his family.
“That will win her over,” I said, “There’s no way she’ll refuse after meeting your mother.”
What the HECK kind of advice is that? And what woman wouldn’t go running? Besides, it isn’t the mother she would be marrying. In my dream, he agreed and went with it. I was 100% sure the plan would work and went home satisfied. Where was home? A mansion. Not a modern mansion… an old-fashioned, charming-by-day-but-creepy-by-night mansion. I climbed three flights of stairs to the nursery where my children were playing.
The nursery was rather small, considering the size of the house it was in, but it was really practical. There were cupboards galore and a counter that surrounded the entire room. The best part? The sink. There was also a microwave and a fridge. I tried giving my kids, who were running around my feet, snacks but all of the snacks were expired. EVEN the marshmallows. I gave up on the that and spent the rest of my dream trying to clean up.
Incidentally, I made no progress.  It didn’t deter me, and I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned but every time I turned around there was another mess.

That dream was most vivid of all. And though I’ve been awake for two hours, I’m still trying to pry myself out of Dreamland. It’s not working out well today, see… because I woke up and continued what I had been doing in my dream. At present the children are running around my feet and I’m trying to clean up.
I’m making no progress.
All I’m missing is the mansion.


We took a few rolls of film in to be developed last week.  It took EIGHT days to get them back.  EIGHT.  I couldn’t believe it.  Not that I’m complaining… not at all.  I’m just realizing how easy I have it now.  I snap a picture, see it instantly, upload it, and post it if my arm fat isn’t too obvious.

As we opened up the packages from yesterday, we were like little kids with a new toy.  We huddled together in the middle of an aisle in Wal-Mart and gawked.

“Oh my gosh, it’s our first Thanksgiving!”
“My first pie!”
“Your sister’s first pie! Oh my GAWSH look how little she is!”
“Our first time seeing the Temple lights together!” (It’s all about firsts in that first year.)
“Look at the girls in your family!”
Then the pictures were of the day my brother got home from his mission.
My husband couldn’t be there, so the picture we came upon first didn’t look familiar to him. I don’t know why. By this time, he should EXPECT things like this from my family.
I also happened to snatch the stack of pictures out of my husband’s hands at this point.
“Oh…. aw…..”

Remember the picture I posted a week or so ago… the one with ALL of us after we’d taken a ride on The Polar Express? Well, here’s what we used to look like:
One sibling here, one there… one on a mission, two married, no grandkids… We’ve come a long way. But I guess I didn’t realize HOW far we’d come until I flipped to this picture.
He turned 15 three days ago.

Could Have Fooled Me

Two days ago, my daughter was ultra sweet.  She spent the days showering me with (what she deemed as) compliments and kisses. (I just have to say: one of her compliments was, “Mom, yesterday you smelled like poop and I thought you were ugly at church, but… you weren’t!” *BIG HUG*)

While her brother took a very late nap, she was my pal.  She snuggled with me, talked with me, and finally decided to cook with me.  I had to laugh as she climbed onto the kitchen counter.  She was wearing a black and shimmery orange tutu with an orange shirt, glittery red shoes (“SLIPPERS!” she corrects me every time), and an apron.  Naturally.  She asked me for help.

“How do I do my slippers like just Dorothy?” she asked.  So I showed her how to click her heels together.  Then I grabbed the camera and took this video.  Sorry it’s sideways.  Turn your head, won’t you?

“There’s no place like home,” she says.

Weh-ell. She fooled me. You want to know what she did the next day?! DO YOU?! We’re talking massive amounts of mayhem, here. We’re talking I had flashbacks of her wrecking-ball-like abilities exhibited in her terrible twos. We’re talking I had to sit down at the end of the day and do a major brain reboot!
Just what is it I’m doing, exactly? I asked myself.
It looks like nothing at all. I answered myself.
It looks like your children are undoing your life’s work. I reasoned.
It looks like your children ARE your life’s work. I replied.
Just what is it I’m doing, exactly? I asked myself again, coming full circle. My thoughts literally RAN in CIRCLES around me.

Because when I finally got the energy to do the dishes, I turned the water on AND TURNED MY BACK while the children dumped out three drawers of toys on the carpet, WHICH by the by was already covered in bits ad scraps of the gingerbread house they’d demolished the day before that I can’t seem to ever clean up all of. Not only did they dump out the toys, my daughter ran into her bathroom, turned the sink on and started filling all of her kitchen toys with water. And then she put them on her dress up bin.
On the carpet.
When I turned to find a miniature flood in my living room, I sent them both to their room so I could cool down. I cleaned that mess up only to walk into their room where they were supposed to be resting and watching a movie to find…
And entire jar filled with buttons (both large ad very tiny) dumped out on the carpet. The carpet, remember, is still harboring bits and pieces of gingerbread and candy and frosting. And now buttons.

By the time the dishes were done, so was I.

Days like that are the ones I want to remember so that when my daughter calls me to complain about her disorderly children, I’ll have a deep sense of validation to go along with my sympathy.
I’ll click my heels together and say, as she did in days gone by, “There’s no place like home.”