Oh Me of Little Faith

I had a visitor on Wednesday.


She drove to see me with her brand new baby in tow, and I got to hold him and accidentally make him cry!  We got so wrapped up in conversation and Irish soda bread that I didn’t notice my kids were jumping on the bed.

I mean, I remembered that my daughter had taken a GLASS bowl full of yogurt into her room to munch on, and though I don’t usually allow food in bedrooms, I did yesterday on account of it gave me more time with Laurie… (I’m sorry.  I think somewhere in that sentence, I lost all sense of structure).   My daughter, crazy kiddo that she is, jumped on her bed and THREW the glass bowl against the wall.

Because… she inherited her father’s insatiable curiosity for breaking things.  Seriously.  When we were looking at engagement rings, he came across one where the diamond seemed to float freely between to prongs, and he said, “I just want to take a mini hammer and whack it outta there!”  I still married him completely ignorant to the fact that he would spawn more like him.


When I was in High School, I asked “Santa” for a CTR ring one Christmas.  That was all I wanted, and the one I wanted most was only $10.  My Dad, er… SANTA took one look at it and decided against it.  Anyway, it didn’t matter.  Not a single LDS store had that style in stock.  Santa picked one out for me.  I don’t think I’ve ever told you, but my Santa has impeccable style.  From his taste in cologne to his pristine Western Wear and Tony Lama Boots, he always looks classy.

It came as no surprise that my ring was just as beautiful.  It was gold -real gold -and the CTR was written in a heart.  I wore that ring everywhere!  I still do, in fact.  It sits on my right hand ring finger and reminds me not to say THAT and not to EAT THAT and to always, always, say my prayers.

One night for Family Home Evening, we were trying to explain meaningful prayer to Lacy.  We’ve done this in the past, but she’s four.  She doesn’t rightly remember everything.  Her prayers always have been of the utmost sincerity (who blesses the comic book store?  Lacy does!), but during the lesson we emphasized that Heavenly Father will answer our prayers.  I went on to tell Lacy about the time her Daddy lost a snake.  He was so sad, but he prayed to find it and before he could even complete his prayer, he heard his mother scream from her bathroom.  The snake was in the tub!

The story didn’t go over well.

“Snakes are in the TUB?!” She asked, horrified.

Okay, okay… I tired to regroup with something a little nicer.  Glancing down at my hand, I saw my ring.

“See this?” I held my ring out for her to see.  I went on to tell her the story about how Grandpa had bought the ring for me.  I told her I loved it very much and wore it all the time.  One day, I lost it.  I was so sad.  I looked for it everywhere.  At that point in the story, she was transfixed.  Her eyes were BIG and sympathetic.  A lost RING!  The horror!  The sadness!  THIS she could understand!  I told her that I prayed everyday to find the ring, and one day it fell out of my laundry basket -right into my line of view.  I hastily put it on and knelt down right there to thank Heavenly Father for helping me find my ring.

Lacy looked at my ring again.

“It has a C and a T and a R,” she said.  Then she perked up.

“Hey!  I have a ring like that!  My green ring!  But I lost it…”  The gears in her head started turning, “I could PRAY about it!”

Yes it was true.  I had given her a tiny CTR ring a couple years ago, and instead of saying CTR it said HLJ or something like that.  It was the spanish version.  Please don’t ask me where I got a spanish ring.  I really can’t remember.  Anyway, she loved that ring.  And she HAD lost it.  Long, long, long ago she had lost it.  I mean that ring was LONG LONG LONG gone.  I imagined it was sitting buried in a few inches of sand in some playground somewhere.  But as Lacy said the closing prayer for Family Home Evening, she prayed to find her ring.  After the prayer was over, I pulled her close and told her that I would get her another green ring because her old one was very lost.  She hugged me and bopped off to bed.

Well remember how she threw a glass bowl against the wall?

While I was thoroughly cleaning glass shards from hard-to-reach places, I spotted something on the ground.  I nearly vacuumed it up, but as a leaned closer I saw:

That blasted missing-for-a-year ring. It was tucked tightly in the very corner of her room under her bed -a place I had looked before, but not for the ring.
I sat down and marveled for a moment.
Then I chastised myself.
Then I gave it to the happiest girl in the world, who believed all along that she WOULD find her ring. When I gave it to her, I told her that she should thank Heavenly Father for helping her find it.
“…thank thee for this day. Thank thee for Heavenly Father could find my ring. I love him so much, Amen.”

Ah, kiddo.
You have so much to teach me.

When You’ve Only Got Weeks To Live

First things first: Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
(This was our breakfast. When Trent blessed it, he said “…thank thee for shamwoks, ask thee to bless it…”)

Second things second: A few nights ago, the kids were stock FULL of energy and I was not. At 8:30 pm, I stared at the clock at thought, ‘No way is it only 8:30. It HAS to be 10 at least!’ But it wasn’t. And the kids were running laps around me. After trying my hardest to get the kids ready for bed, I collapsed on the couch and started a movie. My husband wasn’t home, and when he’s not home I take advantage of the full control I have over our media players. I love classic movies, and while my husband will endure them like a champ from time to time, in general he’d rather not bother with them. I turned one on and settled in.

“Send Me No Flowers” is a movie about a married man who is a hopeless hypochondriac. Through a fluke, he happens to overhear his doctor discussing a patient’s condition with a heart specialist. He thinks they are discussing him, but they aren’t. The diagnosis? A failing heart and only weeks to live. He leaves the doctor’s office reeling, and spends the rest of the day getting his affairs in order. He buys three cemetery plots (one for him, one for his wife, and one for his wife’s second husband) and then he goes home and encourages his wife to take some night classes about accounting and such. He figures she won’t be able to fend for herself once he’s gone.
As the movie unfolds, the conflicts that arise are pretty much hilarious. I really liked the movie so much that I’d rather watch it than “Pillow Talk” any day.

Last night, right before we went to bed, I told my husband about the movie and then I asked him what he would do if he only had weeks to live.
“Get my affairs in order,” he said, “And then take you to every Bed and Breakfast I could.”
The sweetness of his answer sort of took me off guard. I expected him to say something like, “Go to HAWAII!”
And if anyone knows us at all, they know how we feel about Bed and Breakfasts.
“What about the kids?” I asked. “Wouldn’t you want to spend time with them?”
“It’s not like we’d constantly be in the Bed and Breakfasts,” he replied.
He talks sense.

I started asking myself what I’d do if I only had weeks to live.
I’d gather up my family: husband, kids, mom, dad, siblings, their spouses… and go to Nauvoo. I’d take a church history tour and make a point of stopping off at an Amish community.
Yes, yes I would!
I’d go through the Nauvoo Temple:

I’d run rampant in the pioneer-esque establishment! I’d even go so far as to make myself a fancy-pants petticoat and frock. And bonnet! And APRON!
Then I’d ask my husband to please bury them with me. I’m materialistic like that.

I’d also spend some time getting all of my blogs made into books for my kiddos.
I’d also probably write a list of qualities I want in the woman who would raise my children. Then I’d feel guilty for writing the list and burn it (but still feel better for having actually wrote it).
One thing is for sure: I’d eat like a queen and not give a rat’s about my waistline.

What would YOU do? Be brutally honest.


Sometimes when you pray for help, it doesn’t come right away.  Sometimes it comes days later in the form of a phone call from a well-meaning grandparent who just happens to say exactly what you didn’t know you needed to hear.

Sometimes it comes through ways you couldn’t have foreseen:
PhotobucketSomehow that sunset meant more to me than almost anything else, though I would have never thought to ask for it.

Can you imagine?

Dear God,

I’d sure like a pick-me-up.  Can I order a gorgeous sunset?  I think that would do the trick.


I don’t know, maybe I’ve got it wrong.  Maybe it does work like that, but I don’t have the guts to speak so frankly to Heavenly Father.  It seems rude.  I mean, I wouldn’t say that to anyone!

Dear Mom,

I need a pick-me-up.  Can I order a plate of your cookies?


Usually when Mom can tell I need a pick-me-up, she sends along something like cookies.  Sometimes when Mom’s not around, I plop my kid on the counter next to me and we MAKE cookies!


Let this be a lesson to you:
When life gives you lemons, call grandpa, make cookies, and wait for the sun to set. In that order.

Keeping it Real -Keeping it Together

I hate folding and putting away laundry, BUT I love warshing it.  My spoonful of sugar (as it concerns folding) is Netflix instant streaming.  I’ll set my laptop on a chair next to the couch and stream a movie as I fold.

Yesterday, I streamed “The Odd Couple.”  Forgive me for my ignorance, but I had NO IDEA it was a series on TV.  The movie gave me a great laugh, and it also gave me about a million things to think about.

I just love Jack Lemmon. I do, I do, I do. I first fell in love with him when he dressed up as a woman and named himself Daphne.
“I can never have children.”

Seeing him as an obsessive clean freak was hilarious.
We had some friends over for dinner last night, and I spent the day cleaning up. Cleaning is defeating for me, you know. It’s a constant fight for me to maintain my self worth while cleaning. While I’m sweeping, my eyes inevitably wander to the top of the shelves… dusty. Then they wander to the sink… unscrubbed. Before I know it, clutter is flying off my counter tops and out of my closets and DANCING OVER MY HEAD to the beat of Satan’s drum as they AUDIBLY CHANT:
You’re a failure.
You’re a failure.
You’re a failure.

And then my husband comes through the door and catches me mid-fall.
“I’m SORRY you have to LIVE WITH ME!” I burst into tears.

Cleaning and organizing are not my talents. They are my husband’s, but he has to work and stuff. Last night, I curled up in bed and went to sleep to the sound of water running. My husband was doing the dishes. He had done them the night before as well. I do the daytime dishes, and when he can he does the nighttime dishes. That way, I wake up to a fighting chance instead of self-destruction and pitiful doom.

As I watched Jack Lemmon crazily clean his roommate’s apartment, I thought to myself how my husband deserved someone who could clean like that. I even went so far as to turn the movie off and leave the laundry for a few minutes so I might clean the microwave!

But I also realized something else: before the holidays (2010) my house was in general good order. I was sort of on top of it all (not counting my bedroom. We are NOT counting my bedroom), but I wasn’t doing other things. For example, I would say my nighttime prayers one night and then realize that it had been several days since I had done so. My scripture reading was splotchy. Is that a word? Splotchy?
Anyway, now I’ve gotten back into my good habits, but my house is falling apart. Where is the medium? The balance? My fairy godmother?

A few years ago, I took an online quiz to find out which “Friends” character I was. The results?

Chanandler Bong.

That’s right. I didn’t even make the cut as one of the FEMALE characters. I was a little down over that until I watched a few episodes with my husband one night and started ROLLING with laughter. Because although my husband did not take the quiz, we both pegged him.

The One Who Likes Things Just So.
The One Who Likes To Be in Control.
The One Who Hates It When Someone Gets a Dot of Ink of the Sofa.

It’s all okay. It’s all okay.
I need someone like that. Just like he needs someone like me.

I am the Walter Matthau to my own Jack Lemmon.
I am the Chandler Bing to my very own Monica Gellar.

Together we sometimes drive each other crazy, but -incidentally -we work things out very well. I need him around to keep reality in the picture. He needs me around to drive reality out now and then.

Balance, see.  Balance.

Before I go, I HAVE to show you what I got today:

It came in the mail and it was SO beautiful that didn’t want to open it. But I did.
I ran home, wrote TWO letters and drove right back to the post office. When I went up to the counter, I rang the bell for service.
The postmaster came to the window and wondered why I was back so quickly.
“The package I just picked up had stationery in it, so I went home and wrote TWO letters! I just need to know how many stamps they need.”
He looked at me in disbelief.
“Girls…” he muttered under his breath.

Girls, indeed. We are frivolous. I think that’s why we blog.

Learning and Growing

I teach my daughter preschool from home.  We stick to a typical school day: worksheets, flashcards, wiggle time, snack time, recess time… She loves it.  But after school lets out, the learning doesn’t stop.  I just set aside the worksheets and flashcards.  A few days ago, a family friend gave the kids some temporary body markers.


By the end of the day, she could read the word “foot” and “arm.” Take that, convention.

Lately, her imagination has gone (even more) wild.  I let it because it’s entertaining.  I mean, I’m all for letting your children express themselves and all that jazz, but I mostly try to keep from stifling her imaginative creativity because it’s fun for ME.

A few nights ago, she came into my bedroom where I was resting next to her Dad.

“You’re sick,” she said, “And I will give you some chocolate milk medicine. It will just make you BIG and FAT!”  I threw the biggest fit a sick patient has ever thrown.

“No!” I shook my head in panic, “I don’t want it!  I can’t be big and fat!  Don’t make me!”

“Okay, okay!” She held her hands up in surrender, “Take this Humpty Dumpty medicine and you will just turn into a big egg.”

“No!” I repeated my fit, “I don’t wanna be an egg!  I don’t wanna be an egg!”

“Okay, okay,” she held her hands up again, “Nevermind about it!  We’ll just…” she thought for a minute, “Get the babies out of your belly.”

“There’s babies in my belly?” I asked.


“How will they get out?” I asked.

“I will just cut a hole in your belly,” she replied.

I hit my husband and forced him to get his focus OFF angry birds and onto what was going on.

“How are you going to get them out?” I asked again so my husband could hear her answer.

“I will just cut a hole in your belly with a sharp, no-crying knife.  I will go get it.  Relax!” She said.  I bit my bottom lip hard to keep from laughing.

Relax?  Right.  Okay.  I’ll just kick back while you retrieve a sharp knife to cut me.

She reached behind her, pulled a knife out that looked remarkably like her pointer finger, and she proceeded to “cut” my belly.  I watched in fascination as she moved my belly to the side and delivered 13 babies -one by one.  They were small, about the size of a hot dog.  She put them on a napkin by my pillow and proceeded to dress them.  After they were dressed, she began to name them.

“This one in pink is named… Jessica,” she said, “OH NO! I forgot!”

“You forgot what?” I asked.

“I forgot about you belly!” She said, putting Jessica down and reaching for the imaginary belly sitting by me. (I can’t seem to correct her when she says “you” instead of “your.”  Thank your.)

After dumping imaginary water in my belly where the babies used to be, she replaced the belly and then used imaginary scotch tape to tape it all back up.  I was a little skeptical about the tape, but I gotta say: that stuff is amazing.  Two days after delivering 13 babies, I feel great!  It worked wonders.

That girl is something else.  Something else altogether.  HOWEVER, we did have a first today.  She cried for no good reason in the middle of preschool.  I was mixing a bunch of letter tiles up so the kids could go “hunting” for the letter R and I warned them not to peek while I mixed them up.  The kids all put their heads down.  But not Lacy.  She cracked one eye open.

“I’m peeeeeeeeeeking,” she teased.

“Go sit on your bed,” I teased back.  Only she didn’t think I was teasing and she burst into tears and ran into her room.  I followed close behind, apologizing profusely.  I settled her down, gave her a million hugs, and then walked her back to the table.  Once there, she set to hunting for the letter R.

I watched her start to giggle over nothing.

“Why are you laughing?” I asked, smiling.  Then I noticed her giggle was sort of weird -sort of… forced.

“Lace…” I tilted my head and looked closer at her, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah!” Her strange giggles got louder and stranger.

“Okay, because it almost seems like you’re about to cry…” I said.

“I’m LAUGHING!” She said, her giggles getting EVEN LOUDER and EVEN CRAZIER.

“Okay…” I said, doubtfully.  All at once, her giggles were gone and she erupted.

Tears!  Tears!  Tears!

I scooped her up and took her to my room.

“Honey, why are you crying?” I asked.

“I just thought I might so I laughed and then I just CRIED!” She wailed.  I’ll be darned if it wasn’t just the cutest thing.  Being a girl can be so tricky sometimes.  I put her in the middle of my bed with her favorite draw board.  Before leaving the room, I put on some kid music.  I left her alone.

A few minutes later, she emerged.

“I’m all done crying now,” she said, brightly.

Poor kid.  Poor girl.  Oh, how I understand.

Lobster Killer

“I’m giving up Glee,” I said to my husband who sat across the table from my at Red Lobster.  Neither of us had ever eaten at Red Lobster, and neither of us had ever eaten lobster.  We had set aside some money to go out on Valentine’s Day to try lobster for the first time, and finally -last night, nearly the Ides of March -we had our Valentine’s Date.

“Why?” he asked, his mouth full of warm, flaky cheddar biscuits.

“What do you mean ‘why?’ Because it’s trashy!  Anyway, you’re not supposed to question my motives.  You’re just supposed to fawn over me and tell me how proud you are of the good decisions I’m making.” I replied.

“But don’t you like that show?”

“I like the music in that show.  There’s a difference,” I said, “And didn’t you hear what I just said?  You’re supposed to be applauding me, not doubting me.  Here’s the thing: I gave up Glee last week and it lasted all of four hours.  This week, it’s lasted 3 days.  Three whole days.”

“Well maybe this week it won’t be trashy.” He shrugged.

“It will so!” My eyes were wide in surprise, “What are you doing here, man?  Trying to make me go home and watch it?”

“Can you watch a preview of this week’s episode?” He asked.

“NO!” I cried, throwing my hands up. “I mean, I don’t know but that’s not the point.  I’m not GOING to watch one.”

“What if this episode turns out to be the best one yet?”

“Fine!” I said, “That’s it.  When we’re done here, we’re going home and we’re watching Glee.  You and me.”

“No.  I’m not watching that show.”

“Well I am.  You seem set on my watching it, so I will.  With you.  It’ll be your punishment for tempting me to fail.” I pointed my fork at him.

“I was just playing devil’s advocate.”

“Is that why I married you?  Or did I marry you so you’d be supportive of my good decisions?”

“You married me to keep things interesting.” He grinned.

“You’re watching that show,” I shot back.

“Now I’m going to feel really bad if you go home and watch it.” He tucked his head down and chuckled.

I’m happy to report that I did NOT watch glee.

Get thee hence, devil’s advocate.

In my defense, I must say that Glee didn’t used to as trashy as it is now.  Dang it.


I like raking.  The fresh air is therapeutic, and I’ve always taken great satisfaction out of working with my hands.  I raked a big part of the yard a few weeks ago and hauled the leaves off.  As I raked them up, I thought about where they’d been: hanging above my head most of spring, all of summer, and some of fall.  Then they died.

Unlike Dickinson, death does not fascinate me.  Just ask my little brother.

Yesterday, a mouse got caught in a trap behind my piano.  It didn’t die because the only part of it’s body that got caught was it’s tail.  I watched in horror as it scampered around the house, making good time despite the attached trap.  I didn’t want the kids to see it, so I mustered up every ounce of courage I had and pinched the trap with pliers.  I lifted the mouse (who was clawing at the carpet) into the bag and ran it out to my little brother, who -THANKFULLY -was behind my house doing his farm chores.

I handed the bag to him, told him what it was, and then booked it back into my house.  A few minutes later, he brought my empty trap back.

I’m still pretty disturbed over the whole thing, and you can imagine.  If dead leaves affect me the way they do, it’s no wonder a mouse dying will practically send me out of my wits.

The dead leaves just remind me of the people who came before me.  Before you mark me for crazy, let me explain a little.

Yesterday after lunch, I continued the raking job I had started a few weeks ago.  The leaves were once bright and alive -they watched over us, shaded and protected us.  Once they turned brown and fell to the ground, they were left to us to be found and handled.

You can burn dead leaves, it’s true.  You can rake them up and jump into them.  You can do pretty much whatever the heck you want with leaves, really.  It’s up to you.

BUT a wise gardener knows that some of the best fertilizer comes from dead leaves.  If put back into the ground they came from, they will provide the ground with much needed nutrients.

I’ve found it’s the same way with my ancestors.  As much as the comparison between dead leaves and the people I came from seems irreverent, it is also relevant.

If left uncared for, they can’t help us.

If cared carefully for, they will enrich and complete our lives.  This applies directly to temple work, of course.  But aside from that, there’s much to be learned from the lives they led, the lives they touched, the things they said and did and learned and wrote.

My great great great grandfather was a highly decorated Danish officer.  Knowing that makes me want to try harder to be better.  My great great grandfather was a pioneer.  My great grandfather was a well respected and established member of our community, as is his son (my grandfather) and HIS son (my father).  All of these men inspire me to do better -to try harder -to live up to their greatness.

(two of my great-grandfather’s hats sitting on top of my great-grandmother’s shirt.)

Yesterday, my husband asked me during a rare moment of silence on my part, what I was thinking about. I told him I wasn’t thinking about anything.

“That mind of yours is always thinking something,” he laughed.

And given that I can’t even rake leaves without coming inside overwhelmed at my ancestry….

he’s got a point.

Mail Time!

Last week, my husband brought home the mail.  He slapped down a stack of three letters.

“These are for you,” he said.  Then he held up what was left -a stack of bills -and said, “These are for me.”

I felt sorta bad for him.  Should I write him a letter, do you think?  I don’t want him to think it’s a pity letter.  How would I even start to go about that?  When we were first married, I once wrote him a ridiculous poem asking him to a dance and I shoved it in our mailbox for him to find.  I could go that route again, but I think he’d rather find a $20 in an envelope rather than a ridiculous poem.

Anyway, I grabbed my letters and dove onto my bed.  I pried them open carefully and then devoured them with the same amount of satisfaction I get out of a soft piece of cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory.

I’m sharing them with you today for two reasons:

#1) One has something funny in it that you need to see.

#2) The stationery.

Let’s break with convention and start with number two.

(Did anyone just hear Dr. Evil’s voice saying “number two” ? Or am I the only crazy one here?)

The stationery.


The one on the left is from Taiwan! Can you believe it! I just turned it over and over in my hands, wondering what’s it’s seen! Where it’s been! All the way on the other side of the ocean! How exciting!

And the one on the right? It’s from Japan. Needless to say, I’ve been in a fit of excitement wondering about the places the stationery has been. I’m a regular dork. But really! Imagine it! It makes me want to start ordering local stationery from all the places I want to visit. Does Nauvoo have it’s own stationery? What about Stockholm, Sweden? All of the fifty nifty United States? Okay, I’m quite finished talking about it. For now.


My friend snipped this clip from her husband’s multi-vitamin.  It made me laugh out loud.  It made my brother Steve laugh out loud.  And it also reminded me of my Midol.  I took Midol once and it purty near killed me.  Terrible stuff, that.  But the label?  Priceless.  It warns that if you have prostate problems, you shouldn’t take it.

I quite agree.

(PS: the third letter I got was actually one I sent out earlier that week that got returned on account of it’s having not enough postage.  Postage has been added and the letter has been sent.  And the postmaster knows me by name now.)


Valets and Vallerinas

A couple weeks ago, I purchased two tickets to the Prince and Princess Ballet that BYU was bringing to our little town.  The flyer that came with the tickets instructed the princess and princes dress their very best.

For a while now, I’ve been wanting to do a girl date with Lacy where we dress to the nines and do… whatever.  Anything at all!  This ballet seemed like the best place to fulfill that dream, and yesterday -a few hours before the ballet -I went up to my mother’s house and snagged all of my old formal dresses.  After my son went to sleep, my daughter ran toward me.

“It’s just YOU and ME!  Just YOU and ME!”  She squealed.  I had told her that when her brother went to sleep, we’d paint nails and pick out jewelry and dresses.  We painted our nails first which turned out to be a very grave mistake.  As we made our way to my bedroom to try on dresses, I mutilated my paint job trying to zip my old dresses up!  But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get the dresses to zip up past the middle of my ribs.

Childbearing makes your ribs wider, right?

As I pulled on my favorite dress -one I had made myself in high school (with a great deal of help from a neighbor) -I was sad to feel that the sleeves had tightened and ever more sad (sadder?) to realize that it wouldn’t fit at all!  It had been rather big in high school, and I assumed it would fit better now!  My daughter tried cheering me on.

“Do the zip up, mom!  You can!  You can do it!”

Not to be defeated, I sucked in with all my might, and FORCED that zipper all the way up!  And guess what?  It went!  I was ecstatic!  In a burst of triumph, I let the breath I’d been holding out and….

the zipper popped.

Wide open.


It was then I decided perhaps my old dresses were going to stay hanging in the closet until Lacy turns 13 and pulls them out to make fun of my formal style.  I remembered when I had grabbed my old dresses that my sister had some dresses hanging in the same closet.  There was a chance that they might fit! I called her and asked her permission.  She granted it.

“Guess what?” I said to my daughter as I hung up the phone, “Julianne said I could wear one of her dresses!”

“IS SHE DEAD?!” My daughter cried out, horrified.

“Um, no.”

“Okay!” She said and went back to bopping around my jewelry box.

I spent the afternoon fixing my daughter’s dress.  It’s a size 8 and way to big, and there was a heart-shaped hole in the chest area that looked WAY to big on her tiny body.  I took some white sparkly material and stitched it in the heart hole and made sure to tie her dress back nice and tight.

She asked for me to do her hair “all spidery” which meant she wanted me to use my 3-barrel waver.

And I couldn’t influence her choice of shoe. No, I could not.

Of course my husband called to say he wouldn’t make it home to watch our son while Lacy and I had our girl date. He asked, “Is there anyone you can get to babysit?”
Ha, ha.
The entire female population of our small town was attending the Princess Ballet.
Enter: grandpa. My Dad -THANK GOODNESS -took on Trenters so Lacy and I could go out. I’m so happy he did! Lacy and I had both been looking forward to our night for weeks. We spent it with my mom, my sister-in-law and my niece Elly.

Earlier that day, the dancers had given an assembly to the school kids. My aunt took Lacy, and the minute we walked in the door to attend the pre-party, she talked non-stop about…
Who wanted to correct her pronunciation? Not I!
“Mom, that girl was dancing and the boy looked like just wearing brown and he held her hips and she… (at this point she went into a fit of kicks)… can you do that on my hips so I might dance?”
“Sure!” I said, picking her up by her hips. I brought her up so her face was next to mine and waited for her to start kicking and turning. But she didn’t. She didn’t even budge.
“Aren’t you going to dance?” I asked.
“You’re doing it wrong,” she said, locking eyes with me.
“Oh, sorry,” I shrugged, putting her down.

I always was a disappointment when it came to dancing.

During the party, we were able to take pictures and talk to the Vallerinas and eat a little snack.
Lacy was dying to talk to the first vallerina we saw. But she was too scared. Can you see her, standing off to the side, begging to be noticed?

When the vallerina turned around, we got a picture.

The next ballerina we saw was Little Red Riding Hood. Lacy had seen her dance in the assembly and had talked of nothing else. Look how excited she was to MEET her.

I had accidentally changed the flash setting on my camera, so the next few pictures aren’t the best.

The ballerina on the left told Lacy she looked Giselle from “Enchanted.”  She might have given her a santa sack full of toys and gotten the same reaction.

I have no idea who this girl is, but a picking-nose princess? Priceless.

As we went to get a cookie and punch, we were served by Great JuJu -much to Lacy’s delight.

On our way into the ballet, we stopped to get a picture with our friend Aimslee -a fellow true princess. A few months ago, we took a picture of Aimslee and Lacy trick-or-treating together. They had both decided to be Cinderella without even consulting one another.

Her mother and I share similarities too -like how we both used ballet tickets to bribe our children.

Once the show started, Lacy was in Heaven. Little Red came out. The boy in the brown pants came out! I finally saw the “right way” to hold hips. Then came intermission.
The ballerinas invited the little princesses up on stage. My little princess was DYING to go, so I took her hand and walked her up to the stage.
As we neared the stairs that lead up to the stage, she looked up at me and said, “Mom, I can go by myself. You don’t have to hold my hand anymore.”
And I teared up.
Like a fool.
Then I hurried and pulled out my camera to get a picture.
This was all she would show me.

Then, to my surprise, she made her way -instead of INTO the crowd -IN FRONT of the crowd.

At this point, I shifted my camera from “picture” to “video” mode. I had no choice.

Throughout the rest of the performance, she kept begging me to let her run into the aisles and DANCE. I explained to her thirty times that it was the ballerina’s turn to dance and that dancing while they dance… is rude. But the intermission was really cute. Thanks to Kyle for letting me steal his picture from facebook. See the small, white, blurry tornado in the right corner? She belongs to me.

When we made it home, I snagged a few pictures of the girls.

And when we got home, she changed her dress, put on her red “ruby slippers” and danced while I streamed the Sleeping Beauty Ballet music over the internet.
Then she curled up with a book and her little brother.

I couldn’t leave this picture out. Those red shoes make her so happy.

I believe it’s time to start researching ballet teachers in the area.

Old Lady Shoes

Last week, my grandmother asked me to help her out with the Founder’s Day parade.  Did I already tell you this?  As I’m typing, I’m getting the feeling that I did.

In any case, she asked me to dress up as my great grandma and pretend to make soap on a flat bed trailer with my trusty brother, Steve, at my side pretending to be our great grandpa.  My great grandparents used to save their grease up for an entire year and then they’d spend a few days making homemade soap.  The soap they made over those few days lasted an entire year.  On Sunday, my blessed aunt (I’m starting to think I overuse adjectives.  Trusty brother.  Blessed aunt…) gave me a DVD of a home video someone took of my great grandparents making soap.  I haven’t watched it yet, but I’m planning on it!

We went to Saver’s on Saturday and I went with one goal in mind: old lady shoes.  We got there thirty minutes before they closed and while I scanned the shoe shelves for a golden find, my son wriggled away, climbed on a stool, and fell off.  His screams permeated the pleasant hum of background noise, and we did our best to GET THE HECK OUT OF THERE.  And we did.

Right after I found these:

They are perfect! What’s more: they are brand spanking new! What’s EVEN MORE: they have rubber soles.

I wore them all day yesterday. They were a perfect match to my brown polyester pants I love so much, and every step I took was bliss. Okay, that may be overdoing it a very little.

I also snagged up three yards of cotton/poly pink fabric to make pants out of and a clashing pink striped shirt. I think they’ll be a perfect match. My great grandmother always used to wear a brilliant hat that Aunt Minnie made. She took empty bleach bottles and cut them just so, popped holes around the edges and then crocheted them together.

See her tucked behind the burn barrel? That’s my Dad stirring the soap. I’m obviously nowhere near as small a woman as my great grandmother, but I’m off in a few minutes to go find THAT hat. THE hat. The original crocheted by Aunt Minnie Hat.
I’m going to figure out how it was made and try my hand at it.

And you can bet I’m going to wear my old lady shoes all the way to Aunt Sarah May’s house to get a peek at that hat. I’m only sad my brown polyester pants are dirty. They really completed the look.
(PS: Steve, I’m counting on you to say “Nice shoes, Alicia. Perfect match for the dress” next time you see me. Maybe we could watch “Rigoletto” too.)