Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A love affair with misery

Have you ever enjoyed being miserable?  Ok, me neither but have you ever been miserable and felt so grateful for it?  I have.  The last few days I have felt intense misery at least once a day, usually more than that,  and almost cried I was so thankful for the emotion.  Why?  Because my misery meant I was in love. 

Love makes people miserable?  Yes it does.  The movie Hitch starring my long time crush actor, Will Smith, explains how love makes one want to be miserable.  When someone is truly in love there is a whole array of emotions that come with it.  When that person’s significant other is gone for whatever reason there is a miserable feeling to fill the void. 

The age of the relationship typically determines the level of misery for the length of the absence.  For instance, a newly married couple may feel anguish while the other is at work for eight hours.  Over time that anguish fades to a simple feeling of missing the other person.  Now if a spouse is absent long term the anguish returns.  In February Heath and I will celebrate our 10th anniversary.  I still consider us as newlyweds since 10 years isn’t that long, really.  But my guess is that even more mature couples feel some sense of anguish while their spouse is gone.  I hope that’s true.  I hope we don’t celebrate our 30th anniversary and when he’s out of town I don’t look fondly at his pillow at night.  That would be so sad.  They weren’t lying when they said that absence makes the heart grow fonder. 

Heath will be home in less than an hour and I am so excited about it.  He left early Sunday morning to fly out to Austin to meet with a client on Monday and flew home today.  I hate when these relatively short client meetings take him away from me for days but it is what it is.  We’re grateful he has a job.  That is a huge blessing.  We ought to know since we’ve done the whole unemployed thing before.  Not fun. 

Another thing I’m thankful for is how busy I have been while he’s been gone.  The time has flown by.  He laughed saying I must be having a lot of fun.  I wouldn’t say that.  Doing the single parent thing at church with a constipated toddler and substituting a Primary class was stressful.  But post it note from heaven – Gwen was never brought to me and I already talked about how angelic the kids were during Sacrament Meeting, a meeting I used to dread even when Heath was there to run zone defense with me!  Gavin’s Primary class was naughty but it was ok.  I just didn’t give them the treats their teacher normally gives them at the end of the lesson. 

I tried to take each day one moment at a time.  As soon as I got one task done I congratulated myself and moved on to the next.  I was grateful I remembered to call to confirm babysitting with my friend on Monday.  Another post it note from heaven – I was able to get all four of us ready on time plus, I had extra time to get video of Gavin’s speech before he went to school.  I got Parker and Gwen to my friend’s house in perfect timing.  So perfect in fact that I was 30 minutes early for my endocrinologist appointment!  Huge post it note from heaven was that I was home exactly when I needed to be to get lunch ready and get Parker off to school. 

I have handled raw meat and fed my children well each night, including tonight!  (While the phone has been ringing off the hook!)  We baked cookies together even.  Heath wanted fresh baked cookies for when he got home.  I did not promise to do that and it’s a good thing because there are no fresh cookies.  There are five cookies from Sunday though.  Another post it note from heaven was that the scheduled power outage yesterday afternoon was canceled.  Mondays are long homework days so having adequate light was a good thing.  And the package that required a signature was delivered around 6:30 pm.  I thought I would miss it with how much I had to be gone yesterday. 

Laundry has been washed, folded, and put away.  The downstairs is clean.  The upstairs has been clean each night but as of right now it’s a fire hazard with all the toys littering the floor like a landmine.  I ran errands today except I didn’t know we were out of sour cream or I would have picked that up too. 

Why am I telling you all of this?  Because being a single parent is harder than one would think.  Even if most of the things I have done I usually do on my own.  It makes a difference knowing I was flying without a safety net.  I don’t know how people in unhealthy relationships do it.  It makes me so grateful for the wonderful marriage Heath and I have.  We trust each other and communicate and love each other so much!  Ok, I’m making myself gag now.  Sorry.  I will clean the vomit our of your carpets if you need me to. 

Oh!  And I made him buy me a Diet Coke.  He grabbed a six pack of 16.9 oz. bottles.  My thought process on Saturday night was that I was already miserable anticipating missing him and worrying about him that I would really enjoy a Diet Coke at night.  Do you know what?  I haven’t even touched them!  I would get the kids to bed each night and work on other things or fall asleep trying to indulge in a movie or What Not to Wear.  The Diet Coke never even crossed my mind.  That makes me happy because I have known many a Mormon to be addicted to Diet Coke, aka Mormon alcohol.  I know I like to emotionally drink it thinking it will make a difference but I don’t need it.  I can quit anytime.  Doesn’t that make me sound like an addict?  It’s true though.  If I needed Diet Coke I would buy it for myself whenever the craving hit. 

Anyway, let’s hear it for misery!  Misery really can be a beautiful emotion.  Those madly in love, I’m sure will agree. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Wanted

A Tangled ad plus hard copies of Heath’s Power Point lesson for Sunday School a few weeks ago equaled Wanted Posters all over the house.  Oh how I love my Bug’s creativity! 

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and my personal favorite  2 
Is this like a tribute to his ancestors who persecuted the Saints? 

Gavin is such a great kid.  He is always writing stories.  Stapled packets of Heath’s work in the recycling basket are like gold to Gavin.  His latest stapled story is Uncle Underpants. 

I love watching his writing skills improve.  I especially love his large, sloppy handwriting because it reminds me of my own.  His handwriting is a window to his soul.  The more excited he is the larger the print.  The angrier he is the darker the print.  You get the idea.  I know he should print more legibly and I make him for homework, but at home I let his creativity spread its wings and fly.  There should never be limits placed on creativity.  It sucks all the fun out. 

The speech for November and December was to memorize a poem.  The kids were asked to use props or hand gestures to help make the poem more meaningful.  I thought turning himself into a turkey was pretty funny and illustrated the point of the poem quite nicely.  He presented his poem to his class this morning after this flawless delivery for me at home. 

I am so thankful for Gavin.  Man I love this kid! 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Heaven on Earth

Sacrament Meeting was a rare heaven on earth experience today.  I didn’t even threaten the kids within an inch of their lives beforehand.  They just decided to help me out  by being reverent, not whining, not crying, and not fighting.  As if that little miracle of miracles wasn’t enough, on a Sunday I needed it the most no less, the whole meeting was on gratitude.  Gratitude is my new favorite word and emotion. 

One thing I learned today is that people have a large capacity for taking things for granted.  Being truly thankful for our blessings opens our hearts and allows us to be closer to our Heavenly Father and Savior.  This was mentioned by two speakers. 

It’s amazing to me how true this is.  Normally I have a tendency to count my blessings when times are tough because counting my blessings helps me get through it easier.  But this month long challenge to be thankful was a result of me realizing how happy I am right now while drama is a distant memory.  Admittedly, I was worried that this little exercise would come with huge trials and it would be hard to come up with blessings some days.  I am happy to report that never happened.  Some days it was hard to come up with a post only because the things I am thankful for are not appropriate to share with the world right now.  Overall I would have to say that the more thankful I was the more blessed I seemed to be.  Kind of a reap what you sow situation.  “If you talk about your trials and repeat them o’er and o’er, the Lord might think you like them and even give you more.”  The same is true with gratitude. 

I love how my relationship with my Heavenly Father and Savior has improved simply by me being conscious of my blessings each day.  Then you throw in some consistent scripture study and I am feeling really good about life.  The good parts are that much more wonderful and the bad is a lot easier to handle.  All from an attitude of gratitude. 

One of the speakers also mentioned something about how an attitude of gratitude helps create a heaven on earth.  I think he had quoted a paragraph from an address given in General Conference 2005.  Unfortunately that is all I can remember about the reference!  I had Parker on my lap and Gwen was so excited about being able to pull a difficult tab up in a quiet book.  Meanwhile Gavin was excitedly telling me about the story he just read in a Bible reader for children.  Yes, they were reverent but that doesn’t mean I was able to take notes or anything.  That’s ok though.  Having young kids is a stage in my life that will soon pass.  I am so thankful for our consistent expectations of our kids.  They know how to behave at church.  Some Sundays are better than others but they are good kids.  I guess my point is that while the quote about heaven on earth has disappeared into the air along with his voice, I experienced heaven on earth while he said it. 

I substituted in Gavin’s Primary class today.  The lesson was on the Savior’s crucifixion and resurrection.  At first I thought it was a little strange to teach an Easter lesson right at the beginning of the Christmas season.  Now I realize how perfect the timing was.  Why celebrate the birth of the Savior if  you don’t understand why He was so special?  It’s not His miraculous birth we are celebrating or the fulfillment of centuries of prophecy.  It’s Him.  He was the only one who could atone for us and because of that atonement we can all be resurrected.  Jesus had the power to stop His suffering.  He didn’t have to do any bit of what He did but He did it because He loves us.  He overcame death and made it possible for us to return to live with Him someday.  That means everything to me. 

The Christmas season really is the most wonderful time of the year.  I plan on really enjoying every minute of this one.  I feel like I have had a great jump start on doing just that.  For the first time in maybe forever I am thankful for Thanksgiving!  What a great experience it has been to take this holiday to the next level and enjoy so many moments of heaven on earth. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Leftovers

Normally I’m not a leftover kind of person.  In fact, I hate most leftovers so we rarely save any food at our house because I won’t eat it.  I don’t even care what anyone thinks.  But leftover Thanksgiving turkey?  Ah, that’s a completely different story.  As a kid I preferred Thanksgiving leftovers to the actual meal.  Turkey sandwiches with leftover turkey and leftover homemade dinner rolls – yeah that was to die for! 

Since we didn’t have enough leftover rolls Heath made some bread.  Mmm . . . his homemade bread is out of this world!  We had leftover turkey with sliced sharp cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, and ranch dressing on homemade sandwich rolls.  Yep, I think we all died and went to heaven.  The kids ate so well and kept saying how good it was.  Score!  They usually aren’t happy with a meal we make unless it consists solely of chips and cookies, which it never does so they are rarely satisfied with our food.  I am thankful for leftovers.  Today anyway. 

I am also thankful for winter because the cold water comes out of the tap immediately when it often runs warmer the longer I run the water and after 10 minutes I give up on it.  (slight exaggeration)  In the winter it’s nice to put on clothes that are fresh from the dryer because they are all warm and cozy. 

And last but not least, I am thankful for a great BYU season.  It was a rocky beginning but the team pulled together and learned a lot.  I wish they had won the Holy War today.  Boy how I wish they could have won.  Heath may still be mourning the loss and cursing the refs for the BAD call that essentially gave Utah the game, but I am trying to be positive.  They only lost by one point so it could have been worse and if it weren’t for crappy replay officials who wanted to create a story the Cougs could have been victorious.  They played really well.  It was a great game.  The Holy War always is.  Next year we’re independent!  Go Cougars! 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Oh what a tangled web we weave

Tangled is by far my favorite princess movie ever!  It was so worth the wait.  Gwen got a little bored during the previews.  Who wouldn’t?  They last for 45 minutes or more.  As soon as the movie started she was riveted.  She did not like the evil “mother.”  Every time she came on screen Gwen would say, “Ooh scary!”  I loved the hero Flynn Rider.  He was funny, handsome, and a really great guy. 

I was discreetly trying to dry my unexpected tears at the end of the movie and thinking it was the best show I have seen in a long time.  Then the inevitable happened.  The story ended.  The second the picture changed for the closing credits Gwen was crying out, “NO!”  She was so upset that the movie had ended.  It was the cutest thing ever.  Heath tried to get pictures of her but the theater was too dark for the phone to focus and the flash overexposed the image.  Oh well. 

Whenever the movie comes out we are buying it.  Hopefully it will be out for Gwen’s birthday.  How awesome would that be if she got Tangled for her birthday?  Oh she would die she would be so excited. 

Today I am thankful for my feminine daughter and her adorable personality.  Wailing because the movie was over?  Come on!  It doesn’t get much cuter than that!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Friends, Football, and Finally the Food!

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What’s Thanksgiving without a little football with friends?  Michelle grew up in California where her family played football every Thanksgiving.  Robert and I grew up in Utah where it’s too snowy and freezing cold to want to play football on Thanksgiving.  Heath grew up in Utah then moved to the Northwest where his family often played football in the rain and mud. 

Having fun was all that mattered but my team (Heath, Adam, Parker, Rachel, and me) did win 35-21.  I caught two out of three passes, one of those receptions was for a touchdown.  I also threw a touchdown pass.  Adam was our ace receiver.  For the first time playing football since junior high gym class I thought I did pretty good! 

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Oh the anticipation of the fancy table. 

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Speaking of anticipation, the kids were dying while they waited for dinner.  It reminded me of being a kid on Thanksgiving. 

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Finally time to eat!  It was delicious and the kids all loved the can shaped cranberry sauce.  Cranberry sauce has always been my favorite.  I just wish I could present it as well as my mom used to.  The turkey breast was juicy and tender and delightful.  Hopefully the man we met at Bed Bath & Beyond last night had success with his turkey too.  He was cooking a full turkey for the first time and Heath gave him a bunch of tips while they stood in front of the thermometers. 

I’m thankful for this whole wonderful day.  What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Oh the weather outside is frightful even in California

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“We decided we needed a walk even though it was only 38 degrees. Izzy is a trooper.”  Candi and Ed

Even though you can’t see much background it looks cold in this picture.  Last night our low hit the upper 20’s.  Wally Weatherman has been warning the Bay Area of freezing temperatures.  Today’s high should reach 53 with full sun.  That may sound fabulous except it can be bitterly cold here in the winter.  My computer temperature reads 43 degrees right now.  Where are my kids?  Outside with bare feet and no jackets.  I love how I can’t pay them enough to go outside when it’s nice but as soon as it gets legitimately cold they want to go outside.  Half naked no less! 

Parker is only in long pants because I took all his shorts out of his drawer.  Gwen played outside for a minute in her skirt and T-shirt with flip flops.  She came back in to read her book and say to no one in particular, “It’s cold.”  Yes Baby, it is cold.  Dress for the occasion!  And that’s the best part of this story.  The boys freaked out when I told them to put on a jacket and shoes.  Suddenly they didn’t want to play outside anymore.  Bring on the teenage years.  I’m ready. 

Sleeping through the night

Sleeping through the night is the most beautiful thing to a parent.  It can be hard to take care of a newborn when their days and nights are mixed up.  My heart goes out to new parents and I am excited for them when they start counting the number of hours their new baby has slept at night.  My children are no longer babies and we are so lucky they learned to sleep early on.  I am the one who can’t sleep through the night. 

Lately I’ve been getting up somewhere between 2:00 and 5:30 am with low blood sugar.  Not long ago I woke up around 2:00 only to find out that my blood sugar was 197.  I was irritated that I had to get up to check but I’ve learned that if I wake up it’s worth seeing why since I don’t always feel symptoms right away. 

This morning I woke up five minutes before the alarm was supposed to go off.  I could tell I was low but I didn’t want to get out of my nice warm bed.  Four glucose tabs and suspending my pump held me over until Heath got up.  I was so grateful I had slept all the way through the night.  Even though I know I dreamed all night I felt very rested for the first time in weeks.  To me a good night’s rest is a huge blessing.  A good night’s rest followed by scripture study and a great workout and the day is off to a great start! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Daily

Sometimes it’s easy to be thankful only after the winds of adversity have calmed.  What if our lives have been comfortable for a while and free of drama?  Are we always grateful for what we have?  Do we even notice the blessings all around us?  Or does our gratitude for the simple things in life only come when we are in the midst of turmoil? 

This month has been so much fun for me.  Every day I have thought of new things to be grateful for.  It has really opened my eyes to the wonderful world around me and the things that matter most in life that I often take for granted.  I may not have fame or fortune but I am rich in blessings.  My life is a gift. 

Today I am thankful for rain followed by a break in the clouds.  That break in the clouds enticed us outside for a walk which led to a playground and new friends.  I am thankful I live in this neighborhood.  It’s so different from any other place I have ever lived.  How blessed is my family to live here.  Friendly people are everywhere.  It’s gorgeous here with so many plants, trees, and animals.  A couple weeks ago my friend’s son found an owl pellet at the park.  An owl pellet!  My only experience with that was in school where a wildlife person brought one in to teach the class.  But there are owl pellets practically in my backyard! 

What are you thankful for?

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Good Humor Man

They say laughter is the best medicine.  Do you believe that?  I do.  It’s a cardio workout if you laugh hard enough.  Plus, it’s great on the abs.  Here are a couple of clips for you to try.  I am thankful for humor and Youtube. 

My mom is a nurse and she deals with a lot of colonoscopies.  She says Bill is dead on with this story.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dang that looks good!

My thankful heart has a special place in it for all things visually pleasing.  You know, stuff that makes your eyes pop while you exclaim, “Dang!  That looks good!” 

Ghirardelli chocolate squares – holiday variety
I am thankful I was helping in Gavin’s Primary class today because all the Primary teachers got a bag full of these luscious chocolate squares as a thank you in honor of Thanksgiving.  There was peppermint bark with milk chocolate or dark chocolate (Heath loved the dark), eggnog (not very good), pumpkin spice caramel, and pecan pie (that was the best).  Dang that stuff looked so good I had to eat it all.  Hey, I shared one with Heath. 

My outfit
I wore a sweater to church today that I got for Christmas last year when my arms still resembled the Michelin man.  Now I have shoulders.  I thought I looked good enough for church.  Maybe a little like I was heading to a funeral since it was a black sweater with a black skirt and black heels.  My hair looked pretty good today too.  All nice and shiny.  Do I sound completely full of myself yet?  FYI – I entertained the idea of being  the Narcissistic Storyteller once upon a time!  Anyway, I got home and because I was cold I kept the sweater on and threw on a pair of jeans.  I looked at myself in the mirror and am not embarrassed to admit that I said out loud, “Dang!  I look good!  How much weight have I lost?”  I am thankful for a healthy self esteem that has not always been there when I check myself out in the mirror. 

Heath’s culinary talents

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Dang that looks good.  It was too.

Every Sunday he makes homemade bread of some kind.  The rolls are from a recipe for pain de Paris.  When I asked if that didn’t just mean French bread he got all on my case and said, “Do we live in the United States of Washington DC or do we live in the United States of America?”  Fine.  Parisian bread.  It’s supposed to make a loaf of, I’m sorry but, French bread.  He made the loaves last week which were fabulous.  Today he did it as rolls.  The dough start had sat in the fridge all week so it smelled faintly like sourdough bread.  Luckily it tasted like warm, fluffy, crisp rolls.  We may live in the San Francisco Bay Area aka Sourdough Country but I still don’t like sourdough bread.  I am thankful that my husband loves to cook and bake amazingly delicious bread. 

It’s a good thing I still look fantastic in my confidence boosting jeans after eating what I’ve eaten today!  No worries.  Steven and I have a date tomorrow morning to work it off.  Little wonder I struggle with my blood sugar on Sundays.  Today has been pretty good all things considered. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Go ahead and rain on my parade!

Gwen:  I sorry Mom.
Me:  Why are you sorry?
Gwen:  Raining.
Me:  Don’t be sorry that it’s raining.  Be happy!  Rain is good.  It waters the plants.  We like the rain.  Don’t be sorry be happy.
Gwen:  Be happy! 

The world is getting a bath today.  At least California is getting a bath.  I am thankful for rain.  And football games that BYU wins in spite of bad officiating.  What was up with the call on that last interception?  BYU intercepted the ball and almost ran it in for a touchdown but Grumpy Ref called unnecessary roughness on another BYU player, which by definition means it happened after the play but even if BYU needed to be charged with a 15 yard penalty shouldn’t that 15 yards be from where the guy was tackled at the 1 yard line rather than the spot of the foul?  Whatever.  They still won 40 – 7.  A win’s a win and now BYU is bowl eligible.  But I really am mostly thankful for the rain today.  I love rain.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bountiful Blessings

A 10 day long break from school starts today.  After the afternoon I had yesterday I need it.  We all do.  Before the party really got started we had to meet with Gavin’s teacher.  This has been causing me much stress since the appointment was sent home. 

See, the kids are out of school today but what makes it weird is the fact that the conferences are only for at risk students.  I don’t know who the idiot I mean mastermind was behind this idea was but I don’t think it’s a great idea.  First of all, finding a babysitter was much harder than it should have been since everyone with model students are going out of town for the week long Thanksgiving break. 

Thankfully I finally found someone so Heath and I could both go to the conference.  I was nervous.  I love Gavin’s teacher.  Her parenting and teaching philosophy are the same as mine but as soon as someone looks at my kids wrong, especially Gavin, I turn into Mother Psychopath.  Forgetting to give her the benefit of the doubt I assumed the worst for this meeting. 

Boy was I wrong.  I am so thankful to be so completely wrong.  Too bad I spent any amount of time doubting a teacher I knew was perfect for him.  She didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know about Gavin or his school performance.  It was the way she told us that makes me want to cry and hug her.  She could see his untapped potential and knew he was smart.  Which may sound strange unless your child has had a teacher who not only pointed out his flaws but went out of her way to exploit those imperfections.  Having a teacher not believe me when I say he’s smart has unfortunately made me doubt myself and his abilities more than I should have. 

This year’s teacher said he was smart.  That right there is worth everything to me.  Of course he’s smart.  He lacks focus and motivation sometimes.  One of her own children was very similar to Gavin.  She even said that some teachers would do things trying to help her child when in reality it was only making the problem worse.  That empathy and understanding really went a long way with me.  She celebrates his successes with us and encourages him to be better.  Ahh . . .

As if that wasn’t enough of a blessing for today, in the middle of that conference something happened that we have been waiting about a month for.  I don’t know why I don’t want to talk about it publically, but I don’t.  Not right now anyway.  Beautiful blessing number two. 

Today has been a really great day.  The blessings and miracles just keep happening.  It’s amazing what reading the scriptures daily can do for one’s outlook on life.  I am more spiritually minded and more aware of my blessings.  The ball is rolling with things that we have been dreaming of for a long time.  Life is good. 

I am so thankful for so many things.  I am very thankful I challenged myself to write what I am thankful for every day this month.  It has surprised even me how many blessings there are to be thankful for. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Go away crows!

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This was the homework for the week.  Just this.  My friend looks at all the homework as soon as her son walks out of class.  She had asked if I knew anything about the kids dressing up as scarecrows.  I didn’t.  Honestly, I wasn’t interested and I figured it was an optional assignment.  Until I got home and saw that was all the homework for the week.  Didn’t we just have Halloween? 

Heath, being the brilliant problem solver that he is, talked me down from the ledge and told me we could do something with paper bags.  When we both were brainstorming clothing choices we already have, he said it would be perfect if we had a flannel shirt.  I told him we did!  Dawn had painstakingly drawn red lines on the yellow fabric she used to make Woody’s shirt.  Clap, clap, problem solved. 

The plan was to work on the costume last night.  We got the kids into bed and were ready to zombie out in front of the tube when we both realized in the same moment that we hadn’t done anything with the costume.  We grabbed what we needed and Heath worked his magic by duct taping paper bags inside the sleeves and pants.  Very simple but it got the job done so we were happy. 

As we were about to go to bed Heath said, “We should have just made a T-shirt that says ‘Go away crows!’”  Suddenly that was all I wanted.  A subtle stick it to the man way around the assignment.  But it was late and we were tired and Heath said he didn’t want to do it.  I told him I would grab one of the extra white shirts and he could print the phrase on an iron on transfer.  It would be easy peasy nice and breezy, not to mention really funny.  But Heath said no because he would want to put birds  flying away on the shirt and it would take time to perfect it to his liking.  Darn perfectionism!  Then he pointed to the shirt and pants lying on the couch and said, “Plus, I already did this.” 

He was right.  It looked good.  I could have made a custom T-shirt this morning but I wasn’t interested.  Although I still think it would have been awesome.  Darn procrastination! 

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Parker saw his clothes this morning and was pretty excited.  He kept asking where the stick was.  I told him that he’s a boy and not a real scarecrow.  If he had a stick he couldn’t walk or bend well. 

He says the paper is itchy and the tape sticks to his arms and his pants are stiff and uncomfortable.  But he loves it. 

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Good thing because I just drank the kindergarten punch for you kid! 



I have to laugh about the friend situation.  One of his friends was going to be a Pilgrim because he has a white shirt and black pants.  The other friend was going to be a Native American.  These boys had a play date the other day and they were talking about the costume assignment.  They all changed their minds and wanted to be what the other kid wanted to be.  I thought that was kind of funny.  Five year old boys.  It looks like the one decided to be a scarecrow instead of a Native American.  You can kind of see another Pilgrim on the far right of the picture. 

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Gwen wanted to dress up too.  I love how she has assumed the position on the wall.  I also really like the pink socks.  Nice touch.  I said to her, “You look good Gwen.”  She got all upset, “No!  I Tinkerbell!”  Excuse me. 

She was not happy that I would change her out of her costume to eat lunch.  Then she about lost her mind when Parker came out to the van dressed as a scarecrow. She wanted to be Tinkerbell.  I was irritated because IT’S NOT HALLOWEEN!!!!!!  I was nice about Halloween this year but this assignment pushed a few buttons with me. 

At school all the kids were asking Parker why he was wearing his Halloween costume. Yeah, we should have just made the  T-shirt.  I could have at least taken a Sharpie to a white shirt to write “Go away crows!”



Most of the class was seriously decked out in full costumes, many of which were purchased premade from Party City.  Holy it’s a kindergarten assignment!  I talked with a couple of moms afterwards and we were just stunned by the level of participation for an assignment we were given on Monday.  We had no idea it was such a big deal.  We all thought Halloween was over.  If I can survive Gwen in kindergarten I think I deserve a medal.  Or at least a cookie.  I suppose I have to survive Parker in kindergarten first.

Today I am thankful for Heath.  He lets me vent and then he provides real solutions like fringing out paper bags to make a scarecrow costume.  He also makes me laugh.  Usually in the moment I need to the most.  “Go away crows” was just that moment.  I am also thankful for realistic parents who feel the same way I do about the over the top attitude of the schools in this community. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Words

Words are very powerful. 

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will always hurt me. 

Remember that one?  Of course kids say it as “words will never hurt me” to save face and appear manly in front of taunters – the very people who have the gift of reducing someone to tears just with words

Words can also inspire.  Some people just have a knack for arranging words in such a way to bring out the best in another. 

Words are a way to travel, whether in time or place.  Ever read a book or hear a story and feel like you were actually there?  The only pictures to be seen are the ones painted in your heart through words. 

Words are timeless.  Isn’t it amazing how words that were written centuries ago can still have such meaning now?  Recently I read something, written centuries before the birth of Christ, and felt my heart leap inside me.  These same words used to fill me with an ignored guilt not too many years ago.  What caused the change?  Words.  Words were exchanged and a change of heart took place that caused written words to brighten my soul that once struck a dull chord with my conscience. 

Language, words, are essential to developing babies.  Some parents will read,sing, or talk to their unborn baby and of course they will continue this after the child is born.  Nursery Rhymes are very popular because they expose children to language in an interesting, rhythmic way. 

The best way for a child to pick up another language is to immerse them in it.  Put the child in between the two most talkative kids in the class and watch how quickly the language is picked up. 

Words are amazing.  A series of letters with corresponding sounds can evoke deep emotional responses.  Simply marvelous. 

The absence of words speaks volumes.  Astounding. 

Despite what most people think, tone can be conveyed in emails.  One should be careful with their word choice because tone is often lost in writing but a knee jerk email can definitely convey tone!  

In English the same word can have multiple meanings.  Context is everything.  And spelling often counts. 

Speaking of spelling, I see words in my head.  I know which Amy, Sarah, or Rebecca I’m talking about based on how their name is spelled.  I see the name in my mind.  Is that weird?

Words are a craft.  Word choice and usage can be based on definition or aesthetic beauty.  Punctuation plays into it as well. 

Words are my life.  They are the air I breathe.  I have stopped my words for prolonged periods of time for one reason or another and then one day a dam broke.  Congested words spilled out toppling over one another.  Ugly words.  Beautiful words.  Boring words.  The trick is putting them together in a meaningful way.  Kind of like a game of Tetris. 

I am thankful for words.  I hope you learned something about words or at least thought about words in a different way.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Gift of Music

My love for music is beyond words.  Music flows through me speaking to my soul.  I am thankful for music.  I am also thankful that I finally thought of something for my mom to give me for my birthday.  Music! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Four days

I am thankful there are only four days of school this week.  I like the boys’ teachers this year but I’m getting burned out.  I’m looking forward to having my kids home all next week for Thanksgiving.  It’s a weird school tradition around here but I’m looking forward to it.  And then it won’t be long until they’ll be home for Christmas.  It all seems downhill from there.  Sad that I’m already counting down the days until the end of the year.  But I am.  And I don’t care. 

By the way, you can totally start a sentence with the word and, or but.  Not that anyone said anything to make me feel defensive about that outdated rule! 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Out of the mouths of babes–not a say what post

The innocence of children has always fascinated me.  Children have perfect love, perfect faith, and perfect trust.  They forgive easily and forget offenses quickly.  When I grow up I want to be more childlike.  Not childish, but childlike.  There is a difference. 

Last week Parker told me that his kindergarten class talked about being thankful.  He was very excited to tell me that he raised his hand to say he was thankful for God.  He told me it was because God made him.  And really what else is there?  If you believe in God you believe He created you.  At least that’s what my family believes.  I was sad but not surprised to hear that many students in the class laughed that Parker would say he was thankful for God.  He quickly told me that his friends didn’t laugh “just the mean kids did.” 

I think the class was surprised to hear God mentioned in school so they laughed.  I can’t imagine parents teaching their young children to make fun of someone for believing in a higher power.  It’s more likely that the parents say God is for church and not school, which I think is kind of sad.  I’m not an advocate for separation of church and state.  I think they go together better than agnostics want anyone to believe. 

I love that my kids have such perfect faith.  Today was our annual Sacrament Meeting Primary Program.  I will admit it was the first time I did not enjoy a Primary Program but it had nothing to do with the Program not being good or well executed.  It had everything to do with the fact that I helped write the Program then I was released from my calling in the Primary Presidency the same Sunday I helped pass out Program parts to the families.  So it was strange to watch something that started out as “my baby” and see all the changes and know I had no connection to the final product. 

In the moments I allowed the Spirit to touch my heart I was able to appreciate the children and their testimonies.  They were not spouting out memorized propaganda about things they knew nothing about.  We wrote the Program in such a way that it was more an outline and the kids were supposed to come up with their parts.  The speaking parts were very open ended even for the young kids.  I know our Primary kids well.  I have taught them as a teacher, substitute teacher, and finally as a member of the Primary Presidency.  These kids know they have a Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ who love them and know them personally.  Their testimonies are rock solid.  It was evident in the words they had prepared for the Program. 

They keep the commandments because they love the Savior and not because someone told them to be good.  Several Primary kids wanted to be baptized when they reached the age of accountability (age 8) but family issues prevented that from happening right away.  These kids begged for years, in some cases, to be baptized.  They know what it means to be baptized and they understand the covenants they are making with Heavenly Father when they enter the waters of baptism. 

Many kids were asked to share personal stories that fit a given topic.  Stories of personal and family miracles were shared.  The kind of stories that increase faith and are a source of strength in rough times.  It really was a great Program. 

I kind of went off on a tangent there with the Program.  I wanted to share something else about the innocence of children.  Gwen is so cute.  Lately she can be found whispering the sweetest things to her toys like, “It’s ok sweetheart.  Sweetheart, I love you.”  I never say sweetheart and I don’t know that Heath says it that much.  I think it’s so precious when she says that kind of stuff.  Today Heath was making roast beef sandwiches au jus and the au jus boiled over.  Heath ran over to the stove to fix the chaotic situation as best he could.  Gwen said in her calmest and sweetest voice, “It’s ok Dad.  Calm down.  Just calm down Dad.”  It was so sweet and cute.  Now if it was me cooking there would have been need for her comforting tone but it was Heath so we were all ok.  It’s just nice to know that despite my fly off the handle reaction to everything my kids are self soothing and will grow up to be patient and rational adults. 

She also put Heath to bed on the couch.  She told him to lay down so she could put a blanket over him.  Then she kissed his forehead and told him to go to sleep.  My little mother in training. 

When I grow up I hope to be more childlike. 

Today I am also thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who made me.  I am thankful for the innocence of children.  I think I learn more from my kids than they learn from me.  For that I am grateful. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

no need to count sheep

I’m thankful for my bed and I don’t care if it is only 9:00 I think I’m going to climb in now because I am wicked tired!  Goodnight all.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Possibilities

Hope and faith go hand in hand.  When one loses hope faith is lost and vice versa.  If one can just entertain the tiniest sense of hope then faith will return.  Sometimes all it takes is blind faith to just do what one knows needs to be done and hope returns.

Suddenly the possibilities are endless.  It’s raining gumballs of possibility around here.  How about you?

I’m thankful for possibilities, hope, faith, and beautiful sunny days where we had a 2.5 hour play date with friends at the park this morning.  Oh and the end of Halloween candy.  PMS and too much leftover Halloween candy is a bad combination.  My hips can now return to normal. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Miracles

A few days ago a friend of mine issued a challenge to read The Book of Mormon with her by December 31.  I was excited about the challenge.  That afternoon something happened that brought out the Mother Bear in me and I read the first 10 pages to calm down.  I have been reading but my mind has been wandering a lot.  I know the story well which is part of the problem.  This morning I told Heath that I’m going to keep reading but so far I wasn’t getting much out of it.  He encouraged me to keep going with it. 

We always watch the news in the morning for traffic and weather.  Since today is Veteran’s Day and a lot of people have the day off the Bay Bridge was almost empty around 6:30 –6:45 am.  Heath said if today’s agenda was different he would take advantage of the light traffic.  Instead he was going to take the BART train in. 

He left for work and I muted the TV while I finished reading the last chapter for today’s reading schedule.  I finished reading and was still frustrated and annoyed by the minutia of my life.  I got a movie going for the kids so I could workout in peace.  They woke up before 6:30 this morning.  I love days off when they do that!  (sarcasm font)  I was about to switch the TV over so I could use the Wii when I noticed the muted news. 

It said:  BREAKING NEWS!  BAY BRIDGE TRAFFIC STOPPED

Holy what?  I stared at the bridge full of stopped cars for a few moments before I thought to unmute the TV.  Apparently there was a man who had made a distraught 911 call to police.  He had his 16 year old daughter in the car so it was being treated as a hostage situation.  He said he had explosives in his car.  He was brandishing a gun and threatening to jump.  The newsroom didn’t know he had threatened to blow up the bridge.  Cars were stopped all across the bridge and backed up for miles and miles trying to get into San Francisco. 

I watched for a few minutes wishing I could turn it off.  The whole scene looked like it was straight out of a movie.  Only this is real life.  The thought that this is real never escaped my mind.  The newscasters were talking over each other trying to say all they knew which wasn’t much.  The traffic guy was trying to say what he knew from listening to the police dispatch.  He didn’t know much either or at least he couldn’t say some details.  The man was out of his car and on his cell phone with police.  All anyone said was that he was distraught and angry about something.  The traffic helicopter zoomed in on the man on his phone.  At one point he leaned against the side of the bridge and crossed one leg over the other as if he was talking to a buddy to pass the time during a traffic jam. 

This whole time I’m crying.  It was scary to watch even though it looked so surreal.  I was so grateful Heath took BART in to work today.  But then I looked at all the other motorists who had no idea what was happening and I wondered why we were the lucky ones.  A million more thoughts went through my mind.  Every time they said the man had mental issues I pictured one of my 6th grade students.  He received Special Education services and nobody liked him.  He was very immature for his age and really hard to reach.  He died two years later.  He was out skateboarding with a friend one night and was hit by a car that didn’t see him.  Looking at this man brought that memory back to me for some reason.  Then the man turned and swung his leg over the side of the bridge and I lost it.  He immediately brought his leg back and continued to talk. 

I had to turn it off.  So I did my workout.  Then I switched the TV back to HDMI mode and the bridge was there again.  I watched in disbelief for several more minutes as nothing new was revealed.  They said they had a reporter on scene and she was talking to people waiting at the toll plaza.  The cars had been stopped for about 90 minutes.  As the reporter was starting to sign off the voice of a man yelled, “They have him in custody!”  It was the traffic guy who later apologized for yelling that across the newsroom.  The situation ended.  The man was in custody.  His daughter was safe.  His SUV was being searched for explosives and traffic was allowed to slowly get across the bridge to safety. 

After visions of the entire bridge collapsing in a cloud of smoke and fire the situation was finally over.  A miracle.  (here is the story if you want to read it.  Divorce is really getting on my nerves lately!)

Then I found out about something that may be a way to have all our hopes and dreams come true.  Another miracle?  Even if it doesn’t pan out I can’t believe all of our options right now that are literally falling out of the sky.  That’s the miracle. 

This morning when I prayed, this was before I knew about the bridge, I started to ask for blessings.  Then I stopped and said all I want is peace.  I have been an emotional wreck this week.  The tiniest things are setting me off.  All I need is peace.  It’s a tumultuous world and I can’t say I have had a moment today where I have had complete peace.  I have to get out of my head first - stop, and just be.  But I see these little miracles all around me.  Just this morning I saw my bookmark that is a poem about miracles and I was mad.  Not that I don’t believe in miracles but I have been cranky for days and the bookmark seemed to be mocking me.  It’s true though.  There are miracles all around us.  God loves us.  He knows each of us individually and He cares about us.  Our cares and worries are His cares and worries.  This thought came to me very powerfully today.  Miracles are all around us if we will just open our eyes to see them.  Maybe I’m getting more out of my reading than I thought! 

Today I am thankful for miracles.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Daily Dialogue and Vocabulary

Jenny Jenny Say What
Parker:  Mom, what’s my phone number?
Me:  867-5309 (number changed to protect our privacy)
Gavin:  Hey that’s my number too!
Me:  I know, it’s like we live in the same house or something!

Primary Say What
Me:  The prophet may be involved in civic matters.  Does that make sense?
10 year old Sr. Primary boy:  I don’t know.  Isn’t a Civic like a car or something?

Tooth Fairy Say What
Parker:  When I lose my teeth I will write a letter to the Tooth Fairy.  I will say
Dear Parker, 
Can you just give me a new toothbrush?  Because the one I have now is boring.  It just haves a picture but it’s not a TV show or a movie. 

Advertisement Say What
Gavin:  Dessert first?
Heath:  No, it says Deseret First.  It’s a bank. 

Me:  I feel like I’m really low.
Parker rolling his eyes to high heaven:  Just eat some cereal or something.

Parker:  O-F.  Off! 
Me:  Good reading but it actually says of.
P:  No it doesn’t!  It spells off!
This went on all day until Heath told him to read the light switch which clearly says “OFF.”

Gavin:  Can you help me spell February?
Me:  F-e-b-r-u-a-r-y
G:  I’ll just write June. 

Random person:  How are you?
Gwen:  I Gwen Westovuh

Say What vocabulary

Toys For Us = Toys R Us  (Parker)
Bunk = bonk and bump combined as in “I bunk my head!”
born = anything to do with babies as in “When I was born I had an Elmo shirt.”  (Parker)
Sannaclock = Santa Claus
Sannaclock Song = All I Want for Christmas
Fairy Song = Little Bunny Foo Foo
Don’t cry sweetheart = the song that goes, “Hush little baby don’t say a word Mama’s gonna buy you a mocking bird etc.”
strong cheese = string cheese
Elmo’s World = anything with Sesame Street characters
bunnut = button
doe dareful = be careful
Gawin = Gavin
Pokuh = Parker  (I think, it’s really hard to translate her pronunciation of Parker into text)

One of my earliest posts like this was titled Everyday Dialogue.  It still brings in Google traffic all these years later.  Today I am thankful that these posts have never ended.  I am also thankful that for as well as Gwen speaks she still has some cute mispronunciations. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I am thankful for disease! Say what?

Too many things to be thankful for is not a bad thing!  All day I have debated back and forth over which post to write.  I’m closing my eyes while pulling the trigger.  Here goes. 

Apparently today is D-blog day.  This is a day to celebrate and unite all diabetes bloggers as well as educate people about diabetes.  Technically I’m not a D-blogger since I have a personal blog and not a niche blog but I have diabetes and I write about it occasionally. 

I truly am thankful for the diabetes online community or DOC as they are commonly referred to.  A year ago I had no idea such a group of people even existed.  A year ago I was frustrated with diabetes.  The thing that frustrated me the most was that I felt like the only people who understood any of my complaints were family and sometimes it’s nice to talk to someone else besides the people who see you go through it everyday. 

I had met a mom online whose daughter had just been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes shortly before I found her blog.  We emailed each other and commented on each other’s blogs but somehow it wasn’t enough for me.  She loved that I knew what her daughter was going through and she thought I had great advice for her as a mom but I wanted more.  She was part of a group of bloggers whose children have diabetes.  I felt like an outsider since none of my kids have it.  I wanted more.  I wanted to find other Type 1 adults who knew exactly how I felt. 

At some point I decided to start a second blog.  (Six months after starting it I stopped writing on it.)  When I did I joined Twitter.  As soon as I put Type 1 diabetes in my profile the DOC was opened up to me.  That was the answer to my prayers.  This group of people who I knew only by the things they tweeted made me want to be a better diabetic.  Slowly, one step at a time, I started making the changes necessary to be in better control.  The DOC has no idea they were my inspiration nor do they know they were the reason why I stuck with it during the hard times.  I am very thankful for the DOC. 

I may not blog exclusively about diabetes, or anything else for that matter, but I do enjoy participating in D-blog things.  I like to think of myself as the black sheep of the DOC because I don’t have a D-blog! 

For D-blog day today the theme is 6 things I want you to know about diabetes. 

  1. Diabetes is not anyone’s fault any more than hair color or eye color is someone’s fault. 
  2. Like hair or eye color I can hide my condition or make a big deal out of it.  I prefer to keep it to myself most of the time talking about it on an as needed basis.  Although I am not ashamed of it and will answer any question you ask me. 
  3. Nobody has diabetes real bad.  I don’t know how many times I have heard that in my life but it has got to be one of my biggest pet peeves.  You either have diabetes or you don’t.  There are differing levels of control.  Someone may be in better control than someone else but nobody has it really bad. 
  4. Juvenile diabetics grow up.  It’s not scary that I have had juvenile diabetes for 23 years.  Some woman said that to me one day!  Well, I told her I was diabetic and she asked for how long and when I told her she said, “That’s scary.”  She clearly didn’t understand.  It’s not just a childhood illness that goes away.  I still have it and since there is no cure I will have it until the day I die.  Hopefully that doesn’t happen anytime soon. 
  5. Diabetics can eat whatever they want in moderation.  Sugar free recipes for baked goods are not free foods.  A lot of diabetics count carbs and do math to determine how much insulin to give their body in order to cover the carbs consumed.  Sugar free foods still have carbs.  A lot of them.  I have learned that regular “taboo” foods taste a whole lot better than the sugar free crap so I would rather bolus for the real deal. 
  6. Diabetics can have their own children.  Children born to diabetics can be healthy.  The chances of my kids developing diabetes is greater because I have it but there is also the chance that they will live their entire lives never having to deal with it. 

I don’t hate my diabetes.  Ok, some days I do but for the most part I realize I am a better person for it.  I am thankful to be diabetic because without it I would never have found the DOC. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Surprise!

Do you like surprises?  I do.  Well, happy surprises anyway.  Like a dozen roses for no reason, a well timed smile, or finding some money you forgot you had. 

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Roasting marshmallows in the fireplace for S’mores just for the fun of it.

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Watching your children enjoy S’mores for the very first time.

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Setting aside a S’more for yourself only to find that someone thought it was theirs!  Gooey marshmallows make everyone smile so it was worth making another. 

Impromptu mosh pits in the front entryway while listening to “Triangle Man” by They Might be Giants.

Taking advantage of the DVR skip back button during a BYU football game.  Not to see a replay of a down but to see the guy jump who was standing right next to the cannon after a touchdown!  He knew it would be loud you could just tell.  But he jumped out of his skin anyway.  Great surprise for all involved.

Every day counting on Gwen yelling, “Suh Prize!  I apprised you.”  The best (and worst) was when she woke the boys up early one morning by doing this.  Funny now.  That morning at 6:30 not so much. 

A child going to the bathroom in the middle of a tickle session, returning, and asking for more tickles.  How responsible of you, son!

Finally having a perfect blood sugar day. 

Kids actually sleeping in even after Daylight Savings Time ended!  This was the best surprise. 

Opportunities falling out of the sky.

There are enough unpleasant surprises in life.  The kind that stop your happy mood dead in its tracks.  All I can do is remember the happy surprises and remember why I started this post in the first place.  I am thankful for surprises today. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

We are Family

Grandma Holmes celebrated her birthday earlier this week.  Heath and I knew it was coming up and we both got so busy with life that we neglected her birthday.  Grandma, I hope you can forgive us. 

Grandma Holmes is such an amazing woman.  She is the poster child of Christlike love and service.  She also could be an ad for quitting smoking.  I remember asking Heath who the couple was in the picture hanging on his mom’s wall.  He told me it was his grandma and grandpa.  This floored me.  The woman in the picture looked older than the beautiful, selfless woman in another picture just above it, taken 20 some odd years later.  She has been through a lot in her life including being a widow and surviving cancer.  I find her zest for life inspiring.  Happy birthday Grandma!  Thank you for all you do to bless so many lives around you, especially ours.  We love you and hope you had a happy birthday. 

Sundays are great days to reflect on blessings.  Today I am thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am thankful for the peace it brings.  I am especially thankful that the gospel provides a way for families to be together even after death.  I have been blessed with a great family – my own plus the one I married into, and of course the family Heath and I have created together. 

As promised here are the pictures from our photoshoot yesterday. 

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All because two people fell in love.  I like the first picture a lot more than the second but they are both pretty cute. 

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Then we had these three little cuties. 

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How precious right?  Those boys sure love their sister.

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Gavin asked if he could get a picture with Gwen because he loves her so much.  The photographer was happy to do that.  And she mentioned later when I was picking out what I wanted prints of that it was obvious how much Gavin loved Gwen. 

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And what’s not to love?  She is cute whether she is smiling or not.  This girl is so spoiled rotten.  We can’t help it. 

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We have no idea why the photographer wanted to leave out one parent in some shots.  Heath joked that this is what our family would look like if one of us were to leave. 

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But nobody is leaving.  It’s a laughable idea.  Something is funny anyway.  I don’t know what I’m busting a gut over here.  Probably the voices in my head. 

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We tell the kids all the time that it takes five people to make up a basketball team.  This is our team.  Cute right?  I should have fixed the shadow on Gavin’s chin in this picture.  I was told it would be fixed before it was turned into a print. 

Family seems like such a cliché thing to be thankful for but it’s not.  Not everyone gets along with their families and some families are downright awful to each other.  I often think about a note one of very best friends gave me in junior high.  I confided in her about my home life and she told me that when I grew up I could have whatever family I wanted.  Never in a million years would I have imagined this.  Being married to Heath, who defies description he is so wonderful, my angelic kids – ok not always!  I am their mother after all!  I come from a family that stubbornly stuck out the rough times in search of happier times, which we have found in our own way.  And I love my in laws.  How many people can honestly say that?  They love me too which is mind blowing sometimes.  They love me unconditionally.  It’s very humbling. 

Family, the gospel, and my testimony of the gospel are what I am most thankful for today.  Yes, I realize I have said that multiple times in this post.  I am truly blessed. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Procrastination

Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.  despair.com

It’s been a day.  After four years we decided it was time to hit the portrait studio again.  Laziness had paid off but it was time for someone else’s hard work to pay off.  We bought the portrait CD and it’s sitting on the counter right now – several feet away from my permanent butt print in the couch and I’m not getting up.  So you’ll have to see the pictures tomorrow.  Pulchritudinous procrastination.  I think pulchritudinous is a positive word that means beautiful but I’m too lazy to look it up right now.  Oh well.

I took Gavin to a birthday party.  I tried to get out of it but Heath made me go so I made him clean the kitchen.  He did an awesome job.  And I met Gavin’s friends’ moms and one of them offered to take the three boys to Chuck E. Cheese for a play date some Friday afternoon.  Sure.  If you want to take kids to Chuck E. Cheese for the fun of it be my guest!  Gavin has been begging for a play date with this mom’s son forever now so it was good I went to the party.  Watching a bunch of second graders bowling was pretty entertaining. 

My mom totally hooked me up with templates to make displays for a mini class I’m teaching on Tuesday.  I am so excited about it.  I love that my mom did that for me.  I was not expecting it at all and I’m super stoked the package arrived today.  Do I have the best mom or what?  I’ll call her tomorrow since we’re watching “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” right now.  More procrastination. 

Heath just changed Gwen’s diaper.  That makes two diaper changes for her all day.  Procrastination rules!  Actually we never procrastinated the job, more like we assumed the other one was taking care of it.  When she doesn’t make a stinky we don’t think about that stuff I guess. 

I’m running on four hours of sleep.  Not consecutive hours either.  Awesome.  I fell asleep while Heath was talking to me.  Twice.  I’m grateful for his sense of humor because I didn’t mean to do that to him.  He’s not that boring but he did make the point a few times before my eyes closed.  We have an understanding – we just don’t listen to each other most of the time. 

Today I am grateful for procrastination, my mom not procrastinating, and Heath. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Think Never is Enough

What if society celebrated mediocrity more often?  What if we stopped pressuring kids to aspire to being a doctor, lawyer, dentist, or rocket scientist and encouraged arbitrary jobs? 

There are jobs out there that I often wonder how anyone applies for it.  Like spy.  Or Disneyland character.  Who do you talk to about that job?  Or the voice on your voicemail.  “You have two new messages.”  Who has that job?  Ok, so it’s a computer but who was the lady who hated her life so much she spread her daily cheer with her condescendingly impatient voice, “If you’d like to make a call please hang up and dial again.  If you need help dial the operator.”  Who was that lady?  She always made me want to hug her. 

One of my friends growing up was the daughter of a garbage truck driver.  True story.  Her family was nice and they ate normal food and wore normal clothes that they shopped for same as anyone else.  So why all the stigma surrounding a blue collar job like picking up the trash? 

There is a new series on one of the PBS channels about The Big Apple Circus.  I have always wondered how anyone gets involved in the circus.  Where’s the job application for that one?  From what I saw it looked like most of the employees and entertainers came from a checkered past.  They said that the Circus is like a family which I really appreciated since my guess is they aren’t close to their biological families.  But part of me was a little concerned.  I read Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury.  So I just have to wonder why anyone would even seek out the Circus as a job prospect. 

But that’s the beauty of it all.  If those people had made their mark in the medical community who would run the Circus?  And can you imagine life without the Circus?  Preposterous!

A neighbor of mine works for the “Pooh Pooh Plant,” as she lovingly refers to it.  I am not bothered by her job nor is she ashamed of it herself.  She said that for years she has been trying to get the local schools to do a field trip to the Pooh Pooh Plant.  Nobody has taken her up on that offer. The reason why is what kills me.  The teachers think that the students will use potty humor if they go there.  Stunning logic right?  I mean hello!  How about prepping the students ahead of time. 

Don’t the teachers freak out and make a big deal about field trips to the Symphony and tell the kids they have to dress up etc.  Why not take the teaching opportunity to explain a natural part of human life to the students?  And when they giggle uncontrollably over their own immature potty humor you tell them what any potty training mother would, “Those words are only to be used in the bathroom.  Get it out of your system now and when you are ready to use appropriate language then you can join us.”  What, like this is a hard concept?  But nobody will do the field trip.  For over 20 years.  Sad. 

I want to go.  I’m fascinated by anything not mainstream.  Is that a bad pun?  I didn’t mean for it to be.  I just think it could be interesting.  Did you know that Seattle is built on top of a sewer?  I think that’s a true story.  Something like that anyway.  Heath told me the story but now I’ve forgotten.  Maybe the next time we go there we can go  on the Seattle Underground Tour and I can learn about it firsthand. 

This song pretty much sums up what I’m saying.  I just love this song because I have worked many days in retail although I didn’t have to tell people anything just to make a sale.  I did that as a telemarketer.  One of those jobs I never thought I would ever do. 

I also never thought I would eat dog food posing as soup

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but I’ve done it twice now. 

I think never is enough yeah never is enough.  You never have to do that stuff. 

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The world’s your oyster shell
But what’s that funny smell
You eat the bivalve anyway
you’re sick with salmonella
You get your Ph.D
How happy you will be
When you get a job at Wendy’s
And are honored with employee of the month

Today I am thankful that there are strange jobs in the world I know nothing about and that someone wanted to do that job.  We can't all be lawyers.  Someone has to be a driver's ed teacher.  I'm sure that's a fun job especially for a thrill seeker!