Friday, February 3, 2012

As Long As Everyone's Happy

 A couple of weeks ago,  I went out of town for a week. 
Before I left, I asked the Brain if he would like me to plan and shop for some dinners for while I was gone, or if I should just stock up on the makings for his all time favorite meal - peanut butter and grape jelly with ruffles chips. (Yes, it really is)
He actually surprised me by asking for a few dinner ideas, and specifically some crock pot ideas.    I was just a tad skeptical about this whole thing (based on, oh -- 27 years of experience)  but there's a first time for everything, right?

Here's what I left:

This is what made me laugh out loud when I came home:

I wonder what he ate?

(I was just happy that everything was in the dishwasher. Also I consider the presence of plates a bonus.)

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Last Santa Picture

I've written before about my favorite Christmas tradition; The Santa Picture.  (incidentally, along with being a favorite tradition, that was one of my favorite posts)   I have loved doing it for 25 years now, but this year, my kids started referring to it as the Year of the Awkward Picture.
See, they've always been told that they get OUT of the picture when they have a new baby to sit on Santa's lap and start their own little tradition.  But this year, Hannah is married, and with their baby not coming until March - - who should be in the picture???

There were those who felt that Hannah's husband Andrew should not be subjected to the humiliation of the Santa picture, and then those who felt that hey, joining this family means all kinds of humiliation, and he might as well get used to it.  I don't think Andrew really cared one way or the other - - at least he didn't vocalize it if he did.

As we discussed this Very Important Family Business, my mind started projecting outward several years - - and I could come up with Santa picture situations even MORE awkward than the current one.  And really, if you decide not to get married young for whatever reason, should you be required by your mother to show up at age 25 (30? 35? 50?) to sit with Santa for a picture?  


With a little (a lot of) sadness, we decided this tradition had run its course, and as Mimi's last year at home, this would be the Year of the Final Santa Picture.

And so with a little *sniff*,  I give you- the very first (polaroid), and the very last (digital) Santa Pictures:


Hope your Christmas was wonderful!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I've been reading back-posts from my blog today.
I should be doing all sorts of Christmas-ish things, but instead I've laughed, cried, and rolled my eyes until they feel like they are coming unhinged.  I remembered the person who wrote those posts.  I like her and I kind of miss her.

Let's face it.  2011 has kicked my trash.  We are still recovering from the last year's worth of life developments, and bracing for impact on some things that are coming toward us.  I've felt like I've been through a battle... and while I'm still waiting for the smoke to clear... I think when it all settles I may actually be a better person.

Which is the good news and the bad news.

Because I distinctly remember last year about this time being told more than once that "all these things would give me experience" that was a good thing. 

And I wondered what the hell the experience was good for, besides just helping other people who would also have the opportunity to "gain experience".  And wouldn't it be more efficient (I thought) to just put a stop to the entire cycle, and just have everyone be happy with no experience whatsoever.
And then it would occur to me that I had heard that plan somewhere before... and then I would shut it out of my head and stop analyzing it entirely.

But as it turns out, while "gaining experience" completely stinks when you are doing it, it does tend to give a person perspective, and empathy and compassion.
(For an amazing post on experience and compassion, read this post from Paul's new blog.)

I will probably always wonder if I did the last year as well as I could have. Being a new seminary teacher this year has given me lots of time to think about the different prophets and their trials. There were many of them who walked head-on into their trials without the benefit of good friends, family, home teachers, Diet Coke, Xanax, or even a  Sonic (*gasp*), and it makes me a little weak in the knees thinking of all the crutches I have needed - to get through, well, nothing really.  I mean, it's just LIFE. -

I look back and see things I should have said differently, things I should have paid more attention to, people's needs I should have been aware of...
but every time I start down that sad little memory lane, one of my favorite running sayings pops into my head:

Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must...
but finish the race.

This year has been a combination of all of the above.  But I am learning to do it better, and DANGIT I will finish this race one way or another. (See?  I've even stopped swearing since paragraph 6.  I'm doing better already!)

Believe it or not, I'm a relatively private person in real life. (I know.... narcissistic AND private. There's a combo you don't see every day!)  I rarely cry or tear up in public. It's here that I allow myself a little bit of public emotion and reflection.

You're so glad you stopped by to witness it, right? ;)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ok, Here's What I want To Know...

Which stall in the ladies room gets the least traffic?

I'm betting that  most people use the second one, because they think that most people will use the first one. Which is why I've recently switched to the first one.
Which one do you use?

Friday, April 22, 2011

This Post Brought to You By ...Friday!

The happiest thing about my DVR is that I don't have to watch commercials anymore.  It is SO rare that I watch live tv.  In fact, sometimes I will just put a program on record, and then walk away for 15 minutes and do something else so I can then come back and watch without commercials.
The person who made the DVR should get the Express Elevator to heaven and free Route 44 Sonic Drinks for life.  (privileges I have previously bequeathed only to Mother Teresa and Glenn Beck)

Unfortunately, my heavy handed use of the DVR also means that I miss the (rare) commercial that I actually like!  In case you're like me, and you're wondering if you're missing something, here are a couple of commercials that I will slow down the "fast forward" button to watch:

I love the way that kid's eyebrow goes up at the end!

I guess these 2 have been around for about a year.  But they're new to me!

I know this TMobile ad is new (ish)!

and here's my all-time favorite:

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax

My favorite kind of post.  Random, with an even more random title.  I have a lot to say these days, and nothing to say.    Basically, things are busy, some days are better than others, and somehow the world just keeps on turning no matter how many times I stomp my foot and say I'm not playing anymore.

So here is an update of the random that has been going on - in no order whatsoever:
  • It occurred to me this morning that I forgot to use the basil I planted last summer to make pesto.  Or for anything else.  Maybe this year the basil will get planted in a spot where I don't have to walk around the back of the house to see it.  Also - could someone text me every 2 weeks or so this summer and remind me to use the basil? 
  • I have finally run out of Gingerbread Tea.  And by "run out" I mean - I just opened my last box.  And I have already scoured the grocery store and there is no sign of it. As you might imagine, this makes me very anxious. Thank goodness for the Internets. 
  • Hannah and I have just completed season one of Hoarders.  We would gag our way through an episode, and then come upstairs and clean something to make ourselves feel better.   Lizzie wouldn't watch it more than once no matter how we begged her to come downstairs with us.  Between you and me, I think the gag reflex on that little germophobe daughter works overtime. Mimi likes to watch with us when she has time, but she's a pretty busy chick these days.
  •  Also speaking of Hannah - we are up to our ears in Mexican food.   Hannah craved it so much that we started a habit of eating it pretty much all the time.  Not that it bothers me.  At ALL.  In fact, I feel sure I am getting close to having queso dip running through my veins and it's quite a happy sensation. Pretty sure my transformation will be complete by Easter.  
  • In other news: our new bishop is a democrat.  Someone asked me on Sunday if I still thought the church is true.   I may have to get back to you on that.**
  • I have a stake calling right now and I truly stink at it.  I'm sure the president is wondering what the heck she has gotten herself into.  When I told The Brain last night that I was going to just call and say I can't do it anymore, he wanted to know why - - and then proceeded to tell me that if I would just get in and DO it, I would feel so much better.  I hate when he's right. 
  • Diet Coke and I are better friends than ever.   I keep thinking that giving it up would be a good idea, but then I remember that I am pretty much surviving on it right now.   So I guess that's out.   Seriously my comfort foods are Diet Coke, mashed potatoes, and tapioca pudding.  If I gave up Diet Coke I would be as big as a house.
  • Speaking of which, I am starting a new challenge on Monday.  This one is only 8 weeks long, but it's focused on weight loss and fitness this time.  The last couple of challenges I've been involved in I have wanted to do well.... but this one I want to WIN.  Stay out of my way if you're playing.  There will be No Mercy.
  • I'm signed up for the Utah Valley Half Marathon in June.  I feel good, and am quite ready to start running longer than the 4 milers I've been doing for the last month or so.  I just hope I can keep the migraines under control this summer.   I've got 2 more 1/2's in mind for the summer, and I'm going to see how it goes before I decide on a full marathon for the fall.  The half is really my favorite distance -- but the full marathon seems like so much more of an accomplishment.  
  • This morning I had an awesome run in a misty rain.  Thank heaven for wonderful running partners who will show up even if it's cold and rainy.  My running partners are the main reason my running continues.

      **For the record I actually really love our new bishop, as does everyone I know.


        Monday, April 18, 2011


         Depending on where you live, there are just certain things I think it would be sad for you to miss.  For example, if you lived in New York, and had never seen the Statue of Liberty or a Broadway Musical, I think that would be just ... just sad.

        I've been thinking a lot about the amazing place in which I live, and how much I love it here, and things I think it would be just sad to never do!

        So here is my list of things that a Colorado Native should not miss.  You can see I have a ways to go!
        • Climb a 14er
        • Run the Bolder Boulder
        • Fish in the Colorado River
        • Drive over Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park in the autumn.
        • Tour the Coors plant in Golden
        • Go rafting on the Arkansas River
        • Pan for gold at a real gold mine
        • Ski @ Crested Butte (some would say Vail or Aspen... but people from here don't ski there)
        • Drive across Royal Gorge
        • See the dwellings of the Ancestral Puebloans (heaven forbid we call them "Indian ruins") at Mesa Verde.
        • Attend a concert at Red Rocks ( Dan Fogelberg.  It was magical!)
        • Eat in the vault of the Broker Restaurant in downtown Denver
        • Four Wheel over Imogene Pass into Telluride  (NOT Black Bear Pass.  Too scary)
        • Go snowshoeing - pretty much anywhere
        • Stay at the haunted Stanley Hotel in Estes Park
        • Ice Skate on Evergreen Lake
        • Ride the railroad from Silverton to Durango
        • Visit the Olympic Teams Training Center
        This summer my goal is to cross 3 more things off my list - - I'll keep you posted.
        If you're familiar with Colorado, what am I missing?  And if you're not, what's on the Must Do List for where you live?

        Saturday, April 16, 2011


        Last September my bishop pulled The Brain and I into his office to ask how our family was doing.  I don't know if he knew he was opening the floodgates or not, but I suspect he did. Adoption is full of life changes no matter which perspective you're involved from, and frankly I don't handle change very well.

        After we talked a bit, and cried together, he reminded me,  "Well, we're here to have experiences.  And you're definitely having one."

        I've thought about it a lot. I have certainly had an experience.

        I'm not going to sugar coat it.  No matter how someone leaves your family I think there are floods of emotions involved.  I imagined it would be very very very difficult. As it turns out --- my imagination?  Not even close.
        (...then again, when have I ever had an experience that turned out exactly as it did in my imagination?)

        The adoption process was and continues to be the most difficult thing I've ever done.

        Even though the past year was very, very, um, challenging, I won't say that it was the worst year of my life.
        I have to remember that there were some incredible things during that same year.

        I traveled in China and even ran on the Great Wall.

        I pushed with handcarts 50 miles through Wyoming, where I had some life defining experiences.

        I bought a witch hat in Salem, and found lighthouses in Maine.

        I had experiences.

        I had moments.

        And as much as I didn't want it,  I had growth.

        I've been writing about the adoption story from my point of view.  Someday I"ll share it, or at least parts of it.

        One of the dumb things I do is --when I'm in crisis mode, I tend to pull inward and try my best to disappear... hence the past 6 months of no blogging.  But I've missed it terribly.  I hope I'll begin finding things to blog about again. And I hope they will be happy, fun things.

        It's time to start looking for happy again.