Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Merry Merry

Here's the obligatory Christmas morning post. I know you'll all just skip the witty commentary for the pictures, so have at it.

We had Michelle and her kids here the night we set up the tree. They loved the dog, and had I known we'd be moving in a week after this picture was taken, I would have gladly wrapped up that dog and sent her home with them.

Um, okay. He does like the Bears, can you tell? And bears like trees, so I guess this is acceptable behavior.

Hope yours was as Merry as ours.

post signature

12 Years

Well, my wedding dress is officially wwaaayyy out of style, my body has gone to Hell, and my mind is crazy with voices and stresses of everyday life.

But 12 years ago Sean agreed to love me no matter what.


Love you, Sugar Daddy.

Don't worry, there will be no divorce papers today.

post signature

Saturday, December 26, 2009

That Creepy Fat Guy That Breaks In Every Year

He arrived, left his booty, and disappeared into the night.

Pictures to follow.

post signature

Thursday, December 24, 2009

When What To My Wondering Eyes Should Appear

Well, not much if you're Sugar Daddy.

He's having some trouble.

Not the whole unemployment, moving in 2 weeks, 4 days post-op, kind of trouble, either.

It's more serious than that. He's been having some trouble with his vision for the last few weeks. Okay, a few months, but he used to have a job that kept him busy 12 hours a day, thereby hindering the time he had to see a doctor about it.

Do I sound bitter? I'm not. I promise.

So he saw a doctor to get new glasses. He told her about his light sensitivity and his blurry spots. She didn't care enough to "see" anything, and sent him on his merry way. Three days later, he was still fed up, and got a referral to an ophthalmologist, one he had seen before for an eye infection. After seeing him yesterday, the new doc made him an immediate appointment to a cornea specialist in Chicago. I was worried. I still am.

Turns out, what that first doctor didn't "see" could have cost Sean his sight. He still needs to undergo a battery of tests to figure out just exactly what is going on, but for now it's some sort of Keratitis. He has blood vessels growing through his cornea, and that's not good, folks.

So amidst all of our upheaval and challenges, we have this to deal with, too. Because you know, we needed one more thing to worry about.

Merry Christmas.

post signature

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Twas the night before the night before Christmas

My kids are currently watching the Battle of the Nutcrackers on Ovation TV.

I've never even heard of Ovation TV until tonight.

When I saw the Bolshoi Ballet Nutcracker was on, I turned it on just to show the kids how beautiful the ballet is. Now they're hooked. They're on their third version, currently with the Royal Ballet's version. It is a beautiful, if a little creepy, story, regardless of which ballet is performing it.

I'm just glad I can rest easy tonight knowing my kids have had some sort of culture, other than listening to dad order from Taco Bell in Spanish.

post signature

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Spirit

Well, today has been a good day. I realize I've been MIA the last few days, but there has been a lot going on .

I'll recap.

Sean had surgery yesterday, and for those of you that follow me on Facebook, you understand when I tell you all is back to normal. Wink, wink. His hernia is hereby fixed, and he is in good spirits, and moving around like a regular person.

We have started finalizing our move to Utah. Luckily, most of our stuff was in boxes. Unluckily, most of the stuff in boxes needs to be reorganized as store/do not store stuff. A totally different way of packing. But Sean has had lots of free time on his hands, so he made a very decent dent in that situation.

Gretta had her 3 year check up. She's 30 pounds, and smart as a whip. In fact, the doctor said she's so smart, she's too smart for diapers. Gretta took this to heart, and when she woke up the next morning, she refused to put on a diaper, because she's "too mart, mom". So she's potty trained. Seriously, like 1 day, and it was done. Who knew?

It snowed pretty good today. The good kind of snow where it's not too cold outside, and the kids want to go out and play. We went to the local sledding hill, after buying an extra sled for $30! I'm sooooo tempted to return it now that we're done with it. Would that be dishonest? Yeah, I thought so too. So we sledded, and the kids had a blast. Then we went to Liz's house, and met the elusive husband. He works evening shifts, and so none of us have ever met him. We started doubting his existence at all. But I'll bear witness, he does exist, and he's very nice. We approve, Liz. ;)

Christmas is knocking at the door, and I can't believe it! I hope we're ready. I think we are, but you know how the doubt starts seeping in when it gets down the wire? Yeah, I'm at that stage. I plan on starting wrapping tonight, so we'll see if I'm in full blown crazy mom mode tomorrow, or if I can just sit back and relax.

I've been pondering a lot on the things I'll miss about Illinois. There are so many things, that I think I'll have to do a bunch of separate posts just for them individually. I'm sure that will be so boring for most of you, but I need to write it down so I don't forget this time we've spent here. It dawned on us the other day that we'll most likely be driving back to Utah 2 years to the day from when we left. It's like we had a little mission out here. I think that warrants a homecoming party, don't you?

So that's all for now. I'll be writing more this week as Christmas nears, and my anxiety peaks at code red.

post signature

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Daily Update

Well, I have to say, I think I have the bestest readers in the world. I received so many positive emails and comments, I think I may just make it through all this.

But I should probably give a little update so you all know what's going on in this head of mine.

First, Sean is scheduled to have his hernia surgery on Monday. The 21st. Like 4 days before Christmas. Sounds like bad timing, but it's a blessing really. Pray that it all goes well, and that he recovers quickly.

Second, despite looking for a job here in Illinois, there is this gaping hole on Sugar Daddy's resume. See, he never finished college. I know! But he was too busy working is way up through the company, and now here we are. So thanks to the help of our families, he will be starting school in January or March, depending on...

Third, we will be moving back to Utah as soon as Sean is healed and ready. He'll be starting school full time there. We're shooting for just after the New Year, but we'll see how that goes. His health and safety are most important, so that is the determining factor.

Fourth, there was a big post coming about our new house, with pictures and everything, but now that we'll be moving, it doesn't seem post-worthy. It's too bad, too, because we really love it. But it's just a thing, and things come and go.

So there you have it. Pretty much our life in a nutshell for today. I'm so grateful for the positive and uplifting thoughts and prayers. We truly know how blessed we are. I'll be posting daily, and hopefully not just about this, but mostly about this, because this is my life, and I have to write this stuff down, or my brain hurts.

post signature

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fun For Friday, Sort Of, But Not Really

So yesterday will forever rank up there as one of the worst days of my adult life.

#1 being the day my mom died.

#2 being yesterday.

Yep, that bad.

We were completely blindsided and our lives changed course forever.

Lets just say Sugar Daddy left for work at his usual time, and appeared back home a couple of hours later, pale, distraught, and befuddled. In his back pocket was stuffed a big yellow envelope. With his walking papers.

Yep, he was let go yesterday. After 16 years. 2 weeks before Christmas. And 6 days after we moved into a new house. Life is good.

So now we regroup, reevaluate, and reexamine our lives to decide what this means for us. In the meantime, Christmas was taken care of early this year, thank goodness, and we have stopped unpacking any remaining boxes because odds are we won't be here long. Life is good, indeed.

Oh, we also lose our health insurance next month, he needs surgery to fix his hernia (acquired at work, go figure), and I need my happy pills to survive. Life is wonderful.

So please excuse me when I say, Merry Freaking Christmas!

post signature

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Speechless, Part 3

Sunday we woke up to even colder temperatures, which is hard to believe, this being December in Chicago and all. But we muddled through, and managed to down a delicious breakfast at a teeny tiny restaurant next to our hotel. We then decided it was time to head back home, and took a little drive along the lake so we could get a good view of the skyline, and also Oprah's house. It's the important things, right?

Meg and Jill enjoying the bitter wind.

We arrived home to a pot roast dinner, courtesy of Sugar Daddy. He's so domestic like that. Then it was a quick photo shoot with the kids and the sisters, and then the tears started. I hated to see them leave! I do okay being here without my family, until I see them. When they come and go, it makes it so hard! But I love them, and I will definitely take the tears of sadness to enjoy a couple of days of total fun.

Yep, that's a Hummer pulling a trailer. It parked itself right outside our hotel.

And for some reason there was a firetruck parked outside as well. I had to get a shot of it because I'm like a reporter what with my cell phone camera and all.

So that was our weekend. I love my sisters. I love my family. I love that Sugar Daddy let me take off for a fun night out despite the fact that our house is covered in boxes needing to be unpacked. He's the bomb.

Next time it is my turn to do the surprising. Now I just need to start planning my attack.

Love you girls!

post signature

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Speechless, Part 2

So after a night of major surprise, toilet facebooking, and yummy French Onion soup, we headed home to enjoy our evening together. Jill and Meg brought Christmas gifts with them for the girls, and for me, so we opened up gifts, stayed up late talking, and finally hit the hay when I could take no more.

Then next morning, we woke up, chated for a couple of hours in the kitchen over Cokes and M&M's, and then headed out to the city for our evening. After getting a little car sick on the way there, we checked in to our room, which only had one bed, thankyouverymuch, and no fan in the bathroom. With Meg's intolerance to cream sauce, and our intended culinary destinations, this worried us.

We set off for Petterino's, our fave Theater District haunt. We were lucky enough to have found this place when we all went to see Wicked 2 years ago. We had an hour or so to kill before the play started, so our tour guide (another story, another day) suggested it. My mom loved this place. It had delicious home cooking sort of snooty food, and the walls are covered in Caricatures of famous Chicagoans.

So our hostess seats us, and to our amazement, she seats us at the exact same table that we sat at with my mom. It was amazing. We all had a moment. So we get settled, which for Jill and Meg includes practically disrobing since they aren't quite used to the Chicago wind chill yet, and as we sit down to peruse the menu, we hear a haunting voice from the past.

"Hey, Ya'll, here's some bread".

We gasped in unison. It was the exact same waiter we had 2 years ago with my mom. I'm sure the look of shock on our faces scared the wits right out of our animated garcon, but after we explained to him the situation, he practically wept along with us. It was total serendipity. He wasn't even supposed to be working that day, and had been called in at the last minute. Small miracles.

After our 3 hour late lunch, we headed back across the street to the German Christmas festival so Jill could score come cute mittens and a hat. We got our pictures taken by the tree in Daley plaza, and shopped up and down Michigan Avenue. We even outshopped Jill. This never happens. She pooped out, and I am still in shock.

We returned to our hotel, had some interesting girls talk, and decided we were hungry again. So we decided on Pizano's, one of Oprah's favorite pizza joints. Gnocchi in pesto sauce with pine nuts and deep dish vegetarian pizza was our late night "snack". It was as delicious as it was calorie laden.

Luckily for us, Sugar Daddy had heard of our one bed situation, and called the hotel to request a rollaway bed for us. I was the lucky one to sleep alone, which ended up being a good thing, because Meg likes to spoon.

Don't you just love my pictures? What? There's no pictures, you say? Oh. Well, I can't find my camera cord just yet, so you'll have to go to Meg's blog and Jill's blog for pics.

Stay tuned for part 3 coming tomorrow.

post signature

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Me being speechless doesn't happen very often. In fact, I can only remember a few times in my life when words have failed me. But Friday night was one of these times, and by far the most memorable.

So here we sit at dinner, we're celebrating Sugar Daddy's 34th birthday, waiting for our 2 extra guests to join us. I thought they were friends of ours we've been trying to meet up with for a while now and our schedules kept evading our connections. We ordered our drinks (diet Cokes and Cokes just to clarify, although for some reason our lack of alcohol consumption brought a little giggle from our waitress), and an appetizer to hold us over for our tardy companions.

We wait. And wait. Finally, I am getting so hungry I decide it's time to order without them. We place our orders and begin our usual round table chatter. I'm chatting away, when Sugar Daddy says "Oh, here they are". I don't even look up, I just finish my animated conversation and glace over my shoulder to nod a hello to our friends.

Only what to my disbelieving eyes would be in the stead of our tardy guests, but my two sisters all the way from Salt Lake and Las Vegas!

My jaw literally fell open, and I was absolutely speechless.

I was certain it was a flashback of some sort, so I didn't immediately respond with the requisite scream or squeal, that would have seemed strange to those not participating in said flashback. So I just stared at them in disbelief. Utter disbelief.

I had no idea they had been planning this trip for over a month. Sugar Daddy knew. His friends knew. My father in law knew, and even Noel knew a little while before they showed up, and no one, naddaone of them, let on that anything was up.

After the round of hugs and kisses and more and more hugs, I was pretty sure I was going to pee my pants after drinking 4 glasses of water on an empty stomach while we waited for them to arrive, so I excused myself and went to the ladies room to do my business. (And also to Facebook about it, because I do that a lot when I'm on the toilet. So do you, don't lie!) When I returned I was still pretty sure it was all a dream. But there they sat, in all their flesh and blood, at my table, there to see me, and to prove that they are the best.sisters.ever.

I love you guys!

More of our fabulous weekend to come!

post signature

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

School At Home

Well, today is the day. The day I make the actual decision.

I'm meeting with a Homeschool resource counselor at our local library. Recently the library was given a $3 million grant to start a resource center devoted strictly to homeschoolers. It has all the curriculum available for use in the library, or to be checked out and taken home. They have microscopes, instruments, puzzles, and all sorts of fun classroom activities that can be used. I'm pretty excited.

And plenty nervous.

The one thing I have going for me is that it's just Kindergarten. Kindergarten isn't required in the state of Illinois, so even going to Kindergarten at all is a step ahead. Maggie is thrilled with the idea of doing school at home, and I think it will suit her better given her anxiety and sensory overload issues. She is plenty smart, that's not a problem, and she is a quick learner, but I know in my heart this is what's best for her. And sometimes being a parent involves making tough choices based on what's best for our kids.

So starting at the first of the year, she'll be homeschooling with me. I can't wait to see how it turns out.

post signature

Monday, November 30, 2009


Well, folks, we had it. Turkey dinner for 16 people. And I'm fairly sure that no one died of food poisoning during the weekend, so that makes me pretty happy.

It was a great day. 2 big turkeys. One roasted regular style, and one deep fried in canola oil. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls, and gravy topped it all off, and it was delicious, if I do say so myself. We were treated to yams (sweet potatoes, whatever), jello salad, and 3 banana cream pies, too! Seriously, it was like a little slice of home right in my kitchen.

So thanks to all my peeps for showing up, and for not complaining that the gravy was a little greasy, or that the deep fried turkey was an hour late making its entrance. You guys are the best!

post signature

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Daily

Okay, here goes nothing. This is tough to get through because I get so emotional, but I can do it, I promise.

The person I'm most thankful for today is..

dun dun dun..

My siblings.

Troy. He's the cool kid at school, you know the one, everyone knows he's a babe, and he's too cool to notice. He has the most friends, but he's humble, and likes everyone. That's my bro. He is also my mom's favorite. She even said so. And we all know it's true, but we don't mind, because he's our favorite too. Troy is a rock when it comes to life. He knows the right things to say, and he knows when to do the right things for people. He puts up with a lot in his day to day business (wink wink), and he deals with it pretty well. I love that he's so spiritual, and he's not afraid to talk about his feelings, but he can still be crazy and wild and down to earth. There may even be a cuss word slip out now and then, which I can totally appreciate. I love you, man.

Kelli. Teeeccchnically, she's not really my sister, but the heart says otherwise. When I think of my sisters, Kelli is one of them. I'm pretty sure the Lord knew what he was doing when she and Troy found each other. We need her in our family. She is wonderful, and sassy, and opinionated, and I love it! She does not like to be wrong, and will argue her point endlessly until she gets it across. Tenacity is not one of my strong points, so I can really admire her for that! She laughs with us, cries with us, and knows the silly quirks that make us all into one big family. Love you, Kel!

Jill. She is the former cruise director of the family. I only say former because Meg has recently promoted to Speaker of the House. A much more appropriate title for Jill. She is never at a loss for words. She is friends with everyone, and she can talk to anyone about anything! She is also very spiritual, and sassy, too, so she has a great mix of things to love. She is a rock when it comes to getting things done. Up at dawn, and going all day, she works tirelessly for her family. Throw in her morning bike rides, runs, swims, triathlons, and shopping, and it's no wonder she has the cute little body of a Nineteen year old. You go girl!

Meg. I have a very soft spot for my Mimi. My little sis, the one I used to practice up-do's on, and the one that I used to fight with incessantly. She has grown up to become a beautiful woman, and there are so many things I admire about her. She is strong beyond belief. She has dealt with a lot over the past 18 months, and she had to do a lot of it on her own. She can fix pretty much anything. She's like MacGyver that way. She has the best taste of anyone I know. She can be a leader without being bossy. But she's also soft and vulnerable, and a wonderful confidante. Even though we're 5 years apart, I feel like she is the age I am, so we understand each other perfectly. Miss you, Mimi!

My siblings have been there for me this last year in ways I never knew siblings could be. My love for each of them has deepened immensely, especially after seeing them, and myself, at the lowest possible point in life. As life takes us down our individual paths, I know that the one constant I have in my life is my family. The Lord put me in my family because he knew I needed to be surrounded by these smart, wonderful, spiritual people that would be willing to hold my hand and show me the way through life, because I'm a little slow and I don't quite get it on my own sometimes. I love you guys. I couldn't live without you. I miss you so much!

Have a great Thanksgiving!

post signature

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Daily

Today I'm thankful for my parents. I don't mean I'm only thankful for them today, I'm thankful for them every day, but I'm paying tribute to them today. Does that make more sense? Okay, here goes.

Dad. My dad is the hardest worker I know. My entire childhood he worked day and night to provide for us. Whether it was working out of town, or stacking wood in the lean-to, or stirring paint in the shop, he was always working. This usually meant that we were working along side him, too. Sometimes he would take us to work with him, those were the best times! I got to go to Montana with him once to do work on a hospital there. I remember I got a chocolate milk, and he and I talked a lot about towns we passed through. One town in particular was Monida. It took me about 45 minutes to figure out it was a town on the border of Montana and Idaho, but he never gave me the answer, he just kept throwing me hints. I was probably like 8 or 9, and obviously not the brightest, but I figured it out eventually. The best were the times he let us pick up rivets with a magnet after he installed lockers at a school. Being alone in those huge hallways was a little creepy, but it was so liberating to have the whole place to ourselves. And those magnets were awesome, and to see how many rivets you could load up before you had to empty it was always a treat.

Dad taught me a lot about working hard. Those lessons have stuck with me. He has taught me that others come first, whether it's serving in Church, to neighbors, or to my kids. Sharing the blessings we have with those who are lacking is a top priority. So thanks, dad. I love you.

My mom. How can I express the thanks I have for my mom? I know so many of you never knew her, except from this blog and her cancer blog, but grew to love her just the same. There are just so many lessons she taught me that I'm still figuring out. But lately, the lesson that has been resonating in my life the most is to let my kids make their own mistakes. I was never a bad kid, per se, but I was mischievous. I was naughty. So many times I made my mom sick with worry, I'm sure, but she never tried to force me to act a certain way. She let me carve out my own way, and then she was there to comfort me when it blew up in my face. She never said "I told you so", she only said "I love you". So mom, thanks for loving me unconditionally.

My mom also taught me to love others despite their choices. My mom had so many friends. She had friends from high school that were still her besties. She had friends from elementary school that she still met up with on a regular basis. She had friends from friends from friends. She knew every one, and every one that knew her loved her. Because she loved them, without judgment. Now, don't go thinking she didn't have strong opinions about people, because she totally did, but she kept them to herself for the most part. That is one trait I need to work on, for sure. So thanks, Mom, for teaching me to love others.

Stay tuned tomorrow for an extra special tribute to the person (people?) for whom I'm most thankful. It will be good, I promise.

Happy Thanksgiving!

post signature

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Daily

This week, I'll be posting things I'm thankful for. Cause you know, it's almost Thanksgiving, and that is my most favoritest holiday of all time.

Oh, and this post is wrought with made up words, so just bear with me.

So I guess I better start with something easy.

I'm thankful for my family. But I'm not going to cop out and leave it at something as simple as that. I have a lot of family to be thankful for. So I'll start with all the "extra" family I have.

How could I forget my in-laws? I love them! My mother-in-law is the sweetest, kindest, givingest person I know. I call her mom, because there is no other word to describe our relationship. My father-in-law, he's pretty cool, too. In his overalls-wearing sort of way. He will drop everything and help anyone out, just because he can.

How could I forget my Aunts? Julie is a clone of my mom. The way she writes her emails, the way she wears her watches for each season, her enormous holiday sweater collection; I could close my eyes and hear my mom's voice, too. It's such a comfort to know that Julie carries on through life like my mom wishes she could have. And Suz. Suz is a rock. She is dealing with her own family cancer crisis, and despite being as busy as I know she is, she takes the time to send out email updates to the prodigal niece. She is a planner, and a doer, and a take-charger. I sincerely doubt much gets past her without a stern look over. And all the other aunts and uncles that are so wonderful! I love having a great extended family. There is something comforting knowing so many people are behind you.

One thing my mom taught us is that where you come from is as important as where you're headed. These wonderful people have shaped me in ways they will never know. The memories of Christmas parties, Memorial Day parties, 4th of July parties, and parties for who knows how many weddings, babies, farewells and homecomings. Each one of those times we were all together I learned more about the past, and it has helped me plan and embrace my future.

So thank you, family. I wouldn't be me without all of you! Don't worry, that's not passing blame, it's a compliment.

Happy Thanksgiving Week.

post signature

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fun For Friday

Maybe I'm just a grammar snob.

And in case you were wondering, the answer was C.

Happy Friday!

post signature

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Really? Really?!?

Maggie's bus driver got fired. Yep, fired. From driving a bus. She didn't crash. She wasn't late. In fact, it wasn't anything like that. According to the school principal that I talked with this morning, the kids were never "in any kind of danger".

Unless you count pornography as danger.

I do.

Yep, the bus driver, we'll call her Miss May, got fired for allegedly showing kids on the bus pornographic images on her cell phone. Go Miss May. How completely awesome of you to think that innocent minds awaiting an influx of knowledge from the days classes would instead like to fill that space with rotten images of, and I'm speculating here, your 300 pound butt and probably acne scarred cleavage.

You rule.

And just so you know, Maggie will not be riding the bus anymore. I don't care who the bus driver is. I'm obviously leery about letting any adult be alone with 6 Kindergartners on a big vehicle for approximately 20 minutes of unsupervised time. Call me crazy.

And I'm just putting this out there, call me crazy or not, whatever. I'm totally considering Home School. I know, but this is just one of many catalysts that has turned my thinking in that direction. If Sean was on board, I would do it in a second. But let's not debate that here. I'll do another post about that.

Let's focus on the slime ball Miss May that took it upon herself to make parents like me worry even more than they had to 1 day ago. Thanks for that.

Post edit: Here is the link to the story. Oh, and you get to see her lovely face!

post signature

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Because I'm Cheap Like That

So I just ordered my Christmas cards. Yes, I did. I'm so on top of things. I am not a lover of Christmas, but I do enjoy sending out and receiving cards, so I do it each year. Usually I use Sam's Club's photo center to create and print my cards for a pretty decent price. No complaints. Not the best, fanciest, or trendiest cards, but they're cute, and they get the job done, only to get thrown away a couple of weeks later.

But this year, thanks to miss Lacey Fay, I found a great new thing. It's a way to get free Christmas cards. Yes, free. As in no tax, shipping, nothing. So free, in fact, that you don't even have to enter a credit card. Totally, absolutely, undeniably free. You should try it. Click here for the link to the site with the promo code. It's so easy, I did it in 10 minutes, including signing up! And I'm an idiot at 8:00 in the morning.

post signature

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This One Time, At Band Camp

Emma had her first ever band concert last night. I'll admit, I had pretty low expectations. But I was pleasantly surprised! She has a natural musical gift, for sure, you should hear her sing! I just have no idea where she gets it. Sean and I sing casually, not soloist quality, and I play the piano, but not well, not even well enough to accompany the Primary adequately. But Emma definitely has it. It's a great feeling seeing your kids excel. Can you tell I'm proud?

The program.

Her name in print!

And here she is, at the ready. The director had them do a great thing. At the very beginning of the evening, he had them show us what they sounded like the first time they tried to play their instruments. It was a loud, horrible, ear splitting sound. So of course, every note they played after that seemed much better in comparison. A sly trick to show us parents how far the kids have actually come in the 6 short weeks they've been practicing.

Emma did a great job. She looked so beautiful sitting up there, and you could tell she was proud of herself, which makes a wonderful sight. She got a new skirt, courtesy of my mad sewing skills, and new black shoes just for the evening. She's a wonderful young lady, and I am so proud of her!

post signature

Monday, November 16, 2009

For Sale, One Garage

So I did it. I had my first ever garage sale. It wasn't too bad. Luckily, for a day in mid-November, it was quite pleasant outside, getting up into the high 50's for most of the day. I put out a comfy chair, a little side table, procured a Coke and some tunes, and proceeded to make myself a hundred and fifty bucks. Not bad for 6 hours of work, huh? Except for that really I worked all week getting stuff ready. So that $150 isn't much considering I worked about 20 or 30 hours on the sale. But still, it's a little cash for Christmas, so I can't really complain.

Here are some shots from the day.

All my junk spread out for the world to see.

A different angle to give you a scope of how long the driveway is, and that it's totally filled with stuff. Why do I have all this extra stuff? Ick.

So now I'm left with the dilemma of what to do with all the leftover junk. The crib and changing table, a perfectly awesome Kelty KIDS backpack, a brand new Ogio golf bag, all stuff I was sure would sell, are still clogging the arteries of my garage. I guess I could Craigslist them, but then I have to take pictures, and blah blah blah. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow.

I'm glad it's over, and even though I swore I would never do a garage sale of my own, it was nice to see some of the stuff go to good homes.

* And if you look closely, you'll see Bebe on the driveway up by the garbage cans. I tried to give her away free with purchase, but alas, no takers. I also tried this with my screaming 2 year old.

post signature

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Super Poke

Today I have to go to the doctor. Again. I hate sitting in those germ filled waiting rooms. Ick. But luckily today is only for a quick blood draw. Nothing major.

See, I've had thyroid issues for like, oh, 15 years. It's nothing major, a little pill every day and things are right with the world again.

Until bad things start happening, like my hair starts falling out, and my goiter starts coming back. Yes, I had a goiter. Like an Ethiopian orphan. It's not pretty.

So I head off to the Endocrinologist. Simple blood work should make things apparent, and then after a small adjustment of meds, I'll be fine.

But the Endo was a jerk. He told me I needed to lose 50 pounds, and that then everything would work itself out. Basically he didn't want to do his job. I explained I had already lost 30 pounds, and that things were still not good, my hair and skin were totally out of whack, and I didn't feel right. That last one should have been all he needed to hear, but some doctors are jerks, so what can you do?

You can get another doctor, and tell them the same story, and they'll realize that you not feeling right is reason enough to do blood work. Especially after dealing with symptoms of thyroid disease for 15 years.

So today I get to get a super poke in my arm, and get a whole bunch of blood work done. I've been off my thyroid meds for like 5 months, and I feel okay now, but I know that things don't fix themselves, so I'll be starting from 0, which is actually okay. Nowhere to go but up.

post signature

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

November Is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

I hate cancer. I really do. I can't tell you how many times in the year and 4 months since my mom died I have cried for people who are battling this disease. Any cancer sucks. But Pancreatic Cancer holds a special place in my "I hate cancer" arsenal. I could put all the facts down here, but I won't. I could tell you my story about my how my mom and her dad both died of Pancreatic Cancer within weeks of being diagnosed. I could tell you how horrible it makes you feel to watch a loved one die. But I won't. I won't bore you.

Instead, I will send you here, and here. Meg's page has a place for donations to the Pancreatic Cancer Research fund. Donate.

Sara's page gives the facts about Pancreatic Cancer. You can donate there, too.

Odds are not good for me, or my siblings. With such a strong family occurrence, there's a good chance one or more of us will get it. And we'll most likely die from it unless money can be raised to help with early detection methods.

Just remember all the people that have died from Pancreatic Cancer this month. It's a staggering number.

post signature

Monday, November 9, 2009

Solutions For Christmas

I'm ordering our Christmas cards today.

I'm in denial that Christmas is as close as it is. I'm not ready. I mean, I'm never ready, but this year I'm really.not.ready.

I think we should move January to come between November and December. That way we get more shopping time in for Christmas, and we can just skip the dreary monotony that January represents.

See? Win-win.

Problem solved. You're welcome.

post signature

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fun For Friday

No picture today, sorry.

But I do have a story.

My friend Heidi, whom I love and adore, for she does all the things I only think about doing, has a post on her blog that reminded me of a great experience I had growing up. I actually started commenting on her blog, but then I realized I should just post it here. So here you go.

And to my sibs, please, fill in the gaps, for I'm sure my memory fails me.

When I was younger, say 12 or 13, my dad got this harebrained idea to raise live turkeys for Thanksgiving. The ultimate goal was to raise them to adulthood, then give the live turkeys away to the neighbors as gag gifts. Mean, I know, but my dad has that sort of personality.

So my dad and my brother fashioned the turkeys a little house out of metal, and we made them a cage that sat positioned between the shed and my dad's shop. It was a little swath of land, about 4 feet wide by 7 or 8 feet long. A cozy place to grow, if you're a turkey.

As I recall, we started out with maybe 10 or 11 turkeys. They were cute little chicks. (Is that what baby turkeys are called?) But then they started to grow. They grew fast, and they grew ugly. Turkeys are so weird looking. They get all matted and covered in poop, and their tiny heads are oddly out of proportion to their burgeoning busts. After the first few weeks, they quit being our cute pets, and became annoying stink bombs covered in feces.

Then the rain storms came. This was back in the day when it actually rained in Utah, and we didn't have the perpetual drought like we do now. Or maybe it was because I was a kid, and we only remember what we want to remember. Anyway, the rain came down. Not to worry, for the turkey's had their little piece of shelter in which to hide from the rains. We thought it no trouble. We had been out to dinner, Su Casa, if I remember correctly, and when we returned home, we had to do our duty and check on the turkeys.

The turkeys were dead. All but 1. There was no blood, no guts, no buckshot, nothing to lead us in the direction of their death. Until it started raining a little harder as we stood there. Then we realized the turkey house was near the down spout of the rain gutter. Now, a normal brained animal would think to run uphill, away from the water. The turkeys, however, stood their ground, and merely looked up at the torrent that poured down upon them. They looked up so intently, that they drown in the rain.

Yes, people, they died because the couldn't look away from the rain. They drown in the rain.

There was one lone remaining turkey, and it lived until Thanksgiving. We then boxed it up, put a bow on it, and gave it to the neighbor. Certainly this wasn't as funny as if the entire neighborhood had ended up with live turkey's on their doorsteps, but one was all we had to work with.

I forget who the recipient of the turkey was, so if it was a reader, please let me know. I owe you an apology, at the least.

So this year, when you're cooking up your big turkey feast, think about how many other turkey's had to die in the rain so your one could be saved.

Stupid bird brained turkeys.

Happy Friday!

post signature

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Is It Thursday Already?

I don't know what the deal is with me lately, but I cannot seem to type normally. I mean, I know how to spell, and I know how grammar works, but for some reason I find myself backspacing to delete whole sentences that make no sense whatsoever.

Oh, and by the way, this post has absolutely nothing to do with the title, in case you haven't noticed already.

But while we're on that topic, is it really Thursday already? This week has really gotten away from me. Thursdays bring dance, and band practice after school pick up. Today I also have a doctors appointment, which I'm not excited about, only because I don't want to sit in an office full of flu-stricken sickies just so I can get a refill on my happy pills. But you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

So that's that. Nothing profound. Just random thoughts. You know, the usual.

post signature

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Recently one of my blogging buddies, Sara, whose mom also died of Pancreatic Cancer, had her daughter's room featured here. It's absolutely adorable.

It got me thinking about my kids' rooms.

I don't "do" kids rooms.

I think it's a waste of money because sooner or later, and probably sooner, they will want it changed, and then the whole process has to start over. I think the most effort I've put into my kids' rooms was a coat of paint and some repositionable adhesive circles. Big woop.

But, in the last few days as I've started dejunking, I've decided I might just submit Maggie's room. The stripes were already there when we moved in, but she has done a fabulous job of decorating it herself to show off her personality.

What do you think? Is it worthy?

Now, I'm totally embarrassed putting this picture up there, but if any of you have never seen your kids room like this in your lifetime, you're a way better parent than I am. Her room is usually pretty clean. But like I said, we've been dejunking, and I've found so many clothes that have been saved from Emma, that suddenly I have an overload of clothing, and not enough drawer space. I might just have to start using the closet shelves, which I don't like to do because the drawers keep things to a manageable level, and the closet could just add up and up, and I don't want to go there.

So for now, things will just have to stay a little messy. Not to this extent, of course, I do have my standards, but they certainly won't be as organized as I'd like. Thankfully, and I never thought I'd say this, Maggie goes through about 3 outfits a day, so there is always a big pile of "dirty" clothes, which helps to keep the drawer space accessible.

post signature

Monday, November 2, 2009

Weenies of Hallow

Here you go. The required Halloween pictures.

Emma was a ghost. Maggie was a witch. Gretta was a princess. They were all freezing and ornery.

Aaaand the group shot. Noel and Gary totally had their yard decorated like crazy people. Gretta had to plug her ears to walk up to the front door because of the scary music playing. There was even a fog machine. Sort of puts my one little Halloween decoration to shame. But the yard makes for a great backdrop for the pictures. Good job, guys!

The kids all scored loads of candy, with a noticeable absence of Snickers this year. What is that all about? No Snickers on Halloween? My mom would have been so disappointed. And so am I.

After doing our door to door duty, we met up at Cottrell's for a party. It was so fun, and the kids had a blast. The food was delicious, of course, and despite a little end of night drama, it all came out okay, I think. It's good to have good friends.

post signature

Friday, October 30, 2009

Two Fer

Today you get a two fer post. Lucky you.

I just couldn't let this story get away from me. It will forever be documented on the internets.

Can I just say we have the world's lamest tooth fairy? She must have problems flying in the rain, because she can't seem to make it to our house on the nights it rains. Sometimes she can't make it on clear nights, either, so she must have night blindness or something. Poor tooth fairy.

And poor Maggie. Her tooth fell out, literally fell out into my hand, yesterday before school, and she was so excited to have the tooth fairy come last night. Now she's all disappointed, and I have to call our tooth fairy directory and ask to have a new fairy assigned to us because ours keeps letting my kids down. So obviously, this isn't the first time she hasn't made it.

I have a feeling this lame tooth fairy is going to end up costing more than just a tooths worth. You know, punitive damages and pain and suffering and all that legal mumbo jumbo.

Does your tooth fairy ever let your kids down? Does she suffer from night blindness or rain issues like mine?

post signature

Fun For Friday

All I have to say, is that while I'm reading this, I feel smart. And that's priceless.

Thanks, Mike, for leaving it behind so it could take up every second of my free time. It will be finding its way back to you soon.

Happy Friday!

post signature

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Baking Blunders

About a week and a half ago, Emma had her Stake Activity Days activity at our Stake Center. Since I'm the Ward leader, I was in charge of getting all 6 girls there and back, and entertaining them during the 45 minute drive each way. It wasn't an easy task. But we survived.

One perk was that during the activity, they had the girls assemble cookies in a jar. You know, where you add the flour, sugars, salt, and chocolate chips in a cute little mason jar? Yeah, those. You've probably received them for Christmas from neighbors or friends. They're cute, and I always thought it would be a fun idea for neighbor gifts. After this, I'm rethinking that idea.

So we made the cookies. I followed the directions and everything. It wasn't pretty. I don't know if the recipe was skewed to fit in the jars, or if they just didn't think about it too much, figuring nobody would really go home and make them.

I did.

And here's what I ended up with. These cookies are so flat and gross. They are burned on the edges and raw in the center. And they were nasty. Yes, I tasted them. I wasn't about to let an ugly cookie go to waste. I don't discriminate on looks. But they tasted as good as they looked.

So I improvised. Not being a baker by nature, I had to call upon my 4H skills from years past, and dig deep. I added a cup of flour to thicken up the batter. Still looked weird, so I added some oatmeal. After mixing it for what seemed like an eternity, it finally came together and resembled cookie dough.

I baked them. They looked pretty good.

See? Better. They were fluffier, not raw in the center, and the edges were nice and golden brown.

But they tasted like crap.

See, you should never discriminate based on looks alone.

So I'll stick with my own cookie recipe. One that never fails, and makes a million cookies. I should know to never trust my baking abilities to the hands of strangers. Never again, I say! Nevah!

post signature