Friday, April 30, 2010

#4 - Inclement weather.


Now I'm not talking severe inclement weather because that is just no fun at all. I am just talking about the kind of "really? this is weird." weather that happens along in random fashion.

Like when you're in Hawaii and it is a bright sunny day and then out of no where you feel raindrops on your shoulders. You look up, there aren't any clouds to speak of, and you say to yourself, "Is that rain I just felt?" And then a few minutes later - it's raining - right in the middle of the sunshine.

And like the summer rain storms in upstate New York when you leave for the day without an umbrella but then mid-way through your activities, seriously dark clouds roll in, the thunder claps so loud it makes children turn, screaming toward their mommies, and the bullets of rain clap down on the sidewalks so hard that the raindrops seem to bounce. And then once you get yourself under some shelter, it looks like sheets of water coming down. Very cool rainstorms in upstate NY.

Last week we weren't sure if they were going to cancel Elliott's track meet because it had been raining a little bit and the skies were cloudy. They didn't. So I went. Good thing I brought an umbrella, and my sister showed up with blankets. Besides being rather fridgid, toward the end of the meet the clouds darkened ... deep grey, heavy, looming. They had dropped a little bit of moisture but once a few rather long, bright lightening bolts and rolls of thunder showed up in the distance, the officials decided it was gonna be grim before too long so they announced that the current event would be the last of the day, and everyone started to "close up shop."

Within 5 minutes it was pouring. Pouring like it does in New York, not Utah. The coach was yelling "get on the bus!" Elliott and I ran to our car, laughing the whole way there. We were absolutely soaking wet by the time we ran across the field - and I had an umbrella!

But with the amount of wind too, it was sideways rain. My jeans were drenched and Elliott's hair was ringing wet. We loved it. It was SO random, how could we not? I mean that downpour came on like a flash flood. The inside of my car doors were also dripping by the time we jumped in and shut them.

It was a good time ... not so good in the event of a wedding though, or a family reunion. I get that.

So this morning Elliott opened my bedroom door and said, "Mom!? It is WAY white outside!"

Tomorrow is May Day - really? That's okay. Smile.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

#3 - Cute handwriting.


I'm pretty sure just about everyone in my family has nice penmanship. My dad is a designer, studied architecture in college and has beautiful cursive. My mother has always been artistic - she illustrated her year book in high school, painted, crafted, is an interior designer and had such cute handwriting that I used to ask her to please write my notes for school in cursive because it looked more like a mom's writing (and I didn't want the office ladies to think I had written my own note).

My older sister also designs and creates and arranges anything and everything. She ties the most beautiful bows you have ever seen - her writing is so precise and consistant it almost looks like it could have been typed.

My brother graduated with a Fine Arts degree in Illustration. (Enough said, right?) I have asked him to label things for me because his writing is so nice. My favorite "guy" writing is when they write in all capitals. Drew writes in all capitals.

I have two younger sisters who you can tell just by looking at the way their little girls are dressed that they must be artsy ... they are. Their homes are darling, their holiday decor should be on a home tour, and they both write equally as cute as each other.

Then the second generation came and we have lots of girls ... and they all have pretty cute writing too. But the girl we have crowned the "Queen of Cutest Handwriting" is cousin Paige. Everyone has told Paige that her writing is so adorable they should make a font out of it.

Well what do you know? Technology finally has given us the capability to do that, so when Paige got married a while ago I gave her a certificate to send in to get a disk to download so her handwriting can be a font on the computer .... pretty cool.

I remember when Creative Memories first came out and scrapbooking was all the rage, one of the things the consultants used to tell you about scrapbooking was to be sure and write in your books as well. Having your handwriting documented was important for posterity too. When my sisters and I would look at sample scrapbooks in stores we always pointed out how darling some of the writing was.

I have probably put together about 10 scrapbooks and maybe 2 of them are labeled. 'Cause you know how some days are good handwriting days and some days aren't? Yeah ... I kept waiting for that really good handwriting day. (I need a font too!)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

#2 - Piles of laundry.


I know ... Piles of laundry???? But by piles of laundry, I mean clean folded piles of laundry. Maybe that would technically make them stacks of laundry ... piles would be the state of dirty laundry. But I don't even mind dirty piles either because that is the before to get to the after. Like knowing the bitter to taste the sweet? Okay, I'm reaching with that one.

Doing the laundry is my favorite household chore - it is still a chore, but I don't mind doing it. For me there is a great sense of accomplishment when all the laundry is done. I know (again) sometimes it seems like it will never be done, but it gets done if you set aside one day for laundry. While everyone's clothes are still on their backs, you can empty the laundry baskets, take the whole day and by nighttime it can all be done - in theory anyway, right?

Years ago when I was in a BUNKO group, our table was talking about chores and what we liked the least. Almost every other woman said they would clean toilets over laundry any day. Not me. They couldn't believe I actually liked laundry. One of them said, "I would pay you to do my laundry."

I said, "Okay."

She got wide eyed and said, "Oh. No. You don't understand how much laundry I have. It has taken over my bedroom, the kids bedrooms and is spilling out into the hallway! Our house is on the market and it is a real sore spot between me and my husband."

I said, "Bring it over. I'll do it for you."

Again, "Oh. No. I bet I have 17 loads right now. I would be embarrassed."

"Bring it over. I will get it done for you."

She did, and I think it was 18 loads that first time. But she got caught up and as long as her house was on the market, and while she was getting settled into her new house, I did her family's laundry. I liked it, she loved it.

Word of mouth advertising - and I started to do a few other family's laundry too. Now because I like doing it so much, I take a lot of pride in my laundry. One of the other mom's sons asked her if I used a folding form (like they do in department stores) when I folded their t-shirts. Another mom's daughter told her that she only wanted me to wash her jeans from now on because they come out "so much better."

Just last weekend when I had Delanie and her family here, her daughter, Annelise said, "I want you to teach me how to do your laundry because it always smells so good." Delanie refers to me as the Laundry Queen. (Nice to know I am the queen of something.)

My two main "tips" are to (1) fold your clothes right when the dryer stops so they are still warm. That way they aren't wrinkled and the folding GETS DONE and (2) I hang tons of stuff. I can't be specific about what because I hang everything from skirts and sweaters to jeans and t-shirts. It prevents fading, shrinking, wearing out and is a fabulous air freshener for your whole house!

A friend walked into my house one day and said, "You have to make sure it's a laundry day if you ever have an open house."

My two best laundry friends are Tide and Downey.


Monday, April 26, 2010

#1 - Cotton balls.


When I recently posted my 100th blog entry, it reminded me of my original list of happy little things. When I first had the idea for my blog, I really did just grab a pen and paper and make a list of random things that popped into my head that I liked. And I mean random. I got to 80 pretty quick and laid down in my bed that night thinking this is gonna be fun.

I looked at that list again today to see how many of those original things have actually made it to my blog and was surprised that I had only blogged about 33 of them. How could that be?

So I decided that I would take the next 10 blog posts and make them about the 10 most random things on that list.

So #1 is cotton balls. And I think it is so funny that just a couple of days ago I came across a blog where the girl actually pointed out how much she hated cotton balls. Say what? How do you hate a cotton ball?

I LOVE having my jar of cotton balls handy. And I always make sure that I tuck a few away in my toiletries bag when I take a trip too because chances are, there won't be one handy when I need one.

Have you ever tried to take mascara off of your eyes with toilet paper? How about removing nail polish with anything but a cotton ball? It isn't easy ... the tissue just flakes and is hard and doesn't really do the job right.

But a cotton ball - oh yeah, it'll come through for you. When I am too lazy to actually wash all of my face at night (Sophie can't believe that her mother gets in bed with make up on), and my eyes are itchy, I take two cotton balls with a little soap on them and gently rub my eyes. If they don't do a thorough job with that first rub, I rinse 'em and do it again. They don't fall apart ... and they stay soft.

On Sunday night we were watching that new game show called "A Minute to Win it" and one of the things the contestant had to do was put some vaseline on the end of her nose and then pick up a cotton ball from a bowl with it (no hands) and walk from one bowl, several feet away, to another bowl and drop the cotton ball in. If she got 5 cotton balls from one bowl to the other on the end of her nose within a minute she would win and move to the next level.

You KNOW I thought of that blogger and how she would NOT be able to do that ... but even for a chance at a million dollars?

I don't know. But that would have been an easy one for me.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Snips and Snails ...


Snips and snails and puppy dog tails ... and frogs, dirt, rats and snakes. Elliott just couldn't get enough of them. Today is this little guy's birthday. He is 17, and when I first found out I was expecting a boy I cried. I knew how to do girls, not boys. But as a mother, you learn to adapt.

Elliott was truly my best baby. He ate well, slept well and never spit up so he always smelled good and you just wanted to snuggle him. I vividly remember heading to the hospital to have him too.

Contractions started in the early evening for me. I labored all night, puttering around the house, getting things done as we do when we're nesting. I showered, packed for the hospital, was fairly calm during the process, until I walked into my hospital room and sat down on the bed to be checked. I just broke down and cried. The nurse said, "What's the matter sweetie?"

And as I blubbered, I said, "I am SO afraid of going through this again. You guys never give me an epideral and I am so scared of the pain that's coming!"

She calmly said, "We can give you an epideral. Don't worry. Let's just get you settled in and I will check and see how far you are dilated." (Famous last words.)

So she did and I was pretty much ready to go. She said, "You know, if we just break your water, you will have this baby in no time." They broke my water.

The problem at that point is that THAT is when hard labor sets in and you think you just might die. (I had had all of my babies at that same hospital in Anaheim, where nurse mid-wives do the deliveries and they like natural births. Three natural births were enough for me and I wanted an EPIDERAL through this one!!!!!!!)

But NOOOOO! He was ready to come. It took him another couple of hours but then all 8 lbs. 13 oz. of him arrived that morning, and I became a little boy's mom. And I had to learn how to be a little boy's mom because little boys are so different from little girls.

He taught me patience that I didn't even realize I would need. He acquired the nick-name, E-man, at a fairly young age since he had the energy and stamina of a super hero. And I couldn't figure out how he did some of the things he did, so he must have had some super hero powers.

I used to tell him it was a good thing he was as cute as he was because it helped save him on most days. But he absolutely held my heart in his hands. I was in love with him.

And then Elliott grew up ... and he has become a pleasant, mellow, polite and sensitive young man. Who knew that could happen?

(And I just know he'll take care of me in my old age.)

Thursday, April 22, 2010



I have always gotten the biggest kick out of little coincidences. (Well, and big ones too actually.) Tonight I was talking with my sister Leslie about Facebook friends. She casually mentioned that she thought she had around 120. HEY! I have 120 friends (and the only reason I know that is because I'm new to Facebook, so I keep track) and I also just noticed that I have 120 blog posts! How groovy is that? 'Cause now - after this post and when I log back into Facebook, they won't be the same anymore. I love that.

The other night when I went to IN-N-OUT my total came to $3.21. I reached into my ashtray where I keep my change, (do you think kids today even realize that is why we have that little compartment in our cars) and I just randomly happen to pull out two dimes and a penny. I got such a kick out of that and no one else was in the car to share my "hey!" I wanted to tell the girl at the window but I didn't think she would find it the least bit worthy of mentioning, so I didn't.

Another time I was with a date on December 12th and we went to McDonald's. (No he wasn't a cheap date - I love McDonald's and am sure that I suggested it) and our total was $12.12. I think I went on and on about that one for days ... you get it right?

Here's another one, but it's much longer and I hope I explain it okay. Several years ago, Leslie and I were flying from Boston to Nantucket on a rather small airplane and we got quite chatty with the flight attendant. Before we left the plane, he offered us two buddy passes so that we could fly back to Boston the next day rather than take the ferry and then the bus (nice, nice man) because we had tickets to see Donny Osmond in Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat.

It was also the first week that Rosie O'Donnell had her talk show on the air (now you know how long ago this was) and Donny Osmond was going to be one of her first week's guests. Since I am also an Osmond fan (as I wrote about here), I was anxious to see Donny on her show. And, kinda cool that we were seeing him the same week in person ... right? ... it was ... kinda ... yeah?

Sidenote: What I loved about Rosie back then was that her fame was still fairly new so she really did have so much fun inviting celebrities on that she loved and got to meet for the first time. I used to think she had my dream job. I always wanted a talk show too. (But that is totally another story.)

Her very favorites were Tom Cruise and Barbra Streisand - holy cow ... I had forgotten about Barbra! I wonder if you could youtube that and watch it, it was really sweet, even if you don't like Rosie anymore. (This was all before she became so controversial, by the way.)

I actually saw Rosie once at a comedy club in Pasadena just after she had been on Star Search and laughed my head off. In fact, I was laughing so hard I missed some of her jokes. I mean, the tears were streaming down my cheeks. My ex-husband didn't get it. I remember he looked at me very confused and said, "Boy, maybe she's more of a girl's comedian because I don't find her nearly as funny as you do."

I became a fan.

In fact, I called Leslie the next day and made her listen to the whole routine. Only being delivered by me of course, instead of Rosie. I was laughing so hard as I repeated her jokes that I'm not sure if Leslie was laughing because she thought the jokes were funny too or if she was just laughing because I was laughing hysterically and that's just what you do because laughing is so contagious, you can't help it.

(End of long sidenote.)

So Leslie and I flew back to Boston. We loved Joseph! Thought Donny was the greatest thing ever. We felt so proud ... we can.

But we didn't get out of Boston that night. The fog rolled in ... and when its really foggy over the island, they don't let flights in at night. But that was okay, we didn't have anything pressing on our schedule for the next day and they were going to put us up in a hotel room so we were fine with that. Oh. Wait. Except we flew over on buddy passes so there was no obligation from the airline to put us "non-paying" people up in a hotel.

C'mon!!!! Really? Oh noooooo.

We started checking around for hotel rates - okay, in Boston? Yeah. There was really nothing that was close by that was less than $200 a night. And we had had to save up in the first place to get to Nantucket anyway, so there was no way we were going to pay that much for a hotel room. So we decided that we would just hang out in the airport. How bad could it be?

(I am busting up now just thinking about this horrific night!) Oh my. It was awful. First of all, because it was the big bad Boston airport and my sister has always been a little bit of a fraidy cat, we both couldn't close our eyes at the same time. She insisted that one of us would rest and the other one had to stay awake to watch out for our purses and our persons. (Who knows what someone might have done to us had we both been asleep at the same time!)

Kay, we were dressed up ... and in sandals. But it was FREEZING in the airport. And you know how fidgity you get when you are SUPER tired but can't get comfortable and you just want to crawl RIGHT OUT OF YOUR SKIN? Well that's how it was for us ... ALL NIGHT LONG! I seriously think they stopped the clocks because that night had to have lasted at least 27 hours. (It wasn't worth getting the buddy pass.)

So we finally dragged our sorry little tired you know whats into our parents house half way through the next (vacation) day and dropped into bed. It wasn't until the next day, when I was watching Rosie on her first week of her talk show that I realized we HAD MISSED Donny the day before!!!!! And what made it worse was that we missed Donny saying whatever it was he said that upset Rosie enough that every late night talk show was talking about it and how uncool it was of Donny, and how inconsiderate for Rosie, and how Rosie used to be a fan, but now .... ?


So here's what he said ... He was telling Rosie about a concert he had recently done. In fact, it was here in Utah, in Provo, at the Stadium of Fire show on the 4th of July. He was explaining how he had wanted to make a really grand entrance. So he entered the stadium on a helicopter - not IN, but ON. He was basically standing on the landing gear singing as it landed onto the field.

So Rosie, listening intently to her teen idol talk about this amazing stunt, very sweetly says, "Oh my gosh, Donny! That sounds so dangerous. I would have done it for you."

And Donny, very arrogantly, as he picks up his mug of water to take a sip says to Rosie, "Oh that's okay. I don't think the helicopter could hold that much weight."

Silence. Wait, did he really just say that?

Yup, he did, and Rosie wasn't sure what to say next. But what she did say was along the lines of, "Um, I think you just insulted me. I'm pretty sure you just called me fat. I have loved you since I was a kid, I am trying to be nice because I'm so worried about your safety during this stunt that I offer to do it for you and you call me FAT?!"

Oh Donny, Donny, Donny. Open mouth and insert foot. And the wrath of that comment went on for days ... weeks ... and months.

Wow, I really didn't even intend for this post to be about all of this, but since it was, are you asking yourself, and the co-inky-dink here would be what now?

The co-inky-dink here is that I was at that concert he talked about. Smile.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My bleeding heart.


This is my bleeding heart bush. I have only one in my front planter. And it is my very favorite thing in early Spring. In fact, it fascinates me.

Just a few days ago, it wasn't even there. No one passing by would think there was something this beautiful ready to grow.

But grow it does ... even in less than ideal soil. It comes up behind my Aspen trees and surprises me every year. I really do forget that I have one until it shows up and reminds me why I planted one in the first place.

When I was first married, we lived in Southern California. And I really didn't know much about horticulture. In fact, I knew nothing. And living in Southern California, guess what? You don't really have to know much. You plant what looks pretty at the nursery, make sure your sprinklers hit it, and it grows.

I can remember having a Ficus tree on my front porch and cyclamens in pots by my front door one Christmas. Leslie came to visit that year and said she couldn't believe I still had flowers by my door.

Then I moved to Utah ... 14 years ago, and am still trying to figure out how to take care of the perennials I have planted. And it astounds me (astound is a rather bold word here, but truly, it astounds me) that every spring, what once looked completely dead and hopeless, turns around and brings forth new growth and color where there once was none.

I think it's a miracle. And God is good. And it reminds me of His goodness and glory ... because that miracle is a gift for all of us. And a sign of hope and renewal. And we can learn something from that lesson in nature.

Monday, April 19, 2010



I am beginning to think that the blogging world has drastically increased the sales of cupcakes. I think this because several (and I do mean several) of the blogs that I follow have mentioned cupcakes a time or two. My blog has mentioned cupcakes a time or two! (Well, technically just mentioned my favorite little sweet shop that happens to sell cupcakes among other things.)

In fact, when Haley and I were recently back in Tennessee, we had just a little bit of time to kill before I had to catch my flight home so we thought we would drive around Nashville to get a feel for the city since we had never been there. Guess what ONE store happened to jump out at us and we just had to stop? Gigi's cupcakes. It was too cute not to go in!

Just last weekend in Seattle they held a cupcake convention. I thought surely that was unprecedented! A cupcake convention????

But when I googled it (and realized it was called "Cupcake Camp") I found that it was not the first of its kind. There had been one in NYC and San Francisco in 2009 as well. And you can even find out how to have your very own Cupcake Camp in your own town. Who the heck knew?

I am leaning toward thinking that this cupcake craze is just a really fun and cute trend ... I know that the cupcake shop owners don't want to think that, so let's hope for their sake, it isn't.

And in the meantime, we can all still blog about the cuteness and yumminess of a cupcake.('Cause they really are quite cute and yummy.)


Friday, April 16, 2010



Today is the opening day of the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point. About a month ago my friend Vicki said that I should start getting myself ready for a 5k run they were having at Thanksgiving Point - you would run along the trails through the tulips.

This comment from Vicki struck me a little odd because, well, mainly, I don't run. Ever.

She said, "But it would be so beautiful!!!! You should do it."

To which I replied, "I would rather pay the admission fee and leisurely walk along the sidewalks and look at the beautiful tulips." And so I never did do anything to get myself ready to run.

But I do love tulips and although I have said, "This is the year I am going to plant some bulbs!" for the last 12 or so years, I have yet to plant any tulip bulbs at my house. Sad.

I was at Walmart just before Easter and they had little round planters of tulip bulbs for sale. I thought that would be a great way to cheat and finally get some bulbs in my ground. I thought I could just dig a hole big enough to put the ready made grouping in the ground and call it good. So I bought two of them.

I had them sitting on either side of my front door, waiting for a nice day to dig my little holes. And while waiting for a nice day to come, it started to rain and rain and rain. So I moved the planters out in front of my steps to get watered by the rain ... and then a sad thing happened.

I drove into my driveway the other day and noticed that one of the planters had been moved onto my grass. Excuse me? Who did that?

I got out of my car to move it back. And as I approached the pot, I knew right away who had done it ... a deer. Sigh. Well - I couldn't really get mad about it (since I did do a post about liking deer in my yard - here). So, I had spent $8 on a snack for a deer. I guess that's okay. And what's one more year without tulips in my yard?

I'll just have to enjoy them at Thanksgiving Point!

(Before the snack) ............ (After the snack)


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood ...


I can remember thinking once that I could almost never leave my little city. And by that I mean, I could stay self contained in Draper. I was driving with one of my children and we had a conversation about it. (I thought it was Sophie, but she didn't remember having that conversation so I knew it couldn't have been Sophie since she remembers everything.)

It was at a time in my life, and not too terribly long ago, that I was thinking of being a semi-recluse. Do you ever have days where you feel like that? (Or even weeks or months?) Times when you just wish no one needed anything from you? When you could just exist within your own little few mile radius?

So my child and I, which ever one it was, were driving up Bangeter Hwy toward our neighborhood and I said, "You know. We really do have everything we need right here. We have grocery stores, clothing stores. There are restaurants and specialty stores. There is a pool, and a gym (not that I go, but there is one or two if you do go).

Our church is right down the street, and my office is only 8 minutes away from home. I know most of the Draper City police department (granted, due to unfortunate circumstances, but still), which comes in handy when your daughter gets stopped for speeding and the officer looks at her license, sees her name and address and asks, "Who is your mom?" And she answers, "Polly." And then he says, "Get out of here." And off she drives, without a ticket.

It made me feel safe and secure that day, as we were driving home. I thought the only thing we needed was a movie theater and then I didn't ever need to leave my little town.

(On one of our visits to Nantucket Island, my sister Leslie and I were in the car heading to my parent's house. The streets were dark, the town had closed down for the night, and a police officer was walking down Main Street checking the doorknobs of the shops making sure that they were locked. Leslie said, "Wow. This really is Mayberry here isn't it?")

I like grocery shopping at Albertson's too. Except that now it is called Fresh Market - which I don't love, since I am a creature of habit and am not happy that they changed things up at the place I have been getting my groceries for the past 14 years. But I'll adapt. At least the workers are the same. And they know me.

That's the kind of familiarity that is comforting to have in the place you live.

Like earlier today when I walked into the local Kinko's with several boxes and one of the workers saw me approaching the counter and said, "Shrink wrap?" And I said, "Yup! And I love that you remember that."

And then driving home from Kinko's and passing my friend John who was walking home from work. I picked him up and gave him a ride home.

I love all that ... it makes you feel like it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood ... it really does.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Facebook ... maybe.

So, I finally joined Facebook yesterday. I guess time will tell if it ends up being one of my happy little things, for real. Because right now it is just a little tiny bit of a frustrating thing. But that is certainly the nature of most beasts right? Most things are frustrating when they're new and you don't know what the heck you are doing. (That's a lesson I try to teach Elliott all the time, only with him I always use the example of how proficient at video games he is because of the amount of time he spends "learning" how.)

I spent the evening last night with my sister-in-law, Kim, who is a Facebook expert. She was trying to teach me the ins and outs and the hints, and the should do's and not to do's. I think she might have gotten a tad bit annoyed with me ... I try to "get it" right away, and sometimes I do - but sometimes, I don't. I wasn't getting some of the stuff she was saying.

So tonight, as I was trying to get some photos downloaded and in the big space where I see other people's pictures (because I couldn't figure out how to get mine there - they would only show up in an album, but I didn't really want to make an album, I just wanted the pictures I uploaded - it is uploaded, right? I called it downloaded earlier because that makes more sense to me - I just wanted those pictures to be as a little display when someone looked at my profile), rather than trouble Kim again, I decided to call McCall, who also knows a lot about Facebook and computer stuff.

McCall was trying to explain how only pictures that other people "tag" you in show up in that space. (Which would explain why there are three rather silly pictures of me from my BYU Hawaii days in that space.) The pictures that I upload need to be put in a photo album and then people can open that up. Then she went on to explain that the album called "Profile Pictures" are all of the photos you have ever used as your profile picture ... which people change all the time.

I don't love that idea - but once I got it, I guess I had to be okay with it. At least I can stop trying to figure out how to do something that really can't be done - according to the Facebook rules!

But I was a little proud of myself for grabbing pictures from all over my computer and getting them to where they needed to be. I kind of figured that out by myself. Sometimes I DO try to figure things out by myself ... and that lesson came from my friend, Sherry, who I often refer to as my Office Guru.

The last time I had an office job, the computer at my desk was big and beige (as were all the other computers in the office). The screen was black and the type was white and there was no such thing as the internet.

So when the time came for me to get another office job - many, MANY years later, I was fortunate enough to have Miss Sherry as my office manager and exceptional tech teacher.

And I know that Sherry surely must have gotten just a tad bit annoyed with me as well, given the fact that I was extremely duh-heady back then (although she really never showed it), she was as patient as a saint. And even now, 5 years later, when I call her at her other job for help with my computer woes, she is always happy to help me. And if she can't, she finds someone who can and then gets back to me.

So this is a BIG shout out to Kim and McCall ... and a really BIG shout out for Sherry (who is thinking she's glad she doesn't have a Facebook right about now because it's bad enough Polly bugs her during the day for help, let alone at night too!) :)

Monday, April 12, 2010


Spring has been trying SO hard to come to Utah. Today it is supposed to be nice, low 60's, before another little cold front blows in ... but blowing it is! The wind is howling outside, flags are flying straight out from their poles, and the little daffodils that finally showed themselves are nodding fiercely in the wind.

So I decided to borrow some "Spring" today, because I need some right now ...


A Prayer in Spring

By Robert Frost

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.

Friday, April 9, 2010



I just had to post this picture ... I love it. And I love her little peach fuzz hair!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Matching dresses.


McCall made a comment on her blog about matching Easter dresses. She wrote: "I used to just love getting a new Easter dress ... and until I was about 12 and started to complain ... my Easter dress always matched Haley and Chloe's."

Now as her mother, how could I possibly resist posting this picture after reading that? There are many, many more pictures of these little girls in matching dresses, but this was a particularly glorious Easter for "da mama." I thought they were out of this world adorable!

(Disclaimer about Chloe's hair: She had just woken up from a nap and we dragged her out of the car to get a picture. We also pulled her pacifier out of her mouth - notice the rash under her lip - and she wasn't real happy about any of it.)

I don't think mothers really dress their girls alike anymore, but for a REALLY long time, we did. (I have pictures of me dressed just like my sister too.) It was mostly on holidays, namely Christmas and Easter.

By the time I had the three girls in a row it was getting really expensive to buy them all new dresses and tights and shoes at the same time. But it was also one of those gotta do things - so one Easter I decided that I would try to save some money and make their dresses. But of course, I couldn't just go to a regular fabric store. NO! I had to go to Calico Corners to find fabric that would be different and more luxurious that cost $12.99 a yard instead of $4.99.

So that particular year, I went ahead and bought the $12.99 a yard fabric (times three dresses) and the zippers and patterns and thread. I also had to buy a sewing machine, since the one I had wasn't really any good and was making me a little crazy during the project.

I remember staying up on Easter-eve until about 3:00 am, trying to get those darn dresses done in time for church on Easter Sunday morning. I also remember being sore, tired and cranky by the time I got through.

All totalled, I had spent about $500 getting those 3 little dresses made.

There was a lesson learned that day, and one I am going to share with any of you young mothers who think it might be less expensive to make something ... it isn't. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

Definitely do the math. And take into consideration the frustration of shopping for the supplies, redoing countless seams, having them not turn out exactly as you had hoped, and the countless hours of time you spent doing it - when you could have just gone to the store, died over the cuteness of a dress on the hanger, and swiped your debit card.

Seriously - learn that lesson by someone else's experience, not your own.

(And as a side note: These weren't even the dresses I was talking about. This was the year before ... I hadn't learned my lesson yet because after I was frustrated enough with the project that year, I enlisted the help of my sister, Leslie, to finish the sewing. She actually enjoys sewing and is good at it. And I was expecting baby #4 in a couple of weeks and had had it. The lesson came the following year, when I didn't enlist any help.)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010



This is a little ode to Excedrin PM, a new friend of mine. Last night I went and got my taxes done. It wasn't pretty. The amount that I thought I would be getting as a return, I now owe to the government, plus an additional couple of hundred dollars. I was sad. I had a headache.

I called on the help of my new friend, Excedrin PM, and he totally pulled through for me. I went to bed earlier than usual and slept really, really well.

I think more people take Tylenol PM as an occasional sleep aid. I have tried it a few times too. Sometimes it seems to work, other times, not so much.

But my drug of choice, as a rule, is always Excedrin. Love it. Need it. Gotta have it.

I think it's a family thing. Sadly, we are a family who gets frequent headaches. My dad has always taken Excedrin. In fact, one of the things you can always count on from my dad is that he will have an Excedrin for you in his pocket.

For YEARS (and we're not sure how many because it has been so many) by dad has carried a little tiny tin that says Excedrin on the outside and it is always full (it's like magic - it never empties. I think each time a pill leaves the tin, another one just magically appears.) Sometime last year (well, one of the times) I asked my dad for an Excedrin. He had one, but not in the tin. He said he couldn't find it and had no idea where it could have gone.

That's not like my dad. He keeps extremely good care of his belongings ... and that one was like a family heirloom, an antique. It was a sad day.

Then on my parents last trip out to Utah, I asked my dad for an Excedrin. He reached in his pocket and pulled out the tin. GLORY BE!!!! What? How? When?

My dad told me that it had showed up in a pair of his work pants that he had left at Sundance and then went home to New York. Whew. That was a happy day indeed.

Since Excedrin works so well for me as a rule, I wondered why I hadn't been trying Excedrin PM all this time instead of the Tylenol. My brother had said, "Isn't Excedrin PM sort of an oxy moron? How could it be a sleep aid when one of the ingredients is caffeine?"

I don't know the answer to that, but it worked for me last night. And it always works the best for me on my headaches, and back aches and any kind of ache my body might be feeling.

It's good to have 'friends' you can count on ...

Monday, April 5, 2010


It's beginning to look a lot like ... but it isn't December.
These are my little hyacinths, covered in snow yesterday morning.


But inside ... it was definitely Easter at our house.

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As much as I love the snow, and I really do, I can admit that it is a bit strange to wake up to freshly fallen snow on Easter morning. And quite a bit of it too.

Delanie and her family are staying with us this weekend from Los Angeles. Their youngest boy, Taylor, took a look out the window and just said, "Whoa." Then he and his sister Carolyn had a blast outside throwing snowballs and making tracks in the snow out back. This never happens where they live. :)

It was General Conference this weekend too. I love when it's General Conference weekend. There really seems to be a little bit something special in the air around "these parts." Local stores have special sales and ladies night on Saturday since there are so many visitors from out of town. And just having Conference on in your home or car radio on Saturday and Sunday seems somehow a little comforting and uplifting.

I love hearing the general authorities of the church speak to us and share their inspiration and wisdom about how to better ourselves and enrich our lives by coming unto Christ. This special Easter session was particularly focused on the Savior and his atoning sacrifice for us.

Several of the talks were focused on motherhood too, and what a great responsibilty and privilege that really is. I love being a mother. I love my children.

I loved time this weekend with my extended family too ... lots of yummy food, cute cousins everywhere and conversation with my siblings and their families.

Easter was definitely a happy little time for me - hope your's was too!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Joshua Bell.


I read this story the other day. I want to always remember the message:

In Washington DC, at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, a man with a violin started to play. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that over 1,000 people went through that station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip; a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk. A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old little boy. His mother tagged him along, hurriedly, but the child stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard and the boy continued to walk by, turning his head to watch the violinist the whole time. This action was repeated several times by other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played only 7 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk by at their normal pace. He collected $32.17 that morning for his efforts. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it, and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the finest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a 1713 Stadivarius violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Three days earlier, Joshua had played to a full house at Boston's Symphony Hall, where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

True story.

A writer for the Washington Post named Gene Weingarten set this up as "an experiment in context, perception and priorities - as well as an unblinking assessment of public taste: In a banal setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?"

This is how Weingarten described the crux of the experiment:

Each passerby had a quick choice to make,
one familiar to commuters in any urban area where the occasional
street performer is part of the cityscape:
Do you stop and listen? Do you hurry past with a blend of guilt
and irritation, aware of your cupidity but annoyed
by the unbidden demand on your time and your wallet?
Do you throw in a buck, just to be polite?
Does your decision change if he's really bad? What if he's really good?
Do you have time for beauty? Shouldn't you?
What's the moral mathematics of the moment?

(The Washington Post won a Pulitzer in the feature writing category for Gene Weingarten's story about his experiment.)

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Extra closet space.


I saw this photo over at rockstar diaries ... (she said the source was "unknown" but when I clicked on it it said "country living closet" - so know we know.)

What a FABULOUS idea!

Your own little tucked away, put whatever you want in there space.

Clearly a very well thought out, designed space.

There's lots of functionality - like the file cabinets and peg board and shelving.

And all the girlie prettiness too - like the wallpaper, fabric boxes and flowers.

And everyone has a double wide closet to spare in their house, right?


Oh dang.

But still ... such a great idea for when you do! :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My April Fool's baby.


Last night I was trying to get Sophie to clean her room. In an effort to encourage her (or guilt trip her into being more productive) I said, "It really is not too much to ask you know. 15 years ago at this time I was laboring to bring you into this world. All I am asking is that you clean your room."

Her response, "Mom!!!!!!!!" And then she smiled really big and cleaned her room.

Sophie was one of my favorite babies ever. McCall said the same thing about her just the other day. She said, "I loved Sophie as a baby."

And when I am remembering Sophie as a baby, this is the picture I think of. Because one of my favorite things about her when she was just a tiny thing was when she would wake up from her naps. (I just want to pick her up and squeeze that little girl!!!!)

She was always so happy to be awake again. Most of the time she would talk to herself or make little sounds until I came in and got her out of her crib. At this particular age she would stand up by the railing and do her best to get mom's attention ... but not crying, just chatter.

(I think it was shortly after this age that the first thing she would do after a nap would be to bring her empty bottle with her to the fridge, pull with all her might to get the door open, point, and say, "Kiet Coke." I knew then it was time to stop keeping diet coke in the fridge. Pretty sure the pediatricians wouldn't be too happy about that in a bottle.)

Sophie was smaller than my other 4 babies too, which made it kind of fun for me. She seemed a little more dainty, a little more sweet. She was the perfect size and softness too - with the perfect amount of baby hair (still has the best hair in the family). She was "practically perfect" in many ways ... and some people think she still is. (I am one of them.)

Sophie has been my child who has been the most stubborn when she wants to be, and had just a few fits to beat all fits (unlike the others), but I think that just might serve her well as she grows up. She asked me the other day what job I think she would be good at, and my honest answer was "anything you wanted to do, you would be good at."

After I gave it a little more thought, I think the perfect job for Sophie would be as a personal assistant - to anyone. Her memory is remarkable (she remembers all of the family factoids even when it isn't relevant or you wish she wouldn't), she is like a walking calendar/dictionary/fact sheet. She is usually pleasant to be around and seems just happy to be here most of the time.

So 15 years ago, after spending most of the day in labor, I begged the nurses at the hospital to get this baby out before midnight! (As if they had some control over that.) I didn't want to have an April Fool's baby. But I did.

I had Sophie at around 12:10 am, April 1st, 1995. It was a really happy day for me!

Happy Birthday Little Did!

I love you! xo