Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A woman's expo.

Last week, one of the hospitals in Utah County was holding a Women's Expo and Stephanie Nielson of  Nie Nie Dialogues was the guest speaker, so McCall and I decided to go.  I told McCall that I would pick her up from her house and we could head on down to American Fork together.  So after work, I gave her a call to confirm the plan. When McCall answered her phone she was crying.

"What's the matter Bug?"

She replied, "Everything.  I hate my job, I hate having to work, I hate leaving Libby, I have the worst skin and I think I have shingles again around my eyes which happens every time we are about to leave on a vacation!"

I really did feel her pain. So instead,  we decided to meet in the parking lot of IN-N-OUT so we could grab a burger on our way.  (Okay, and fries and a neapolitan shake.  When tears are involved, diets are immediately abandoned for any food that is high in calories.)

We talked, we commiserated, we ate, we enjoyed.  And then as luck would have it, on our way into the Expo, McCall's dermatologist happened to be walking our way.  He took a look at her face and said that it didn't look like shingles and gave her a remedy or two to try.  (My poor Bug is always having to try a remedy or two to clear up her skin, and with her being pregnant, it only adds to the ailment ... but she is SO excited to be pregnant and realized that she and Stephanie's little embryos are the same size - about the size of a blueberry now.)

We sat and listened as Stephanie spoke. Stephanie was sharing with the group that the hardest moment since her accident - the very hardest moment - was when her little daughter, Jane, did not want to look at her or have anything to do with her.  She said that when Jane went into her hospital room for the first time after the accident, she wouldn't look at her and then as Jane walked out of the room she said to her sister, Claire, "You do not want to go in there."

Big tears streamed down McCall's cheeks.  She said she couldn't even imagine how awful it would be if her Libby didn't want to have anything to do with her.

Stephanie shared a lot about the difficulties associated with her "new" life, post plane crash, but also shared the message of hope and how grand the role of woman is.  I know that Stephanie has blogged about mean comments and emails she receives from women who have criticized her for being vain and for the way she mothers and for not being very frugal with her resources.

My thought about that:  Really? Can you give the girl a break?  Would you want to be in her position?

To me, Stephanie is just a girl who was handed a raw deal and is doing the best she can with it.  She has certainly been an inspiration to a lot of people, and that night, it was clear that she is a celebrity in her own right.  There was a long line of women who just wanted to meet her, give her a hug and thank her for being an uplifting influence in their lives.

I thought she looked beautiful too.  She has certainly come a long way.  And it certainly puts your own life's trials into perspective.

I had mentioned to my sister Spring that we would stop by her house after the Expo because I had to pick something up from her.  Now I know I have already mentioned this, but Spring lives right around the corner from the Nielsons.  I decided since I had my camera, and since I had just been taking pictures of Stephanie, I would just go ahead and snap a picture of her house too.

I will admit, I felt like a stalker paparazzi and slightly uncomfortable, so I pulled over to the side of the road and said, "McCall, keep an eye out for their big black SUV.  Let me know if you see it coming."

And then McCall said, "Mom, it is sitting in their driveway."

Oops. So it was.

(It is rapidly becoming common knowledge that I have officially lost my mind.)

Monday, August 22, 2011

A wedding.

I am not sure if I have ever mentioned that my sister, Leslie, is a wedding coordinator ... she is.  And she is very good at what she does.  Leslie has done lots and lots of weddings over the years, all different, and each one is just as beautiful as the others.  (She sort of never ceases to amaze me with her talent.)

This past Friday, Leslie did a wedding for her good friend Mary's daughter, Jessica.  It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day and the reception was held in their backyard.  I was talking to Mary before the reception began and complimenting her on her gorgeous new home.  They have only lived there for the past eight months but you would never know it by how settled they were and by how spectacular their yard was.  Mary told me that she had designed the yard to be a "wedding reception" yard .... I think I would hire Mary to come and plan my "reception" yard - it was SO incredible.

I LOVED how the cakes were displayed ...

Here's a closer look  ...

The candy jars were beautiful ...

A closer look ...

There was a table set up for guests to write some advice or marriage tips for the couple ...

The guest book table ...

Mary had her mother's wedding dress on display too.  Pale pink ... how precious is that?

I am crazy about this picture of Jessica.  Her dress looks so "Anthropologie" to me ... loved it!

Congratulations to the newlyweds ... 
to Kevin and Mary on their daughter's wedding ... 
and to Leslie, for another job well done my sista'!

Friday, August 19, 2011

And then there were two.

I am so crazy in love with this little girl, sometimes I can hardly stand it!  She knows she can get away with stuff with me too. Like endless fruit snacks, when her mommy only likes her to have one.  And like sips of my diet coke when her daddy would rather she not.  And when she climbs up on my lap to eat what I'm eating when I would rather she not.  But look at that precious little face.  How can I not cater to her desires?   And she has very sensitive feelings too .... this baby can cry some crocodile tears, let me tell you.  It is almost heart breaking.  So I give in ... most of the time.

I had heard about how amazing it was to be a grandparent all of my life, but you can never really know exactly what everyone is talking about until it happens to you.  These little people just hold a really special place in your heart.  And it's different from that of your own children.  It is rather magical, actually.  I love it.

Little Miss Libby is almost two now.  She stopped by my house the other day.  She showed me her pink nails, and we went out on the swings together.  She learned how to climb up the ladder to the slide all by herself too.  She likes to do things by herself ... which makes her mommy a little bit frustrated at times. McCall sometimes calls her sassy pants - I think its adorable.

When Libby was heading out into the street, McCall and I both were calling to her, Libby!  Don't get near the street, sweetie!  - Libby!  Momma said not to go near the street! - Libby!  Stay on the grass!  Libby! Do not go into the street!  No, no, Libby!

But she walked a little ways into the street anyway.  Look at this expression as she just stood there and waited for McCall to get to her.  Little naughty. We both laughed.

Psssst.  Did you notice her shirt?  Just in case you need a closer look:


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Katy and her Smurfette dress.

I read today that Katy Perry has tied Michael Jackson's record for the most #1 hits off of a single album.  And some people are upset about it.  They don't think she "deserves" it ... ?????

My thought ... it is what it is folks. Record sales sort of speak for themselves. 

Now while I don't condone all of her songs' lyrics (I do need to say that), I think Katy Perry is adorable and sooooo talented, and I want her smurf dress. (But really only if I looked like her in her smurf dress.)

Looking at this picture conjures up a couple of different memories for me:   I had a pair of blue shoes just like that once.  It was after I had had my third baby, Chloe.  We were going to have her blessed at church, as an infant, and I wanted a new outfit.  I really needed a pick me up, so I went to Nordstrom. (Ladies, you know how that is after you've given birth, right?)  I found a white floral skirt that had a matching top and I was absolutely crazy about it.  I don't fall in love with too many items of clothing, especially church attire, but I just had to have this outfit.  It was kind of expensive though (relatively speaking), but I called my husband and asked if it would be okay if I got it.  He said yes. (One of the nicest things about being single is now I don't ask anyone before I buy an outfit ... okay, and it is 20 years later ... do women still ask their husbands if they can buy an outfit?)

After I had my bag in hand and was walking through the shoe department, I saw a pair of periwinkle blue shoes that matched the blue in the fabric perfectly ... I had to have them.  They were $60.  I had NEVER spent $60 on a pair of shoes before and lamented over it for the longest time.  And then I bought those too.

To this day, that remains one of my top five outfits of all time.  (Do you have outfits like that too?)

Next memory:  See that blue carpet Katy is standing on?  Yeah, that bright blue carpet? When our family moved to Utah from Southern California, we had had our house built.  I got to choose the carpet color, and I chose blue.  At the time, in Southern California, I had blue carpet.  Lots of people had blue carpet.  It was totally stylish.  But in Utah, apparently ... not so much.

After it was installed, my sister Spring stopped by the house and called me up.  (We were still living in California while the house was being built.)  She said, "Polly!  They just installed electric blue boog-a-loo carpet in your house!  Did you really pick this color?!?!?!?"  And I said that I did.  And she said no one in Utah has blue carpet like that and what was I thinking?

(Just a little sidenote:  Another time, my sister in law called me after they installed the counter top in my kids bathroom and said, "Polly!  They just installed a bright blue counter top in this bathroom!  It has to be a mistake!  You would not have picked this color!"  Oops ... I had. It wasn't really that bad ... she totally exaggerated.)

Fortunately, we didn't have to live with our "electric blue boog-a-loo" carpet too terribly long though.  About four years later we had the house re-carpeted with a really gorgeous dark sage green carpet that I still absolutely love.  To save a little bit of money though, I decided to keep the blue carpet in two of the kids' bedrooms upstairs because it worked with the decor in those rooms.

Not too long ago, my son-in-law said to McCall, "Why in the world would your mother have picked out this carpet for these bedrooms?"

When McCall told him that our whole house used to be that color he laughed his head off.

What was I thinking?  

Monday, August 15, 2011

Puppy dog walks.

McCall sent this picture to my phone the other day ... I laughed out loud!

(Libby finally gets it when you tell her to say cheeeeese!)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011 - Day #3

I would have to say that the third day of the Donny Get Together, was by far the best.  Everyone gathered in the Flamingo Showroom where Donny and Marie do their show.  Donny put together a program at last year's get together and called it M.A.D. - Making A Difference.  He gave ten participants a video camera and $300 to see where their idea of "making a difference" took them.  They were to work on their projects during the next year and report back ... we all listened to the presentations and then a panel of judges chose a winner, who was awarded a trip to Hawaii. (Awesome.)

After that, Donny has what he calls a Donny Dance Off where whoever wants to, comes up on stage and dances to the "Yo-Yo" routine that we learned for the flash mob dance that was filmed on Day #2. You just keep on dancing until one of Donny's dancers taps you on the shoulder, which meant:  You're eliminated and have to leave the stage ... sad.  This went on until there were just ten participants left.  Those ten then go off with Donny's dancers to learn a routine from the Flamingo show and then they come back to dance with Donny.  The audience then chooses a winner by applause and the winner of that gets a trip to Disneyland!  (Not bad.) That was what Diane was REALLY looking forward to the most.  And she did make the top ten and she did dance with Donny and she was just a little bit happy about that, as you can imagine.

It was kind of a bummer for the top ten though (sorry Di) because while they went off to learn the dance routine, Donny gave a mini concert for the rest of us while we waited, and it was a blast.  He took requests ... anything we wanted him to sing, he sang.  He sang Puppy Love, Go Away Little Girl, Close Every Door, a really pretty song called Keep Her in My Mind (that he had to look at his phone for the lyrics) ... he started to sing The Twelfth of Never and then laughed saying he wanted to do it Elvis style, which was pretty adorable. (Someone recorded it and you can see it here - it's only two minutes.  If you like Donny, you should see it, he is so cute doing it.)

BUT. I must say, as great and fun as all of that was, and it was, the best part of those morning activities was when Donny stood up in front of the group and started to talk about the singing audition he had held.

The original plan was to choose three winners, but as he began to speak he said he couldn't decide on just three so he had chosen twelve.  He was explaining how things were going to work:  This is going to be a lot of fun ... we'll go grab a bite here in the hotel at "The Burger Joint" ... I'm going to have our makeup artist, Kim Goodwin, put some nice makeup on you ... We'll mike you properly ... I will be with you, it'll  just be you, the cameraman, and myself so no need to worry about being nervous and all that kind of stuff, at which point the audience laughed, 'cause that wouldn't make you nervous or anything!!!!  

Donny read the first name, "Allissa Letts.  Are you here Allissa?"  He read the second name, "Polly Wood.  Polly Wood, c'mon up."


And then these thoughts ran through my head:  No. He can not be serious.  He did NOT just say my name.  He did not just say my name.  How could he have picked me?  He did not.

But then when I got up to go to the stage to get my pass, Diane knocked me back down into the booth, hugging me and screaming, He picked you!!!  He picked you!!!  I told you!!!  I knew he would!!! Oh my gosh!!!  I told you!!!  You didn't believe me!!!!  So then I figured it must be true.

Can you believe that?  I was going to grab a burger with Donny Osmond and then record a song with him. It was totally surreal in that moment in time.  But then it really happened ...  I grabbed a burger with Donny, we visited.  When it was my turn to record, as I was walking into the room, John (remember him, Donny's right hand man for the event?) said, "Donny, here comes Hur-ray forrr .... " and then Donny sang, "Po-lly-woooood." 

And then how could I not think, Is this really happening right now?  Donny Osmond and I were in a room together ... He sang, then I sang ... I made a silly face, he made the same silly face and told me to try it again without that face at the end - so I sang that particular line again and he told me that the second time was perfect and he got a little excited about that with his cameraman and they high fived each other.


I gave Donny a hug at the end of our little segment and thanked him for the opportunity and said, This has been a privilege.  And it was. (Wow, right?) 

(BTW, I do NOT like this picture of me ... it doesn't even look like me, thanks to Kim the makeup guy, or the angle of my head or something ... but IT'S DONNY! I had to post it.)

... and that's a wrap.