Thursday, October 2, 2014

Movies - Top 5

I'm taking a page out of Kelsi's blog. Just for fun I thought I'd post about my top 5 favorite movies. Like Kelsi, I have a hard time with favorites. It just seems so absolute. Even a list of 5 favorites is hard. A lot depends on mood, circumstances and current stimuli. As I was making up this list there were others that I kept thinking, "Oh, I should replace that on with this one." In the end this is what I came up with (subject to change).

In no particular order:

You've Got Mail

So witty and thoughtful. I once heard that many of the lines in the movie were taken from random essays of life in Nora Effron's journal (I may have that wrong). I tried to look it up but couldn't find it. Admittedly I didn't try ALL that hard. Do you love Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan together? Akkk, I do. So hilariously cute. I also love Greg Kinnear as Frank Navaski.  The man so in love with his typewriter. 
I suppose it could be said that this story is a modern day version of Pride and Prejudice. Middle class girl meets rich, stuck-up guy. After many encounters they decide they do like each other after all and that their original impressions of one another were wrong (They even discuss Pride and Prejudice in the movie. How perfect is that?) It is, however, based on a Jimmy Stewart movie called The Shoppe Around the Corner.
Much of this movie dialogue is in my everyday conversations. Listen for it, it's there.
At first I was going to try and put my favorite quotes in this post, but I decided that was one of the deciding criteria in "favorite movies" they are "oh so quotable". But right now my go to quote (for no apparent reason) is, 
"That caviar is a garnish!" 

Pride and Prejudice

Recently my seminary students were giving me grief about liking Pride and Prejudice. Did I mention 10 out of the 13 are boys? They just don't understand!! It's the characters, the dialogue, the understated wit. Oh my goodness, how can you not love it!! Not to mention Mr. Darcy!! What? He is great in all the adaptations I've seen, but my favorite and the most accurate (in my underdeveloped mind) is Colin Firth's portrayal in the A&E version. Gulp!! So shy, so misunderstood, so full of integrity. Did I mention so HANDSOME? Really, it should be illegal.
He certainly has a reputation. And to prove that I am not the only one who feels this way, I once read part of an interview with Colin Firth. 
Interviewer: Are there any women in your life?
Colin: Yes. My mother and Jane Austin (HA! It must follow him wherever he goes)
Again, such awesome dialogue by many of the characters, Mrs. Bennet, Mr. Collins, Lady Catherine. But here I need to stop and give props to one of the most unappreciated characters in the movie, and that is Mr. Bennet. Seriously, pretty much every line he speaks is hilarious in it's own right. I love that his sarcasm and cynicism seems to be a coping mechanism for living with 6 very silly women.
One of my favorite parenting mantras comes from Mr. Bennet. When all the house is in uproar, when certain members - or I dare say all members, of the family are whining, complaining and using unscrupulous methods of getting their own way. Mr. Benett calmly wipes his mouth with his napkin, stands up and as he's leaving the room says, 
"And yet, I am unmoved". (End of conversation)

Casino Royale

So seriously! Who knew? I think this is why it's on my list. It caught me totally by surprise. I have always liked the legendary 007 to one degree or another. But the new era of James Bond, the gritty, less polished version - made it's impression on me. And who better than the asymmetrical but oh so eye-catching Daniel Craig to give him life? He's cool as a cucumber and hot as Hades (I love when I get all metaphorical - ok don't correct me I know those are similes). I like the idea that James wasn't always the "robot" you see in other films. He has a heart and feelings and knows how to love, not just womanize. I still love though that he is confident, competent and good at pretty much everything he does. Then there's this...
Vesper Lynd
No, now don't get confused. 
Not this... this is a Vespa. I can see your confusion though, sometimes with their British accents, it sometimes sounds like they are calling her some type of motorized bike.

Anyway, I digress. Vesper is not your typical Bond girl. But seriously do you love her? James does! I need her wit and her brains. Her secrets, her style, her ability to read a situation and to stand toe to toe with an arrogant MI-6 agent, she is a brilliant character.
I could also do with that necklace (an Algerian Love Knot - just in case Brad is reading this).

I love their sparing matches. Both quick and stubborn. There are many lines worth remembering but below is one of my favorite. Another favorite is their conversation on the train when they first meet and the other one when they are deciding what to wear to the poker game.

Vesper Lynd: Am I going to have a problem with you, Mr. Bond?
James Bond: No, don't worry, you're not my type.
Vesper Lynd: Smart?
James Bond: Single.


Have you seen this movie? You haven't? Do yourself a favor, get your hands on it as soon as you can! You will NOT be disappointed!!
First off, how can you go wrong with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn? Chemistry galore. And if you haven't already noticed I like witty movies. This is one of the best. All the little lines that don't even have to be in it but that make it unforgettable. And the characters... simply top notch. Mr. Bartholomew played by Walter Mathau (Would you like Liverwurst, Liverwurst, Chicken or Liverwurst?) Tex played by James Coburn (And you fell for it, like an egg from a tall chicken.) 

And speaking of sparing couples. Grant and Hepburn take the cake. 
I'm not gonna ruin it for you if you haven't seen the movie, but here's a picture from one of my favorite scenes. If you have seen the movie, you'll know what I'm talking about.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Classic, classic, classic!
Don't we all want to be as cool as Ferris Bueller? Not to mention, adorable and charming? I probably saw this movie in the theater 10 times. It would have been more except I had to alternate it with Top Gun which was out at the same time.
So much of this movie is in our culture even today. The lines and the characters. Anyone... anyone?There's absolutely NO way to choose a favorite scene or line. And all those characters. Jeanne (or was it Shawna) Mr. Rooney, Grace, Cameron, Slone. 
 John Hughes (may he rest in peace) knew how to do a film right.
Did you know there was no official soundtrack to Ferris Bueller's Day Off, even though it had epic music? It also came out in the days before downloadable music. So sad. However, I had a friend that compiled me a cassette tape full of my very own Ferris Bueller songs. It was the nicest present. Unfortunately, it got stolen later that year, out of the backseat of my friend's car. I guess someone else needed Ferris Bueller music more than me. Sadly, I never recreated it.

Honorable Mentions

Here are some of the one's that just about (but not quite) replaced the ones above.

The Princess Bride

It never gets old
One of those movies I didn't expect much from. It was a total surprise. I mean really, wasn't it one of those books kids HAD to read in school for literature class? How could THAT be good anyway? I was completely wrong! 

Ace Ventura, Pet Detective

So movies with a character that has a strange and memorable name are often really good (see above). But I had the smallest hope that this would meet any sort of theatrical achievement. 
Who was this Jim Carrey person anyway? Go re-watch it, if only for the scene of Ace at a
mental institution in a pink tutu.

While You Were Sleeping

Right up there with You've Got Mail.
Funny, and charming and totally quotable.
Too bad Bill Pullman couldn't stay has relevant as Sandra Bullock has.
Side Note: While You Were Sleeping came out in 1995 when Sandra Bullock was 31, she played opposite Bill Pullman who was 41. Totally believable. In 2009 Sandra Bullock, then 44, played opposite Ryan Reynolds, then 33, in The Proposal. Again, totally believable. Hmmmm, draw your own conclusions about that one.

She's the Man

Before what's his name (I can never remember, is it Channing Tatum or Tatum Channing) became who he is, and before Amanda Bynes became who she is. This is a hilarious and brilliant adaptation of Shakespeare's, Twelfth Night. I might actually add "Twelfth Night" to my list but since  She's the Man is a little easier to watch when you're half distracted (as is the case with most movies I watch) it got the nod. So, I guess Twelfth Night got the honorable, honorable mention. Either way, go watch them both. Amanda Bynes make the best Sebastian. And it's a toss up on the favorite quote. There are so many!! ("I got a lifetime-a-knowlegde" -- "Viola dear, chew like you have a secret")

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Being a Mom

So maybe this should be one of those posts that I write near Mother's Day or when a big event in a child's life happens, but sometimes you've gotta strike while the iron is hot.

I've been considering this post for a long time and it wasn't until today that the right words seemed to form. Unknowingly, my niece Britni Favero inspired me. She has a cute, little, baby boy named Benson. Benson was born with a heart condition and it is always a bit touch and go with him. Whenever she posts on Facebook or Instagram it is, without fail, a moving experience. I don't purport to know how she feels or even understand the dire straights Benson could be in at any given moment. But I AM a mom and I DO know how THAT feels.

Benson is in surgery today and this is what Britni posted. "He is the sweetest thing, my heart started missing him even while he was still in my arms... I have heard it said before, having a child is like having your heart living outside your body... These are some of the truest words I have ever heard."

Folks, this feeling does not change when your little kiddos become big kiddos, it just becomes infinitely harder to express to them, or to anyone else how you truly feel. Some days you feel brave, like the days when you have brazenly taken a hot bagel out of the toaster with your bare fingers. You feel empowered and strong, so you risk a side hug or a word of appreciation or, heaven forbid, love, to your hormonal daughter. Or you take a chance with an affectionate smile at your surly son as you pass in the hall, who then quirks his eyebrows and asks, "What's wrong with you? What was that look for?" And you wonder why you even made eye contact at all. And if acknowledgement was unavoidable, you realize you should have just gone with, a chin wave and asked, "Ts'up?" Of course that will probably get the response of, "Mom, you're not young, so don't attempt to use phrases that only those of us who don't remember Michael Jackson's hair catching on fire, are supposed to use. "

When my kids were little I, of course, was a concerned mom. I listened to make sure they were breathing at night. I hugged them when they fell down, I stayed up at night and bounced them when they had gas. I sacrificed a new outfit so I could afford the more expensive baby formula that would hopefully prevent future gas. I invited 13 screaming kids (including my own) to toddler birthday parties and pretended to love every minute of it. I left a classy (or not) restaurant in the middle of a meal because my daughter's tooth was loose and she was afraid she was going to swallow it. This where I found out how truly stressed out a 6 year old can become. I chased my beloved darlings down in the craft store and pinned them against the wall with my shopping cart to prevent them running away from me, because I sure there were at least 4 pedophiles walking the aisles in Michael's looking for stray children to kidnap. I sat for many hours in the hot sun, on Saturdays, watching sports that I had no particular love for, because my child liked to make daisy chains in tall grass. I drove them 40 minutes round trip for them to attend a friend's sleepover only to have to make the same 40 minute trip 4 hours later after they had watched  "Creeperville IV", and sleeping in someone else's house was not an option.

Don't get me wrong. It was hard and stressful, but I wanted to do those things. I wanted to be a good parent. I WAS a good parent. I saw a home video recently where I was overseeing my three children (ages 6, 4 and 2) washing dishes, by hand, at grandma's house. I was taken aback at how patient I was. Wow! Was that really me? Most of the time I just felt like a maniacal mess with a few tender moments and slobbery kisses splashed in, which made it all OK.

As hard and physically demanding as all that was. They were my babies. I was their mommy. They thought I was neat. I thought they were neat. They thought I was pretty. Of course they were the most beautiful children on the planet. They thought my ideas were great. I enjoyed their candidness and creativity. And in those moments when we didn't see eye-to-eye, I could pick them up, and force them to see it my way (even if it was while they were kicking and screaming).

Then along came teenager-hood and their needs were different. Their size was different. They somehow became autonomous beings. They had ideas, they had feelings. They had opinions, they had strong opinions. Then Mom became that annoying person who served them broccoli instead of Fritos and tried to make them brush their teeth and wear deodorant. Mom, that embarrassing, old person who knew nothing of the current, up-to-date world. Mom, who could never be as cool as their friends parents. Mom, who made them come home earlier than they planned because she thought 3 am was a little too late to be out on a date. Can you even imagine?

I mean really? Wasn't I the cool mom? Didn't I do my best to stay up on good songs and TV shows and clothes and movies and electronics. Didn't their friends like me (somewhat at least). Didn't I give them their space, their own room, their first iPod? They should be appreciating the difference in me as opposed to how my parents were; which was uncool, unhip and definitely embarrassing and out of touch.

Don't they know? My heart is still out there, living and breathing on the outside of me. It hasn't changed. Don't they know that my arms still ache to hold them. Don't they know I miss them before they even leave the house in the morning. Don't they know I still like to watch them sleep. Don't they know I think about them constantly and worry for their health and well being?

It is no longer cute to post pictures of their mishaps or "adorable" failures on Instagram. In fact it is no longer cute to post any type of pictures of them at all. I feel alone, isolated and unappreciated. I don't get any of the supportive comments of my fellow moms, "LOL, I feel your pain" or "My kid did the same thing". I'm not sad (not too much anyway). I realize it is the circle of life. They are learning to become independent and, hopefully anyway, become responsible enough to live on their own one day. But I miss the interaction, the support from others. I miss the honesty that little kids have. I miss that time period when they would want to cuddle with me every morning. Oh my aching arms.

Being a mother to older children is fun sometimes. You can quote (grown up) movies ("That caviar is a garnish") You don't have to listen to songs about purple dinosaurs anymore. You can leave home (even for extended periods) and no one minds - in fact they prefer it. You have someone to mow the lawn and vacuum the floor. But, no one told me that once kids grow up it gets harder. What? Wasn't I supposed to be leaning back on my laurels, congratulating myself on helping them be able to play a rickety version of  Fleur de Lis on the piano, keeping them drug-free and from being kidnapped (remember all those creepers in Michaels?)? Shouldn't I be congratulating myself on keeping them from going down the path of immorality and from covering themselves in tattoos and other body art? This stage in life was supposed to be the easy part, right? One always hears of classes being taught or books being written about "dealing with toddlers" or about "having a meaningful relationship with teens". Why haven't I heard about books/classes having to do with raising (um, raising is NOT the right word - Living with people whom you gave birth to but who you rarely have any say over) young adults.

Do you realize that anything you say or ask gets misconstrued as unsolicited advice or prying or control tactics or disapproval? Do you realize that the relationships very are fragile? Sometimes you only get one chance to say something (sometimes none). It's so unfair. Do you realize that secrecy is easier for them because of their freedom and independence.  I really truly appreciate the, as one very close friend put it, "Mormon Mom Spy Network" It's amazing how effective this can really be. If the kids knew we used it and how amazing it is, they would very likely keel over and die. What they could never understand is that we don't use it against them (at least not very often;). We use it to find things out, tidbits about our former rugrats. Tibits that we wish THEY would just share with us themselves. Come on kids, throw us a bone, you'd be surprised how even the smallest piece of information can sustain us for so long. We want to know these things because we love you, you are important to us, not to pry into your very secret, very important lives. How could they EVER understand?

So, I don't want to sound all depressed and melancholic. My knowledge gives me a positive outlook. My kid's pre-frontal cortexes will develop all the way. They will think more like real adults than giant pre-schoolers. Who know's they might even think I'm a little bit neat again one day. My beliefs give me a positive outlook. I have an eternal perspective. I believe in something call being a "Savior-on-Mt. Zion" and I believe mothers will be numbered among these. (Father's too, but especially mothers because of their emotional attachment and involvement in their children's lives) I may have to wait until the afterlife to experience this kind of lasting peace, but I can wait.

In closing I would like to post some links to a couple of blog posts that I have read recently. They have impacted my life in a big way and if you're anything like me, you'll like them too. Us moms of older kids are not alone. None of these are long. They are, however, funny and poignant and I wish I was half as good of a writer as them, but I wish I was a lot of things, so that's neither here nor there.

Dear Lonely Mom of Older Kids
Mama, There is Hope.
The Phase I'm In

Also if anyone can find me an article that was published in the Reader's Digest circa 1997-2001 about being a "cool parent" I will love you forever. I read it long, long ago and have forever wished I would have saved it. Now I have no idea how to find it. While you're at it, even though they were on different subjects than motherhood, I would like the link to an article called "What Were They Thinking" and one about how to apologize (sheesh I'm not even sure that's what is was actually about- ok I forgive you if you can find that one. Can you say vague?)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


A couple of posts ago I talked about taking picture of interesting people. I like to do this. And I also said that sometime in the future I would post about taking pictures of people and having it go horribly wrong. 
This is that day, and this is that picture.

It all happened one day right around the time "Batman, The Dark Knight Rises" came out. I was waiting for a prescription and I saw this charming fellow. It just kind of cracked me up that he was basically the antithesis of Batman. Bright neon colors, portly, sedentary, visually challenged and sporting casual, open-toed rubber footwear (at least he got the rubber part right). 

I wanted a picture of him, oh how I wanted a picture. I decided it was definitely possible if I wrangled myself into the right position and then pretended to be looking at my phone, I could just sneak a quick picture. Come on. Admit it. You've all done it right? ( Please say yes, if only to make me feel a little less voyeuristic.) 

So, I got into position, snapped the picture, and looked at it... (This is how my inner dialogue went. I remember it clearly.) "Dang, bad angle. I needed to do it again... But he looked right at me... surely he knows what I'm doing. No, how could he? I'm being very careful to look away and seem totally disinterested, I'm just being paranoid."

I then proceeded to move a few feet over and try again. Right after I snapped the second picture, he looked at me again. I quickly hurried out of the room before I made up too many more stories of what he, or any other people, knew about me.

I then proceeded to post the photo, I'd obtained through cunning, of "Anti-Bat", in all of his glory, on Instagram, with a hashtag #christianbalewouldbesoproud

I felt a little smug, and got a good laugh from all those who saw it.

Now comes the embarrassing part. 

Fast forward a couple of hours. I went to take another picture, this time, in my darkened house. As I snapped the shot, my flash went off. GHEEEEEE! What? My flash is NEVER on! Then, the dawning realization that it was also on when I took "Anti-Bat's" picture came slowly drizzling into my awareness. 

Apparently, it was so bright in the pharmacy that I hadn't noticed a flash, but someone on the other side of the camera would have seen it for sure. Especially one on whom the camera was aimed and sat only a mere arm's length away. THEN I proceed to not only take 1, but 2 (TWO!!) pictures! I was mortified and thoroughly embarrassed. Even though I'm sure he would have never seen my picture on Instagram, I removed it IMMEDIATELY. This not who I am! I don't openly mock a person I know nothing about (I only do that to people I know intimately - ha, jokes).

Embarrassing as that was/is though, I didn't stop taking pictures of people in this manner. The lesson I did learn is, to always check to see if the flash is turned off before taking sneaky photos of people's questionable fashion choices. That lesson has served me well. I have more of these type of photos that I'll share at a later date. 


Now, just so we can have a little bit of the emphasis taken off of me and my blunders and my probable creepiness, here are a few pictures (that someone else took) that I find quite hilarious and random, two of my favorite things. 
No explanation necessary.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I cried...

Three years ago when I ran a marathon I titled my post "I Cried at Mile 18" (read it here). This time I just cried. I cried for a myriad of reasons. 
I signed up for this race thinking to redeem myself from last time. Not that it was so horrible, but I really did want to "run" the whole way. If you read the last experience I had to walk the last 5 miles or so. I don't know why I felt the need to do better than this, but I should have left well enough alone. 
I was a little sketchy going into this race. I was running alone, I had had some terrible runs in the weeks prior, I didn't want to get up at 3:30 am.
But let me not get ahead of myself.
I want to start off with how I actually started the race.

Look at me, here, by myself. I survived. I just horned my way next to a fire barrel while I was waiting and I was happy (and warm) as a clam (are clams warm?). I took this picture just as the sun came up over the mountains, the light and warmth was such a morale boost. I was happy to be there.

This was my first cry. Seeing the sea of people stretched out before me and feeling the zip in the air as everyone started forward on their goal. All these people (one way or another) had prepared to be here. This wasn't a group of slackers. This was a group of people that were dedicated enough to 1) sign up all the way back last fall, 2) train for at least 6 months and 3) get up before the sun to be high up on a mountain in the cold, and I was one of them. Big boost for the state of mind.

I don't know exactly what point in the race this was but look at me, I was relaxed and happy.
Running photos of me aren't my favorite, but I can deal with this one, if for nothing else than to confirm to me that running is a happy place.

I texted this picture of me to Brad and Caroline about the 7 mile mark. 
My text said, "1/4 done, doing well." I remember how good I felt. Only 3 more of what I had just done! Totally doable.

(I can tell by this picture that I was in pain. See how I'm holding my shoulders? I think I'm trying to lift myself up and keep the weight off my knees. It was before I started walking in ernest though because I still had my sleeves rolled down.)

Somewhere around 1/2 way my knees started hurting. It was the same pain I had experienced last time I ran this marathon, only about 8 miles sooner. 
At this point I had only made it 1/2 way. I knew from past experience that I couldn't last the rest of the way. I had a decision to make. I ran as long as I could (maybe to mile 14.5). Then I had to decide,

Should I quit? 
-After all I had made it longer than a 1/2 marathon. 
-No one would blame me. 
-I wasn't out to prove much. 
-I wasn't letting anyone down (except maybe myself) if I quit.
-12 miles would take a long time to walk 

Then, I remembered my goal (to do better than last time). I knew this was no longer an option, but in order to even save face with myself I had to at least finish. I knew I would remember quitting for a long time to come. I didn't know if I could face myself if I quit. I knew it was going to be extremely hard, but until I persevered on, I didn't know how hard. I had thoughts of quitting (from pain and humilitation) almost at every mile after that until I reached the end.
This was my first sad cry of the race.
Next cry: I lost pace with those who were in my same running category (this isn't a real thing, but  you become accustomed to those running around you. They run like you, they dress like you, they seem to have basically the same mentality as you and you feel like you can relate to them)
Third cry: After a while the 5 hour marker passed me. I knew there was no keeping up
More crying: The 5 1/2 hour marker passed me. I tried running with them for a while but in the end I fell behind. Never to catch up.
I cried some more: After a while I started noticing people around me that were clearly on a lower running scale than me. Those who were older, chubbier (yes there are a few), and less athletic. I was walking, they were still running. I cried.
Still more crying: The police officers who had been patrolling the race rode past and told us we had a half hour to be out of the canyon. I didn't know how far I still had to go but I knew they wouldn't be telling us if we we were almost out. Sob.
The crying didn't end: Finally, right toward the end, people who had walked the whole race were starting to catch up. What a blow to my ego. Luckily by that time I was on flat ground and my knees recovered just enough to walk a little faster. 
The reasons all blurred together: I was embarrassed, my ego had taken hit after hit, my knees and feet hurt excruciatingly, my fingers were swollen to the point of hurting, I was in the last 50 people (out of 9,000) to cross the finish line, I felt bad that I had made Brad and Caroline and Arnell wait for so long, the vendors and barriers were being taken down by the time I got in, no one was in the grandstands cheering, I was more than an hour and a half later than my anticipated time...

Look at this picture, I'm pretty sure I was deep into a good cry here. Luckily sweat an sunglasses obscured most of this. (also take note of my ring here being swallowed alive by the puffy skin on my finger)

 Before you get too depressed though I have to point out some of the many good points about this race.
There were many, many fun and funny people along the way. Ogden Technical University was one of my favorite. Here I am posing with their poster of Grumpy Cat. They also had other signs with Yoda, Napoleon Dynamite, Ron Burgundy, Nacho Libre' etc. etc. etc.

 I WAS prepared mentally - even though I had my doubts. 

The weather and the scenery were FABULOUS!! So so beautiful!

Brad and Caroline texted me throughout with words of encouragement. I don't think I could have made it except I knew they were cheering me on with words like
"You don't have to go fast... you just have to go"
"You should be PROUD of yourself! Wish I was there walking with you"
The picture above is Brad meeting me right at the end. He hugged me and walked for a little way with  me I  of course cried from exhaustion,  and let down, but most especially from the support and encouragement.

I told Brad at the end. "One good thing is I NEVER have to do this again if I don't want to."
And after all was said and done, I got the SAME metal that all the other runners got. I finished. I crossed that line.
  I fought the good fight, I finished the course!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Love (work) Week -- Day 2 (Baking Soda Orange)

Sheesh, between laundry, helping Brady with homework and helping Brad plan a mutual activity, I almost didn't get Love (work) week -- day 2 done before it was day 3. (If you missed day one go here.)

So, in case you were wondering I'm a little bit obsessed with the color orange. For some reason I am just  drawn to it. You might even say I LOVE it.

This is my latest "orange acquisition", an orange sweatshirt from American Eagle. What makes this find doubly good is the price. Have you ever bought a sweatshirt from AEO? Ya, they're expensive. The other day I happened up on this little gem. It was already on clearance plus all the clearance items were an additional half off AND on top of it all, I had a coupon for 25% off of my entire purchase. Voila! $9.60. Favorite store, favorite color, AWESOME price!

I love all shades of orange, but this bright orange is my favorite. I call it baking soda orange. I held the box of Arm & Hammer baking soda right up to my sweatshirt. They were an exact match.

Speaking of Baking Soda orange… check out this bad boy sunrise! There are advantages to getting up early some days! Don't you LOVE it? I do.

Here's some of the orange I have in my house. My mantle is one of my favorites when it comes to mime decoration. The picture frame I got at an antique store in Jackson California (shoot, maybe it was Sonora) anyway the ceramic bird (yep, that's what that blob on the right is) came from the DeAnza Flea Market. It was a had-to-have. I paid more than I wanted to but haven't regretted it for a second. My dear friend Annette made me the banner. She made it at my house and right under my nose. I didn't even know she was doing it. I LOVE it! It was just suppose to be for the fall but I love it so much I've left it up. Just off to the left is an old orange gas can. I suppose I should have photographed it too, but you'll just have to use your imagination.

Now before we get off the "orange" subject all together, I just had to post this picture. This ginger didn't realize that his devastating charm and extra special attention to style got him a space in LOVE week. 

I've decided I LOVE taking pictures of interesting people. Here's the latest offering. I wish you could really see his boots. They are knee high cowboy boots with his dark washed jeans tucked into them. Snazzy! His hair was buzzed very short but he still managed a center part that, of course, compliments any face, even those with full-on Grizzly Adams beards. Yikes!  I'm not even going to mention the "lollypop" effect here. It really is his most striking feature. I could tell he thought he was really something special.

(SIDE NOTE: look for a post someday about taking pictures of interesting people and how it can go extremely wrong.)


Moving on.
These aren't orange but I just had to post my extreme love of these ca-ute aprons that my friend Denise Shattuck made for my girls who helped out at activity days tonight. This is officially Kelsi's calling but Afton went with her tonight to help out with a Daddy Daughter event. They each came home with one of these. Maybe you can tell, but she attached a double string of pearls to each of them. Way too adorable. Denise's talents and skill set never cease to astound me! Maybe I'll be her when I grow up.

So, tomorrow (Day 3). I'm going to be talking about my media LOVE. I have it in spades!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Love (work) Week -- Day 1

Technically for this to be love week I should have started on Saturday. I decided to just go for the 5 day plan so we'll call it "Love (work) Week".

So, I'm gonna start it off right with the 3 people in my life that I love most (we'll talk about the 4th later). These guys make everyday meaningful for me.

I'm already mourning the fact that before the year is out 2 of the 3 will be gone.

I love the energy they bring to the house. They are a crack-ups. Yes, they make messes; yes, they remind me how uncool I am; yes, they require food and attention but I know most of my identity is linked to them. And soon, too soon, my job requirements will change and that will make me sad.

What they don't know, and what I'm just starting to realize is, not only do they give me an identity they also give our family an identity. After they are gone, Brad and I will just be that old couple sitting by ourselves in church. We won't go to park day, we won't be invited to parties or outings or trips with families that have young children (or children at all), we won't know what's going on at the high school or in the youth program. It won't matter if there is girls camp, or scout camp or EFY or a school holiday. It'll just be us oldies, rocking on our porch in our rocking chairs.

However, I'm glad for the people they are becoming. I'm glad to be their mom. I'm glad they are all here with me right now.

I LOVE them!!

Stay tuned for Love (work) Week -- day 2 tomorrow, where I plan on being a lot less sappy and way more superficial.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Lost is Found

(I thought I was so neat finding these)

This is a story that some may find boring but that I would like to record for my own personal memory, which seem to be getting shorter the older I get.

A couple of months ago Dad asked me if I had the box of Christmas slides from our family from about 1979-1989. Hmmm, I knew at one point I wanted to do a project with the pictures of the family Nativity. I didn't remember borrowing ALL the pictures but I figured if I borrowed the Nativity ones I likely had the whole lot somewhere in my possession. I told him I would look.

I was starting to worry that I had borrowed them and then somehow lost them or accidentally thrown them away.  This is not my nature. I may be as messy as a teenage boy's bathroom floor, but I am pretty organized (it's kind of a weird thing). I was worried because I go through my stuff often enough that I would remember if I had seen it in say, the last 5 years. I hadn't. But, I set off with a wish and a prayer and before too long I found a large yellow box with Mom's handwriting labeled "Christmas". I actually was amazed at how relatively easy it was to find it, considering I truly hadn't seen them amongst my stuff.  I chalked it up to my amazing organizational skills.  I returned the pictures, embarrassed that I had held onto them for so long, but happy that I wasn't destroying valuable family memories.

A few days later I got a message from Dad thanking me for the pictures, but pointed out that none of the Nativity pictures were with them. Again, this fit the profile, since my original project was involving the Nativity pictures. For sure I took them out and put them somewhere special in preparation for the project.  I even vaguely remembered talking them to get made into prints at one point. This put the image of them in a photo developing envelope into my mind. This is ALL I had to go on and I wasn't even sure this was accurate.

I started stressing in earnest. I had already been through my spare photo drawer and through all my boxes of photos during the first round of looking. I really had no idea where to go now. I prayed. I looked around. I prayed again. The vague picture of the photo envelope was in the back of my head but  I had no idea where else to look. And I just had the sinking feeling that I had somehow gotten rid of a box that had them in it.  A few months previously I had gone through a lot of my stuff and purged. It's not like me to blindly get rid of stuff without looking through it to make sure. But what if I had missed it? What if it went out with the box of old "empty" scrapbooks? Only slightly less depressing was that it was in the box of old negatives (from ages ago) that was where…? In the attic? I wasn't even exactly sure.

I tried to keep the faith. I prayed some more. I looked some more. I relooked in places I'd already looked. I looked in weird places like the pasta cupboard. I don't put stuff in weird places very often but it doesn't hurt to look right? Nothing… just pasta. During this whole ordeal I just kept picturing the primary children in our ward. Part of the Primary Presentation in Sacrament Meeting a month or so previously involved some of the kids telling about instances where their prayers were answered. Often the story was, they lost something. They prayed. They found it. I was not having the same luck, er…answers to prayers.

I did know if it was in my house I would find it. I had a feeling it was, but I couldn't be sure. Was it in my Christmas Decorations boxes. If so, which one? Would I have to drag them all out and look? I was beginning to feel hopeless. It isn't my mission in life to destroy family memorabilia and history. It has always been my goal and reputation to preserve it. To make it meaningful. What was I going to do if I never found them. How could I face Dad? How could I tell any of my family? These few crazy pictures have great meaning to all of us. I was cursing myself for being careless, for being a procrastinator (I should have just done the project and been done with it - gave the pictures back and never put myself into such a bad predicament). I stressed that my organization skills weren't what I thought they were. I was mad at myself for not noticing I had them for so long. We're talking years here. YEARS!!

Finally I had exhausted all the viable options. At least twice I sat on the couch and pondered calling Dad and picturing myself breaking the news to him, that I simply could not find them. The thought of this propelled me back up and into the depths of searching. Most of my efforts were centered in the garage where I have my scrapbook studio and the most logical place that they would be. I just kept seeing, in my minds eye, the envelope sitting over in the corner of that room. Of course I had looked there a million times already but my last ditch effort, I went to that area again. I knew it was fruitless but was putting off calling Dad. I told myself this was the last place I was going to look.

In that corner of the room is also 3 drawers. The top drawer is almost empty with just a label maker and a few extra cartridges. The second drawer is full of pictures. The ones that, by this time, I had looked through picture by picture. I found many photo envelopes but NONE contained what I was looking for. The bottom drawer has file folders FULL of cardstock.  It's very, very full and I have been into that drawer several times a month for the past several years. There were no pictures there for sure. But, did I mention I was desperate? I looked in the top drawer.  No. Middle drawer, no where else for me too look I had looked at each of those front and back several times. The bottom drawer. How could anything like a thick envelope of slides have gotten stuck there? Especially with me looking in it so often. I would have seen them. I opened that bottom drawer and saw a little peek of red and blue sticking out from the bottom of the picture drawer above it. What? I reached in and pulled out 2 photo envelopes that were stuck to the bottom of the other drawer. The first envelope had nothing important, my heart sank just a little bit. I knew that the other envelope HAD to be them or that I would be telling Dad they were gone forever.

I don't need to tell you! IT WAS THEM! It was amazing. I felt the biggest flood of relief. I started bawling on the spot. I immediately called Dad with the news. He, of course, was very, considerate, and let me just blather on and on with my story (sort of like I'm doing here in this blog post). He told me that he was glad I found them but told me that he wouldn't have disowned me had I not been able to find them. I glad he was so forgiving. I'm not sure I would have been so nice to myself.

Maybe it doesn't seem like that big of a deal to the average reader. But to me it was huge. It was also an amazing reality check on getting answers to prayers. Even though I felt hopeless at certain points and had raw nerves by the end, I tried to keep the faith. I really was trying to listen to the promptings. I have a feeling the reason it took me so long is because I was having a grown-up version of having my prayers answered, just like those primary kids. Looking back I could see Heavenly Father waiting patiently by the side, directing me, but letting me look. Not only did it teach me how to listen, faith was also restored in my organizational system.

And just for the record, I found about 10 other random slides that I had borrowed over the years, that were stuck in random places.

I guess the moral of this story is, don't lend stuff to Stef. But if you do you'll eventually get it back.

By the way, the date on the photo envelope was 2001.

(other important family memories)