Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Happy Thoughts!

Here's a list of some of my happy thoughts for today (in no particular order)

The sun is shining
I'm done working out
I feel good
My dogs are cute
My family is healthy
Laundry is almost done 
I love modern conveniences 
I have great/supportive/positive/talented/funny friends
I hear birds chirping outside my window
My family is THE best
I have a Temple Marriage
Facebook is FUN
The house is quiet
My kids are talented
I have the nicest, most faithful parents
Brad is Handsome
I'm going to eat my favorite breakfast in a couple of minutes
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is True!
Subway Sandwiches are yummy!
I live in a beautiful area
Dove Chocolate
I'm going to scrapbook today
I love being with the Young Women
I have 2 episodes of The Office, 1 Biggest Loser and 2 American Idol episodes to catch up on:)
There is a prophet of God on the earth today
I like myself
I have a nice, soft, warm, sleep number bed
There are missionaries in San Juan
Patterned Paper
Mr. Darcy
I love office supplies
Pottery Barn, Anthropology, & Restoration Hardware
Junque (See photo above - I know, I'm weird)
Bright Blue Sky
Perforations (have you ever really thought about them?)
My living room furniture is cool
Kelsi performing in the school play
Brady finally figuring out how to brush his teeth
Afton hugging me
Sisters (that doesn't mean brothers AREN'T happy thoughts)
Going to Girls Camp
Movie Quotes
Family Reunions
Waves Crashing
I love getting emails from my favorite people
Moving forward

Ok, I thought I could exhaust my list... but it is just going to keep going.  I'll just stop here for now.  

Now I want you to leave me at least 1 happy thought in the comments section.  OK? If you just lurk, now's the time to make yourself known.  If you don't have a google account it's easy to get one and there's no strings attached. Come on! You'll make my day with your happy thoughts!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


This is who Brady was today.  He got playing with the Monopoly money and then before I knew it he had this whole persona built around it.  He told me his name was $teve, with dollar signs as the "S".  He told me he wasn't sure what his job was but he made lots of money. He said he was something like a salesman. He set up shop on our kitchen table.  

I heard him talking to many people on the phone selling things like Play Stations. He told me later that he was so good that all the other salesmen were calling him up.  And that he made over a $1000 every 8 seconds.  

And that people give him $500 tips because he is so good.  He told us that he kept getting raises.  Afton's comment was, "Why do you need a raise, if you make a $1000 every 8 seconds?"  

My favorite conversation was one after he sold a lot of something to who-knows-who and he ended the conversation, "Ok, thanks for calling, bu-bye."  What a fun kid.

One other funny about Brady.  
We were in the car the other day ready to go somewhere.  All of a sudden he jumped out of the car and said, "I'll be right back."  A minute or 2 later he came back and said, "I just had to have one more cup of salvation."  Afton and I looked at each other strange and then asked him what a "cup of salvation" was.  He laughed and told us, it is a glass of milk.  What the???  I'm not positive, but this one may stick.  Ever since then we have been calling that white liquid you pour on your cereal, "salvation".  We don't know what it means but we can't stop laughing about it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Afton, She Smiles

This is the story of how Afton got her name.  
Many moons ago, I'm gonna guess about 1993-94, I was listening to the radio.  The song Mandolin Rain, by Bruce Hornsby came on.  I had heard it lots of times before, but this particular time I heard a line that I hadn't noticed before.  

It said, "Afton, she smiles, it would last for a while. You don't know what you've got til you lose it all."  

I remember standing in my bedroom thinking, "Did he just say Afton?"  I think I like that name. I had heard of Afton, Wyoming but never a person with the name.  I filed it away in my "remember this name for future children" file.  Obviously when the time came, our new baby girl got the name.  Right after this, people started coming out of the woodwork telling us about their grandmothers or their ancestors with the name Afton.  People often asked if it was a family name.  One lady we knew (an artist) even went so far as to paint a picture for us.  Her mom's name was Afton and had died only a few weeks before our Afton was born, she saw it as a sign.  We also receive music and lyrics to the song, "Flow Gently Sweet Afton" I started realizing that Afton wasn't a new, trendy name and I had first thought.  It was more of a vintage name, an old name.  It was a special name.  One that people remembered and connected with.

As I'm sure most of you parents know the assignment your kids receive school or church, to find out where they got their name or what it means.  I always told the story of the Bruce Hornsby song (side note; I also really like the name Mandolin - what is it about that song?).  I played the song occasionally for Afton and the other kids, always pointing out the spot where it says Afton.  When I hear it in stores or other public places, I always stop and listen and see if I can hear the name.  

Now, fast forward a decade.  I'm sitting and watching American Idol season 8.  Scott Macintyre (AI's first blind contestant) was singing, you guess it, Mandolin Rain.  I was excited for him to sing "The Afton Song" and low and behold, at that spot... he changed the lyrics.  Instead of saying "Afton, she smiles..." he sang, "I laughed and she smiles..."  I felt gypped, but figured it was a good call on his part if he didn't want to sing about someone named Afton.  Then I checked the lyrics and... gasp!... those words Scott sang ARE the lyrics.  What the heck?!?  I laughed and laughed... I had been misrepresenting Afton's name to her, her teachers, the other kids and basically anyone who would listen, all these years.

When I told Afton about it she asked, "So I'm really not supposed to be named Afton?"  Then it hit me that complete opposite was true.  If I hadn't heard that name, in that song, at that time, there probably wouldn't have been any other place for me to hear it... and I hate to say it but her name probably would have turned out to be Ashley.  Isn't that boring compared to Afton? I love the name Afton, and I think it totally fits her.  I'm glad I misinterpreted the song... just embarrassed that it took me 13 1/2 years to realize my mistake.

(A funny side note about Afton's name:  she gets a lot of questioning looks from people learning her name for the first time.  Often they think it's a boys name, or that she's saying, Ashton.  But my favorite mistake, is what her bus driver calls her.  ASPRIN!  I can't stop laughing about it.)

Monday, March 2, 2009


Brady had some homework to finish up this morning so he stayed home longer than anyone else.  So it was just him and me as we drove to school.  As with most other parents, I have this fear about my kids making a wrong choice or two and then, "turning to the dark side". None of my kids are rebels or WANT to make bad choices but we all make mistakes, and I hope whatever those mistakes might be, that they'll be strong enough to bounce back.  I also hope that none of their mistakes will be big enough or bad enough that they feel like they can't repent and then let themselves get caught up in more mistakes.  So, I take lots of chances to "casually" mention things that hopefully will help them now and in the future.  I love when they turn out good, like the one with Brady this morning. 

As Brady and I drove to school I looked over at him and I just had a bright hope for his future and at the same time that recurring fear of "what if", so I asked, "Brady, are you always going to be my good boy?"  He gave me a funny, little look and said, "I don't know."  I'm sure he thought I was going to start gushing about him being my "little baby" (as I often do), so I expounded.  I said, "You're not going to get caught up in mistakes, like lying or swearing or drugs or anything, are you?"  He said, "No."  Then I asked him how he felt about going on a mission.  Again he said, "I don't know."  I asked him if he was nervous about it or excited.  I told him that when I was young and people mentioned missions, I was always happy to look at my brother and think, "They're talking to him."  Then I also mentioned that I am so happy that I finally did decided to go because it made me a better person.  For some reason this captured his attention and he asked how it made me better.  I told him I was less selfish, it taught me to be happier, to be more confident, to learn more about the scriptures, it taught me to get along with others and to start becoming who I am today.  I said it even taught me things that you wouldn't expect a mission to do, like become a better driver, and how to read a map.  He thought that was funny and we started talking about where he wanted to go and if he would be riding a bike or not.  I love the way his mind works.  He wanted to know if he would have to buy the bike and take it with him or if the mission provided it.  We talked about buying it there since he wouldn't want to buy it and then haul it with him to the MTC or on the airplane.  I don't know, it was just all too cute.   Man, I love that guy!  He's definitely got a string on my heart.
Here are some other questions he has asked me while it was just he and I out driving around.

How long have Mercedes cars been around?
Why are Sumo wrestlers so fat? And How do they get into their houses?
What is that thing on the back of some cars? (spoiler)
How come cars that look cool go so fast?
I like the way they vote someone off The Biggest Loser.
We've also talked about fire hydrants, Mana from heaven, policemen, and many other random and poignant things.

Thanks Brady for making me love you.

(BTW, I took these pictures of Brady yesterday.  I was dying at the beautiful light coming through my bedroom window.  My messy bed seemed the perfect place for a photo shoot.  I'm amazed that I was actually able to convince him to do it.  I got some awesome shots.  What a cutie!)