Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I've gotcha...

He wanted to go down the water slide again and again today and each time he shot round the curve I'd see his look of terror turn into a beaming smile when he saw me there, waiting at the bottom to catch him. It made my heart overflow to know that to him I mean security, a soft place to land. I make him feel safe, what an honor that is.
At the recent funeral I attended it was said of this man that he would "keep your name safe". In other words he would not talk badly of others. I loved the idea of keeping someone's name safe. What a beautiful thought this is. Of all of my goals (and I have many) I think this is the one that I desire to master the very most. I long for the day when I will have complete control over my tongue and never speak ill of another person. I had several chances to speak unkindly about others today. For some I passed, becoming a champion of their causes, and for others I crumbled, letting my two cents drool out with little control.
I liked talking nice so much better. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy about myself and the people I worked to defend.
We all want (and need) someone on our side, and I want to be the person that makes people smile when they come around a corner because they'll know, when they see me waiting there, that they just found a soft place to land.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Tuff girls...

Chivalry is not dead and I love a chivalrous man. My mother-in-law's new fiance (yes you heard me right) is a chivalrous man, opening her door, pulling out her chair and standing whenever any lady in the room stands (and all of this with a knee in need of surgery) it was enough to make me like him right away. And I like my chivalrous man too. I like when he uses his manly manness to take care of me and I like being sweet and feminine for him too. But when he told me (in a very loving way, not a condescending, girls stink kind of way) that he didn't think I could put the new swing set together by myself, you gotta know it was GO TIME for me.
And when my girls heard the challenge they said, "Oh you know we have to do it now."
So this morning after our workout (Hugh would be so proud) we headed out to kick some serious swing set booty.

We had NO idea what we were in for. Do they really have to make you put EVERYTHING together? And why can't they drill the holes straight? WHY?

We sweat like men, cussed like men (well I did, but only words that are biblical in nature) and laughed like men (do men laugh differently than women? I don't know, but we laughed, boy oh boy did we laugh). It was a fun day, a hard day, and best of all, a successful day.

We are women hear us ROAR. I only wish I would have remembered to take a picture in the daylight so I could have captured my children's happy little faces (not only does my camera stink, but I also have no idea how to use the thing. Where's the night time setting I'd like to know. Dang, I think my roar was just reduced to a wimpy mew. I really need to learn to use a camera better.)
At least I can say that I can take care of my own self if I really have to.
But boy am I glad that I DON'T have to.
I sure do love that big strong chivalrous man of mine.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hometown inspiration...

Rick and I took a trip to his hometown of St Johns today. I have always loved St Johns. It's a great town with great people. And in speaking to Rick's high school sweetie poo today (great girl), she said that if we had picked St Johns to live out our small town experience we would probably be much happier because St Johns is quite superior to where we live now. And you know, I think she might be right because St Johns people are so super stinkin nice. They really are. Some of my favorite blog friends are St Johns gals. They're fabulous. Fabulous I tell you. I got to see a couple of them today, so lovely.
Of course living by the temple, family, and friends (not to mention the fact that we will NEVER be able to sell our house for what we payed for it) will probably be enough to keep me right where I am for a very long time. And that's okay because this place really isn't all that bad and when I get over being homesick I'm sure I'll be just fine.
We went to St Johns to attend a funeral and though it is always sad when someone dies, I have to say that funeral was so edifying for me. What an amazing, inspirational man. I came away a better person from hearing about him. I really did.
I could do a whole long post on why I feel this way, but instead I'll just share one of his favorite quotes that has now become one of my favorite quotes:
"There are two kinds of people on the planet. The first just sits on the bank of the river wondering what will happen...Watching as life drifts by.
The second is on the river rowing the boat-- creating a wondrous and magical reality."
See what I mean, In-spi-ra-tion-al.

Friday, June 26, 2009

If it ain't broke...

They say you take something from every relationship (who are they and when exactly did they say this? Hmm, I don't know, but I've heard it said okay.) and from my main high school squeeze I took away A LOT of life lessons AND one of my favorite cookbooks of all time.

Just look at it. Doesn't it look well loved? It was a gift from my high school beau's mother, a ward cookbook (I can't tell you which ward because the cover has been loved right off and I can't remember, that was a hundred years ago you know) and let me tell you those Mormons can cook. They can cook well and on the cheap, which makes it all the better.
This was my very first cookbook. The one that I first used to cook for my dad (he praised me exceedingly, boosting my confidence to become the cook I am today), the one that I experimented with in college and while living in an apartment with friends, and the one that I still use today. Especially for some of my favorites like beef stew and the ultimate CINNAMON ROLLS. My family loves my cinnamon rolls and I owe it all to this fabulous book (with a little modification. We love sticky bottoms so I had to add some sticky. Yum.)
Knowing how much we love our tried and true cinnamon rolls, I don't know what possessed me to try a new recipe the other night (actually I do know. It was the beautiful pictures and scrumptious description that beguiled me).

They look pretty good don't they? Well they're not. Not good at all. Very disappointing indeed. Their only redeeming quality was that Rick and I were able to stop after eating just one. Can you imagine only eating ONE cinnamon roll (well, I'm sure my mom can, but she is rare in her ability to withstand high caloric temptations) I didn't even eat one the next day for breakfast or lunch or mid-morning snack, if that doesn't tell you they were sub par I don't know what will.
So I guess the lesson in this is to NEVER TRY NEW THINGS (okay so maybe that's a little extreme). Stick to what you know, unless you're talking about boyfriends. You should try lots of them until you get to the very right, very best one. And just think of all of the consolation prizes you'll end up with if you do. Heck, if you're very lucky, you might even get a super awesome cookbook like I did.
And now if you will excuse me, I have an overwhelming desire to go make some GOOD cinnamon rolls.
What are your favorite treasures from relationships past?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The cookie knows...

"You are busy but you are happy." The vanilla scented paper read. What kind of fortune is that I wondered. That's not a fortune at all. What happened to, "You will be tremendously successful, wealthy and loved by the entire world." Now that's a fortune.
But even so, the little paper from my "statement" cookie was true. I am very busy but happy. Which is why this has been a scant blogging week. I've been busy, busy with projects, children, this, that, the other, yadda, yadda, yadda.
In fact I now officially have paint on every pair of pj's and workout pants I own. These little black workout numbers are my latest casualty, but I don't mind because they look AWFUL on me and I would NEVER wear them in public anyway.

I've finished one painting project and am in the middle of a bathroom re-do. It's been fun, but I'm feeling bad because I have a lesson to get prepared before Sunday and I forgot to set up visiting teaching appointments AGAIN. My creative mind has come out to play and as usual it's getting me into trouble. Why can't I be a super woman multi-tasker extraordinaire? Why?

Oh well, at least I'm happy.
My paper said so.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day...

Happily rubbing daddy's feet?
Well that can only mean one thing,
It must be Father's Day.
We sure do love that daddy of ours
He's the best.

Rick and I both had great dad's too and we miss them on this special day, but we find comfort in knowing that we will all be together again.
The last Father's Day I spent with my dad was 19 years ago. I can't believe he's been gone so long. On that day I wrote him a poem that he loved. He said he wanted it read at his funeral (he was fighting Leukemia) but I didn't want to hear that kind of talk. He just had to get better. But he knew, deep inside he knew that the day was coming and four short months later he was gone. Although I didn't grant his request by reading my poem at his funeral (that would have been way too hard) we did print it on the program.
He told me the reason he loved the poem was because it describe the kind of father he had always strived to be. He was a man who believed in free agency and he tried to teach and guide his children with this in mind. He was a wonderful counselor and confidant and I will always miss our long, meaningful talks.
I don't know where I've put a copy of my father's day poem but I'll try to write it now from memory as a tribute to my dad. Hope I get it right.

You never treated me as just a child,
You made me feel more like a friend.
You gave me freedom to explore the earth
With the comfort that on your hand I could depend.
You let me know that my thoughts mattered,
That I had a mind to decide,
But when I felt to overwhelmed on my own
I could always run to your arms and hide.
You'd watch with loving tears when I'd fall
And look on with great pride when I'd climb,
You took the role father and added to it friend
I'll always be grateful you're mine.

(old family picture, minus Laurann. I'm the taller of the white dress wearing girls.)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Simple pleasures...

I've heard it said that raising children is like making pancakes, you always ruin the first one. Though I don't think I ruined my firstborn (he is such a great kid) I do wish that I would have done better in a few areas. Like making pancakes for instance. I've never been much of a make hot breakfast kind of a girl. Cold cereal has been the main morning staple around these parts I'm sad to say. That is for everyone but one lucky little boy named Waylon. Mr. Waylon gets pancakes all of the time.

Before you get the idea that he is my favorite child, I must tell you that it is not him it's me. I am the one who has changed. I have grown in understanding that life isn't nearly as hard as we like to make it. Pancakes are not hard to make, children are not hard to please, simply joys are all around us just waiting to be snatched up.
It is so fun to realize that if I keep moving forward I will continue to gain from this life experience. Today I have learned that I don't mind making pancakes, tomorrow I might be able to say the same about folding laundry. And if not tomorrow then someday, someday I will learn to love it (or at least be efficient at it) because I won't give up until I do.
I no longer feel the need to race through life trying to master all of my shortcomings at once. This is a journey, an exciting journey to be figured out in joy-filled, manageable little pieces. If I don't quit, I will win.
And that is especially true when it comes to working at being a good mom, I must never quit. Because raising children can also be like making pancakes in that we sometimes forget the last one, burning it to a crisp. I need to remain diligent in my parenting so that my last little boy turns out as great as my first.
Maybe I should start by not letting him eat sticky pancakes at the computer. Hmm, maybe.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rescue Ranger Paige...




(Thank heaven for protective eye gear. You never know if a scared cat will want to scratch your eyes out.)

Now would you two PLEASE
(All night they barked. All night! Poor kitty.)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Torn between two loves...

I woke up early this morning, excited to get my day going. I thought I would start by making my bed with my new thrift store find summer bedding (yes it's freshly washed you sillies, and deliciously shabby chic) followed by a quick mop of the kitchen floor so that I could put out the new rugs I found at Target.
Thrift stores? Target? Could this mean...? Yes it does. We took a trip to civilization this weekend and it was fabulous. We stayed in a brand new hotel out by our old neighborhood, shopped, swam, went to the science center, hit some yard sales and ate lots of yummy food. It was a much needed vacation and we all had a glorious time.
We also saw our old friends and neighbors the Johnson's and even though all of our kids have grown up SO MUCH, we were able to pick up right where we had left off. Which made me realize what a lame friend I have been (to all of my friends) and that I really need to do better at keeping in touch. So Heidi, please, please really come see us this month. Did I say please?
So anywho, I woke up early this morning ready to play with all of my new treasures when I suddenly realized that today was the day I promised to start working out again. Bluck!
But I did it. I did it for Hugh (Marlee says, "Mom he's married." And I say, "I know, so am I." I don't want to hook up with the man I would just like a meeting of the eyes and for us to share mutual admiration for one another and our amazing will power in obtaining such awesomely hot, hard bodies. That's all, nothing more.) but about five minutes into my workout I started wondering if perhaps I had chosen the wrong role model. I thought maybe Paula Deen might be my gal.

Just think of it, we could hang out and eat yummy food together while laughing about our jiggly belly fat and clogged arteries.

Doesn't that sound like more fun? It does to me. Especially because I still have half a loaf of our friend Joseph's super delicious homemade bread calling me from the kitchen (extra butter and jam are calling too). So do I want to be jolly, round and well fed or hard, hot and hungry? Hmm, I must want something in between because I DID finish my workout today (with my angry wolverine face on) and now I'm going to go finish that bread (that's right, I said finish it. All of it.)
Oh Paula, oh Hugh, my love is equal for both of you, it really is. Oh wretched fickle girl that I am. What ever shall I do?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I've loved him from the first moment I saw him in the first Xmen movie so many years ago. Which is why Paige and I decided to spend the afternoon lusting over him, I mean, watching Wolverine (Marlee already saw it so she agreed to babysit for us). And boy howdy, it did not disappoint. And I'm not just talking about the eye candy that is Hugh Jackman. The movie was great too. LOVED IT. And Hugh's awesome body made me want to... it just REALLY made me want to... START WORKING OUT AGAIN (whad ya think I was gonna say?)
I've been so bad about working out for nearly a month now and Hugh Jackman's body made me want to start pushing myself to try to reach that level of hotness, I mean, fitness. I have to get back on track. Starting next week I really must get back on track (what? I'm busy this week).
I'm thinking that maybe I need to hang a picture of Mr. Wolverine himself on my wall for motivation. There are only two short months left before my big birthday after all so I need all of the help I can get.

Yes, motivation, that would be the ONLY reason I would hang his picture on my wall. The only reason indeed (wink, wink).
Do you love him too?
Come on, you know you do.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Finding my way back to me...

For Junes challenge Lelly says:
"Your challenge for June is to find your way back. No matter what's been keeping you from blogging, each week you are going to find one small hurdle to overcome. One item to cross off of your to-do list. One pile to declutter. One meal to prepare. One (or ten) pounds to lose.One thing each week that will bring you to your blog. Too vague? Don’t worry. I have parameters!!"
Tuesday, June 9 ~meal-planning/preparations or other organized family time
Tuesday, June 16 ~bringing the indoors outdoors for summer
Tuesday, June 23 ~tackle a very unpleasant cleaning task
Tuesday, June 30 ~I feel better already!


June 9th~ Meal planning/preparations or other organized family time...

I should have guarded it better, seeing as how it was such an important part of my life, my birthright if you will. Being born to artistic parents, it was only natural that a bit of their talent would rub off on me. Having creativity course through my veins has been both a blessing and a curse. A blessing when I’ve been able to come up with ideas like turning my living room into a fantasy land for my kids (the memories we made in this magical room will never be matched),

and a curse when my laundry piles up and my dishes sour while I tackle my latest and greatest grandiosely spectacular scheme.
My children have loved me for it, my husband in spite of it, and I, well what can I say, it’s been my life’s breath. Because of this I should have treated it with care when we made our trek to live in the mountains. I know I packed it up, nothing was left in the old house, but for some reason when the contents of each box were put away, my creativity was nowhere to be found. It must have bounced out of the truck onto a lonely stretch of desert highway (where we might now find a pack of coyotes happily writing their memoirs while lounging in their newly decorated den).
I’ve been a shell of myself without it and my family has suffered. I know this because of the reaction I got when I painted one wall of my new home red.

“Oh mom I’m so glad you painted. This house feels like Gilbert now. It’s like we’re finally home. I love this red wall.” They cheered. And that was just one wall, think of the joy I’d bring if I really got my groove on.
They have suffered in other ways as well, mealtime for example. My family loves my cooking, but I’m afraid I’ve been a dud in that area too. Creative culinary love has not touched their plates for some time and I know they have missed it. Fortunately for them though, I have this crazy desire to become fabulous by my fortieth birthday (which is approaching quite quickly I might add) so I have used this summer as a time to start kickin’ it up in the kitchen.
This month’s creative menu has come courtesy of The Pioneer Woman blog. The woman is a food genius and we have had the best time experiencing her tried and true, ultra yummy recipes. Learning from her has lit a spark under me. I have rediscovered the joy of dinner table smiles and I don’t ever want to loose that again.
Life is such an amazing journey, and I know that if I continue forward I will find my creativity again. I’ll pick up a piece of it here and a snippet there as I walk along life’s path. And much of my success will be owed to you, my fellow bloggers. So if you ever worry that blogging might be nothing more than a big old time waster (I know I struggle with that) know that somewhere out there someone might be regenerating their life through yours, what a gift that is.
Jessica taught me how to add links (names only) to my posts. Thank you Jessica, I am so happy. See I told you bloggers were awesome.
To read more SPTs or to join the fun by posting one of your own go HERE.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


What's better than listening to live music at a small cafe with a few of your favorite people?

When the live music is being performed by your very own son.

He's so very brave and so very talented.
And I'm so very grateful that he didn't inherit my chicken gene.
How 'bout you? Could you get up and sing in front of strangers?
If the answer is yes then come on down to Hebrews Cafe, because they're going to be starting a new karaoke night (watch for the information banners). How fun is that? I'm so tempted to add humiliation by karaoke to my "Fabulous by Forty" list. Would that be broadening my horizons or what. I need to do it. I so need to do it.
But I won't.
Oh no I will not.
But I really should just to say I did.
Anyone want to come with me?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Simply lovely...

Some time ago I received this Lovely Blog Award, twice, which made me feel very loved. First my good friend Mary gave it to me, then another came from a new friend, Bahama Shores Mama. I ask you, how nice is that?
I must confess that I didn't pass on the award like I was supposed to because I'm still a wee bit computer illiterate when it comes to all of the bells, whistles and fancy tricks of blogging. For example I don't know how to show a link to another blog without writing out the entire blog address. I have to put http://marymaryrc.blogspot.com/ when all I really want is a simple "Mary" link.
I'm sure it would be a very easy thing to learn if only someone would teach me (hint, hint). But in the meantime I wanted to at least acknowledge the generosity of these two lovely ladies. Thank you lovely ladies for this lovely award. I very, very much appreciate it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

When you've only got 100 years to live...

She didn't want to go and I couldn't blame her, I've always hated piano recitals too. But she went anyway and I thought I'd bust with pride as I sat staring at the back of her head, waiting for her turn to perform.
During these moments of anticipation I wanted so badly for her to feel the joy of her journey. I wanted her to love every minute of her life. The good and the bad, the fun and the scary, the mistakes and the triumphs, I wanted her to relish in them all.
She's not just alive, she's LIVING. She's going, doing and feeling and that's what it's all about. Joy in the journey, that's what I want. I want to be present and aware for each moment of my life. I want to dance when I feel like dancing, I want to sing at the top of my voice (because no one cares what I sound like anyway) I want to soak up every experience and smile because I'm living, REALLY living.
I want to keep trying and I want to find as much joy in the trying as I do in the succeeding. I want to be as sharp and spectacular as Marlee's elderly piano teacher someday, living to the fullest until the very end. And I want to be like two of her fellow students, women like me, who are still developing their talents and memorizing their songs (that's got to be good for keeping the mind young).
In fact I want that so much that I'm adding a goal to my "Fabulous by Forty" list. I'm going to memorize a piano piece before my birthday and then I'm going to play it, for people (although I don't rightly know who), either on or soon after my big day.
Yes I am.
I'm done playing life's silly games. I may not be perfect but I'm alive gosh dang it, I'm alive.
And I like it.
P.S. For those of you who asked about my previous post...
I told my kids that it was a curling iron burn. I know I shouldn't have lied but when Marlee cornered me and hissed under her breath, "Mom what is on your neck?" I panicked. It was seriously much worse than being caught by my father, so I used the same line that had worked on him many (many) years before, the good old curling iron burn. But sadly, when they read my blog I will be so busted (do you know how awkward it is to be busted by your own children) so not good.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I suppose it’s my fault. I don’t wear a wedding ring after all and I guess a man likes others to know that a woman is with him. Maybe that’s it. Maybe that’s why I’m walking around looking like white trash right now with a hickey front and center on my neck.
I didn’t want to bring it up, it’s very embarrassing you know, but being that it’s front and center on my neck what’s the use in trying to hide it. I just wish I hadn’t had it today. Today when I had to go to the high school to pick up my son’s diploma. Today when I had to meet with all of the office workers that LOVE him, and that looked at me quite funny as they asked, “You’re Landon’s mom?” (They’ve meet me before but I guess the new hair and the HICKEY threw them off)
And blame it on the meds I had taken for a migraine, or the migraine itself, or maybe the fact that I had just been watching my kids take swimming lessons for two hours in a stuffy room, or perhaps even the fact that I was in a high school office, whatever the reason, I found myself speaking to these dear ladies like I was an idiot. Using phrases that a teen girl would use as I explained why Landon hadn’t walked with his class, “And he was like this, and we were like that…” I seriously used the term “like” um, LIKE a lot. Am I almost 40 or 14?
Hickeys? Primitive speech? Where was my big wad of gum?
Will I ever grow up? Is there any hope for me?

Waylon sure hopes not because we like had a really fun time riding this scooter today.
It was like way cool.
Being a grown up is so overrated.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Lessons from a bicycle...

"But Jamie already figured out how to ride a bike without training wheels." She cried. "It's not fair. Why does Jamie do everything better than me?"
"You could read and write when you were four, Jamie couldn't do that." I told her.
"So. I want to know how to ride a bike. I'll never figure it out. Why is everyone else better than me?"
Ahh, the million dollar question. Why is everyone else better than me?
Did I happen to mention that I've always wanted to be a great singer? Well I have. In ninth grade this desire led me, eagerly, to choir tryouts where my dreams were promptly crushed by the fact that I only made it into the SECOND highest choir.
Although I was invited by the teacher on two different occasions to sing solo parts in this "lower" choir, which should have indicated to me that I showed some sort of promise, I never got over the fact that I wasn't good enough to be with the best. There were others better than me which to my mind meant that I stunk and that I should probably just give up singing altogether.
And that's just what I did.
In retrospect I can see that maybe this wasn't the best course of action (especially as I now watch my own children work to climb up the choir ladder), and yet, AND YET, I still find myself falling into this pattern of thinking in my life.
Sad I know.
Thus I struggle with the, "Why am I not as talented or as pretty or as funny or as nice or as organized or as good at this that or the other? Man, I should just throw in the towel already."
I even struggle with this little blog of mine. Why the heck am I writing it anyway? Heaven knows I'm not as interesting, smart, clever or well-rounded as the other, "better" bloggers out there. I should go blow the dust off of my old fashioned paper journal and quit this silly blogging business.
And yet, AND YET, I still keep coming back for more. More of blogging and more of LIFE. Because although there will always be someone better than me, somewhere deep inside I know that's okay. Somewhere deep inside I'm excited to discovered just why I'm made the way I am. Why I'm me with all of my flaws, idiosyncrasies, and yes, talents too (there I said it).
I have to keep trying or I'll know everything about everyone else (or at least what I perceive them to be) and nothing about me.
I'll miss out on knowing ME.
And that would be very sad indeed.
And as Miss Easton, master bike rider extraordinaire has now discovered, working to become better than YOUR OWN best is the key to happiness, and has been all along.