Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Take one down, pass it around...


I'm in love and I don't care who knows it! And no I'm not talking about the book "I am number four" but I am talking about another publication, "Writer's Digest magazine". I've been reading it this morning and dying over the genius of those who contribute to it. Dying in grinning, gooey, giddiness I tell you. Especially when I read this paragraph:

"To not write your novel, constantly worry about how bad your book might turn out to be. Pause every thousand words or so and think, This is about the worst piece of crud known to man. Where did I put the bourbon?"

This paragraph made me laugh out loud because this is where my mind currently resides in my writing journey. "It's all crap." I tell myself. "What the heck am I doing thinking I can write anyway. I pretty much stink!"

So when Marlee came to me the other day and said, "I read what you've written so far."

I cried, "No it's crap! I can't believe you read that awful, horrible, crappity crap! You should have let me edit it first."

"It's amazing." She answered. "You're an amazing writer."

"That means a lot coming from you." I said.

"Oh yeah, why?" She asked.

"Because you're reading all of the time!" And she is too. Holy cow that girl's read a ton of books. And she's very particular and critical too. She doesn't like crap. So it did mean a lot to me when she said she liked my writing. Especially when she let me know, with a hint of drool at the corner of her lips no less, "I love that Aaron guy."

"You know he's the bad guy." I told her.

"Even better." She smiled.

Okay so maybe I won't quit (or resort to drinking bourbon) just yet.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Birthday Rush...


In honor of Jamie's birthday I give you this picture of Big Time Rush (because I don't currently have other birthday pictures to post) her newest, latest and greatest love interests. I think it is Kendal she loves most (guy in hat) but she is sure to correct me later if I'm wrong. Like boyfriends in years (months, weeks) past I find that I can tolerate these guys pretty well too. Their music doesn't bother me and I've even been know to get sucked into their TV show from time to time. So all is well. Lets just hope she has the same luck in choosing real life boyfriends. Oh I'd better like them because I am not putting up with any foolishness I'll tell you that right now. I'm so done with fool men and their shenanigans (not speaking personally of course. I gots myself a keeper) and I pray everyday that my girls can steer clear of the fools. Please.

And now if you will excuse me, I must go make cotton candy for Jamie's class.


I really don't feel like making cotton candy today, but I must. Because when you own a cotton candy machine it just doesn't feel right to make cookies or cupcakes, I'm just saying. So that's what I'm gonna do. Make cotton candy. Yes I am. Right now.

Did you know that if you make cotton candy in the house it coats everything with tiny sugar particles and sets off the smoke alarms? Good times.

Friday, October 7, 2011

If you build one, they will come...


So I was reading NieNie the other day--as I'm known to do from time to time-- and in this particular post seen HERE... she briefly mentioned her daughters' fairy creations in the backyard which made me feel all giddy because outdoor fairy creations were ONE OF MY VERY FAVORITE THINGS IN LIFE when I was a wee child. And this thought led to the memory of an afternoon spent making fairy creations with my girls-- back when I was a brunette (ours weren't quite as elaborate as the NieNie girls' but whatever, mine never were either).

Do you remember when I was a brunette? I do. After going through my pictures to find our fairy house day, I'm thinking of becoming a brunette again (and forget what they say about blonds) because I seemed to have a lot more fun as a brunette. I'm not even lying. I look at my old pictures and say, "Dang who's that girl? She's having a heck of a lot more fun than I'm having now." So I'm wondering... Is it the hair? Did I have more fun because of the hair? Hmm... maybe I'll just have to find out again. Yes maybe. I'll have to think on that one.


But in the meantime, I think it's time to get out and MAKE SOME MORE FAIRY HOUSES. Even though it just got very cold here. A fact that I can hardly speak of without a little sting in my heart. Perhaps if I become a brunette again I'll be able to face the winter like Rocky Balboa in Russia (what # Rocky was that? 4?). You remember that one right? When he's stomping through the snow with a log on his back? No? Well refresh your memory HERE...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Make mine cheesy...

Mama’s Losin’ It



I L-O-V-E our song, "When I See You Smile" by Bad English. I L-O-V-E it so much that I painted it over our bed. And I L-O-V-E the fact that when my daughter Paige suggested that Rick and I take a picture by our sign, Rick actually jumped up and did it (complete with a cheesy grin) even though ( as you can see by the fact that he is wearing his comfortable shorts) he had settled in for the evening-- flipping between a Diamondbacks game and a John Wayne movie no less.
That's love baby. True love.

I thought about trying to explain all of the whys for my love of this song, but I decided to let a sampling of the words speak for themselves.

Sometimes I wonder if I'd ever make it through
Through this world without having you, I just wouldn't have a clue

'Cuz sometimes it seems like this world's closing in on me

And there's no way of breaking free, and then I see you reach for me

Sometimes I wanna give up, I wanna give in, I wanna quit the fight

And then I see you baby, and everything's alright, everything's alright

When I see you smile, I can face the world, oh oh, you know I can do anything

When I see you smile, I see a ray of light, oh oh
I see it shining right thru the rain
When I see you smile, baby when I see you smile at me, oh yeah

Baby there's nothing in this world that could ever do

What a touch of your hand can do, it's like nothing that I ever knew hey

And when the rain is falling, I don't feel it, 'cuz you're here with me now

And one look at you baby, is all I'll ever need, it's all I'll ever need...

That in a nutshell sums up our relationship. Support, strength, love, laughter and plenty of smiles. There's not a person alive who makes me smile more than that man o' mine.

And if I'm ever being a downer and forget how important my smiles are to him, remembering one of my favorite quotes always gets me back to being Miss Nice Girl
(sorry I don't know who said it)

Take bread away from me, if you wish,
take air away, but

do not take from me your laughter.

... it opens for me all

the doors of life.

Love. That. Quote. Smiles and Laughter are among the most powerful forces on earth. And if you don't believe me, just watch the video to our song HERE. And see how happy you feel after laughing at John Waite's hair.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I don't often play by the rules...


Yesterday I woke up to October. Well actually I'd awaken to October a couple of days before that as well, but because I had other things on my mind those other days... Yesterday I woke up to October.

And I said to myself, "Self, it's October! We should decorate for Halloween!" To which myself replied, "Well, do you think we should clean then decorate or decorate then clean?"

Hmm, what a quandary. Clean, decorate? Decorate, clean?

Logic would say, make your house all spiffy lovely then decorate. It's the right thing to do.

But I don't like logic, especially in matters of creativity. Logic stifles creativity. Logic is a killjoy. So I argue with logic and say, but if I decorate first then I'll get all jazzed, pumped up and excited and I'll clean up speedy quick so as to be able to show off the splendor of my creation. And all will be well in my world Mr. Logic. All will be well.

But it's not the right thing to do. Logic protests with a firm stance and stern glare.

And I sheepishly ponder the question again... Clean then decorate? Decorate then clean? Hmm...

So what would you do?


And what do you think I did?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Surf and Turf...

Mama’s Losin’ It

A Memorable Fishing Trip...


Once upon a time, I went away to college and decided that cowboys were very HOTT!!! Which was unusual as I had never thought much of them in high school.


If I recall correctly, the cowboys at my high school just hung out in the far corner of the parking lot, listened to country music (blah) and smoked. At least I think they smoked. Did they smoke?


And I belonged to the big hair, guess jeans and alternative rock/pop crowd.


And please tell me that when you weren't out and about in your guess jeans you were at home in your mens boxer shorts (and a very over sized shirt, seriously why am I wearing that tent) tell me that you wore guess jeans and or mens boxers and I'll tell you that you are my people.

But in college things were different,(though I still had big hair, guess jeans and popular music) because in college cowboys were HOTT!!!

So once upon a time when one of the HOTT college cowboys called and asked me if I wanted to go fishing with him I said YESSSS, don't mind if I do.


And that's when I caught my very first ever fish (a trout I believe)


Out yonder there on my fishing date with the cowboy


Then we all went to the home of my cowboy date's cowboy friend and ate steak (?)

And the cowboys accepted me into their secret cowboy society when I proclaimed it a sin to put sauce (of any kind) on a steak (my daddy raised me right). And life was good.

...later that summer (when we were all back home) the cowboy wrote me a letter while out on the range of Montana (my cowboy date was a real life cowboy) and told me how thinking about me kept him warm at night (I swear we only went on that one fishing date and we never even kissed).

But sadly I never wrote him back because I had fallen in love with a non-cowboy back home.


And I'm so very glad I did.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Group dating...


Contrary to popular belief, when a girl gets asked to homecoming by two different boys on the same night she does not exclaim, "Woo-hoo, lucky me!" (though she is very flattered and grateful)

In reality when a girl returns to her car after her amazing choral concert (Marlee really was amazing at her concert last night and I'm pretty much a dud for not taking my camera) to find balloons and a cake waiting for her then whilst hurrying home to find out who they are from, receives a phone call from her dad saying, "There are roses and chocolate here for you..." she does not say, "Woo-hoo, lucky me!" But... "Oh no." and "Oh dear." and "This is really bad." and "What should I do?" and "I feel awful." And the like.

And then she frets and stews and sighs and calls her friends and drives to her friend's house for a pow-wow and worries and stews some more (because she would fancy going with either boy and doesn't want to tell one no). It's a tough thing I tell you. A very tough thing indeed.

Fortunately for the girl however, there is a rule of etiquette put into place that protects against such a situation as this. The rule of etiquette that states (and correct me if I'm wrong) that it is only proper for a girl to accept the offer of he who asks first

...even if it was only five minutes before.

Monday, July 18, 2011

So what have you been up to?...


For reasons I do not wish to discuss, I have had need to be very nice to myself as of late. No really. Niceness to myself has been imperative to my survival. It's true. And therefore I have spent most days in ratty jeans and or pajamas--because though being nice to oneself for some might involve stiletto heels and a french manicure, for me it means ratty clothes, a messy ponytail and absolutely no makeup-- and while hanging about in my tattered state, I have found that the art of thumbing through old magazines has become very therapeutic for me.

Well not just thumbing through them exactly, but thumbing through them in order to rip out words, phrases and pictures that uplift and delight my senses. You see I have turned into Templeton from Charlotte's Web--scavenging ever scavenging for the perfect word. Of course after my role as Templeton is complete I then become Charlotte herself, spinning a web (or in this case a poster) of inspirational delight. And then alas it is Wilbur I emulate, dancing and flipping about under my web (or posters) of blissful affirmation.

That's right--I'm some terrific, radiant, humble pig and I'm gonna be just fine.

If you're wondering what I plan to do with all of my webs (or posters) of blissful affirmation, I'm using them for a project I'm working on in my new creative/writing room. I can't wait to finish it so I can show y'all. It's sure to be fabulous. I think.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lucky me...

Tonight while trying to watch a movie with Rick, two of my little ones came into our room and started arguing over who got to have "mommy and me time". I tried to tell them that they could both spend time with me but that I would first like to finish my movie so please go upstairs and wait. They were reluctant, unhappy and in need of my time and attention so I asked myself, "hey self, can this silly movie bring even a fraction of the fulfillment and joy to your life that these little ones are offering you right now?" To which I answered myself, "Um no self I don't believe it can." So I walked away from the movie, gave each of my little ones a piggy back ride up the stairs to the family room, where we sat together and read "Stone Soup" (I loved that story as a kid) and it was quite lovely.

Later as I stood in my kitchen preparing a roast for tomorrow's dinner I thought to myself how very lucky I am to have so many people who want to spend their time with me. I'm very loved and this is a wonderful feeling indeed. And as the words to the hymn "Have I done any good in the world today" played through my mind this evening (as it often does when I replay my day) instead of feeling like a bit of a failure for not reaching out to do this that or the other for my neighbors and friends, I thought of my sweet little family and answered...
Yes, yes I have.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

In the pink...

Once upon a time I fell in love with a pink voice recorder so I bought it. Which lead to the decision to start writing again (after a really cool experience that I will share later). Which lead to a decision to turn the loft space in my house into a creative space--a really fun, funky, shabby chic, dripping with girly goodness creative space--which lead to my search for a fun, funky, shabby chic, dripping with girly goodness desk and or table of some sort.

Which lead to my finding this at an antique mall (the top is metal, so cool)...


Which lead to me now having the happy task of decorating my new creative space around this cute little find. And oh the ideas I have. So fun.


And now--though there is a ornery, naughty little part of me that likes having it out there (for reasons I will not discuss here)-- I need to figure out what to do with the ginormous sectional that is filling my entire front porch. Hmm...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

but please hold the bull...


So I'm watching American Idol last night (me and a ba-jillion other people mind you... and yes I'm pleased with the winner but I would have been pleased either way because I liked them both) and I felt happy down to my happy bones (are there happy bones?) that Scotty sang with Mr. Tim Mcgraw himself. Now y'all know that I am not generally a country girl when it comes to music--unless of course the music is just right (for me mind you, you can like whatever you want) and I likes me some Tim Mcgraw and I also really likes me some Randy Travis and young Mr Scotty has some similarities to Mr. Travis wouldn't you say? Well I would.

So as I was saying, my happiness meter went up a little bit when I saw them singing together especially because they sang "Live Like You Were Dying" and I like that song. Yes I do. And now that song (that I like) is very much stuck in my head which has left me to ponder, "What would I do to live like I were dying?"

So I went through Mr. Mcgraw's list...

Rocky Mountain climbing
2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Man Choo
Love deeper
Talk sweeter
Give forgiveness I've been denying
Watch an eagle while it was flying


I think I'd say yes on everything but the skydiving and bull riding (although when I discussed this matter with Waylon he lit up (like you've never seen a boy light up) over the prospect of getting to ride a bull. Seriously so excited. Guess he has a little of his Grandpa in him).

You know, I'll have to work on my list of things I'd want to accomplish if I knew my days were numbered (because they really are if you think about it, even if I have 50 to 60 years of them left) but for now I know the most important thing that I'd want to do is spend time being perfectly plugged in and present in my husband and children's lives. And right up there in importance to me would be to keep a journal. Because I know when we lose someone we love we want to hold on to any precious little tidbit of memory from the life they left behind.

So I'll continue to visit this blog to leave little pieces of me behind because even as insignificant as I may sometimes feel, I know there are people who love me just the way I am, people who will miss me when I'm gone and who will want to remember what I had to say while I was here...

And this is my gift to them.

Another thing I'd add to my list would be to post a video of me singing "Live Like You Were Dying" here on this blog (I've been belting it out here at home let me tell you). Not because I sing well and I want you all to Ooo and Ahh over me but because I sing mediocre at best and well,
that's the whole point...

"You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth."
William W. Purkey

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The time I fell in love...


Once upon a time I fell in love... but then that's jumping ahead in the story, it should really begin like this...

Once upon a time (about a week ago) I stopped to recognize that many times throughout my day my mind is flooded with thoughts. Whether they be thoughts to be added to a book manuscript or thoughts to be shared in a letter to a friend or thoughts for my children or other loved ones, thoughts on gospel principles, motivational thoughts for myself and others, thoughts on how to better navigate my way through this crazy world, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts all day long thoughts. I really do have a dizzying mind it's true.

Problem is I never take the time to write these thoughts down and sadly most of them get lost. So I said to myself, "Hey self, why don't you get a handy dandy voice recorder for your thoughts? You could keep it in your pocket all day long (for your all day long thoughts) then write down what you recorded before you go to bed at night." And then I said back to myself, "Hey self, I like that idea."

So I visited Amazon.com and that's when it happened... that's when I fell in love. Because there amongst all of the practical, professional looking voice recorders was this sweet little beauty IN PINK. Now I usually don't let myself get so silly over silly matters like this (it was a little more expensive and took a little longer to ship) but this little voice recorder spoke to me ( :} ) and it made my heart sing. And since I'm using it for creative purposes I decided that was a very good foot to start off on. Yes I did.

Now if I could only figure out how to set it up. Hmm...

Oh well my kids will be done with finals soon so maybe they can help their poor technology un-savvy mother out (what can I say, I've never even owned an MP3 player before. Well, until now because my precious little pink is one of those too. Happiness.)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Listen to your heart...


I stayed up til three in the morning last night (something I've been doing a lot lately) and in the course of my staying up I watched some episodes of Oprah that I had on my DVR, my favorite of which was a show she did on her all time favorite guests.

As I watched a wise young boy explain his philosophy on life I began to wonder what my "heart song" is. Really, what is my truest deepest heart song?

Later in the show a woman from Zimbabwe (I believe) spoke of how--though she faced many obstacles-- she was able to write her greatest dreams down on a piece of paper then bury it under a rock. And now many years later every dream on that paper (and they weren't small) has been fulfilled. So again this caused me to wonder, what dreams would I want to bury under a rock?

And then I cried a little (people who are staying up until three in the morning watching Oprah generally have something that they want to cry about) because the only dream I really have for myself at present is the dream of running away, growing a beard (perhaps bushy leg hair would be more achievable) and becoming a hermit, happily separating myself from the human race forever more (of course my husband and kids would have an open invitation to visit anytime).

Have I lost faith in the human race (myself being included in that group)? No, and I never will. I can't have an absolute testimony of the atonement of my Savior Jesus Christ without having absolute faith in man's ability to overcome and triumph. I just wouldn't mind taking a break from the frailties of those in the human race for awhile (myself being included in that group) because staying up til three in the morning to watch Oprah may be enlightening, but oh am I tired.

So very, very tired.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Can you picture that...


Remember this?

Of course you do. It's my visualization board and I've only showed it to you like 9 o'billion times. But that's only because I love it soooo much. I really do.

And now guess what (brace yourselves)...

I've made another one!!!


Ain't it so purty that you just can't stand it?

Well it is to me. But then I have a deep burning love for words, colors, pictures and metaphors. I've decided that I am a metaphor savant. It's true. You should hear what some of the pictures and phrases on this board mean to me. My girls laugh but I don't care because I'm telling you these boards really work.


And now my new board resides on my bedroom wall right next to my old one (along with a picture so graciously painted for me by my darling Marlee). They are the first things I see when I open my eyes in the morning, bringing instant happiness to my little world.

Words are very powerful. I think we all know this. So why not hand pick the words that will greet you each new day? Why not indeed. I know I will. Yep, I'll keep hand picking new words throughout the years until my entire wall is covered in them.

I get all goosebumpy just thinking about it. For real.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My morning thoughts...


Living in the "NOW" means that I get to find joy in simply watching Jamie wake up and reach for the orthopedic shoe I wore after I broke my foot. She hurt her foot the other day while playing with water in the wheelbarrow and has worn that shoe everyday since. It is too big on her and it's terribly unattractive but she wears it with such pride--a visible injury is GOLD to most kids.

I find joy in letting my kids choose how they will express themselves in this world. I'll admit that it's hard sometimes to watch some of the outfits--conjured up by imaginative hands--walk out of the house and into the big wide cruel world. It's hard not to cry out, "Conform, conform, conform--fit in with the crowd." But I don't want to do that to my kids. They are so creative and confident about which side of that line in the sand they want to stand and I never want to break that spirit.

I myself fight everyday with the notion that I must live, be, look a certain way to fit in and be admired. The voices of the world--who have traded their souls for a chance to be "normal"--ring in my ears and give me a headache. So I'm rebelling, a little each day, I'm rebelling against those voices that try to tell me that there is only one way to be if one is to be truly happy, because I'm learning that this "one perfect way" is not making me happy at all.

I do not wish to live a life of conformity. I want to make decisions based on what I feel not on what I'm "supposed" to feel. Perhaps that is why I stayed in my pajamas the entire day yesterday. I didn't lounge in them but I worked, played and lived in them. Yes all day, with a "Mrs. Goodkind" bun pulled tightly atop my head to boot (Mrs. Goodkind was a character from one of my favorite children's books, "The Firehouse Cat" and I would often feel troubled that she chose to wear such an ugly bun in her hair and felt quite certain that she would be much prettier if she let it down).

Yesterday I didn't feel the need to conform to "beauty". Yesterday I felt a little feisty and rebellious and happy to simply be present in the moment. And moment after moment of my day seemed to call for nothing grander than pajamas and a bad hair-do. So I simply lived what I felt and it was lovely.

And today? Well, today I feel like getting dressed. So that's just what I'm going to do.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A happy day for a crazy gal...


As you may be aware, yesterday was Mother's Day.
As you may also be aware, I am the mother of a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
As you may further be aware, I receive a phone call from my missionary son twice a year. On Christmas and on Mother's Day.

So yesterday was a very, very good Mother's Day for me indeed.

A talk to my son for THREE WHOLE HOURS and let the house get all messy kind of Mother's Day (of course we let the house get all messy every Sunday but whatever) and it was fabulous.

Being a mom is the bestest best thing in the world. It really is.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Every kid should get to live near a cousin...


"Yep, he's dead." Waylon announced as he and his cousin Jonah checked on the baby bird that they had tried to save the night before (they saved it from a cat's mouth. Perhaps it would have been better to let the cat finish the job, but hey, they had to try--right?).

"Well, we're learning about the cycles of nature." Waylon continued, "And this is one of the cycles of nature."

"Yeah... dying." Jonah whispered solemnly.

"People die all the time." Waylon added, "It's just one of those things."

Jonah and Waylon have the best conversations. I love listening to them (especially when they don't know I'm there). Waylon is a very matter of fact, "this is just how life goes" kind of kid and Jonah is very mindful and tender hearted, but they will both fiercely defend their point of view and they are both extraordinary story tellers. Seriously, they scare each other to death all of the time. Jonah had Waylon so scared of a bully at school named Tony that Waylon was ready to call off his education all together.

"I think Jonah is just telling you a story." I told Waylon.

"No he's not." Waylon insisted. "Tony gave Jonah a bloody lip and sent him to the hospital and everything." (Okay, I'm thinking the family chat lines would have been lit up had this really happened.)

"Waylon I'm pretty sure Jonah is just messing with you." I reassured him again.

"No mom it's true. Tony is the worst bully at school and I don't want to go back there."

"Well do you know Tony's last name so I can talk to the teacher about it?" I asked.

"Yeah his last name is Hawk, Tony Hawk."

Tony Hawk?


Um... yeah.

So cute.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Letters from Landon, thou shalt not kill edition...


As I've mentioned before, Monday is email day from our dear Mr. Landon. Have I told you that I love email day? Well, I do. And I love this experience that Landon shared with us yesterday. So much so that I want to share it with you.

So without further ado I give you an excerpt from our~


...another day this week we came in an hour early and i felt like we should go walk around the local area. we went, knocked on a couple doors, nothing happened. we were walking through the parking lot to go in for the night when a man called after us. we walked up to him to see he had tears just streaming down his face. he said he needed us to say a prayer with him. he was really angry at someone and was contemplating going to their house and killing them. we got down on the ground of that parking lot and prayed with him, after that we talked to him for a while to calm him down. we felt prompted to give him a Book of Mormon and gave him a chapter to read. he said he would go home and read it right then and go to sleep afterward. a few days later we saw him again, he told us "i've been reading that book you gave me, i read a lot of it. It helped me out so much. I'm not angry at that man anymore. and usually by this time I start drinking, but right now i'm just sticking with tea" It was a miracle to say the least. Dad, I know this work is true and that is why all these struggles are worth it. They are totally worth it. I just wish there was more i could do, just like Alma says "oh, that I were an angel".

Have I told you that I love that kid?
Well, I do.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hope Springs Eternal...

(Rick was trying to make a serious, sophisticated expression, but he kinda just looks mad. The silly)

We just got back from an amazing weekend adventure, my husband and I. So amazing, so uplifting, so life changing. Seriously WE ARE HAVING THE TIME OF OUR LIVES.

At one point over the weekend Rick said, "This sure beats being at work."

I then reminded him, "This is our work! And most likely will be our FULL-TIME work someday!"

Pinch me.

I can't believe I'm involved in something that does so much good for so many people and fills me with warm fuzzy happiness, encouraging me to love and be loved, nearly everyday of my life.

I can't believe I'm involved in something that promotes change in my life and helps me to contribute to the change in others.

Those who read this blog know that the idea of personal progression is one of my favorite things about being alive, so to be involved in a career choice that lets me focus on progression in life, in hope, and in happiness is a bit surreal to say the least.

Life is a gift and my gratitude runneth over.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My own tug of war...

I'm participating in "Pour your heart out" today because I've always wanted to but never have and sometimes you just need to take the time to do things that you've always wanted to do but never have--dontcha think?

Once upon a time I did a lot of pouring my heart out on this blog. But that was once upon a time when my life felt very out of balance and I wanted to knock my head into a brick wall, but I don't feel that way so much anymore-- well unless you're talking about being out of balance with myself.

You see it's like this...


Sometimes I'll wear a flower in my hair or the like. An act that makes my sophisticated side cringe. My sophisticated side says, "get that flower out of your hair and act like a grown-up." My sophisticated side can be a real downer. But my artistic side argues with her and says, "Leave me alone. I like the flower. Color and texture make me happy so la." (my sisters and I used to always say "so la" when we wanted to do something and someone disagreed with us).


My sophisticated side likes to decorate very neatly and precise and to have my house look like a model home. Ms. sophisticate painted this family room in Gilbert (okay so she has a tad bit artsy in her too).


My artistic side would like to paint every wall a different color with maybe a mural or two for good measure (that's right I said mural). Ms. Artistic painted this living room in Gilbert. Yes living room. The first thing you saw if you visited our home. Ms. Artistic is crazy like that.

So what I'm saying is that I'm at odds with myself. I really am. Part of me wants nothing more than to be an eccentric artist who wears only paint splattered overalls (I currently do not own paint splattered overalls but I really want some) and funny hats-- and another part of me wants to wear high heels, skinny jeans and celebrity style hair extensions (I don't currently own celebrity hair either).

Ms. Artistic would argue that the eccentric artist look would require far less maintenance and would be far better for easing into old age (long, spirally gray hair and wrinkles would only enhance the look). While Ms. sophisticate whines, "But high heels are cute and if you work hard you can keep your body nice for a long time. Remember Susan Lucci on Oprah the other day? We can be like her."

Sometimes I do want to work hard so that I can look like Susan Lucci as I age but other times I just want to look like this...


And sometimes I wouldn't mind acting like Weezer either (I don't have any Weezer in me. Seriously. none. But sometimes I think it would be fun) But most of the time I'm happy being soft and kind hearted. I want to be sophisticated but I also want to be bold. I want to be normal but I also want to be eccentric. It's an all out war I tell you (and this is just a small sample of it), a war that can get rather exhausting. So exhausting in fact that I'm tired of talking about it.

So the only question left is this...

Do I go work on the talk that I have to give on Saturday or do I paint the whimsical picture that I've been wanting to hang in my bedroom?


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Only the noble, chivalrous and kind need apply...

(we took this picture shortly before moving here (my girls and their cousin) would you just look at how fast time is racing by. It's just plain crazy I tell you)

My sister in-law sent me a link yesterday that made me cry. Click HERE to see why. Seriously incredible.

After watching this incredible video I proclaimed that I wanted one of my daughters to marry Spencer, a young man featured in the video, because he is exactly the kind of person I want them to have for their happily ever afters. Yes he is.

I know that he is too young for some, too old for others but I don't care we must snag him as one of our own. We simply must.

After showing the video to my kids, Jamie said, "Oh look, over 5,000 people have watched this already. That means a lot of other mom's probably want him for their daughters too."

"I know." I said, "I bet they've all signed their daughters up to be his wife."

Hearing this, Waylon craned his head back and with a puzzled look asked, "Wait, you can do that?"

"Yep." I answered, " I've already got you all signed up with your wife. Do you want to know who she is?" Nervous laughter ensued and I think he was very relieved when I told him I was only kidding.

Even though I can't really pick my future kiddos in-law I'll let you in on a little secret (what harm could it do? You already know I'm a goofy one) I can't wait to meet them all someday and I often pray for them. It's true. I pray for their happiness. I pray that they'll be able to withstand temptations and sorrows in their lives. I pray that they will have experiences that will lead them to truth, joy and strength, and I pray for them and my own kiddos that when they find each other they'll know it and that they'll get it right (remember how close Rick and I came to missing each other. Yikes. What a sad thing that would have been).

So maybe I'm strange, but I don't care. We're talking about the happily ever afters of my children here. If that's not worthy of some divine intervention I just don't know what is.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Weekend splendor...


It started with a much needed date night, this weekend of mine, and ended with some much needed, much appreciated and very much loved spiritual edification found through general conference.

For those who don't know, general conference is a semi-annual event where members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (and non members alike who feel so inclined to watch it) gather for some fabulously fabulous spiritual instruction and edification. Did I mention that it's fabulous? Well it is.

Anyway, that's how I spent the majority of my weekend and I feel very blessed because of it.

After one session of conference a wonderful program called "Turning Point" came on and boy howdy did we cry watching that. It's amazing how beautifully God orchestrates our lives. A-ma-zing.

Later as Rick and I snuggled together on the couch he asked, "Did you ever imagine that marriage would be this wonderful?"

"I don't know." I answered. "But I know I never thought it would be bad." (I grew up with examples of happy marriage all around me). We then spoke of what would have happened if I had never called him back after our break-up. I said, "Well I couldn't get you out of my mind so I had to call." He said, "I couldn't get you out of my mind either but I didn't know what to do about it."

He said his heart was pounding so hard when he heard my voice on the phone. I said mine was pounding too because I didn't know if he was going to tell me to get lost.

But he didn't tell me to get lost.

And I was happy.

It was our very own turning point.

And boy was it a good one.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The time I was saved from being a fool on April fools...


Often times the Lord blesses me in spite of myself, a fact that I am very grateful for.

Take this morning for instance...

Now it is no secret that I am not an organized person by nature. So it came as little surprise that with only 10 minutes left before Waylon had to catch the bus for school today, I suddenly remembered that he needed five filled plastic Easter eggs, and a packed lunch to boot, for a school picnic. Granted, ten minutes would have been plenty of time to accomplish these tasks IF I HAD ANY PLASTIC EASTER EGGS IN THE HOUSE. Which I didn't. Or so I thought. But just as I started to break the news to my poor unfortunate son that his mother is a twit (I'm sorry I just love the movie "Matilda") and therefore he would have to miss the picnic that he had so looked forward to, a picture came to my mind in perfect clarity as to where some eggs had been stashed some years ago (when you're unorganized you rarely recall where you stash things. It's sad.)

So I quickly retrieved the eggs, filled them with candy that I had forgotten to put into one of Landon's care packages (blessing #2) and frantically ran to the kitchen to throw a lunch together. Only I didn't have to throw a lunch together because as Easton was leaving for school this morning she remembered a pizza party promised by her teacher and left her lunch behind (#3).

Sometimes I feel unworthy of such tender mercies, being that I am a twit after all :) , but I am so thankful for a loving Savior who-- while encouraging me to continue to work hard at becoming all that I can be-- still sends me precious reminders that He loves me just the way I am.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Like you didn't already know I'm strange...


"Ooo, what if there was a Justin Bieber Just Dance game? Now that would be something." I asked Jamie on our ride home from school while shamelessly bopping to "Baby, baby, baby oh..." in the driver's seat.

"Um, yeah." She answered sheepishly. Then with a nervous smile and an apologetic tone she added, "Mom, I have to tell you something. I've kind of lost the Bieber fever. I'm sorry but ever since I saw Rustin Hieber on youtube I remembered how much fun it used to be to make fun of Justin Bieber and I really want to make fun of him again with Easton, Cora and Kimmie. So I'm just over him now."

It was at this point that I should have wiped my brow, let out a big old "Whew" of relief and switched discs (being that this Bieber fever affair had started so that Jamie and I could have something special to share together) but I didn't. I continued to listen, sing, dance and make obnoxious tweeny-bopper hand jesters to match the painfully tweeny-bopperesque lyrics (have you ever made a heart symbol with your fingers? Now that's a good time).

So whatever. I'll admit it. I've still got the fever for the Bieber, independent of my 9 year old daughter, because--and say what you will about my sanity--his music puts me in an instant good mood.

And wouldn't you agree that more instant good moods are exactly what's needed in this big old crazy world of ours right now?

I think you would. So go find your instant good mood maker today. And if you don't have one try this...

"Shawty is an eenie, meenie, miney moe lover. Shawty is an eenie, meenie, miney moe lover..."

Now that's gold baby. Pure warm fuzzy, happy dance gold.

Don't believe me? Check it out HERE and thank me later for the happiness that takes over your body.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

There's hope yet...


Once upon a time I set a goal to be fabulous. Fabulous by forty. Once upon a time I decided that fabulousness included clean closets. Once upon a time I cleaned my closets but shortly there after I found out that some fabulous people are of the clean closet variety while other fabulous people are not. In other words, my closets quickly fell into disarray and I had to learn that I can be a fabulous work in progress and that's okay. As long as I stay "in progress".

So while trying to stay "in progress" I'm forever working to improve myself by study and listening to those who are fabulous in ways that I am not. One such person is Randy Pausch of "The Last Lecture" fame. If you haven't watched the last lecture watch it HERE. It's fabulously fabulous.

I love Randy Pausch. He keeps my dreams of fabulousness alive even when forces around me would tell me it's hopeless. Therefore I try to watch, read or listen to anything I can find with his name attached to it. One such lecture I recently watched was this one HERE on the subject of time management, wherein he spoke of procrastination and gave the following advice...

"If you have to eat a frog, don't look at it first. And if you have to eat three frogs, don't save the biggest one for last."

Fabulous. So fabulous in fact that I taught it to my children.

Fast forward to yesterday...

Yesterday I stood in my bedroom and declared, "Ugh, I have to eat this frog today and I better not look at it first." (at present my room is very messy)

To which Waylon replied, "Yeah, and you shouldn't save the biggest frog for last so I think you better start with your closet."

Six years old and he already gets it.

Now that's fabulous.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Yo, Adrian...


It's springtime, which means I now look like this.

No, not like the saxy lady... more like the oozing toad creature.
Yes that is me--an allergy stricken, oozing toad creature
and I'm pretty much sick of it.

And to make matters worse, yesterday I accidentally ate something that I'm allergic to (ever hear of the food coloring, carmine? Well it hates me)
so now I'm an oozing toad creature with puffy, goopy, swollen painful eyes.
Just call me Rocky Balboa. So nice.

I wonder if they'll notice at my parent teacher conferences today.
Perhaps a pair of sunglasses are in order.
What do you think of people who wear sunglasses indoors?
Drug addict? Hangover? Battered wife? Diva? Socially bizarre?

Hmm, maybe I'd be better off to just go with the oozing toad creature look.

But then again...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Such sorrow...


I have two favorite days of the week since my Landon has been gone, Monday and Friday. Monday because I get an email from Landon and Friday because I get a letter in the mail from Landon.

But this Monday is different, this Monday is not my favorite, this Monday is my very un-favorite. Because this Monday my Landon is on daylight savings time (we don't change time in Arizona) and this Monday he was at the library an hour earlier than usual and this Monday my email was later than usual so HE DIDN'T GET IT!

You see I had many interruptions this Monday whilst trying to get my email done, several of which were from my darling, love of my life husband who kept calling me (we were apart all weekend so he had much he desired to discuss with me). Each time he called I said, "I've got to get this email done, let me call you back." Well shortly after our last conversation he called me back and said, "You better send that email quick, Landon has already written to me this morning!"

Panic stricken, I added "Love, Mom" to what I had written and hit send only to find when I checked my mail that he had written me a half hour earlier. A HALF AN HOUR. Missionaries are not known to loiter around (they have much to do you know) so the likelihood of him still being there to receive my email is not very good at all. And now I am so very sad, making this a very awful Monday indeed.

The thought of my baby boy (who will be 20 this month btw) going throughout his day believing that his mother didn't even care enough to send him an email is killing me right now. It's a dagger protruding right out of my chest I tell you. A dagger dipped in poison.

I've had several dreams since becoming a mother where I find myself away from my children for one reason or another and spend the rest of the dream frantically racing to get back to them. It's a terrible, helpless feeling... much like what I'm feeling now. The only way for me to reach Landon at this point is through snail mail and that takes a few days and that's just a few days too many for this dagger pierced heart of mine.

Melodramatic? Maybe, but he is my baby boy (20 years old or not) after all.

...and I miss him.

I wrote over here today too...


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I'll have the gumbo with a side of joy please...

Mama's Losin' It

Lesson learned...


I recently learned a valuable lesson from a well known financial guru who said, "Once you make the decision to spend money on something you better enjoy it. If you don't find joy in what you decide to do then the money is wasted."

"Hello..." I answered back (to myself). Of course, it's about the joy. Life is all about living, loving, experiencing and finding joy {in a responsible manner of course :) }

So when Rick and I went away for our anniversary over the weekend and dined at a yummy restaurant where we may have ordered 3 different appetizers (we just had to try all of them) and some fabulous entrées (that came with bread and salad mind you) and I became very full midway through my fabulous entrée and began to attempt to finish all of it... because that's what you do when you spend a lot of money on an entrée at a restaurant (and can't take it home because you're not going home) you force yourself to finish it so you don't waste your money or your food... I suddenly stopped eating and said, "Wait a minute. This isn't about the food, it's about the joy."

We had gone out to that restaurant that night--deciding to spend a chunk of our hard earned change--to be alone together and to ENJOY one another and when I realized that I had accomplished that objective, the guilt for not "finishing my plate" or "getting the full value" was gone. I had spent my money on joy and my joy (along with my belly) was full.

So I set down my fork, sat back in my seat, and enjoyed the rest of my evening with my amazing husband (and no stomach ache).


What a wonderful lesson learned.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

He's a keeper...

Mama's Losin' It

Writer's Workshop Prompt:

Husbands. A post that hopefully will not get you in trouble.


Today we celebrate 21 years together.
Guess he must be doing something right.