Friday, December 12, 2008


Here's my week, in case you were wondering. No, I don't have pictures. Yes, I know you like them. No, I am too lazy to download them now, so stop asking for pictures.

1. My princess of a daughter informed me that there are two lists boys fall on. There is the cute list, and the good personality list (a good personality was someone like her, she said, you know, funny but not obnoxious, nice, not stupid). She seemed a little perplexed that none of the boys she knows fall on both lists. (I was not.) We discussed names of boys, and which lists they fell under. I tried to reign myself in, and I (surprisingly) kept from spouting how I felt about her discovering boys a few years too early.
As we were finishing our conversation I asked her which quality was more important, cuteness or personality. She thought for a second, and answered "Personality." My heart leaped for joy. "That's right," said I, "because cute can go away, but personality never changes." She was quiet, then said disappointingly, "So a boy might not always be cute?" One life lesson learned a little too soon.

2. Cannon started carrying around a box. It is a Home Depot project box, with a sliding top. The prof had made them with the kids over a year ago. And they had remained unused until this past week. When Cannon started carrying his everywhere. He discovered it was the perfect place to put his Nintendo DS, and all his Bakugan, and any other important small things he didn't want to lose. Again. Because he loses things all the time.
Like the time he lost his Nintendo DS two weeks after he got it. And it remained lost for months, until it fell on me when I was cleaning under my bed. (He had put it inside my box spring. I'm not sure why.) So now he sleeps with it, wakes up and takes it downstairs, takes it in the car, puts it on top the tv before he leaves for school, takes it down when he comes home, totes it with him until he falls asleep with it. And then the cycle starts again. It is really quite endearing.
Poor guy, he just hates losing things. He can't help it though, being related to me and all.

3. My eldest waited until the last minute to do his book report. Again, being my son, I was not surprised. But he had already read the book! (He's really into Hardy Boys right now. And any kind of war book. Non fiction are his favorites. He gets that from the prof.)
He wrote out the oral part at school, and we just had to build a diorama. I made salt dough (how preschool of me, I know) and I let him go to town on the inside of a shoe box. It turned out quite nicely, with painted trees, a sandy beach, an overturned boat, and the Hardy boys (aka lego men). I let him do the entire thing, even though I was told parents could help a LITTLE. He does not need nor want my help.
Cannon wanted to know if the school was going to keep it, because he really wanted his lego guys back. He probably wants to put them in his box.
Chance also finished his cub scout requirements and will be receiving a pretty awesome award next week at his last pack meeting, and then he'll cross over into boy scouts. Ahh, scouts. It just seems to last forever.

4. Claire is as cute as ever. Seriously, have you seen her? Adorable, especially with her new talking with her eyes thing. I don't know how she does it, but she makes the most hilarious eye movements that make me want to eat her right up. I've never seen any of my children be quite this expressive with just their eyes. And she also decided that she likes nursery (score!) so that increases the cute quotient by 1000. If she wasn't so stubborn, I'd say she was the perfect baby. But stubborn she is. And usually she's without clothes. I pick my battles. Being a two year old, she usually wins.

5. I love running. Seriously, I. Love. Running. Especially this week. I can go for a run at 4pm if I want and it's so beautiful outside. So when both of my running partners call out (happens 2 or 3 times a week, on average, slackers) I can still get a run in. In the summer, this isn't possible, as the heat is too oppressive past 6am. But now, oh now is when I live to run. I would run every morning and every night if I could. I would go for miles and miles. When I see other people running, all I can think about is how much I wish I was running. And if I could get another run in, I will.
Someday when all my children are big and I have nothing to do (right Dad?) I will run 2 or 3 times a day, just for fun. I will go for 20 milers on the weekend. It will be awesome.

6. Remind me someday to tell you about the hula hoop contest that Chance entered. It's a good story.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Because you know you want to see pics of my kids...

This picture is my favorite of all the children.

This is the prof's favorite, and being a good wife, I put it in the Christmas card.

I love this one.

My awesome sis, Beka, took these pictures of my family. I wish my children didn't run in horror at the thought of getting photographed. Even though they absolutely hate every minute of it, Bek still was somehow able to make us look good.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Random observations

We had the opportunity to go to the school last night. Cannon was getting his very first SOTM award. He looks excited. Despite his overwhelming emotionless expression, He was actually quite pleased. On the inside.
This was the exact face he made through the entire ordeal. Not a single smile. Not one. I'm not real sure where the seriousness comes from. It must be the prof. I find I can blame most things on him.
On a different note,
I went out the other night.
I had a meeting or something to go to.
It was in the neighborhood.
I was gone about 1 hour.
I left my eldest in charge.
This is what I saw when I walked in the door.

My baby sound asleep on the couch.

An open jar of peanut butter between her legs.

A fork.

Peanut butter on everything, the couch, her hands, her hair, her diaper.

I had to ask myself

A. Wasn't somebody supposed to be watching her?

B. Do I dare wake her to give her a bath?

I opted for a baby wipe bath.

I reprimanded the children.

I wonder, do you think she loves peanut butter as much as me?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey trot, trot, trot

(Bottom row, Lisa and Me, Top row, Dad, Nick, Craig in a turkey suit, Amy, Mike, Rachael, Richard (holding Rock))

My family has run the Turkey Trot in Mesa for like 30+ years now, or almost as long as they've put it on. It was just my dad for many of those years, but as you can tell, he's converted most of his children to the sport of running. This makes him a little giddy, as he loves running almost as much as he loves us.

Before you get any ideas about how lovely this all is, a family full of runners getting together early Thanksgiving morning to celebrate and enjoy one another's company, I have to tell you that this is not for fun, although we have fun. We are not occasional runners. We take this seriously.

For example here are some words we exchange with each other as we await the start:
What do you think your pace is going to be today?
What is your goal time?
How did you do last year?
Do you think you'll set a PR (personal record)?
Did you eat a good dinner last night?
What did you eat for breakfast?
Are you feeling strong?
How's your hip, calf, foot, etc.?
Remember, don't go out too fast (to the newcomer).

As we congregate on the patio above the sign in tables, we hand off all of our keys, wallets, phones, and newly acquired t-shirts to the spectators (usually mom, some spouses and small children). We stretch and jump and pin our bibs to our shirts. We discuss whether we think the weather will be good, and whether we should add or shed layers. My dad visits the portajohn a million times, just in case. We watch the 1 milers finish, and then the 2 milers. Then we start our descent to the start line (surprisingly this year, one of us was skipping very big skips to the start, I won't say who).

My eldest brother who runs 6 minute miles is usually right up near the line. The rest of us are nearer to the front than the back of the pack. We wait, and wait, until the gun goes off. And then we go.

No, we don't run all together.

We each have our own pace. Sometimes those paces match up, and we'll get two of us running together. This year was Rachael's first year, as she's a newcomer to the sport. Amy ran with her. They did awesome, although I know Rachael was slowed down by the massive ring on her left hand, placed there just the night before by Greg(g). I am excited to have another sister in the running ranks (Beka you are next). I am also excited to have another brother.

We weave in and out of the thousands of people. The crowds don't seem to thin at all, as it's a 10K and there aren't enough miles to separate them. We turn onto Brown, turn again at the end of the park, turn again on Adobe. All the time passing runners and being passed by runners as we find our paces.

I am surprised this year as I see my dad ahead of me. I catch him, smile, and run past him. I wondered, rightly so, if his injury was bothering him. I don't see any of my other siblings. I wonder who is ahead and who is behind me. I slowed down for mile 5, it's a slight upgrade. I get discouraged because I don't foresee making my first goal (53 minutes) and try to salvage my second goal (55 minutes). I hit mile 6, with .2 to go and realize if I kick hard enough I can make 53. I don't know how I made up the time, but I kick. I cross the finish line, then turn to the ropes to catch the rest of my family. I look for them, and pretty soon I see Nick, then Amy and Rachael. I cheer and then go find the rest of the family on the patio.

Someone tells me I beat Richard. What?! I came in 1st BM (behind Mike, who ran it in 42 minutes, the freak show). That can't be right, I say. Are you sure? I beat Richard?! I came in after Mike?! I let the reality of that hit. It was a wonderful feeling, sublime actually. Although I somehow missed them, Richard, Lisa, and Dad came in right after me.

We discuss the race back on the patio. We dissect the miles, recap our injuries and illnesses and how we feel now. We eat orange slices and drink water. And then we wish each other a Happy Thanksgiving and leave. Some of us go to the parents, some to the inlaws.

It's one of my most favorite holiday traditions.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Ways to tell your children are turning into teenagers and you are turning into your mother:

Me: Why didn't you eat your lunch today? (asked as looking into a full lunchbox)
Child: Because no one brings those kind of chips to school. (Tortilla chips)
Me: When I was your age, I was grateful for anything to eat, and most days I had nothing!

Me: I bought you a new shirt today. How do you like it? (Holding up a nice striped polo)
Child: I'm not wearing that to school. No one wears those kinds of shirts to school.
Me: What's wrong with it? It's nice, and brand new!
Child: No one wears nice clothes to school, I'm not wearing it.
Me: Oh you'll wear it, if I have to duct tape it to your body!

Child: Do you want me to show you which boy I like? He's in the yearbook.
Me: Is it still that Mike kid? (Fake names have been used)
Child: Mom, he is soooo last year. He's totally old school.

Child: I need a cell phone.
Me: No, you don't.
Child: But all my friends have one!
Me: I didn't get a cell phone until I was 31, you are just going to have to wait.
Child: I wish we weren't so poor.

Child: Mom, are you going to blog about this?
Me: No. Well, maybe.
Child: Well I'll find out, all my friends read your blog.
Me: Ummmm, what?

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Sometimes I mess up. And then I feel just awful about it. I'm not perfect. I've never claimed to be. I just wish I wasn't so human. And I wish I could hide under anonymity, so no one would ever have to know that I am a loser sometimes.
And if I want to dwell on this for a little while, I wish people wouldn't tell me to get over it. Because I will get over it, just on my own timetable.


I have magic scriptures. Yes, that's right, magic.

When I open my scriptures, I am almost always given the comfort, answers and admonitions I needed right then. Seriously, it's almost scary.

For example, I was complaining the other day (not perfect, remember?) about having to do something that seemed monumentally difficult. I complained to a few(5) people about said hard task (don't judge me, it's how my head works). I wallowed in a swimming pool of self-pity.

Then (10 minutes later) I realized I was wrong. I was really wrong. And I needed to apologize to all (5) people I had complained to. I needed to assure them that I would be fine, that my complaints were unfounded, that everything was actually going to be alright.

And then I felt really dumb. Why is it that when I feel really strongly about something I can't just stop my mouth from opening and my foot from lodging itself inside? Why can't I figure out the feelings I have on my own, without involving a whole slew of innocent bystanders, whom I've now converted to my way of thinking, and I have to reshape their view of the situation?

That evening, I opened my scriptures. Literally, I just opened them. And there, highlighted for my eyes to read was 1 Nephi. You know the part where Nephi speaks about his brothers murmuring, where they were saying it's a hard thing the Lord has asked them to do, but Nephi says he will go and do all things?

I wish I wasn't a murmurer. There in black and white and highlighted red, were the words I needed to hear, stop murmuring. Just go and do. My life is not hard. I don't have many trials, compared to some. Everything would be alright. Stop freaking out.

I wish my magic scriptures would've opened themselves a little sooner.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Can you see what's missing?
That's right, his first baby tooth popped out last week. And by popped out, I literally mean he hung onto it with every effort he could until it finally gave up the ghost. It was turning a very disturbing shade of dark and was distortedly twisted from lack of attachment. But he did NOT want to pull it, for fear of blood and pain, mostly pain (remember the drawing his blood incident?). Even the thought of free money wouldn't move him to yanking it out or permissing anyone else to touch it.
So it clung to it's perch on the front of his mouth. He would eat sideways to avoid using it. He would gently wiggle it just to make sure it was still there. And that is how he spent the last 3 months.
One day he was walking upstairs and POP! Out came the tooth on it's own, into his little hands. No blood, no pain, just a tiny tooth and the space where it used to be.
He came running in to tell me. I captured a few photos, and told him to go find the Tooth Fairy Pillow. On his way out the door he dropped it. Oh, the devastation.
We searched the carpet on our hands and knees. We enlisted sibling help. We combed the loft trying to find it. In the process I found all kinds of things that look like a tooth, crumbs, beads, legos, polly pocket pieces.
Finally, when almost all hope was lost, the tooth was found. And a celebration was had. And the tooth was quickly tucked into the tooth fairy pillow before it could be dropped again.

Oh how I love this kid.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Punny kids

Here are some of the latest jokes circling our home, A la Emme.

What do you call an elephant in a phone booth?


What is red and smells like blue paint?

Red paint.

Would you forget me if I was gone for an hour?

Would you forget me if I was gone for a day?

Would you forget me if I was gone for a week?

Me: Knock knock

You: Who's there?

Me: See, you forgot me already.

My friend likes to watch chickens cross the road all day.

I asked her why.

She said because it's poultry in motion.

What gives you the power to see through walls?

Why was Cinderella kicked off the soccer team?

Because she kept running away from the ball.

Want to hear a construction joke?

You can't, I'm still working on it.

I'm working on a magic joke.

I throw a pumpkin in the air and it comes down squash.

Why did the elephant cross the road?

It was the chickens day off.

Why didn't the skeleton cross the road?

He didn't have the guts.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Letters by Emme

Dear Dad,
I (heart) u so much!! I love your curly hair.
He smells like pizza
He keeps me in a house
He is my dad
He is my wonderful dad!!

Dear Cannon,
I (heart) u so much! Stay smart, hope
you always get "A's"
ABC, 123
He is smart
Yesiree, I (heart) u.
U (heart) me for all eternity.

Dear Claire,
You are such a
great sister. I love u so
much!! Thank you for being
such a great sister.
She is like silver
or is it gold
she is my sister
my wonderful sister.

Dear Chance,
I (heart) U!! I like your
brown hair.
He smells like candy
He is as handsome as Tony Hawk
He is my brother
my wonderful brother.

Dear Mom,
You are the best mom
ever. You are a
great cook. I (heart) u so
much!! You are very
beautiful. I (heart) your black
Her hair is like candy
she smells like perfume
She is very handy
She is my mom
My wonderful mom.
I (heart) U!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


We celebrate Halloween early around here. Mainly because there was a neighborhood FHE party and it was just another excuse for the kids to dress up and eat candy.
Because they won't get enough on Friday.

Is she not the most cutest Snow White ever?
I firmly believe I do not ever recall a more adorable version of this princess. Even with blackened feet from the rented bouncer. (You should have seen the bath water.) She fully enjoyed herself and ate as many pieces of popcorn off the ground as she could, and drank from as many people's cups as she found. What are the odds that she won't contract some hideous disease?

Can I just tell you that I love the Disney Store? I went there last Saturday looking for a ninja. The salesman showed me this Power Ranger. I told him I really needed a ninja. He said it was 75% off. I bought it.
We've declared it a red ninja, just ask him. Complete with gloves, boot covers, and a helmet. For like $10. Fantastic.

She decided a month ago that she wanted to be a black cat. I was a little hesitant (fearful of a catwoman type outfit), but she insisted all she needed was black pants, a black shirt, cat ears and a tail. I dolled it up a little with some fuzzy yarn around her wrists and ankles. But she absolutely loved it and drew on the whiskers and nose herself. I love costumes that are regular clothes.

He originally wanted to be Wall-e. You know, a robot with tank treads and controls inside. I talked him out of that. Then he wanted to be a spy with night vision goggles that cost $80. I said no to that one. He got depressed and said he didn't want to be anything. My dearest talked him into a secret service agent. I love this costume. It's a pair of sunglasses and one of my ear buds and a fake real-looking gun. I actually bought the shirt and pants too, but he totally plans on wearing them after. And do you see that little piece of red ribbon? That's his holster, made by him. He looked for black ribbon but couldn't find any. I love how clever he is.
I love costumes that are regular clothes.
I love them.

Friday, October 24, 2008


I was inside my house busy the other day when my baby came up to me. "Bubbles," she said, pointing to the gigantic container of soapy water sitting atop the fridge.
My first instinct was to tell her, "Not now, see mommy is really busy doing important stuff like cleaning the house and making dinner."
But, she can't understand that. All she can see is the bubbles and me shaking my head, saying no.
So I threw caution to the wind and took that large jug of bubbles out to the front yard and started blowing for her. She screamed for joy, eyes sparkling at the sight of bubbles everywhere. She would chase them across the grass as they skittered and floated, until they reached her little fingers and Pop! While there were copious amounts of bubbles in the air immediately following a good puff of air, the bubbles would soon scatter and Pop! Pop! Pop! The offending culprit was usually a blade of grass, or a leaf on a tree, or even a strong gust of wind. Sometimes she would actually touch one and laugh as it Popped! on her finger.
She was having such a grand time.
I got caught up in her excitement and wanted to really impress her. I tried my best to blow as many bubbles as I could, so there could be hundreds floating in the air around her. As I did I noticed something. The quicker I exhaled, the less bubbles came out of the wand. But if I slowed down and took a long steady breath out, so many bubbles would emerge that I could usually take another breath without having to reload.
I thought about this for a little while. Sometimes I get so caught up in trying to be better, a better mother, wife, friend, sister, daughter, neighbor, Primary pres. I want to impress others, make them like me, it's the people pleaser in me. But as I try too hard to do too much, like the bubbles, I usually end up feeling empty and realize I haven't really accomplished anything.
I need to remember to take a long, even breath when it comes to my life. I can't be everything to everyone all the time.
And I need to remember that sometimes, it's okay to blow bubbles in the front yard with my baby.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Two - It's where it's at

I let all two year olds eat cookies for breakfast on their birthday. In fact, on their birthday, all two year olds get to eat cookies all day long. Soda pop too. That was pretty much her day, cookies and soda, soda and cookies. I mean, it's not her fault her brother has the flu and we can't go anywhere or do anything. To compensate for this unjustness, I allow an all-you-can-eat cookie and soda buffet. It is her birthday.

Also on her birthday, all two year olds do not have to comb their hair. No, two year olds get to spend their day in their jammies, read books, eat cookies, drink soda, take naps, and cuddle up to their mommies, without having to undergo the ritual of untangling the disaster that is her hair. Which, lets face it, will just tangle itself back up a minute after I detangle it.
I love two year olds. But mostly, I love this two year old. How could you not?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Nothing gets done around here

It's fall break.

Let me tell you what I've accomplished.


Not much.

My children being home distracts me from my to-do list.

But I can tell you that I've washed more dishes than humanly possible. How is it that I need to refill the dishwasher thrice daily? How is it?! Do you have any idea how many dishes that is?! Come on children! One cup a day, rinse and reuse. That's my mantra. I should've started saying it on Monday.


I have been able to dissect all the available info, and have put together a plan for our 3 month food storage. This took quite a bit longer than expected. (I was right, Gluten Free makes it challenging. But not impossible.) I am thoroughly excited about it and cannot wait to start purchasing bulk quantities of canned goods. That's right, thoroughly excited. And you should be too. Excited that is. About food storage. Who knew it could be so fun and liberating? Kammie did. She was our most recent Cannery/Food Storage Specialist. And she's laughing at the rest of us right now. Wagging her finger and smirking, I'm sure. It's okay, we deserve it, those of us who did not heed her calls to store up. Kammie, can you hear me? I'm sorry Kammie, really sorry. I should've listened. Please forgive me.

My 3 month supply will include items such as chicken enchiladas and pumpkin muffins. It might take me a year or two to collect all the food, but in the end, we'll be eating pretty.

By the way, pumpkin muffins rock.


By the way, my kids have lived outside all week. They've had wrestling tournaments on the trampoline and played war on the swing set. My windows are open and I've been baking. I love the fall. By the way.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ummmm, what?

Today when I called a friend of mine, her husband answered.

"May I speak with _______," I asked, customer-service-like politely.

"She's had a rough morning and is taking a nap right now," says husband.

Here's where it got dicey. Don't ask me why I said this, it just came out.

"Well, when she's aroused, could you have her call me?" asked I.

Uncomfortable Pause ensues.

"Suuurrrre," he finally answers.

I hang up the phone and wonder, well, that didn't sound right.

And then I flush red and my mouth gapes open. Aroused?!! I said aroused, to her husband. I told her husband to call me when his wife was aroused. AROUSED!

And I'm sure he will never look at me the same again.

(for the record, I meant to say 'when she arises' or 'when she rouses'. I just combined them into one sentence.)

My trash runneth over

I witnessed a miracle today. I mean yesterday.

As many of you know, I have trashy problems. Remember when our can went missing? That was an awful couple of days.

This past weekend my sweetest installed winter grass. (I know, I know, isn't that like unenvironmentally friendly? Shouldn't I just let it go dormant to save on water? Guess what? I have four children. It's only nice enough to be outside during the winter. It wasn't even a hard choice. Don't hate me because I plant.)

In order to plant the rye, you must remove all summer bermuda from your lawn. It is a tedious job. One of mowing 3 feet, emptying the grass clippings from the mower bag, and repeating for all 1300 square feet. (We aren't even talking the backyard yet.)

As my professor was doing this, certain words came from his mouth. Mostly they had to do with, "I can't believe I let you talk me into Bobsod @!#$*!!*#". Why was he so perturbed? Because Bobsod is unbelievably thick, think carpet-like. It's awesome to play on, really bouncy and soft. But it's not so fun to remove. It took him a looooong time. (We aren't even talking the backyard yet.) It was a lot of mowing, emptying, mowing, emptying, mowing, emptying.

Take a moment to ponder all that emptying. You can imagine that we had a serious trash problem. Where does one put 10-12 large bags of dead grass? Especially when we are still a garbage producing family? And the trash man doesn't show up until Monday?

By Sunday night we had 9 grass bags on the side yard and 4 indoor garbage bags in the garage. Take a moment to imagine the smell.

Monday came and my prof told me to go to our neighbors cans and see if they had any room, ie. put some of our trash in theirs. Ummm, isn't that illegal? Is their such a thing as garbage fraud? I felt dirty all over even opening their lids. Of course, their was no room.

So I stuffed our can as full as I could, with 4 extra bags spilling out the top. And waited. The trash man doesn't come until late afternoon.

I came home from an errand and discovered he had come. I took the bags from the garage and some of the bags on the side yard and almost filled it back up. And then I left it there on the curb. Why did I leave it on the curb? Sometimes I'll put it away, sometimes I'll just pull it into the driveway. But yesterday I left it on the curb, almost full.

And then the miracle.

The trash man, he came again. He came again! I heard his truck pull up, stop, and drive away. I looked outside and saw the can lid was closed. I went to check. It was empty! Empty! I had witnessed a miracle, a tender mercy. My trash was overflowing and he had emptied it. Again.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

To my dearest prof:

Aren't you worried about the possibility of being on the receiving end of a rock, thrown through your office window? There's a lot of Anti-Canadian sentiment out there, I'm sure. I'm glad to see you haven't deterred from your patriotism. And Einsteinism. Wait, isn't that an element?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Brick walls all around me

Do you, any of you, wonder why I post? I mean, what is the point of my blog? To marvel at my children? To find humor in the mundane? To discuss running? The answer is, yes.

Do you ever wonder why I don't post more personal topics? It isn't that I don't enjoy a good laugh/cry or testimony building experience. I love reading all about yours, so please, by all means, continue. It's just that emotionally charged stories and such are hard for me. Don't get me wrong, I can definitely pour my heart out over the keyboard. I just have a hard time letting you look at them.

Why is that? What is it about me, that doesn't like showing you, my faithful readers, my innermost thoughts and feelings and experiences?

Honestly, I'm not sure.

Do I fear judgement? Yes, but that's not the whole of it. Here, I will try to explain.

You know how you find yourself sitting in a pew on the first Sunday of the month? Here you are, minding your own business, tending to the needs of your children, poking your husband awake, listening with one ear and one eye. And suddenly you know. You know you're going to get up. You don't want to, you try to suppress. But you know. And pretty soon you are standing, your feet are taking you to the front of the chapel, up to the pulpit, and you find yourself sharing the one thing most sacred to you, for all to hear. And your heart is bleeping out of your ribs and your face is red all the way down to your chest and you are avoiding any and all eye contact, and you are talking 800 words a minute.

Phew, and you're done.

But see, that's not the worst part. The worst part, in my opinion, is the aftermath. It's the smiles and the pats on the back and the "I really liked your testimony" comments that come for the next few hours. Why does this bother me? I mean, isn't the whole point of sharing so that others can get something out of it? So that we can lift each other as a whole? Why do I cringe at every compliment? Why do I wish I could just go home and forget the whole thing?

I think, and I could be wrong, but for me, I think it's because I've let myself become vulnerable. I've exposed the real me, raw and open for all to see and, let's face it, judge. (We're not even discussing the whole problem of "What if I said it wrong?" I know there are rules, I read the Ensign. What if I thanked instead of testified? What if I used the wrong words or stumbled over my thoughts incoherently? What if I sounded like an illiterate? These are real worries.)

This problem of showing my vulnerability trickles down to my blog as well. I just can't. I've tried a few times, but end up removing the post or posting a lot until the offending post gets relegated to the archives. I can't even look at it, much less the comments.

So for now, I will keep my personal stuff personal. And I will continue to enlighten you with my wit and charm, my children and my professor, my running. You know, my regular life.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


It's snack time, and around here, pickings have been pretty slim as of late.

I'm trying to cut back on the processed food for two reasons: money, and a desire to feed my children more than chicken nuggets and french fries every other day. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I still do it, just on occasion instead of it being the norm. But the main reason is money.

I've cut out many extras on our grocery list. We are down to the bare essentials, so that hopefully we can reduce our weekly food costs and start a food storage program. That's right, I said start. I know now is the most inopportune time to start, but it's better than not starting at all, right? A bad start is better than no start. Start start start start start. What a funny word. It's a star with a tart on the end.

So like I said, it's snack time, and long gone are the goldfishes, the fruit cups, the fruit snacks, the cookies, the wafers, the crackers, the granola bars, pretty much anything that comes individually packaged. (I still buy some of that stuff for the older kids lunches(school lunches are $2.25 each!!! Multiply that by 2 children and it's over $20 a week for food that my chitlin's will only eat half of. Ridiculous. Plus, no gluten free offerings.)

The call comes, "I'm so hunnnngrrry! Can I have a snack?" says he.

"Sure," I reply.

"What can I have," he says.

"What do you want?" I ask.

"What have we got?" he volleys back.

Good question. I search the fridge, then the pantry. Like I said, slim pickings.

"How about peanut butter on a stick?" I offer.

"Shhoooore," says he.

I dig up a plastic knife and scoop out some pb for him, and then another for his sister.

"Mom," he grins, "it's like a peanut butter popsicle."

Yep, a peanut butter popsicle.

At least he's not using his finger to dig it out of the jar.

Like his mom does.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


My sweet Cannon asked today,

"Mom, can we get our car a tattoo?"


"A tattoo, like the one in that car's window," he pointed out.

He was of course looking at a sticker of an animal of some sort, pasted in the back window of a large truck. It wasn't a bumper sticker per se, but a vinyl sticker in the outline of this animal that I cannot remember. A fish, maybe?

"Do you think our car would look cool with a tattoo?" I ask, as we pull our minivan into the garage.

"Yeah, but we have to go to a special place where they put them on." he says, informatively.

"A tattoo shop?" I offer.

"Yeah, a special tattoo store where they put them on the cars."

Is it against my religion to give my car a tat?

Friday, September 26, 2008

My mosaic-Thanks Beka!

1. Loin et libre aujourd'hui !!, (Melanie?) 2. neon project, houston: #2, 3. Marcos de Niza Rock, 4. vw, 5. dip kiss, 6. 23!, 7. rule of fourths! yellow umbrellas and the impending storm, 8. mango cheesecake, 9. The Earth is God's Canvas., 10. writer's teeth, 11. busy, 12. Rollercoaster

My list

1. What is your first name? Melanie

2. What is your favorite food? Mexican

3. What high school did you attend? marcos de niza high school

4. What is your favorite color? pink, maybe?

5. Who is your celebrity crush? brad pitt

6. Favorite drink? Diet Dr. Pepper

7. Dream vacation? Bahamas

8. Favorite dessert? cheesecake

9. What do you want to be when you grow up? writer

10. What do you love most in life? my children

11. One word to describe you? busy

12. Your Flickr name? Rollercoaster (I don't have a Flickr account so I used my blog title)

Wanna play?: Type your answer to each of the above questions into Flickr's search. Using only the images that appear on the first page, choose your favorite and copy and paste each of the URL’s into the Mosaic Maker (3 columns, 4 rows)... Enjoy!

This was fun Bek, but you forgot to warn me that some of the Flickr images were, ummm....inappropriate? Scroll fast.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

By Request

The other night Em asked me to take a look at her list.

"What's it a list of?" asked I.

"Baby names," she said.

"Ummm, who's having a baby?" I questioned, with an ounce of curiosity and a gallon of worry.

"Well, Aunt Beka is, and Aunt Cindy is, and I will someday," she responded, rolling her eyes.

I perused the list and, to the best of my abilities, held back the laughter that was catching itself in my chest and coming out my eyes.

Here is a portion of her list, as the entire thing is pages long. We'll call these the Top 16.



As I type, I am shaking with fits of giggles.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Helmet hair

Rachael-if you haven't read my previous post, the first paragraph's for you.


I don't know why I feel the need to post TWO DAYS IN A ROW. But I had to share.

Whilst I was driving yesterday, my car window broke. There I was, scootering home when the driver's side door window fell. Just fell, fell into the schist of the door, gone, gone. I pondered the repercussions.

It was going to get very windy. And very hot. And very loud.

What were the necessary errands I couldn't put off until my prof could take a look, ie. hopefully fix it? I would have to take my beloved niece home later. Dang, that's an hour round trip. The children were being carpooled, good, good. I would have to run the princess to piano. And back home. Luckily it's a few blocks away. That's it. No big deal, this I can handle.

I was surprisingly optimistic. Glass half full, for sure.

Unfortunately I discounted exactly how greasy my face and hair were going to get. It is like riding on the back of a motorcycle, something I haven't done since my dearest sold his per my insistence (he hasn't forgotten his first love, the Shadow). So pretty much anywhere I show up, until it gets fixed, I will be looking a tad disheveled and in need of a good cleansing. Sorry.

Maybe I'll get a helmet. Can you see it now? My minivan full of children and me, sporting a helmet. My husband always thought I'd make a great biker babe.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Life is pain

This is why I don't post anymore.

Currently my offspring are engrossed in the televisions, three different sets, two channels. And I sit here on the computer. When is a good time to dabble on the blog? (BTW, I hate the word blog. It sounds disgusting. Like written vomit.) I'm too tired in the evenings, and too busy throughout the day, unless I ignore the children. Hmmm... now you know I ignore the children. But only sometimes. Don't judge.


For those of you who have been missing me and my druthers, I will fill you in.

I ran a marathon on Saturday. It was awesome, and awful. I was elated and exhausted. I cried at mile 7 and mile 26.6 (don't even ask, I swear I ran my tangents).

Since this was not my first marathon, I won't bore you with the little details. I will tell you about my observations that made this race different than any other.

  • I ran by myself, which meant I had to pace myself. I am not an exceptional self-pacer. I have a tendency to start out too fast, give it my all, and die well before the end. My mantra over and over in my head was "Run your own race". I said that over a hundred times in my head as other, read: many other, people passed me. Old people, small people, big people, awkward people, pumpkin-dressed people, all passed me. And I would instinctively speed up for a few strides before I remembered my mantra. It literally saved me from being ambulanced home.

  • Around mile 7 I was tapped on the shoulder (I had my headphones on pretty loud) because of a car coming down the canyon (umm, did someone forget to tell the people the road was closed?). I moved out of the way only to realize that next to the car was a runner pushing a wheelchair. In the wheelchair was, or who I assumed to be, his disabled brother. The runner was smiling, his brother was smiling and all the runners were cheering. Except me, I was crying. Running + crying = bad. I had to pull myself together fast. Fortunately for me, this same runner seemed to be with me the whole race, pushing his brother on. Crowds stood and cheered. People took pictures and videos. I was lucky to be a part of it, but I had to control my tear ducts. Around mile 21 the brother stopped at an aid station and asked the volunteers for water for his brother, telling them to dump it on his head. The volunteer (I think it was a high school girl) looked confused. I'm sure she wondered why the man in the wheelchair needed water on his head, and would he even want to be doused? But his brother knew and included him in the race that he couldn't physically run. I can't imagine pushing a wheelchair for 26.2 miles. I can't imagine how much love there must be between those two brothers. I hope my children can feel an inkling of that kind of love for each other. It was incredible and inspiring.

  • At mile 19 I started to really fatigue. I looked forward to each aid station and kept telling myself to just get to the next one, only one more mile, and I would walk. I'd reach one, drink a water and a Gatorade, suck on an orange, and start running again, telling myself to just get one more mile. I had never experienced this kind of exhaustion/pain before. Usually at the end of a race I feel exhilarated. Not this time. I know it's because I gave everything I had. By mile 24 I was ready to be done. Mile 25 was it. That's when I saw my husband who gave me a high five (I know, but it worked). And suddenly the skies opened, unleashing their torrent for a full 8 minutes. I pushed and kicked to the end.

  • As I crossed the finish line I was in a daze. Usually there are other family members and friends there to cheer for me. This time no one (non runners have to wait outside the finish area). I stumbled to the chip removers, stumbled to the medal givers, stumbled to the water. Circumvented the finish area for no particular purpose other than I knew if I sat, I was not getting up. Then I spied the professor. And I lost it. "What's wrong," he asked, not used to seeing this kind of emotion. "It was so hard," was all I could say. Then I saw the chocolate milk guy and got me some liquid heaven.

It was a short trip, with a lot of driving involved. We ate at a place called "The Pie Dump". We stayed in a fancy (yeah) hotel on a King sized bed. I got 20 minutes at Temple Square in the Primary Resource Room before they had to kick me out. I read both Martha Stewart Living and Real Simple. I spent 8 hours in an airport due to my husband's moniker. I almost got strip searched due to a forgotten jar of peanut butter. I wore my medal all day and embarrassed my husband. I ate the largest lunch of my life at Texas Roadhouse. Overall, it was a good trip.

But I had BETTER get into St. George next year. I'm just saying.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Blink once for yes, twice for no

Does anyone read this anymore?


I'm still here.

I am in the throes of writers block.

I've got some pretty good material.

It's just that every time I try to put what's in my head into the written word, it sounds, ummm, trite.

My life is normal, which we have visited before. Remember?

Nothing terribly bad or interesting has happened. I feel like I had a case of the summer doldrums. But now that fall is back for goods, and those pesky kids are back in school, I will try to fancy you with my ingenious wit. Or not.

I am trying to broaden my vocabulary. How's it sound?

Friday, June 27, 2008

How old can this guy get?

I feel it is my obligation to give a "birthday shout-out" to my dearest prof, who is currently at cub scout day camp in the 110 degree heat with 7 10-year boys. So here are some current reasons why I love/tolerate him:

*He is willing to go to cub scout day camp on his birthday in 110 degree heat with 7 10-year old boys, so I don't have to, I mean GET to.

*He texts me chemistry jokes. Example: What do you do with a dead chemist? You Ba. (that's the symbol for barium, in case you are like me and don't remember your periodic table of elements)

*He comes up with clever names for me that he puts on his phone, so whenever I call I could come up as: Ball & Chain, Pick Up the Phone, My Guardian Angel. Of course this changes depending on whether we like each other at the moment, and sometimes I change it to something like 'The First Wife', which he then changes to 'But not the LAST'.

*He doesn't say anything about me taking daily naps while he works 14 hour days on 5 hours sleep. A worse man would be a little bitter. He does expect a nap himself though, usually on Sundays between 2pm and 5pm, you know, church. Which I have learned to grin and bear. And poke him in the ribs every 2 minutes.

*He gets honestly upset when I do something around the house for him, like mow the lawn or clean out the garage. He does not like it when I get to a task before he does, as he feels like an inferior husband when I do this. So I choose sometimes to leave things for a very very long time, or if I'm feeling snippy, I do it and gloat. But I'm not the better person here, just so you understand.

*He likes to buy items from Home Depot for projects that he doesn't necessarily have the time to accomplish, but thinks he does. So currently in our garage we have Project: landscape lighting, Project: sunscreens, Project: A/C fence, Project: overhead garage storage, Project: paint the garage door, Project: wow I better stop here before he gets too upset. But it's cute because he will still make that trip to Home Depot to purchase the items that will get stored in the garage for the next millennium.

*He likes to upgrade his car. Otherwise known as the Second Wife. She gets his attention most weekends and he spends hours surfing the net looking at pictures of taillights and armrests and other special car accessories, which he then emails to me to get my thoughts on which ones I like best. If I could, I would buy him those rims he was looking at along with the ground effects and and the cup holder. All so he could drive a hot car and feel like a cool hip 18 year old again. Who knew mid-life crises started so young?

*He will play board games with the children so I don't have to. Board games are not my cup of tea, but he will break out the Risk or the Axis and Allies and put in a few hours of quality kid time and he won't ask me once to join in. He even plays Life and Twister. The best part: he doesn't believe in letting little kids win. So our children have learned from an early age that their father will always beat them, in board games that is.

*He likes to take vacations that do not sound like vacations. Like visit the Hoover Dam. See above photo. Or the Stuffed Taxidermy Museum of Arizona. He would rather spend a vacation touring backroads or tracking down where the Mythbusters shoot, than sit on the beach. Of course he has this thing with sand, so not many vacations are spent sitting on the beach. Of all those years we spent in California grad school, probably 2 days were spent at the beach with him. Not that I'm complaining, because the last thing I want to do is hear him talk about how there is sand EVERYWHERE.

*He does laundry. Not as much as he used to, but for years it was his job. It was/is fantastic.

*He takes family members out to lunch for their birthdays. Not just his family, but mine as well. It is tradition for him to do this, and people will actually call if he hasn't, wondering about their free birthday lunch. Of course, he takes them to Joe's BBQ which gives out a free lunch for your birthday, but it's really the thought that counts.

*He likes to watch dumb tv shows with me. Even though I do not like it. And he finds it pure sport to try to convince me to watch a show with him and will usually pull some kind of "but it's quality time" nonsense. So sometimes I humor him and watch Carpoolers or that one show about the guy who works at a electronics store and has a data base in his head and helps out spy people. And I pretend to hate every minute.
*He is sarcastically hilarious. I literally have to reassure most friends that my hubby is joking for the first few years of a friendship. It is a sign of the fact that he likes you, so if he were to act completely normal, I'd be worried. I think it's annoying as all get out, but now it always makes me laugh. He is so dumb, and yet, so cute. And not the least bit intimidating, I swear.

These are just a few reasons why the guy for me is top notch. Of course I could spend all day coming up with more reasons, but I'm really not a sappy kind of girl. So here's to the Professor, on his b-day. U R da man.

*P.S. He doesn't have any problems with goats.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

December 1996

The first of 6 (so far) weddings. Do you love this pic? Why? Is it:
  • The gold lame dress Am is wearing?
  • Ricky Ricardo's spiky do with Elvis sideburns?
  • Bekarachels lacy frocks with matching corsages?
  • Coolio's I'm-too-cool-for-school non-smile?
  • The cultural hall divider behind the lattice archway?
  • The basketball court lines?
  • My dark purple lips?
  • VTOL's delicate frame?
  • The fact that my prof and I look about 15?

I'm just saying, all the weddings that followed this one could not compare.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I will start this post with a disclaimer: If you object to bribery, in any form, stop reading now. Because you will for sure be offended and possibly feel more than a little self-righteously indignified. Is that a phrase? "Self-righteously indignified" might be the new word on the street. Foshizzle.

I have instituted a ticket system. After hearing the adulation of many ticket bearing mothers, I too decided to give it a whatfor. Am I speaking English? Just wondering.

Anyhoo, the children that live with me receive tickets for various things they do around the house. Then they can redeem their tickets for various prizes I store in the closet. The entire basis of this system was to get the little punks off their lazy bottoms and help out this summer. Some things that I have given tickets for:

1. Empty the dishwasher
2. Make your bed
3. Read an entire book
4. 1000 jumps on the trampoline
5. Don't kill your siblings while I run an errand for an hour
6. Say your prayers (do these prayers still count?)
7. Pull weeds
8. Take a dog for a walk
9. Put away laundry
10. Set the table

Of course this list is not all inclusive, it's rather to give you a sample.
When we first started the system, all punks were equally excited. However, the excitement has waned for some as the rewards have been earned (IE. all the good prizes are gone). So I had to up the ante. 4 tickets = 1 dollar. Money is always an incentive. And when you think about it, $.25 to unload the dishwasher is always worth it. Always.

I also am showing them pictures of video games and BB guns and pink and grey camo purses just like her friend's, so they can see the types of things their ticket-money can buy. Of course, being the financially risky spenders that they are, I won't actually give them money, but will instead take the tickets when they have earned enough and buy them their hard-earned (how many prayers can a person say in a day?) prizes.

So here's the question: How do we do tithing? Do I have them pay 1 ticket per 10 as tithing? And what do I do with their tithing tickets? Do we fill out a tithing slip and hand them to the bishop? Could you imagine for a moment the financial clerk opening an envelope full of tickets? What would he say, do you suppose? And when we come in for tithing settlement, would my children be able to see just how many tickets they paid in tithing for the year? And could they imagine in their heads just how many churches their tickets helped to build? I'm just wondering. I mean, what would you do?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


I lost the diamond out of my wedding ring, the day of my baby's ear tube surgery. It has aroused a few questions that need pondering:

Does that mean it's over?

Is the prof worried about all the guys that are going to hit on me now?

Am I worried that he's not worried?

Will I ever have another diamond again?

Is it okay to ask for a bigger one?

What am I going to do with the remnants of the ring until then?

Should I hang it on a chain, Jr high style?

How much does a fake diamond cost, in the meantime?

Is it bad that I would rather spend the money on a trip to Hawaii?

Will I ever get to Hawaii?

Will I be too old to enjoy my trip to Hawaii by the time I get there?

Would I have just as much fun in Rocky Point?

Would we get our car stolen in Rocky Point?

Would my professor get denied at the border, due to his Canadianess?

Would we have to move to Canada after that?

Would I like living in a place where it snows 9 months of the year?

These questions are just a few of the many that plague me regarding this issue. However the biggest one seems to be:

Why am I not more upset by this whole losing-my-diamond thing?

Is it because I know that it doesn't really matter? And is it because my prof told me not to worry about it, even though he spent many hours working to pay that sucker off? And is it because I love him more now than I did before?

Questions worth pondering.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Death Road

Yesterday, while on our (almost) nightly bike ride, my youngest son had an interesting experience.
You see, we don't ride our bikes very often around here. We are more of a play in the back yard kind of people. But since school got out I feel it's my duty as 'mother' to make sure these kids get outside for just a few minutes a day before they rot their brains out watching cartoons on tv. Did you know cartoons are on all the time? And did you know that my oldest son can tell you what's on which channels at exactly what time? I'm thinking maybe we need to rein his remote in.

Anyways, back to the interesting experience.

We rode 2 miles to the church and for us, or should I say, for them, this was a long long long way. I mean really far. So we are headed back home and in order to get there we have this small stretch of skinny road without any bike lanes or shoulder. Basically it's a death trap for pedestrians, bike riders, and small sedans. But if you want to get home, you keep your wits about you and you pedal hard. For about 1/4 mile.

Well right before this scary road part, my baby, whose been riding in the bike trailer, falls asleep. And leans backwards. And the back part of the trailer hits the ground. Because the little pin that secures the bike trailer from collapsing has been lost for years now. It's never really been an issue before, you see, we aren't really a bike riding people. Back when we had two children who would sit in the trailer we rode bikes all the time. But that was like, what, 6 years ago. Once the little punks figured out how to ride their own bikes, we stopped going for long bike rides. Because a long bike ride now meant it would take 30 minutes to ride around the block. We haven't exactly kept the trailer in good repair since.

So anyways, my baby falls backwards, hits the asphalt, and freaks out. I stop to situate her back in. My eldest stops. My princess stops. But the kid whose been running out of gas the last 20 minutes gets his second wind. And takes off. Straight for death row.

I yell at my eldest to go after him, but he's trying to help me and my princess is stopped but she's still a ways ahead and the 5 year old is riding like the wind not paying any attention to anything around him. I get my eldest pedaling after him, with the princess right behind, and I finally am able to start in on the chase.

At this point I notice the two cars, coming from both directions, down the skinny can-really-only-fit-one-car-comfortably patch of road. And there's my punk, pedaling down the left hand side.
Oh wait, he sees the car.
Now he's veering towards the middle of the road.
There he goes straight into the middle of the road.
Both cars slow, slow, slow down to a halt.
And there's my punk, sitting on his bike, in the middle of the road, not moving.
With two very upset drivers telling him to get out of the way, and one sister yelling at him to move, and one older brother screaming at the top of his lungs to get to the side.
And the punk, he just sits there.
On his bike.
In the middle of the road.
By himself.
Finally the children reach him. They push his bike out of the way of traffic. The cars go on their merry way, throwing dirty looks in my direction. I can only imagine the words that went with the looks.

Finally I catch up to him.

Me-"Son, why on earth did you stop in the middle of the road when everyone was telling you to move to the side?"
Son- "I didn't know which side to go to."
Son- "I don't want to go bike riding anymore."

The best part of this whole story...
No helmets were worn by anyone.

You may present me with my Mother of the Year Award now.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lost and Found

So I found a receipt in some stuff someone gave me.

It was from Castle.

No not White Castle.

Are you worried it's yours?

$30 on a novelty item.

What could you buy with $30 at the Castle?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Here I Am Again


That was the word.

The word that got me all riled up.

Molly. Not just Molly, but I was "one of the two Molliest in the whole ward", the other being the Relief Society Prez. Now hold the phone and back it up here. Me? Really, Me?! I don't think so. Let me explain why I am not:

1. Hmmm.....I know there's one, what is it, someone tell me. Please! There's gotta be a reason why I'm not a you-know-what. Gotta be. Hmmmmm...I just can't think of it right now under all this pressure.

So what's a girl to do when she's been insulted like this. Do I accept this title as no big deal, or do I fight the system? Should I start going to punk rock shows again? Although I have a very difficult time staying up past 9pm, so that really wouldn't work. Should I grow my hair out and die it blue? No, another girl in the ward already did that. What is it that I have to do to prove my coolness? I would really like to know.

Is coolness a word the young folk still use? Or do I want to be phat? I definitely don't want to be fat, that I know, although we need to work on it. We meaning me.

I should probably start by ditching the Relief Society Prez. She's gonna have to find someone else to run with, if it's going to ruin my reputation. Did you hear that friend? You'll have to find someone else to hang out with now, I'm off to regain my rebelness.

Hey, do you want to come along? Now that would be really fun. I'll bring the casserole.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Do you miss me?

Do you ever think about me, wondering what happened between me and my blog that caused us to break up so suddenly? It was a pretty nasty split. We just didn't have time for each other anymore. We've decided to get back together now, for a while, but are making no major commitments. We'll just roll with the punches and see where it takes us.


I had a friend tell me she still checks my blog, to see if I've posted. Wow. I am honored. I didn't think anyone ever would check again. Thanks for sticking around all these months. I'm not making any promises, but maybe I'll post every once in a while, just to spice up your life.

The first post, post-reconciliation, will be about my calves.

Come on, bear with me.

I'm having serious problems. It seems my calves are pretty fed up with me right now. See, I've been training for this race. And it's a distance I haven't run ever. So the training program is new. And the hills are new. And the speed workouts are new.

And my calves see, they are not new.

They've been around a while. And they don't especially like it when I make them do new stuff. So to protest, as I run, they squeeze my muscle really hard, which squeezes my nerve really hard, which causes intense pain, and a really weird feeling that my foot is falling asleep. Not good when you're trying to pull a 15 miler. Not good when you just want to go out for 4. See, this isn't good for anything. And my calves, I'm pretty sure they are happy about it. Seems they want a break. So I'll give it to them.

Turns out, I'm an Ultra loser. There will be no 50K this year.

But these calves of mine, they better enjoy their little break and then whip themselves into shape, because I have a marathon to run in October. And I am not pulling out. Not no way, not no how.

Training starts at the end of May.

I cannot wait.