Friday, December 16, 2011

I Have A Problem...(okay, more than one)

Okay I realize I have what the show Glee would call "white, rich girl problems," in that they aren't real problems, but at least I know that. I know none of what I complain about it a real, hard problem. Mostly I just need to vent and this blog is a good way to do it without getting into a fist fight at church.

So this is not that kind of problem. Kind of misleading introductory paragraph, but what can I say, English was always my worst class in school. This is more of a personality disorder problem, of which I have many.

The one in particular I am thinking about today is my over preparing. I have no idea where I got this from (Dad), but when something big is coming up I have to see every disaster that can happen and prepare for it. Eric thinks my latest preparation is craziness...
So I have made a few lists for our upcoming trip. One list is a to-do list. One is a to-pack list. One is a...Every-Item-I Have-Packed-In-Every-Suitcase-And-Its-Monetary-Value list. That last one is the one Eric rolled his eyes at.

Looking at it from a normal person's perspective I can understand, but I am not normal. We are using the same airline that lost our suitcase on our trip to Florida, and I have quite a few gifts packed. Odds are that nothing will happen, but I know that if I AM prepared with my lists, and how much everything costs in them that the airline will absolutely NOT lose our suitcases. It's like superstitious flying insurance!

Twisted logic, maybe, but everyone knows that if one of the suitcases does go missing it will be Eric's, the one we don't have a detailed list for. You know I'm right!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Adventures of Shark Dog and Lava (face) Girl...or Awkward Social Situations

I realize I have probably been boring my readers (aka the kid's grandparents) with not many posts about the kids lately, but the truth is not much is going on. I could post pictures of their runny noses, or video's of them coughing, but that's even more boring than my ramblings, so onto retelling of my pathetic attempts to be social.

Okay, not a picture of sick kids. Livi had to try out her new paints from Carter!

I am normally a pretty social person. I like to be around friends, I like relief society cookie exchanges where we can sit around and talk, and I would even be at play group every week if it weren't right at nap time. I like to be involved in things, I've taken dance, photography, violin, and quilting classes since having children. New things don't really scare me all that much, or so I thought.

This week I got so worked up about a new social situation I literally started making myself sick. What could have been so bad that my back started aching, my neck started feeling strained, I bloated to the size of a small ice-burg, and not only the left side of my face, but the left side of my back and my left EAR broke out in cystic acne? What caused my body to panic, hoping I would call in sick? Eric's secretary's women only Christmas dinner.

Okay, so normally a cozy, intimate dinner with 8 other women, eating yummy food would be a welcome treat, but... when it is 8 people you have only met once or twice (one you've never ever met) and the invitation ambiguously states you need to bring a "Santa themed gift," I freaked out.

Now, I don't mind new situations where everyone is new (such as college classes) or get-togethers with a bunch of people I know, but put new people, that have all known each other a while and work together on a daily basis, and throw me in and all I want to do is curl up on the couch with hot chocolate and cry.

I pictured in my mind wearing the wrong clothes, sticking out for not drinking, stilted conversation with people I don't know much about or have much in common with, bringing the totally wrong type of gift (really, Santa themed gift? How much do we spend? Do you mean an ornament? Decoration? Hand knit sweater? Interpretive poem? ARRGGHHH), and eating food that I had to gag down.

After putting on enough makeup to cover the worst of my volcano like face and putting on clothes that kind of fit, that I hoped were not too casual/not too dressy, I headed off. It truly wasn't as bad as I pictured. Really the only things that were uncomfortable was my lack of drinking (she even offered to make me coffee or tea instead...."ummmm, water is fine"), and the stilted conversation. Everything else was fine, but considering this is an annual event, my body is already tensing just thinking about next year...

And as promised:
SHARK DOG
Yeah, even our dog has dental problems. Too bad Alan won't do an extraction on animals.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Why I Should Take Kleenex With Me EVERYWHERE!!!

I was talking with several people (and reading my sister's blog) when I realized we all have these stories about seemingly stupid things we cry over. For one person it was a book, for another it was a new challenge at work. For my sister it is the animal "character" dying in a movie. We all have those moments where we are crying, knowing anyone on the outside is looking at us like we are crazy, and we couldn't stop even if we wanted to. I think my most memorable embarrassing cry happened this spring.

I read in Ella's kindergarten class every Tuesday all year. I really got to know the class and her teachers and it was a truly great experience. Livi even became a little class mascot and they would bring extra treats for birthdays and parties when they knew she would be there. I had a great time all year...until the very last time.
If any of you haven't read Mo Willems "Knuffle Bunny" series (pronounced Ka-Nuffle as plainly described in book 2) I highly recommend taking a moment to seek out these very cute picture books. The art is unique, the writing is funny, and the are very touching for anyone that ever had a "special friend."

I had read the first 2 books to Ella's class during the year, but refused to read the 3rd to them. All year long they asked me to bring it, but I held firm in not bringing it. Why? Because I sob like a little tiny baby every time I read it. It is emotionally gut wrenching to me because it combines my childhood trauma of loosing my "special friend" with the pain of watching my babies not be babies anymore. I loved Ella's class, but I just didn't think I could handle crying in front of 20, 6 year olds.

Then, on the last Tuesday I was going to read, I broke. I decided I was big enough to read this book. I could separate myself from the story and finish the series for these kids. It would be AWESOME!!!

Well, it wasn't. I sobbed so hard Ella had to get up and read the rest of the book for me. When she started reading the note at the back from Mo Willems to his daughter (that the books are based on) I had to get up and leave the room. Here was my little girl, almost done with Kindergarten, reading about another little girl growing up. (Plus ask anyone in my family, we feel stupid when we cry and that only makes it worse)

After we were done with the book one of the teachers came up to me and asked: "when did he pass away?"

I sat there a minute confused. Had I missed part of the conversation? Was she talking about the fish we had recently lost? What in the world was the lady talking about?

Me: "Ummm, who?"
Her: "Your father."
Me: "My Dad is still alive, last I checked." (secretly dying to leave the room and text my dad to make sure).
Her: "Oh, I assumed by the way you broke down in the father part, that you had recently lost your dad."
Me: "Um, no, I'm just a weenie."
Her: "Yeah, I guess."

That was the most embarrassed I have ever been while crying. Fun time all around. I help in Ella's class again this year and a couple of the kids have brought it up to me "remember that time you cried so hard Ella had to read..." Yep. I do.

Speaking of breakdowns; We are putting Tonks in a kennel for our trip to California. Eric and Ella both want to take her, and I do to, I just don't want to have to deal with her in the airport. Then this morning I came out and she was doing this:
video
How in the world can we leave this comic relief here?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mutant Cookies From The Black Lagoon

This is NOT how my cookies turned out

I'm not quite sure how I ended up baking sugar cookies for both Ethan and Ella's classes, but that is what happened. One minute I want to make a batch to cheer me up and all of a sudden I need enough to feed 40 kids and adults. Oh, and my kids desperately want them the next day, because you can't wait an extra day when you are 6. Impossible.

If you have ever tried to make sugar cookies you know that it is all about waiting. Waiting for the dough to chill before you bake. Waiting for the cookies to cool before you ice. Waiting for the icing to set before you transport. Trying to fit that all in one morning was not the mood elevator that I had wanted making these cookies to be.

I also had the added pressure of knowing there is one Jewish girl in Ethan's class and 2 Jehovah's Witness' in Ella's class. Sooooooooooo, not every cookie could be super Christmas-ie. Trying to not alienate these very nice kids, I decided a star and gingerbread man wouldn't be too bad. Oh, but wait, what color are gingerbread men?

Have you ever tried to make brown food coloring? It is not as easy as I thought it would be. When I was little and tried to mix colors it seemed like every thing you mixed would produce brown. Not so when you are bigger and actually want to achieve that muddy brown that red and blue always use to make. Now all you get is a weirder and weirder color of purple. Mix in a little black and you have a color that seems to have grown in a radioactive swamp.

Since this was a very bad color to use on gingerbread men, unless you want the kids running in fear, I thought maybe a light sky blue would be good, but of course they ended up looking more like mini Captain America's.
The kicker is the Jewish girl picked a Christmas tree.

Also while I was there I noticed Ethan's desk. What am I doing wrong?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

To Me; From Me

After months of calling, scheduling appointments, having nobody show up to appointments, playing more phone tag, and waiting, we FINALLY got our fireplace fixed (there is only one place in town that does fireplaces). What we thought would be a simple removal of a gas insert and putting on a chimney cap turned into our "Christmas Gift To Ourselves!" (guess I'll have to wait for next year to get an elliptical and loose weight, dang!)

So after a fun afternoon of Livi not napping while the guys worked and worked, we ended up with a real, working, wood burning fireplace. Yeah!!!! The workers kept trying to get me to stay with gas saying I wouldn't have to worry about wood and it would still work in a power outage. I had to explain that Eric and I both adamantly wanted wood. They looked at me like I was crazy but managed to get it switched over.What I didn't tell them is my husband is expecting the apocalypse and wants someplace we can cook our freshly shot deer meat. He wants some type of warmth for when society fails and we are holed up in our living room trying to survive.

Me? This is what I wanted it for:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My Early Gift To You

Only watch the videos if you enjoy laughing so hard you cry.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Home??? or "Who Am I" (said like Zoolander)

After a couple of recent conversations I have come to realize I am defective. Okay, I've always known that, but here is just another example of how I am defective:

I have no desire to move back to Utah. None. Zip. Nadda. I am not one of those wives who is constantly trying to get their husband to get a job in Utah so they can move back "home." Despite having lived in Utah for half of my life, it doesn't feel like going home when I visit. Don't get me wrong, I like Utah a lot. It is fun to visit, there are great things to do there, I love visiting my extended family, but it is not "home."

So that got me thinking, where do I feel at home? California is where I claim 'home' but I'm not dying to move back to California (mostly because I think my kids would get stabbed at school). Scottsbluff isn't really where I feel at "home." So why can I not come up with a place where I get teary to visit, and teary to leave?

I think it boils down to this: "Home" for me is not a town. It is not a specific place where I have tons of fond memories. Probably because this is my life; 8 years in Utah, 10 years in California, 6 more years in Utah, summers in Miami and D.C, bulks of summers in Canada, 3 years in Lincoln, and now 5 years in western Nebraska. I haven't been in one place long enough to have the bulk of my "home" making memories. I was a child one place, fell in love in another, had my first baby in another, bought my first home in yet another. All my big memories are really spread out.

So what is a poor little wanderer like me to do (tongue in cheek)? Well I've decided that, for me, home is not a place. It is people. I may not have a constant place that evokes those feelings of returning home, but I do get that feeling when I am around my family. Whether we are meeting at my parents home in Lancaster, blessing a baby in Salt Lake, doing Aspen Grove in Provo, going to DisneyWorld or Disneyland, or meeting at the Cabin in Waterton, those are the time I get teary. The more of my siblings and their spouses, the more those feelings warm my heart. Those are the times I am going "home."
Oh, I did think of a place that feels the most like home to me...Disneyland. Probably because we have been going multiple times a year since I was 8. I do get choked up every time we pull into a tiny parking spot dictated to us by a grown man in a yellow vest with an orange wand thingy. Plus I tear up every time we have to leave. I guess I should be begging Eric to get a job with Disney and move into Sleeping Beauty's castle. Problem solved.ps. Cara, you need to stop saying "your family." When you are there it feels more like home to me too. You are like my other little sister.Aren't you all jealous of my mad 5 minute photo shop skills? (a cookie to the first person to spot all 5 additions).

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Haircut

I don't know what I was thinking. I've tried things like this before and it never worked out, but I thought to myself:
"How hard can it be? I've seen it done a hundred times."

and

"I don't want to spend all that money just for a trim."

and

"If I invest the time to learn now, I wont have to pay for simple trims in the future."

and

"She's so little, she'll never notice if it's not perfect."

I was sooooo wrong. I should never be allowed near hair trimming scissors. Not only did she end up looking like she got attacked by a flowbee, but she whined and squirmed the whole time, making it so much worse than it needed to be. She looks hysterically awful.

Good thing she's a dog.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Recharged

I feel a little hypocritical having made a fuss about stores putting up their Christmas decorations early, but this morning I woke up feeling sssiiiiiicccckkkk. There are very few things that can make me instantly happy and since going to Disneyland was not an option, and we don't live near a Starbucks (they have amazing hot chocolate) I decided to break out the Christmas decorations and start acting festive, hoping it would lighten my mood. It did help, but I thought I should honor Thanksgiving for a few more days.

I am thankful I could go away for the weekend with Eric, that Joan and Cheryl were willing to drive out and babysit, that I could recharge, and that Eric and I could spend some quality time together for our anniversary. I would put pictures but I am not thankful I left my camera at home and all our pictures are on Eric's phone. Hopefully I can be thankful later that he was willing to email them to me, hint hint.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pain Is Not My Friend


I am so grateful to live in a time and place where we have such advanced medicine. I cannot comprehend watching a loved one die from a simple infection, or the flu. I am grateful I can run to Walmart and get medicine so I don't even have to deal with stuffy sinus' (although some days I'd rather have the flu than clogged sinus'). I am grateful for modern medicine and that I could be awake when I had my C-sections and be part of my children's births. I am grateful my brother has a medicine that keeps him not only alive, but generally symptom free. I am grateful for diabetes medicine, heart medicine, antidepressants, antibiotics, and especially pain medicine (except Morphine, which tries to kill me when I take it).

Monday, November 14, 2011

I Am Sure I Embarrass Them On A Daily Basis... Or My Grandparents

I am very thankful that I was able to get to know, and still have a relationship with my grandparents. Not all kids are as lucky as I am, my kids even know all 4 of their "Greats" on my side. I have truly blessed by each and every one of them, and I only wish I could spend a week and write down everything I love about them here. These are only a few things that have been on my mind lately, just the cream on top, because they are just too awesome, your heads would explode if I wrote it all down!
Grandma Donna Beesley is the grandmother every child should have. Her house is always awash in the smell of something yummy cooking (most anticipated being her bread). She is a thoughtful, caring person who is a great artist and master gardener. I remember sitting with her on countless occasions, doing stencils or some other project, and she was always so positive and warm, even though my efforts were less than perfect. She is a real example to me of frugal living and talented homemaking, kindness, and a fabulous matriarch of a close knit family, somethings I hope I can be someday (except the frugal living, we all know there isn't much hope there).
Grandpa Ken Beesley is probably the poster child (man) for hard work. I have been raised on stories, and seen through my own eyes, how hard he has worked over the years. One thing he taught my father, and I am eternally grateful to have had passed on to me, is "An honest days work for an honest days pay," and "Spend less than you earn." I have also been privy to more conversations than I can count going something like "Your Ken Beesley's granddaughter? I just love that man. He was the best (insert boss, coworker, employee, teacher, missionary etc here) I have ever had. It was a true honor to know him." Those conversations come up at the weirdest times (like doctor's appointments or Bishop interviews) but I am always happy to claim him as my grandfather.
Grandma Jessie Palmer is one of the funniest, most well read, knowledgeable, and truly entertaining people I know. She is always there first person any of us would call for a life line on a game show! I love to have conversations with her because she not only knows what she is talking about better than you do, but she can interject a sense of humor into the most mundane of topics. I know the self deprecating humor passed right from her, to Mom, to me, and I am so grateful for that. Life is to hard if you can't laugh at yourself (and your situations) once in a while. Grandma is also an amazing example of hard work. She was an RN, on the night shift, for years, working outside the home in Utah in a time where not many women did. I can only imagine the fortitude that would take. I am way too lazy, but I have her example and hopefully someday I can be like her!

Grandpa Harrison (Bud) Palmer was basically a second father to me for the first 8 years of my life while my own dad worked hard in Med School and residency. He is one of the warmest, sweetest people I know. I will always have fond memories of being doted on by him, from hidden candy in the kitchen, to "gimmies" (my little pony toys) for no reason other than he knew I would like them. Grandpa is also a quirky, funny man, who is probably the direct reason we have James' sunny personality to cheer us up (I picture them being best friends if they were contemporaries, and Oh the hilarity would ensue). Grandpa introduced me to real ponies, took me horse back riding for the first time in Waterton when I was 8, and always found the time to go with me when we went to East Canyon. He truly likes to make people happy, loves to put a smile on people's faces, and I know that my life has been better having him in it.

I love you all.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Falling Flat...and Livi's 3

I am thankful that I own flats as well as heels. Some days I just can't bring myself to slip on my heels, no matter how cute they are. I am also thankful for our family tradition of watching America's Funniest Videos on Sunday evening. I may have had a bad day (week), but at least I can laugh at other people tonight! (tomorrow I'll go back to more profound topics, thankful for Grandparents)

Livi's Birthday
Livi turned 3 just 2 days after we got back from Florida. It was also the day of the ward trunk-or-treat, and the kids had no school so we had a fun filled day of celebrating.

To start the morning off we opened presents at breakfast. We had lunch at McDonald's with the Bagleys (and cupcakes). After dinner, but before the trunk-or-treat we squeezed in some cake with candles. Between the cupcakes, cake, and candy I think she had a "sweet" day (ha ha, there is a Dad joke).

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Little Yellow Balls Sunshine

I kind of forgot to take my pills for a couple of days, so I woke up feeling profoundly sad. It's the type of sadness that makes no sense and nothing helps. Eric even asked if I wanted to go buy shoes, that's how bad it was.
Seeing as I am in a slump I am going to tackle a big "thankful" post today to remind me of how wonderful and blessed my life has been. Maybe that will cheer me up.

You have so little control on who the people are surround you at family gatherings. Sure, you get to pick your spouse, but everyone else you were either born into, or married into. I am sure that most people have extended families they dread, but not me. I LOVE to be around family and all those people I married into are a huge part of it. I wish I could write a big post for each of them, but I AM feeling sad and there are a lot of you. Just know I love you all and that these are just some highlights that are in my brain right now.
Ryan- You are full of passion for life. You set a great "healthy" example. You are a witty, fun person to be around and you are an amazingly great uncle. My kids still think your middle name is "Ninja" no matter how many times I tell them otherwise.
Jared- You have always been so welcoming of me. It can be hard at times to be the only in-law for 10 years in a very tight family, but you have always made me feel like I am part of the group. You are always ready with a hug, and you are amazingly astute when it comes to how other people are feeling.
Cheryl - I am so glad that there was another girl in the family. We've been able to roll our eyes at your brothers, prepare some delicious marshmallow fruit salad and enjoy "girly" things like coach purses (I'm still looking for mine in the mail :) ). You are the life of the party, and things are always more fun when you are around.
Kyle - I've known you for a big portion of your life and I've been able to see you grow up into an amazing man. When I first met you, you were this sweet little boy who wanted to see "Mouse Hunt." You are now a very funny, smart, musical guy who's quick comments or jokes are the fun "asides" of any conversation.
Emily - I don't know you that well, and the only real time we've spent together I was high on pain meds (great impression, I know), but I still remember through the haze how wonderful you were with my kids at the reunion. They still talk about you, and I know we are all excited to see you again! Plus, you were so nice about Tonks, and didn't tell me how stupid I was to get a puppy.
Joy - You are a shinning example of pure goodness. If you were a princess it would have to be Snow White and Cinderella's combined child (in a freak DNA lab mix up). I don't think you have a mean bone in your body. You have a soothing presence and kind way about you. Oh, and I love that you have those D&D figures for each of us (Jes' was particularly representative) and you help keep us all on task when we play (as we are known to ramble a bit)! You are the perfect wife for Andrew and I am so grateful for how happy you have made him.
Jes - It is kind of freaky to find another tall girl with dark hair who loves history, shoes, purses, movies, and books as much as me, and realize that I have a girl crush on my brothers wife. You are so much fun to be around and I know you will commiserate with me when I feel like the crazies in my life are just too much (and offer to beat them up for me). I love that we can share books and blogs and I am grateful for the friendship we've been able to share as well.
McKay (or Brent, or David, or whatever you are calling yourself) - I have had so much fun getting to know you! You are a very fun, quirky addition to the family, and I am so grateful you didn't give up on Julia. You have a very fun way of looking at the world, and I love to listen to your comments when we play games, as you can match Eric in the "roll your eyes" humor. You are wonderful husband and I know you are going to be an awesome Dad.

Thank you to all of you. I love to get together and just laugh, and you are all so amazingly funny that every holiday is awesome!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Super Deep Thoughts

I am thankful for popcorn. Popcorn is fun to eat, satisfying for salty snacking, and makes movies better. It has lots of fiber, has kept my brother Andrew alive, and is something almost everyone in group likes to eat. Thank you popcorn, just keep being you.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

At Least I Didn't Have A Ton Of Laundry and The Best Pt 5

I am thankful that Ethan is old enough to aim when he throws up, that I keep a throw up bag in the car, and that I have a good friend (Melissa) who brings me Starbucks hot chocolate mix to cheer me up when she finds out about it all!On to:
The Best Part 5 (or the end)
Animal Kingdom

On our last full day in Florida we went to Animal Kingdom (without Mom, unfortunately). It is part zoo, part theme park, park educational experience and a whole lot of fun. We went on a safari, saw lots of animals (that's a gorilla curled up if you can't tell, we couldn't and we were there)went to all of the kids learning spots, saw the amazing Bug's Life show, met a "princess" and rode Expedition Everest (which was totally awesome, but made me completely sick). While I was sitting with my head in my knees Eric took Ethan and Ella on the river raft ride. While everyone gets wet on the ride, only 3 people get completely soaked on that ride, my 3 people. Ella was less than pleased. My only wish was that the park was open later (it closed at 5 that day) because we didn't even come close to seeing everything we wanted!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Know, I Am The Stupid Child.

I am thankful for my siblings. They are hard to have as my siblings, as they are so amazing. It's hard to be the eldest and have to look up to (figuratively) my younger siblings, but it is true, they rock.
One of my favorite pictures. Andrew is such a great Dad!

Andrew is by far one of the smartest people I know. He had a hard time in school because he was on a totally different plane intellectually than the other kids, but he made it through, still grew up, went to college, married a totally awesome girl, and is in Med school (take that bullies), and seems to function just fine in society despite his "gigantic melon" (ha ha).
I think I had the hardest time with Andrew as a child because he was the closest in age and so my faults and deficits in character were magnified by his depth and strength thereof. I'm not proud of it, but he seems to still love me even though I was (and still can be) a total beast.
Andrew also is totally fun to be around. He has a witty sense of humor. He is always introducing us to the best video games, that we all get addicted to, and neglect our families for, but we love him anyways!
James "helping" Ebby in the water, right before Ebby totally fell in and was traumatized for life!

James is amazingly charismatic. People everywhere love James and feel close to him. He has the ability to make you feel like the coolest person on earth, and he has a grin that has been able to get him out of more scrapes than I have ever been in. He and I both share of love of the non-mainstream in a totally non-hipster type of way (try figuring that gibberish out!) and have had too many funny conversations and experiences (dancing at Disneyland while we walk) to count.
James is very musical, and for such a scrawny guy has an amazingly deep bass voice that really rounds out the family "choir." He has great taste in music and is constantly introducing us all to new bands.
James is amazing with all kids, and especially his nieces and nephews. Kids love him because he sees them for the people they are and talks to, and interacts with them while showing them he values them and their interests. James is the comedian of the family, he is quick to smile, and quick to make others smile too. He loves to play a game, whether video game or bored game, as long as other people are involved, as he likes to be around people (And we kind of like to be around him too, ha ha).
I know: "Quit being so cute Julia!" We were all thinking it!

Julia, the baby of our family, is one of those complicated people who is always surprising you. She is a very talented writer who's rye and witty thoughts are completely addicting. I check her blog every day. Her mildly...satirical... take on the world is very different from the soft spoken little "Snow White" that use to spend time walking around our pool singing songs to herself (okay she was pretty young when she did that). Furthering her likeness to Snow White is her love of animals and her talent singing, with the sweetest, highest soprano that makes me sound like a fog horn in comparison.
She is also a very hard worker, not afraid of new experiences like switching colleges every semester and working at random yogurt places (things that would have terrified me as I hate new "things").
Julia is also a hoot to watch movies with, as she sees things you gloss over and finds way to make them hilarious.
She is also a very caring, sensitive person, who is going to make a VERY wonderful mother in a few months.

We are pretty similar in our interests, and senses of humor which means there is almost nothing I enjoy more than getting all four of us together, with Mom and Dad, and having a rip roaring laugh fest (while the poor in-laws look like they think they married crazy people). Thanks guys, for being so awesome!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Because Otherwise You Would Be Dead

I am so grateful for my sense of humor. It allows me to still maintain relationships with people after they give me backhanded compliments. I'm a little tired of "I wish I could be like you, you are so brave to (insert backhanded compliment about my decorating, hair, clothes, or shoes)." I feel like the Penguins of Madagascar sometimes, "Smile and wave, boys, smile and wave." At least I can smile about it all!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tales From The Not So Dark Side.

Over the years I have heard tons of horror stories about other people's in-laws. I've felt sympathy for friends who have truly atrocious stories of rude and mean in-laws, but I've never truly been able to empathize with them, having had no similar experiences (I hope I used those correctly, because if not they will have another horror story of me to tell!).
Joan is one of those people who is absolutely genuine. She has no malice, she doesn't have ulterior motives, and she is genuinely kind. She is a shinning example of the mother you wish you could be, but can't, so you feel super inadequate, except that she never makes you feel badly about it, and therefore you feel worse (rambling, I know). Joan has never second guessed me as a mother, or made me feel badly about my parenting. Joan is not just a great mother, she is a great example of a rock-solid testimony. I could write 10 posts just about it! Whenever we visit she goes out of her way to make sure we feel welcome, and too often she cooks her amazingly yummy food and makes me gain 5 pounds every visit (especially with her cinnamon and sugar rolls, and the marshmallow fruit salad)! Eric has such love for his mother, and I can absolutely understand why, since I love her too.
Alan is a fun father-in-law for me to have. He is always willing to have "discussions" with me where I can be the devil's advocate (or he can) and we never walk away upset. He has been super supportive of us both emotionally and financially through all the years of our marriage. Alan is amazing at making lists and thinking things through ahead of time, with a VERY logical mind, which is why he is the first person we call when we want a non-emotional (in a good way), thought out answer to life decisions. He is amazingly patient with us as we blunder through life, and I am so grateful he is my father-in-law.

I know I am not the easiest daughter-in-law. I am overly emotional and I get ticked too easily. I am overbearing, and tend to like things "my" way. They have had only me to set the example of what "blending" (or not, in my case) into the family looks like, until recently with Emily (Hooray!), but they have only been kind, loving and accepting of me. I truly lucked out.

Thank you for being the best in-laws I've ever had!!! :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Biggest Vice

Whether it is in hot liquid form, small ball shaped, long sticks, or even shaped like a frog, I am thankful for CHOCOLATE. Enough said.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What I Am NOT Thankful For

I am not thankful for the spider that hid in my shower cap (yes, I use a shower cap, because I am that cool) and when I put it on my head the spider fell down my face on to my bare shoulder. Thinking I was being attacked a la Arachnophobia movie style, I promptly started screaming and swatted it towards the sink. After making small mewing noises and running hot water down the drain for 5 minutes I realized no one in my family even came to check on why I was in such distress. Not thankful, Mr. Spee-ider, not thankful.

Driving Me Up A Wall

I am thankful that I have 3 beautiful, healthy, smart kids to drive me up the wall. I had uneventful pregnancies, uneventful births (except the whole unexpected C-section thingy), and we've had fairly uneventful (in a good way) lives. No major injuries, illnesses, or problems.

More than that, I am grateful for the 3 little people that I got to have in my life.
I am grateful to Ethan for helping me understand shyness a little better. He is quiet in public, but so fun here at home. He is so smart and constantly making me laugh with his play-on-words and his fun imagination. He loves Star Wars almost as much as I do and it is fun to have someone to talk about it with.
I am grateful to Ella for being such a kind person. She is truly the peacemaker in the family...most of the time. She is very sensitive to other people and is quick to feel other's pain. She is always ready with a hug and a kiss, and will always jump at the chance to cuddle. She has a sharp mind and is always willing to help others at school that need help.
I am grateful to Livi for being my little pixie. She looks like and angel but can be a little... mischievous at times. She makes my life interesting here at home. She is very quick to laugh and loves to explore and go on adventures. She has more wanderlust than I do and loves to go on errand with me just to go some where.

I'm a lucky mom.

Friday, November 4, 2011

I Am Thankful For Demanding Parents

There is a lot I could say about my parents and why I am grateful for them. They have been a huge help through our educations, and beyond, both financially and mentally. They have provided me throughout my life with wonderful cultural experiences. They have done so much that I hope I have said thank you for, and that I am so appreciative of, but today I just want to high light a few random things that you can't find a Hallmark card for (because I am sticking it to the commercialism Man).

I am truly grateful that my parents raised me the way they did. They had high expectations. They always told me "when you go to college" never "if." I remember my mom and I have a "conversation" about my grade point average, which was a 3.56 at the time, and her "explaining" that, that wasn't going to be good enough if I wanted to get into BYU and get a good education. From a young age I understood that you needed a good education if you wanted a good job, and that every woman should have a good education (job) because you never knew what could happen. I may not have had to work in my career field, but a B.S. in education comes in handy every day you have kids!

I am grateful that my parents have been so supportive of me in my life. They were never one to give false hope (one of my mom's pet peeves is when people tell kids "You can be anything you want to be...") but they would talk out plans and strategies and help me come to an educated decision. Even when I acted more on emotion than logic they tried to help me see both sides, good and bad, of situations (even creepy boyfriends that they had to put up with for 2 years).


I am grateful that my dad took one of us kids out every Monday on a date night. Once a month we had my dad's undivided attention. He would let us pick wherever the heck we wanted to go, and we got to spend $10 on the evening. Some of my favorite memories from junior high were playing the Area 51 video game with my dad at the mini golf place. We spent all $10 on it and made it pretty far. He also sat through the horrible movie "Sister Act" with me, because I asked him to. He didn't have to spend that time with me, but he did, and I think we have a great relationship because he was willing to spend the time. He passed on a love of learning new things (i.e. a million hobbies), the importance of a strong work ethic, and and always did a great job of helping me understand the gospel (I still call him to help me with my talks).
My mom was a great example of feminism and liberal thinking, all while being a good Mormon (shocker, I know)! She taught me compassion for those that were less fortunate (even the sad socially awkward), and she taught me that I was just as good and worth as much as my brothers. She did a great job NOT playing favorites and really tried to help us all feel like we were worthwhile.

I remember one night I didn't have a book to read and she pulled out a very well worn book on Greek mythology. I remember her telling me how she had loved reading about all of the myths when she was younger and hoped that I would enjoy them too. I stayed up so late that night, I just couldn't read enough. She is always introducing me to new things whether I want to be or not (She got me a subscription to Time magazine this year just so I could hold more intelligent conversations with her!). She taught me to love reading, baking, and history, and I only hope I can be half as great a mom as she is!