Showing posts from May, 2013

One Word Wednesday- Stuck

The words in my head were traveling along at breakneck speed. Nouns and verbs and adjectives lined up, organized and lovely. They rushed forward, flowing from head to hands to page.

Then, out of nowhere, a barricade arose. Large and bulky, it forced its way into our path. Letters and punctuation rammed into one another.An epic pileup, one worthy of news crews and gawkers alike.  Words were crushed, sentences mangled, leaving me with a pile of injured, garbled language.

I tried to make some sense. Picking up words, dusting them off, placing them back in line. I bandaged dangling modifiers, and stitched compound adjectives.  But, to no avail. They are crumpled and muddled and in a state of shock. They wander around my head, trying to find a place. Then, they give up and slide down the wall to sit and stare.

I'm working through the mess. Trying different perspectives, new angles, fresh story lines. I'm sweaty and tired and want nothing more than a nap. But, the tale will not be …


Late May in small-town Idaho. We would wake early for a vacation day. Mom would go outside to circle the lilac bush. When she returned, her arms were heavy with the heady scent of spring. The counter covered with flowers. She would cut and arrange them in masons jars filled with water. Purple and white loveliness.

Into the station wagon we piled. Windows down and the warm breeze ruffling our hair. The line into the cemetery was often long, cars inching forward waiting their turn. Finally, we would turn in and follow the path, around the back and up to the big tree. If we were lucky, Dad would park in the shade.

Mom might let me carry the precious flowers. We were taught to respect the graves, no running across the grass, no goofing around. The cemetery was large and confusing to me. I always wondered how Dad always knew where to go. We would find it and Mom would set the homemade arrangement in beside the markers, one for Dad's parents, one for the sister he never knew.  Grandpa …

A Half Century of Love

"There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots, the other is wings."  -Hodding Carter Jr.
They are no longer young. Their steps are slower. Dark hair has lightened to gray. The years have carved wrinkles into their fresh faces. This roller-coaster we call life has taken them on a very long, sometimes thrilling, sometimes terrifying, ride. And, through it all, they have clung to each other and their faith--and they have come off victors.

There are 525,949 minutes in a year. More than half a million moments. Moments of happiness, sadness, joy and heartache. Times that by 50- more than 26 million. How do you fill that many pieces of time? In my parent's case, you fill them with love.

The years have brought them seven children, 22 grandchildren, one great-grandchild.  There have been countless moves, friends come and gone, the loss of parents, cancer, surgeries, tests, trials, and tears, so very many tears.

I have learned enough lessons from my parents…

One Word Wednesday- Moderation

As much as I've enjoyed the comments about solar energy and my upcoming dinner with Santa, I've decided it's time.

Comment moderation.

I didn't think I'd ever do it. I love getting comments and didn't want to mess with it. That's until the Russian spam-bots discovered my blog.

Their web addresses don't even make sense. I never clicked on them, terrified of the apocalypse that would surely happen to my laptop if I did. I would just delete them with a chuckle. (The first one honestly made me a bit giddy- Spam! I've arrived.)  They aren't funny anymore.

So, I did it. I hope you'll continue to comment and as long as you aren't warning me about the perils of laundry soap, I'll put it right up.

Manic Monday- Losing Teeth at Church

You might say that my son losing a crown from his tooth at church is my punishment for feeding him Laffy Taffy during the meeting.

And, I might have believed you.

Until I took him to the dentist today to have the crown replaced. As the dentist checked his mouth, she declared-
"No cavities."


Next Sunday- Tootsie Rolls.

Flashback Friday-What I Learned This Week

If you pick up a M&M from the floor of your van, and find you also ingested a hair, you have no one to blame but yourself.

Your husband will not understand when facebook-messaging your friends  makes you giggle.

The law of averages as it applies to children and the park- the amount of time your child begs to go to the park will far outweigh the time they want to play there. 

A splinter, even an eensy-weensy one, can cause an immense amount of pain. This is what I get for trying to do yard work. 

I took Noah to McDonald's for lunch. It made me want to write a letter, this is what it would say,

Dear McDonald's, Congratulations. Making the Happy Meal french fry teeny-tiny, and adding three slices of apple, totally balances out the nutritional value of the meal.  Way to Go!

Large, Elton-John-type glasses will help you read books to your little brother. (Also, being dressed in only underwear is a bonus.)

Mother's Day flowers make me smile. All week long. 

One Word Wednesday- Lottery

The Powerball jackpot has reached $360 million.

Three. Hundred. Sixty.


I'm thinking that might be enough for me to live on. Comfortably.

I'm also thinking about what I could buy with that much money.

I'd like a new car. I know, I know, I just got one. And I love it, I do. But, even my new-to-me Sienna has a few drawbacks. Like the fact that three kids have to sit next to each other. This results in the whole- "He's touching me" issue. Forget that they will fall asleep on the same couch, arms and legs draped over faces- even the slightest graze of a finger in the van is horror.
I'm thinking something like this-
Then, the kids get, not their own seat, but their own row.

Of course, with that kind of money, we'd get a new house. Eight bedrooms would be nice. And a bathroom for each one. But, there's no way I'm cleaning that many bathrooms that are used by boys.   I'll have to have a maid, or two. One to do general cleaning, one who&…

Manic Monday- My Dating Advice

The Handy Man took me out for dinner on Saturday. Cafe Rio- my favorite. We went a bit late, and I expected the line to be short. Ha. But, if you've ever had Cafe Rio, you'd know, it's worth the wait. (If you haven't had Cafe Rio, and they're in your city- What are you waiting for? I recommend the grilled chicken salad with the house dressing. I could drink the house dressing. But, I don't, because they have diet Coke.)

Anywho, we were standing in line right behind another couple. I nudged the Handy Man, "Married or dating?"
He squinted at them. "He's talking awfully loud."
I nodded, "I know. And look at her. Smiling VERY big and laughing at everything he says."
We agreed.

After we got our food, we ended up at a table next to this couple. Because the gentleman was so loud, I was able, without much effort, to hear pretty much their entire conversation. I wanted very badly to walk over and give both of them some dating a…

My Mother's Face

"You're so much like your mother."
I am often told that. In looks, mannerism, even my laugh.  As a teenager, I didn't see it. Didn't want to. Mom was, well, mom.  I wanted to be me. Wanted to look like myself. I distinctly remember the first time I did see.

I'd just gotten a hair cut. Chopped it all off in a fit of anger after a break-up. I sat in my car and glanced in the mirror. My mother's face looked back at me.

My mother's face. The first face that welcomed me into the world, and into each new day for years after.
Hers was usually the last face I saw before going to bed at night.
Hers was the one I missed when I fell off the swing at school, right into a mud puddle that covered my pants.
The one I called out for in the night after a bad dream.
Her kind eyes were the ones I longed to see when my heart broke for the first time. And the last.

My mother has a way of 'lighting up' whenever she sees her children. It's a welcome the pierces…

My Style is a Nightmare

Occasionally, I have this dream. I'm on a stage, the curtains are down. I'm surrounded by other dancers, who are stretching, chatting and preparing themselves. I look down, I'm dressed like them. I'm one of them. And, I realize--

I don't know the choreography.

I can hear the audience on the other side of the curtain and I am freaking out. I'm so stressed, I can't even think about the fact that I am rocking this leotard. Dancers take their positions, music starts, and I am a deer in the headlights as the curtain rises.  If I started dancing, I'm sure I'd look like *Napoleon Dynamite.

I wake up.

Lucky for me, I never get to the part of the dream where everyone dances and I stand there like an idiot. If I had a therapist, I'm sure she would tell me this is a sign that I'm feeling unprepared for something in my life. Or that I really wish I could still rock a leotard.

I did not have this dream last night.

While I am performing tonight for the f…

Lessons Learned

My parents had 7 children. I'm number two. That means that I've never been the boss (that's Heidi) or the baby. Unless you count the 20 months before Ellen was born. Funny, I don't remember it. Yep, jipped out of that experience. (I have issues.)

It was a different time and discipline was, of course, very different as well. My mom did have moments of genius, though. One of them was her way to get us to stop fighting. Three little girls, close in age? Oh, yeah, we fought. Slapping, hair-pulling, and, if I was involved- scratching. (What? I had freakishly long nails at a very early age.)

After a bought of slapping/pulling/scratching, my mom would separate the melee. Then, she would make us face each other.

"Now," she'd say, "if you want to fight, go ahead. Hit each other."

Blank stares.

"Do it. Hit. Each. Other."

At which point the two girls involved would dissolve in tears.
"We don't want to hit each other!"

"Why not?…


Our minds are capable of much. Our spirits are valiant and strong. But, life has a way of wearing us down and sometimes, we simply need a tune-up.

 I spent most of last week away from my family. I left on Tuesday and didn't come home till Saturday. During those four days, I spent time with my new, fabulous friends, with my sisters, some time all alone, and two days surrounded by twenty thousand other women.

 All of it- amazing.

Years ago, this kind of week would have sent the Handy Man into a panic. Now, after all these years, he understands that sometimes I simply need a break. He knows that I will in fact miss him (and the kids), but I will not call every hour, or even every day. (I texted him daily, so he wasn't completely abandoned.) Most importantly, he knows I will come home a 'new woman'. I will be ready to face the daily task of caring for our children and our home and him.  In other words, the sacrifice is worth the reward.

After my day alone, I went to BYU W…

All by Myself

I don't know why my kids get upset over getting sent to their room.

"You stay home from church and you will spend the entire day in your room. Alone."

 This is a serious threat. One that causes much introspection-
-sitting three hours in church, trying to be quiet and not make farting noises with my armpit.
-spending the whole day in my room where I can make all the fart noises I want, but with no one to hear them.

It's a dilemma. For a 9 year-old boy.

Not for me.

Give me any choice and lay it up against spending an entire day alone, it's a no-brainer.

Send me to my room.

And, for heaven's sake, lock the door!

Yesterday, without even being naughty, I got my wish. I spent the whole day- All. By. Myself.

Long story short- I was going to Utah county twice in a week and decided to make it one long trip instead of two short ones. (I'm really good at math, can you tell?)  So, I called my sister and begged and pleaded for her to let me stay. (Not really. I did…