Thursday, December 29, 2011

Life is Good

I love the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.There's lots of downtime: staying up way too late, watching T.V.; sleeping in, only to eat breakfast when it's nearly lunchtime; playing games with the kids because they got every imaginable game for Christmas; spending as much time as possible in your pajamas. I would go a little nuts if this was regular life. But for this week, life is good.

Which brings me to my next point. Can you believe it's nearly 2012? Wow. Aside from the fact that there aren't any flying cars out there, and space travel hasn't been brought to the masses, life is pretty good. I know, I know, there's a recession. There are wars and protests and causes and a ribbon for every cause. But I'm an eternal optimist, and there are also lots of good things happening. There are lay-away angels and babies being born and reasons to celebrate every day. And right within my own little sphere of life, it gets even better. I have a happy, healthy family. We have love. We go on amazing trips together. Both of our cars are pushing 200,000 miles, and yet, continue to start up every day. Our pantry is stocked. My countertop is overflowing with homemade goodies and Christmas cards, proof that we have friends! I am abundantly blessed. 2011 was super, and 2012 will be even better. It's a leap year, which means we get an extra day of happiness this year. Can life get any better?

P.S. The photography challenge? Was 30 days in a row very realistic? I mean really? More to come, just not on a consecutive basis.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 10

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Today's photo challenge is a childhood memory. When I was a kid, my dad often kept a package of Oreos on top of the refrigerator. Why? Because he's 6'4" and we weren't. However, we were very good climbers. And we had bar stools. Too easy, Dad.

Catching Up, Part II

Day 7: Fruit -- This is a shot of some apricots that I turned into fruit leather and got a little weepy because it smelled like baby food and I no longer have babies.

Day 8: A Bad Habit -- Lest you think this child is innocently blowing bubbles into a glass of wholesome milk, think again. He's innocently blowing bubbles into a glass of half-and-half, which he constantly asked for (and got) on our cruise two weeks ago! Oh well, the kid is so scrawny, I'm hoping it put a little meat on his bones somewhere... anywhere!

Day 9: Someone You Love -- For better or worse, I took this shot of someone I love, taking a shot at something HE loves.

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Catching Up

Due to a quick trip to Houston and some technical difficulties, I fell way behind on my self-imposed photography assignment! But never fear, because I am back and ready to post. Here are days 3-6:

Day 3: Clouds -- This is a big thunderhead looming over my house.

Day 4: Something Green -- Isn't he such a cutie on his first day of third grade?

Day 5: From a High Angle -- I was standing at the top of the Space Needle.... does that count?

Day 6: From a Low Angle -- This is my baby brother and his wife last Saturday after they went to the Houston temple for the first time. He's 6'3" so I had to crouch waaaaay down to get the steeple in the background!

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 2 and Other Stuff

The challenge for today is to take a picture of what I wore, but I'm gonna be kind of busy tonight, so here is a picture of what I'm going to wear! It's chilly out there today -- we've got a dusting of snow on the ground -- and I've got to run some errands before leaving town for the weekend. I'm going to Houston, where it's hopefully warmer, and I've got to pick up a big bag of cinnamon bears for my dad, because apparently you cannot get cinnamon bears in Houston! This information was confirmed when we discovered that my brother-in-law, a native Houstonian, had no idea what on earth a cinnamon bear is. I prefer the ones covered in chocolate, myself.

Also, I'm leaving my husband and kids for four days, which means I've got to stock the fridge with "easy food," as my husband calls it. On the list of requests: frozen lasagna and corn dogs. I promise not to read the sodium content on the packages.

Other errands include a trip to the bank and gas station. Then later my taxi service will be open for business as I'll run kids between school, piano lessons, tennis lessons, and church.

Perhaps we'll have "easy food" for dinner tonight.
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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Challenge!

Happy November! I recently came across this little photography challenge and thought it might be fun to give it a try. At the very least, I should have a blog post every day this month...

So here is my self-portrait for Day 1. It's gloomy and stormy today (as you'd expect November 1st to be here in the mountain tops). I actually took this picture about a week and a half ago, when I was on a cruise down in sunny Mexico! As we all know, I am a summer-lovin' girl, and this picture definitely represents that: no make-up, sunglasses, messy hair; and if you look close enough, you can see the straps of my swimsuit! Yes, I will take all the summer I can get.

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Monday, October 31, 2011

What's Scary to an 8-Year-Old Boy?

Happy Halloween! Another one is here and no Halloween Gala to speak of. It will happen. One day. On Saturday we let our kids have a party, complete with costumes and severed-finger cookies. It was awesome. My husband was worried about the whole worlds-colliding thing as the party was all-inclusive... as long as you were a 12-year-old girl or an 8-year-old boy.

After an hour of Minute-to-Win-It games, the girls gathered around the kitchen island for treats while the boys did the same - around the kitchen table. The girls were enjoying their chips and salsa when one of the boys expressed his interest in said chips and salsa.

"Well go ahead and get yourself some," I offered. Aren't I a gracious hostess?

"But those girls scare me," said the 8-year-old hobbit.

So I fixed him up a little plate of his own. After all, Halloween shouldn't be THAT scary.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Standing Up

Once again, and for what I'm sure won't be the last time, my church is being targeted in the media. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has been the target of persecution and hatred since it was founded. In the early days, the governor of Missouri actually put out an extermination order against "the Mormons" and thousands of people had to flee or be killed. Many of them were killed.

I honestly don't care if someone calls us a cult. It's just a word. It can only do harm if I allow it to. Intelligent people will go straight to the source if they want to know if we're all just a bunch of cultists.

We teach our children (and each other) to be good and honest people. To serve others. To have integrity. We try our best to live clean lives; to avoid those things that are damaging to the soul - and we teach our kids to do the same. Chastity before marriage and complete fidelity within marriage. Is that so bad? We believe that families are eternal and strong families build strong societies. We're taught to pray continually; to keep a little prayer in our hearts. We send our 19-year-old boys out into the far reaches of the world, not simply to convert others, but so that they might convert themselves. So that they can spend two years learning to depend on and trust in God; that sacrificing something good now will result in something better later. They learn about other cultures and learn to love and respect the people they meet and serve. They come home as men who are ready to tackle their education, careers, and who hopefully understand what it means to actually be a man. And just for good measure, a lot of our young women go out there and show the boys how it's done! Most importantly, we believe Jesus Christ is the Savior, the Messiah, the Redeemer of the world. We strive to "choose the right;" in other words, to do what Jesus would do.

If we're a cult, then I am ALL IN.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Stop This Train

I feel old. Not in the achy-body-where's-the-Geritol sense; but more in the my-kids-are-growing-up sense.

In the last few days I have had two very important discussions with my kids. I had the truth-about-Santa Claus talk with my 8-year-old and the truth-about-where-babies-come-from with my 12-year-old. I've been meaning to have that talk with the 12-year-old for a while now, but she really wasn't ready (nor was I) until now. Her reaction? "That's just gross."

As for the 8-year-old, he's 8 going on 32, so the timing was right. He was helping me take some things down to the basement when he said, "I really hate to bring this up with Christmas just around the corner, but are you and Dad really the ones who get all the Christmas presents for us?" After confirming his suspicions, he kicked a rubber ball across the room (thankfully our basement is empty) and said, "Dang it! I wanted him to be real!"

I suggested that maybe now he would have some fun getting in on the magic for his younger cousins. His reaction: "Yeah, but that will cost a lot of money!" Always the capitalist.

I feel like I've taken away a little something from them now. A little innocence, a little bit of their childhood, a little bit of fun. But then again, I'd be devastated if they found these things out from any other source; because the truth is, I will always tell them the truth. Always. Even if it hurts me a little.

A couple of days later, my son lost a tooth. He walked right up to me and said, "I'm guessing the tooth fairy isn't real either?"

"Talk to your dad," I said.

"Nope," Dan said rather bluntly.

"What about the Easter Bunny?"

"No, But you know who IS real?"



The next morning I gave him a dollar for his tooth.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Behavior Modification

My kids are four years apart. One's a bossy girl; the other is a stubborn boy. They do have many really good, wonderful qualities, but that's not what today's post is about.

Because one is bossy and the other one is stubborn, and there's a four-year differential, there tends to be lots of room for bickering. I'm sure if you have kids, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about. Anyway, all the bickering this summer left me pulling out my hair. About a month ago, I finally lost it. Oh man, did I lose it.

After telling them to get out of my sight, I thought to myself, "Why should I be the one to lose it? They're the ones who should be losing something." So I went to my husband, who had a great idea.

"Give them the chore you hate doing the most, and make them do it every time they fight."

Mopping, it is. I called them out of their rooms and taught them how to properly mop our kitchen floor, beginning with removing all the chairs to the living room. Sweep, swiffer, mop. Get down on your hands and knees if there's a stubborn spot. I taught them this while sitting like a queen on a throne. It was all very Cinderella-ish.

Today they were fighting over taking turns on the Wii -- to the point, mind you, that one was ripping the batteries out of the balance board. The old me would have yelled and sent them to their rooms. The new me? I very calmly said, "Turn it off and go mop." They very nearly began to bicker over who would do what, when I calmly reminded them that I could very easily add the bathroom floors to their punishment.

They're about half-way done as I type this.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ego Boost

So I'm lucky enough to live in the same community as a certain author who has published many, many books. Last month I found out about a writing class he was offering and immediately signed up. Besides the many wonderful things he is teaching us, we also have the chance to get our writing samples critiqued. It's always a little nerve-racking to have other people look at what I've written; especially when it's done by someone who has actually made a successful career out of writing, himself!

So when it came around to my turn, I braced myself for the impact. He asked others in the group what their opinions were. They offered some helpful insights and I, not being allowed to comment until the critique was over, wrote them down. The teacher joined in on the discussion pointing out a few things here and there -- all helpful. Then, at the end, he looked me in the eye and said, "You're already a good writer and you don't need me."

Wow. I'll be riding high on that one for a while.**

**Even though the fact remains, that I do need and will take all the help I can get!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Goodbye Summer, Hello Apple Tart

Check out this cool spider web I discovered on our back door this morning!

As you can see in the picture below, fall is upon us. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I do lament the loss of summer. 

And while I feel a loss when the leaves start to turn, fall does bring with it some very nice things. Like beautiful hillsides. And soup and hot rolls. Pleasant days and crisp mornings (we'll not mention what the nights are like around here). And of course, candy corn!

But let's not forget the apples. I saw this apple tart recipe being made on T.V. the other day. Now, a baker, I am not. I have a sister and a sister-in-law and a niece who can bake circles around me. I can cook you the most fabulous dinner (my roast chicken and rosemary potatoes are to die for (if I do say so myself)) but don't expect anything for dessert, unless you bring it yourself. I have a list of about 4 cookies that I can make that usually turn out well. But when I saw this on T.V. last week, the lady making it said, "anybody can make this." So I did! My husband ate about half of it himself and then had what was left for breakfast this morning.

I'd consider that a pretty good beginning to Fall.

Want the recipe? Click here.
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Finding the Magic!

I came across this quote this morning and immediately fell in love with it. Then I saw it was by Roald Dahl, one of my all-time favorite children's authors! (You know, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, etc.).

So I'm off to find the magic for today... I hope you do the same!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Settling In

So this is what I'm calling my "settling in" week. This morning I spent a few hours sorting and packing and organizing all the stuff I brought home from school. Which lead to cleaning out the basement closet. Which lead to organizing the basement cabinets. Which lead, of course, to cleaning out the upstairs hallway. And the laundry room.

Who says I quit working?

Thankfully, I was rescued at 12:45 by a friend who showed up in her red convertible Alfa Romeo. We went to lunch, drove around in the car, and stole tomatoes from my grandma's garden.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Holy Moly! I Quit My Job!

Today is the first day of kindergarten. And I'm not there! It may be absolute insanity to quit your job in the middle of one of the worst economies in history, but I had to do it. During this absolutely fabulous summer, in which I hiked, camped, boated, and swam, there was a little thought nagging me. But I ignored it. The thought kept nagging on, and I kept ignoring. Then it was time for teachers to go back to school. I told myself I could do it. By day 3, I knew what I had to do. So I did. It was tough. But once I made the decision, oh what relief I felt! The nagging thought was, "My kids first. Other people's kids second." Not that I don't like other people's kids. I do. But I love mine the most. And I know what you're thinking. But it's not the case. I leave before my kids do. I'm often not home before mine get home. I very often bring my own work home, making me unable or too tired to help them with their school work. In other words, I was putting it all into my job and not saving much for them.

Six years. That's how long I have until my daughter goes to college. We've lived in Utah for six years and the time has flown by like THAT (imagine finger snapping). When I told her I quit my job, she threw her arms into the air and cheered. That was all I needed to know I'd made the right decision.

As I drove my third grader to school this morning, he was almost giddy that he was in the front seat of our Tahoe, rather than on the bus. "This is so awesome," he giggled.

My kids first.

Beyond that, I feel so liberated! My mind is swimming with possibilities. I get to volunteer in my kids' classrooms. I have lots of time to WRITE. There are two pieces of furniture in my basement that I'm going to refinish. I'm going to figure out what the heck that noise is coming from the rear end of my car. It's like the Renaissance is starting and I'm the one holding the paint brush. SWEET! The possibilities are endless. Thankfully I have an awesome hubby who is a much harder worker than I am, and is supportive of whatever I do.

So it's a little like starting over, but in a really, really good way. I'm refocusing. I'm re-prioritizing. If we end up needing the money, we'll find a way. I saw this quote a while back, and I am inspired:

"Your journey has molded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don't think that you've lost time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. AND NOW IS THE RIGHT TIME."


Friday, July 15, 2011

A Day at the Lake

Yesterday some friends invited us out to Deer Creek. It's not within my abilities to turn down an offer like that!

Mt. Timpanogos rising above Deer Creek

(yes, there's still snow on it in July)

Jamison doing a dance to coax his friend into the water

The cutest twelve-year-old I know

I think they enjoyed themselves...

Ah... my happy place

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Seattle in 24 Hours

I recently returned from a one-day trip to Seattle, where I got to test drive the new 2012 Nissan Versa (but that's another story). This marks my second one-day trip to Seattle, and my second trip to Seattle, ever. One of these days, I'll actually spend more time there, but here's what I saw in 24 hours:

Mt. Ranier (from my airplane)

The T.V. in my hotel room (how cool that it says my name?!?)

Chittenden Locks

Flowers in a pretty garden

Need I say more?

Ranier cherries...mmmm!

Safeco Field (home of the Seattle Mariners)

View from the Space Needle

View OF the Space Needle

Not bad for a day, huh?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Let Them Be Little

Ah, summer. Sunshine, shorts, watermelon, and ceiling fans. I am a lover of all things summer. Even my birthday falls in the summer - how depressing to have a winter birthday! One of the best things about summer is the road trip. We took one last week, to St. George, UT. It's down in the corner of the state, full of heat, red rocks, and beautiful golf courses. We took advantage of all of them.

I know I've mentioned that I try to feed my kids healthy things. Except on road trips. All bets are off. Gimme a greasy burger and some piping hot fries and I am one happy road tripper. So you can imagine I was a little disheartened at the local Jack-In-the-Box, when a small sign read, "Kids' meals will no longer include a toy. Apple slices available upon request."

What the?

Jamison was even more disappointed when he opened his bag. "I thought we were in St. George, NOT San Francisco." That boy is sharp.

Please. The name of your establishment is JACK IN THE BOX. Your mascot is a toy in a suit!

Later on, I saw a sign meant to hang on a child's doorknob. It simply said, "Let them be little."


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Streak is Over

Twenty three years ago, my great-grandmother died and we made the looooonnngg 7-hour drive from Casa Grande, Arizona to Escalante, UT for the funeral. After the service, a dinner was provided for our family at the church. I had some potato salad. I think it was left over from someone's Thanksgiving dinner, which would have been a week before the funeral. Within an hour of the dinner, everything on my inside wanted to be on my outside. The drive home was a joy ride.

Needless to say, I haven't had potato salad in 23 years.

Until today. Who knew that a back yard picnic for my son's cub scout pack meeting would be the place I would bravely try the summer staple? I liked it, and as for my stomach, so far so good.

Which just goes to show... don't be afraid to try new (or old) things.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Oh, That's Where I've Been

The end of school usually ushers in the care-free, stress-free, lazy days of summer.


But first there was girls camp to plan and prep for, and then execute. I think it was a success.

Then there was a parade in which my daughter appeared and at which my mother-in-law fell and broke her hip. Then of course, there was emergency hip-replacement surgery, not to mention the subsequent rehab.

Next came WIFYR, a week-long writing conference that was easily the best writing conference I've ever attended.

We managed to squeeze in a Father's Day cook-out.

Finally, one of those lazy, care-free days showed up. We saw a movie, had lunch, and watched Jamison make an amazing catch at his baseball game.

Then there was six weeks' worth of neglect to make up for in chores. I discovered that I hoard buttons... not on purpose.

Then my dad came, which forced us into a few more of those lazy, care-free, let's go hiking and fishing and to a car show types of days.

Tomorrow? Who knows? But it's nearly the 4th of July and I've got to get to work on my tan!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Rennaisance Man

Saw this advertisement on the window of a Jeep.
Now that's what I call a Jack-of-all-Trades.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Note to self: put up a Post-it in a permanent place to remind me how busy the last weeks of school are. There are permanent files to file. There are report cards to complete. There are field trips and assemblies to be had. There is testing to finish and there are parties to plan. There are lessons to plan that will keep kids' interest until June.

And then there are the things from the other side of the teacher's desk. There are teacher gifts to remember and thank you notes to write. There are permission slips to sign. There are registration papers to fill out. There are field days to attend and field trips to chaperone. There are lunches to be made, despite noses that crinkle up at the thought of a real piece of fruit. There are after-school activities to drive to, and if I can just hold on for a few more days, they will simply be activities peppered in between the boredom.

Boredom. What's that like?

Do you ever feel like you're drowning in a sea of never-ending stuff to do? Even when there's Nothing to do, there's always Something to do. At some point, I am not going to look tired. People are going to quit telling me I look tired. That will be nice. Today someone told me that I look like a certain, pretty local news reporter. That was very nice. I've seen her on t.v. and she never looks tired.

She's obviously not a teacher.

Or a mom.

P.S. Yesterday my husband turned 41, and concerned for his aging father, my 8-year-old son said "I hope your thumbs don't fall off."

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Happy Things

When I was a little kid, we lived in Heber City, Utah, which is where I currently work. One of my favorite things to do was to make the five-minute drive to Midway (which is where I currently live) and go to the Timp Freeze for an ice cream cone. The reason I loved their ice cream cones was because they always gave you a little toy surprise in the cone. Sometimes it was a sword. Other times it was a dinosaur. When we moved to Midway three years ago, I was a little disappointed to see that the Timp Freeze was nothing but a shell of a once great ice cream stand.

But then... there was a glimmer of hope. The Timp Freeze got a fresh coat of paint. Someone hung up a sign that said "Opening Soon." Well, "Soon" happened today. I took my daughter down the hill and we stepped into the shiny new place. I have to admit, my heart fluttered a little. If I ordered an ice cream cone, would it come with a toy? I was too chicken to ask. I just wanted to be surprised. I just wanted to feel like a kid for a minute. So I ordered a cone. My daughter was too overcome by the scent of cheeseburgers on the grill to think about ice cream, but me? I just wanted a cone. And with any luck, I'd get one with a toy. Thirty seconds later, the girl behind the counter handed me this:

Life is good.

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Glimpse of Things to Come

Last week our daughter turned twelve. We don't typically do birthday parties, but this year we caved in and allowed her to invite twelve giggling, squealing, sreaming 'tweens over for lemon cupcakes and a Wii dance party.

Things spoken during the festivities:

My husband was outside grilling hotdogs. He needed a plate from the kitchen. He said to me, "You go get it. Everytime I walk in there, they stop talking."

In hopes of joining the dance party upstairs, our eight-year-old son came downstairs and said, "Mom, check out these awesome dance moves I've been working on!" I quickly called a friend to come over and keep him company.

More than once, and from more than one attendee, I heard, "Taylor Lautner is so HAWT!"

Finally, as my husband and I were banned to the garage to enjoy our hotdogs and lemon cupcakes, he asked, "How did this happen? Why are WE the ones in the garage?"

I licked my strawberry frosting and said, "Welcome to the future. Get used to it."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Little Self-Discoveries

I am quite adept, it seems, at putting on lipstick without the benefit of a mirror. My favorite lipstick? Baby Lips by Laura Mercier.

I am a horrible cheat. I decided to quit drinking Coke about six weeks ago. And then I decided to quit drinking soda all together. And then I discovered these yummy little cans of sparkling fruit juice at Costco. After reading the label many many times, I decided they do NOT count as soda. Nor does a green apple slush from our local burger joint. The verdict is still out on coke-flavored slurpees.

Speaking of burger joints, I will go to my grave defending an In N Out cheeseburger with a whole grilled onion as THE best burger in the universe. And it's just as good with water as it is with an icy cold Coke.

Speaking of the Universe, I am more than a little disappointed that the Space Shuttle program is over. That would be the nerd in me. One of my bucket list items was to go to a live launch. Hopefully something just as good or better will come along in the future. Until then, I'll be thinking up a way to be an extra on a Star Trek movie.

Finally, I like to drive fast. I've been driving my husband's little Imprezza RS for the last few weeks, and that car is happiest when going 75 or above. I'm planning to explain that to the officer if I am ever pulled over.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Conversation

The conversation at our house this morning circled around food. Before I even made it out of my bathroom, my daughter asked if she could have some certain cookies for her lunch.

"Grab an apple," I said.

"But I already have a yogurt and that has fruit in it."


"That's like having two fruits."

"And the problem is...?"

She went to the pantry and dug out a container of apple sauce, which had fermented. Thankfully we tested it before she got to school.

"There's a crisper drawer full of real apples," I suggested. She rolled her eyes at me.

A few minutes later, my son said, "Mom, I need a snack for my lunch." I repeated what I had told his sister. "But I already have blueberries," was his reply.

"So?" I know I'm asking for it when I say that.

"So NOBODY ever takes two fruits in their lunch. EVERYBODY takes at least two snacks - and you're telling me I can't even have ONE?"

My reply: "First of all, you're not Donald Trump, so quit speaking in superlatives. Second of all, fruit IS a snack. What kind of snacks does EVERYONE have?"

"Fruit roll-ups, fruit by the foot, fruit snacks, chips..."

I couldn't resist. "How sad for them. There is a fridge full of REAL fruit in this house. Aren't you lucky? And when you say 'snack' you mean junk food. So ask me for junk food."

"But if I ask for junk food, you'll say NO!"

"I think you're getting it, kid."

He rolled his eyes at me and opted for a cherry yogurt.

"Why don't you ever let us have junk food?" He asked in that very whiny, spoiled-brat kind of voice that gives me immediate desires to take away all happiness forever.

"I believe you enjoyed both jolly ranchers and a fireball after school yesterday. And what about that bowl of ice cream after dinner? You get plenty without me actually giving it to you on purpose. I want you to grow up and have a long, healthy life, even if it means griping at me forever."

A pouty look was all I got in response.

"If you want to grow up and be a famous scientist/inventor, you need a good, healthy, strong brain, and fruit by the foot is not the answer."

Being the typical mom that I am, I couldn't resist one parting shot before I left for work.

"I don't think Einstein ate a single Fruit by the Foot EVER!"

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Middle School Initiation

I'm old and I'm cheap. But that's okay.

A little background: my daughter, who is about to turn twelve, has had a favorite store for the last 2-3 years called Justice. I can't stand it. Their clothes are expensive, for the most part ugly, and poor quality.

Last week, she came home from school and announced, "I think I'm pretty much over Justice." I breathed a small sigh of relief. "I want to start shopping at Aeropostale."

"Why?" I asked.

"Well, Sophie's mom took her shopping there, and she got a ton of cute stuff!"

Thank you, Sophie's Mom, for what follows.

Yesterday, I was out and about, when I decided to pop into Aeropostale and check things out. I thought I'd do a little birthday shopping. I found "a ton of cute stuff," all from the clearance racks. I mean, why would I buy a $24 yellow polo when I could buy one in a slightly different shade of yellow for $4?

So I took my picks up to the register, where the sales clerks, who were half my age and who had half my wisdom, proceeded to ring me out. We chatted, and I learned that this was a favorite store of many middle-schoolers. "Yeah," said Clerk 1, "lots of middle-school kids shop here, but it's not a great place for moms like you to buy clothes." As if I would want to wear shorts that were made of nothing more than a waist band and a pocket (nor would I want my daughter to wear them - but that's another post).

Clerk #2 whispered to me, "It's also a great place for CHEAP people to shop."

Oh just wait girls.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Evolution of a Mood

I woke up in a ridiculously bad mood today.
Can you guess why?

I was very well tempted to call in sick to work. I am sick of this weather. But I didn't. Instead I went to work and pretended to be happy for other people's children. As the snow pelted my face during recess duty, I thought of ways to lift my spirits. Historically, I turn to one of two things for therapeutic purposes: cleaning or cooking. Today I opted for cooking. Set to music. And then I cleaned the kitchen. I think it worked.

Could there BE a better song to cheer you up on a snowy day at the end of April?

Don't fresh veggies look pretty when they're being sauteed? The colors remind me of a beach towel.

And then I ended up with something that looked like a Hawaiian sunset. (I've never been to Hawaii, so I'm just assuming here).

Of course a hot bowl of pasta with homemade sauce is just the thing to warm you up when it's cold outside.

Even the little flowers on the window sill started to perk up.

And so did I.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ready, Set, Go

My husband gave me a watch for Christmas. I love watches. The watch he gave me is a designer watch. It's soooo pretty. It's gold and shiny and it has lots of pretty little dials. So this watch got me to thinking. I'm not someone who usually cares about designer-type, fancy-schmancy things. I'm just as happy with a ten-dollar watch from Target as I am with the one currently on my wrist. I know people say things like that all the time, but I really mean it. I was completely shocked and awe-struck at this fine gift. Dan simply said, "you deserve it." I guess that's the part that got me thinking. I do deserve certain things life. Don't we all? At the very least, I deserve to go after the things I want. And the thing I really want is to write books. So I have been writing and revising, editing and submitting. I've heard back from two publishers, both of whom said something to the effect of, we like it, we think you're publishable, it's just not for us at this time. And so the hunt continues. But that's okay. It's nice to be told by multiple publishers that I am publishable. It would be nicer to be told they would like to publish me, but that will happen eventually. Hopefully soon. So I signed up for a conference. A big one. I'm excited. I know of a few writers who got their breaks as a result of this conference. One of them is teaching the class I will be attending. So look out Book Industry. I'm coming after YOU!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

And We're Back

I heard once that fall is a fickle season. If that's true, then what the heck does that make spring?
Here's what we woke up to today. Thankfully, Dan is currently in the kitchen making his famous Oh Boy! Waffles and buttermilk syrup. I don't drink, so I have to drown my sorrows somehow.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Oh Happy Day!

Today we did something we haven't been able to do in months. We went to the park! It was 70 degrees outside! Nevermind that it is raining and thundering right now; we went to the park! We played catch and swung on the swings. Today is the springiest spring day yet... We're all giddy with delight!