Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mrs. Citizen Take Two

i found myself rushing to wal mart the other day for a few items forgotten for yet another candy making day. i was feeling ill from all of the candy i had consumed in the week which had set off a nasty case of colitis which i became subjected to thru the last pregnancy. (a whole personal post that would make my face red after my recent blogging hiatus.)

hence a shaky mom facing the most unchristmas{y} place on the block. right as i was pulling in to the little planet in and of itself, the world of wally, there was a girl, not more than 16 with some gangly and devious looking friends. this 16 year old girl happened to be pushing a stroller and a stray toddler was tagging behind. now this scene might bear resemblance of normal for the area of town until i paint the part about them being in the middle of the road in no hurry to be safe. i stopped prematurely, trying to muster some christmas nice and let them cross. these "friends" started yelling at one another and going in all different directions. this poor little toddler started following the devious friends into the oncoming lane of traffic until her 16 year old mother grabbed her by the ponytail and dragged her across the road, by her pony tail, dragging her across the road, screaming and crying dragging her by the ponytail, an innocent toddler caught up in the mess.

chalk it up to my new found mrs. citizen self or a case of the christmas blues, but suddenly. my horn was honking at her and thru my closed door window i yelled in that scary voice, "you don't do that!!!" pointing and shaking my hand.

unfortunately this time she yelled words we learned in the ghetto of new haven. my kids were nervous about being in the same car as mrs. citizen and asked why i yelled at the lady. i engaged them in a story about how some moms don't know how to show love or kindness to their kids and are mean. i told them about the incident and how that is not how adults should ever treat children.

my face was hot as a july night in the desert and i was shaking internally with anger. kids have been on my mind as of late. at a young age i knew that i would be lucky to get one. now three miracles later, 4 seems good. i would be happy with 10. you know the drill. sometimes a mothers heart gets pulled in all directions trying to figure out how to collect her family. by now you know i take this family collection stuff seriously. with this very heavy on my mind, this situation seemed all the more saddening to me. here i am, a mother who would love to take that baby in the stroller and the toddler with a pony tail. i would take them and love them, read them stories and tickle their little arms until they fell fast asleep in a safe warm bed where their only worry was what picture to paint when they awoke.

i rushed thru that insane store gathering neatly the needed items and headed for my car. i ran into my mother confessing my mrs. citizen moment that was burning a hole in my heart. the ride home i was determined to do something with this broken heart and this frustration. i was wildly going thru possibilities that i could do that would make the hurt stop. that would make me stop thinking about a little girl who was dragged by her hair that needed a warm fire and a brimming christmas tree with love abounding. in my fury of possibilities i pretended i gathered her up in my arms and took her home with me. we opened presents on christmas morning and talked about the baby jesus.

and then for a moment i thought about the baby jesus. i have been reading from the 4 gospels the past few nights about the miracles that were recorded about this baby. about the fish and the loaves that were enough, the water that calmed, the virgin mary and the babe in the manger that descended below all to be greeted by a faithful woman, a brave joseph and awaiting animals. my thoughts then turned to another bystander that night. the literal father of the babe. i thought about how he watched the dissension below all, a precious son to be given no room at the inn. a father watching brutality and sorrow of a son who trod a lonely path. suddenly i had a place for this hole burning in my heart. i felt christmas. some years pass and we don't get the chance to feel the significance of that lowly manger. i suddenly felt the burden that baby carried as he grew to a man aware of his divine nature. i felt the sorrow and the joy. the joy that adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy. the bystander, that often times i fail to recognize his significant role as a parent, felt the same way i did as he saw that toddler abused. that's why he watched that lowly dissension of his literal son. he knew the price his holy son paid would satisfy the demands of justice and somehow make it up to this toddler and her ponytail. he knows how my heart aches as we try to expand our family through earnest prayer, humble hearts and open minds. he knows. and therefore, he gives us christmas.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

mrs. citizen take 1

growing up, my dad was incredibly regulatory about what our minds inhaled from the tube. we could freely watch any public television shows but anything else required his approval. steve erkel won by a landslide. larry and balki from perfect strangers was always a grey line and full house always won him over with the special time music when the valuable lesson at the end was proclaimed.

taking all of this into consideration, he had some sons. some sons he wanted to scare into being good citizens. while most families would gather on a saturday night for a heart warming movie or a game night, our TV set would be fixed to COPS. it was the beginning of reality tv in my opinion. we would watch with incredible intensity and belt out the theme song, "bad boys bad boys, whatcha gonna do when they come for you". we would laugh and then proceed to watch what would happen if we were ever engaged in civil disobedience. there was never a time for my parents to sit us down and give us any kind of "just say no" talks or anything of the sort, we all knew that the COPS would come for us if we engaged in any such activity.

my dad doesn't put up with garbage and definitely doesn't take the cowardly approach to being a good citizen. one time there was a woman drunk as a skunk exiting our local little caesar's with some tipsy pizzas in hand. my dad got a hold of a cop in no time pointing out the crime as we followed the apprehension all the while singing "bad boys bad boys" in the buick at the top of our lungs. he kept us updated about the DUI and i can say that none of his children have ever had a DUI.

thru the years he has earned the nickname of mr citizen. one time at the local community pool i accompanied my small siblings to the pool to lounge. i was 8 months pregnant with a ribcage condition and the water freed my pain. we went often. as i beached it in the kiddy pool the pool manager let me know my 4 and 5 year old siblings were too old for that small pool. she made us get out and go to the part that was over their heads. my dad was on the phone with her within minutes of our departure. while his complaint was filed, the woman asked who he was. he responded with, " i am mr. citizen. i am a taxpayer who lives in this community and you will not be hassling people anymore". and thus, mr. citizen was born.

call it genetics or whatever you want, but it seems his daughter is falling in line right nice.

last month i was cooking dinner and decided it was time to fetch the kids. i walked out of the house and across the street to the "fort" and told them to come and eat. as grayce followed me in, little bud "e" stayed behind for one more minute of stick finding. as i walked in the house i left the door open knowing the little fellow would be following shortly. as i found myself in the kitchen i heard two screeching wheels coming around the bend to the dead end of our street. it was a pimple faced baby practicing his racing skills with his mom's ford taurus. all of a sudden my sweet boys face came into my mind and i bolted out the door. not knowing what i was going to do all of a sudden i could smell blood. i was out for this kids throat. mrs citizen came to life and was born in the middle of the road. he raced down to the the bottom of the street, squealing on two wheels to turn around and on his way back up he found this newborn mrs citizen in the middle of his path. acting as a times square traffic cop i was waving him to slow down. he quickly snapped his brakes and rolled his window down. i had to control myself to not reach down his throat and remove his gullet with my bare hands. i yelled with a voice i didn't know existed, just like a newborn animal discovering their surroundings. i told him there were kids playing around here and to slow down. there were no vulgar words used to my own surprise. his response was pure fear and he cried out his apologies to me. he looked like a 12 year old david archuleta. he was so dumbfounded by my scolding that when i was done he sat there, not moving. i yelled at him "go!!!!!" he rolled out at negative 5 miles an hour and i am sure his mother wanted to know why her drivers seat was wet.

an hour later i got a call from the only other house on our 14 lot cul de sac. she is the farthest house down. she started by saying "you go girl". she then proceeded to tell my she heard every word of my scolding to him and her doors were all shut, as were her windows. she heard the car coming down and had the phone in her hands as she had watched my kids out playing earlier. fearing some fatality she kept the phone close as she watched this unfold. once she got to a window she could see there weren't any kids in the road but as she watched her enraged neighbor stand in the middle of the street to a speeding car she said she kept it ready to call 911,ready for mrs. citizens short lived life. i counted how many houses on the other side of the street are between us, 8. she heard me that far away.

it is amazing what you pull out of the hat when you are called mom. protection skills of a grizzly come out of a lady wearing a flowery apron.

anyone there....

as of today, december 19, we now have internet at the house.

merry christmas

thrilling. and horrifying.

i have been without internet for 5 months. only mandatory sessions at my mom's to clear my email account. like feeling important does include hearing aol tell you about your email and seeing 253 new messages. i have only skimmed the past few months and all of this seems like a new language to me. being absent from this bloggosphere for a bit has made me a real gal completely taking the cyber gal from me.

i can't imagine that people read my blog to find out what i am doing and enjoy it. it is a funny thing the www. i keep thinking really, there is a world where people want to see what i did over the weekend and see pictures and i in return will want to read about theirs? stunning. and then i think, glory be, i have shown a picture of my bathroom over this vast black hole, kind of horrifying with this long absence. it has made me red in the face thinking that i have shared personal stuff in to the black hole for anyone to see. and now, i know how my grandmother feels when i tell her about blogging.

my self proclaimed writer self will come back. i do have some great stories to tell. i turned into mrs. citizen this past fall which included 2 stories about my screaming self to bystanders. me? really? it will come out....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


swine.flu.tamiflu.fevers.throw-up.pumpkins.witches.clorox.clam chowder. snot.tissues.bills.snow.vaccination.albuterol.inhaler.gilmore corrina.happy thoughts.

over the weekend?


thanks ropes!

Friday, October 16, 2009

mysterious{ness} of sisterhood

i was a budding sophomore in high school before i was blessed with a sister relationship. we waited and waited for the two caboose children born to our family after 10 anxious years of waiting for their glorious arrival. there was the first family, myself and 3 brothers born in a five year span. then... 2 caboose children born just 12 months apart. we were all thrilled with their arrival.

i had always dreamed of having a sister. always dreamed of sharing clothes. doing make up. all things girl. why my lovely neighboring household boasted 4 sisters. e,h,j and s. wonderful girls that were always calm, played barbies and other magnificent girl activities that made it very apparent that our household was lacking the female variety in quantity.

imagine the honeymooning phase of sisterhood i embarked upon as a teenager to get a sister. it was worth the long wait and certainly void of any indifference expressed in a normal sisterhood other peers had expressed disdain with.

my red headed mate only experienced the male variety growing up. with a family boasting 4 strapping boys he never saw the effects of sisterhood. why when we were first married as we were getting ready for church one sunday, he tried expressing his admiration over my lovely church apparel which turned out to be a slip. he had a modest mother who never let on to such feminine secrets.

at the news that our third bundle of joy was going to be all female, i was thrilled with the prospect of have 2 sisters under my roof. thrilled. being such new territory my limited experience and naivety was a bad combination. upon seeing 2 female personalities develop at our house there are lots of weary glances exchanged between the red head and i. as sweet as the tender moments exchanged they are very dramatic and well, girl.

the other day i found myself in the garage working on my year long project of the rescued buffet. the door was opened and i could hear the girls setting up for a lovely tea party to discuss the fate of the boxed up halloween decor. "winds of love" was fetching some pumpkin chocolate chip bread for herself and offered the gesture to "hella" while they embarked on serious planning discussion. before i knew it there was what i thought to be squeals of delight at the prospect of a tea party. i was soon educated on the squealing only to find "winds of love" had been trapped in the jaws of "hella". "hella" wanted grayce's square of cake and was not going to wait. when grayce refused giving her peice up, hella took matters into her own hands, or teeth actually, and hunkered down on sisters biceps.

i doctored the wound with an ace bandage holding an ice pack to help the swelling. it was a gory battle wound fitting for a halloween horror show.

later that night we were fetching supplies for grayce's costume at the local emporium. she had brought her own money and upon remembering that the little devil would turn three on october 18, as hella will tell you, she decided it would be appropriate to spend all her funds on matching webkinz they could play with. my jaw dropped to the floor as i watched her struggle to get her money out with her injured arm. had she so quickly forgotten that this devil of a sister nearly caused an ER visit that could have entailed sewing a chunk of skin back on to make her whole? i almost felt the need to remind her but bit into my tongue that was bleeding by the time the venture was coming to an end.

i mulled the days activities over in my mind countless times looking for the eternal principle found here. last night as i was going over holy scripture, i came upon a chapter heading that answered my question. it declares, "faith is a hope which is not seen which is true." maybe this is far fetched for some, but my minuscule mind was opened and i saw with the innocence of my gracye. she knows the eternal bind she shares with ella can't be stopped by a bite or mean words. and it reminded me of my hope and faith in the sisterhood i share with paige. it goes beyond bites and fights. it is faith and hope that lace our relationship and pulls us together in the perils of life..

Thursday, October 8, 2009

hollywood here we come

last year my "winds of love" got the chance to play Lady Macbeth. we lucked out and got a teacher who lets her 2nd grade students perform shakespeare every year.

the local news station was at the school yesterday and my lovely got to do her little line and showcase her drum skills. we had to be to the school by 6:30 am which was almost the death of me. my inner self wanted to roll out of bed and go in a hat, my worldly outer self wouldn't let that happen. so, i was up far too early round brushing my mane......the threat of being caught for one millisecond on camera in a hat and no make up got my hind quarters out of bed far too early.

you can view here. our beauty in her orange dress is in clips 3 and 5. 3 is her lady Macbeth debut and 5 are her drum skills......

and i guess her speech impediment that i love with all my heart is pretty obvious in her Shakespearean lingo, but i am in love with it. i hope she keeps her lisp all the days of her life.

did i ever tell you the story about the meeting the school requested my presence at over my daughter's special education?

i have been meaning to and i hope i don't offend. please read with a light heart.

last year about the spring quarter i got a letter that informed me of a meeting to take place with the principal, "winds of love"'s teacher, and the special education teacher. our daughter hasn't attended any special classes and as far as i knew her grades were great. i hadn't noticed any problems and was sick to my stomach reading this letter thinking something was wrong and why on earth would the school pick up on it and not me? good gravy trains.....

the meeting was 3 weeks away. a normal person would have called the school asking about why they think my lovely needed special education. but i stewed and worried instead. it's my love of ulcers i guess.

the time came for the meeting and i went with sweaty palms. i went to the instructed room number with my daughter and waited for the dignitaries to join us. i was shaking and thought i just may vomit from worry that something was seriously wrong. i mean the principal was there, hello.

the meeting started and i listened to the special education teacher talk about how they had tested my daughter for speech, recognition, speaking interactions and such and how she had failed and tested in the handicap range for 23 sounds. i was sweating and horrified until 15 minutes into the meeting i realized they were telling me in a most politically correct way that my daughter had a lisp. at that point i had to put my hand over my mouth as this team of people were talking about how we can correct her handicap. i was stifling my giggles and trying not to soil my shorts i was giggling on the inside so hard.

then they showed me what she qualified for from federal funding because of here severe handicap and please sign here so we can receive a check every month she is in therapy. and oh, she will need at least a year of extensive training and correction. i then found out that this "special education teacher" was a speech pathologist. at that point it seemed that particular parenting ulcer of the month could have been completely avoided.

nonetheless. i was concerned that my beloved had heard them refer to her speaking as handicap and was worried. i talked to her afterwards about it and she promised to work hard at speech therapy. i secretly wished that she wouldn't, because after all, one of my favorites blogs for people with lisps. and where would we be without her?

Thursday, September 10, 2009


to this wonderful place. it has been really great to finally be in our new house. we have waited forever to be settled. it is funny how once all of the distractions fizzle life seems to slow down a bit. we had a few months this summer where every day was a new tragedy to figure out how to deal with.

s.mac started his new job and is officially addicted to neuro surgery. he comes home so happy as his hands have been working all day in someones back and brain. he is loving a 4 day a week surgery schedule, really loving it. although his neck has needed some rubbing as he is constantly looking thru the microscope.

our little rocky dog has found happiness 3 doors down as the 2 littlest ones have been on constant albuterol and inhalers since his arrival. our 9 year seach for the perfect dog ended tragically as his hypoallergenic"ness" hasn't proven true at this house. i swear, hold my kids up to a dog and if they can take it you would find a real hypoallergenic dog. luckily we found a great dog that found himself with a waiting list of families to go to. the first one on the list took him and we are hoping they love his great nature as much as we did. the kids have gone to visit him often and are coping with the loss well. still it is sad to know that we won't be a dog family. there are so many benefits to dog loving.

i have to admit to much loneliness as the two oldest are in school. hella and i are getting used to the quiet house for a few hours each day. i have had to stock up on some books and do the same for her. we bought her first set of KUMON the other day and are excited to start that.

we are not quite moved in yet. we needed a mandatory break from crazy, thus no computer service quite yet. it has been crazy to be without computer and tv for almost 6 weeks now and then almost a great vacation. the house has seen so much garden produce pass thru it. last night the red head and i pureed 2 gallons of tomatoes and there is a bushel of peaches waiting to be placed.

my favorite thing so far has been the windows. we are so sad to think they might ever need shutters you know? the views can't be beat. canyon and mountain views thru every window. one of the funny parts about being the lone house in the cul de sac is seeing prospective buyers come thru. every night more cars and then the next night maybe the same people coming thru. we have one family right now with a mirror family like ours. they are looking directly across the street or right next door. how lucky would we be to get some kids next to us. i have had to keep my house tidy as our door seems to be ringing constantly with curious folks. some come to tell us they love the design, others come because they have heard about that kitchen of ours. one such spectator came thru the other night because of the tales she heard of our kitchen. she was a rocky mountain girl wanting stained wood and cupboards adorning every square inch of the walls. i think my non conventional kitchen horrified her as she couldn't even lie about liking it. she just stared in possible horror. suddenly i felt the need to tell her of my funky likings and how i kept saying to myself, what would ina or giada do as i designed it. she just sat with her jaw on the ground.

that said.

i love our house. i love every crazy ceiling line, every willy wonka closet, and every memory we make there. last night i was reading the oldest kids a chapter from where the red fern grows. i loved watching bud "e" listen intently with his eyes so focused on every word telling the tale of big dan and little ann. i love this little space we have to hold our memories we are making as a family!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

happiness is....

wedding festivities.....

2 dishwashers and one good man....

Monday, August 17, 2009

i had to email these

to the appraiser and thought you might like a peek. we are so far from settled. really. i am pooped. sick dog, home loan number 1,234,534 that just can't seem to close, gas leak, water leak, leaky toilet, s.mac gone for teachers camp and youth conference, old car died had to get another dave ramsey get along, need an unexpected $13,000 to close the loan(easy peasy right?), dirt and rock lawn sucks, juan not done painting, can't make up my mind about sending kids to charter school or public (i just want some peace about it), haven't paid homage to northshore pool, no lagoon, no cherry hills, finished life insurance policies. the last few weeks have put me under. there was a couple of hours yesterday that i spent looking blankly out the window.

but then i see a picture of this kitchen, oh mama. it just might be all worth it next week when we get thru this week which entails. an 8 year old party, a baptism, the temple sealing of good friends, temple endowments of a future siter in law, a big wedding dinner, the wedding, the reception, school starting, s.mac's new job, and hopefully our little rocky getting better. he is so sick. everyday i go down hoping he hasn't died thru the night. he got into the plum tree in our yard and ate into a pit and fruit oblivion. he is trying to pass the pits, poor buddy.

anyway, here you go.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

the hardest part you know.

for my church i have the opportunity to call on willing souls when one might be in need. our area is incredibly stable. babies are a yearly miracle, moves are rare, and we have only a few aged bodies. it has been wonderful when i have even had the chance to call upon people to help in some way or another, and also, very rare.

last week our angel lady in charge of the sisters in the area flitted off for a much needed family vacation. her son was home from a two year stint in russia and a daughter home from a 18 month stint in arizona. they fled for rest and as the angel wings left the town, we fell apart. within hours of her departure, one of the few aged bodies had a heart attack. it was very unexpected and it fell on a family with not a great family support. that is when we get to come into the picture. i called around like a mad woman coming up with a plan to save his wife's sanity. yes, indeed flo was a mess. her husband that had never been ill in all his life discovered his heartburn was the result of a heart that had 30% function. i was the first to take a meal in to her. she needed some adult company as her dinner awaited her. her feeble spirit imparted to me the strength of a 60+ year marriage. she had never been without him and was quite sure life would never be the same. she imparted to me all of her dashed dreams with this new diagnosis. i reassured her that life would go on and now, she would have an entire team to help her feel whole. we arranged lawn care, a cleaning crew, and meals for as long as were needed.

the next night our other unstable feeble bodied nora fell and broke her pelvis.
sweet as grandmas come my tears flowed freely as i called to her hospital room and talked to her and she told me how much she loved me as we ended our call. i could have sworn it was my own grandma the way her voice sounded.

a week full of filling needs, trying to think of what would make their burden light. the arrival of this weekend is serious business. 9 years of dreams are coming true as we move {for the last time E.V.E.R. mind you}. and i mean it we are moving even if it is to a tent in the back yard. with this news circulating around our acquaintances our phone has been full of kind words and deeds offered. i mean really kind. i think more meals have been offered on our behalf then when a baby is born. kindness all around us. you would never believe we are only moving a short half block away. maybe 8 houses up. but oh the kindness. it is hard to take. and that is the hardest part. taking a meal from someone when Wendy's is just down the corner and i am capable of driving down there. it is sure easy to take a meal in when you aren't the one in need. so this weekend i will be on the receiving end of others kindness. i am sure as we lay our heads to sleep in our new abode friday night for the first time, there will be a few tears of gratitude shed for the kindness shown in our behalf and that is the best lesson to be learned. accepting kindness from others.....

Saturday, August 1, 2009

being peed on

happened to me this day that i had strictly declared to be a mandatory lazy day. now, nowhere in the rule book does it clarify if being peed on ruins a mandatory lazy day, but i will say that i am on the verge of declaring that a distinct possibility. we have been sailing thru the potty training of mom really. i mean, it only adds another iron in the fire to train a small human whose "holding" muscle is really not medically capably strong to "hold it" thru tricky situations. really, mom's in fact learn to know when it is time to sit the child on the throne and cheer lead them into releasing "it". ella is quite taken with the process, wanting to be very involved in the audience of her performance, seeing everything. did i tell you my gag has been weak lately? maybe a puppy and a toddler to train altogether didn't exemplify my best sanity skills. but yes, a very weak gag from this motha. you would think after almost 8 years of mothering my own children this recent venture wouldn't bother me, but oh my friend, the tales i could tell of the gag this week.

on another note, we are moving this week. i mean it. we are.

we were going to move this weekend but then the gas company had to get involved with the leak and all. i just thought someone was having a 24 hour grilling party going on. but indeed no. a leak at our house of gas, all over. took the poor souls nearly 24 hours to restore the house back to normal. i cried when i saw my pretty house covered in yellow do not enter tape, cried a river. but i would much rather yellow tape then the stubble of black mess that could have been left in the wake of a gas leak. yes, yellow tape please.

i am barely hanging on thru this process i tell you. today, it was pajamas all day. it encouraged my red headed husband to get better. he is running a fever and coughing himself into next year. he has been running too hard for too long and it finally caught up with him. he is on bed rest i told him and the 48,965,356 people who have called needing him this weekend. he will not worship tomorrow, he'll not hang mirrors at the new house - no. none of it. he will lay in bed. now,

when i am lazy. i try real hard to live it up. not showering until night, maybe skip a tooth brushing to make it feel festive. my red head lays in bed, showered at the crack of dawn in a polo shirt. he was up early helping at the church with something or the other. he snuck out before i could grab his shirt tails begging him to be lazy. i had to sleep on the couch last night as his dr. ordered him to take some horrendous medicine causing the most atrocious smells to come from that nice husband of mine. every time i went in there i had to wear a mask and fumigate the area. poor lad. poor, poor lad. but i tell you, it could be sticky moving by myself. so i prefer a healthy moving mate. yes, indeed. all his favorite treats were fetched at the store last night to help him have something to look forward to in the midst of his laziness. wish us luck.....

Monday, July 20, 2009

adding to the family

meet rocky.

rocky balboa the second that is. i was bent on a mayberry name. i was hoping the redhead would go for opie, sheriff andy taylor, goober or gomer pyle. but no. he was too embarrassed to have to tell his colleagues and others the name. that is fair. my only company kept in the day are people who wouldn't raise an eyebrow at such names. so for the masculinity at this house, we kept it manly.

he was the hit of the neighborhood.

we had some pretty stringent requirements as bud "e" is awful allergic to dogs. this particular brand has a beautiful coat. havanese are incredibly mild. in fact, when we first ventured to the breeders house, we saw how incredibly timid the mom and dad were. we told her that this dog had to withstand 3 children who would love and smother the thing. she told us he was the most sweet and curious out of the bunch. we were sold. he will be about 11-15 pounds full grown. they are used as circus dogs for their great ability to do "tricks". they are smart little things and we are super excited to venture into the world of animals. there will be a scooper for poop involved, lavender puppy shampoo and a tooth brush for pups. this dog will be the cleanest canine around.
and as you can see, there has been a lot of love given, hence the toothbrush.....

Saturday, July 18, 2009

in the deepest recesses of their minds...

my kids brains are full of "bobby's world" interpretations {please tell me i am not the only one who thought howie mandel was genius in his 90's cartoon}. for those of you whose childhood was incomplete and did not have the opportunity for howie mandel to entertain you in cartoon form, i will fill you in. the cartoon was based on a 4 or 5 year olds interpretation of adult phrases and how adults explain things to kids.

i would like to write down the many bobby's world interpretations that have happened as of late around here.

helen's "pee pee" being asleep. (see previous post)

bud "e"s random announcement that someone has just died in africa. obviously he has caught a commercial about how for $29.99 a month you can sponsor a child and save them from death, because every 10 seconds someone dies in africa. his announcement often comes after he has asked randomly, how many seconds have passed?

"winds of love" panicking about anytime we use water to brush our teeth. she was on patrol for a good month when we were about the business of cleansing the pearly whites, watching us, turning off the water before we could fully clean the toothbrush. i finally gave in, asking in a nice way - honey is there a problem?

yes mom, mrs. so and so at school told us that if we waste water my children and grandchildren won't have any resources when they are grown. i just don't want my children to grow up thirsty.

and the other night as helen was singing herself to sleep, she sputtered out the ever popular mormon children's song about jesus wanting her to be a sunbeam. her interpretation involved being a sun "beep".

life is never boring here.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

training in action

ella is entering the world of independence with the porcelain throne. i am a big believer that you need to make potty training irresistible. i set off to the local world of wally (walmart) and bought 24 sets of princess undies, 1 bag of kiddie mix, one princess stool, 3 $10 toys for the log drop, and i could not find the little glass bottle of sanity needed to potty train a hot headed 2 year old, darn.

things are going well, 3 day 3 accidents. the log has yet to plop, but. the piddling is going great. dry thru the night and all.

yesterday as she was waking up she informed me she wasn't in need of the potty yet. i was impressed with the way she told me.

mom: elles, do you need to peepee?

ella: no mom. not yet. my peepee is still asweeping. yeah, it not awake yet.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

i told you once....

but i will do it again.

she is tops, and how lucky that i get to call her sister in law.

>we took these last night at the new house. we have some great evening light thru the bay window in front and the blue upstairs made for a great background with the light from the dormer window. even my purple weeds in the back made for some amazing pictures.
click here to see more, she books incredibly fast.......
(and those amazing bridals of hers that were published? fabulous.....)

Monday, July 6, 2009

falling in love

last night s.mac and i were contemplating the last nine years. he feels old with nine years of being married. myself on the other hand, i can't imagine a day without him. nine years seems a shallow number for all we have under our belt. we were talking about how jam packed our marriage has been and at the rate we are going what the future could hold.

i dated his best friend in high school. his friend was always kind and good to me. we dated a long time, a couple of years. thru dating this guy, i had the chance to be around s.mac on and off. we were often in the same groups. i think the guy i dated in high school was really a best friend to me. i was in love with his family. they took me in as their own and i have a tender place for all of them. when the boyfriend went on an LDS mission to the orient, i attempted dating. that is hard after you have been pegged as someone elses for so long. one of our other friends got home from his LDS mission and started to pursue me. i was really clueless about it for a while, also confused. there were some weird circumstances involved that really made me forget who i was and what i wanted out of life. i guess i chalk that up to life's learning curve. i went along with the whole crazy thing, still being in love with the missionary and being stupid really. it caused a lot of grief for people, but 10 days before the wedding i was put in a situation where the fiance was really mad at me. and by my admission, he had every right to be. i had the chance, as we were working thru this argument, to picture two little kids in the back seat of the car listening to this fight. i can't say i had ever been a fighter in past relationships and this was all new territory for me. i shut down when i thought of bringing kids into this tangled web. he was mad and drove me to his house and threw his keys at me and told me to drive myself home. it was like a light shone down from heaven and i could see that i had a choice. i could choose how i was going to be loved the rest of my life and this was for the birds. for whatever reason, we were toxic together. by the end of a grueling 24 hour period, the ring was returned. he came over one time during this period. i had the chance to express my feelings of not wanting to go thru with the wedding. i told him that we could continue to date and see if things improved. luckily the stupid words came out of his mouth - it is now or never. i then let him know that we had nothing to work with and i chose never. and that meant never.

he is a great guy and has married with kids of his own. it is unfortunate that we both had to go thru that experience because we were great friends and should have stayed that way. if i had not been treated so well by the missionary i probably would have gone thru with the doomed marriage. but i just couldn't let go of how good the missionary treated me and knew i was an idiot if i went thru with something i would be so miserable in. so, the wedding was called off and i started writing to the orient again. that seemed the natural thing to me. this must be meant to be. essentially his goodness saved me from this doomed choice. we wrote back and forth and pretty soon marriage was brought up. i thought for sure it was meant to be. what other sign did i need.

after a couple of months, things started to feel different to me. i can't tell you exactly what. i just really started to feel that as good as things were for us, we weren't going to end up together. i was so confused. i wasn't dating anyone else so there didn't seem a reason for me to feel this way. i tried telling my parents how i felt and they didn't understand either. i struggled with it for a month or so and then finally was so miserable knowing this wasn't going to work out, i had to write this poor guy's second dear john letter. i was so depressed hanging on to this and as soon as the letter was out the door, this weight had been lifted and i knew it was the right thing to do. i started to get over our past and prepare for the future. i really, really considered serving an LDS mission. i had an amazing experience where i knew for sure that i could go to any part of the world and bear testimony of what i believed. that gave me a huge boost from all of the misery the last 6 months had brought me. calling off an engagement, writing a dear john twice to a fantastic guy. all of this was going on in the february, march months. s.mac got home from his mission in february and we were really good friends. we often hung out with our other good friend ryan and soon the three of us became inseparable. we had all been buddies in high school and soon it seemed our days all intertwined. we took a trip to st. george, took about 3 institute classes a week together and made the rounds on the town on the weekends. these guys were super supportive of a mission in my future and i was a couple of months away from being able to start the process.

somewhere in the mix of all of this, s.mac decided he was ready to start dating. he went on a few dates and one weekend found himself without a date, but a date was planned with friends. i didn't have plans, so i was his back up. we had fun. our hanging out became just the two of us as our buddy ryan found a constant date that he was soon smooching. we were left alone by the process of elimination. s.mac talked about a girl he was interested in and i encouraged it. somewhere in the mix of talking and hanging out, i started to see him in a different light. soon there was a tulip left on my car and then a date was set for the weekend for the 2 of us. it started out as a hang out, but as the week progressed everything felt different. by the time the date arrived, there was something in the air. it was unfamiliar and exciting both at the same time. by the end of the date, i knew this was who i was going to marry. it was one of the most profound, indescribable experiences i had had that far in my life. it was happy, right, and i couldn't wipe the grin off my face. i remember waking up the next morning with the most happiness i had ever had. i was completely happy. in my sleepless night, my heart was warmed with how much a heavenly father must love his kids to let them know who they were going to spend the rest of their lives with such an amazing feeling. all of a sudden it was all worth it, all of the criticism over calling a wedding off, all of the criticism of writing a dear john twice to this poor guy. all worth even 1 minute of feeling they way i did that night. and you know, his parents reported being woken up that night to a love struck son. they were shocked but never criticized his choice, which i really, really appreciated. they had every reason to be alarmed that their son was in love with a girl who had such a sketchy track record. thank goodness for miracles.

the dating period was 2 short weeks before he proposed. it was perfect. i threw aside lofty dreams of a grand wedding and told him and my mother that i wanted a temple dress to get married in and a ceremony with a room that could hold our dearest friend and family. no more. after what i had been thru i ruled out the need for a diamond, coordinating colors, reception, cake, or an elaborate dress. i would have been satisfied to elope to the temple and call it good. my mom thought it appropriate to make it proper. s.mac wanted a reception so my mother planned it. i worried about the things i placed value on. we booked the ogden temple as they told us they would accommodate every person we invited. i found a lovely temple dress and i picked out a plain wedding band. anything else that was present nine years ago was due to the labor of my mother. it turned out brilliant and how she did it 2 summers in a row with two toddlers in tow is beyond me. somehow that day was perfect even thou i was subjected to a reception and a fluffy wedding dress.

it is funny, after nine years i can say we have been subjected to trial and heartache. we have also been able to partake in the sweetest experiences life has to offer. in my heart i know that with anybody else, it wouldn't have been as sweet. i am a lucky girl and everyday am so grateful for a turbulent period in my life that resulted in miracles and s.mac.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

getting to that point...

where moving sounds fun!

we must be coming to the end of this dramatic process they call building. the building part has been wonderful. we have had all of our dreams come true, which mainly means there are white cupboards in the kitchen and subway tile abounding in the house. but then the freakish incident with the neon green paint and juan the painter, well, some stories are better left untold. but there is a slight chance you may need sunglasses to enter the kids playroom :) my bonus room glows, sigh.

here is what we have thus far folks:

the room where the girls will dwell. complete with willy wonka closets and doors to match. and don't worry, there is some vintage wall paper coming to help with the brightness of the robins egg blue.

this is a wood burning fire place, where you burn wood. and you have to chop your neighbors trees down for this wood because they haven't bought their lot yet and they don't know nothin' about it.
this is the bay window that is quite possibly on my top ten thousand favorite things about our house. "winds of love" has plans for each window section, a holiday tree for each panel.

this is the entry that makes my heart pitter pat. sometimes the redhead and i sit and stare at it for a long time. i love the wood staircase and can see dance dresses flowing down it with the redhead and his shot gun waiting at the bottom. aye. the poor girls will have lovely entrances for dance dates.......i can't verify that the exit will be so lovely ;) the bathrooms make me want to dance. i love the subway tile, the round tile on the floor, the claw foot tub and the vanities. i just want to live in the bathrooms......
you see, i was not joking about juan and my neon paint. but, i am learning to be laid back. paint can be changed and juan, well, i did choose the color. anyway, i hope the brightness of this room will get their creative engines running. and there is a lovely toy box there under the window that will make this mother very happy. there are 4 of those midget closets in this room, it took a lot of convincing to get those mind you.
to the left you see an 8 by 8 foot island. the cabinet people let me know it was the biggest island they had ever installed and i don't think they were giving a compliment. the entire thing is functional and there is a lovely overhang for eating. there is a 6 foot book case on one side that makes my antique cake stands happy to live with me. the black leather granite slab will be here soon. oh and the floors? oh mercy. sometimes i have to pick myself up from those floors because i love them so. only 3 bedrooms will have carpet because i smooth talked s.mac into a whole house with wood. i told him we would never ever ever have to replace it, ever. it is the real deal and that made him happy.
the chimney that goes all the way up, from bottom to top makes me smile. none of this square on the back of your house for your gas box of a fireplace. no siree, we will be burning dead apple trees. and thanks to all of you who do use gas, i don't feel so bad polluting the air now.
the end, at least until more progress is made.

Friday, June 26, 2009

{love letters from h.mac}

dear grandma norma.

it has been almost three years now since you have left the chains of your tired physical body and had the chance to give me comfort from a place of rest.

yesterday i was driving to the temple for some holy worship at the house of the lord. i was pondering the early morning call we got from cousin billie jean about your sister. i was pondering how aunt donna was laying in her hospital bed hooked to life, waiting for her daughter to arrive from london to give her love. the prognosis was bad grandma. while i drove down washington boulevard, you entered into my world. i don't know how, and surely it is not something i can explain. but you were with me. i could feel your soft touch and inhale your smell. i could feel your warmth and love all around me. in my mind as i was trying to explain this away, my mind reasoned that maybe you got a break from the work you were doing on the other side and you were granted some time to be with your sister. maybe you were as close as i thought you were. there was a song on in the background by the MOTAB. it was "that one". you know. the one that wishes the silver lining to your clouds and the better tomorrows you experience from a place of rest. the one we listened to when grandpa pete was dying last year, so painful was every last breath for him. suddenly it hit me that you were gone. feeling you there with me for a minute made me realize how i miss you. how perfect and warm your love is. the sobs came fast, very very fast. it was such a beautiful thing to feel for a moment, you and i - but oh the ache that followed.

the last time we talked, you gasped as i came into your view. my belly was quite a sight for sore eyes. you then broke into giggles at the belly i was hauling around. and it was a sight for this 5'3" frame, i joined in your giggles. i was so glad i had told you that we were giving her middle name after your first. so glad. i didn't know that was going to be our last conversation here just hours away from the fall that claimed your journey here thru. maybe my hug would have been a little tighter. but then, as the baby redhead's arrival hastened and your passing was so fresh, in that really treacherous part of labor, there you were. i don't know how i can explain it. but i could see you in that corner of the room and oh how i wanted you there and as you could see, i needed you there. it was a scary situation and i needed your angel wings to get me thru.

for a moment yesterday in this experience, everything your physical absence denies me flooded over me and made me realize all i miss about being able to hop in my car and experience something new with you. so, i depend on the 27 years we had together that shaped you and i.

but then in my longing, i remember that hollow look in grandpa's eyes in that lonely time he spent here without you. i remember going to his house for the first time when he was the only hug to greet me. suddenly, my tears came for another reason. my grief came this time for the heartache he felt for you. for that loneliness that filled his every second he was apart from you. and suddenly, being apart from you doesn't seem unbearable. the reunion you two must have had. how i can't wait to hear about it.

on days that motherhood seems tiring, i remember my dad's clear recollection of him never being yelled at by you. never? ever? your patience persisted thru motherhood and your love for kids overcame that temptation. oh my heart swells with happiness that YOU are MY grandma. that i got to eat sundaes on sunday at your house for 27 years, that YOUR refrigerator cake was a part of MY life! that you are forever a part of me. the part that so lovingly raised my dad. every kindness and ounce of love you gave him was passed on. now, daily i get to pass it on to my little ones. from this full heart to yours grandma, thanks seems trite. and the phone call upon exit from the temple that your sister was awake and ready to greet a loving daughter? why yes, surely you were with us.

much love,

Thursday, June 25, 2009

damages and love

the house we now live was built on some water you could say. we have pumps going full blast from every little corner of this house. beautiful spring water all around. this spring season brought a whole new host of problems as the rain comes down incessantly. we have been a whopping 5 straight days without rain here in the desert. now normally i love rain. i am quite sure one day i will plant roots in issaquah, washington, or mystic, connecticut......but for now i take what i can get in the desert. my only stipulation is that it not enters the house. it has been pouring down the basement stairs in large quantity. because we do live super close to the mountain and the run off, there is a hefty flood insurance policy in place that comes with a steep price also. so when i called to make a claim in may as the entire basement floor was floating in water, they told me it didn't cover rain.

oh, i mean that makes perfect sense. because naturally flooding is caused by er, anyway. i gave them a good battle and finally got a poor fellow from arkansas to come look at the damages. he arrived to a kidless house. my mother had declared this specific day a birthday redo and had the short people for the entire day. there was nothing else i wanted to do than go to costco and get groceries. i was cutting watermelon, grating cheese on the cuisinart that fabulous redhead purchased for his wife and listening to pandora. my favorite station is a jazz one. i typed michael buble in and etta, norah, frank, harry and bing sang me into a sous chef prep heaven. i had just finished singing norah's "turn me on" when this poor fellow rang the bell. i still had the music blasting when he insisted he needed to come in and assess the damage and measure the house. he had a deep drawl that made me want to eat collard greens and fried chicken. after he puttered around a bit measuring the house, i offered the house plans to him and he wiped the sweat from his brow. this would save him 45 minutes he declared. he planted himself down at my kitchen table writing away. all the while i was slicing veggies, grating cheese and cutting watermelon.

conversation grew dim as we both plunged into our work. all of a sudden my lost in thought self became aware that my music was still blasting away. i then tuned into what was playing. it happened to be frank sinatra singing "i only have eyes for you." i was whistling along when i realized that this situation might seem awkward for this poor young fellow. a woman prepping food with no apparent children around whistling love songs. i didn't want to immediately go over and turn the music down for two reasons a) i didn't want him to think i was embarrassed 2) if i made any sudden movements and broke his train of thought and say he hadn't noticed the air of love about the house, this sudden movement might draw attention to it. but then etta james broke into singing "aaaaaaaat laaaaaaaast, myyyyyy loooooove has come alonnnnnnnnggggggg". i was red faced thinking that this poor boy could possibly be thinking that this lonely woman might be trying to lure him into her watermelon trance.

when he first entered he apologized for his appearance because he'd been driving for days. i immediately offered him use of the facilities or drink or food. i believe in the hospitality of aunt bea and offered him a chicken salad sandwich. he declined with many "no ma'am and thank you no ma'am" responses. i might have embarrassed him initially with my hospitality and as my mind started racing as etta proclaimed her love thru tunes i was fully embarrassed at how this situation was playing out. when norah jones started singing "come away with me" i ran to turn the music off. i didn't care what he thought, i was red cheeked. the appointment was over quickly after that and this poor lad excused himself with a handshake.

i have vowed to keep my music habits away from all service people who enter this house, AMEN!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


kind of how i feel as of late. getting down to the last of this house business and not without a lot of lost sleep at night. that is all i have to say about that!

last weekend we went up to the ward's girls camp. my little sister joined my ward again this year, mostly because i force her. i like to go up friday night and camp without kids and snuggle with the redhead. we make breakfast for the girls saturday morning while everyone breaks down camp. i deliberated all week about what i would serve them. last year i did breakfast sandwiches and a yogurt and fruit bar. this year, word has got out about the infamous quiche, so i plunged forth. 8 ham and swiss quiche and danish with weeping strawberries. it was delish. i have lots of cute YW asking me for the recipe which is the best compliment of all ;)!

friday night i got there and the bishopric prepared a wonderful feast including bruschetta, a pasta bar and creme brulee for dessert. complete with a torch and all. the red head claimed it was the bishop's dinner and he was the sous chef taking directions. later that night, one of the girls looked miserable. when i talked to her she was saying that her stomach felt miserable and she couldn't walk. i asked her if it was sharp pains. she told me it was. i just had to let her know she was suffering from a serious case of camping gut. girls especially are prone to the camping gut you know. we need our own house and own facilities to feel right. plus, i am sure there wasn't a whole lot of "healthy" anything going on. i saw so much candy and pop up there. i gave her some dissolvable gas x and told her to go get in the praying position on her sleeping bag, hot air rises i reasoned. i then went to the campfire and offered my two bits to the other girls, letting them know they were completely normal if their internals were begging for mercy. they all laughed and i told them i felt their pain and they knew where to find me. later that night as the red head and i were asleep, we got a knock on our car with two girls claiming misery and telling tales of a whole tent in misery. i gladly gave them all i had and wished them happy sleep with the relief the dissolvable strips would lend. funny? maybe, but s.mac and i have been on our way to the er thinking i was dying only to have me realize i am a victim of that miserable feeling of my intestines revolting.......misery. indeed.

all in all it was a lovely weekend and we discovered that the seats that lay down flat in the expedition are a lovely way to camp. we were warm and slept as good as you can outside your own bed.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

bud "e"

on tuesday as we were kissing a family birthday celebration goodbye the more the porcelain bowl was flushed, s.mac had to take "winds of love" and go coach her baseball team. we strategically place the kids on a plastic blow up camping mattress when they get sick. it is cleanable, germs can be wiped off easily, and it also moves. being able to move a mattress where they can sleep by the bathroom always makes me feel better. i was laying on the floor next to him watching the tube and he looked at me for a while. he asked if i was sick too and i told him i was. he let me know he hopes he never gets sick on his birthday because that would be the worst ever. i told him i was going to be okay. after coming back from the porcelain throne i sat next to him rubbing his head. he looked at me and said, "mom, you are sick and it's your birthday. how about you take care of yourself and i will take care of myself." our kids are bucket trained when they are sick, and that means they usually can take care of themselves when they are sick. as the mother, i still needed to be by him until dad came home to take over. so i sat there and wondered where he got his happiness from. nothing gets him down too much.

as i was pondering this, i remembered an article from a monthly church magazine i subscribe to called the ensign. there was a great article by steve hillard talking about faith, charity, and hope. it stuck in my head and has rolled around as i have taken to heart the concepts presented. the one he focused on was hope and how we seem to think of it as something spoken and not believed in. you can hope for something but never count on it. then he so beautifully worded a poem that talked about hope being the outstretched hand that you reach for in the hard trials of life that always pulls you thru. that hand we take has nail prints in the wrist and palm. that is hope. it is that feeling that keeps you going when the fog of life temporarily distracts us. my little bud "e" has serious hope. it is his gift. it was a great way for me to see how these special gifts we all come with affect those around us. i got teary sitting by him and his sick belly, knowing that this setback wasn't going to damper his hope. he knows dark clouds will clear and the sun shines eventually.

how happy being his momma makes me, and how happy i am to get to partake in each of their inherent gifts they possess.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

thank you

for all of the kind happy 30 wishes.

it was a day i had been dreading almost? i don't know why. i went back and forth between embracing aging and then wanting to be 20 something for ever. it came in like a lamb and out like a lion. little elles coming in and tugging my arm to the hiding place her card was as soon as her eyes saw morning light. she was so proud to show me the scribbles of love. bud "e" had written my name atop a beautiful portrait of yours truly. "winds of love" had written in robot writing about how much we love each other. the red head had a lovely food processor waiting on the bar for his cooking wife. it had a note on it to be ready for a lunch date with him. i knew that took a lot of planning and work on his part as it was a surgery day. that is a huge day for him and near impossible to get out of.

we went to a lovely italian bistro, Zucca, which turned out to be my last visit. as we were headed home, the stomach bug that left the girls in peril in days past, had bud"e" and i in its grips for the remainder of the birthday. i have now successfully had some fluid and a few crackers without incident. although the most violent flu i have ever had, certainly a birthday we will never ever forget. thanks to all the kindness that was brought to my house as i kneeled to the porcelain sculpture all night. i think getting rid of lunch took around 30 times and the best birthday present of all was getting on the scale around 1 o clock this morning to discover i had lost 8 pounds since that morning. (i have a weird ocd about weighing myself everyday). anywho. what more could a girl ask for on her birthday?

i woke up this morning to a house full of popcorn, flowers, cookies, and a plethora of kind cards that had been dropped off as i was begging for mercy. the thoughts made it lovely! so thank you thank you, and here's to hoping i can retain at least one meal today......

Sunday, May 17, 2009

loved it

the church i belong to has been doing these great you tube videos. our friend who works downtown for the audio visual dept of the church has been in on this project and has told us of the amazing success they are having to clarify the beliefs of the lds church. i was so glad to come across this one today, it made me really happy, especially after being able to hear from elder scott yesterday and today in our stake conference. you can see it by clicking here.

the redhead had the chance to meet and talk with elder scott years ago while living in europe. his words profoundly influenced s.mac. the anticipation here has been that of christmas as we have waited to hear from an apostle. it was sweet and my cup runneth over. it was a very tender weekend. everything feels balanced and straight within me after hearing such a great and powerful witness.

i thought this was so funny. my redhead has no social restraints. he says hi to all whom he passes. when we were first married i was always so embarrassed as i am more reserved, although i admire his social tenacity. you can believe after the priesthood meeting with elder scott yesterday, my redhead had reacquainted himself with the apostle and when i walked in to the adult session that night, elder scott gave my red head a thumbs up. luckily my attention was turned elsewhere or i would have piddled in my pants. they were exchanging winks thru out the entire meeting. elder scott was insistent on shaking the hands of all who desired so. when it was my turn he was gracious and kind and complimented me, making my cheeks blush. he told me of the things he and my husband had chatted about and then he looked into my soul as only he can, and told me of the great love he felt from my husband for me. after he was finished telling me how much my husband loves me, my bangs and eyelashes got into a war and i was flinching, and fumbling. wanting to yell from the rooftops to this holy man of god that i too was in love with my husband and felt the same. the hair in my eyes left my eyes watering and my nose to start accumulating fluid. also, the red cheeks from being in his presence left me with a dumbfounded look on my face. there was nothing left to salvage and so i did the only thing i could, i went to the next person in line to shake hands with.

the whole way home i kept thinking about this. about how my husband would be so bold and brave to declare his love for me in a very public way. it struck me how different we are in our affections with one another and this embarrassing incident was so telling. if i were public with my voice, i would have told elder scott i love my husband so much, i wanted him to be on the front row for the adult session. so, i told him to stay after the priesthood session was over and save the seats he wanted to best see this holy man and i would bring his dinner over in the car. i would go in and complete saving his seats and he could still enjoy the rest of the evening with a full belly. in love, we find things that we are good at and give them to our partners selflessly. i feed his belly, love his kids and scratch his head when he drives. my words come out slaughtered and short when i speak about this red head of mine. it makes me feel more complete to have his babies, cook his dinner and fold his clothes. and i do appreciate his words of love and have learned he has to hear it 49,000,342 times in a phone call and a day. so, cheers to a weekend where things were opened to my mind and made clear a little more about this life.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

weekend brilliance

so far, my weekend has gone swimmingly.

i joined a new food co-op and am incredibly thrilled with it thus far. $15 for 2 baskets full of food. plus. the pick up is 3 minutes from my house. learn more by clicking here. i picked mine up this morning at 7:30, it was wonderful, plus, every 2 weeks? it's pretty happening.

amongst my baskets were mexican mangoes that were so soft and juicy, it spurred on this mornings breakfast that the red head and i were especially happy with. i made a basic pancake, buttermilk syrup with coconut extract added, and fresh mango atop.

i ate while perusing the yale alumni magazine. i was thrilled when i read that they have added a cupcake cart to the mix of food carts. they have this amazing thing in new haven. at lunch time, a bazillion food carts come out and congregate to sell from some of the best restaurants for incredibly cheap. and what a genius idea these people had to add cupcakes to the mix! it made me smile this morning.

later this afternoon we are off to the renaissance fair and then get to go to the adult session of stake conference to hear an apostle speak. our stake leadership is being reorganized. elder scott is coming and the red head is so excited, we have been counting down at this house for over a month.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


i know a lot of flutter from the mouth of a mother this weekend entails not loving this holiday.

i partake in maybe a small majority of women who really, really eat this weekend up. i love thinking about it for a week before and after. "winds of love" and bud"e" have been counting down until this weekend for the holiday for a week. somehow, the meaning of this weekend got lost in toddler translation and hella has been wishing herself a happy birthday every day, asking each day when we are going to make her cake. most mornings i have been met with a "happy birtsdee momma." the other kids fall apart giggling and then she tells them in an unkind way she doesn't appreciate being laughed at. that can usually entail a right hook to the jaw which then ends up in time out, boy this sentence is turning out all wrong. anyway, besides the only once a day tantrum occurring involving the birthday mix up, they have been cutting tulips, dandelions, and grass blades to show their love. things have been getting cleaned just to see the look on my face. i have had to really be aware of their motives so i don't hurt any one's feelings. every blade of grass and weed makes me equally happy i tell them. they have been really, really thinking about me this week and that makes my heart dance. hella has been full of love and even fell asleep on me for a nap, which is a gift from above. naps are not for her apparently unless they are at 5:30 right at dinner. this week, i was busy in the making process of dinner and heard a faint, "mom i so tiwud." then, she disappeared, and i found this.

there, she was tired and the pre dinner apple snack was too tiring to eat. for this child, a nap at 5:30 does not mean sleep the rest of the night like it did for the other two at this age. it means waking up spitting nails at 7:00 and staying up until 11:00 making your motha in a funk.

for the record. that outfit had been worn over her clothes all day. to the store and various other errands that would have caused a first time mother to be red cheeked. i took it all in stride and at costco we made quite the scene whilst in the line she decided it was time for smoochies. she proceeded to grab my head with those chubby paws and leaves drops of love with her kisses all over my face. you don't deny her "loves". they come at unexpected times. there she was adoring me with love when i should have been putting my pears on the checkout stand, all dressed up in her pink fancy. it was the best mothers day moment and it attracted the attention of passers by that laughed and were having great fun watching the whole event unfold..

i had a dinner for mom and grandma this weekend. i laid my grandma's tablecloth on the table we ate from so i could remember all of the good women that night, even if she was watching us from above. that is where my sentimental"ness" comes into play. i love all of the things i got when we cleared their house. i use the things everyday and was so glad to have this so i could think about her while i bustled about getting dinner ready. it's funny. mom and grandma kept telling me it was mother's day weekend and i should be sitting down enjoying a meal too. but the reality is, at this point in my life, my mother's day is enjoyed by making a grand meal for the good women in my life to enjoy. it is also made happy by reading the card "winds of love" made, listening to bud"e" telling me how he can't wait for sunday to tell me happy mothers day and having hella wish me happy birthday everyday. i am the receiver of hugs and kisses from sticky fingers and happy hearts. it is a phase that will quickly pass and i will soon join the sitting world of eaters one day when my time has come. but my sitting at the table will mean my blades of grass and freshly picked weeds will be replaced with annual cards declaring love and appreciation. and i bet if the truth were told, mom and grandma just might wish for a day of those years back to receive the gifts of babes. i have been able to see the mark a mother leaves with her kids as i have really taken note of them and their affections for me this week. it makes me have a happy heart for the mother's that made this husband of mine so good. i will love them with a full heart the rest of my life for all they did to make him so perfect for me. mother's day is so much bigger than the mother at this house. and this tart i made? i did it to show them i love them, eating my food atop grandma's tablecloth. a really pretty memory.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

weekend happenings

i am a planner. for this lovely mother's day weekend we had to absolute pleasure of picking up mountain man and jewelann at the airport. what a treat! they have buried themselves deep into school and such that this last trip entailed ohio, arizona, oregon AND the rockies. hoorah! when i heard the news my mind was a flutter. so much so that i forgot to tell the redhead they were coming. yesterday when i mentioned who would be at our dinner table this night partaking of a feast, the shocked face told me we had a busy week and had only kissed in passing. whilst at the zoo with the newlyweds herding the kidlets, we sat on the bench and recounted our i love him. how last weekends escape with the two of us is being enjoyed so much this week in my memory. oh how fun it was to wake up and jet out to eat homemade granola and organic yogurt at breadstix. i was a bit anxiety ridden with no diapers to change, no scrapes to kiss and no apples and pears to peel for a morning snack. we had a hard time fully taking it in you know. it had been 4 years since we were alone for 24 hours. so, as we talked and recounted our rendezvous, i told him of all the food happenings this weekend. salmon and prawns tonight, fresh pineapple, mushroom and chicken kabobs tomorrow night. if my feet allowed, possibly a strawberry tart with fresh cream. for sure strawberry jam with rolls. anyway. it was really lovely, and here are some pictures to prove the fact.

bud"e" digs mountain man, and "winds of love" looks to be nursing from the bosom of the ape, oops....
i did pull a strawberry tart off with my thrifting cake stand find.......i am so in love, i could look at that all day. and it did taste as good as it looked....
jewelann was putty in hella's hands. and well, that is a trick hella is good at. getting people to do what she wants. why just ask the man of the house. the other night she was kissing me saying smoochies moochies mommy. and when s.mac came in to partake of this love she simply stated,"dad, you go couch, i sleep here". oh mercy, i am THAT parent to this red headed devil. the newly weds were amazed at hella. while the other two of my kids love holding hands and being close to us, redhead junior had to be 2 steps behind or ahead and would not have a thing to do with holding a hand of any ones. she screams, i mean says, i i i i I I I I I I me do it, all day long....sigh. they thought i had been joking about her personality and possibly exaggerating. no, this is my third child at 2 and a half, and the thought of the chance that another one that could posses her, shall we say "strength", leaves my fertility feeling barren for a bit longer.....
he fell in love with her first of all these kids, they are such good pals.

and of course, needing some crowning glory. she was all about any trick he could pull out from his hat. and quite literally speaking, why in his past visits she has displayed a nasty aversion to baldness. when he lifted the cap off this visit, she was still smitten with his tricks. that shiny head did not deter her begging for more of whatever he was willing to give.
what a brilliant weekend, and it's only half way over.

Monday, May 4, 2009

a 2 dollar bill

was held up in my sunday school class yesterday. as the lesson was on fasting and tithing, the teacher got a discussion started about what that bill represented to us.

for me, some of the answers given were lost on me. the only one i could think of that applied to me were the following:



whilst in school, money was tight. tight as could be. we still found ways to enjoy our favorite thai food, go to the kids museum and be seen by a doctor. (although the kids might have to finish paying the loan off for student health insurance after we are dead and gone ;)) we were blissfully happy with nothing. 6 years of marriage was spent living below the poverty level and dreams were made of paychecks and our own house. i feel we did a good job while thru school. we avoided 6 figures of debt which seemed to be the norm for the red head's graduating class. there were scholarships and grants involved that covered a large portion of our yale schooling.

there were days on the playground day dreaming of the prawns and halibut i would buy once we had a paycheck. oh, the grocery budget i would give myself! i would dream about it often. but, somewhere provident living comes into play. it is probably that i am related to helen c., my lovely grandmother, but practicality has slapped my dreams of more "things" out of my life with no regrets. the kids wardrobe still consists of hand me downs, thrift stores, and gap sales. the grocery budget does occasionally allow prawns and 3 types of organic fruit but that hasn't increased our happiness. somehow i thought the burden we often felt thru those lean years came from the lack of funding. i think burdens are made light because we are given experiences to learn from. and, when we grab ahold of them and let them soak a while, our burdens become seem easier to bear. we learn to share them with an older brother. our nights don't seem to be happier when we eat steak or chicken. they do seem better when we all shake our groove thing to a little music before bed and giggle as our kids make fun of our dance moves.

so, as i sat thru this lesson yesterday, i concluded that the dollar bill to me has become another way to learn for myself that happiness is a state of mind, not a destination. our new house feels modest to me and something we made a goal of being able to pay off before the kids grow too big. of course, we are in love with dave ramsey and all of his wisdom. {he's coming to slc in 2 weeks, click here to go}

as i have been reading hella her carefully selected book choices every night, before we turn a page that she has decided is her favorite, she will squeal with delight and her chubby little hands will grab my face and say, "oh mom. dat's da good pawt." or "oh boy mom, here comes da good pawt." everyday i have been reminding myself to look for the good parts. you know, it's funny. it hasn't come from a $2 dollar bill......

Sunday, May 3, 2009

drippy and dippy

sometimes i need to write these things down and please be warned that my words get so drippy and might just repel you. my apologies.

but. this church i belong to requires that every two years i go in and talk to the people i sustain as my leaders for a piece of paper that lets me enter the holy temple. i talk to my local leaders, (which i thought would be a perk of being married to one of these guys, but he sent me to the other counselor) and they present before me a list of questions that i answer. it is a good opportunity to gauge myself. as me. as what i do beyond being the mother, the wife, the sister, the daughter, the neighbor, the friend. you get the idea. i walk into the room and it is me and the questions. i am not answering these questions as hella's mother, or paige's sister, or the red head's wife. often motherhood smacks me with excuses to not study sacred scripture, not attend the temple as much as i would like, or make the excuses that i too often let motherhood offer me.

as i went to the second round of interviews at the stake, i sat before a great man. raised 6 kids, has a noteworthy career in education, and offers his time freely for the past 9 years to benefit people like me. the first question he asked entailed how my spirituality was. and that is when all of these thoughts hit me. my busy{ness} being the mom, wife and so on should be what bring me to more understand a garden in gethsemane and the day the tomb was empty - not pull me away from it. that is what this time here on earth is to do. so as i have really taken some time to balance and readjust some things lately, i have honestly taken into account how i felt when he asked me that night. when this small whisper opened my thoughts to show me that one day, it will be me and my maker. there will be no spilled milk, no carpools to pull me away from family night and no sickness to keep me from sabbath worship. it will be he and i and he will know whether or not i used the spilled milk and physical ailments to come to him. i am working on it. for some reason music makes it really easy for me to "feel" and better understand my maker. as of late the MOTAB has been permanent. which begs me to tell you a good story.

last summer, my red head had just been called to serve in the local ward bishopric for our church. every year the girls 12-18 gather for a couple of days to camp and learn. we volunteered to go up and make breakfast on the day they would be packing up to leave to help alleviate some stress. we came the night before and were told by the leaders of the girls that the girls had been given little oil lamps the first day of camp and were told to keep them near, that they would need them at some point during the next few days.

in the middle of the night on the last night of camp, these girls were told one time that they needed to come outside and follow their leaders. the music "come thou fount of every blessing" with the mormon tabernacle choir {MOTAB} was blaring. i was sleeping outside in a tent and was awoken to this most beautiful song, blaring thru this small mountain town. i was so cold and tempted not to get up when the red head beckoned me. when i first rubbed my sleepy eyes, i thought i had died. crickets chirping, that awesome sleep with cold air piercing your face, the wind blowing, and my most favorite hymnal blaring. it makes me teary thinking back. i did go, and discovered sleepy girls carrying their lanterns and sit listen to a beautiful scripture presentation about the 10 virgins. it was a really tender moment. some girls didn't come. some were so tired they didn't fully take it in. others had eyes full of tears as their hearts were warm with truth.

me, i will never forget it. and here is a link to watch a beautiful clip with a picture of the 10 virgins included that is my most favorite.{the 10 virgins picture is at about 1:15} click hereit is also set to my favorite hymnal. there is a line in that old hymn that says, {take my heart, oh take and seal it. seal it for thy courts on high} that makes me happy and resonates why i believe in this religion of mine. me before my maker.

if you are further interested in this project, you can read all about it here or go to

i bought the DVD documenting the project and the artwork, weepy. beautiful.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

back in action...

on all fronts.

blogging.mother{hood}.house almost

my red head whisked me away this weekend to our favorite getaway. it was marvelous. there is nothing to do there but walk around cute cottages, listen to the ducks and enjoy the trees that have shaded guests for a very long time. we ate indian food, found glass aqua tile on sale for the kitchen back splash and....

i was able to get thru the dreaded seasonal effort of picking a swimsuit out. the red head was with me and got the full effect of what i go thru once a year. the shock of the price, the immodesty of it all, the match{y} situation. you know. the horror. but, alas some board shorts and a top were fetched. relief was mine.

then, we ate indian food here, oh wait-i already mentioned that. did i mention that when i eat there i say a prayer that entails the following wording - please bless i never ever get sick on this. i want to always be able to eat chicken makhani and peshawari naan. please. and then i stuff myself.

there may have been a slight possibility that my red head watched a vampire show with me and really liked it. might have watched it twice. and that makes me laugh.

on the way home, we stopped by the almost finished homestead and lo and behold, met the neighbors.

i am just hoping that the electric fence that separates the properties to house these fine fellows won't be a problem.......