For my recipe blog go to:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I have needs....

Usually I'm pretty good at sucking it up and dealing with what life is throwing me. Really, I am. (Ok, I may pout for a few minutes, but I always deal with it and make the best of it!)

Today, I am just feeling needy. Selfishly needy! And since I'm not putting anyone's needs before mine right now (because my son is at school and my hubby is at work) I am going to indulge in a little selfish neediness!

What I need:
-Ben and Jerry's "Everything but the..." icecream
-An entire day to walk lazily around an art gallery and really study the paintings without having to leave at a certain time to be home.
-to not have to fix breakfasts for an entire week. (I will get this in about a month on my cruise! Yay!)
-For my dog to be able to let himself outside to pee!
-the weather to turn cold so I can snuggle in a cozy sweater and drink hot chocolate.
-A really fantastically good novel I can get lost in for a few days.
-Someone to come and take complete charge of my kitchen remodel so I don't have to make any decisions!
- A tiny chimpanzee with a diaper on that will snuggle up to me.
-A muzzle for my mouth to stop all this whining!!!!

Thankfully I have the two best guys in the whole wide world who love me and give me what I REALLY need! (No.. not a chimpanzee with a diaper.... silly!) I think I'm the best loved mom and wife in the whole universe!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Slightly out of wack....

I don't think I can do it all!

PTA reflections, singing, baking for various functions, painting basement, overwhelming household to-do list a mile long and growing, gardening, parenting, laundry, dinners, breakfasts, cub scouts, budgeting, decisions....

Sometimes I look at where I can simplify my life and I can't find anything I can cut. Do you ever feel like that?

I guess I'll just tackle this pile of laundry and quit complaining!

I'm grateful for my husband who works so hard and puts up with me, for my darling son who is so good and smart, and makes me laugh all the time, for owning my own home, for talents that keep me going, and the gospel that gives me perspective and keeps me grounded, and for those rare days (like today) when I get to go to lunch with my hubby for no reason, just to be together in the middle of the day.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Devil Wears a Sports Bra...

Jillian Michaels.

The very name sends shivers through my spine.

The sight of her tanned, skinny face makes me shudder and immediately begin searching for places to hide. Many say she is pretty, but I know differently- there is something lurking behind that plastic smile.

I had an experience with her that will forever have my stomach lurching at the very mention of her name.

Yes, I attempted the Jillian Michaels workout on Comcast On Demand... and I had a near death experience I will never forget.

First of all, let me just state that negative reinforcement is a contradiction in terms, and has NE-VER worked for me. Especially when I'm working out. I need to hear, "You're doing great!" or "I know its hard, but keep going!" These are positive phrases that get a positive reaction from me. Something that doesn't work so well is, "Come on... I have 400 lb clients who can do these jumping jacks, why can't you?!"

Ya.... doesn't work so well for me, ya know?

But, I was determined to stick it out through the whole 45 minutes. I mean, how hard can it be, right?

Ha ha ha ha ha!

After about 15 minutes I was glaring at her boney body on the screen and wishing ill things for her. At 20 minutes I was looking for something to throw- (only the rationalization that I wasn't prepared to fork out several hundred dollars for a new television over her stopped me from hurling my hand weights at the screen.)

"This is not a workout for someone who doesn't want to be fit! Move it, people!"
"If you think you're looking for the 'easy' level, you're not going to find it here!"
"If you can't do these jumping jacks, you're in the wrong place!"

At 25 minutes I was in tears and finally collapsed onto the floor in a heap. I was convinced I had no purpose walking upright on this planet. She had me questioning my own humanity- maybe I really DID derive from apes, and haven't finished deriving yet.

Suddenly, I saw a tunnel with a light at the end. It beconed me to come. My body began to feel lighter as I wafted through the tunnel toward the light. It wasn't until I reached the light that I looked down and found myself pushing the button on the remote control. I felt guided by some otherworldly power- "Turn the channel... turn the channel..."

I found myself looking at a woman- nay, an Angel- in black workout pants. She was smiling and saying, "You can do it!" Her voice was sweetly melodic as she spoke words of encouragement to me. "Don't worry if its hard at first, it will get easier, I promise." She was pulling me up, urging me back on my feet. I stood up and began walking in place, slowly at first- tiny steps. My injured self esteem not yet ready to come out of hiding.

"You can do it! Come on, feet... keep moving." I found myself moving more quickly, and soon I was up to pace with the goddess on television. Before I knew it, I was wiping the tears from my cheeks, and smiling. I could do it, just like the angel said. I WAS doing it!

I finished my workout. I vowed never again to listen to that devil, Jillian. I will follow that sweet angel from now on! I still wake up in the occasional cold sweat with visions of Jillian standing over my shivering heap on the floor, cracking a whip and saying "If you can't do this, you're in the wrong place!" It doesn't happen often, but it does happen. Last night she suddenly appeared on the television, and I know she was giving me the dissappointed evil eye, but I quickly changed the channel and chanted, "I AM good enough!" Then I closed my eyes and pictured the angel lady in her black workout pants, urging me forward,"It will get easier..." and all was well.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wonderful "girl" weekend!

I had the wonderful opportunity to go to a women's conference this last weekend. I had never been to anything like it before, and didn't know what to expect. Many of my favorite speakers were going to be there, but some church musicians as well. (I abhor all things cheesy and church-music-y!) So, I was just a little curious as to how much I would like it.

Friday night my mom and sister and I went to a delicious Thai restaurant before the show started. It was so nice to sit down with them and chat and bond. Living in a house full of males, I tend to feel less then feminine at times. Being in a large auditorium filled with females was refreshing! I really enjoyed Friday night's speakers, and one of the musicians I'd never heard before- Cherie Call. I really liked her, and even bought one of her cd's. (The other one, we'll call him Michael M.... well.....let's just say I have often been found poking fun at his music. I endured, though.)

My sister and I stayed up way too late chatting, which is what sisters are supposed to do, right? I got to know things about her I'd never known before. She's all girly and miss culinary arts and a singer now.... not like the little "brother" I used to tease with china dolls and headless barbies. I missed her when she lived in Virginia and I am soooo glad she's back!

Saturday was even better than Friday! One speaker spoke about the dangerous effects of pornography. It was jarring, and blunt, and hard to hear, but so worth it. I feel empowered, not afraid. I will write a post on that talk later, it's well worth thinking about.

I was so refreshed and spiritually filled. I cried way too much. I was an emotional basket case on the way home! Then, to come back to the reality of my imperfect little world... well, it's like going back to school after Christmas vacation. (although, I didn't forget my locker combination!) But I hugged my family close... against their protestations... and savored the moment.

I am going to do that more now- savor the moments. Life is about enjoying the little things as well as the big. Little things happen every day. Thanks, Mom, for the wonderful weekend. I feel armed and ready for the week!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Musings on death... and graveyards

Sunday was the anniversary of my Grandma's death. (I think it was the 5th anniversary.) Not the type of anniversary I would typically celebrate- but the whole extended family was going up to the cemetery to honor her memory. (Thanks to my aunt for helping me remember how to spell 'cemetery'!)

I love graveyards! They have always held a certain fascination for me- the hundreds and hundreds of lives, stories, loves, heartaches, bravery, hidden longings, talents- all gone from the earth. I have often gone to walk around and see which is the oldest headstone, or find who had the strangest name. Of course, there's a certain spook factor as well that accompanies any good cemetery. I even wrote a story once about a kid who plays a deadly game in a cemetery. (It was called "The Fate of One So Innocent"- it was destined to be a best seller, but it was way ahead of its time. I was 12, I think.)

I've always wanted to live next to a cemetery, too. How cool would that be- your neigbors would be totally quiet! I guess I've always had a certain fascination with death in general. I was dragged to more funerals as a kid than I can even count. My brother and I would dare eachother to touch the body- I was the only one who ever actually did it. (Hey! I think my brother ows me a dollar, come to think of it!) I used to have a little play organ and I would play funeral music on it- just for fun. Ya, I know... kind of creepy!

However, looking at my 95 year old grandpa at the cemetery the other day, watching him alone, without his sweet wife who's headstone was 4 feet away, and who painted a beautiful rainbow above us to let us know she was watching- well, it was almost too much for me. I want him to go. Is that bad? I want him to be able to die and be with my grandma again. I want him to be able to see, to read, to whistle... (ok, well, half-whistle... he never could actually whistle), to chase grandkids, to fix things, to quiz me on what I learned, to be my grandpa again. I will miss him dearly, I already do. Most of him has already gone, I think. He so longs to be free from his failing body, but when his body is gone- then he'll really be gone! I'll be going back to that same spot of ground in the cemetery and seeing two death dates on that stone. I'll be grandparentless.

I know they live on. I know I will see them again. I hope when grandpa goes he will find some sweet spirit up there to send down to me. Then I can say, yes, you knew your great grandpa- he picked you out! (I think my grandma is having too hard a time deciding which one to send! Either that, or she started telling them a story and hasn't finished yet!)

I hope I will make them proud while I muddle through figuring things out down here.So much of who I am I owe to my grandparents. The funny thing is, though, I probably won't visit their graves much at all. I know they aren't there. I know they have better things to do than hang around old graveyards waiting for people they knew to come visit. Most people don't love cemeteries as much as I do. Heck, when I die I won't hang around my gravesite either. I'll be checking out all the other tombstones and comparing!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Day at the Fair

I took my son to the fair yesterday afternoon. I LOVE the state fair! I grew up just a few block from the fairgrounds and we would walk there every year on opening day. (it's always cheaper! Only $2 yesterday.) I love the strange people, the delicious smells of cinnamon almonds, roasted chicken, indian fry bread, and popcorn as you walk down the fairway.

I adore looking at the beautiful art and seeing the hard work people have put into their craft projects. I actually got weepy looking at the art done by incredibly talented children. My son was entralled with the man that was painting in the art building- he didn't want to leave!

I used to be so scared when walking through the building with the bulls and cows- and I still am! I think- the only thing holding them is a measly rope, what if it breaks? Some don't look too happy there, what if they go postal and we all get trampled? My son, however, has no fear. One cow had just been hosed down and they were trying to get it back into this gate thing to brush it down and it did NOT want to go back in. My son just walks right up next to it as its pulling and tugging against the guy holding on to him. I finally grabbed him and made him stand back- having visions of a smashed kid on the floor!

I let my little guy ride the ponies, grateful for having just the one kid for once because it cost $4 to do it! He loved it, though. I loved watching him love it!

We were only there a few hours, but it was such a nice time, and my kid really seemed to enjoy the art and craft exhibits more this year. Sometimes its just nice to get out and enjoy a day at the fair!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Ok. If you can't tell from the title, I was surrounded by boys all day long yesterday!!! I felt like a lone fish swimming in a sea of testosterone!

Firstly, I made lunch for 40 missionaries and then they serenaded us 4 kitchen ladies afterword. At first I was in heaven, I mean, who wouldn't be when you're completely surrounded by super-cute young men singing just to you? It was one of my life's dreams.... until I got thinking about how much older I am than they are, and how long it's been since I was that age, and how old I must look to them. I mean, technically I COULD be their mother! That... is a freaky thought! (by technically, I mean, if I was a total HO at age 15.... that kind of technically.)

Then, last night was cub scout pack meeting, and yes, I am the den mother AND mother of a cub scout, so I had to be in attendance. And Yes, I was the ONLY female in the room! The scout leader kept saying "you can have your dads help you in this part," and then awkwardly say, "and your mom, too, if she wants."

I proved I am woman hear me roar, however, when we had the tool guessing segment. He held up several tools and we had to guess what they were. Out of about
20, I only missed one! Yay me! I actually didn't really miss it, I just didn't know the technical name for it, but I knew what it was for. I was sure glad when my husband came in from Young Men to visit, though. He is the testerosterone half of our union, although it is quite possible I've used more of those tools than he has! (Ok, that's not fair, he did take wood shop in high school, and I was home-ec queen.I didn't start my do-it-yourself home repair job until I lived by myself in college.)

Needless to say, I am feeling quite de-feminated, if that's even a word. I think I need some serious craft store time, and maybe even get my hair colored. I may even watch "Princess Diaries" or "The Prince and Me" or.... ok, it's always going to be "Pride and Prejudice", who am I kidding?! So don't bother me today, I'm being a girl.

No Boys Allowed!!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Stargate, crepes, and sharks.


What better way is there to spend a lazy Labor Day morning than eating crepes, snuggling with my family watching "Stargate"?

We're off to the Conference center to see the art exhibit, and then back home to rest. We're all nursing colds and ickys, so we don't want to overdue it too much. I guess the hike will have to wait for another day.

Oh. I dreamed we were on our cruise to Mexico, and the captain of the ship kept trying to catch sharks on the nose of the ship by jumping giant waves and then letting the nose dip way down in the water to scoop them up. He was laughing and thought it was just wonderful while the passengers were all running for their lives.

I think maybe I can liken it to the stresses I've been under lately. Someone up there thinks it's great fun to watch while I'm down here struggling to keep my head above water!

It's nice to have a day off!