Monday, December 5, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

I hijacked Viv's account again to double post this for the sisters et al.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Brainstorming for the Epic Thanksgiving blog... please add

Kids shooting guns
Bowling with dad (bowling balls and pins coming back up the lane, scarfing popcorn and leftover French fries, Lucy's disregard for her throw, Colin running around without a shirt)
Kids learning the star wars song (It's not true!)
Oaxaca
After dinner dance at the studio
Sweet tomatoes
Messiah sing a long (Gordon walking up the aisle to sing a solo)
Ultimate frisbee
Soccer and frisbee with Dad
Tongue tacos (It's like making out with a cow!)
Blessing Gwen
Beards
Chris's pictures from China
Lucy's baptism (list more about this)
Puzzles (3 of them!)
Apocalypse Chart (I think we should all get a little bit drunk)
Rachel's countries of the world song x4
Star Wars movie
pie pie pie (including Mockingjay pie)
Going to that one movie
Boys night of football and man movie
Taking pictures of the kids
Theo singing
Auberry Ward
Visiting Mr. Van
Singing hymns ("Nearer My God to Thee" under the stars)
Ag Farm/Nature Trail run
Building a teepee with the kids

(some more from v)
Tim buying us tacos and the fancy bottled drinks at Don Pepe's
Doing the haka with Joel
Sparkling pomegranate juice
Cheese platter
Chris and Gordon having an in-depth discussion about cheese
The memorable disaster of watching star wars, and the kids' song "someone move this walking carpet".
Sarah actually enjoying her food at Oaxaca
Eric playing ultimate frisbee and liking it
Breakfast at the Chicken Pie Shop with dad and Kathy (sorry for those of you who don't remember this)
The cousins kneeling in the front to watch Lucy be baptized
Tim confirming Lucy
Beth and Gordon singing and making Grandma Ashby smile.
Jerry, Mike, Grandpa Brown, Dean, Matt, Mark Porter, Gordon, Chris, and Tim all gathered around to bless my baby.
Colin sticking his face down the ball return at the bowling alley
Claire and Gordon talking with me in the mothers lounge at church while Gwen took a nap on the floor.
Playing in the leaves in front of dad's house
Sarah and I throw 4 cats into the back of her car and drive off on a rescue mission

from Carrie:
ME shooting guns!
Making Lucy wait in the dressing room after her baptism, even though she was ready to come back out, so that you guys would have time to sing "Abide With Me"
Listening to everyone sing "Abide With Me"
Fairy Blight
Damn hard iridescent foil Star Wars puzzle
The look on Rachel's face when she misheard the words "tentacle in my taco"
Realizing that I really do like Ultimate Frisbee
The brief moment of excited 'in your FACE!' sensation that I had when I slapped down Jackson's pass. Before I realized that Jackson is four.
"United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Haiti, Jamaica, Peru"
Parasite Apocalypse....NOT!
Feeling ridiculously fond of my brothers-in-law. All of them.
Driving up the hill with Rachel, listening to great music loud on her stereo system. Stepping out of the car into the cold Auberry night under the best stars I've seen in a long, long time.
Putting Lucy on the roof at Dad's house.
the ribbon salad of resistance that never was
Ditching class to hang out with the Thomas kids behind the church building
Watching Gwen suck the juice out of a pomegranate with gusto
Having Mark Porter make me laugh






Saturday, November 12, 2011

My kid's got game- how did THAT happen?!

Theo ended his 2011 soccer season today with an award for being the "fastest" player. As you'll see, that's not a major accomplishment, but it does kind of warm a mother's heart.
video video

Sunday, November 6, 2011

tim "the man" lawrence














So Tim and I went to the Kern river this weekend. Tim was on a 5 man team from his fly fishing club, participating in a competition put on every year there. The morning was cold, clear, and windy in the canyon. Cold - fine, clear- good, windy - not good. We met everyone at the local fly shop at 7:30am and I volunteered to be a
controller.

The river is divided up into 45 sections, some 200 yards long, some only 50 feet. Some fishable, some not so good (read: 12 inches of water over sand). Everyone drew two sections, one beat for the morning, one beat for the afternoon. You get 2 hours in the am, break for lunch, 2 hours in the afternoon. They mix it up, so you get different types of water, and everyone has a chance at some good spots. Each spot is assigned a controller, who keeps track of time, measures the fish, and keeps record.

So I lost track of Tim, because I was taken up to the river and shown a section of river to "control". I was introduced to a high powered business woman from LA, who was on an all-woman team. I watched as she "geared up" (which takes quite a while), we climbed down the bank to the river, and found our flags, marking our beat. At 10am straight up, I yelled out to her (she was in the river) "GO!" and she started fishing. For the first 20 min or so, I watched, my measuring tube and pencil in hand, ready to jump to her side. After an hour, it became apparent, that nothing was happening, nor was likely to happen. So I read my book. Once she called out, scaring the daylights out of me, but it was just a bite. Nothing ever broke the surface. At 2 hours exactly I called time, and she waded out. "well, I got that one bite!" she said. Huh. Ok, you be excited about that.

Then we went for lunch. Tim only had 1 measurable (they have to be at least 25cm) fish. Everyone else was the same or less. It was pretty slow. Most guys had none. So then we went back out there for the afternoon section. I had another older woman who was so happy to be away from her telecommunications job in LA and standing in a river. She moved slow, and was very, um, consistent. Fished the same paths in the river over and over. This time I went straight for a comfy rock and told her to call if she needed me. After freezing and reading for 2 hours, we hiked back. She got absolutely nothing. But she didn't seem to mind.

So I drove back to the shop to meet up with Tim and turn in my papers. There was a lot of talk - "I got skunked!" and "I got 2 but they were too small". Of the 4 other guys on Tim's team, only 2 caught fish that were barely measurable. Everyone was saying it was a crazy hard fishing day. There was one rumor that an older guy on another team had caught a really big trout, but nobody knew for sure. Then Tim showed up. So how did you do?

"um... 4."

Everyone went crazy. It was way more than anyone else. And then, as we keep digging, it comes out that he actually caught 9 (NINE!), but only 4 were long enough. The rest of his team dropped to their knees, literally, and bowed to his fishing awesomeness.

Then it comes out, with much prying, that his controller was too lazy to come down to the river, so with each fish, he had to wade out of the water (not easy), and climb the bank up to the road where she was sitting in her chair with her bullhorn (no joke), for her to measure and record, then hurry and climb back down to release the fish and go again. Those 2 hours fly by for a fisherman, so that was a lot of lost time.
Well out of 45 fishermen, he got second place! And the only reason he didn't get first, was because of that one old guy who caught one whopper. Tim beat him by total inches, but he won because of extra points for the fish being so large. Because of Tim, his team got second in the team competition.

But the best part of the whole thing was watching how happy Tim was. He knew everyone, and they all were SO happy to talk to him. "Tim! TIM! How are you, man!" "Oh your TIM's wife! We love him. What a nice guy!" He was really well known, and would talk for a long time to lots of different (and sometimes strange) people. He walked right up to a couple just walking out of the fly shop and shook their hands. I came up in time to figure out that he didn't know them at all, he was just introducing himself and asking them questions about where they were from.

He got his major award (a bag of marshmallows), everyone got plastered (which was actually really funny), and we drove home.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thoughts from your Dear Leader

It all started with Beth pointing out that Viv is a cyborg. Which she is. But that just opened up the topic- if Viv is a cyborg, then what are the rest of us? Surely we can all be iconic sci fi/fantasy characters too...


Rachel is a sprite. A fairy. An ethereal being who traverses the world followed by trails of stars and rainbows. She has unbelievably good luck. She leaves no footprints. She doesn't eat anything. As once pointed out by Viv, she will show up for a week-long visit with only a half-full school backpack for luggage. She never complains about the pish-posh because she actually isn't constrained by corporeal boundaries. As Wikipedia points out, she is "mostly harmless unless threatened."




As already mentioned, Viv is a cyborg. A "self-regulating human-machine system" with "physical or mental abilities far exceeding a human counterpart."(Wikipedia again) Consider: (and please use your best robot voice to read this part)
"I will learn to cook...(2 months elapse)...cooking accomplished."
"Advanced degree desired...(18 months later)...MBA accomplished."
"Ten o'clock is bedtime. It is ten o'clock. Therefore, I am going to bed."
"Will follow strict parenting guidelines...total consistency achieved...cyborg unit Levi in progress.."
I could go on, but those of you who know Vivian already know what I'm talking about.



Claire's character didn't even require discussion. We've all known for years that Claire's role is that of genius IT/communications expert. Need to dock your spaceship in a hailstorm, but don't know current wind speed velocities? Claire's your girl. Need to override the security cameras at Grand Central Station in 2 1/2 minutes? Claire again. Need someone with an accurate ear, fast fingers, a keen ability to filter out the important information in a matter of seconds, and who can kick your butt without getting up from behind her desk? You guessed it. CLAIRE.

I don't remember who suggested it, but Sarah is the Blue Fairy from Sleeping Beauty. Adorable, helpful, amiable but not a pushover, and tuned in to things like small children and bunnies in the forest. Merryweather is the bravest of the three fairies, and also the one who saves the day by changing Sleeping Beauty's death curse into a sleeping one. Raise your hand if Sarah has ever saved your day...Yep. See what I mean?

When Beth first heard about this topic, she asked if she could be the wise oracle on a hill. Um...no. That is WAY too calm for Beth. No, Beth is the Wizard of OZ. At first you are intimidated by the giant head with flames, and all the crazy activity, then you start to suspect that maybe she's just a regular person, pulling a bunch of levers, but THEN you realize that even that is kind of magical, really. She's good hearted, and she doesn't like to be caught exaggerating behind the curtain. Sorry, Beth, Wizard of Oz it is. Props to Sydney for suggesting it.

Now, I realize that I'm the only one who has been allowed to choose their own character, but I've tried not to be too easy on myself:

Once upon a time, in a famous group chat, my sisters referred to me as a "tiny, tempermental figurehead ruler who is more of a nuisance than actually evil, like Kim Jong Il." While I know that Kim Jong Il isn't exactly a sci fi villian, he does kind of SEEM like one, doesn't he? Can't you just imagine him piloting his crazy spaceship around the galaxy, laughing maniacally and forcing his subjects to read his ridiculously long, pointless blog posts?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Everybody Cut, Everybody Cut...Everybody Cut Footloose

The big night had finally come. The big night that Beth and I had been waiting for, planning for, talking about for months. The big night where Beth and I went out on the town...ALONE.

Only problem was, we couldn't decide what to do. A movie seemed in order, but which one? Moneyball, a critically acclaimed excuse to watch Brad Pitt move around onscreen, or Footloose, the feelgood, not exactly critically acclaimed shoutout to our childhoods?

Somewhat to my surprise, we chose the high road, opting for "Moneyball", and were soon nestled into our seats. And while the movie was well cast, well scripted and well acted, it also is apparently aimed at people who give a hoot about baseball. After an hour, almost as a joke, I leaned over to Beth and whispered, "You know, we could still sneak into Footloose..."

Imagine my surprise when my righteous, law-abiding sister sat straight up in her seat, turned to me intently and said, "We have to do it right. Now!" I sputtered, "Should we go one at a time?" Without missing a beat, Beth said, "NO." And before I even knew what had hit me, we were walking nonchalantly out of the theater.

We sauntered towards the bathrooms, hoping to look like two respectable middle aged women with incredibly weak bladders. Also hoping to pass the Footloose theater on the way. No such luck. After a pause at the bathrooms, we walked back, through the lobby and down the opposite hallway, at which point a security person broke away from a group of employees and fell into step behind us. We walked a little faster...so did she. We turned a corner of the hallway...so did she. I was seconds away from throwing myself at her feet and begging for leniency when Beth casually grabbed my arm. "Did you know I LOVE Liam Neeson?" she asked, pulling me over to look at a poster. And the security lady walked right by!

We waltzed into Footloose, to the sweet strains of "Let's Hear it For the Boy," and slid casually into the closest seats. Even the realization that I had just plopped into a handicapped seat wasn't enough to dampen the thrill. In fact, it maybe heightened the rush of being just a little bit bad.

So if you ever go out on the town with Beth, watch yourself. Sheesh, now I know where Rachel gets it.

Beth's Day Out

after much whining, i went to carrie's.

10 great moments of the trip:

after being dropped off, sitting perfectly still (for the first time in a LONG time), for 45 min, watching the red sunrise at the airport, decompressing into my trip.

the first bite of "greek scramble" at a diner for breakfast, with "cecelia" playing over the speakers













the first bite of lettuce wraps at thai food

the movie caper (see future post)

watching a long bearded guy with sunglasses, wearing a wedding dress, walk across the parking lot and open up the store we were waiting for.

making harvest soup and biscuits for dinner in a quiet, beautiful kitchen with no pressure, music playing, and then sitting on the front porch, good smells wafting from the house, reading my book, waiting for carrie and the kids to come back.

sitting outside with theo, with the rain coming down, listening to carrie playing the piano.

realizing that i LOVE boiled cabbage (WHO KNEW!?) at Matthews Cafe










snuggling / wrestling with my theo.

staying up late, snuggling and watching movies with carrie and iHappy.






Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I Heart Old Friends

There were a lot of good things about our trip to Colorado this weekend, but my favorite was getting Lucy and Kelty back together. You may remember that they were born on the same day, and we celebrated their 1st birthday with matching cakes.

Of course we had to have a reenactment:


As we've moved around the world, it's meant a lot to me to stay in touch with the people that I came to love in different places. It made me really happy to see these girls, and hope that they really will be good friends forever. Aren't they cute?

At least I didn’t die

Today made me reminisce about my terrible birthday last year, and I thought it should go in the record books.

It started going downhill on Sunday the 24th. I got called to be activities chair, the last calling I wanted (I actually thought, ‘I would rather be RS president’). The day was super stressful because I was informed there were a lot of activities I was now in charge of but that hadn’t been organized yet. For example, “There’s a regional fireside tonight you need to plan for” Oh really. “And we don’t have anyone to say the prayer or conduct or play the piano or bring dessert”. Uh huh. “…and you’re conducting the meeting” Of course. “And you’re in charge of FHE tomorrow”. Oh really. What’s been planned? “Nothing”. Oookay.

After a long day of meetings and planning and no food, I had 20 minutes to eat something before running off to the fireside. But when I opened my door, there was a huge pool of water on my floor! Water was leaking copiously from the ceiling and soaked through my bed, clothes, shoes, books, papers, rug, and blankets.

I started to try and salvage things and mop up, but I realized I had no time to do damage control and to make it to the meeting. I felt absolutely terrible, but decided I had to back out. But no one answered their phone. Not the bishop or his counselors, no one on my committee, none of the people I was supposed to give rides to. Finally I got a hold of one of my committee members and told him, while wringing out a towel, that he’s in charge now.

Feeling like a chump for bailing on my first day on the job, I finished wringing out blankets and towels, hanging up wet clothes and papers, and hair-drying books and pillows. I couldn’t get a hold of my landlady, either, so I set up three small pots and went to bed hoping the roof wouldn’t fall in on my head. I slept terribly, since there was a constant ploink-ploink noise, my bed was wet, and I had to get up periodically to empty the pots before they overflowed. At one point I was woken up by a 1am text from a friend wishing me a happy birthday.

The next day I woke up tired and unhappy and went in to work, where I had a really boring day and no one knew it was my birthday. One lady brought in muffins to share with the office… I pretended it was cake and that she made it for me. The one good thing was that I finally got a hold of my landlady, who said she’d send someone to check out the ceiling and start repairs.

I got home after work…and couldn’t open my door. The maintenance guy had locked both locks on my door, but I only had the key to one. I was locked out of my apartment on my birthday. And I couldn’t get a hold of my landlady or the maintenance guy. I tried breaking in with a credit card and jimmying the window-lock with a piece of metal I scavenged, but neither worked. Claire had set up a group chat with all of the sisters, which was the one thing I was looking forward to all day…but we had to postpone it. Obviously. So I just sat outside my apartment and I may or may not have cried a little.

Soon enough, it was time for the FHE I was in charge of. After a 40 minute drive making small talk with more people that didn’t know it was my birthday, two hours of pretending to be excited about some activity I came up with, and 40 minutes driving people back home…I finally got to my apartment, found the maintenance guy, and got inside. Phew. I decided to take a shower to relax.

I got in when the water was medium-warm, expecting it to get hotter…but it didn’t. It got freezing cold. So I rushed through and reached to turn off the water when it hit me…I had no dry towels. I had used them all, even the dish towels, to mop up the pool last night. What else could go wrong?! I jumped out of the shower to try and find something somewhat dry, but in my haste my heel got cut on the door of my shower and I started bleeding everywhere.

What a fitting end to a bad birthday - cold, wet, naked and bleeding on my bathroom floor.



The next day, we succeeded in having the group sister chat. Beth read a quote that was the theme for my birthday - “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die.”

But I still have a scar.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Eric's assignment

Define the word - Situation

Situation - A set of conditions at a certain moment in time.

Example - Rolling down a hill with fire on your bottom is a situation.

(this is accompanied by an awesome picture...)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Coming Of Age





Lucy, 11:00 am, Oct 2,2003






Growing up in a house full of pesky little sisters, with attentive, involved parents, there was nothing better than staying up late and having the house to myself. I still remember the sweet, sweet sound of the quiet- reading my book without interruption, eating whatever I wanted out of the kitchen, wandering around without anyone watching me or wanting anything from me. It was heavenly. Peaceful. Solitude. There's still nothing I would rather do.

Last night Lucy reminded me that I had agreed to let her stay up as late as she wanted on her birthday. "That's cute," I thought, as I imagined her fading off around 11pm. "Sure kid."

I went to bed at eight. Theo at about 8:30. When Chris came to bed at 11:30, she was still going strong. I stirred around 2am and heard her laughing out loud at something. At 5am she stumbled into bed with us, muttering something about 'partying all night'. I have no idea if she'd fallen asleep before that, but this morning, looking at the fleece blanket, Harry Potter legos, Little House on The Prairie books and chocolate chips scattered around the couch, I have my doubts. Not to mention that it's 11am and she's still asleep. (see photo, above)

So that's cute and all, but it makes me a little nervous. I'm not sure there's room on the couch at midnight for both of us.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Just Because Someone Asks You a Question...


We went to a birthday party today that had a clown there to perform.

Clown: Hello little girl, would you like a balloon animal?
Lucy, leans over to Chris and whispers: I don't want anything from a guy in a clown suit!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sunday afternoon nap

I think Levi won some points with our guest by willingly participating in one of her favorite activities.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

let's see if i get this straight..

so. lets see-

mom went and stayed with rachel.
chris is going to china, so mom is ALSO going to carrie's.
vivian has a cute baby, so carrie went to vivian's.
carrie is coming to california for thanksgiving,
so vivian is coming too.
rach AND sarah are going to canada AND vivian's, so sarah is going to claire's, who is ALSO going to vivian's.

sigh.

"There is never jealousy where there is not strong regard"
-washington irving


Absolutely



Today I was wearing this fantastic shirt that Chris and Lucy were kind enough to get me for Christmas one year. Theo studied it intently for a few minutes and then asked, "Is that Rachel?"

Monday, September 12, 2011

Live Free or Eat Apples

Top moments from my visit to New Hampshire this last weekend:

- Levi reciting for me how to train a horse: ("One- a soft hand. Two- a firm voice. Three- a sunny attitude...")
- Levi instructing the fireman at the fire safety day about the parts of the fire truck: "These, these are called stabilizers. They can also frequently be found on a front-end loader."
- Levi in general.
- Taking a Sunday nap in the same bed with Viv and Levi. So cozy.
- Meeting sweet little Gwen. Getting to spend some one on one time with her during church. Smoothing down her soft soft hair and having it bounce right back up again.
- Apples, apples, apples.
- Watching Jerry try to dissect out the octopus that had attached itself to his ravioli.
- Getting busted by Viv when she found one of her shirts packed up in my suitcase. Completely an accident, I swear!
- Crisp, clean NH air on a Sunday afternoon hike.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Living the Dream



It's always a trick finding new friends when you move somewhere new. Sometimes it can take years. So when the Croxalls invited us over for dinner awhile ago I was happy, but trying not to be too excited. That is, until Brian leaned across the table and asked, point-blank, "Do you want to go to DragonCon with us this year?" Then I was very excited. I didn't even know what DragonCon was, but I knew that the answer was yes.

I know what you guys are thinking, because Chris was voicing it out loud..why would you want to go watch a bunch of overweight tech nerds in ill fitting costumes walk down the street? And yes, there was a little of that:

slutty elf- check
overweight women in fishnet stockings- check
unidentifiable superhero- check
guy shirtless for no reason- check
guy in doctor costume with clown makeup- check

But there was also this guy:

And I know YOUR Saturday did not include a giant red breakdancing stormtrooper.

There were melees in the streets


and orcs:


even Death stopped by:


I remember when Claire and Gordon went to the Maker Fair, and Gordon said "I hope there will be steampunk." I thought that sounded like the coolest thing to say, very hip, so I said it a lot this morning. And baby let me tell you, the punk was steaming:


Some other favorite moments include:
- before the parade even started, a guy wearing only a green CGI body suit rode by on a bicycle
- on command, our entire side of the block held up our hands in the Vulcan salute and shouted 'Live long and prosper!'
- the guy in the crowd with an "I heart Saruman" t-shirt
-the float of "Dork Hunters" that seemed to be having pretty easy pickings
- having a flashback to one time when Gordon's brother said "just because you're plump doesn't automatically mean you're in Hufflepuff." I don't know why I thought of that.
- being able to correct Brian...everyone knows Han Solo was frozen in carbonite, not kryptonite. Actually, Brian knows this too, but that didn't stop me from correcting him.
- the Stormtroopers in kilts playing bagpipes
- when my friend Amber said "that's what my breasts would look like if they were cardboard"
- The Role-Players Club of Atlanta carried a banner that read "Living the Dream for 20 years"...and they looked it.

DragonCon was awesome. And the Croxalls are keepers.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I'm too sexy for my white high tops

Fifth grade was the first year that anyone in my class showed up to school dressed as a Playboy bunny for Halloween. I remember this quite clearly, because a)I didn't know what a Playboy bunny was, and b)I showed up wearing this:


I remember the wheels turning in my 5th grade brain as it slowly, foggily began to dawn on me that maybe dressing up in costume wasn't just about showing off your creativity anymore. Also that maybe my parents should have said something.

This week the mom talk at the bus stop has been all about what to wear to the neighborhood eighties party. I'd been thinking about it- white high tops with stacked socks of different colors, oversized shirt, pegged, baggy pants. Pretty easy, really. But then, as I was listening to the other ladies talk..."I hope my skirt isn't too short for a grown woman"..."I'll probably never be able to wear my off-the-shoulder sweatshirt ever again"..."Hope I can still squeeze into my Madonna gear"...I slowly, foggily realized that I'd missed the point. Again. The point was NOT to go dressed like I actually DRESSED in the 80's. The point was to look good. Or at least try to. I'm not sure if we actually pulled off sexy, but at least I realized it before I got to school this time.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

not all video games are bad.

my children were home alone, and had two friends over. i called on my way home and asked kid#2 what they were doing.
#2-"we are playing poptropica"

that is a video game. the only video game that has snuck into my house. they have to think, finish mazes, answer riddles, etc to get points. they have been playing this A LOT this summer and today. it isn't TOTALLY mindless, but it is still them sitting, staring. so i say..

me- "STOP! you have been playing this all afternoon! you need to stop and do something else."
#2 - "but mom it is so fun! we are all doing it together! "
me- "what is jack doing?"
#2- "he is playing too!"
me- "ug! you need to take a break, all of you! too much of this is not good."
#2- "but mom! it is so cool! pleeeeese!?"

well this conversation went on for a bit with her fighting hard to keep playing. she finally agreed that i would be home in 5 min and then they would stop.

so i walked in the door and they had turned the front room into a REAL video game. no computer at all. mazes, rocks (pillows) to hop across lava, puzzles to figure out, shrinking mirrors so you could turn small, and colin and jack were happily rowing a box down the nile.

oh. um. go ahead. you can play some more.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Happy Graduation

I have finished my master's degree. After getting the mail this evening, I have found that to congratulate me and honor the moment, Claire ceremoniously sent me a not-so-recently-dead beetle in a small silver box. Thank you sister, I don't think I am worthy of such an honor.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Brown Bag Lunch Survey

So Beth needs some ideas for what to pack in her kids lunch. What are your ideas? or What do you remember eating at school?

Carrie: I like the pasta salad idea. Also, how bout tuna w/ crackers instead of bread? You could pack it separately, then use the crackers to scoop the tuna. Applesauce cups or canned peaches are good. Same for granola bars. Good luck.

Beth: i am feeling cranky about this. i remember choking down my lunches. blech. warm yogurt, warm meat, warm cheese. i think i looked fwd to cookies (i think i will make a bunch and freeze them), crackers, granola bars (if we were lucky), and fruit. but no matter what, bananas were brown, grapes smashed. one friend of mine sends them snacks, then feeds them lunch when they get home, then dinner at 7:30. it is a mystery.
Sarah:

Claire: How about I tell you what I didn't like? I didn't like apples (because they're boring), or bananas (because they make everything smell like banana), or sandwiches in baggies (because they always got smashed). My suggestions: Give your kids apples if they'll eat them, because they're cheap, and easy to keep. Put the banana outside of the bag containing the other food. And, if possible, put the sandwich in a sandwich sized tupperware to keep it from getting smashed and slimy. That made a huge difference to me when I got old enough to even own my own tupperware. Other than that, I think granola bars are good, as well as crackers. Cookies, of course. GORDON went through a period of time when his brother Nathan was in charge of the lunches. One day he ended up with a large square of cornbread, and an apple. The next day- two apples. He suggests you give them a couple lunches like that, and they'll be grateful for anything they get afterward.

Vivian: I remember eating lunch meat sandwiches and apples. In high school I ate yogurt and pb&j. I remember bringing a quarter for milk. My ideas for you are: lunchmeat/cheese/crackers(if your kids don't like sandwiches), pasta salad, chicken salad sandwich(made with canned chicken and can also go w/crackers), trail mix, mini bagels

Rachel: Sadly enough, this blog is actually making me hungry. My favorite sandwiches were tuna and PB&H&B (the secret to any sandwich is to toast the bread - that way it won't get soggy). Apples are good (waaay better than bananas) but get boring after awhile. Mix the fruit up whenever possible...or at least make it easy to eat, like slicing the apples up or pre-peeling the oranges. Ooh, those little applesauce cups are good too. Carrots/celery sticks/baby tomatoes. Chips - buy a big bag and split it up into individual ziploc baggies. And don't diss warm yogurt - then it's drinkable.

Any one else out there with more ideas, please comment!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Half Dome 2011, Questions and Answers


Woodpile: So, Carrie, what made you guys decide to go for it?
Carrie: Well, mulling it over with Viv one day, she said "You know Dad's new philosophy..'don't put anything off'." I guess that's what did it. That and constant badgering by my husband.

W: Is Chris the best husband ever?
C: Yes, yes he is.

W: We've heard various numbers bandied about. Can you tell us exactly how high and how long this thing really is?
C: From the first signpost, roundtrip, the hike is 16.4 miles. Add the extra 3/4 miles to find the trailhead and 3/4 miles of lost wandering and it's a solid 18 miles. Also, 4,876 feet up.

W: Did you get lost?
C: Quite. At first we couldn't even find the trailhead, (of one of the most famous hikes in the world), and then later we had to backtrack about 3/4 of a mile.

W: Did you see any animals?
C: Yes, 1 dead mouse, 2 alive mice, 1 bat, 6-7 beetles, 2 deer.

W: What was the worst moment of the hike?
C: A tie- 1)When Chris dumped the chocolate covered almonds in the dirt 2)see 'getting lost,' above

W: Did you pick up the almonds, brush them off individually and eat them anyway?
C: Of course.

W: Chocolate covered almonds sure sound good- was that the best thing you ate?
C: No. I ate a lemon cookie from Beth that tasted like heaven.

W: And the best moment of the hike?
C: When we had reached subdome and knew we were going to make it (before we had seen the cables), we took a rest and stared up into the night sky, and Chris said "We're higher than some of the stars!"

W: Were you really?
C: Yes.

W: Did you get scared?
C: Yes. Thundering waterfalls in the daytime are awesome. Thundering waterfalls in the pitch dark when you can't see the edge of your trail and the rocks are slippery and the path is marked every 200ft with photos of dead hikers who were swept over the falls last week...terrifying.

W: Did anything else want to kill you on this hike?
C: Have you SEEN those cables?

W: Would you do it again?
C: Yesterday the answer was, absolutely not. Today I would say, probably not. Ask me tomorrow.

W: How much of your hike did you distract yourself by composing this blog in your head?
C: Oh,Woodpile, you know me so well.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pleasured As Needed

I envy Chris his world travels. I envy the adventure. I envy the food. I envy the alone time. But mostly I envy the notes he gets on his pillows at luxury Asian hotels. So, imagine my joy when I arrived at Claire and Gordon's after a long shift to find this note taped to the front door:

'We welcome Your Excellency to our bashful home away from home. Where the blankets are magical, and everlasting Rhubarb Upside-down cake pleasures you as needed. Enjoy our complimentary dark nuts and the jovial swan friend.

We are your slaves.'

I wish i had a picture of the jovial swan friend to include with this post, but you'll just have to trust me.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Gossip Girl

I love our mom. Part of what I love about her is demonstrated through this conversation we had while waiting at the check out in the grocery store.

Mom: (jokingly) Ah this is where I get all my news.
Me: I think its funny how many of these people I don't even know who they are.
Mom: (pointing to a picture of the Kardashians) Well you know who they are right?
Me: Well, no not really.
Mom: They must be related to the doctor who was known for assisted suicides. Do you remember him?
Me: Hmm, Are you thinking of Kevorkian?
Mom: Oh.. yep, thats the one. Well, then who are they?

Way to go mom. You made me proud by being more familiar with people who are relevant in this world than people who aren't.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

On My 39th Birthday...


Theo: Dad, can I see your bum?
Chris: No.
Theo: Why not?
Chris: Does Mom let you see her bum?
Theo: Mom's don't have bums.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Who?

I know, I know, I already posted one of these...but these letters that Chris gets from his 'hotel families' really crack me up. And wonder if I should be calling him "Your Excellency"?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dick, the computer guy

So, Gordon just bought a new computer. It was having some hardware issues, and needed a tech to come out and fix it. One day a guy named Dick shows up at the door.

He and Gordon had a nice chat.

Dick: (gets put on hold while calling Dell to order a new motherboard)
Dick: (seeing rice crackers on table) Don't those taste like sandpaper?
Gordon: I think they're pretty good.
Dick: Well, for me, Rice Krispies are like sandpaper.
Dick: (still looking at the rice crackers) Do you know who invented these?
Gordon: (not sure if he's supposed to laugh or actually answer)
Dick: (apparently Gordon wasn't supposed to do either) Maybe the Chinese.
Dick: Do you know who invented pasta?
Dick: You'd think pasta itali-ano (in imitation of an Italian accent while gesturing in imitation of an Italian gesture) that it'd be from Italy, but actually, it's Chinese.
Dick: But I guess the Italians invented ketchup.
Dick: And do you know who invented the hamburger?
Dick: Germans. From Ham-Burg. Hamburger.
Dick: You'd think the hamburger was American, burger and fries and all.
Dick: But French Fries, those are American.
Dick: They actually eat more calories in Europe than we do here.
Dick: And yet we're the fat ones.
Dick: (points to himself indicating that he's a prime example of a fat American)
Dick: I'm fat, but if you looked at my diet you'd never guess it.
Dick: It's because I have diabetes.
Dick: What is diabetes?
Gordon: (caught off guard that Dick actually pauses as if waiting for an answer) Oh, uh... well...
Dick: (cutting in, not actually waiting for an answer) It's when your body can't control its sugar.
Dick: And if it gets too much sugar because it can't control it, it's got to go somewhere.
Dick: (again indicates his substantial girth)
Dick: I wasn't this big before I got diabetes. So question is, am I diabetic because I'm fat, or am I fat because I'm diabetic?
Dick: I asked my doctor that once, and he said I had a good point.
Dick: Well?
Dick: Sort of a chicken and the egg sort of thing.
Dick: Except, if you ask me which came first, I guess I'd have to say the egg.
Dick: I thought for a second that the wooden block sticking out from that painting was a thermostat.
Dick: You'd think in a place like this they'd go with a single split.
Dick: (actually pauses)
Gordon: What? (immediately worrying that inviting an explanation might not have been such a good idea)
Dick: A single split. Heat pump and air conditioner all in one unit. Why would you have the AC and the heater separate?
Dick: And whose idea was it to put the thermostat right above the heater?
Dick: The installation instructions probably said to make sure to install on the wall on the opposite side of the room.
Dick: Probably another failure to "RTFM."
Dick: Do you know what that stands for?
Dick: (luckily not waiting for an answer)
Dick: Read. The. Freaking. Manual.
Dick: Or there's another word I could use, but not in polite company.

I had to talk to Dick on the phone several times to set up the appointment, and I was glad I didn't have to be there when he came. But I was also glad Gordon was there, so I could hear about this hilarious conversation. Way to take one for the team, Gordon.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Home Away from Home

When I graduated college and told people I was moving to Auburn, a lot of people looked confused and said, “So, you’re moving home?” No, I explained…AuBURN, not AuBERRY. Keep it straight.


But when I first moved here, I did see that the two towns really are similar, in more than name. Auburn has the same foothill landscapes covered with oak trees and cottonwoods, popcorn flowers and poppies, manzanita and miner’s lettuce (they eat it here too). Even the stickers and weeds are the same. It’s close to the snowline and pine forests and the high sierra mountains. The main sources of recreation during the winter months are the ski resorts, and the nearby lakes and rivers are the hotspots during summer. People drive around in beat-up pickups and have woodstoves and horses and go frog hunting.


I’ve discovered more similarities the longer I’ve lived here. I was surprised to find that the first three digits of most of the local landlines are 885. I kept messing up dialing people because I would automatically dial 855. The area code is 95602, which is just one digit off 93602. The more I drive around, the more things I see that remind me of home. There’s a Pizza Factory and a Sierra Elementary and a Sierra College. When I first passed the sign for Table Meadow, I thought said Table Mountain. I’ve passed Dry Creek Rd, Oakhurst Dr, Shaver Rd, Awahnee Way, Pine Ridge Ln, and Millertown Rd. There’s even a Blue Heron Ct.


Auburn and Auberry do have a lot of differences, obviously. And you could probably find similarities like these between any two towns if you tried hard enough...but it is weird to live in a town that looks like, feels like, and is named like the town you grew up in.


That's all. Also, I drove past this the other day:





Friday, June 10, 2011

Top 5 Ways I knew I was at Girls Camp in Georgia

1. Of the 40+ young Mormon girls in attendance, only 5 of them were white.
2. When I asked one of the girls, "Have you ever slept in a tent before?" she responded, "I've never been out of Atlanta before."
3. On our 'hike', my hat got blown off by a semi driving past us at 50 mph.
4. Someone went to Walmart for supplies 2 of the 3 days I was there.
5. No one knew how to find any constellations until somebody found an app for it on their iPhone.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Memorial Day

We had a good Memorial Day, which started with a trip down the Chattahoochee River. Last time we rented an actual boat, but this time we decided just to buy our own floating things. In a fit of optimism, I decided that Theo and I should float down the river on this:


We were only a few minutes into the trip when I found myself lolling off the side, trying to keep Theo aboard, him trying to haul himself up by the ties of my swimsuit, my bum up in the air, the 'ship' buckling in half, surrounded by amused strangers who are floating past on their decorous black innertubes.

Me, yelling over to Chris: "I have no dignity!"

Chris, nodding serenley from his decorous black tube: "I've known for awhile."

That evening we went over to some friends' house for a shrimp boil. We weren't really sure what that meant, but hey, it's got to be better than feeding yourself, right?

Shortly after we got there, they brought out a ginormous pot of water, threw in a bunch of stuff and started boiling it over a propane burner. Then two men lugged it over to the table, drained off the water and dumped the contents of the pot in the middle of the table. Everyone gathered around, picking stuff out of the pile and eating it with our fingers like crazy. Let me tell you, it was amazingly good.


Next time we all get together, let's have a shrimp boil. As long as we don't kill off Tim, that is.

An Apology

Dear Mother,

I would like to formally apologize to you for rolling my eyes, dragging my feet, and whining about how you wanted to clean house and get lots of work done before we left on trips.

I see now.

Love,

A Mother Freaking Out Before a Trip

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Graveyard Hunting

(Don't worry, Beth - there are no zombies in this story.)

It all started with a name: Thaddeus Constantine Hix. Uncle Gordon let Mom know that an ancestor of ours was buried somewhere near Auburn and sent her a document with all of the information he had on him...which was not much:

Born: Jan. 14 1818.
Lived in White Oak Township, El Dorado.
Died: Jan 19 1868, and was buried at New York Ravine, next to his daughter.

Mom sent us this information and suggested we go find where he was buried.

But White Oak Township doesn't exist anymore, and there is no record of where it was. And New York Ravine? The nearest geographical location currently named that is a 2-hour drive to the north of El Dorado County and is in the middle of nowhere. So we did some research, found a list of historic graveyards around El Dorado County, and decided to do a little hunting when Sarah came up to visit for her birthday weekend.

We hit four graveyards- one in Pilot Hill, a town of 415; one called Uniontown, which was behind a barn at the end of a narrow lane; Pioneer Graveyard (which seemed promising); and Mormon Island Cemetery, which had been relocated so as to not be at the bottom of Folsom Lake. Even though we hit the most promising spots, we had no luck locating Thaddeus...we're guessing his grave is one of the hundreds marked with a weather-beaten rock or simply labeled "Unknown".

Although we didn't find Thaddeus, we sure did find a lot of other treasures. We saw beautiful green countryside and dilapidated old barns and we pulled over at historic points of interest. At the end of windy back roads, we were rewarded with tiny overgrown cemeteries. We ate lunch at an old saloon-turned-cafe. We stopped in Sutter's Mill and saw the cabin where James S Brown lived. We watched a blacksmith at work and listened to an old lady playing violin. All in all, we had an adventure.

And maybe we'll find him next time - there are still lots of remote graveyards to explore...like this one.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What's in a name?


I've spent the last few months thinking a lot about baby names. I've had more than one conversation go on a while before I have realized, or rather, remembered, that I think more about this than most people and should stop talking. Thank goodness for Carrie, who is very interested in the philosophy and science of name picking. She's always willing to discuss options with me and for a good percentage of my pregnancy, was sending me name options multiple times a week.

Here's a sampling of the 'rules' I've formulated and applied to the ongoing search. I thought it would be good to write them all down so you can see what the search committee has been dealing with.

1.No popular names. Nothing in the top 200, but also nothing that looks like it might in the next 5 years reach the top 200. Basically nothing with a trend line with a slope greater than 1, and preferably less than 0.
2. Nothing that ends in E or Y. Extra points if you can't even conceivably put an extra Y on there for fun. (i.e.- no one will ever call him Levi-y)
3. Nothing that starts with T or ends in T or S because both sound funny with Thomas.
4. The less syllables the better, with a cap at 2.
5. Easy to say when read, easy to spell when heard. And no ambiguous vowels (i.e. Mira).

While being so picky might seem to make it hard to choose, on the contrary, if you would believe it, there are very few names that actually fit all of these requirements. I think we've got it narrowed down to top 5, and maybe top 3. So now I guess its time for middle names? Whats your opinion about middle names? I don't have nearly as much to say about them.

So far I've got:
1. Better to have different number of syllables than first name
2. Levi's middle is a family name, so that might be a nice thing to keep up, but not necessary
3. If we can't come up with something we like, forget it altogether

Any submissions before its too late?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Maker Faire

Saturday Gordon and I went to San Mateo to attend Maker Faire. We got to see my friends Clarence and Kendra, which was fun. It's a difficult event to explain. It's put on by MAKE magazine, and showcases people who "make" things. All kinds of things.

We watched a battle between Axis and Allies 1/144 scale combat ships, which shot actual, live rounds of BBs and 1/4 inch ball bearings.
We saw Lego cities.
We saw a robot pulling a chariot.
We saw a guy who would write a poem for you- you choose the price, and the topic.
I overheard a guy say, "I won't be able to die happy until I make my own sword."
We had our body composition tested by a new machine from GE. Not pretty.
We watched a demonstration by the Diet Coke and Mentos guys- 108 bottles.
One guy tried to sell us a homemade laser.
They had solar cars, bikes, and merry-go-rounds.
We watched sparks fly between two Tesla towers (one million volts).
And I got hit by a motorized muffin.

As we parked the car, and walked toward the event, Gordon said, "I hope we see some steampunk." No worries. We saw some within 3 minutes, and never stopped.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Survey Says!


1. What is the ideal pet?
c- a desiccated dead frog
b- no such thing. i don't really get the draw of pets. but a trained, wild hawk that would come sit on my wrist once a week would be nice.
s- gravy was a pretty awesome pet
c- A quiet, housetrained, short hair gray cat, that doesn't need too much attention. Or a desiccated dead frog.
v- Pet monkey, trained to serve chocolate milk to me and my guests
r- A kitten that would never grow up.


2. If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
c- the ability to put my kids to sleep at will
b- to create food out of thin air.
s- I don't know I have so many already, I would like to be able to transport my self anywhere.
c- selective mind reading
v- Telekineses, and that is not just because I have a tough time picking up things off the floor right now
r- Teleportation. I could get off work and be at Beth’s house for dinner, Claire’s for dessert, Mom and Sarah’s for a movie, Dad’s for a tango party, Carrie’s for late night laughs, and then wake up with Levi and Vivian.

3. If you could only choose 3 movies to take to jail with you (or snowed in with, if that sounds more your taste), what would they be?
c- Harold and Maude. Search for the Holy Grail. I don't want to say the last one.
b- sound of music, pride and prejudice (6 hour version), and planet earth
s- not sure on this one maybe Anne of green gables 1,2 and 3
c- Psycho, Silence of the Lambs, and Nell. I figure if I can study these, I can act crazy enough for everyone else to leave me alone.
v- Arrested Development Season 1, 2, and 3? Seems like good thing to watch in jail.
r- The Next Three Days, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Prison Break. I'm not staying in there.

4. What is the worst (or just a bad) purchase you have made?
c- probably a house in California in 2006
b- the tahoe. don't get me started. sad thing is, i still don't know what i would buy instead.
s- I've purchased some shoes that are just darn uncomfortable.
c- my current bike. ugh. i bought it quickly, because it was a close model to my recently stolen old bike, and I needed wheels bad. but man, i wish i had taken more time to decide.
v- This is an unfair question, since, according to Carrie, this actually IS my superpower.
r- This is a tough question, since I usually just ask Vivian what to buy.

5. Is there a friend from high school that you miss?
c- oh, I miss Jessica, of course.
b- i miss matt and na sometimes, but the old guys. not these new responsible ones...
s- did I have friends? I think Claire and Carolyn were my friends so I miss Claire does that count?
c- I'm sort of with Sarah. I've managed to keep in touch with most of my high school friends that I care about. I guess I'll go with the Smith brothers.
v- I wish Lisa (Jensen) Maskovich were sitting on my couch right now.
r- No one else gets me quite as competitive and adventurous and excited about things as Joel.

6. If you could get one spa service (massage, facial, pedicure, waxing, etc), what would it be?
c-did you know you can get other people to pluck your eyebrows?
b- permanent hair removal. think about it. no. shaving.
s- pedicure
c- Latisse eyelash treatment
v- Pedicure
r- A massage. I think my fold-out couch mattress is starting to get to me.


7. Tell about 2 sensory memories you have from when you were little?
c- summer nights sleeping out on the deck of the big house. Lying on our front lawn in Oregon, wrapped in a sheet, but naked underneath because I had Chicken Pox all over and I couldn't stand having clothes on.
b- running from tree house to camper when we lived outside (i can still feel it), and making yourself go under at the high school pool when you first get there.
s- watching lighting from the deck, I think I'm with v making grass houses
c- Going on a sunny, lupine-hunting picnic with Rachel. Playing in a strong wind storm with Vivian, pretending it was a real disaster, finding shelter in the old immobile Dodge Dart, screaming things like, "I'm not leaving without you!!" and finding a source of warmth at the laundry filter exhaust.
v- making houses in the tall spring grass with Claire. Pulling “stickers” out of my socks in the summer.
r- Running down the Fowler’s driveway at full speed, rounding the grassy trail at the metal building, tensing next to the crack, and coasting home. Being wet and muddy and stalking tadpoles.

8. What should be the name of the street that we all live on when we are old?
c- Blue Hair Lane
b- Blasted Park
s- Ashby we already have the sign
c- Woodpile Court
v- Orville Ave (Cayucos, CA)
r- The way I see it, we’ll be living on our no-longer-entailed estate on Blue Heron Lane. So we just need to have a cool name for our manor house.

9. What is the sickest (or most pained) you have ever been?
c- Dengue fever. Bad news.Oooh, but vomiting after eye surgery was bad too.
b- when i woke up from gall bladder surgery. that hurt so bad. and this last labor. that was fast and ugly. i felt like someone had hit the eject button for my guts. (sorry viv.)
s- after 8th grade graduation and Claire and I had a reaction to medication.
c- smashing my finger in doors. specifically the auberry elementary lower playground girls' bathroom stall doors. this happened more times than it should have.
v-
r- When I thought I was going to lose my finger AND my sister ring. It was painful, but mostly traumatizing.

10. If you were in the circus, which act would you be in?
c- can I ride a horse? I think I'd like to ride a horse.
b- trapeze. for sure.
s- concession stand?
c- some kind of freak...
v- Elephant girl. Whatever she does, I’m kinda hazy on what a circus actually entails. Elephant girl. Whatever she does, I’m kinda hazy on what a circus actually entails.
r- Acrobat

11. What is a calling you fear?
c- nursery. and camp director.
b- primary teacher. and nursery.
s- president of anything
c- ward missionary, or anything requiring me to attend Girls' Camp
v- primary singing time person, RS pres
r- Seminary teacher. anything to do with primary.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Reprise


I was reading through old blog posts and found myself amused by this little entry from April, 2007:

Which sister would you most want to be stranded on a desert island with, and why?

Carrie: Sarah, cause she would leave most of the seaweed and coconuts for me to eat.

Rachel: Beth, for sure. I wouldnt know what to do with myself, but with Beth there we would have huts and food and an irrigation system in no time.

Vivian: Claire, because we could sit together in the sun and she would read to me.

Claire: Sorry guys, but I’m gonna have to go with Carrie on this one. I mean, her medical skills have to be worth something, right?

Beth: Sarah. Who else is gonna watch my kids while I set up an irrigation system?

Sarah: can i pick all of you? ok if just one then Claire. she would be sensible about the whole thing.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Home and Family of Losers?

Chris left on his most recent trip to the Philippines on the day before his birthday. Being the doting, organized wife that I am, I didn't think about it very much until the morning that he was leaving, then I ran around trying to think of things that would make him feel special on his special day. Eventually I stuffed a Jolly Rancher with a paper birthday candle taped to it into his suitcase and figured I'd try to make it up to him when he got back.

This is Chris's third or fourth visit to Manilla, where he always stays at the same hotel, often for weeks at a time. This time when he arrived, he was met by a group of hotel staff, who sang Happy Birthday to him, gave him a cake (with real candles), and this card:


Fortunately I think a 'Turndown Service and Bubble Bath' from his 'home and family of Butlers' might terrify my husband nearly as much as bellydancers. Otherwise I would really feel like a shmuck. I'm going to have to step it up around here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Well, Hello There

When we first got our rabbit, Fishy-Nipper, he seemed like the perfect pet. Quiet, friendly, reasonably low-maintenance, cute...and theoretically house-broken. If by housebroken you mean 'only pees in my closet but poops constantly everywhere else', then I guess he is housebroken.
We tried having him live in the attic, but he eats fiberglass and chews on the electrical wires. We've had him on the back porch in a little hutch recently, but it's starting to get hot for a little guy with fur. So, I had this big idea that i would 'accidentally' leave the hutch open, and if he hopped off to greener pastures, well, I would have Fished My Wish. After leaving his cage open all morning, I wandered by the back door to see this:



Anybody want a bunny?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Gregory Kid Update

New member of the family. Isn't she lovely?

Lucy's entry at the local Artist's Market

Why are little kids playing soccer so cute?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Most Embarrassing

so... i have a hard time retaining in memory my most embarrassing moments. i am sure i have had some good ones. i can even remember thinking "this! this will be what i remember and tell..", but nope. they fly away. i can remember a few that have great stories attached, like when tim swung the headlights around on me (let me know if you want to hear that story and i'll decide whether or not our relationship can stand it), but mostly i get over it and forget.

but not this time.

so i have a crush on a woman in my ward. she is very beautiful, very put together, long, amazing hair, and very well dressed. she is also 6'1". she is very nice, but not friendly, in a shy way. she is so TALL and cool, and the wife of our first counselor in our stake (also super cool and very funny). i can get along with just about anyone, but this woman throws me. we don't cross paths much, and i get embarrassed really quick, and have a hard time thinking what to say to her. she is SO nice, but not helpful in a conversation. she mostly just stands there, looking amazing and smiling.

ANYWAY...

you know how humbling it is to look foolish in front of someone you are trying to get to like you, even worse if it is some one you feel awkward around anyway.

well, i was up at the store at 8:30pm one night (read: past bedtime) with 4 kids (read: tired and cranky). i was pregnant (read: wiped out and hurting) and i had a huge cart full of food that had taken 45 min to collect. i live about 20 min away from the grocery store, and i had just found out after waiting in line that the new store i picked didn't take discover cards, i didn't have my bank card for some reason, and they didn't take checks. these nice friends live just down the street. so i swallowed my pride and called her. she graciously came over and paid for the groceries, and i wrote her a check, blabbering the whole time. no big deal, helped me out so much, but it still flustered me and i worried that it may have put me on the "slightly incompetent/non-self sufficient" team.

But i still hoped that she was charitable enough to give me a bye. i may be able to have enough other positive contact with her to "prove" that i am not on that team.

so a few weeks later, i am in madera in another grocery store, and it is my first run out with new baby colin and jack. i am only 3 weeks post baby (read: no sleep/borderline crazy). i see her with her 3 children in the store. we smile and i try hard make sense (read: not gush) and answer her intelligently (read: finish a sentence and not stutter).

you know how in a store, when you see people you know, you say hi/good bye, but you run into them over and over again as you walk the isles? so awkward! do you say hello again? do you pretend not to see them? do you make small talk about what ever you are holding ("how about this lettuce!") ? do you try to hold your breath and do a flip turn at the end of the lane?

so we end up at the check out together. her children are smiley but silent and waiting, just like their mother. i fumble through unloading, crying baby, jack "helping", paying and putting the groceries into bags, all the while trying to force casual, friendly competence (read: short, manic bursts of me trying to be likable).

i get finished, make sure i have my card back, load jack up, and get my receipt. i toss out a friendly (or was it crazed?) good bye and run out, wondering what it is in my brain that i need to surgically correct in order to have a normal conversation with this woman.

i am taking deep breaths to calm my self down as i push my cart to my car and start unlocking the door when her 14 year old runs up to me.

"sister lawrence! sister lawrence! you left all your groceries at the check out!"

i stare at her for 3 clicks, then slowly turn and look in my cart. sure enough, there is nothing in there that i didn't give birth to. no grocery bags, no milk. nothing.

to make it worse, i saw her husband (i have a crush on him too) the next day and i shook my head as i told him about running in to his wife, and he said,

"oh yes! that was the topic of conversation around the dinner table last night."

i am totally on that team. sigh.