Monday, December 28, 2009

What Does Santa do on the Off Season?

He's busy cleaning the glass at the Long Beach Aquarium
Poor guy, work is tough all over I guess. Everyone is looking to earn an extra buck and Santa had to get his feet wet (a-ha!) just hours after his big day of deliveries.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"Bill's Sock"

I was just making a list of things I have to do tomorrow. Oh, stop laughing! I do, in fact, make lists sometimes. It doesn't happen often, but when I have a deadline or someplace important to go, I will make a list of things I need to do before I go. Also, I will make a list if I need to focus and want Bill's help.

So I was making a list of things to do so everything doesn't get put off until Christmas Eve. Today I did a little shopping to get ready for our trip and stuff our stockings. I like to stuff my own stocking with smelly goodness from Bath and Body Works. Their Sweet Pea is bliss and I indulge once a year. (other store brands are cheaper but they are for crap) At the end of the list I put "Bill's sock" because he is the only one left with an empty stocking. (although now that I think of it I have socks to put in his sock so maybe I'm fine) As I wrote the word sock I teared up a little. (Yeah, yeah, I know, hard to believe- me tearing!)

Even before we were married, Bill and I would get a huge package in the mail from his parents with Christmas gifts in it. His mom would wrap them elaborately with lots of ribbon and bows and nice tags on them. The smaller ones wouldn't have anything on them though and would be for the stockings. Scribbled in her very slanted cursive writing would be "Bill's sock" (that would actually be for Billy), or "Big Bill's sock" (that would be my Bill), or "Helena's sock". Bill's mom felt obligated to help fill the stockings because she had made them for the kids. She could knit and she made some beautiful stockings for Billy and Kyra with their names on them. To say that the stockings were HUGE is an understatement. I'm pretty sure we could have put a 5 month old Kyra in her stocking that first year.

I believe that Bill's mom bought the yarn to make Tasha's stocking while I was pregnant but never started it. Then she got sick and couldn't start it. Tasha's first Christmas was an easy one to get through because I had hopes of asking Bill's sister to make one for her and it's not like Tasha would miss a stocking at 8 months old. But then the next year rolled around and the next. I finally gave in and made everyone new stockings at a church super Saturday. Now they hang there, the 4 of them, and Payton is missing one. I guess I'll have to go back to the drawing board for next year since the girls are already concerned with him missing out. Sweet girls.

Anyway. I miss Bill's mom. I miss her sweet stocking stuffers. I miss seeing the word "sock" on small packages and chuckling to myself that there is no way in heck that any one's foot would fill the sock that she made for my kids to hang up at Christmastime. I love you Lorraine Durrenberger! Take care of yourself up there in heaven. Your memory will always live on in my heart.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

NTS: Make One Thing a Priority

I've found that I can count on getting about one thing done per day. ONE THING!!! If I get more than that accomplished then I consider it a good day. SO, if I only get one thing I have to make something a priority, and anything else is a bonus.

Things that don't qualify for the "one thing" category, but have to be done and interfere with getting that one thing accomplished:

  • nursing the baby

  • changing diapers

  • breaking up arguments between the girls

  • directing the girls on tasks other than watching TV

  • ignoring the dog (this takes effort to not explode in anger)

  • making the bed and putting away clothes

  • doing dishes (if this has become priority then things have been REALLY bad)

  • eating done after 11am (if I get breakfast then it was priority or it was a good day)

  • driving anywhere

  • answering the phone

  • answering email (read my technology post, this is as necessary as the phone now)

  • keeping the peace between siblings, parents, and friends

  • making dinner (although, by default do to the first item on this list, this task has fallen on Bill's shoulders more often than I'd like to admit)

  • carpooling

Things that I have to make a priority if I want them done:

  • showering before noon (this is done if I have someplace to be later and need to make sure I'm presentable before people)

  • working out (the time will vary depending on the mood and sleeping habits of the baby, and who is around to watch him)

  • grocery shopping

  • church

  • meetings (both church/calling related, and school)

  • cleaning the floor (although this was a bonus one day as I was waiting for my mom to come watch Payton while I went to the gym since that was priority that day)

  • cleaning the kitchen (if I did this regularly it wouldn't have to be on this list, dang it!)

  • LAUNDRY!!!

When did life get so complicated?

Oh yeah, when I became a mom.

So what is tomorrows priority? Finishing the laundry that I started Saturday. Then I'm finding a friend to hang out with and whine to about not getting anything done.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Is It Neglect If... leave your sleeping infant in the van...

  • parked in the carport
  • 10 feet from the front door
  • with the front door open
  • while you sit at the computer
  • another 10 feet from the front door
  • and check your email
  • and blog
  • and read fanfiction


I've checked on him several times. And, although I can't actually see his face (because he's nicely bundled in his jacket with the hood covering all but the bottom of his chin), I can see his chest heaving up and down. Seriously, if I bring him in he's sure to wake up and I really want to read about Jacob and Bella and a Volkswagon bug.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mary's Boy Child

Mary's Boy Child is my favorite Christmas song this season. There is a version on the radio that I like, but I have a CD that my friend gave me that has Harry Connick Jr. singing it. Who doesn't like a little Harry? When I googled it I found out that Harry Belafonte was the first to record it. I don't like his version at all, it's way too slow. I like to have a little reggae feel to this song.

Here's a youtube version of it if you don't know what song I'm talking about. I think this is the version from the radio, although it sounds much better in my van.

I was singing it with Kyra on the way home this evening and here's where our conversation went:

Me: Ya know, that's not really true. The song says, "man will live forever more, because of Christmas day."
Kyra: What?
Me: Well, Easter and the resurrection is really what makes it possible for us to live again, right?
Kyra: Right. But we couldn't have Easter without Christmas.
Me: All right. But which came first the chicken or the egg?
Kyra: The egg.
Me: Where did the egg come from?
Kyra: A chicken.

I'm just sayin'... not even an 11 year old has all the answers.

NTS: Lagging Left Turn at Priest and Baseline

I used to live in Scottsdale and they had the lagging left turn signal at all the intersections. The solid green light would send all the cars through the intersection, then the left turn signal would let cars turn left. I adjusted to that fairly well and even grew to like it. It was nice if I missed the light because I could turn left, continue my travels, and just alter my route a little.

Then I moved back to Tempe and the turn signal comes before the straight green. This is a pain, especially if there is nobody sitting in the turn lane because you won't get the signal. I HATE sitting through a whole series of lights because I got to the intersection too late. Again, I adapted and got used to it.

Now however, I find myself driving east on Baseline quite often to get home. I can turn left on either Priest or Hardy. I usually go all the way to Hardy because I have all green lights in the morning. At least 3 times now I have decided to turn at Priest because the light has been red. AARGH! Why, oh why, is this the only intersection in Tempe where the left turn comes after the straight green?! Frustrating! I have to wait like a whole extra minute before I can get driving again!

Yes, I have driving issues.

A Day of Technology

I'm worried that technology is making us completely incapable of talking to people. Although I am sure there are more things, ALL of these things happened to me today:
  • I thought to email someone before I decided to phone them.
  • I had to text someone under 25 so I would be sure she got the message.
  • A friend texted me to call another friend to tell her to check her email. (NO! I am NOT making this up. I have witnesses that read this blog.)
  • My neighbor that lives 5 doors away from me said, "you need to get on facebook so we can talk and you can play Scrabble with my mom."
  • A friend said, "oh, I just emailed you from my phone" and I responded, "let me borrow your phone so I can see what you said."
  • My husband put me off and said, "hold on, I can't get this thing to work and it's stressing me out." (He was talking about the remote.) Then he kept talking to the TV and even asked it a question.

and the worst thing is that its not making us smarter bcuz were typing its making us stupider bcuz we abbreviate stuff and dont use punctuation or capitals.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Total Commitment

Joseph knows that Mary could have anyone for a husband. There are 2 men that could offer so much more to her family and could give her so much more. He has a hard time knowing that he has so little to offer her, but he is also proud.

(page 65)"Weighing himself against them, he realized that Abner had his scholarship, his devotion to the Law. Cleophas had his wealth, his travels, his other women. He, Joseph, had only his love for Mary. She was his Temple, his wealth and his wisdom. And to her he would bring all that he possessed, every stitch, every penny, every eagerly hewn bit of wood. Every fiber of his strong young body, every thought that did not first belong to him who had made her for him, their God.

He was awed by the honor of his undertaking, but he was not humbled. He knew that the gift of total commitment is never small."

Which of us would not choose Joseph?! I have a hard time understanding people that choose a way of life, a style of living, or a high standing in society, over a love that will last forever and bring true happiness. Yes, money and stature can buy some kind of happiness and peace of mind, but it can't heal your soul, touch your heart, and give you the peace that comes from knowing you're in a loving, caring, and trusting relationship.
Mary is struggling with her feelings towards Joseph and the desires of her mother who wants her to marry well. She puts the question to God and asks him what he will have her do. The following excerpt is an example of the way she searches for the answer and is reflecting on if it really is her heavenly father speaking to her or the desires of heart. I find it fascinating to read the way other people interpret and look for answers to their prayers. Even more so, I love the thoughts given at the end that pertain to little children in their innocence. When my baby son keeps me awake at 3am I look into his precious eyes and can feel the spirit pouring out from heaven. It really is a beautiful, peaceful, loving feeling that brings tears to my eyes, even now as I type, exhausted from a restless night of little sleep.

(page 51-52)...The stars continued to dance and blaze in a fashion at once friendly and remote. There was naught but the dry rattle of the vines in the breeze, the soughing and gentle threshing of the palms and the olive trees beyond. Sometimes, when she was very young, she had felt such an intensity of communion with the unknown, inconceivable presence, that it had seemed to her that she had actually heard it speak. "Mary...Mary!..." Even at times as if a majestic yet infinitely tender hand had touched her hair, her cheek...

Yes, to distinguish the true from the false. To know the actuality from the dream. yet when the first breath one drew in the morning belonged to God, when no morsel was eaten without first asking his blessing, when it was he who ruled not only the universe but the smallest fragment of your life- how was it possible that he did not draw literally close to you at times? Flow in and through and around you, making you even more fully one with him? And that he did not move you so deeply in so doing that you felt his almighty hand upon you, heard the impossible voice speak?

She could not express it. There were no words in which to make this mystery plain. But dumbly, blindly, beautifully, the unreasonable conviction remained. Jahveh did love and communicate with his children. Perhaps only the very young children who were sufficiently pure and simple to be receptive to his touch. Those who were not yet corrupted by the emotions that beset us as we grow older- jealousy and worry and selfishness. And the desires that lashed her even now as she stood by the sill, striving for peace...

She longed to be a little child again, untouched by the pains of her womanhood. She longed with a sharp nostalgia for the blessed peace of the presence of God. "Thy will be done," she whispered one final time. "In this matter of Joseph, let me only obey."

Monday, December 14, 2009

Eyes, Hands, and Men (oh my!)

This book is a story of two young lovers and you know what that means. So far there have been several times that the characters mention their need to restrain themselves. There are several references to the attraction that Mary and Joseph have for each other and there are many descriptions of their beauty. This is my favorite regarding Joseph:

She longed to search his eyes, to see if his mood matched that of the morning, but she did not dare. Instead, she fastened her gaze upon his hands. How large, how rough and fiercely beautiful were the hands of a man...his nails were blunted and bruised; there were callouses from the hammer and saw. A mute pity went through Mary. Vaguely she sensed and was awed by the tremendous burden of being a man. (page 40)

First, I love the beginning where she talks about searching his eyes for his mood. How true it is that you can sense the way someone is feeling by their eyes. You can see if they are feeling sentimental, feisty, apologetic, desirous, tired, or lonely, all in one simple glance. But sometimes tears are a hard one to gage. Are those tears of anguish? Sadness? Delight? Love? Sympathy? Thoughtfulness? Happiness? This is coming from someone who has teared up over the smallest of all things several times a day over the last 5 weeks. I think that tears can sometimes gloss over what the eyes are really trying to tell you about what you're feeling. Maybe that's good, maybe not. I'm not sure.

Next are the hands. Oh my gosh, the hands!!! Yep, if I were to say there was one thing I notice about a man it would be his hands. I don't like sissy little manicured hands. Give me some big, rough and calloused hands and I'm set. I'm not saying that they shouldn't be clean and well trimmed, but I'd like them to have seen some manual labor sometime in their life and they definitely don't have to be baby soft smooth. A little rough around the edges are fine by me.

Finally is the burden of being a man. I've heard a few conversations about this in the past few weeks and still haven't decided where I stand. One was actually a discussion of whether there was more stress on the job or at home. I would imagine that a full time bread-winner and a stay-at-home-mom would both have their arguments to back up their side, but I'm going to have to say that they are equally as stressful, just in different ways. I do believe that there is a pressure on a man to make a living that will never fall on a woman. This I am grateful for. I also believe that the support of a good woman can make that a little less burdensome. And inevitably, the pressure of keeping a house running falls on a woman. It pains me to see the lack of support that many really good women get from their husbands in this department. I'm not just talking about actual physical help like doing dishes or helping with the kids, I'm talking about just the encouragement that they are doing a good job. A simple acknowledgement that the un-paid labors that go on in the home while a man is out bringing home the bacon can and are strenuous in their own right. I actually worry about some of my friends because of the attitude of their husbands. I know they don't mean to do it, but sometimes men take for granted their wives and all that they do behind the scenes to keep their family happy and the house running smoothly.

Now, just to get Bill off the hook here I will say that he doesn't take me for granted at all. He is a great man with some great hands whose mood I can read with a glance into his eyes. I think I'll keep him.

A Good Analogy

Mary is trying to help her mother who replies that there are worse pains than the headache that she has.

Yes, worse pains, Mary thought. Worse pains than this sourness that had come between them again and hung as sharp as the vinegar in the room...(page 38)

Wow. Can't you just smell the thick vinegar stink and feel the pain between the mother and daughter? Now that's some good writing Mrs. Holmes!

To Contend or Not to Contend

Backing up a bit, because I had a few more pages dog-eared, here's a good quote about Mary's mother and father:

He had refrained from the arguments that sprang to his lips. He had long ago learned that the best way to handle his acrimonious little mate was to let her seem to have her way. Let her prate and scold, he thought with a kind of grudging admiration. So long as he did not stoop to contending with her, he retained his stature as a man and his will prevailed. (page 25)

This just kind of makes me chuckle. I can't decide if it is a slam or not. He is suggesting that by doing what his wife wants, without an argument, he is a better man. What does that mean? By not standing your ground and doing what your mate wants then you're the bigger person? I don't know that I buy that. I like to debate, I want someone to fight back, not just roll over. But then again, maybe Bill will take this advice and I'll just get my way all the time. Naw, that would be no fun. Plus, he'd walk around saying, "see my high stature as a man" which would just be hilarious.

The truth of the matter is that he's right. It just so happens that his wife is one of those people that just pushes and pushes to get her way. "Acrimonious" is not really a good descriptive word that I would want used on me, and I don't think it fitting to many people. I suppose if a person were really biting and had feelings of ill will then you wouldn't want to argue with them anyways. I have met and worked with people like that and it's true, you push them to a point where you are content with their decision and then you let them think that they've gotten their way. It works and you are the better person.

Now Here's a Wedding Vow

We have Dish network now. Have I mentioned that? Have I mentioned how totally against 100+ channels I am? Too much ESPN, too many kids stations, too much TV! And we have movie channels for a while as well. Seriously, did I need to watch Sex in the City (unedited!) at 10 this morning? No, but really I wouldn't have gotten anything else done as my son had me preoccupied. Anyway, there's a wedding scene and they are supposed to write their own vows. Besides the fact that the wedding itself doesn't happen, the vows never got written either? How do you sum up everything that your future spouse means to you? Can it be done? After the movie, my question was answered when I picked up Two From Galilee as I nursed Payton to sleep. I think Joseph, well I guess it's really the author, come pretty close here: (You'd have to change it to first person and direct it to Mary, but what Joseph is thinking here is probably all that you could hope for from a future spouse)

(page 65) "...He, Joseph, had only his love for Mary. She was his Temple, his wealth and his wisdom. And to her he would bring all that he possessed, every stitch, every penny, every eagerly hewn bit of wood. Every fiber of his strong young body, every thought that did not first belong to him who had made her for him, their God.
He was awed by the honor of his undertaking, but he was not humbled. He knew that the gift of total commitment is never small."

Well, it beats Sex in the City and the love letters Carrie read from her smelly old library book. (I do, however, agree that library books have a smell that can't be beat!)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Can't Touch This

Yesterday, on the way to school, I had a talk with my girls. A song had been playing on the radio and I was singing along with it. I realized that I could only sing about every other line and that I had absolutely NO IDEA what the song or the chorus was about. I really liked this song, remembered it from when I was young(er), and honestly can't tell you what the name of it was. This is when I turned it off and told my girls...

"OK girls, I'm going to clue you into something and you need to listen carefully because this will save you a lot of arguing and heartache in the future. When you grown up you are going to listen to music that I don't like. I will probably hate it and give you a hard time about it and tell you that it is no good. I will listen to the lyrics and tell you that it is no good and that you can't listen to it. That's when you need to tell me, 'mom, it's not all about the words'. I was singing this song and I have no idea what it's about. I like the group that's singing and I like the beat, but I don't have a clue as to what the words mean. Do you understand?"

I'm mostly talking to Kyra since she is older and sitting in the front seat. I can't see Tasha because she's behind me and messing with Payton. As soon as I said, "when you grown up..." Kyra got a smile on her face because apparently I do this sort of thing often. She told me she understood and giggled. I sort of half turned to Tasha and said, "Tash, got it?" To which she replied with a "got it." I'm sure she had no clue what I was talking about and probably wasn't even listening.

That was yesterday.

Today was a new day. Right as I started the van this morning there was a good beat playing so I turned the radio up. It was "Super Freak". I hear this:

"Buh-nuh-nuh-nuh...nuh-nuh...nuh-nuh" (from the speakers)

"Can't touch this." (from my 11 year old)

Kyra was right on cue with the lyrics and I just busted out laughing. How does she know this song? Is this appropriate for an 11 year old? Again, I have no idea what this song is about but something tells me that a super freak song isn't very wholesome, ya know? I guess she learned it at Kids Kamp. Fine, whatever. We back out of the driveway, almost run over some neighbors walking their dog because I'm still laughing, and head off to pick up more kids for school. I'm singing along to the song and we stop at the light on Broadway.

Then Tasha pipes in with, "mom, it's not all about the words."

Whoops, I guess she was listening. We're gonna have to be careful what we say around this 5 year old.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's Time To...

  • Get back to the gym
  • Buy a new sports bra
  • Buy some new tennis shoes
  • Learn to use my MP3 player

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ya know, it really doesn't matter how many posts I do, or how often I check my email, or how many dishes I wash, or how many pictures I take, or how many blogs I visit...

That darn Christmas tree is not going to assemble itself.

NTS: Use Fancy Dishes Every Day

I have a friend who has come over a couple of times and heated up her lunch. She likes to use real dishes, not plastic, in the microwave and she also likes to eat soup. I really only have a few ceramic bowls to offer her and they are some pretty bowls that I got through Pampered Chef. I usually only get them out when I'm serving out of the matching enormous pasta bowl or if I serve a side dish out of them. They are shallow and wide so I don't really think to use them for regular eating. The last time she was here she was eating her soup out of one of these bowls and commented on what a great dish it was. I thought to myself, "ya know, she's right! Why don't I use these when I eat?!" So, now I do. I've heated up many a lunch in those babies and I'm pretty sure the food tastes better. The experience is definitely top notch and I'm not leaching any plastic particles into my food to give me some sort of funky disease in a few years.

NTS: CFL's are NOT for the Laundry Room

The concept behind the Compact Fluorescent Light bulb (CFL) is a good one. It is longer lasting and uses less energy than the average bulb and is therefore better for the environment. The thing is, when you cram all that energy into a regular bulb it takes a little while for it to warm up. When you first turn on the light it is very dim and it starts to gain strength over time. Good enough for the average room and task, but not for everywhere. For instance, my laundry room is not a good place for a CFL. It is VERY dark back there and there is no other light source (aside from the 1ft square hole to the outside of the house where we let in the cold in the winter and heat in the summer). And really, how much time do you really spend in the laundry room? I just went back to switch the clothes from the washer to the dryer (it's pretty cloudy out and I'm just now getting back to the idea of using my clothesline). I turned the light on when I first got back there and it hardly made a difference at all. By the time I had the clothes in the dryer it hadn't even gotten to full light before I turned it off. Clearly, this is not the place for the CFL bulb.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's Good to be Back!

Last Friday, as I was driving to drop the kids off to school, I was thinking about all that I needed to accomplish that day. There was a ton to do and miraculously, I did not feel overwhelmed. A month ago I would have been freaking out at the thought of what needed to be done. Well, I take that back, I wouldn't have because there is no way that I would have volunteered to do anything while I was pregnant. I also would have left the laundry for someone else. It felt so good to look back at my week and see that I can function as a normal human being again. Hooray, pregnancy is over and prego brain has officially left! I'm pretty sure I did more this last week than I did during my entire 3rd trimester...

Monday: Carpool kids to school, grocery shopping, actually put the groceries away, put dinner in the crock pot, planned the menu for the week, went to the Tempe Symphony Concert with my mom.

Tuesday: Carpool kids to school, did some laundry, cleaned the kitchen, picked up the Kindergarten kids from school, went to a friends house to make a present for my nephew, stayed there WAY too long but enjoyed some girl time, brought the kids home to Bill who had prepared hamburgers for them, went out to a birthday dinner with my mom, nephew and his wife.

Wednesday: Carpool kids to school, Waffle house with my mom, Christmas PJ and dress shopping with my mom, picked up some much needed baby products, picked up the Kindergarten kids from school ('cuz we were just finishing shopping in the area), took the youth to the temple lights.

Thursday: Carpool kids to school, credit union, hung out with a friend for a while and watched her kids a little, took said kids to another friends house to mix and assemble several dozen grape leaf appetizers for a party Friday night, directed Bill on what to make for dinner while I nursed and took care of Payton, ran out the door for a Parent Rep. meeting and Parent Council meeting at the girl's school.

Friday: Carpool kids to school, got home and put Payton down to sleep, plugged in the crock pot to cook the grape leaves for that night, mixed sugar cookie dough and refrigerated it, did 3 loads of laundry, actually folded and put them away, watched a friends kids and thought about feeding them, cooked some yummy Israeli chicken and giant couscous for the ward Christmas party, frantically sent Bill to church with the grape leaves that were done but stayed home to let the soup cook because I underestimated the time it takes to de-bone chicken, nursed Payton and directed Kyra on a few things at home, went to said Christmas party, cried during the song and slide show, chatted with a few friends, dried some dishes, brought a friend of Kyra's home to spend the night and successfully put all the girls to bed before midnight.

Saturday: Showered (I think I did this other days during the week, but this one was relaxing), made 4 dozen sugar cookies to take to a school fund raiser, went to said fund raiser and worked the cookie kingdom booth for an hour before we ran out of the 10 dozen cookies we had made, cleaned up a little, met Bill for lunch on the early childhood playground (delicious veggie sandwich) while the kids painted something and generally had a good time, stopped at McDonald's to feed the kids on the way to the German Sausage Co. for our annual trip for wieners and salami, came home and rested for about 10 minutes while I put Payton down for a nap, did a butt load of dishes, had friends over for St. Nicholas night, played some cards, and generally had a good time.

Now it's Sunday and I'm grateful for a wonderful Sabbath day. We blessed Payton today and Bill did a great job. My brother and his 2 sons, Kyle and TJ were able to be in the circle as well as Jared, Ryan and Scott. I think Bill said that Bishop Stevenson jumped in there as well. I was glad to hear Bill bless Payton that he would find his sweetheart (he specified a girl later) and take her to the temple, and that he would prepare to go on a mission and teach those that were ready to hear the gospel message. He also told him many times how much he was loved. Sweetness. Bill's dad was able to come and held Payton while he slept for about 40 minutes. That, of course, made my mom jealous and she kept giving me the pouty lip. My brother and Kyra both bore their testimonies and made me cry. My mom was able to come back for RS where the YW sang Angels We Have Heard on High and signed As I Have Loved You for a mini Christmas Program. I was able to nurse Payton and send him home with Bill while I had choir practice. Bill went to his Dad's house around 5, so I made him move some furniture around in the living room before he left. I've gotten most of the furniture where I want it and plugged in the laptop to see if it would work nicely where our new-to-us-free recliner sits. So far, so good. The girls are snoozing, or at least they are in their beds and Tasha has her pink princess tree glowing brightly from the corner of her room.

So now, here I sit with 2 boxes of Christmas tree branches waiting to be assembled. I have some Boursin cheese spread and crackers, some German Sausage Co. salami, and a little cherry coke to get me through the night. The Christmas music is playing and the season has begun.

Life is pretty good. I need to remember that more often. This is a good time of year to stop and do just that. It's good to feel like myself again: able to help people, volunteer for stuff, keep a coherent thought and process it in my brain, roll over on my stomach, and able to hug and kiss my husband without bumpin' bellies. Yep, life is good.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009



I'm old.

It's been confirmed.

We had a joint mutual activity tonight and we took the youth to the temple lights. On the way there I had a van full of boys and I chatted with a couple of them most of the way. For the last few minutes Payton woke up and started crying so I turned the music up... and sang along (Tears for Fears)...

"Shout, shout, let it all out. These are the things we can do with out. Come on-on."

When we left the temple I had a couple of the same kids with me. I hadn't even started backing out when one of the boys pipes up, "can we listen to some good music?" Yeah, yeah, I know they want that garbage on 101 something. I oblige until a commercial comes on. Then we switch to country to appease someone else. I'm a surfer when there is too much chit chat. The radio is for music, and dang it if I won't find some.

So I'm surfing. Commercial, commercial, a song, commercial... "Wait, go back!" I hear from the back seat. Really I think to myself? I knew that song. I go back and sure enough, I did. It was Michael Jackson. Then it comes:

"Yeah, this song. I LOVE the oldies!" he says.

"Take it back! Take it back!" I scream from the drivers seat. "This is not an oldie! Take it back! This song came out while I was in high school." (20 years ago, I think to myself)

Crap. It's true. My era of music is officially oldie music now. I can't believe it. And to confirm matters, I tell Bill the story and he comments:

"Well. Michael Jackson was a pop icon from the 80's who is now dead."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Bloggable Bookclub

Well friends, the last time I read a really good book I kept posting good quotes from it and you all wanted a book club out of it. So, here's your chance. I started Two From Galilee by Marjorie Holmes last week and already there are some pretty good lines being said. And, if you remember correctly, my take on discussing a book really has nothing to do with the literary style, historical accuracy, or really even anything to do with the plot of the book. I'm always interested in the interaction between the characters, the witty/sappy/thoughtful dialogue, how the author makes me think, and what I can take away from the book.

There's no hurry here if you want to join in the discussion. Like I said, I started it last week but I'm really only on page 28. I'm a slow reader and I have a newborn to boot. The really great thing this time around is that I own this book! It was given to me for my birthday so I can dog ear the pages, write in it, and bend back the binding all I want. Yeah for me.

Two From Galilee (if you haven't already guessed) is the story of Mary and Joseph, therefore it's a pretty fitting read for this time of year. Of all the books Marjorie Holmes has written she says that this book is dearest to her heart. She was at a candlelit Christmas Eve service with her 13 year old daughter one year when she realized, "Why, this really happened! On this night, a long time ago, there actually was a girl having a baby far from home... in a manger, on the hay!" She talks about how young Mary must have been, and by that count, Joseph would have been young too. As the story opens, Mary has just become a woman and her mother is thrilled and anxious to get wedding plans started for her. Mary is in love with Joseph, but her mother is not inclined to give her to a carpenter when there are many more wealthy suitors for her beautiful and sought after daughter. Already there is a bit of contention going on in Mary's house as she and her mother do not see eye to eye on her future. Much of it goes unsaid, but they know how one another feel and choose to dismiss each other to some degree.

My first quote is from Mary. She has been going about her day as usual, but her emotions are a little more intense since her hormones are changing. (I can relate!) Her mother, Hannah, suggests that she goes to lie down for a while and let someone else do the weaving. Mary replies:

"No, no, I feel all right. Only the love I feel for you and- and for others, seems very close to the surface today, I want to laugh and to cry over nothing. The spilled flour, the tangled threads, I want there to be harmony in all things. When two people grind the flour that makes the bread of life together- they should never be pulling against each other instead. And the loom, the patterns interwoven on the loom-"

Puzzled, Hannah saw that Mary's eyes were luminous and wet. "If only lives could themselves weave smoothly in and out, joining and strengthening each other instead of so often tangling and breaking apart."