Sunday, June 29, 2008

lay all your love on me

actually, if you could lay all your job/income vibes on David this week, that would be fabulous. He'll likely have an interview for a position that would both provide enough $$ for our needs and be a step in a direction he is interested in. Fingers crossed! Also, he has a couple of "investment irons" for lack of a better phrase in the fire, and I am hoping and he is working hard to make those a reality.

Other than that, I had to share this picture of Spud from a week ago. He and Noodle were having fun trying to blow out the tiki torches, and he seemed to think it was to his advantage to jump up and down while blowing. Which resulted in this awesome picture.

And as a sidenote, David and I both think it's funny how much we love his little bowl cut. It's just so stinkin' cute, and it suits him so well. He loves to shake his head and feel his hair move around.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


David and I finished reading Jane Eyre last night. We were quite happy to be done, especially as it is overdue by about 10 days at the library, but I will miss reading it together. Such a tale of romance and suspense with such strong characters and a compelling story! I was happy that I loved it just as much this second time through, a decade after my first reading of it. One thing I noticed a lot more this second time through was the steadiness of Jane's character. I think when I read it as a 20 year old, I was very much swept away in the romance and excitement of it all. This time I was able to appreciate her and her constancy though many trials and difficulties as well as temptations. Absolutely fabulous. David enjoyed it as well, so it isn't just chick lit! Four thumbs up!

Monday, June 23, 2008

a quotation

When God had made The Man, he made him out of stuff that sung all the time and glittered all over. Then after that some angels got jealous and chopped him into millions of pieces, but still he glittered and hummed. So they beat him down to nothing but sparks but each little spark had a shine and a song. So they covered each one over with mud. And the lonesomeness in the sparks make them hunt for one another, but the mud is deaf and dumb. Like all the other tumbling mud-balls, Janie had tried to show her shine.

Their Eyes were Watching God

Friday, June 20, 2008

so, uh...

I decided I don'treally want to do the 30 day photo challenge right now. What commitment, huh? I think I like just posting pics when I want to. And if I was so focused on posting MY pics every day, you'd miss out on totally excellent things like this.

And that would be a cryin' shame.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

cool news story

what a neat lady!

30 day photo challenge

I've wanted to do this for a while, and now that andrea started, I'm feeling inspired. plus, my around-the-house photography could use some sort of project to inspire it.

Today: Snack Time

(Noodle was watching me look at the photos and wanted me to make one of them "colorful". So I did.)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

and for a laugh...


so, as many of you are aware, we are currently jobless (and by "we" I mostly mean David) and looking. it stinks. big time. the last six weeks of my life have been full of ups and downs, times of faith & hope contrasted with desperation and hopelessness. in my brain I believe what David says about worry (that it doesn't do any good but it does eat away at my soul and my body), but it is hard for me not to get paralyzed by worry and fear. I feel it in my gut and it feels like I need to throw up. It's not fun. I am trying to "trust in the Lord with all my heart, and lean not unto my own understanding", but often I stumble and feel desperate. I panic about whether we'll be able to stay in this house and neighborhood and ward, all of which truly feel like home to me. I want to stay here desperately, so the desperation makes me fearful. I know it wouldn't be the end of the world if we had to leave, but where we lived before I was so unhappy and friendless that I fear not getting so lucky again.

during all of this, I have made an effort to enjoy life as much as I can (the free stuff in life, you know) and to be grateful for all that we have. I am extremely grateful every day for our good health. A woman I don't know well, but have friends in common with, has a very young daughter who was recently diagnosed with leukemia. We have two wonderful mothers in our ward who have cancer. My current difficulties and stresses pale in comparison to theirs. I know all this and am very grateful for what we do have. Even still, it is hard to be in this situation. Even though we don't explicitly believe or preach that righteousness=prosperity and that hardship is the result of sin/wickedness, when I am going through trials and tribulations I can't help but feel that I am somehow not deserving of the blessings which I am petitioning Him for. Often I feel all I can do is to say, "Lord, I believe. Help thou my unbelief." and hope that He'll come to my aid.

one of the points of all this rambling introspection is to say that I am working on being more grateful. my dear friend andrea highly recommends it, especially during the rough times. so if i include a little "i'm grateful for" at the end of post or as a post standing alone, you'll understand where it's coming from.

tonight I'm grateful for the sisterhood of Relief Society and unexpected wisdom from women I don't know well.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

the joy of a good book

You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. ~Paul Sweeney

David and I have been reading Jane Eyre together for the last six weeks. We have only been reading it aloud & only reading together, so it's taken a fair amount of time to get through the lengthy chapters. I have read it once before, ten years ago, and I read it in less than three days, I believe, staying up until four a.m. to finish it the final night. I absolutely loved it, but haven't picked it up again since then. David has never read it. I have been delighted to find that it meets and exceeds my memories of it. I love it even more this time around, being able to add my life's experience of the past decade to my interpretation and understanding of the characters. And I actually find there is something quite gratifying to going slowly through a book. Often, like the quotation above says, I feel sad at the end of a good book, because I have to say goodbye to the characters and I have to cease having them dwell in my mind. I sometimes feel a genuine disappointment when I read a good book too quickly (though it's hard to help in some cases!) because I only had a couple of days to mull over the ideas and live vicariously through the lives of the books inhabitants.

We just read three chapters tonight (finishing a few minutes ago) and if it weren't so late and we didn't have 9:00 church, we couldn't have stopped now.

The joy of books!
To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations - such is a pleasure beyond compare. ~Kenko Yoshida

Friday, June 13, 2008

48 years!

My parents celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary last Sunday. Pretty amazing.

one of my (many) very cool nephews

My brother's family has been living in Belgium since last fall. My nephew Ryan just graduated from high school, and I'm glad to see he is putting his free time to good use over there.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

see what I have?

David & I were just in the kitchen with Spud. David had started dinner preparations. Spud is going around saying, "I smell eggies, Dad! I smell eggies, Dad!" Eggs are one of his favorite things to eat.

"You do? How are you smelling eggies?" (Asked because there were no eggs being prepared, so how could he be smelling them.)

"See what I have? Nose."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"It is not a graduation...

...He's moving from the 4th grade to the 5th grade" From Mr Incredible in the movie, The Incredibles.

Major pet peeve of mine: fake graduations. Kindergarten graduations, preschool graduations, sixth grade graduations. I think they are all incredibly stupid and pointless. But worse than that, I think they give kids a false sense of accomplishment. What can you do with your kindergarten "diploma"? Or your sixth grade one? I think it's wrong to make something that is actually significant (like a graduation) so commonplace that it's no longer seen as value. When I graduated from high school, it seemed like an excess amount of pomp & circumstance, but it did mark the actual completion of a series. My two college graduations, especially for my MS, really meant a lot because I'd worked so stinkin' hard for them. That said, I still think graduations are among one of the most boring events on the planet, but I can suffer through them for the whole "rite of passage" thing. I wanted to skip out on my college ones, but in retrospect I'm really glad I didn't.

That said, I still think it's pretty cute to dress up little kids in graduation garb when their parents graduate from college. Noodle was on campus enough to have earned some sort of honorary degree, anyways!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

one of my all-time fave SNL skits...

someday I want to name some sort of pet Chris Farley.

i'm not going to pretend this is that entertaining...

but when we went "hiking" last month, David took some video of the kids playing in the bottom of the falls. You might enjoy seeing/hearing them in action. Feel free to skim through. ;o) hopefully our next video will be a bit more engaging.

And a few pictures:

Monday, June 09, 2008

happy music monday

You might have heard this song on various things (i.e. the Numa Numa Dance) around the internet. I like it even more after watching the cute boys sing it & dance around with their happy (and FULLY CLOTHED) backup dancers.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Utah Lake Festival yesterday

It was a perfect day at the lake yesterday. Not too hot. Actually, it could have been a teensy bit warmer, as the kids got a bit chilled eating their free snow cones. We won a couple of goldfish that we aren't sure are going to make it due to the stress of the adventure. Which means that if they kick the bucket, we'll probably be getting some new, hardier goldfish soon.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

for your enjoyment...

I love the show House, and Hugh Laurie was fabulous as an SNL host a while back.

something learned today...

We won some goldfish at the Utah Lake Festival, so Noodle and I were discussing fish and eggs and whatnot, and she wanted to know what shark eggs looked like. So we googled it, and I was reminded of mermaid purses, but had never ever seen the egg of a horned shark.

Is that cool or WHAT!?

Here are some mermaid purses for you to enjoy, too.

(one of them has a cutaway so you can see the ittle bitty baby shark....awwwww.)

just kidding, i don't really think that little shark is awww worthy.

Oh, and on a semi-related note (it is aquatic, after all), this month's National Geographic magazine has some AMAZING photos of nudibranchs. What is a nudibranch, you ask? Well, it's a shell-less relative of the snail that lives on the ocean floor, essentially a soft, sea-going slug. And I can't decide whether they look more like candy confections or blown glass.

Seriously, you have to check out these photos.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

my little girl is SIX!

Noodle celebrated her 6th birthday yesterday.

Which means I've been a mother for six years. I think I might be starting to get the hang of this job. A little.

embarrassing story that I just remembered...

I was reading my friend blue's story of how she ended up with a black eye and it reminded me of a much less eventful black eye I once received.

Freshman year at college. I'd opted not to live in the dorms, not liking the idea of not having a kitchen and only having 150 square feet of living space. I lived in an apartment a little ways off campus with five other freshman girls, only one of which I knew before starting school. (And I'd only met her once. My brother married her sister & we met at the reception.) We utilized every inch of the kitchen cupboards for food and dishes (being inexperienced freshman, we'd all brought our own dishes and we did NOT share!). Being one of the taller roommates, I used the space on top of the cupboards to store some of my groceries. One day I was reaching up to get my loaf of bread, but it had gotten pushed back a bit so I couldn't reach. I jumped up. No luck. I jumped again. Nope, couldn't reach. Finally I did a slightly bigger jump, grabbed the bag of bread, and on the way down, my watch band caught on the cupboard door, opening the door while simultaneously popping my watch band off, and knocking myself in the face with the cupboard door. Sure enough, I got a black eye out of the event. And when I told people the story, they wouldn't believe it. No one could be that clutzy, right?

I don't think I've posted this picture on my blog yet. These are the six of us. We were mostly good friends, but we had a major fallout the last week of school. I think it was the pent up stress and anxiety of the year coming to a close. Two of the girls (Andrea - short brown curly hair and Libby - long red hair) are still two of my favorite people in the world. We roomed together the next year, too.

in case you can't tell, i'm the one with the oh so cute bangs. hey, it was 1997!

Monday, June 02, 2008

more old pictures...

I was reviewing a bunch of old pics tonight and came across my wide-eyed kiddos again. Seriously, they cracked me up, and people were always commenting on the size of their eyes. Noodle rarely blinked the first six or so months of life, and I am completely serious. She could go a good five minutes or more without blinking. (Now that she has discovered staring contests, she wishes this were still the case!) Spud's default look was a complete "deer in headlights" expression. He looked like he couldn't take in enough information, no matter where we went.

(The top 3 are Spud and the bottom 2 are Noodle.)

Of course, they might have come by it completely naturally.

As my mother used to say, Bright eyed and bushy tailed. Maybe that makes more sense if you're a squirrel. Or maybe a tailed primate of some sort.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

a good day

Yesterday morning we went to the baptism of our friends' daughter. My friend was a bit surprised that we wanted to go, but I thought it would be nice to support them, and David is their home teacher, and Noodle and Spud love to play with the kids, plus I thought it'd be good to see a friend get baptized--they see their cousins baptisms every so often, but we haven't been to any in a while. Anyways, we went. I really enjoyed it, in spite of Spud deciding after five minutes that he was starving and wouldn't hush up about it for long for the rest of the services. Such is life, though. There was another little girl who got baptized at the same time. I'll call her Alana for my purposes. Anyways, we're all in the same ward, but I've never met or even seen Alana's mother, as she has cancer and isn't able to get out much. But she was there at the baptism, in a wheelchair. She is very thin and looked quite frail, and it's obvious that it is an effort for her to do much of anything. But I could still see her beauty, especially in her love for her family. A couple of different times, I saw her make the effort to reach out her arm and put it around her daughter or touch her husband, and I couldn't help but be choked up. The obvious exertion involved for her moved me. I couldn't help but put my arm around my own sweet daughter and squeeze her close to me. How this mother must ache for the strength to hold her children close. How she must miss the ability to play with them, hold them, and just generally experience life with them. Through all of our financial struggles over the past while, I have made a very conscious effort to express gratitude frequently for our health. Money comes and goes, bur good health and the safety of loved ones is such a blessing. Watching this mother with her family is indelibly etched into my mind. I hope I will remember my thoughts and emotions and use them to help me be a better mother, wife, and friend.

Then last night I hosted a party thrown by a friend of mine for another friend. It was a "Mother's Blessing," which is kind of like a baby shower, except it's all about the mother and not so much about the baby. It was really really neat and fun, and I'm not even a birth fanatic like some of my good friends. (By that I mean that I am not trained as a doula, childbirth educator, La Leche League leader, or any of those other birth/baby hobbies--a bunch of my friends are!) We all shared positive birth affirmations with our friend, and she read some of her birth fears and then burned them in the firepit. Additionally, there was lots of food and chatting. We ended the night by henna tattooing her pregnant belly (which is so fun & cool looking) and giving the rest of us small henna tattoos elsewhere. When I first heard of these sorts of parties a while back, I thought it was just kind of weird. But as I've progressed further into motherhood, I've come to love the idea and see their place in society. Everywhere in our culture we hear the message, "It's all about the baby." We are not a culture that supports mothers-to-be, or even current mothers very well. We have baby showers to focus even more attention on the baby that will come, while the mother is just viewed as a staging ground. I think this is because we have messed up views about birth. We've taken away the rituals and the power of birthing a child and said that all that matters is a healthy baby. But there really is a lot more that can come out of a good birth experience. It is empowering to give birth. It's amazing to know that your body is capable of doing something so intense and important as bringing a baby out into the world. It's awesome to feel connected with millennia of women continuing the circle of life. But our society has decided that birth is only a necessary evil to be dealt with in order to get THE BABY at the end. I think it's sad that so many women don't even know or care that they are missing something that can be truly transformative.