Friday, July 30, 2010

Flashback Friday: Journals #36-38

I didn't read as much this week. I guess it took a lot out of me getting through high school (ha ha), so I needed to take a bit of a break. But these latest journals chronicle the very exciting times of when I first met Zac in college (our first weekend, as a matter of fact). I wrote a post last year about how we met, and posted these same pictures there but I just thought I'd repost the pics for those that missed it. And perhaps sometime soon I'll repost our story as well. :)

Enjoy this little tidbit of journal fun.

Sept. 4 1993 (I had just met Zac the day before)
12:37 AM

. . . . Let me say that I've been spending a lot of time with a guy named Zack ____ (I'll tell you about it tomorrow) and he's just really great. Tonight he asked to hold my hand. :) It was sweet. Goodnight. -me

Sept. 5 1993

12:42 AM

Almost exactly 12 hrs later - wow. And I'm still smiling inside because of Zack. :) It's kind of a nice feeling that I've missed for awhile. In fact, it's hard to actually sit and concentrate to write what's been going on. My mind wanders away and smiles to itself and gets lost in music and daydreams . . .

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Help! We're under attack!!

There are hundreds of these bugs climbing all over my house and I'm sort of freaked out by it.

Anybody know what they are or how to get rid of them?
ewwww . . . you know, I'm usually ok with a few little bugs here and there. But crawling all over my house, my front door, the eaves, my front steps?!? yuck, yuck, yuck!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hike to Stewart Falls

On Saturday we went up for a family hike to Stewart Falls. It took us about 2 1/2 hrs and the kids all did great (mostly). It was very dusty and dirty - but still really fun. :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

ohh, precisely

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

--Derek Walcott

Another perfect explanation for what I am gleaning from my journal rereading project. Love it. (Found at The Chocolate Chip Waffle)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Flashback Friday: Journals #28-36

Well, this week's reading brought me through 11th and 12th grade, and a little bit into college. But since college represented an entirely new chapter in my life, I'm going to save that for next week. :)

For now, let's just finish up high school, shall we?

For the record, it was during this time that I mostly stopped wearing make-up and started letting my hair grow long. Why that is, I can't really say. But there it is.

This was in 11th grade (91-92) :

Sometime in there:
1993 - I got this dress for my 18th birthday :):

And I fell asleep on the floor making a mix-tape for a boy my Senior year. My youngest sister Heather would sometimes like to lie on my back to nap. It was surprisingly comfortable, for both of us I guess.

Speaking of tapes, a friend of mine made a mix-tape for me in 11th grade (yes, back in the days of cassette tapes) and she dedicated this song on it to me. So I guess we can just call it my 11th grade theme song. It kept running through my head as I read through these journals, so go ahead and listen while you read to get the feel of it.

The Girl With The Loneliest Eyes. According to my friend, that would've been me.

Judging from the majority of my entries of this time period, these years were apparently mostly spent feeling bored, lonely and tormented.
Some other common recurring themes I have noticed:
1. dreams - I wrote so much about my nighttime dreams that sometimes it is hard to differentiate between events that really happened and those that I only dreamt. But it is so interesting to see how different stresses and events played out in my dreams. I don't know if I recognized it at the time, but my subconscious seemed to be very busy sorting out all kinds of things in my sleep. It's sort of fascinating.
2. cleaning - I can't even count how many times I mentioned needing to clean my room. Or that I just cleaned the kitchen. Or however many other different variations on that theme. Just let it be known that no small detail of my life was too insignificant to put in my journal. hahaha. (and now you see how my blog has become an extension of that) ;)
3. boys - well, duh.
4. shaving my legs - I have no idea why, but for some reason writing in my journal seemed to often go hand in hand with observing the state of needing to shave. It was on my mind a lot, I guess. So funny.
5. Rain - And finally, I really really loved the rain. I would anticipate storms coming through, I would go out and sit in it, or walk through it, or sit in my window watching it. And I mentioned over and over again how cleansing and cathartic I felt like rainstorms were. I felt like I needed it and always felt so much better after it rained. Oh how I miss it . . .
And here is one excerpt for you (is anyone enjoying these?!?! I need some feedback . . . pleeeeease. . . )
March 1993
"So what was my point in writing this?
I was just overwhelmed with feelings and thoughts that I didn't know what to do with. It's like you are my junk drawer. I try to sort through things and organize and file away in my mind, hang up in the closet of my brain, and sometimes I am successful in tidying everything up and other times I take what's left over and shove it into the junk drawer. You know the one.
So you get to hear all the junk that doesn't belong anywhere else. No one could understand why this isn't read by anyone. It's just not suitable; inappropriate. Rated KG, Kristen's Guidance Suggested Before Viewing. As you can tell, I'm getting tired now.
In here, you find all the stuff that I know is really garbage but can't bring myself to throw away. All the thoughts I know I'll never need again but which remain in the comfort that I have them accessible should I ever frantically try to remember where I put them. I know where to look: the junk drawer."
I just hope someone else might be enjoying the tidbits I'm sharing of this little journey I've been taking through my junk drawer this summer. It's always an adventure to see what we'll find stashed in there. :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

random thoughts for today

1. Before we left for vacation we got an HOA violation notice for our "landscape maintenance" (ie. weeds in our flowerbeds). So when we got back we spent no less than 4 hrs doing yardwork. Called the HOA and told them we had taken care of the problem. They called a week later and said it still wasn't fixed. Huh? So we pulled some more little weeds, thinking this was getting ridiculous, called them back again. We heard back again with them claiming the problem still wasn't fixed. At which point I kind of lost it and exclaimed that I really had no idea what else could be done and if there was still a problem they needed to come show it to me personally, because this was really and truly ridiculous.

We finally got a call about a week later saying that it was resolved. They had been looking at the wrong house.

2. A couple weeks ago Zac announced to me that, although we can each appreciate each other's taste in music, we'd probably never really like the same things. And, you know, after 12 1/2 yrs of marriage, I think I can finally accept this. I just laughed. We do both like The Beatles (among some others) - and that is more than enough common ground for anyone. Don't you think? ;)

3. Our dishwasher broke about a month ago. And although there is something sensual and soothing about washing dishes with hands immersed in warm sudsy water, both Zac and I are very excited about our new dishwasher which will be delivered tomorrow!! It's also a quiet model. Which, after 8 yrs of not being able to watch TV with the dishwasher running, is quite exciting.

4. And speaking of other things which have broken, my laptop DC power input jack broke on Mon. This was very very sad. Luckily I found someone who could fix it for about $60. But this, combined with the dishwasher and the smaller replacements of our bathroom scale, blender and kitchen faucet, is making me feel like things are falling apart left and right.
It's also making for a rather expensive month.

5. Oh yes, and speaking of expenses, I suppose I should update you on Elisabeth's surgery. She seems to be doing well. Her post-op follow-up visit is tomorrow. But her tonsillectomy site started bleeding on Sunday after she threw a pretty big tantrum over something. It made me nervous because when I had my tonsils out (at 14) and started bleeding a few weeks later, I filled up a Big Gulp cup with blood on the way to the Emergency Room to get it cauterized. It was really yucky. Hers stopped pretty quickly, thank goodness. And we went back to movies in bed and sucking on ice chips and that seemed to help. She's been waking up every night screaming because her throat hurts and has been pretty grumpy. So I am really looking forward to her complete recovery.

6. Actual conversation just now:

kids: we're playing a game teaching the kids to dance

me: that's great but I really want you to get your chores done first

Isaac (groaning): you say that every day!

me: I know I do. And someday, you know what would be really great? If you guys woke up and did all your chores, and maybe even something extra, without me having to even remind you.


Abigail: well, that's most likely never going to happen.


And that is our summer at this point.

(Although I am making lemon bread for breakfast. And that. is. awesome.) :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

this is why

I have been rather caught up in my project of rereading all my journals lately. It has even taken the place of much of my normal book-reading, which is sort of surprising. Some of it is like watching a train wreck - I know just what is about to happen, but I can't look away. But I thought I would share this whatever-it-is that explains somewhat why I am somehow compulsed to complete this neurotic project of mine. I wrote this back in April before I started all this rereading. But it is something that has been on my mind for much of this year, for some reason. Anyway, I just felt like sharing. It may not make a lot of sense and I know I'm a little nuts. But hey, we all knew that already, right? No surprises here. :)
(And PS - is anybody but me really interested in the journal excerpts I've been posting here? Just curious.)

ok here is this:

we hold our memories
at a distance
afraid to bring them
too close
like fragile glass
we are afraid
to embrace them
too closely
for they will shatter,
we are afraid
of getting cut
on their shards
the edges
too raw
too sharp
too dangerous
sometimes we think it best
to leave the past in the past
and keep these memories
out on our borders
just out of reach.

But I've found that if
I can bring them
and look at them
for what they are now
I can make them
real to me,
and close,
and they are not
so fragile
They will not break
and shatter
and fall
because they are no longer
made of the glass
I had used to
enclose them
If I take the past
and look at it now
see it for what it is
and not for what I remember
then my heart
can embrace it
once again
and I can put it away -
because I know
it can't
hurt me

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday Drive: Going West

One of the incredible things about where we live is that we are right on the edge of nothing. A 30 min. drive West brings us out into the desert and sagebrush and really not much else. I have to admit that, although I prefer being in the midst of forests and trees, it is a unique feeling to be so alone out surrounded by just so much space. It's kind of amazing.

we spotted an antelope

and a train that seemed to be stopped blocking the road, but eventually chugged slowly away (we all got out of the car to watch - from a safe distance)

we were actually looking for this Pony Express Trail Monument out in Faust, UT, close to where Zac will begin his 50 mile race come Oct.

and then the sun began to set

a view of some of the only occupants in this area as we found a place to turn around

heading eastbound back to our house, somewhere way over there

and glancing back westward to this gorgeous sunset

It was a nice Sunday evening drive. :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Flashback Friday: Journals #18-27

(first, a note about the pics. I'm including photos at the request of my dear littlest sister. But my scanner is kaput so I am having to take pictures of the pictures which doesn't always work very well. And my old photos are just loose in a box so I basically just grab a few and see what I get, with no real purpose or thought. Just so you know.)

This first one is from about 1988 or 89 - around 8th grade-ish, I think.

This is Feb 1991 when my cute little niece Chelsea was born!! (10th grade)

Big parade at the end of the Gulf War, also in 1991. We can call this the "year of the headband" as you might notice I have a headband on in all 3 pics from this time period. And, I find it humorous that I am standing in the exact same stance in these last 2 photos. I must have stood that way a lot, I guess. hahaha.

Summer 1991 - after 10th grade

Anyway - this week's journal reading brought me through the end of 9th grade and into 11th grade. Here are a couple entries that make me laugh:

May 1990
"4:50 pm Good Afternoon, my love. Would you like to hear all the horrendous events of my day?
With all my positives and negatives, today turned out to be a -25.
1. jabbed my toothbrush into my bottom gum (-5)
2. missed the bus (-3)
3. had to go practice small ensemble (orchestra) (-1)
4. watched movie in German class (+1)
5. sang in gym class (+3)
6. watched movie in English class (+1)
7. small ensemble in orchestra (-2)
8. ___ and ____ stayed through lunch (-1)
9. oral report - bell rang - rushing - everyone waiting for me to finish (-10)
10. dissected a pig (-8)
So yes, some minorly good things happened but overall today was a crappy day."

August 1990

"I just can't get over the bracelet bit [a guy had given me a bracelet out of the blue] . . . So here are my options:

#1 Wear the bracelet

and here are the consequences (one, all, none, or many could occur)

a. He would notice and conclude that I was wearing it to express to him that I liked it a lot.

b. he would think I liked him a lot for giving it to me

c. he wouldn't notice

d. he would notice but not care

e. I would receive many comments such as "I see you're wearing his bracelet!" spoken with that "special" tone of voice by those who know the story

f. I would be complimented on my lovely bracelet.

Option #2 Not wear the bracelet


a. he would notice and conclude that it meant nothing to me that he gave it to me

b. he'd think I just didn't like it

c. he'd think I didn't like him

d. he wouldn't notice

e. he would notice but not care

f. someone would "thinks to himself" that I should have worn it at least to be polite

So there you go. You may be wondering to yourself why the subject of whether or not to wear a bracelet is so terribly mind-wrenching to me and in answer to your question, I don't have an answer!"

So. My oh my. And if you happen to have been in any way involved or connected to this particular bracelet incident (as I have a feeling some of you may be), then please just laugh. Just laugh. And I know some of you may wonder what became of this dilemma and . . . did I wear the bracelet? And I can't even remember. Whatever the dreaded consequences may have been after all my agonized decision making, apparently it wasn't dramatic enough to write about. haha.

So, I was a silly girl who over-thought, over-analyzed, over-felt everything. And during this time, I think I let go of some great friendships in pursuits of some silly boys who really didn't care. Sigh. Could I have even done otherwise if someone had pointed out to me the folly of my ways? Somehow I doubt it. I could not have been other than I was. It will be difficult to watch my kids go through some of this stuff and sit back and allow them the freedom to make their own choices and learn from them. I guess the lesson I have learned the most in my recent reading is just that we all have our own story, we all make our way the best we can, and learn lessons we need to grow from. And while I often thought that home, family and marriage would be the "happily ever after" I yearned for, the story doesn't actually end. I am still struggling and striving and slipping just like I did then. And that's ok.

I'll just leave you with this quote that sums up this week's flashback:

"I am sixteen, going on seventeen,

I know that I'm naive

Fellows I meet

will tell me I'm sweet

and willingly, I believe."

(from The Sound of Music, of course, quoted in my lovely journal at age 16)

Too true, too true. :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

so we're not as young as we used to be

Last Saturday Zac and I had the chance to go to Lagoon Amusement Park all by ourselves. Without the children. Truly amazing. And although the title of this post sums up the experience in a lot of ways, it was still a whole lot of fun.

But let me back up.

First of all, sometime back in the spring when the Lagoon commercials were first coming on TV, I mentioned to Zac that I thought it would be really fun for us to go with just the 2 of us. Like on a date. We don't go out much. And the last time we've even been to Lagoon was when Elisabeth was a baby and I had to feed her and change diapers and we were stuck in KiddieLand the whole day. I'm not even sure when I'd last gone to an Amusement Park before that was. Probably when I was about 22.

Anyway. It sounded like fun. And I am in desperate need of some more fun in my life.

And then we walked in the March of Dimes March for Babies and they had raffles for all kinds of terrific prizes at the end. My mom happened to win 2 free day passes to Lagoon. And I kinda sorta begged and pleaded and almost cried for her to let us have those passes. Which she did. YAY!!!

And not only that, but she offered to watch our darling children for us so we could go by ourselves and not have to worry. So we set a day that would work for all of us.

And we went!! Yippeee!!! It was so much fun. I was determined to stay from opening to closing - but I have to admit that by about 9:30, after walking around in the heat all day, we were both pretty worn out. haha. And we got dizzier and had more stomach butterflies than I remember ever getting before. But we still rode almost everything and had a blast. And we also threw all caution to wind and ate all kinds of junk food, which I enjoyed immensely. :)

This sign cracked us up so I took a picture. Call me crazy, but those 4 inch spikes at the top of the fence seemed fairly sufficient deterrents to keep me from wanting to sit atop it. Maybe not?

We also went to a show called "Cirque Innosta presents: L'Orage" with this super bendy contortionist lady and other tricksy folks that were a lot of fun to watch.

And of course, ta-da! a hideous sweaty self-portrait taken towards the end of the day. :)

Anyway - we had a blast! I'm so happy we were able to do that. Thanks, mom!

(and finally, a tiny pic of our favorite ride, The Samurai, borrowed from the Lagoon website. Looks like fun, eh??) :)

(ps - pics from the kids' adventures that day coming soon. I wasn't with them, but I can still blog about it!)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

super trooper

Yesterday Elisabeth had her surgery of getting her tonsils and adenoids removed for her sleep apnea. She was quite a trooper. Here she is in the waiting room, excited about her new Barbie and all the stickers the nurse gave her:

They gave her a quilt to take to surgery and then take home:

And a hospital buddy that she got to decorate and then the doll got matching bandages with hers (for the IV etc):

Thankfully, they put her to sleep before poking her and putting IV's or anything in. The anesthesiologist was "mildly concerned" about her heart defect (you may recall she was born with pulmonary valve stenosis) but it didn't cause any difficulty. So everything went pretty well.

And here she is post-op dripping popsicle down her face:

She didn't even cry when she woke up! And her oxygen levels were good so she was able to go home after a couple hrs. She only cried on the way home when we stopped to get some food and Zac and I got hamburgers and she couldn't have one. She got a shake - but that's not what she wanted, I guess. Anyway - we won't be able to tell if this has solved her apnea problems for a couple weeks, after the swelling has gone down and everything healed up. And then we will evaluate how we think she's doing and determine whether or not she needs to repeat the sleep study.
I did finally get a copy of her sleep study report and she did have episodes of both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. So we'll see.
Anyway she just woke up crying again and wanting to be held, so I've gotta go . . . wish us luck.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Flashback Friday - up to journal #17

(no pics this time. Sorry Heather)

So this week's journal reading brought me through 8th and 9th grade. There were some very interesting times. Quite a lot of heartbreak - both from boyfriends and best girl friends. Some of it made for some tough reading. But here is a benign entry I feel like I can share.

Jan 1990

"I'm very tired. During the exam [school midterms], I kept getting so tired and certain questions of something would trigger a memory of like 4th grade or something - simple unrelated abstract memories. And I kept getting these overly familiar images from some of my past dreams and my mind would want to retreat into the dream and I'd have to literally command myself in my mind to come back here where I really was and concentrate on the exam. Needless to say, I was quite distracted. Not to mention the times my mind insisted on starting to reminisce over ____ [a certain boy, of course]. I hope I did ok on my exam. :)"

So, as I have been rereading all this stuff I have been trying to ask myself how I have changed, or what I can learn about myself from what I went through then. Sometimes it's hard to see. I am still so much the same, somewhat unfortunately, I guess. I still go through periods of depression where I feel worthless and alone (what I often referred to as "my certain state of mind" back then). I still long for closer friends and say things to people that I later regret. So I wonder sometimes what it means exactly to "grow up"? What does it mean to be responsible and mature anyway? I figure I must be different than I was then in at least some ways. Certainly, I am confident and secure in my marriage relationship in a way that I never really imagined and only dreamed about back then. I am so grateful for that. And I accomplished some very hard goals that I hesitantly set for myself during that time (college, mission). But in essence, deep down, am I still the same silly little girl? I don't know.

And in some ways I am equally afraid of being different as I am of being the same.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

4th of July Weekend

We had a really great time spending time with family up at my mom's house over the long weekend.
- we checked out the "surf 'n swim" wave pool with Chelsea and her friend Brian (and used our free day passes that I won at the March for Babies)
- Isaac discovered a new game on his Aunt's iphone and is now addicted to Crazy Birds (he can't wait for the next chance to use their phones)
- figured out the color-swap option on mine and my brother's cameras - made for some fun photo experimentation
- brought up baby stuff to pass along to my brother and his wife who are excitedly expecting their first in Nov!! Wohoo!! :)
- ate a ton of good food
- did some fireworks in the street and then drove home, watching at least 5 cities' fireworks displays along the way
Then we relaxed the rest of the weekend (Elisabeth ran a fever for a day but then was better). All in all, it was a great weekend! Hope yours was, too. :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July Food!

Happy 4th of July everyone!

In celebration, I thought I would share a summer holiday family get-together favorite - potato salad! Yeah, I know potato salad is practically a staple that every potluck gatherer has long mastered. But, it is the only dish that is requested of me by my extended family. Every time we eat together. So, I figure I must have a good thing going. It may be the only exceptional thing I am known to make regularly. But ah well. At least I have one.

And here it is. What makes this exceptional, I believe, is that I took a tame Betty Crocker (or is it Better Homes and Gardens?) recipe and modified it slightly to taste more like the delicious potato salad that had me drooling the entire time I was in Germany. Sooooo good. Try it and tell me what you think:

6 potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, chopped in chunks, boiled until soft, and rinsed
3 hard-cooked eggs, roughly chopped

1/3 c chopped onion
1 c miracle whip (a little less than the original calls for)
1/4 c vinegar (this is much more than the original recipe)
2 tsp mustard (but actually I just give it a good squirt and stir it into the miracle whip mixture until it looks yellow enough - use your own judgement)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 kosher dill pickle, chopped into small-ish bits (my very own addition)
dill (another of my own alterations. I use typical dried dill weed - but I bet fresh dill would be mighty tasty. And I just shake some in at the end. My personal belief is you can never have too much dill - so go ahead and sprinkle fearlessly.)

And there you have it. Mix it all up, chill it in the fridge and you can give me all the credit for the absolute best potato salad you have ever had (or so says my family). hahaha.
Enjoy, and may all your summer celebrations be delicious . . . :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Flashback Friday

This week's flashback-journal-reading brought me through 7th grade and this boy who was my very first kiss (I promise you I will not blog about each boy I kissed - heavens-to-betsy, noooooo). But this one - well, I don't think I've even talked to him since 7th grade. And he hasn't found me on Facebook, thank goodness (hahaha). So. And well, first kisses are somewhat momentous, in their own wonderful, horrible way - aren't they?

And since I won't be sharing my actual journal entries from this time period (hahaha, don't you wish), I thought you might appreciate a photo instead. He was a cute little skater-boy, no? A jerk, actually, but cute. ;) (at least I thought so)

And don't I look just all sweet and smitten? Yeah.

7th grade romance.
yikes . . .
(anyone else want to share about their first kiss??)
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