Tuesday, November 30, 2010

enough of me already

well, hip hip hooray for me, I posted every day in November. I'm assuming you are all just about as sick of me as I am of myself. So I'm going to "zip it, lock it, and put it in my pocket" (as we would tell the kids in primary at church) and post something completely unrelated to me, my life, or my thoughts (well, mostly). And then I'm going to take a blog break (for some undetermined amount of time. We'll see). Phew.

This is an album I have been listening to a lot lately and liking quite a bit. (Sarah Sample, Someday Someday)

Here are 3 of my favorites (with some of my favorite lines quoted, too). Click on the links to hear the songs. Enjoy. And take care . . .

"sleep on . . .
sleep on it tonight
I'll keep, I'll keep watch
for any sign
that we’ll be fine
cause I’m never gonna let you,
never gonna let you go."
the ocean comes and carries me
i can hear her say ‘someday’ . . . ‘someday’"


"it takes less and less
for the shadows to find me

when I hear your voice
it lets in the light
please keep talking to me tonight"

Monday, November 29, 2010


{Warning: Skip this post if you hate listening to whining, moaning and complaining. Really. You've been warned.}
So. This morning I couldn't get the van up the little hill on the way to school. I tried twice and got stuck twice. I backed/slid my way back down and almost hit a tree in the parkstrip. Yeah. I thought I was still on the road, but . . . apparently not, as there are not trees growing in the street, and that tree was awfully close to my rear bumper. I turned around and went around to the other "main" road that had actually been plowed. It took me almost 20 min to get the kids to school in what should have only taken 5 min. or less. I was ticked.
I parked on the street in front of my house knowing I would need to drive that same route back again to take Elisabeth to preschool. It is against city ordinance to park on the street in the winter. But I did not want to slip, slide and fight my way through my back alleyway (which has not been plowed) again leading to my driveway. Then as I left to take her to preschool, I noticed a city code enforcer truck prowling around our street. Dangit. So when I got back (and saw him parked across from my house), I was forced to go back around to my driveway. I can't even get up my driveway when it is shoveled because it is sloped and the thin layer of frosty ice left by the shovel is too slick to get up. But it's not even shoveled and I don't feel like even bothering. So I parked at the bottom and hoped it didn't just slip it's way into the alley. Then I walked through the snow up to my garage and my pants and shoes were soggy and cold and wet.
And I can't go for my walk because even though I can brave the cold, I am absolutely not willing to trudge through the snow. Because sidewalks, walking paths, and most streets have not been cleared. And I don't have snow boots.
So, I'm just in a bad mood. This morning has left me dreading this winter with such a vengeance that I was in tears. Literally. That's a really bad sign. I don't feel like doing anything.

I think I need snow tires for the van. And maybe a snowblower (even though that still won't make it possible for me to get up my driveway). And some boots. And a treadmill. And cookies. Double chocolate cookies. With hot chocolate. Yup.
(maybe after I bake some cookies, and exercise, and shower, and nap, and am feeling semi-human again, I'll attempt a post on what I like about winter . . . because there are some things I like . . . I think . . .) :/

Sunday, November 28, 2010

it's that time

what about you? have you gotten out your stuff yet? (or are you going to?)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

tangled and potter

Today Zac took the little kids to see Tangled

and I went with the big kids to see Potter.

I think we enjoyed both movies. We hardly ever see movies in the theater so this was a rare family treat, of sorts. Then on the way home we stopped to do the grocery shopping and a little Christmas shopping. I think Elisabeth crossed some sort of overload threshold and became a screaming terror at the local Walmart. An "associate" left her cashier post to bring her a sticker to try to calm her down in line. It worked for maybe a second.
I got home with a killer headache and a need to seek out some solitude with a couple advil. I woke up a couple minutes ago and realized I needed to blog something.
But I'm going back to bed now. The advil didn't quite do the trick on that headache. (The day was going rather well, though, until the meltdown from outerspace.)

Friday, November 26, 2010


After a couple days of really freezing runs/walks, Zac and I have come to a point where we are trying to rationalize buying a treadmill (not necessarily this one). We did sort of have a treadmill. Our neighbor set it out on the curb with a free sign a year or so ago - it looked so old and decrepit I knocked on the door to double-check that it actually worked. She said yes. They brought it over to our house in a wagon. And it has mostly worked. We had to jimmy-rig the lever that controlled the speed (with industrial clamps to keep it in place). It started smoking and slipping when Zac ran on it, but mostly did ok with me walking. Until last week when it started smoking and stinking after about 10 min. And I think it has died. Sad.

So, here are our arguments.

1. I could exercise early mornings or late at night without worrying about going out alone in the dark.

2. I could watch TV, talk to Zac, help with homework, have "quality-time" chats, read and exercise all at once (well, 2 of those things at once - not all of them).

3. Summer and Winter. Enough said.

4. If we got a higher quality, heavy duty one, then Zac can also use it for his race training.

5. Calculating speed, calories burned, heartrate and that kind of stuff would be easier. And kind of nifty to have at your fingertips.

6. Some of them have a built-in fan. Awesome. (not to mention the ones with ipod speakers)

7. The price divided over the lifetime of the treadmill would be cheaper than a gym membership.

8. The benefits of a healthier, slimmer me (which would be inevitable with the convenience of a treadmill - hahaha) is Priceless, wouldn't you agree??

You see, we are really good at rationalizing.

I also have this problem a lot during the holidays. I don't necessarily get greedy. I just start dreaming a lot. Making mental Wish Lists that go from a little wild to simple and mundane (I always have - as a teenager my Christmas lists included things ranging from a dolphin aquarium (hehe), to rubber cement). And I don't think it's bad to dream . . . and plan . . . and wish . . . and want - to a certain extent. But I admit I have some guilt issues with wanting things. I want to want less.

Anyhow - back to the treadmill. Anybody have opinions they'd like to share? Good brands to recommend? Any helpful thoughts to convince or dissuade us one way or another? Any big purchases that really stretch your budget but you rationalize anyway??

I don't know if we will end up getting one or not. It's just been a topic of discussion today (Zac ran for 3 hrs and came home a human popsicle - and I went out walking without my thermals which were in the washing machine, and it was COLD) so I just thought I'd blog about it (4 more days of NaBloPoMo - phew!). ;)

(PS - we know we could find a relatively cheap one used from Craigslist or something - but we really would need a good one to withstand Zac's heavy mileage . . . so that makes it trickier. Anyway - just a thought).

PPS - we did not do Black Friday shopping (except Zac ran over to Walmart at about 7 to grab some breakfast treats (as a reward for the kids) and look to see what deals were left). Did you??

Thursday, November 25, 2010

thankful thursday

Just thankful for a really good day.

Freezing cold temps in which Zac went out and ran a 4.5 mile turkey trot and won!

Boys happily playing side-by-side computer games for most of the day (Samuel is on the laptop which you can't see)

Snuggles with Grandma

Lots of yummy food

"Thankful Turkeys" and Samuel who is thankful for scissors - or something. I'm not really sure what the deal with the scissors was. But we let it go.

And some nice after-feast movie time.

(Daddy copying Samuel's typical "I'm relaxing" stance)

All in all, a pretty great day.
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, too.
Thanks for reading!! :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

3:25 pm the day before Thanksgiving

- Kids are outside playing in the freezing cold and the remains of a very weak snow flurry from last night. They think they can sled. I'm not sure how that's going for them.

- Turkey is thawing. I think.

- I just received an inch thick document in the mail entitled "Special Education Rules" from the Utah State Office of Education. Feels like Christmas. Ha.

- Zac brought me breakfast in bed this morning. I thought it was sweet of him. Then he told me he just wanted me to get up (more or less).

- I went for a walk for an hr in the 10 degree weather. It was sunny so it didn't feel too bad at first. In fact, on the way out I got too hot and took off my jacket, scarf and gloves. Then I turned around and with the wind in my face, I froze the whole way home (and quickly replaced the jacket, scarf and gloves).

- and of course Zac went running.

- The rolls are rising (not homemade). The cranberry relish-salad stuff is made (homemade).

- The house is not clean. At all. Like really disastrous, embarrassingly not clean. Zac is pretty good at doing last-minute super-clean desperation. I am not so good at it. So, I'm not sure how this is going to go. Hm.

- Zac and Isaac played a game of Monopoly for 2 1/2 hrs. Isaac was happy.

- Isaac and Abigail spent some time trying to figure out how to play some songs together on the violin and piano. Moments like that make the torture of practicing worth it.

- Elisabeth is screaming for hot chocolate. Like screaming bloody murder. I locked myself in my room to get away from her for a minute. (And she's not getting hot chocolate.)

- We are anxiously awaiting word of my brother and his wife's baby arrival! She was due 2 days ago. I think it's awesome that they are willing to wait til the baby is good and ready to come (however long that might be). But my mom is waiting for the word to drive the 5 hr trek up to their house when the time has come (and thus, for me, word on whether or not she is coming to my house for Thanksgiving dinner). So, we are all just waiting (none so anxiously as my brother and his wife, I am sure). :)

And that's what we've been up to today.

How's your day going for you??

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

the BBC book list

I've been tagged on this several times since I started blogging, but most recently by my sister on Facebook. And since I don't have anything else to blog about today, here it is (11:15 pm but I'm getting my blog post in)! I've read 42. Plus the Bible, which I cannot say I have read in it's entirety. Mostly. But I have skipped some of the Old Testament. So.
And my understanding is that this is a list that the listeners of BBC voted on as their favorite books. So, it is a rather eclectic list.

How many have you read??? Let's hear it. :)
Have you read more than 6 of these books? Supposedly, the BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here. Instructions: Bold those books you've read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis

34 Emma -Jane Austen

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52 Dune - Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses - James Joyce

76 The Inferno - Dante

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal - Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession - AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Monday, November 22, 2010

note to myself

"Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each."

— Henry David Thoreau

At least snowflakes are pretty.
(photos taken from snowcrystals.com - which I have just discovered and am adding to my favorites list)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

memories and dreams: a blog post for Heather

In my blogoversary post, my sister Heather asked me to write about a favorite memory involving an animal, either pet or wild.
So here it is. :)

(these terrible pictures are photos I tried to take of my old postcards I bought in MA on this trip) Most of those who know me know that I have loved dolphins and whales from the time I was about 10 or 11. I collected figurines of all shapes and sizes. I had whale pictures on my walls. I had videos of dolphins swimming set to calming music. You name it.

And the summer between my junior and senior years of high school, my family went on a vacation where we camped up and down the east coast, driving from Virginia up to Maine and back. We did lots of fun things along the way, but my absolute favorite (for obvious reasons) was the whale watching trip we took off the coast of Massachusetts. It was amazing. It felt like a complete dream come true. And I loved every minute of it.

I loved being on a boat. I loved the sea salt spray hitting my face and the wind and the waves.

I remember the crew instructing us on how to call out whale sighting locations. I remember how they explained the markings on the flukes of the humpbacks and how they identify and track individual whales. At this time, I still had dreams of becoming a marine mammologist so I talked to the crew about how they landed this kind of job, taking excited tourists out while collecting data at the same time, watching whales all day long. I don't remember their answer exactly, but it had something to do with following your dreams no matter what. And at that moment, I knew I wanted to do that someday more than anything.

(Yes, well. And then I took AP Chem which I practically failed, and in which I actually threw my calculator at someone in class one day out of frustration and at that moment, I knew that perhaps hard science was not the path for me. More than anything, chemistry terrified me from then on. And guess what, one cannot pursue marine mammology without chemistry. And also, one cannot study marine mammology land-locked in Utah. Which is where I knew I needed to be. So. Life took a different course. So it goes.)

Anyway - we saw Humpback whales right up next to the boat, where the white of their skin appears mint green through the water. They slapped the water with their pectoral fins. They did dives with their flukes coming straight up out of the water and fluke slaps. They did spy-hopping where they just bob about halfway out of the water. And, most exciting of all, we saw one whale do a complete breach out of the water just as we were getting ready to leave. (We also saw some Minke whales but their behaviors weren't nearly as exciting)

(I saw a whale do this:)

So that is definitely my most favorite animal memory.

I still love whales and dolphins. For awhile I had vague and impossible dreams of incorporating my degree of Therapeutic Recreation into this love and doing therapy with special needs kids in the water with dolphins (they actually do this, for real). But I have absolutely no idea how to go about that one. And again, one must needs live somewhere along a coastline to pursue anything . . . in . . . the . . . ocean. haha. (And, I don't even work in my field. I never have. And I don't work outside the home anyhow. So. ummm . . . ) Now I mostly just dream of someday going to that place in Florida where you can pay lots of money to swim with the dolphins and touch them and play with them.

So - who else wants to share an animal memory?
Or, a dream of something they wanted to be when they grew up that hasn't (yet) become a reality?
Please share. :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

who wants to buy me a Christmas present?

This SodaStream thing looks pretty fun to me.
I like sparkling water a lot, especially mixed with juice. I don't know how cost-effective this thing really would be, but making your own sparkling water (and homemade soda) at home any time you want would be cool, I think.

So, you know. . . if you're looking to spend $100, more or less, on me this Christmas (haha), here is one idea for ya. ;)

(really, though, I'm just hardpressed for a blog post. NaBloPoMo is killing me this year. I'm just struggling with it. Struggling with wanting to blog at all lately, actually. Oh well. More later.)

Friday, November 19, 2010

back on the merry-go-round

No, no. I don't mean the kind at the amusement parks, with the pastel horses that gently bob up and down, going around with the tinkling music-box Strauss waltzes.

No. I mean the kind at old playgrounds, where you sit while someone else runs faster and faster and faster pushing it around and around, and you're hanging on desperately, knowing that if your hands slip, you're going to fly right off, and it makes you so dizzy you think you're going to be sick.

That kind.

Here we go again.

Last night I had parent-teacher conference at Samuel's school. I met with his speech therapist who said he is making great progress with his "g" and "k" sounds and is almost ready to start integrating the words into sentences, so that's good news. And his teacher says he is doing well, too. The problem is just the same problem we anticipated last year. He doesn't really fit in the class. He is just about on grade level in math and reading, which is terrific, and his teacher said she doesn't want to hold him back by going so slow on things in class. And she thought we should probably start thinking about mainstreaming him next year. And that is always the eventual goal with special ed, keeping kids in the "least restrictive environment." But then she also said that he will rarely answer any question with more than a one word answer. And I see him around other "normally developing" kids, and I know he is not "there". Being in a class of 25-30 kids would overwhelm him and cause him to shut down. I am fairly certain of it.

So. I'm not sure why exactly I have this paranoia of him being kicked out of services before he's ready (ohh, wait, maybe it's because I have had another kid kicked out of services before they were ready. yeah). It just makes me kind of dizzy with anxiety. Of course I want him to be challenged and have appropriate curriculum and do well. But I don't want him to get lost in the shuffle. Ugh.

Anyway - in the next few weeks, we will be getting the results of his latest testing and we'll be making his IEP annual update. And I guess I should try not to worry until we get through that meeting.

I'm just kind of tired of the merry-go-round, the constant round and round cycle of testing and wondering and worrying about placement, confusion and uncertainty about what is best, the balance of doubt and trust in teachers, therapists, school administrators, the "system." Sometimes it all works for you, and sometimes it just doesn't.

But I really don't have any other option, do I. I just have to keep on keeping on. I know.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

thankful thursday

thankful for:

- friends and family who love me despite me - even when I am prickly and almost unbearable. (And that would include any of you still reading this blog . . .)

- bookclub group to distract me from my thoughts for awhile (thanks, gals)

- cookies at bookclub

- chuckles at my kids who say things like "you're so big, I just love you!" (courtesy of Elisabeth this morning)

- Isaac who tells me "hope you have a good day, mom" every morning when I drop him off at school

- the internet which is mostly my only connection to the world outside my house (pathetic, perhaps, but true - and I'm glad for any connection I can get, really)

- soothing music

- books, of course

- for finding things to be thankful for even when I was afraid I wouldn't be able to come up with much of anything - haha

I'm still navigating my way through a bit of a bumpy thorny patch . . . but I am thankful for every day that I get through.

Thanks for your patience with me . . .

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

variations on the same theme

I kinda get the feeling that all of my photos are starting to look the same. There is really nothing new. I just like walking around with my camera sometimes. It helps me slow down and look.

You know that saying by Socrates: "the unexamined life is not worth living."

I like how looking closely changes the way I see things. The way that a ditch of weeds changes from this:

to this:

the way a mess and tangle is transformed from this:

to, if not something beautiful, then at least something fascinating and interesting:

It never gets old to me.
Sometimes, I know, distance is necessary for proper perspective on things. We get too close to our issues and our problems and our vision is blurred and the "big picture" gets lost. But then sometimes, I think we need to look a little closer instead of backing away. Step in, down in the ditch and notice something there that we didn't see before. We need to see it differently, from way up close, to find something worthwhile in what looked like a mess.
And that's why I never stop looking.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

all the more reason to blog

I got to look in some cold dark corners, see what was there, shine a little light on what we all have in common. Sometimes this human stuff is slimy and pathetic . . . but better to feel it and talk about it and walk through it than to spend a lifetime being poisoned.

- Anne Lamott
I found this quote in my unpublished drafts. I don't remember what my point was originally, but it strikes me today as a good explanation for why I blog about everything, good bad and ugly. Or mostly everything, anyway. I am trying to get maybe a touch better about self-censoring some things.
And I read through and wrote and thought about probably half a dozen other blog posts for today, but nothing is really coming together in my mind. So, I'm posting this instead. I've been feeling rather slimy and pathetic lately myself, actually. But I am trying to walk through it . . . hopefully I will still be mostly intact and unpoisoned when I come out on the other side.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Last night, I finished book #100 for this year.

I just needed to make note of that here, so that's the blog post of the day. :)

Now we're trying to figure out an appropriate (and feasible) celebration for my big accomplishment. Ideas??

Other than that, though, I am struggling a bit right now so any kind thoughts or comments would be certainly appreciated. (No need to worry, really. Nothing's going on. Just me and my brain are having some little problems getting along . . . unfortunately)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

soccer kids: Elisabeth

yeah, soccer season ended about a month ago. But I am finally going to post about it. ;)

This was Elisabeth's first year playing. It was a team for 4-5 yr olds but we got Samuel on the same team anyway, hoping that it might help alleviate some of his anxiety to be with Elisabeth. He went to practice a few times - but mostly wouldn't leave my lap. And he played in 1 game, where about halfway through he finally agreed to go out on the field if he could be by her. Of course, I didn't have my camera that day, so no pics. After that, we got tired of all the crying and just let him drop out. I don't know if that's what we "should" have done or not. But that's what we did.

So anyway - here's Elisabeth:

Here she is giving her friend a really big hug (and then they fell over on top of each other and her friend got hurt and ended up having to sit out for a bit. Hence, the coach's rule that came later: no hugging on the field. That was really tough for Elisabeth.)

There they are again. I think they were actually playing tag with each other instead of soccer, but they sure are cute. :) (the hearts, by the way, are to hide the name of our city of residence, since we don't reveal that here on the blog)

And here she is giving her best effort to a corner kick. yay!

So overall, I think Elisabeth did a pretty great job. She loved going to her practice and games and started to get the idea, I think, of the game by the end. It was just so cute watching her, so it was a lot of fun.

Oh yes, and here is Abigail and her friend practicing ballet on the baseball field during Elisabeth's game (we had to take them to ballet class in the middle of the game). haha. :)

( Isaac's soccer post coming soon)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

one good reason

I had a crappy week.

I mean, a really. crappy. week. It might just rank up there with one of my crappiest.

A few different factors converged all together to create what turned out to be the perfect storm of crappiness (including, but not limited to, Zac being out of town and having sick children. That always seems to happen. And that alone would be enough to add up to a certain degree of crappy. But that was not all. No, that was not all).

So. Anyway. You don't need to hear about all of it. I managed to mostly keep it out of my daily blog posts. So I don't know why I'm telling you now . . .

Except for this: I went to the library one day in the middle of the week and found this CD while browsing the children's music section. It's the Barenaked Ladies "Snacktime" album. And it's pretty funny. And while I admit that I played the "Bad Day" song more times than is probably considered healthy, most of the other songs are sure to make you smile.

So, if you need a small reason to smile today, if perhaps you are having a crappy day, or week, or month, or . . . life, then maybe this song can give you just a moment's reprieve. You never know, it might.

Enjoy. Love to you all, and thanks for being my friends, virtual or otherwise.

(my favorite line: "when I make mistakes, I use a lot of salt, cuz salt makes mistakes taste great." . . . oh, and the orange pants. I like that part too.)

Friday, November 12, 2010

roads that lead nowhere


"my thoughts are going down roads that lead nowhere . . ."


"sometimes . . . a road is for the journey, not the destination"

(paraphrased from Anna and The King with Jodie Foster)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

thankful thursday


1. that Abigail can play all the songs in Suzuki violin book 1 well enough now that I can play with her!! It's incredibly fun. And she's putting on a solo recital this month playing all the songs that we are looking forward to.

2. that Isaac prayed last night that "all the kids will be good for mommy so she won't be stressed." Sweet boy.

3. that Elisabeth sometimes takes a nap with me

4. for the library
5. for sleep

6. for warm blankets
7. for blueberry herbal fruit tea
9. that bad days really do finally come to an end
8. and for finding a moment to go outside and take pictures of these pretty leaves on my flowering pear tree :)

And you??

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I'm doing it again. uh oh.

This one's in VA, out in Culpeper somewhere, actually. (Look! Trees!!!!)

I feel a little silly divulging my secret lusts (I'm sure some of you would look at it and think it outrageously extravagent, others might see it and think "so what? what's so special about it?"), but . . . oh well.
It's just my dream. I can do it however I please.
And I don't even know for sure what it is. Just like when you see someone you're attracted to - and you can't pinpoint what exactly attracts you. And why one person seems "your type" and another just really doesn't.
I don't know if it's the location. Nostalgia for something closer to "home." If it's the trees. Or if it's the floorplan, the spacious kitchen, the yard. I don't know if it stems from some dissatisfaction and longing that has nothing to do with wanting to really move, perhaps. Maybe it's just I'm sick of myself. Not so much being here, but just being. Maybe it's a fresh start I long for. Maybe it's just wanting something different. Or maybe it's more than that. I don't know.
Anyway, I know it will pass. It always does.
(but then it always seems to come back around again, doesn't it?)
what do you do with your desires for something you know you can't have?
(ps - perhaps the worst part of it, is that I could have it - it is not financially out of reach, anyway. It's just that it's not going to happen. so. yeah.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


How do you find time for yourself while meeting the needs of 4 kids? (from my friend Mr. Sessions)

Brutally Honest Answer:

um, I don't.

I am terrible, terrible, terrible at finding balance in my life. For years, it seemed, my life was absolutely consumed with meeting the insatiable needs of my little kids. Nursing on demand, waking up at all hrs of the night, diapers, messes, playing, etc etc etc etc. It seemed to be never ending.

And then somewhere along the line I realized I really needed something for myself. I felt like I had lost so many parts of who I used to think I was. I needed something. Anything. I needed to reclaim at least a piece (I know, I know, I was a long time coming in that realization). And then I rediscovered some things I really love: writing and reading, in particular.

And now I play constant tug of war with doing enough things of "mine" to keep myself sane, and doing everything else for everyone else (whatever that might mean). I usually find there is not enough of me to go around. I can never do enough for anyone (even for myself). I am always lacking. Always. Always struggling. Always slipping too far in one direction or another. It's frustrating. I don't know how to fix it. And I feel like a failure pretty much most of the time (on both ends of the spectrum).

I also know I am often too hard on myself. hahaha. (Just add that one to my list of shortcomings.) ;)

(The remaining questions are some toughies, guys. Bear with me.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

on being the runner's girl

It's kind of an interesting thing being a runner's girl. I've been thinking about it since being Zac's reluctant support crew and have been working on pulling my thoughts together.

From the very beginnings of our relationship, running has been a big part of "us," even though he has never succeeded in making it a part of "me" exactly. Not for the lack of trying, of course. As with anyone deeply involved with something they love, he is always searching for new "converts".

First some history:

I remember Zac convincing me to come running with him once very early in our dating. We went at night because I was embarrassed by how red and splotchy my face gets when I run. And I crouched down to tie my shoelace at one point, stood up quickly and took off, anxious to catch up (not seeing him waiting a few feet ahead of me) and I ran right into him. Awesome.

And then Zac ran his first marathon about a month after we met. The marathon was about 4 hrs away and he was driving down and staying with a friend. There wasn't room for me in the car, and it would have felt much too awkward to stay at his friend's parents' house at that early stage of our relationship, so I stayed back at the dorms and waited anxiously to hear how he did (when he got back - this was waaay before the dawning of cell phones). That became the first of many races, actually, where I have been home, waiting anxiously.

The St. George Marathon is kind of momentous in our history, actually.

I missed one that he ran (and got his Personal Record) when I was in Germany. But then when I was home in Aug, he ran it again that Oct. and I got to go with him this time. We stayed at his friend's parents' house along with some other friends, and his friend's dad is the organizer of the marathon so we got to drive up to the start (where usually only the runners go on buses) and volunteer and help out at the finish. Anyway - after the race most everyone was tired out and falling asleep on the floor and couches and Zac asked me if I wanted to go for a hike.

um, what? He just ran 26.2 miles and now he wants to go hiking?!? That was my first clue that something was up.

And that's where he proposed to me (officially, with the ring). :)

We were married in Dec. and as it happened, come next Oct when Zac was running it again, I was very barely pregnant with our first (maybe 5 or 6 wks along). And sick. I don't think we had even told very many people I was pregnant yet. But once again, we drove down and stayed at his friend's parents' house. But I was so nauseous and about to puke every time I ate anything, we ended up explaining to everyone why I was sick (not my favorite way to make this announcement, but it had to be done). I hadn't thrown up yet (that happened a week or so later). But I sure did feel like it was right there waiting to happen. That was sort of awful.

Anyway - so now in the time we've known each other, he's run that marathon a total of 5 times (only one that I missed). And innumerable smaller races (5K's, half-marathons). Plus his Wahsatch Steeplechase he's done 5 times now. And now his 50 miler.

As for me, I ran my first 5K with Zac at my side the summer after we were married. And then had a baby the next spring. Ran another 5K the spring after that with a friend of mine. And then got bad shin splints. And got pregnant again. And then . . . almost 10 yrs, 3 kids, and umm maybe 30 lbs gained since that last one, last year I finally got up to running 30 min straight again and tried another 5K (with Zac with me again). Then I got hurt and stopped again. haha.

So, although I would never claim to be "runner" exactly, I feel like I am somewhat well qualified as a runner's girl. Which means that I am privy to some of the wisdom and knowledge that "real" runners have, without being an actual member of the club. I feel I am sort of on the inside, the outside fringe of the inside group.

Just some examples:

1. I know that a marathon is precisely 26.2 miles, no more, no less.

2. I've read a year's worth of Runner's World magazines and learned about fartleks (among other things)

3. I know about underpronating and overpronating - and which type of shoe helps which

4. I can tell you a thing about chafing and bloody nipples (second-hand, thankfully)

5. I know the stuff they hand you on a popsicle stick during a race is vaseline, not goo to eat. ;)

6. I've seen the crusty white salt on his face from running in the summer, and seen him come home with ice crystals on his eyebrows in the winter. No joke.

7. I know that serious marathoner winners sometimes have no problem with going to the bathroom in their shorts (luckily Zac doesn't fall into that category - but I have seen it myself at the finish line)

8. I know that having the right clothing can make all the difference in the world (don't knock the biker-short or dinky shorts look until you've tried running 20+ miles in something else - seriously).

9. I know there is a big difference between the good pain of pushing yourself and the really not good pain of being injured - and that learning the difference is one of the hardest things ever.

10. And I know that when someone lives and breathes to run, you cannot hold them back. And your life is happier when you let them out. :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

take a hike

Yesterday we all went on a hike up the hills by our house.

Samuel cried for about 30 min about the "wind" (here he is, crying to hold my hand, which I released for a sec so I could take some pictures).

But it was a beautiful day. The last nice weekend before the snow comes next week, apparently.

And the views were nice. We tried to give Abigail a little tutorial on using my camera. That was interesting. ;)

But look, there's our house! (directly down in front, framed by those 2 juniper trees)

And, of course I have to include another "experiment in editing." I thought this gnarled mass of dead tree (or whatever it is) looked pretty cool. :)

Fun stuff. :)
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