Monday, October 30, 2006

Falling Back

"Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." -Benjamin Franklin

I LOVE the time change that occurs every Fall. Maybe that's even another reason why I love Autumn so much. My father always told me "only a fool wouldn't take advantage of this time change." I love this extra hour. Some years I'm much better at taking advantage of it than others, but I love it nonetheless. If only my children didn't also take advantage of it. I'd have a much easier time making it to the gym if they weren't awake at 6 am, too.

Friday, October 27, 2006

God Bless Nabisco

How's this for trivial? I've been on the South Beach diet for months....and though it's been successful, and definitely an easy thing for me to do, I still occasionally have a hankering for some good ol' sweet-tooth-quenching. We don't own any white flour and no regular sugar or brown sugar. Everything is whole wheat (pasta, bread, brown rice, etc). The family has been super supportive with this decision. I have restricted all my "goodies" to sugar free items and I have had enough of Splenda products to last a lifetime. While I was at the grocery store last week, I saw Bradley eye-balling some Oreos. The halloween version with the orange know what I'm talking about. He didn't say a word about them when I impulsively asked, "Should we get those since it's Halloween?" Well naturally he said, "Sure, Mom!"

I had the grand opportunity to teach the monkeys how to dip the Oreos in ice-cold milk and enjoy. You sometimes forget who teaches you these basic survival skills. I'm proud to be documenting this one. The next lesson will be twisting them apart to enjoy each piece of the cookie one at a time.
It had been 5 1/2 years since I had bought Oreos. Steven doesn't have much of a sweet tooth. If you ask him, he'd much rather have a Dr Pepper and Red Vines before any sort of dessert item. Werido. I enjoyed the sugar rush and would recommend everyone go and do the same. One must divulge once in while to remain sain. And, yes, the term "once in a while" is up for interpretation.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Life Goes On

I've been thinking about what to write, but everything seemed so trivial after learning about a friend's death Sunday evening. It's difficult to put things in perspective when the ONLY thing that seems important after news like that is being with loved ones and making sure that every moment counts. But, like everything else, it passes and we somehow continue on.
Steven's a man on a mission to find a job. I was a little worried for a while when he was stalling to send out resumes to anyone. I realized that it may be a bit early when he still had months to go before he was hireable. That time has passed and so has the laid-back ways of Steven. All day, every day, it seems he's emailing recruiters and hospitals all over the place seeking out that perfect job that will pay him great, have excellent benefits and wonderful hours.....oh, and in a place we can afford a house. Really, is that so much to ask? Ironically, all those things are in a number of jobs right here, but we're both ready to get out of this sauna. It's just too humid and hot outside. It's October for goodness sake!

Speaking of job opportunities, Audra has gone and left me. I'm sure she's happy as can be in her new situation, but I'm depressed and can't believe she didn't invite me to come with her. It's a good thing I have her blog to rely on. I wish them the best and will miss her terribly. I am a better woman for knowing her. Your new neighbors have no idea how good they have it. Love you, Audra.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sunday Will Come

One of my good friends from high school just lost her younger brother in a tragic car accident last night. He was a senior in high school and the loss, as always, was sudden and abrupt. It made me think about the people in my own life. It made me realize their important role and reminded me to not take anything for granted. It also reminded me of a talk given in this last session of General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Elder Wirthlin spoke of dealing with his own grief and gave wonderful advice. It's a wonderful article and all I can say to her is Sunday will come. Here is an excerpt from the talk:
"When Christ rose from the grave, becoming the firstfruits of the Resurrection, He made that gift available to all. And with that sublime act, He softened the devastating, consuming sorrow that gnaws at the souls of those who have lost precious loved ones.
"I think of how dark that Friday was when Christ was lifted up on the cross.
On that terrible Friday the earth shook and grew dark. Frightful storms lashed at the earth.

"Those evil men who sought His life rejoiced. Now that Jesus was no more, surely those who followed Him would disperse. On that day they stood triumphant.
"I think that of all the days since the beginning of this world's history, that Friday was the darkest.
"But the doom of that day did not endure.
"The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death. He ascended from the grave and appeared gloriously triumphant as the Savior of all mankind.
"And in an instant the eyes that had been filled with ever-flowing tears dried. The lips that had whispered prayers of distress and grief now filled the air with wondrous praise, for Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, stood before them as the firstfruits of the Resurrection, the proof that death is merely the beginning of a new and wondrous existence.
"Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.
"But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.
"No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Remember Moms

My mother turned 55 yesterday. I'm sure she appreciates me announcing that to the world, but I think she looks fabulous and your age should be celebrated (though, I'm slow to admit mine for the exact opposite reason!). She gave me a great childhood full of joy and love and I'm so grateful for all the things she taught me. I hope I can offer my children the same experiences and life skills. I have been reminiscing since I spoke with her yesterday. Here are some of my favorite things I remember:
∑ Coming home to fresh, hot scones on rainy days.
∑ Letting me make my own mistakes as she taught me to sew.
∑ Feeling loved and important.
∑ Letting me take countless hours of dance and piano lessons when money wasn't always easy to come by.
∑ Always feeling safe and secure in our home.
∑ Allowing me to talk her into taking a free puppy home (yes, we still have the dog.)
∑ Teaching me values and morals.
∑ Showing me how to wear make-up -- and letting me make mistakes with that!
∑ Not letting me date until I was 16.
∑ Never reciting a cliché correctly.
There comes a point in your life when you realize that your parents aren't perfect. For some it happens too early that they lose sight of the great memories their parents afforded them. My mom and I live several hundred miles apart now, which may be the reason our relationship is still so good. But I miss her terribly sometimes. It's like pulling teeth to get that woman to travel. My feelings are sometimes hurt because of her unwillingness, but then I call her and we talk just like we're next-door neighbors and I feel better about the situation. I'll be forever grateful for her example and friendship. Families are forever and I'm grateful for that knowledge. This is but a moment in the span of eternity.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Hot Days Finally Gone?

The weather is finally coming around. As of this morning at about 7:30, a cold front moved in and right now it's a most lovely 68 degrees. As much as I love it, I still don't have amnesia from the rest of this wretched week. Monday and Wednesday were dreadfully humid (raising the heat index by 10 degrees) and in between the humidity, several cells passed us by dumping inch after inch of rain on us. Here are some pictures Audra took of my kids earlier last month. The photo shoot was miserabley hot and the last few days had reminded me of that morning. It left us all worn out, sweaty and ready to go home to re-bathe. Somehow she managed to hide it. These pictures will be a reminder of hotter days. Hopefully they'll be gone for the most part -- at least until early spring.

My little princess and the most charming little man will always pull of the "adorable" look amidst any weather. Yes, I'm sure I'm biased...but what are mothers for?

As for Last night's season finale of Project Runway.....Jeffrey? Can we have a recount? I will say he is definitely the most fashion forward of the group, but come on!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Television Worth My Time

Finding a television show that has the ability to addict me is rather a challenge for any network. A major reason being I just don't have time, or the insanity level in my home sometimes causes me to forget that it's on that day, or it's simply not tantalizing enough for my senses. The few that have proved me wrong are ER (though I fell away for a while, but now I'm back!), The Office - BBC or American; I'd take either, and my all-time favorite: Arrested Development - it's definitely the best written television show I've ever's just not always entirely appropriate. I'm so sad it's not on the air anymore. I dabble with Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives - not because they are well-written, but because they both have insane drama that makes me feel grounded and normal. With that said, tonight is the season finale for Project Runway, my current obsession. All I have to say is: you know where I'll be at front of the TV, rooting for my designer. Don't call me.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


It's terribly difficult to imagine Cinderella truly feeling like a princess in one of these squashes....but nonetheless, they bring our house great joy come this time of year. Growing up in a small town with lots of farming fields surrounding us, we found ourselves at an inumerable amount of pumpkin walks, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, haunted fields, etc., etc. .
Houston leaves much to be desired in that reguard, so when we heard of a nearby pumpkin patch last Saturday at the DC*, we decided it was a must! Ste and I took the kids and stayed and played for hours. Though nothing can live up to my own childhood memories, I was happy to know that my children were gaining theirs.

I learned the history behind the oh-so-famous Jack-O-Lantern and I'd thought I'd share it with any other urban myth/history fans.
People have been making jack-o-lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed "Stingy Jack." According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn't want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree's bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.

Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with it ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as "Jack of the Lantern," and then, simply "Jack O'Lantern."

In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack’s lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used. Immigrants from these countries brought the jack o’lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack o’lanterns.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Change CAN Be Good -- I Hope

The boundaries for the three wards that meet in our building were re-aligned yesterday. It was discussed at length that this would make our wards stronger, and us as Latter-day Saints stronger. I know it is true. Due to this action, I was released from my current responsibilities.....but only for about 4 hours. Needless to say, I'm finding myself in a challenging position serving many sisters whom I've never met. My previous Stake calling is giving me a little edge. I was able to work with some of them in the past. Either way, I know this is the Lord's will and this is where He needs me to be at this time in my life. I'm praying daily for guidance and understanding in those things that I need to take care of. This always includes my family and myself. Sometimes I find myself forgetting those things and my priorities can become skewed. My leaders are just that, leaders. They guide and direct me in a way no one else can. Our church's organization is unlike any other. It is the Lord's Church and with this knowledge I gain strength and continue on.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Quilt Guilt

I'm an admitted scrapaholic, but I tend to have a hard time cropping for myself. I find it much more fulfilling if I'm doing it for someone else. I know it sounds crazy. Maybe once my children appreciate it, I'll be more likely to keep up with their many accruing pics. Until then, I've found a new substitute by piecing fabric rather than piecing paper.

Here's one I made for Emmy. Up close in person you can see the actual "quilting" done on it. It's full of butterflies, hearts, flowers, and dragonflies. I love it! And obviously super-proud of it. The other one is from a quilt club here locally. Everyone brings a 12" block and someone walks home with them all. I won this one, and put it together. Even though I live in a sauna, I can never have enough blankets around the house for watching movies, TV, or reading.

Right now I'm working on two more. One is a baby's flannel/ragged quilt and the other is more traditional, like the blue one. I'm terrible at beginning projects and never finishing no pics allowed until completion. But until then, now you know what I'm doing with my extra free time.....what's that?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

My Baggage

Though this blog is mostly about me, there's no denial that the majority of my day....and night revolve around my children. They are the joy of my life as well as the reason I occasionally feel I could be on prozac. Either way, they keep me going!

Here we go....

I got a thorough tongue lashing last night from my three girlfriends that I didn't have a blog. Apparently I'm WAY behind in the whole blog scene. I've just been subjecting my weekly thoughts to everyone on my email list. That way they've been forced to know about my daily life. This seems much less intrusive. Plus, if I have a midweek thought, I can always post without filling up everyone's email as well as not feeling obligated to make sure I get one out every Sunday. To my two adorable grandmothers, I will continue to email and mail them my update. So thanks to Natalie, Melissa, and Audra for keeping up to date.

I Want to Hear From You!