Monday, August 31, 2009

Hey Tan,

I've been thinking about stuff lately. You stuff. Tanner stuff. So I thought I'd tell you about it.

First of all, I hope you know--I'm pretty sure you do--how proud I am of you. For being who you are with all your goodness and kindness ('cept for that nasty heartless streak you sport sometimes. But mostly that just makes me laugh, because I know you're really, in real life, super compassionate) and your smartness, and your funniness and your athleticism, and your spirituality, and your good-lookin'ness and stuff like that. So, just to reiterate, I am so super proud of you.

I don't know if you know this part. You probably do, but I'll tell you anyway. Somehow you were born awesome. You know I used to take credit for it, but later realized I had ever so little to do with who you are. You just came that way. It seems to me you must be one of the "old spirits" since you showed up already way ahead of the game. I have marveled at your powerful self since you were a toddler. You always asked so many questions, which was hard on me because I could only answer like 1 percent of them. Your questions were advanced, even when you were only four years old. You would stump me all the time and I always wondered how you even came up with a question like that in the first place. I remember that one time when you ponderfully asked a way deep gospel question that left no doubt in my mind that you appeared on this earth cram-packed with knowledge well beyond your years--and mine, too, I'm pretty sure. I mean, I barely stayed ahead of you until you deftly outsmarted me by at least junior high. Like, you know how I used to beat you in ping pong? You prob don't because it was so long ago and for so brief a period, but it happened. And you know how now it's like you're playing against Helen Keller or something? Well, that's how I feel about how much I have had to offer you since you were like 12 or something, and that's just intellectually speaking. Spiritually, you had me skunked by like age 8. Now I just watch, and marvel at your inner grace and humility and understanding.

You've always done your best and tried to learn to be better. You've been a great big brother--every sibling should be so lucky! You've been a wonderful son--sometimes maybe a smidge preachy (even though you're usually right)--but a wonderful son nonetheless. Obedient, respectful, loving. You've been a great friend--to everyone, young and old, a great student, and a loyal and obedient disciple and servant of Jesus Christ.

Anyway, what I was going to tell you is that I've so easily pictured you as a missionary for most of your life. From the time that you were assigned your first primary talk and you started rattling off the things you wanted to talk about and how you decided it would have more impact if you sang the first article of faith, rather than simply reciting it. You would dictate as quickly as I could write and then together we'd tweak and organize and then I'd help you memorize it. Talk after talk you'd give, primary and sacrament meeting, until a high councilman asked if he could take you to another ward to speak with him. You were about 6 at the time. I don't know if people believed me when I told them you'd written your own talks, but you did. You were always confident in what you wanted to tell the people, always with just the right twist to make it both funny and poignant. While rehearsing a talk you'd often say, "and then they'll laugh for a minute," before you'd go on to the next part. And of course they would laugh at all the right spots and you'd pause with your dimply smile for just a moment before continuing on.

I didn't mean to get off track there, because what I was trying to say is that you have always been a missionary in my eyes and now you're standing on the brink of your full-time, straight up, honest-to-goodness mission. And I can hardly stand how excited I am for you and for the people who will have the privilege of having their lives touched by you. And as extremely painful as it will be for me to give you up for two whole years, I'm simply elated when I think of what a great missionary you'll be.

And you know how I've always told you that your letters had better be grammatically acceptable and spellingly correct? Well, that's always nice, not that you'd have any problem with that, since now I ask you how to spell and word things, but that's not the important thing. I look forward to hearing your experiences and thoughts and feelings and stories and worries and stresses, even if you were to spell it like story's and wurries. Haha! As if!

Okay, I'll let you go now, but just know that I think the world of you. I love you so much I can barely contain it. I practically burst with pride and anticipation when I think of you on your mission. The call should be coming soon, maybe this week! It will be so exciting to hear where you're going. But it won't matter. Those people, no matter where they live, to have you in their town...province...whatever--they'll be the luckiest people in all the world.

Love, Mom

Editor's note: Tanner did get his call that week. He will be serving in the Fiji, Suva mission, teaching in the Fijian language. Yes, there is such a language.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Me and the Pee Part Three

Sigh. Now where was I? Oh yeah, I was sitting in my own URINE for two hours! That's where I was.

If you've driven from Pocatello to Logan, you know you're lucky if you pass a gas station every once in 10,000 acres or so. So clothes shopping is pretty much out. I would've been so happy to just drive home and crawl into bed and feel sorry for my stanky self, but Andie had slept over at my sister's, so I had to go through Logan on my way home to pick her up.

As soon as I got into Logan I stopped at the first store I came to. Walmart. I picked up a package of underwears, a pair of cheap capri sweats, and some baby wipes. I went to the express checkout, where the checker asked if I knew how much the underwear was, because it didn't have a barcode on it. !@#$%^&*%^$&#!, I thought to myself. She flipped the package over and over, looking for a barcode that was nowhere to be found. Then she called someone over. So, of course, a GUY came over, tried all the same things she had, and then declared that, "Sometimes the barcode is on the clothing itself," as he proceeded to rip open the package and pull out a GIANT PAIR OF MOM UNDERWEAR and turn them around and over and up and down until he was satisfied that there was no barcode up in there. He then made the announcement, much to my and all my fellow line-standers' dismay that he was going to have to run back and get another package with a proper barcode.

Now, anyone who knows me knows that any other time in the history of my life I would have said, as I always do if ever I'm holding up a line, "Nevermind. I don't need that," (even if I do) and let people move on with their day. But on this day, this most UNlucky day in all of my memory (which, really, only covers about the last few minutes, so, not really saying much, but STILL!) I really, really needed those suckers. I toyed briefly with the idea of turning to my fan club members in the line and explaining, "You know, normally I would just not buy them right now, but, you see I peed my pants today and I've been sitting in my pee pants for the last 2 hours and I still have to drive to Bountiful and I REALLY need those undies!" But I held on to what little dignity I had left at that point and just closed my eyes and did some deep breathing. Well, I tried to keep my eyes closed, but I kept peeking to make sure I wasn't busted by a former schoolmate or old ward member or past co-worker, or, worst of all...a former boyfriend *YIKES*, which would have been perfectly in sync with my day so far.

Finally, the barcode scout brought another package to scan. Now, the 3-pack that I had chosen to purchase (and, mind you, it's not a purchase I make more than once every decade or so, since I wear undies of a more religious nature as a rule) were black, white, and grey. The package that this guy brought over were hot pink, hot pink with multi-colored stripes, and purple with a zany geometric pattern. Just in case the spectacle hadn't been noticeable enough up to that point.

I wondered if, given all that time to stand there thinking about it, someone in line had figured out why I was buying that particular assortment of items. Hmm...why would one need a pair of pants, a package of underwearsies, wipes? Looks suspish to me...I bet she peed her pants! Gross.

I paid for my goods, thanked the helpful Walmart employees, and slinked off into the bathroom. I came out of there a new woman. I disinfected my car seat (not even kidding, that's why I got leather seats.) and drove to my sister's house.

Well, guess what. This story has a happy ending. When I got to my sister's house, my other sister was there too, and as soon as I walked in, all the pain and frustration and embarrassment of my unbelievably, ridiculously, freakishly messed-up day washed away as we laughed and laughed and laughed some more. Kerri told me, "Two words: Blog. It." Kelli told me that as soon as she heard Mom had left, she tried to figure out how long it would take to get to Pocatello, but realized I'd be long done by then. And that was before part three had even happened! Who cares about a crappy old day when you have sisters who love you? Not I.

Plus, it was the perfect experience to pull me out of writer's block, so YAY!

Part 2 of Heck Day 2009

Ahhhh. I finally arrived at the clinic after 4 1/2 hours of what should have been a 2 hour drive. It was nice to be greeted by Bob, who was worried about me and feeling badly for letting me drive somewhere by myself on half a brain and shoddy directions, and my mom, whose annoyance had faded into pity by now. They had both had their treatments already (which made sense, seeing how the appointment was at 10:30 and it was now 12:30!) Bob had gotten a shot in his hip, and Mom a shot in her knee.

My water marathon had paid off and I had a needle *shudder* in my hand, which was a million times better than last time in my ARM!! Ahhh! Gross! Quit making me talk about it!!!

After about 20 minutes my loving, if not overly nurturing, husband said he and the boys were gonna go ahead and take off for their fishing trip. I gave him the "You're going to leave me like this? With a NEEDLE in my VEIN?" look, but then decided to woman up and quit being a baby about it. "Okay, I'll be totally fine. Don't even worry about me. You guys have fun, now! Love you!"

Anyways, my mom was still there, so I should be able to survive.

The IV treatment takes about 2 hours. The room where the treatment is administered has, like, ten or so LaZBoy chairs against 3 walls where people chill with their IV bags. Some people talk, some sleep, some read, and some watch the big screen, which, so very UN-helpfully kept playing episodes of some violent, bloody, gory CSI-type show, not CSI, though, but the one with Lieutenant Dan from Forrest Gump. *Editors note: I have since learned that it was, indeed, CSI NY (in case you cared). Anyway, not helping with the gross-out factor. I have to be very distracted during the IV treatment or I start zeroing in on the fact that a NEEDLE has PUNCTURED my VEIN and is STILL IN THERE!!! And start getting all weird and freaky about it. So, Mom and I chatted for a while and laughed discreetly at the lady who could NOT not be talking every possible second of the day and would chat up anyone and everyone within the sound of her voice who happened to make eye contact with her. She was a kick.

After a while, though, I could tell mom was itchin' to get the heck out of there. You and me both, Mommy. You and me BOTH! So I said I was totally fine and I would just do my crossword puzzle and she really didn't need to stay just for me. So she said, "Oh, good! 'Cause I told Goldie I'd be at bowling by 4:30! Later, dude!" And she was gone. Okay, I exaggerated. She was slightly reluctant to leave me, but I assured her I had it under control, and she really loves bowling.

Well, I proudly made it through the ordeal, or had nearly made it through the ordeal anyway, when I suddenly got extremely nauseated and light-headed. I was either going to pass out or throw up. One or the other for sure. I was passionately hoping for pass out, because WAY less embarrassing, you know? But both scenarios were staring me down equally, so I tried to call the nurse over, but couldn't remember her name and I couldn't call her "nurse" because, how rude? And she was busy and walking in and out of the room, but never close enough for me to get her attention without using her name. So I asked a guy in a nearby LaZBoy, who wasn't hooked up to a NEEDLE *Shiver* if he knew her name. He didn't, but he went and got her for me after seeing the color of my face.

She came over and told me it was just the magnesium in the IV and I'll be just fine and she can take the needle out now and blah blah blah... I just wanted her to stop talking and get that thing out of my arm so I could get to the bathroom before I humiliated myself in front of everyone in one way or another. As soon as she disconnected me I walked as quickly and nonchalantly and in as straight a line as possible, while trying to make it out the door in a conscious state. Mercifully, I made it to the bathroom and managed to shut the door before I puked my guts out. My guts were bright purple. I wondered for a moment what the heck was in that IV before remembering the Jamba Juice my mom had brought me earlier. Phew!

Well, those of you who know me, what do you think would happen (to me) simultaneously during a bout of the cookie-tosses? Keep in mind that I have to practically wear a diaper just to play soccer. You guessed it. I peed. A. Lot. [Sorry, you know I've tried to avoid this subject on this blog, even though it plays a huge part in the embarrassing aspects of my life, but just -- just -- be quiet and keep reading! I wouldn't have brought it up if it wasn't the entire point of the rest of my day from Hades. But it is. So I HAD to. Sorry.]

So, I was hanging out in the bathroom, trying to figure out what to do and crying for the 5th time that day, when the nurse knocked on the door and said, "Kimmy, are you okay in there?" I opened the door, looked at her meaningfully and said, "I threw up."

"Oh," she said, compassionately, "That's okay. Don't worry about it. It happens a lot."

I fixed my gaze slightly more poignantly and said, "And I peed."

"Oh, yeah," she says, "You probably needed to after all that water, plus the IV."

"I peed while I was throwing up."

She cocked her head to the side like a puppy and squinched her eyes up, as if to say, "I'm not quite getting what you're trying to tell me."


"OH! Oh, it's fine! I can give you a towel to sit on on the way home."

It was SO NOT fine, though I'm sure it was perfectly fine for her, so she wasn't lying or anything. But not fine for me, not at all.

"I'm still supposed to get some shots. In my back." (Which involves lying face down on a table --with my giant pee spot smiling up at everyone!)

"It's fine! You'll be fine," she reassured me.

Fortunately, I had to wear a gown up top and it happened to be long enough to cover any massive dark areas on the back of my pants. And the nurse (man, I still don't know her name!) was kind enough to arrange the gown strategically, once I was on the table. But there was still the matter of (pardon me, but) the smell! This same doctor has had me on a bumload of vitamins for the past few weeks, plus the IV full of mostly vitamins, so, well, you can figure it out.

At that point the doctor came in. He had obviously been briefed on the fiasco I had just experienced, because he kept apologizing for my terrible day, etc. And then he told me there was another doctor there that was learning the procedure and would I mind if he came in and watched?

Oh, well, it smells like PEE in here, but...


Think it's over? Not yet. Part 3 coming up.

My Day From Heck or How it Turns out the IV Treatment Wasn't the Worst Part of My Day

This is part 1 of 3, documenting a freakish streak of bad luck and stupidity, which occurred on April 8th, 2009.

Wednesday began with a feeling of foreboding. I was worried about the IV treatment I would have to endure later. I'd been guzzling water for two days straight, trying to make my veins huge and easily accessible so I could have the needle in my hand instead of my *gulp* arm! Ble-e-e-e-echy! The doctor's office is in Pocatello. Yes, Idaho. Bob was going, too, along with my mom. But Bob was going to take the boys on a fishing trip straight from the doc's office, so we drove separately. My mom and I were going to drive together, so she was going to meet me on I-15 after driving from Logan through Tremonton so I wouldn't have to go the long way through Logan. Are you seeing any red flags yet? I should have.

Of course, Bob dusted me in the first 20 minutes, but no problem, I'd find my mom and she'd keep me from getting hopelessly lost.

Did I mention the doctor I was going to see thinks he can reverse the effects of a stroke I had 10 years ago that left me with memory, concentration, and balance problems? He claims to be able to increase my brain function. Keep reading. You will eventually see the irony in this...

When I got to Brigham-ish, I called Mom and told her where I was. Here were her instructions:

"Okay. There's a big mountain range on your right. When those mountains start going down and there's a break in them before the next range of mountains, you'll see an exit. When you get off the exit and turn left, you'll see me."

"Can I see you from the road?"

"No. You have to get off and turn left. And then I'm right there. There's nothing off this exit but fields and cows."

" What town are you in?"

"I don't know! I can't see the signs on the freeway! It's easy, you'll see it."

"Is there a mile marker that you can see?"

"No! I can't see anything on the freeway!"

"Uhhh...okay. I'm sure I can find it."

I drove. I watched the mountains. They started going down and I could see a break before the next range. But, you know, those turn out to be pretty vague directions, considering that there's a really wide range of possible interpretation of said directions.

I did eventually see an exit with nothing but cows. Kind of. It didn't look exactly like what she was describing, but close enough. I got off. Nothing. I got back on.

I did that four more times.

The phone rang. "Where are you?"

"Where are YOU?"

Long story less long: after 30 minutes at 80 miles per hour I still hadn't found her. I was nowhere near anything she had described. I was confused and frustrated. She was frustrated. I told her there's no way I hadn't passed her by now, I had no clue where I was, and I didn't know what to do.

She was all peeved and told me fine, she'd just drive herself to Pokey. I felt bad. And confused. I called Bob and told him about it. He said he could've sworn he saw her little truck off one of the exits. I said why didn't he stop and pick her up? Oh well. He said that's weird that I couldn't find her and I had turned off to the right when the freeway split, right?

Huh? The freeway splits? Crap.

So, I was halfway to Boise by now. I pulled off in Snowville for a potty break, since I was still chugging water like a camel and asked the kind lady at the gas station if there was a quicker way to Pocatello than backtracking all the way to the mythical "split" in the freeway. She told me I was in luck. There is a road that connects the two freeways, accessible from a road right in front of the gas station! Lucky me! Here were her instructions:

"Okay. There's a stop sign right in front of the station. It's not that one. The next stop sign you come to, turn right. After that, you'll go for about 20 miles on a winding road and then you'll come to an entrance to I-15."

Yay! Okay, sounds good. I came to the first stop sign. Check. I proceeded down the country lane heading seemingly into nowhere. And I do mean nowhere. There were literal tumbleweeds tumbling across the road and I didn't pass a single car. There was nary a house to be seen, only fields and more fields. I felt like I was driving to LaLa Land. And I kept NOT seeing a stop sign. Sure, there were little dirt roads that turned off my road, but nothing substantial, so I was fairly certain I was on the right road, but where in the world was the mythical "stop sign?"

After about 13 miles I decided Nowhere was an actual place, and I was going there. I thought, if I hit a moose and die out here, no one will EVER find me. I thought, I am on the flippin' wrong road! And I turned around and went all the way back to the gas station.

"Could I see that map again? I think I was on the wrong road."

"Huh? You're back? There's only one road. Here, I'll draw it out for you. Okay. So there's a stop sign right out here. It's not that one."

"Right. Check."

"You'll go about 17 miles and there will be another stop sign."

"Wait, now. What was that? Yeah, I don't think I went quite far enough." (And thanks for the head's up about the SEVENTEEN MILES!!!!)

So off I go. Sure enough, 17 miles on the Road To Nowhere and a stop sign appears! Yay! Now I just have to drive 20 more miles on another winding, abandoned road and then I'll be on the freeway, after which I can drive another hour or so and finally get there! Easy!

Meanwhile I kept my eyes peeled for any sign of civilization which might possibly feature a BATHROOM and stopped at every available opportunity.

Eventually I pulled into Pocatello! Yay! I was SO relieved to be in Pocatello! I called Bob and told him I was there and asked how I get to the office now. Here were his instructions:

"Okay. So, you're going to get off on the 3rd exit in Pocatello."

*Record scratch*

"Say, huh? I already got off on the FIRST exit!" (And thanks for the heads up about the 3rd exit, bee tee double yoo! Could you maybe have mentioned that in one of the twelve phone calls we've had in the last four hours? Oh, and isn't it extra-handy that you have a GPS both in your truck AND on your iPhone and I have a whopping NONE?! How is that helpful?)

After three, count 'em, THREE different people gave me three different versions of how to get to the office, and several turnings around, and crying for the fourth time that day, I finally pulled into the clinic. Yay! Ugh.

My stupid brain kept me from getting to the doctor who claims he can fix my stupid brain!

Departure: 8:00 A.M.
Arrival: 12:30 P.M.

And just when I thought nothing else could go wrong that day...well...stay tuned for Part 2 (Electric Boogaloo).

Friday, April 03, 2009

Media Moratorium

I'm cutting WAAAAY back on the media. It's going to be painful, but I have to do it. It's taking over my life and I'm taking my life back. Here's how it's going to be:

NO tv. Well, not very much tv. Very little tv, if any. Perhaps just American Idol. And the final episode of ER because it's the final episode -- ever.

Computer: One hour in the morning, then shut down. One hour in the evening, then shut down. I actually did this yesterday and it was okay. I had to turn it on a couple of times for information and kids' homework, but because I had to boot it up and wait and everything, I really thought about it before I turned it on. And then I turned it back off.

The problem is that I pass the computer all the time and it calls to me. It winks its cute little Mac eye (or is that iMac? Oh! Zing!) at me and says, "You want some of this? Come on, just check your email and then browse a little. You can still get some work done. Let's see...go get some laundry and you can (pretend to) fold it while you catch up on a show you missed. But, I mean, you can catch up on some blogs, too, while you're on here. Oh, and make sure you check the news, cause, you know, you gotta stay up on the news. And the weather, so that when you think about going running you can talk yourself out of it because the weather doesn't look too good. And, oh! You know how funny some of those Onion videos are! You should see if there are some good ones today. Ah! Facebook! Don't forget to check your Facebook page, along with the pages of several other people whom you vaguely remember from 20 years ago. They might have some great pictures or links that you can get caught up in, or "25 random facts" or "One Word" notes. Oooh, who's online right now? You might want to chat with someone. Oh, remember how you just signed up on Twitter? Better check it out because you just never know what Ashton and Demi are going to be saying, those funny kids! Hey, is there a new podcast on itunes you haven't checked out yet? Whoa! Dude! Are you going to get dressed or what? The kids'll be home in 20 minutes! Do you want them to know you've been sitting here wasting your day away? Jeez! Get a life, why don'tcha?"

It's a love/hate kind of thing. I love sitting around all day, accomplishing nothing. But I hate getting caught.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Careful What You Wish For~~You Might Be Embarrassed Years Later

A few times during my pre- and early-teenage years, I got my mind set on something to ask for for my birthday. I would want it so badly I would tell my parents, "That's the ONLY thing I want!!" to increase my chances of getting it. I would state and restate it at least daily, for emphasis. "Really, I don't want ANYTHING else! Just that!"

My parents were smart. Or cheap.

Every time I did it I ended up getting exactly that: the ONE thing I asked for. Nothing more. And I couldn't complain, either, because I had been so adamant about it. Plus, I like to think I'm pretty simple and easy to please, and I really was grateful for the one little thing. But wait'll you see some of the things I got for my birthdays before I wised up:

1. Bagels and cream cheese.

2. A bar of Dial soap. I had a fascination with the smell of soap and loved walking down the soap isle at the store (still do). They did generously include a cute soap dish, however.

3. A trip to Wilson Motor, a car dealership, to look at the plethora of animal trophies they had in their lobby. Wilson Motor was on main street and we passed it everyday, driving through town. So basically, the only difference was that we stopped and went in once.

4. A boom box. Yeah, I started getting a little smarter by then. A little.

These were 4 separate years, mind you. And now that I think about it, I still do that sometimes. Lucky for me, Bob loves to shop too much for me to end up with only the one thing I asked for.

Anyway, for my birthday this year I only want ONE thing:

A grand piano.

I swear, I won't ask for ANYTHING else! That's the ONLY thing I want!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Asphyxiation Station

Hahahahaha hehehehehe hooooo...

I just remembered an embarrassing moment and it's making me laugh!

One time, when I was a new, young mom, my friend Julie was having a bunch of friends over. It was a group of friends from high school and college. These friends were nearly all single. It was right at the beginning of the stage where everybody started getting married. Bob and I took baby Tanner, who was probably a year old, and went to hang out. The baby was kind of a novelty, since no one else had kids at the time.

Sometime during the evening Tanner fell asleep. Julie said to go ahead and put him on her bed in the back room. There was a lamp on the nightstand that I decided to leave on in case Tanner woke up and wondered what the heck. But the light was kind of bright, as it didn't have a shade on it. Since it was winter and I had a pair of stretchy knit gloves with me, I thought it would be a clever idea to put one of the gloves over the bulb to diffuse the light, which I did, and it was just right.

After a while someone wondered what was burning. It was around that time we noticed the smoke coming from, you guessed it, (aren't you the sharp one? Nothing gets past you, does it?) the back bedroom. The chemical stench was unbearable and the party cleared out pretty quickly. Though not before plenty of mocking laughter and "good thinking!" comments. I thought Tanner was going to get cancer right then and there from the toxic fumes that were right next to his little baby head. Poor Julie --she had to sleep there!

You should have seen the bulb with the glove burned and sealed to it except for five little stubby, charred fingers sticking up. That picture is what is making me lol.

I'm sure those single friends were thinking I was real brilliant and a great mom.

There exists somewhere a picture of that bulb that I will stumble across 13 years from now. I wish I knew where it was and could post it because I'm not sure this story is funny without it.

It is to me, though, and I'm laughing my bum off right now.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

25 Random Facts About Me

On Facebook I got tagged to do an exercise called 25 Random Facts About Me. I figured I'd kill two blogs with one post by copying it in here. Sorry if you've already read it.

1. I like to use humor, not out of pain or sadness, but because I think life is awesome and I love to laugh.

2. My friends tease me about having a "cushy life." I am a stay at home mom whose kids are at school all day. Wait a second...doesn't that make me a trophy wife? Oh geez. Well, if that's the case, then I must be a Participation trophy, 'cause I sure ain't First Prize!

3. I had a stroke when I was 30. Soon after, I was diagnosed with Factor 5, a blood clotting disorder. The docs couldn't believe I'd had 5 healthy pregnancies, since Factor 5 is usually diagnosed after multiple miscarriages or stillbirths, none of which I've ever had. So I'm very blessed to have my 5 children. There are a lot of 5s in this paragraph.

The only permanent complications from the stroke are balance issues and short-term memory problems, and I was left slightly dumber than I used to be, which is a total drag.
It's a bummer being dumber.

4. I'm a poet and wasn't aware of it.

5. I never really read books until 1999 when we moved and I won the fight about not hooking up the cable TV (for a while, anyway). The first real book I read was Uncle Tom's Cabin (awesome book, btw). Ever since then I cannot get enough of reading books.

6. I HATE to be cold. I would rather be sweltering hot all day, any day, than to be even a little bit cold. Hot chocolate and I, we're pretty much BFFs.

7. I love stale candy.

8. I started running with a friend two years ago, practically at gunpoint, and have run the Ogden half marathon twice. I'm doing the SLC half this year. I still don't like running.

9. I secretly love my husband's spontaneity. I act put out about it, but because of it I've gone to Hawaii with the whole family on 12 hours notice (eight of them sleeping hours!), I've gotten to do fun, unexpected things on a regular basis, I get out of my comfort zone regularly, and I get lots of surprise gifts! He also LOVES to shop - which is also a big bonus for me.

10. I like to write. Not books, but short essays - perfect for a blog. A while back I started a blog devoted mostly to my embarrassing moments, since I had so many and knew I'd have endless subject material. It's called And Then There Was That One Time.
You can get to it from my FB page if you really want to. I know you want to, Paul.

11. I obsess about my writing; reading and rereading over and over and making changes and then reading and rereading, etc. Invariably, once I post it (or print it, or send it) I find a mistake or something I don't like and then obsess about it even more, partly because of the fact that it's too late to change it.

12. When I'm reading, misspelled words, grammatical mistakes, and typos jump off the page and bug the crap out of me. Sorry; I don't judge, I'm just bugged. I make mistakes, too.

13. I love the computer way too much. And TV. And movies. They're my mini-vacations from life and who doesn't love a vacation?

14. I have a big, fat crush on each of my children. I love everything they do and think they're the cutest, funniest, coolest, smartest, most talented, and just all-around most awesome people I know. It's probably not completely true, but I'll never admit it. I love hanging out with them.

15. I loved my babies obsessively and was sure I'd be crushed when they went off to school during the day and left me all alone, only to find that I reeeeeeeaaaaaalllllyy enjoy my alone time. Much more than I ever thought I would. Perhaps a little too much? Nah.

16. I worry about how often I'm thoughtless, offensive, and selfish towards other people.

17. I don't believe in trying to make my life seem perfect. I welcome others to see how defective I am. I think it's better for everyone if we can see that we are all messed up in our own special way.

18. I grew up riding horses and competing in horse shows and parades, even a couple of rodeos. None of that anymore, but I'm glad to have the memories -and pictures.

19. I am the oldest of 5 girls (again with the 5s!) and when I was young my parents had plenty of expendable income, so I got to do everything, like piano lessons, water skiing, horse riding, baton lessons (I know, right?), travel, etc. By the time I was in junior high my dad had moved us all to Utah (from CA) to go to USU, and they had NO money. So my sisters had a very different childhood than me and had few of the opportunities that I did. But I worked from the time I was 14 and had to buy most of my own stuff, so it wasn't always cushy.

20. I loved high school! I had so much fun and lots of friends. I love even more how I'm now reconnecting with classmates, some of whom I didn't even know very well and who have such different lives than mine that we'd probably not cross paths any other way. Maturity is a beautiful thing. That, and Facebook.

21. I am really bad at decorating. I have this beautiful, big house and don't even know how to make it look good. My friends are always having to help me. This is where I'm thinking Chad Sheen could be seriously handy, after seeing the pictures of his house!

22. I strongly dislike housework. Another problem with the beautiful, big house. It's almost always messy. We have a lot of parties here. one reason: so the house gets clean. That reminds me...we need to have a party soon.

23. I strongly dislike cooking. I have many techniques and tricks to get out of it. I will use nearly anything as an excuse to not cook. Right now I'm going with the fact that our fridge is broken and can't be fixed for a week. Okay, yeah, we have a fridge in the garage, but it doesn't smell right and I refuse to consume anything that's been in it. Wow, that sounds really snooty!

24. I have been to hell and back and opt not to talk about it, but just so you know.

25. I'm pretty sure I have the best friends possible. No, seriously. They are amazing. I don't know where or who I would be without the friends that have come and gone and shaped and changed and inspired me.

There you have it. What are 25 random facts about YOU?

Monday, January 05, 2009

We Came. We Saw. We Squatted.

Oh, I'm so sorry to all my legions of faithful readers who have been starved for weeks without a posting from their favorite blogger! How difficult it must have been for you.

My China trip was SO last month! But I'll try to muster some enthusiasm as I take you on a little photo tour...

First of all, I maintain that, since I've been to China 3 times now (and that's two too many in my opinion) the thing that was most fun about this trip was hanging with my traveling companions. And if that's the case, then I further maintain that we could have had the same amount of fun anywhere! Such as: the Bahamas, Cancun, or Tahiti, none of which I have ever visited and all of which are warm, sunny, and contain beaches. But my crazy friends wanted to go to China. And my crazy husband who goes there virtually every month also wanted to go there (go figure). So off we went. Here are some observations and experiences:

There are a lot of people in China:

One day we went to a mall to have suits, coats, etc. made by the tailor:

One day we had foot massages--okay, maybe two days -- and maybe a head massage once, as well:

One day we went to the Forbidden City and found that we are Forbidden to pick flowers (although it looks like somebody did anyway. I bet they lose their head for it!):
Click on the photo to enlarge it.

One day we found a 4 star squatter!:
Notice who gave themselves the rating.

Here is the International Squatter Symbol, should you ever need it:

Here is the 4 star squatter:
I don't know, I think maybe they should have gone 5 stars.

One day we were trying to find a head massage place in Beijing. The boys left us in one place while they braved the cold to see if they could find a better one (they didn't) and came back with these for us:

One day Laura got food poisoning! Poor Laura! Here she is, unsuspecting, with the evil pork and noodles:

One day Laura sprained her ankle on the Great Wall of China! Poor Laura! Here she is, unsuspecting, moments before. In this picture, I think she's saying, "Huh? What? I can't hear you! Did you say I'm about to spray my cankle? That's rude. I'm just going to hurry down these steps...":

One day Laura crashed head-on with a motorcyle! Poor Laura! Here she is, unsuspecting, and driving like a pro:

Here is Laura lying in the ditch after crashing and being thrown off the road and having the scooter land on her leg:

Here we are on our way home. Those are all our suitcases. We were a spectacle. That's Laura in the wheelchair:

There are many more observations and experiences, but I can only upload so many photos before my brain 'splodes and I smash my computer with a pipe wrench. I know it's not my computer's fault, but I can't smash Blogspot now can I?

We actually had a really great trip, for the most part. Laura says she only regrets a few seconds of it. I only regret most of the food. Other than that, it is a splendid place with interesting people and a fascinating culture.

China is a great place to visit, but I like America better.