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.