Friday, May 28, 2010

Yard Work And The Hazards Of Being "Industrious"

Dave and I started another project. We haven't even finished our last project. The moulding for the chair rail hasn't been put up. But the playroom is mostly done and I think we were both bored with it. So onto something new! When we moved into the house I can still remember Dave saying it was unamerican to not have a lawn. Crazy huh, we moved onto 8/10ths of an acre and we don't have grass. I think we both thought putting grass in would be the easiest and least costly of the long list of things we want to do around the house. So A delivery of 7 tons of huge rocks and the rental of one tractor backhoe thingy and we were off to modify the yard.
Moving 7 tons of massive rocks up our crazy steep driveway was...well...crazy. That poor tractor. If it had feelings it would be crying. Once we got the rocks up into the yard we began a rock wall. Everything always looks easier then it is. It took us almost all day with both of us working until our arms couldn't lift their own weight to finish it. Even though we were both being super cautious both of us smashed our fingers. I think I screamed bloody murder for 30 minutes (at least). Why does finger trauma hurt so bad! Here it is. My horribly ugly squished and abused finger. It still hurts and it has been a whole week. I have learned to do everything without the use of my pore pointer finger. Typing was challenging at first, but I have gotten the hang of it. The thing I dreaded most was washing my hair. I almost went into Great Clips or someplace similar just have pay someone to wash my hair. Just yesterday I got brave enough to try it myself. I came to the conclusion that I have too much hair. And that water torture is a real viable form of inflicting pain. I grimaced with every drop of water that hit my finger. Not cool.

After we got the rock wall finished we had to come up with enough dirt to fill in the future yard. Perfect - I've been wanting to recess the trampoline. So up the hill we headed with the tractor and the riding mower to start hauling dirt. Another whole day later - digging and hauling in the rain and we almost have a hole deep enough for the trampoline but we are no where close to filling in the yard with enough dirt. So our "simple" project turned into a big one. It seems that is almost always the case. What we thought we could do over a weekend will probably take four. And I have a mutilated finger, loads of muddy laundry and a very dirty "tracked in" house to show for it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I Love To See The Temple

My friend Judy at the Gila Valley Temple open house

On Saturday I got a call from my girlfriend Judy, she asked if I wanted to go to the Temple open house in Arizona. First, I didn't even know there was a Temple open house in Arizona. I swear Judy will be a better "Mormon" than me someday. Second, this very practical friend of mine was proposing we do something so ridiculously crazy that only a college student would attempt it, or maybe a band groupie. Neither of which fit our current places in life. She wanted to fly down Tuesday morning and come back home the next day. It would be a whirlwind adventure in search of spiritual confirmation, and epic adventure of self discovery and for me a one night bonus to see my family.

Judy has been investigating the church for a year and 1/2. At first I worried about outing her on this blog post, but then I figure Judy that none of your friends check my blog and all of my friends know you are still "looking into" it. So you are no longer a closet investigator :-) I have had the privilege to sit through missionary discussions, have her company at church and laugh together with our two families at a few church activities. Her daughter Kaitlyn is Emily's best friend. Long ago I knew I wanted to share the gospel with her, but there was always that fear of putting distance between a growing friendship. It wasn't until a year and 1/2 ago when Judy was pining away on her bed during a long recovery from surgery that brought her to a place of curiosity. After some reading and several hours of BYU TV I got a call from her one day saying, "when are you going to tell me about your church?" I was over there that evening.

Now here we are headed down to see the Temple. Without a passport to go to the Vancouver Temple which was only a few hours away the only other option that was available and would be available until 2012 was the Arizona Temple.

It felt good to do something spontaneous with a girl friend. And it felt great to be with her in the Temple. There was some discussion about the Temple in my ward's Relief Society a while back. A young mom shared her frustration with not feeling what she expected and wanted to feel during her trips to the Temple. I thought for a while and realized I had similar feelings. It wasn't until this last trip and the pondering about it afterwards that I came to an important realization. I wanted my Temple visits to be grand. I wanted to hear the Voice of the Lord. I wanted my experiences to be awe inducing. But instead, like my visit to the open house, my visits are usually quiet, uneventful and just simply peaceful. I am thinking about that as I write this blog post and I have had a cathartic moment. My expectations are like the Jews from long ago. They expect the coming of the Messiah. They knew the importance of his coming and the role he would play. Just like I have grown up with some knowledge about the Temple and it's place and significance in my religious worship. But the Jews expect Christ to come in grandeur. They were waiting for shock and awe, so that none could doubt. They wanted something that the Lord was not. He came quietly as a baby born in a stable. He was a Carpenters' son. He taught peacefully through stories and analogies. Nothing about Christ was GRAND. He was the Son of God and yet the Jews overlooked him in search for someone bigger and better and larger than life. That is exactly what I have done with the Temple all these years. I expected something grandiose, and I was so caught up looking for it that I haven't ever really felt what the Temple is all about. I was always looking for a huge sign and ignoring the quiet assurance.

It wasn't until I was walking with Judy through the halls of this new Temple that I allowed myself to feel and understand what the Temple was and the way it made me feel. It was home. A safe place were I felt like "Somebody", a daughter of a king. I have a Savior who waits patiently for me to grow up and overcome. And that peace that I feel in the walls of their house...I don't feel ANYWHERE else.

So Judy, thank you! Thank you for taking me on a journey. Thank you for helping me to find myself again. Thank you for being a great friend and example. Thank you for a whirlwind, spontaneous and totally fun trip of discovery.


I Still Don't Have A Clue

I have been married for almost 14 years now. That is a long time to be keeping house. You would think by now I would be a housewife extraordinaire! But life keeps teaching me lessons. There is NO way my ego will become over inflated after this latest discovery; which in case you aren't following my stream of consciousness writing here...means I did something really stupid and it sent a super clear signal that I stink at my chosen profession.
For the last couple of week we have been trying to solve a mystery in our house. Why do our dishes have a funny odor and slightly perfumed taste to them coming out of the dishwasher? Let me tell you, it can totally ruin your eating experience when you plate smells funny. Even though the smell was a pleasant smell it was just SO wrong on our dinner ware.

I solved the mystery yesterday. We have always used cascade in our dish washer. But in my efforts to cut down the grocery budget to a bare minimum (so I can have more spending it shameful to starve your children so you can buy a shirt form Anthropologie?) I have been buying things on sale instead of keeping to my usual "brand loyalist" shopping methods.
So one fine day of shopping at Walmart (I really miss you Safeway) I noticed that Tide detergent was on sale. So instead of Cascade I put the new and significantly cheaper detergent in my cart.
In retrospect I think, how could I have made such a bonehead mistake. While there is no excuse for plain insanity, the packaging is very similar (false advertising!) and the tide pouches were on the shelf right next to the Cascade pouches. So I assumed they were the same type of product. It is always someone else's fault (a valuable lesson I learned in Kindergarten).
Eventually we concluded that it was the new Tide packets that were making our dishes smell so funny. So yesterday when I went back to the detergent had finally been all used up (wouldn't want to waste and throw it away - even though we hate it - this is the new cheap me) and had made it back on my grocery list, I made an oath that no mater how much more expensive Cascade was I was running back to it with open arms and teary eyes.
I rounded the corner of the aisle, thoughts of happier dish days in my head, and I had an epiphany. It wasn't Tide's fault we had been eating off of smelly dishes - it was mine. There in front of me were the same Tide packets I had bought a month before. This time however I read the fine print.
Does that mean...LAUNDRY kind of wash????!!!!! I was pretty much horrified to realize we had been washing our dishes in LAUNDRY detergent. I still hold to this one small scrap of justification - it is not very clear that it is laundry detergent instead of dish detergent. Who knows? Maybe Tide doesn't even make dish detergent and all you super Moms out there would have known that.
But as for me and my house we live on the precarious line of thinking we know what we're doing and messing up all the time.
In order to avoid all future mistakes at least in this department:
---Watch Cascade start marketing laundry detergent and silly ol' me start washing clothes in laundry soap!


Sometimes sisters are super sweet...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Why is Motherhood So Glorified?

My friend Rebecca just emailed me a link to this most hilarious blog. It was sooooo my life. I laughed so hard. I must admit it is nice to feel like others share in my misery. I know it is totaly awful to hope that others are as miserable as you are. But when it all comes down to "real life" it is totally comforting to know you aren't the one with rottenest kids.

I look at some Mom's and families I admire and wonder why I can't achieve the blissful happiness they have in my home. Then I try to get their perfect little children to rat them out. No seriously I asked one of our favorite DuPont babysitters once if she and her sisters ever fought. I had an insane need at that moment to know that her family wasn't perfect. Is it so horrible to hope that other peoples kids are total hellions too?

As I was reading this truly clever woman's blog and thinking to myself that I totally could have it worse...I could have her kids...Emily starts screaming outside. I go to preform the obligatory investigation. Chase and Kate are throwing Sara's poopy diapers off the balcony at her as she is trying to take out the trash. In an instant all hopes that my children were not the worst behaved hellions on earth went out the window.

So as your life happens to you...and you entertain the thought that your own kids must be the worst hooligans around you know that there is me with my out-of-control brood and this poor lady.
Enjoy her blog - it is sooooo worth the time you will invest!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Still Need A Name

OK everyone...

Let's have a poll...

What do you prefer for a name for my new photography studio?

Babies Don't Keep - Maternity and Newborn Photography

Fresh In The Nest - Maternity and Newborn Photography

Any better ideas????

I like them both. Babies don't keep is unique, there isn't anyone else out there with a similar name. But Fresh in the nest is really descriptive and as far as decorating, packaging and just plain who I am it is a better match. Both have good logo potential I think.