A blog named BETTY

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Picture Perfect Christmas

Look at what greeted me Christmas morning!!!:

It's a Nikon D60, and I was so NOT expecting this baby! I seriously cried. I don't remember ever doing that over a gift (over spilt milk, sure, but not over a gift!). Hubby totally surprised me there.

I've taken a batch of pictures, and OH. MY. GOSH., do they look good. I don't know how I survived with my old camera. And even though I know it is totally the camera's doing, my self-esteem has raised a little anyway. I can take awesome pictures!

A normal human being would've taken SCADS of photos by now, but, alas, not me. I got hit with a stomach flu the 26th that put me in the ER, and then in bed for 2 days. I seriously slept 21 of 24 hours yesterday. I'm pretty sure I was dreaming about using my new camera, but there's not much to show for it.

But here's one I took even as the forces of evil germs were gathering within me, plotting to separate me from my new camera.

And here's one of our Christmas tree, which got put up on December 21st--I kid you not. It will be staying with us until the end of February.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Today Betty brings you two of her current passions rolled into one: Christmas and Twilight spoofs. Enjoy!


Friday, December 12, 2008

Why NOT to store dead bodies in your freezer

So we're on about day 237 of having our appliances in the middle of our kitchen. Basically, I just avoid the whole scene, because my hair stands straight up on end when I walk into the room. So, imagine my surprise when I am forced to go in there for some reason, and I see a pool of leaking liquid coming out of my freezer.

(notice that I did go so far as to throw a few napkins on the goo before running screaming down the street)

Evidently, the fridge had died sometime the day before. DIED. Everything perishable ruined. Naturally, I'd just been shopping the day before. I think I mourn the thin mint ice cream the most. I had a beautiful future planned for the two of us. Sigh.

We have had that fridge for 11.5 years and were planning on replacing it soon. Not THIS soon, of course, but soon enough that it doesn't really make sense to toss money at it for repairs. (And I know a shopping opportunity when I see one!) So we hustled off to replace it. Did you know that most places do not have refrigerators in stock on the premises? Something about not enough space, blah, blah, blah. Whatever. We need a fridge NOW, people. Our children need to put COLD milk on their cereal. And Momma has thin mint ice cream on her mind. Sigh.

The soonest we could get the fridge we wanted was early next week. So we sucked it up and agreed to wait. Not 24 hours after ordering it, the factory calls to say that it's on backorder and it'll be another week. DID I NOT MENTION THAT WE NEED COLD--NOW??? Oh my.

So, here's my lesson for you: If you ever plan on replacing your fridge, do it NOW, before your current one dies. You'll thank me later.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Groovy, Man

Here's me finally remembering to post about this little project I L-O-V-E. I saw it done in my favorite catalog/website CB2 (www.CB2.com), so I bought the frame from them and went to town in PhotoShop (back when I had it. which I do again now, thanks to my recent 29th birthday).

That will have a prominent spot in the new family room. It makes me feel so cool. I just may take up wearing white vinyl go-go boots.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

2 noteworthy phenomena:

First of all, it is December 2nd, and it's 58 degrees. And it's been like that for WEEKS, with no end in sight. How much do I love global warming?

Second of all, this is what my house looks like:

(The first one who says that's what my house always looks like gets kicked off the island. Even tho you're right.)

We are replacing the floors in our basement and on most of our main floor. In preparation for that glorious event, Hubby and Shnookie1 have ripped up the old ones. Unfortunately, the installation has been delayed more than a week. Soooo, we are living in crazy-making chaos while we wait, wait, wait.

Stay tuned for pics of the new floors! Hooray!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

When the Spirit Moves You...

I have sharing time in Primary this week....err....tomorrow. (It's only 10:00 am, so I'm getting a head start. No procrastinating here, huh-uh, no way.)

Primary is the childrens' organization in the LDS church. During 2/3 of our Sunday meeting time, the kids meet together...like Sunday School. Sharing time is when one lucky adult gets to teach all of them together. I'm pretty sure that's the official definition. hehe

So I'm looking online for something to steal, err inspire me, and--wonders of wonders--I get totally side-tracked. I found this cute site called "Overheard in the Ward." (www.overheardintheward.com) Naturally, I must share with you something I read there, so that we both may be inspired and edified:


CTR 5 teacher: What is something you love to do? Something that makes you happier than anything else?

5-year-old: Farting.

Now I have to get back to working this into my sharing time. Don't you wish you were in my ward??

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Let the Twilight frenzy begin

I have a teenage daughter. She has devoured all of the Twilight books. She and her Edward-loving friends have been looking forward to the movie. Me?? Not so much. I have read all the books and actually quite enjoyed them. Part of the reason is that they far surpassed my expectations, which warms my cockles because the writer is a BYU graduate. I'm very proud of her. (No doubt she lives for my approval and this is the best news she's heard all year. #1 selling book? Eh. A movie contract? Yawn. Erin Black's thumbs up? WAHOO!!)

Reading my niece-in-law, Brittney's blog post about the movie today reminded me that my expectations for the movie are pretty low. And this time I highly doubt I'll be proven terribly wrong. I was able to get through the cheesy lines in the book by reading them really fast. Not possible in a movie. Just the trailer has caused me some queasiness. The SPOOF on the trailer, however, deserves an Oscar. It has made me laugh out loud more than once. If you haven't seen it, you simply must:

I love the part where he runs after the hot girl saying "I'm immortal!"
Now that's good cinema.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The family who drinks together...

Pardon me for a moment, but I must brag on my husband. Since this blog is as close to a family history as we'll probably ever get, I want it recorded in the annals of time that my husband is a wonder. He started a company--all alone, from the ground up, in an industry he knew nothing about--three years ago. Two days ago He sold it for a tidy little sum. I am just so proud of him! I don't think there are many people in this world who would even attempt that, much less actually make it work. It astounds me! I want to be him when I grow up.

Friday night we held a wild celebration of the sale, wherein we drank bottle after bottle of the apple-variety bubbly. Here's a photo of the wild party (still no photoshop, sorry):

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Oh, yeah, none taken!

A conversation immediately after picking up Shnookie4's little friend:

Little friend: You need to clean out your car, I guess. It stinks in here. (pause) NO OFFENSE.

Shnookie4: Maybe it's YOU that stinks. NO OFFENSE.

All of us laughing, but me secretly high-fiving the Shnook.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Idle hands

Shnookie4's last soccer game was on Saturday. Two hours before the start of the game, I decided that I had time to wash her socks, so I put them in with a load of like-minded clothing. I have had the same washer and dryer for TEN YEARS and I'm still in denial about how incredibly s-l-o-w they are. 15 minutes before we had to leave, I check the dryer, and the socks are still beyond moist. So I take out all of the other clothes, believing the personal attention will accelerate the drying. Not. We've done EVERYTHING else we can possible do to get ready, and they've still made no progress.

Shnookie4 is very punctual, so the sock drama is stressing her out big time. In one of those rare mom 'ah-ha' moments, I decide to secure the socks in the passenger window and let them flap in the breeze while we speed to soccer. Except that we get behind not one, but two Grandma's out for a leisurely drive. I am not against Grandma's and their need to drive slowly (it's probably best that we slow down at some point in life), and I didn't even really care if we got to our destination on time. BUT what I did need was as much kinetic energy as possible to blow dry my baby's socks. It was kinda like the movie SPEED. Except that we were racing for foot comfort instead of a bunch of strangers lives. You can see how high the stakes were.

I managed to get ahead of Grandma #2 (who didn't care for that much, btw, even though I followed all laws and made no hand gestures whatsoever). And, as is inevitable in these cases, I got stopped at a light 10 blocks ahead, and there she is, right behind me. I mention that tidbit to Shnookie4, and she turns to look behind, saying, "I want to see what the grandma is doing." Pause. "Probably knitting." When I laughed, she said, "What?? That's what Grandma's do." I think the fact that Grandma Williams was at our house the night before, knitting in the 10 seconds between serving trick-or-treaters, had something to do with her assumption. Now I'm wondering if maybe my mom does knit at stop lights when no one is looking.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Goodbye Aloha

While in Hawaii, I committed myself to take the Aloha spirit home with me--to live a little easier and not stress. A lot of this commitment stems from the knock-down, drag-out blues I encountered when I got back from Lake Powell. I just don't recover well from vacations; reality somehow knocks me on my fanny. (I know--how strange to prefer vacation life to real life! I'm a nut.)

So I was doing really well with the whole 'hang-loose' adjustment program--enjoying my kids, avoiding laundry, warming up Costco food. And then I got a call from the bishopbric on Wednesday night which sent Aloha back across the ocean. Yup. A talk in Sacrament Meeting. And 3 days to prepare. (I was filling in for someone else, thus the last-minute notice.)

(Because the LDS church operates with a lay ministry, members of our congregations take turns addressing the whole membership. The bishop and his counselors decide on a topic and then invite someone to speak on it--totally voluntary.)

Finally, Saturday night I got this talk all written, so I tested it out on Lance. It was 35 minutes long. (Poor guy! Although he was watching football through half of it. Can't blame him.) I was assigned just 10 minutes. So I started cutting stuff out (including the charming story of me as a 5-yr-old. sniff) and got it down to 20 minutes. I always talk faster when I'm nervous, so I figured that was good enough. I went to bed, got thinking about it and realized I'd written the wrong talk, got all panicky and then had scary showing-up-in-my-underwear dreams all night. (And let me tell ya--me in my underwear redefines 'scary' in a whole new way.)

Morning comes, and I have exactly 15 minutes to re-write my talk, which really made very little difference in the end...except for making me more nervous. We go to church, I sit on the stand, and eventually realize that 2 of the other speakers are no-shows. AND there are no announcements. (When does that happen, for crying out loud??) The scheduled final speaker (my friend, Debbie) leans over to me, panicking that she can't make up that much time. Remembering all of my cut-out 30-minutes of material, I tell her I'll take care of it. Fine. All is well. 10 minutes later, I suddenly realize I've left at home the sheets with all of the amazing quotes that tie my whole talk together. To my credit, I did not scream out loud. I just clamped my mouth tight and let my eyes shoot out of my head. Not noticeable at all.

In the end, my talk evidently went pretty well. I made up all of the parts of the quotes I couldn't remember--only using "blah, blah, blah" a few times--and I got to tell the charming story of me as a 5-yr-old afterall. I have to admit, though, I felt very underwhelmed with the whole thing when I sat down. The man snoring on the second row didn't help any. I comforted myself with the fact that it was over and the scary underwear dreams would at least subside. Much to my surprise, when the meeting ended, I received many kind compliments--more than I've ever received before. Go figure.

So I guess that man on the second row was just so dazzled that he slipped into a coma. Wouldn't be the first time. (tee hee)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It's a very bad news/very good news thing

Bad News:

My laptop completely crashed last Sunday. Right before church, when I was trying to print out the parts for the Primary Program I'd spent all week writing. Hubby went home during the 2nd hour to try and fix it. During the 3rd hour, he came to church, pulled me out into the hall, and told me that everything got deleted. EVERYTHING. Ever one to handle disappointment well, I burst into tears right there. It wasn't the primary program that I mourned, or my Dad's life history I've worked on for a month (those realizations happened later)--it was all of those family pictures I hadn't gotten around to backing up. Wave after wave of ugly crying.

Of course, we rushed Lappy to the computer doctor, and she's been there all week. The prognosis is iffy, although fairly positive (I think. I'm no computer doctor...I just play one on TV). We should hear today how much of her they were able to save.

Good news:

I know, usually the bad news/good news program involves two related items. I think the rules say, however, that if it's REALLY good news, they don't have to be. THUS:

Two days after the computer crash, I took off for HAWAII! I think anyone would agree that there's no place better on earth than Hawaii to recover from a technological heartbreak.

My mom rented a big house in Oahu, right along the North Shore beach, and she invited all of her children (7) and their spouses. Unfortunately, my spouse had a huge week at work he couldn't miss, so I went stag. Of course, that was good news for all the muscled hotties in Hawaii. :) What happens in Hawaii stays...

I really, really had a great time. It was fun to be with my siblings and their spouses. And I didn't even feel like the...uh...13th wheel. Afterall, I had my Mom, and we make a really cute couple. :)

Now, I'm going to show you some pictures. Keep in mind the Bad News factor--I have no Lappy, therefore I have no Photoshop, therefore I have no superpowers. Okay then.

Here's everyone, minus my sister-in-law, Jan, at the temple.

Here's the view from our house (yummy):

Here's me with two of my brothers, Randy and Marc, at the Polynesian Cultural Center:

Here's me at Hanauma Bay, with my brother Randy. He and I snorkeled, and it was a-ma-zing!! I think that was my favorite thing on the trip.

Hanauma Bay is a protected wildlife preserve, so, before they set you loose on the beach, you have to watch a 9-minute film about how to behave in the water. One of the big things is not to damage the coral, which covers a lot of the bay. I was totally cool with that, signed on the dotted line, and off we went. Randy was very patient with me and let me practice putting my face in the water (Toddler101) as long as I needed. I was just getting brave with it, when I came up for a sec, and found a random woman screaming at me "You're not supposed to stand on the fish!!" Startled, I re-adjusted my mask to clear the hallucination, yet there she still was, yelling at me about the fish. Apparently, the coral had already started, and I was ~gasp~ putting a flipper on it. How that would pin down a seasoned little fishy, I don't know, but I shaped right up. And avoided that mad woman as much as possible. You'd think I'd brought along my harpoon or something.

And here's me with Betsy, our vehicle for the Jungle Expedition (I was really hoping for a Betty, dernit):

I have a few scenery-type pics that I want to share, but I will refrain until I can pretty them up a little with PhotoShop. Those ones REALLY show what I loved about my rendevous with Hawaii, because they capture the "ahhhhhh" moments--when all the planets aligned and I felt whole. The moments when thoughts of my ailing Lappy and mountains of laundry were far, far away.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Fourth Little Pig Who Builds With Sheets

This is how I found Shnookie4 the other night when I went in to check on her:

I had to pry her little fingers out of the holes in the afghan! She slept right through it, but then again, all the blood had drained down to her armpit by then, so her fingers probably had no feeling.

She has a rail with hooks all the way around her room, so that's how the blankets are attached to the walls. She LOVES to build forts and then sleep in them (after decorating them thoroughly). Quite frequently I find my linen closet bare, only to walk into her room and get lost in its labyrinth of hanging sheets. Makes for a lot of extra laundry loads, let me tell ya. But it's good to know that if she ever gets lost in the forest and has access to piles of sheets (cuz where else would they be?), she'll be able to make shelter for herself. And with her complicated architectural designs, any bear would get lost before he got to her.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Sky Falleth

I have issues with Fall, a.k.a. the end of everything good, a.k.a. Summer. Oh, I love the 'idea' of Fall--the fair weather, the crisp air, the beautiful leaves. And I enjoy thoroughly those things when they happen. It's just I can't get past my nagging dread of doom, a.k.a. WINTER. In Utah, I swear, we enjoy about a week of that idealic Fall fairytale, and then BAM!! It's six feet of snow and thermal underwear. Frozen tundra living, day in and day out for seven months. It makes me more than a little craaaaazy. Why in the world doesn't every citizen in this state run screaming for California when the first leaf turns yellow??

We happen to live directly under a major geese migration path. Every year, starting in mid-August, these geese come in flocks, honking like crazy, and glide southward over our house. It was quite charming for the first few years, and then I realized WHY they are getting the heck out of dodge. Winter is coming!! Run, fly, do what you have to to escape!! That's what I hear in their honk-honking. And I know it's not really fair to take it out on the birds, but every year, the first time I hear them coming,I put down my lemonade, stand up on my lawn chair, and shake my fist at them. I really wouldn't blame them if they pooped on me (although that wouldn't do much to improve our relationship). Maybe I'm just jealous that they get to follow their instincts and head for warmer pastures.

That all being said, this year I have really, really tried to carpe diem and ignore the dread. It has been GORGEOUS weather here--low to mid 80's--for WEEKS, and I just couldn't be more pleased. I have tried to point it out every chance I get, say thanks for it in prayers, hug every tree I can find, and rescue every beached whale I see...all in hopes that I'll build up good weather karma. Isn't that how this works?

And so....here's some pictures from our jaunt up the canyon yesterday. Just me and the girls, and we had so much fun!

Oh, and did I tell you? As part of a limited-time offer, every "oooh" and "aaaah" earns you 5 points of personal weather karma. Act now!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Whatever. Hi. Now where do you hide your treats?

Thought I'd show you what an hour of my free time produces:

Isn't he so precious?? He also lifts his paw to shake when you say "Howdy" to him. He learns REALLY fast--like I said, it took me a total of an hour to teach him "play dead." Part of the reason he's so easy to teach tricks is that he's HIGHLY, highly, HIGHLY food-motivated. When he gets a hankering for a treat (which is 23 hours of every day), he'll actually start lifting his paw to you. First one, then the other, then the other, over and over again. People come in our house, and they're so impressed he wants to greet them with a howdy shake. Friendly, polite doggy!! In reality, he's hitting them up for a treat. Ya know, just in case they go through their day with a dog biscuit in their pocket. We should just teach him to hold a pistol, then he could get straight to the point, without any of that annoying human gushing.

Boozer is so food motivated that he'll go on hunger strikes for DAYS. If he gets a hold of one little piece of hot dog that rolled into the family room (it happens), he will refuse to eat his dry dog food. Instead, he'd rather hold out for the good stuff he's just sure is rolling his way any second. (If the kids were younger, that strategy would probably make sense--spilled food 24/7!) Then he'll get hungry, he'll paw us to death trying to instigate a howdy shake, we get annoyed, we put him outside, and he eats his own poop. Yes, this dog would rather eat THAT than stoop to eating the specialty liver, chicken and beef dog food we give him. I think even in the doggy world that is called irony.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Exposing the Art Geek's Offspring

Remember my whole passionate, rambling tribute to the Monet to Picasso exhibit? Well, the whole of Utah (and lucky parts of Wyoming and Idaho, I suppose) had the opportunity to bask in it, thanks to Carole Makita at Channel 5 News. She spotted our potential Friday, as I was walking out of the exhibit with my 3 daughters. First thought? "Oh no--someone told her about the lady who makes strange spontaneous noises." (Oh, and BTW I got in trouble this time for getting too close to the paintings. Excuse me for wanting to lick the tempura applied by the hand of Matisse! Sheesh!)

Instead, it appears that Carole was in search of a saintly parent who had opened the world of art to her children that day. Naturally, that would be me. Before we knew it, the camera was rolling, and each of us gave a little shpeal (sp?) about the vistas opened to us during our visit. For those of you who don't live in Utah (or lucky parts of Wyoming and Idaho), and for those of you who do, but don't watch news at 4:00 in the afternoon (c'mon!!), here's the clip:

Can you believe how poised and articulate my 3 girls are?? She put the microphone to their mouths, and that is exactly what came out of their mouths! I was in awe. Or should I say I was "MOVED." That's the big joke in our house this weekend..."Mom, are you MOVED?"

After we were done, Carole thanked us and told us we were just the ideal family. My reply? "We get that a lot." Sometimes I just can't help myself.

I like that Carole. She was so nice and easy to talk to, and she obviously knows quality when she sees it. :)

If ever there were a time to be grateful I'd bothered to put on some makeup in the morning, this would be it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

6 Unremarkable Things About ME!

I've been tagged by Jen B., and I must tell 6 unremarkable things about myself. I think I probably divulge 60 unremarkable things every time I post, so basically--to you readers--this will be a mini session of what I put you through regularly.

1. I have three moles on my left ankle that, when connected, make a perfect triangle. Just more evidence that my body is a wonderland. (As John Mayer likes to tell me.)

2. It used to drive me crazy that my mom never finished her glass of milk at dinner. NOW...what do you think I do???? Yup. I think that subconsciously I'm saving some in case we have dessert and I need that extra 2 swallows. Of course, we rarely have dessert, and if we did, I'd have been the one to make it, so it wouldn't be much of a surprise, now, would it?

3. For the last three years, every time a season changes, I procrastinate packing up my off-season clothes. When I finally get it done, I'm so proud of myself! But then I leave the big containers in my bedroom, so that I can carry them down "the next time I go to the basement." I'm staring at them right now, in my bedroom, full of the winter clothes I'll start procrastinating to hang up soon.

4. I have never been a nail-biter (except for that one month in Italy, who knows why), but I cannot leave my TOE nails alone to grow. I always peel off the new growth, or, when a tough growth warrants it, I've been known to bite at it.

4. I could go on forever at this.

4b. And I can't count.

5. I used to sleep with my hands crossed over my heart so that if someone put a knife into me, maybe it wouldn't reach my heart. Always the pragmatist, even in my night terrors.

The very official terms & conditions:

Link the person who tagged you.
Mention the rules on your blog.
List 6 unspectacular things about you.
Tag 6 other bloggers by linking them.

Are there six people who even read my blog?? Hmmm. If I just made up names, no one would ever know, right? tee hee...so tempting.

Okay, so I'm just gonna tag some of my nieces: Jeni, Alaina, Brittney, Beyonce, and Mary; and then Jill, because she needs some motivation to update her blog and stop driving me crazy with curiosity!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Feeding the Art Geek

I had one of those life-changing experiences yesterday. Hubby and I went with our dear friends Paul and Merrie to the Monet to Dali exhibit at the Utah Museum of Modern Art (that's UMFA, or even uuummmmpha for those of us too lazy to pronounce five extra words) (me). This is a traveling expedition from the Cleveland Museum of Art. (You'll have to ask a Clevelanite to find out what lazy people there call it.)

I SAW REAL ART!!! Not that all art isn't real art, mind you--it's just that when I see actual objects I studied about in college, I get a little excited. Okay, A LOT excited. There was hyperventilation...I kid you not. When I stood next to Rodin's "The Thinker," I literally teared up. (It's one of several casts done of the sculpture, of course, but still...) Paul and Merrie had already been once to the exhibition, and Hubby...well, Hubby obviously connects with masterpieces much more quickly than I do. So they all gave up on staying with me by the 5th painting. Therefore, I was alone (which was fine--less pressure). The problem was, I kept forgetting that I wasn't totally ALONE, and strange noises kept escaping from my mouth. I'm sure a few people thought I was possessed. Maybe I was, but I'll embrace that demon every day! I just could.not.believe what I'd find around every corner, so those little gasps and foreign sounds were completely out of my control.

Here's a sampling of just a few pieces I saw:

Of course, Rodin's "The Thinker" (and many more of his works--amazing):

Picasso's "Harlequin and Violin 1918":

Dali's "The Dream":

and Van Gogh's "The Poplars at Saint-Remy 1889." No print I've ever seen could do this one justice. It was SO VIVID in real life.

Oh, and I can't leave out the Mondrian I saw! I was in total awe of that, a lot because it's so widely printed and imitated in modern life. But none of the reproductions show the actual brushstrokes, and that gave me chills. Sometimes it looks like a 1st grader (or a computer) could do the same simple thing, but when you see the small, deliberate brushstrokes he used, you see the care and patience it must've taken. I stood with my face 2 inches from the painting for a long time. (Between that and the noises, I think people were starting to give me a wide berth!) So, here's "Composition with Red, Yellow, and Blue 1927"(The biggest image I could find, unfortunately. Good luck seeing those brushstrokes!):

And remember--these are just a mere fraction of the masterpieces I saw. All of those artists had many more works on display, plus there were numerous works by Matisse, Monet, Gauguin, Seurat, Renior, and on and on and on. I was literally breathless when I met up with my toe-tapping party (not really--they were very patient). It took me 10 minutes to feel like I wasn't going to pass out. I'm gonna go back with my kids next week, if my health can endure it. Maybe an oxygen tank is in order.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Not again...

Shnookies 3 & 4 came home from the bus stop yesterday, their heads exploding with joy, because someone was passing out POKEMAN cards. That's when MY head exploded. Not with joy, mind you. I survived through a Pokeman obsession with Shnookie 1, and I still show the scars. At the time, I told myself "Breathe deeply, this fad won't last, I won't be staring at hideous creatures and their impossible Japanese names forever. Just get through it." And I did. Becky offered to teach me how the whole 'game' works, but I declined, knowing that I only had one boy and that kind of torturous investment of energy is just not worth it. Kinda like boyscouting.

Yet here I am, scheduled, as in written in stone, to go to Target today and look for Pokeman cards immediately after school. Alas, Shnookie 4 has caught the fever. It's all she can think about. I could strangle that little generous kid at the bus stop. Grrrr.

You're probably thinking it's perfect--that Shnook 1 can just give his old cards to #4. YOU WOULD BRING THAT UP!! Sheesh. Now I have to relive one of those moments that still makes me so angry I see red. It's about when Shnookie 1 sold his Pokeman cards.

Five years ago we had a big garage sale. Shnook1 had all sorts of electronics and stuff to sell--all the stuff he'd grown past--so we made him his own little station. One of the things he wanted to sell was a big binder, stuffed full of all the Pokeman cards he'd collected. And these weren't just lame-o $2 pack cards; he'd put a lot of his own money into collecting rare ones.

The garage sale got pretty busy (valuable junk like mine draws the crowds in!), so Hubby and I were occupied answering questions, etc. At the end of the day, I asked Shnook how it went with his stuff, cuz he seemed a little down. That's when I learn about this monster middle-aged woman who bartered my 12-yr-old son down to $15 for his entire Pokeman collection. Can you imagine taking advantage of a kid that way? And the despicable woman paid with cash, so I couldn't take her check and hunt her down at home. If I could, I'm sure I'd find triple 6's on her forehead. grrrrrrrrrrrr.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Gasoline will be fre-e-e-e

That lame cell-phone pic is to prove to you that Hubby and I went to an outdoor Sheryl Crow concert this week. She had James Blunt with her, which was way cool. When I say she had him 'with' her, I mean he came out and did his bit before she came out. . . not that she had him tucked under her arm or anything while she sang. Just clarifying.

I loved the whole thing--the outdoors, the music, the drunk female posse next to us. Hubby enjoyed the James Blunt part, but was fighting his urge to run by the end of Sheryl. Let's just say that Sheryl and Hubby's political views are not compatible, and Sheryl's not one to hide hers under a bushel (or whatever). Luckily, he didn't know the words to the songs she did about how the president is lying to us (although I think he could sense it), so he was semi-okay. UNTIL she sang her gasoline song, which she started with a big singing speech (something only SHE can get away with--do not try this in church) about how much EXXON is profiting from gas prices, etc, etc. So I'm trying to enjoy the song about gasoline (how often do you get to say that?) and he's muttering in my ear "Well, how much is SHE profiting from this concert? I don't like the prices of her tickets, etc, etc." I kept telling him to just enjoy the music--he didn't have to sign a contract professing loyalty to her views or anything. Sheesh!

I thought he was gonna pass out when the audience starting begging for an encore.

But let us give credit here to Hubby for buying these tickets as a surprise for me and agreeing to accompany me. I told him that I would repay him when I accompany him to his mission reunion next month...again. Yawn.

And we must also give credit to Hubby for getting great seats right along the middle aisle, parallel to the stage. Not only did that give us plenty of leg room, but it afforded me a life-changing moment. DRUM ROLL.....James Blunt and I shared a moment that will last for all time. Yup, he high-fived me. Full hand contact. During one song, he jumped into the crowd, ran up the side isle and then ran down our aisle. Oh sure, he high-fived other people along the way, but I think we all know that he was just trying to get to me. Unfortunately, he got a little confused (probably intimidated by Hubby) and kissed the next woman past me. He's British, he makes mistakes. I can live with that.

Monday, August 25, 2008

What My Heaven Looks Like

I just downloaded our photos from our vacation in Lake Powell. And I'm a little sad. Why you ask? BECAUSE I'M NOT THERE anymore. Wow, did I love that trip. Okay, not the insanely complicated routine of handling a HOUSE that MOVES on the water (really, do we need that many buttons on the control panel people?), or the miles of vomit the lake water produced from my girls (apparently they missed the "swim with your mouth closed" part of the initiation), or cooking in a kitchen made for Malibu Barbie (it would seem that besides being quite small, she doesn't believe in garbage disposals either. But then, Ken is probably taking her out to the Surf n Turf everynight, so she doesn't have to cook).

So, other than the above and a few annoying bugs, I was so in my element. It feels strange to even say that, cuz I'm not really one of those outdoor adventure Birkenstock-wearing free spirits. My skin is 5 shades of pure white and screams at the sun, I am deathly afraid of drowning, and I can't sleep anywhere but my own bed. The Sierra Club isn't exactly knocking my door down. HOWEVER, my favorite and most Zen-inducing elements are 1) the beach 2) sitting on a fast boat, 3) a beautiful, natural view and the time to breathe it in, and 4) seeing my kids totally blissful hanging out together. This vacation had all 4 of those things in abundance and many, many more.

The kicker? I may never get to do it again, cuz Hubby's Zen list does not include a single one of those things, and he has no desire to ever go back. Sigh. And this time when I say sigh, I mean SIIIIIIIIIIIIGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH.

So let's enjoy those photos! They may be the only ones we ever get!

Here's the house boat we rented, nestled into a pretty little cove by Bullfrog. We pretty much stayed here the whole time. Why mess with perfection? (and the 4 anchors were really a pain to move!)

Here's all the gang on the day we rented a ski boat. Hubby insisted that they all wear these life jackets, about which the teenagers were really thrilled, as you can see. (He did let the teens all take theirs off after awhile on the boat.) BTW, the 2 extra people in the photo are the friends Shnookies 1&2 got to take with them. Somehow they put up with up for 4 days.

Here's how Schnookie3 felt about the boat:

And that's her forcing a smile for the camera. Granted, she'd been vomiting for 24 hours at this point, but I think it's still safe to say that she isn't a boat person. She only endured a half hour of this parental torture. Then the boat broke down (coincidence? hmmm) and she got to deboard for the rest of the day. Fortunately, they brought us a new boat, and Mama was happy!

Here's me during what well may be the best day of my life (other than marriage and births, of course). First of all, I, Erin Marie Black, water-skiied. Yes, thats me skiing on WATER. I was so determined to get up and stay up, which I've never done, and I DID IT!!! I've never felt so alive. Take THAT, cancer! (If I weren't gripping for my life, maybe I would've made an appropriate gesture to that arch enemy.)

Granted, I only stayed up for maybe 45 seconds, but--sadly--that's a record for me.

After skiing and tubing behind the boat, I swam with my girls (we washed our hair with shampoo right there in the lake), I went down the boat's steep water slide a few times (they didn't believe I would. HA!), we ate the most delicious grilled hamburgers ever, and then I reclined on the top deck (I like to call it the Lido Deck. All of my Love Boat knowledge came in very handy.) with a great book. That goes a little something like this:

And while I was doing that, here's what I got to gaze upon:

Hubby and girls engrossed in puzzles right there on the deck as the sun set. And here's what the teenagers were doing downstairs:

Watching movies (while texting, of course). In other words, NO ONE NEEDED ME for a whole hour, and I was soooo at peace. Good sigh.

Besides watching movies, (which they did every night until I made them go to their separate areas to sleep), here's another favorite thing on the teen scene:

They played A LOT of water polo. AND they (mostly the boys) spent a lot of time trying to come up with the most ridiculous poses for pictures. Speaking of which, here's the super-spontaneous shot of S1 and J that they planned for the entire trip. Them jumping off the top of the houseboat together. (It only made them want to do it more when the boat guys said it was against the law.)

Here's the little girls doing their number 1 favorite thing at Lake Powell--swimming by the shore:

See what I mean? Behold the open mouth, just waiting for a big dose of giardia-infested water. This pic also proves that sisterly love never takes a vacation.

And here's S4, doing her 2nd most favorite thing at Lake Powell, playing in the sand:

Isn't that sand gorgeous?!! And Ay Carumba!, did it feel good between the toes. If this yearning for my little slice of heaven doesn't go away soon, you'll be able to reach me at the second houseboat on the right. Or should I say STARBOARD....?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Aaah, the young and the old

It's been awhile since I've done a Dixie post, and I know the public is dying to hear what she's up to. (In case you don't know, Dixie is my 89-year-old mother-in-law.) She did not end up getting married to her 82-year-old boyfriend, Ike. He broke it off 3 hours before the wedding. Of course, she has no memory of any of that, so they're still together. And he proposes every couple of weeks and breaks up with her every week. They get back together the next day. Ya know, people talk about 'forgive and forget,' but I'm starting to think that just plain old 'FORGET' is even more effective. She's the perfect woman for him.

We went to visit Dixie at her place last night, and there was Ike, fresh from making up from Saturday's break-up. After Dixie introduced all of us to Ike (we've "met" him 50 times at this point), he decided he should go back to his place. So they do a big smooch, right there in the middle of all of us. A few of the kids immediately went pale.

Later, Hubby was teasing her a little about Ike, and she blurts out "You know what he wants me to do? He wants me to SLEEP with him!!" Everyone's eyes pop out of their heads.
Hubby: "Mom, there are kids in the room!"
Grandma Dixie: "Okay, let's take a vote and see if they think I should." She then turns to my 10 YEAR OLD and says "What do you think?"
Shnookie3 is 10 shades of red right about then.
Luckily, we managed to distract grandma quickly.

My kids love Grandma Dixie a lot, and some of our best memories take place with her. She adores all of them, but she particularly takes a shine to our oldest. She's do anything for him and loves to engage him in conversation. We all get a kick out of this, because A) he's so NOT a conversationalist, and B) he's such a child of the 21st century that they hardly even speak the same language. For instance, she asked him what he got for Christmas a while back, to which he responded "A new IPOD." Of course, she had no clue what that was, so in way of explanation, he tells her "It's a kind of MP3 player." He was a bit frustrated when she still looked at him blankly. Hubby and I were ROFL.

On our way out last night, Dixie (who always thinks we live 2 states away instead of down the street) said to Shnookie1, "Hey, drop me a line sometime!" To which he replied, "Oooo-kay. What does that mean?"

Friday, August 15, 2008

I really am something, aren't I?

I'm not sure that much thrills me more than a great deal, especially if I get to be extra tricky. That said, I am thrilled to the bone right now. And you get to hear why!!

We re-did Shnookie2's room over a year ago in bright colors with a very, VERY subtle beachy theme (she's adamant on this point because her friend across the street has a beach-themed bedroom). Ever since then, we have been searching for a perfect overhead light fixture. Finally, she found a style she loved: a capiz shell tiered chandelier. Cost? around $650. Gulp.

So I have been rolling that around in my head for six months, desperately hoping that IKEA would come out with one for $19.95. (WHY don't they consult me on their design decisions???) Then I saw the capiz part (no lighting capability) at a discount store for $40. Then I spent another month trying to figure out how to make that work, searching for wiring kits, etc. THEN one day I went to Home Depot and came across this single hanging pendant light with a blue glass shade on it. Cost? $14.99 on clearance. Naturally, they were out of stock...in the whole state of Utah. Not to be squelched in my quest (my DIY adrenaline was really pumping at this point), I asked the orange apron helper-man if I could just buy the display one. He agreed, arranged it with the cashier, and off I went, smiling ear to ear. THEN I noticed that they had only charged me $.01 for it (that's one penny, folks). When I went back to the cashier, she said that was no mistake. Wahoo! I think I scared her a little with my glee.

I went home (could I MAKE this any longer??), took off the blue shade, spray painted the white plastic parts with silver, and plopped that capiz shade on there. (It was a little harder than that--each strand of shells was individually wrapped in plastic and yards of tape.) Hubby wired it up for me, and V-I-O-L-A, a masterpiece for $40.01:

The great thing is that I have to pass her room every time I go to my room, so I get to admire my genius over and over and over...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Swiss Family Black

Our annual ward campout was last weekend. This is an event that is spoken of with great reverence in our house, because it is the culmination of all that is good and right in the world. The little shnookies ADORE the ward campout. If it came down to a choice between a day at Disneyland with David Archilleta all to themselves and going to the campout, they would choose the campout. (But first they'd try to get David to come camping with them, because surely he would rather sleep on rocks than be at Disneyland. Who wouldn't, for crying out loud?!!)

This is the 3rd year in a row that we've attended. It's been at the same place each time, and it truly is quite the ideallic situation. Gorgeous location, all the food provided and cooked for you, and all our neighbors there to talk with/play with. Barring a campout at the local Marriott, what could be better? We can never get there early enough for the girls, and they're disgusted with us every time it's time to go home, even though we're the last to leave every year.

One would think that with all of this wildlife fever, we'd be avid campers. Well ... one would be wrong. First of all, Hubby grew up in L.A., and he's gotten way too used to room service in all his travels. I, on the other hand, practically grew up in a tent, waiting for my mom to finish frying the pancakes over the open fire. I get a little jumpy when I insert myself as the mom into that picture. (Yes, I know...it doesn't have to be that way... we could hit MacDonalds on the way in. I never claimed to be RATIONAL, people!) And now while the girls believe that there is no camping outside of ward campouts, why ruin that?? One little excursion on our own, and they'd be hounding us nonstop!

I was actually hoping to invest in a new tent this year, secretly thinking that it would PUSH us out into the wild more often. Somehow, somewhere, I think Hubby picked up on my secret agenda (I guess he's been paying attention a little during our 12 years of marriage after all. Hmm.), so the second he discovers that R.E.I. will RENT tents, he's all over it. Humph!

So we were the ones at the campout in a rented tent. FINE. I was secretly hoping it would be disgusting and defective, but it actually worked quite nicely, even in the rain. I woke up dry and warm. Dangit!

BTW, I'm still buying a tent. But now it'll be a 15-man tent with running water and servant's quarters.

This year was especially special in its specialness because it was Shnookie2's first year being able to attend (which is why our current 4-man tent wouldn't fit us and we needed a NEW one). Typically, this campout is held in July, which is when the older shnookies are in California. We were beside ourselves when they announced it would be in August because that meant we could ALL go! Naturally, Shnookie1 had to work that night (he swears it's a coincidence, yeah right), so he was missing. And Shnookie2 ended up sleeping with a friend in their own tent. SO, things looked pretty familiar in the end.

Although Shnookie3 ended up just a titch bored this year (her friends are getting past the running wild stage), Shnookie4 was practically manic still in her enthusiasm. In the midst of a very animated discussion about nature, she told hubby, "I think camping is my hobby. I just love it so much." Gotta love those all-consuming once-a-year hobbies. Here's one of the chipmunks she fell in love with, eating a left-over piece of pineapple:

Before we left, I had to get a picture of someone performing a requisite Tom Williams outdoor ritual. He never could resist the opportunity to stand on a stump or rock and do a Tarzan call while beating his chest. Can you believe that my kids wouldn't do that for me in front of their friends?! So, here's me, in all my morning-after glory, paying homage to my father: (It took 5 tries cuz the photographer couldn't get her act together through her totally uncalled-for laughter.)

I have to say, it's not just the little girls that love the ward campout--I look forward to it every year too. Two years ago, when I was barely recovering from chemo, we took the leap to attend, and it was like a rebirth for us. There are no words for what it meant to me to be able to do that for our family. Seeing the kids run, bonding with our neighbors, breathing the fresh air, sleeping under the stars...it's all so perfect. So, basically, it could rain and flood and hail poisonous snakes and we'd still be there, just to celebrate and commemorate the fact that we are whole again, and we CAN!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It took a village and 2 mothers

I spent a lovely day yesterday with my mother, working on my father's life history. I'm not a huge "geneology fan" (actually not true--I'm a fan when OTHER people do mine for me), but I am a huge Tom Williams fan. Add this to my obsession with old photos, and I was quite content ... although a little ticked that all of these old photos had been hidden from me all these years. But I'm over that (obviously, since I just HAD to bring it up, lol!). Anywho, I came across the most amazing photo, which I fell in love with even before I knew who was in it. So naturally, I must share it!

That youngest baby is my father, next to him is my Uncle Ralph, and the woman is their mother, my Grandma Laurine Williams. I have never met my Grandma Laurine, since she died when my father was just six years old, but I have always felt an affection for her. From what I've heard about her, my father carried many of her traits. She was kind, mild-mannered, and quite intelligent. She wanted to be a mother more than anything, and she had 5 little boys--one of them only a few weeks old when she died.

After about a year, my Grandfather married a widow named Grace Bush, who had 2 boys herself. She is the Grandma I grew up knowing. She raised all of those boys (plus one more they had together) in difficult circumstances, and they are stellar men because of her. My grandfather was a bit of a partier until his later years, so he wasn't around much then. Can you imagine having 5 extra boys overnight, and their father pretty much MIA? She was an incredibly strong woman--thank goodness! A whole generation of family have her to thank for a happy life. Wow. I bet she was too busy to even realize what she was doing for all of us, but I'm grateful. And I'm sure that Grandma Laurine is too.

P.S. - Thanks to Alaina for scanning this awesome photo, and many others. Yes, my niece saw these pics before I ever did, but fortunately, I'm way too mature to let that injustice take hold and fester until I'm consumed with bitterness and uncontrollable rage. WAY too mature.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

In a perfect universe

I know I complain a lot about year-round school, but this is one time I'd like to kiss its face. My youngest are back in school! I have a life again!

I think anyone reading this will know that I love my children so much I could just squish them. I love to do things with them and see them and giggle with them. Just not every single minute of every single day, ya know?? Last summer I had a streak of energy that hit in July, right when their summer break is. We swam, we crafted, we toured the universe, and I LOVED it. It was the best summer ever for all of us. I was actually sad when they had to go back to school!

I just assumed this summer would be the same, only even better! I made lists of the places we would go and the fun we would have. We've actually gone to most of the places, and I hope the kids have had fun, but I'm just not the best fun mom this year. It feels like I was dragging around my carcass through most of it. (Nice image, eh?) I suppose it's not realistic in my 'condition' to think that my bouts of energy will coincide with those 4 measly weeks of summer every year. Sigh. But I'm still putting in my request for next year, just in case it helps.

In the meantime, I'm waking up each morning, sending my girls off to school, relishing all the while that I have 6 whole hours to do whatever, whenever, however I like. Naturally, I head straight back to bed...but those few minutes of big plans are heaven.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Consumer Alert

We went to Seven Peaks--one of those water parks on steroids--this week, and it was fun! But let's not dwell on the positive. I had bought a can of spray-on sunscreen, because that extra effort of having to RUB on the stuff had gotten to be just too much for me. So I sprayed, and I sprayed, and I sprayed my little heart out. The girls were covered. (And by girls I mean the real, little human girls--not "THE GIRLS" like they mean on Oxygen T.V. Although, those ones were covered too, and the world thanks me.) I sprayed some shots on me in what I like to call the 'a sunburn here makes me incredibly grouchy' spots. Mainly, these spots are the very top of my legs, the bendy area just next to the armpits, and my back and shoulders. All of these are areas that hurt like the dickens when trying to sleep, move or breathe. On top of that, they are NEVER exposed unless I'm at the pool, and then I just pretend I'm invisible anyway. So why have them tan? This is my reasoning for just hitting them with sunscreen from the get-go. (I have many rituals, er routines, when it comes to sun exposure, but let's save that for another time. Can't wait.)

After we'd been at the park a couple of hours, I started to notice the girls (again...real little humans) getting a tad pink. So I reapplied. I know you're always supposed to do that with any sunscreen, but I usually don't and have never had trouble with it. But this time I DID. On them, mind you--not on me, because I can't SEE me nor the lobsterish transformation beginning to take place.

Soooo, you might have guessed by now that my new spray sunscreen did not work all that well. A half hour after leaving the park, we were in pain. The girls (again...) weren't terribly red, but they're little girls and felt for sure that they were going to die of pain. Since I'd used it only on the above-mentioned never exposed parts, I couldn't see the red, but I sure began to feel it. It's 3 days later, and I finally can wear clothing again (not that I am, but I could if I wanted to. hee).

In case you missed it, I set out to protect the tenderest parts from sun damage, and by so doing, ended up burning them and only them. That, my folks, is what people like to call irony.

But here's the public service part: DO NOT BUY BANANA BOAT KIDS SPF 30 SPRAY SUNSCREEN.

Learn from my mistakes. Now that I think about it, that could be the theme of my blog. "Learn From My Mistakes."

Friday, July 25, 2008

And maybe it'd make me smarterer

I want one of these so bad I can taste it! (Not sure what that means, hmmm)

Here's the top 4 reasons I need a SmartCar:

4. I'd be saving the planet
3. I'd be saving money on gas
2. I'd be saving my sanity, since there's no room for kids or dogs, if you KWIM
1. I'd look incredibly cute.

Afterall, what else really matters?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

They're Ba-ack

It's that time of year again, and hallelujah that it came earlier this year than usual. MY TEENAGERS ARE BACK!! They were only out in California 2 weeks this time, but it always seems longer than it actually is. (How we'll survive college and missions, I don't know. Maybe cloning will be viable by then.) Shnookies 3 and 4 were beside themselves. They decorated the garage with Welcome Home signs, and they made Boozer a T-shirt to wear. Pics:

Doesn't Shnook 2 look so much older? She got a chic new do, which we l-o-o-o-v-e! And Boozer wearing clothing? I could not stop laughing. UNTIL...he went in the back yard and it got in the way of his 'business.' Not pretty.

The boy was so happy to be reunited with his dog. I may frame this pic, since I caught him actually smiling.

So they got home Sunday late afternoon. On Monday morning early, Shnookie 2 went to Especially For Youth (a week-long conference for teens) in Logan. Shnookie 4 was NOT happy about this arrangement. She's quite sure we did this just to tick her off. And when her brother left on Wednesday for a 4-day scout camp, that was all the confirmation she needed of her conspiracy theory. She may never trust us again.

Friday, July 11, 2008

All the good ones wear red hats

I am really, really supposed to be asleep. But I don't think I am. And in my sleeplessness, I remembered a funny story that NEEDS to be told before I can sleep.

A couple years ago, my friend Merrie and I took our youngest children to Boondocks--a place with a huge arcade, bumper boats, paintball, etc. (Yes, we had some money we needed to get rid of.) One of the automatic ticket counter machines gypped me out of a few tickets (heaven forbid...cuz there's a big difference in quality between those 30 ticket items and the 33 ticket ones). So I told the red-hatted employee at the front desk. She said she'd page the repair guy, that I should wait for him by the machine. I did that for about five minutes, which is about four minutes longer than I'm comfortable standing, and then I sidled on over to the closest bench.

I'm still within sight of the machine, but I'm nervous that I'll miss the repair guy. After another 10 minutes, I'm getting pretty worried that I've missed him and that he's on to resolving other mother's desperate problems. But behold, I see a guy approach in a red hat and work shirt, looking around. I run over there lickety-split and breathlessly say to him, "Are you the one I've been waiting for?" This gentleman looks at me, raises his eyebrows, and then says, "I don't think my wife would think so." I follow his gaze to the table full of his family, celebrating someone's birthday.

Wow. Did we have a chuckle over that one.

And, of course, the actual repair guy showed up a few minutes later; greasy, long hair hanging out of his red hat, stale smoke on his breath and a huge God complex due to his power over my fate. Made me want to run back to the happily married man and say, "Okay, I get it, but are you any good with a wrench?"

And now.... I can sleep .... my humiliation lives on the internet.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Farewell Friends and Fame (a tad too dramatic perhaps??)

In scrapping news...I haven't been doing much of it. Okay, none. I was on 2 teams for years, and loved it, because my dear designer friends, Shawna Clingerman and Kim Giarrusso, are full-on amazing with their talents. And I got to play with all of their stuff! Well, Kim had a baby AND took over The Digi Chick (not as in hostile takeover, lol), so she stopped designing. Something about not having any time? Wha...? 4 kids under 5 and running a business, whatever! So Kim gracefully released all of us on her team a few months ago.

Shawna also had a baby, and was knock-down, drag out sick the whole pregnancy. So I'd been able to keep up with her team...UNTIL she popped that baby out. It's been kit this and kit that ever since (she's like a maniacal creative genius these days!) That's when I started falling behind until I finally feel like this huge dead weight on the team. You see, I have actually been able to be on my feet the last 6 months, and I've discovered that I've got A LOT of real-life making up to do. HURRAY that I've got that much energy back!!! But BOOOoooooo that every detail of raising a family and keeping a house waited around for me. (I don't know why...I don't even do it that well.)

So, although I LOVE scrapbooking, and it has quite literally saved my sanity during the last five years, I have to face the fact that I am just not team material right now. So I resigned from Shawna's team. Sniff. Of course, I can still scrapbook when I have a few minutes, so what I'll really be missing is the on-line community I've been a part of. Those relationships I've formed are as real to me as any I've ever had, and because of how these people got me through my illness, many of them are like family to me. What a gift that is! So I'm NOT giving that gift back, I just know that I won't be on expanding it. Sigh.

And THEN, I'm going through my old emails yesterday and find this one from Digital Scrapbooking Magazine:

I’m writing to you because Digital Scrapbooking magazine and Adobe needs your help for an upcoming project.

Adobe is holding an event in New York City for the consumer press including Family Circle, Modern Bride and Seventeen magazines on
June 24. They would like to provide their attendees with sample scrapbook pages created using Photoshop Elements and have asked Digital Scrapbooking to provide samples.

Your layout “Ordinary Magic” from the December/January issue of Digital Scrapbooking magazine is one of the ones we’d like them to show off. We have your layout in smaller form but in order for Adobe to print it out at 12 x 12, we need a new file. Any chance you could use yousendit.com to send me a 12 x 12 300 dpi version of the layout? I will need to receive these files by Thursday evening at the latest so Adobe can have them printed.

NOT a good email to find a month too late. Sigh. But it feels good to (almost) be recognized for something artistic, and I'm thinking "Can I give this up?" Looking for reassurance, last night I say to Hubby, "Am I doing the right thing?" And in his own acutely perceptive way, he says... (wait for it) ... "I dunno."

And this is why I keep him around??? (JK, Honey, I wuuuuuuv you!)

Luckily, I know it's the right thing to do, and I am so grateful and happy to be at this place in my life. I need to dig my heels in and make some magic happen around here!

But is it too much to wish that somebody would recognize my contributions at "an event" in New York City? It could happen. Bathroom Weekly may want to showcase my tips on shining a toilet as only I can do.

(Note to self: Ask cleaning lady how she shines the toilet.)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Trading Spaces Home Edition

As I mentioned earlier, we have been doing some moving around here--not from house to house, but from room to room. (LOL, don't most people move from room to room, you ask? NO. They just sit in one room day after day after day. So there.) All of this relocation has caused quite a flurry of redecorating. Much more than one puny little woman can do on her own. Does this stop me? NO. Because it's obvious to everyone that no other human could do it as well as me. Therefore, it's pretty much me putting along while my two youngest nag me about my horrifically slow pace in getting their rooms done. Fun times.

Shnookie2 had the audacity to imply that I wouldn't be so slow if I weren't so picky about every little detail. I'm ashamed to even say it, but she actually said, "Everything doesn't have to be perfect, Mom." I gasped and retorted, "I don't even know you anymore!" Sigh. Where did I go wrong?

Okay, so now I'm ready to show a picture of the latest project, and I'm regretting ranting on about perfection. Talk about building up expectations! So take the picture you've created in your mind and scale it back several (5 or 20) notches. Maybe then you won't be so underwhelmed at the final product, lol!

This is Shnookie1's old room, which is now Shnookie3's new room. It was a total boy room...


To a girly girl glam room...

We're still working on the details (rug, art, etc.), but at least she's in and loving it! And I'm exhausted. And Shnookie4 is breathing down my neck for her room to be done. Even Vern Yip couldn't work under these conditions!