Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sister Visiting and thoughts

My sister (Goddess #1) is visiting until Monday. It is her family's Spring Break and they have a son at BYU, so they decided to come here, ski and see him. Goddess #1 is 10 years older than me. She remembers very clearly when I was born and she has seen me go through most of my life's ups and downs. I have lived closer to her than any of siblings most of my adult life and until they moved to Ohio a few years ago, I saw her regularly.

Anyway, she jokeingly said to me the other night, "I really wonder what you are going to be like when you are a 75 year old woman, because you have the directness of one of those old Relief Society ladies that says her mind regardless of what people think of them." My husband laughed and said, "I am already planning on getting body guards for her because she already unknowingly offends people left and right."

I laughed and said, "Have I always been this bad?" She said, "When you were younger, no, but for the last 10 years or so yes." I then realized when I developed this direct, no apologies for what I am, what you see is what you get personality.

When I was 22, I was serving my mission in Argentina and it was a very hard time. I got very sick (emotionally and physically) and was actually sent home for about three months and then reassigned stateside, where for the record, I finished happily, gladly and successfully.

During the time that I was home, seeing doctors, etc. and we were trying to figure out what to do, I came to the conclusion that I was done playing "social games." I was not going to pretend things were OK when they were not. I was not going to sit back quietly and let things happen to me. I was going to take charge of my life on my terms and not let anyone pressure me into things that I didn't believe in or accept or want to do. I was going to be me, make decisions for me, how I wanted to make them and let the cards fall where they may.

I will say it was not easy initially and I made some, what I now know were crappy but thankfully nothing too bad or permanently damaging decisions. But, for the first time, in a long time, I was happy in my own skin. It took several more years to work out the kinks and figure out who I was and what I believed and where I stood. While at the time, it was one of the hardest things I have been through, it was the best thing to happen to me and I can still say that I am very happy in my strong willed, sometimes too vocal skin.

That decision over 10 years ago has been such a blessing to me even though it sometimes makes me unpopular with those around me. (Sure, I will be a den mother but I won't go to Round Table.). And, it has been a blessing to my kids. I make decisions based on what is best for my children and again it sometimes completely goes against what others around me are doing. The most recent example being: not signing my kids up for a kids camp with the rest of the ladies in my neighborhood. I was invited (and I am grateful they thought to include me), and I would have loved to have joined them for long fun children-free lunches, but for my kids, I knew it was not the right thing.

I would not change of one minute what I learned going through that emotional crisis at 22 and I always take it as a compliment when people say to me, "I may not like how you say or do it, but I always know where you stand and I like that I can depend on that." And, I promise all of you, if I have offended you, it was not on purpose and nothing you do will offend me either. And, for those of you who read this who have been my long, loyal friends, thank you for sticking with me. I know sometimes it can be difficult!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

TV Weirdness

I love watching TV and so does my husband. I don't pretend that I do not. I would love to say that we were a "triathlon family" or an "art family" or a "sports family" meaning we put a ton of our time and resources into doing and encouraging those things but we are not. At the end of a long day of managing kids and working, Dentist husband and I like nothing more than collapsing on the sofa together and "vegging" in front of the TV. Because of this, we purposely decided to not get cable/dish because we waste enough time with rabbit ears and those limited stations.

Our latest TV discovery? THIS. It is one of the WEIRDEST shows on TV but I can't keep my eyes off of it when it comes on. Keep in mind, my husband does not speak Spanish and this show doesn't have subtitles. I spend a limited amount of time translating for him but doesn't really matter because it has enough weird eye candy to keep you interested. And, we are lame/pathetic/cool enough to actually now know most of the songs sung by Costel (who by the way is the son of Lagrimita--yes, I know this.)

I need to spend more time cleaning. I think we have reached a new low around this place.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

And the Winners are . . .

Lisa, Kel and the Bradburn bunch! I will mail you your hamburger gift cards soon. (Soon meaning when I can find the time--so hopefully next week sometime. )

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Weekend Away Part 2

This past weekend has been our children's Spring Break. I say weekend because instead of a whole week like I had growing up, they give my kids three days off. (The complaining in my voice is for you Lisa.)

Anyway, we had such a great time at Thanksgiving Pointe last time, we decided to do the same thing for Spring Break but instead we headed downtown.
I managed to take one picture the whole time we were gone--this one just as we were leaving. Seeing the top of toothsome #4's head as she ran away from her siblings, fit because the whole trip was spent chasing my crazy baby! She has gotten really fast.
Through Hotwire, we got a great deal at the Hilton Hotel and the fun began! Here is the list of what we did:

1. Ate at the Mikado (Japanese Restaurant) downtown. They gave us our own private room--most likely because I don't think people with four kids under the age of 8 visit very often and they wanted to keep us contained. The kids loved it and my husband and I (who are both very unflexible--bad enough that it prevented both us from ever getting the President's Award growing up) only had numb legs from sitting Indian style for 1/2 of the meal. We also learned that your can eat shrimp tales--courtesy of toothsome #3. Even when we told him not to, he did and claimed they were very good and crunchy.

2. Swam MANY times at the very nice hotel pool. Again, we were the only ones that we saw with small kids and were probably the only ones to actually use the pool. We did meet lots of nice adults relaxing in the hotel hot tub after long hours of skiing.

3. Took our kids to a Utah Blaze Game. Strangest combination of sport's fans I have personally ever been a witness to--from people with young families like us to girls dressed like street walkers. Maybe they were or maybe I just am not current enough to know that what they were wearing was high fashion.

4. Went to the Children's Museum--Discovery Gateway and became year long members. It really is the BEST children's museum I have ever been to and it was SO worth it to pay the extra $2.50 to go to the Body Exhibit. So, if you are in town . . .

5. Saw Horton Hears a Who. Cute movie--better than I expected.

6. Ate at the Olive Garden and somehow were stupid enough to order $16 worth of frozen lemonade drinks for the kids. Drinks that they only took a few sips of. We should be seasoned enough parents by now but obviously not. However, I was seasoned enough to notice that toothsome # 4 didn't look good and grabbed her out of the high chair just in time to have her throw- up all over me instead of on the high chair and table. Fortunately, that was the only time she did throw-up and was just fine once we got back to the hotel.

7. Ate breakfast at McDonald's every morning because our hotel didn't provide a Continental breakfast and we weren't willing to shell out $16 for a bowl of cereal. My kids have never been in so much McDonald's heaven.

It really was a fun get away despite my sarcastic comments and because we were gone all weekend, I have delayed celebrating Easter by one week. The weather should be better (even though right now it is a glorious 60 degrees) and I won't have to stand in line for an hour to get a Honey Baked Ham. Also, my sister and fam are coming in town tomorrow, and it will be fun to celebrate with them next Sunday.

Monday, March 17, 2008

"I Love Hamburgers" Give Away

If you know me, you know a hamburger is my favorite food. I just finished a delightful perfect tasting Wendy's hamburger. So, today, I am feeling generous and I am going to be giving away three, $10 gift cards to Wendys and if you live locally, I can amend that to $10 to Crown Burger (if you prefer) because I think they make the best local burger around.

The rules are: Leave a comment and tell me your favorite hamburger place and why. It can be a chain restaurant or a local mom and pop place. (If it is a small place that I might not have heard of, leave the address as you never know when I will be close and dying to try it.) Next Monday, I will draw three names out (or if there are only three comments, all three of you will win, which is very possible as my blog doesn't have that wide of a readership) and I will mail you your gift card. Happy Hamburgers! (Oh and Happy St. Patrick's Day--I am currently making my annual green eclairs for the fam for dinner tonight.)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Good Read--Molokai

My friend Lyssa recommended this book to me. When she told me the subject matter--the Hawaiian leper colony, I gave her a sideways glance meaning, "You really want me to read a book about a Hawaiian Leper colony?" However, once I started this book, I could not put it down. It is a great read. It kept me engaged the whole time. I noticed on Amazon that it got 5 stars, so obviously I am not the only who liked it.
I did read the Memory Keeper's Daughter and I was NOT a fan. Sorry Paige.
Also, if you are looking for something really tasty to make, try Liz's torte recipe that she posted on her blog a while back. I made it this past weekend and WOW what a dessert. It might be what I make as my dessert when book club comes in my house in September.
And, if you are looking for a unique and great Easter decoration, check out Tiffany's Love Boxes, I now own five Easter themed ones and they are my favorite decoration of the season. My kids love them too. I had forgotten how beautiful they are until I pulled them out this season. Thank goodness for creative beauty-making people.
I have spent the last week working on finishing organizing and "decorating" my kids rooms. (Decorating meaning hanging pictures, and getting matching bedspreads, etc. No painting or wallpapering involved.) I'll post pictures hopefully next week.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Chuck E. Cheese Hell and Toothsome #3's birthday

On Sunday, Toothsome #3 turned four. He is such a delight these days and I love being his mother.
My older kids talked him into going to Chuck E. Cheese's for this birthday. I agreed on the condition that we not eat there. I think their pizza is probably the worst I have ever had and I was not going to pay for it.
So on Saturday, around 2:00 pm, we headed over there. Dentist husband had a bad case of the flu, so I bravely took four kids by myself. I should have figured out that it was going to be busy based on the cars in the parking lot but NOTHING prepared me for what I found inside. I was informed that there was a 40 minute wait to just get inside. However, my three older kids--toothsome #3 in particular were so excited, I couldn't say no, so we waited. And waited. And waited. In a very small, crowded waiting area. Toothsome #4 wiggled and cried the whole time.
When we finally got inside, it was so crowded there were lines for every game. So, what I thought would take about a 1/2 hour at the most to blast through $20 worth of tokens, took almost an hour and 1/2. Toothsome #4 HATED any ride I put her on, so I spent the majority of the time, chasing her around and trying to keep tabs on the other three kids. I don't think I have ever been in such a big place with so little room to move. And, much to my amazement, there were adults there, without kids--pushing little kids out of the way, so they could play the games. What in the world?
So, finally, after all of the tokens were used and the kids got their tickets redeemed for cheep "Made in China" products, we were able to leave. I felt like screaming, "So long suckers" to the many people still stuck in the waiting area, but I didn't.
Thankfully, toothsome #3 chose Costa Vida as his dinner choice. We go there a lot. So much so, that the manager there, Lilly, knows us and knows what we order. So as I walked in the doors, she saw me, and said, "You look exhausted. Sit down and I will bring your order to you." Yes, we go there that often but at that moment, I was so grateful that we do. I was able to sit down and enjoy my smothered pork burrito in the relative calm of Costa Vida.
Later that night, we had a Wiggles cake (a Baskin Robbin's ice cream cake with a Wiggle's car on top) and called it good.

Friday, March 7, 2008

I'm thinking Easter Around Here

I know most of you have probably figured out that Easter is coming up in THIS month. Can anyone tell me why? Isn't April the magical month of Spring when the days are actually warm enough to wear the dresses we purchased for our kids? Why then why is it in March? Who decides this?
That said, I ordered from Hannah Andersson this dress for my daughters. They are still young enough, that I can buy them matching dresses and every year, I can't resist getting them something new from Hannah Andersson. If you read my blog much, you know that I LOVE Hannah Andersson clothes for me and for my kids. Here is toothsome #4 in a Winter Hannah dress.
I don't think I will getting the boys anything new this Easter. They don't really care and both of them still fit in their summer clothes from last year.
By the way, Easter is my favorite holiday and I love getting out all of the pastel colors, eating the Reese's peanut butter chocolate eggs (the mini ones--best combination of chocolate and peanut butter you can find), and enjoying beautiful thoughts of Spring. And, on a spiritual note, I love to focus on the resurrection and all that is new. It is a beautiful holiday after a long cold (but delightful) winter.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Guest Bathroom

I was reading over at Laurie's blog and she posted pictures of her newly decorated bathroom. It is beautiful and she obviously has no fear of painting, which is something that often holds me back from doing decorating projects. It inspired me to post pictures of my finally finished guest/main bathroom. I finally found the right color of towels to match the room, so I now feel like it is complete. The whole bathroom color scheme is centered around a print of Carl Larsson's that I found about a year ago entitled, "Spring."

Carl Larsson is a well known Swedish painter and he really brought forward the whole Swedish design era with a book his published called, "A House" which was full of paintings he did of his summer house--Sundborn. I love his work and my house has most been decorated with his Sundborn home in my mind.

In the Spring and summer, I like to leave a vase of fresh flowers on the counter, usually in the "pink" category.