Sunday, September 27, 2009

Surrounded by Amazing Women

I was talking to my husband today about the amazing women around me. It all started last summer, when at the pool, talking to my "very pregnant with her fourth child" friend, she casually mentioned that before she had kids, she was a tax accountant. She laughed and said, "Whenever we take our taxes into our "tax" people, they offer me a job." Later on, I was talking to a friend at the park while we watched our kids play and she mentioned that she is an artist. Not someone who draws with her kids, but someone who does commissioned art work for people's multi-million dollar houses. She laughed and said, "I don't do it as much anymore because I am busying raising my kids, but still do it occasionally." I have friends that used to be teachers, special education counselors, statisticians, organizational behavior specialists, hygienists, doctors, have their Phd's and many other careers.

On facebook, I have discovered friends who take professional family portraits, are professional chefs, children's book authors, lawyers, and have MBA's. And most of them are not doing these things professionally anymore or are only doing them on a very limited basis because they are raising kids.

I am in awe of them. These are woman who had HUGE careers and are now raising kids full time. I sit next to these woman in church, at the pool, on the sidelines during sports events for our kids, and at elementary school programs. We are all so busy with our crazy lives of raising our kids that we don't think to talk about what we were before we stopped to become mothers and dedicated our lives to our children. Instead of sitting in board meetings, we sit on the floor and play legos. Instead of arguing a case before a judge, we are now arguing with our kids about eating their vegetables. We all worry about how our kids are doing in school, if we are giving them the attention they need, if we are pushing them enough or too hard. We are striving to make our houses homes for the precious few years we have with our kids. We occasionally talk about what we will be in our "third lives", when we are done raising kids and we rarely bring up what we did before we were lucky enough to be able to choose to stop to raise our kids. (I know many working mothers, for financial reasons can't quit their jobs and this is by no reason, not acknowledging how hard it is to be a working mother.)

Our first lives were important then just as our current lives are important now and I know universally, we love and are proud of what we are doing now. I feel so blessed that these talented woman are raising my kid's friends and future spouses. I am surrounded by amazing women.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tile Back Splash is in

When all was said and done, we just went with cobalt blue, glass tile. I love it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Me--Age 3, Drinking Orange juice

Afternoon Tea at the Grand America

For toothsome #2's birthday party, I took her and two friend and their mothers to the Grand America's Afternoon Tea in downtown Salt Lake.
Absolutely wonderful afternoon.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Book Review--A Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

I posted my review of "A Woman In White" by Wilkie Collins on the Book Blogging Babes site. If you are curious, click on over. If you have read it or are reading it and want to post your own review, please do so in the comments section.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Things Discovered During my Annual "Great Clean"

The Fall rejuvenates me. I never have been a fan of summer until I had kids in school because I miss them when they are gone and I love having summer down time with them. But, I am a more schedule minded person and so I love the routine and cooler weather of the fall.

Every fall, I try to go through every cupboard, drawer, closet, etc. and really get my house cleaned throughly. This year, it has been easier because I have been following "Organizing with Jane" religiously and she has given me great tips.

Some discoveries this time around:

--a hidden Easter egg that obviously wasn't found this past Easter. (YUCK!)
--I own about 30 chapsticks. They are now all in one organized spot (I spent a lot of money at The Container Store on drawer organizers. I have discovered I prefer the clear plastic kind.)
--I also own about 20 pencil erasers. The odd thing about this is that I have no memory of ever purchasing any pencil erasers.
--I found in almost every drawer a chopstick. We do like Asian food and we all know how to use chopsticks, so that I have about 70 of them doesn't surprise me. That they were dispersed in every drawer in my kitchen does surprise me.

When organizing, Jane Anne gives this rule of three:

Throw away, keep or give away

The give away part has been very liberating for me. For things I don't really use or like anymore, it is liberating to put those in the "give away" pile. My house is less cluttered and I like to think someone else is making good use of it.

Well, folks I have another cupboard to go through.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bridal Photo

My friend Marie asked for me to post a "bridal" photo, so here it is.
Taken December 26th, 1997

Monday, September 14, 2009

First Haircut

Serious business
The combing and cutting
Holding her reward sucker afterwards.

When I asked if she liked it, so said, "No, it made me mad." When I asked why, she said, "Because I didn't like that girl touching my hair."

Friday, September 11, 2009

Soapboxing--Stop Defending Bad Behavior

Again, this is a soapbox, so feel free to switch to another blog. This one might really get people's opinions flowing . . .

I have recently noticed a trend on "blogland" that has me quite concerned. The trend is defending bad behavior in others.

And let's be honest about one thing in blogland. When we choose to blog, we lay open for public viewing our lives. Yes, we control what we want to share to the world at large but it is our choice to do this and we reap the consequences of doing so. If people disagree with us and leave a comment that opposes our opinions, that is a choice we make by leaving open the comments section in our blog.

Back to defending the bad behaviors of others. Let me give a few examples:

Recently I read a blog where a woman of my faith (Mormon) who openly talks about her religious convictions and is trying to get Mormon support through her blog for her Mormon themed music CD, talked about attending a wine tasting (and tasting for herself the wine) and posted pictures wearing clothes that were not in-line with our religious beliefs. I was stunned by this behavior and, obviously some other people were too, based on their comments. Immediately, people came out in defense of this woman's bad behavior and attacked the people questioning her decision to do those actions.

Another example: I read a blog where a woman spoke about her undying love of swearing. She loves doing it and she was confessing to it and wanted the whole blogging world who read her blog to know it. Again, this woman is Mormon (and proclaims it often) and again, people commented about how great it was that she loved using bad language. I'm a Mormon and I know while not officially considered a commandment , swearing is frowned upon and we are asked to refrain from doing it. Again, they (mostly Mormon people) were defending her bad behavior.

Another example in my own personal non-blogging life: While at the pool this summer, I expressed concern to a friend about a mother at our pool who was wearing swimsuits that were very revealing and no question immodest. My concern stemmed from my own daughter asking me why it was OK for this woman to do it when my daughter has been taught at church and in our home about the importance of wearing modest clothing everywhere including at the pool. My good friend immediately started defending this woman's behavior saying, "Oh, she was raised in a family that wore swimsuits like that all the time. So, she really can't be criticized."

What?! Why are people defending bad behavior? I have my theories and I have read the arguments by many, who say, "We have been told not to judge others."

Well folks, I'm not buying it. That is just not true. We are asked to judge righteously on a daily basis. Daily we are confronted with, "Is this the right thing to do?'' From what movie and TV shows we watch, to the clothing we put on, to whom we spend our time with, to what we say and how we say it, etc., we are expected to choose righteously and act accordingly. Righteous (not self-righteous) judgement is core a religious belief system. So, again, I ask, "Why are people regularly defending the bad behavior of others?"

If you don't want to judge publicly, there is no need to comment on a blog. It takes a huge amount of courage to speak up and many of us who blog, "spy" on other people's blogs without ever leaving comments regardless of content. Blog comments should never be mean or intentionally hurtful to the blogger but they should also not defend bad behavior. We are all "working out our own salvation" at our own pace and belief systems and live imperfect lives. But all in all, we know right from wrong and know better than to defend wrong when we see it. We shouldn't validate bad behavior, in blogland or in our private lives, plain and simple. This has got to stop.

Off my soapbox.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Young and In Love

I have just been messing around with my new printer/scanner.

This is Dentist husband's and my engagement photo.
In December, it will be 12 years of marriage.
We were at the "old" ages of 24 and 25 when this photo was taken.
I couldn't have married a better man for me.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Birthday Fun

My darling, easiest child, first daughter turned eight last week.

She requested we take her to Bonsai.

Bonsai is a Tapanyaki place where they make and serve the food right infront of you. They throw shrimp in your mouth, make onion volcanos, etc. It is a fun way to spend a night.

Afterwards, we came home and had our traditional ice cream pie with homemade graham cracker crust. This crust made my husband fall in love with me. Yes, it is that good.
Her "friends" party is later in the month (with soccer season, trying to arrange a time that worked with the girls she wanted to invite is hard) and then in October, she will be baptized. Big things.

Friday, September 4, 2009

First Day

Yesterday was a big day in our house.  Kindergarten started.

Toothsome #3 is my little partner and he does not like new beginnings, so I thought the day might be a little hard for both of us.  It ended up being harder for me than him.

The day started with him coming into our office in his PJs (The Gap if you are interested.)    

After breakfast and bath, he got his clothes and backpack on.  These items have been laid out in his room for over a week.  The backpack was on his back from 9:30am until it was time to go to the bus at 12:30 pm.
At the bus stop.  
There are actually two other kids who weren't there for the picture.
Getting on the bus
Running to toward me to tell me "The bus was AWESOME!"
Standing in-line waiting to go inside.
One final wave good-bye.  
However, for me, there was not much good about it.  My heart was aching as I watched him go inside.  I'm going to miss him.  I adore him.
End of First Day Slurpee celebration with our family's customary "thumbs up."  
Big things in this house.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


My friend Jane Anne has started a wonderful new blog.  It is a step by step way to organize your house.  And, sad to say, I need it.  (I'm really good at reading, taking my kids out to dinner and enjoying great TV shows like Glee.)  Oh and to save you guys the trouble, it is a bad idea to put toothpicks in  your dishwasher.  My kids did it and that is my story and I'm sticking to it.  

You won't regret going to it.  I promise.  

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I look like my Aunt Joan

My whole life, I have had people ask me who I look like.  I don't really look like either of my parents or my siblings.  Growing up, it wasn't uncommon to be together as a family and someone would ask if I was a child one of my older siblings was babysitting.  

When I was in junior high, I remember looking through some old photos of my mothers and seeing pictures of my Aunt Joan when she was young and I realized, "Yep, that is me.  Yes, I may be blonder, but we have the same basic look."  From then on, when people asked me who I looked like, I would say, "My Aunt Joan."  
Well, here we are together during my last California visit.  (Full discloser, I know this is not the most flattering picture of either of us  but it was late and the only picture I got of the two of us together.)  She had us over for what was supposed to be a few hours and dinner but what turned into about an eight hour affair because she is "that much fun."  

This is the Aunt Joan who took me over to meet Patricia Beatty and she poured the alcoholic beverage into a potted plant.  She also knew of my love of hamburgers and took me to get my first Carl's Jr.  Star Burger.  When I was little and crying about how there was no song that had the name "Janice" in it, (all of my older siblings have more common names and everyone else had a song with their name in it--Julie, Julie Julie do you love me,  Laura is the face in the misty light, etc.), she was the one who pulled me aside and told me there was no song with "Joan" in it and she understood my disappointment and that I was not alone.  She treats my kids like her own grandchildren and some of my favorite recipes, I got from her.  

So, I love this Aunt and I love that I look like her.  
She is 79 nine years old. 
I hope I still look like and look as good as she looks when I am 79 and I hope I can be the same kind of aunt to my nieces and nephews.  
I am one lucky niece.