Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The extra mile (or what goes around comes around)

After five straight hours of baseball, my twins cinched the all-star championship yesterday. WOOHOO!

And guess what!? Their all-star coach didn't play them out in left field like their regular season coach. He played them at short stop and first base. AND, as if that didn't give me enough braggedy ann rights, he also alternated them at pitcher. I have photographic evidence which I will now present to you, but first, allow me to preface the evidence by saying that I had to run to the car to get my mom a chair so I handed the camera to my eyeball rolling 14-year-old, who was sitting in the bleachers, and said, "Snap some shots, will ya!"

Apparently I should have been more specific because here's what I got:

Thank you, son. For going the extra mile.

What's that old adage again? What goes around comes around?

Ain't that just the truth. Here are the shots I got of him at his basketball tournament the next day:

What's that other old adage again? Nani nani boo boo?

While I'm in braggedy ann mode . . . can I just say that one of my twins hit a home run in his all-star championship game and the other one hit a walk-off. (Basically that means he hit the game winning run.)

Just saying.

On the female front, after five (informal) tennis matches my daughter won the junior varsity tennis championship at Lone Peak high school. WOOHOO! (My ex-door neighbor Martha would be so gosh darn proud.)

Still just saying.

Would I exhaust anyone if I switched from sports to books? Anyone? Anyone? Sandi? Can you follow along without getting winded?

I only ask because yesterday I promised I would talk about my lessons learned from Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, which is a charming memoir written by Rhoda Janzen, who chooses not to follow the Mennonite path, instead becoming an academic and marrying a super hot, super moody, intellectual who eventually leaves her for a guy named Bob from

That's where the story begins--with Janzen picking up the pieces of her life and going back to her Mennonite community to spend some time with her parents and contemplate her life.

It's one of those books you enjoy picking up and reading in bits and pieces when you're sitting in the car waiting for your son to finish basketball practice or you're twiddling your thumbs in the waiting room at the dentist office, but it's even better in big chunks while you're waiting for your kids to finish having a blast at Lagoon.

There are several great aha! moments in this memoir, but, so as not to give you whiplash, (I'm thoughtful that way) I will tell you about my favorite two tomorrow. Okeedokee?

Pinky promise!

p.s. My guests left today so I promise I will stop pretending to clean my house and feed my children and start reading your blogs again.

After my nap.

And my Young Women camp party.

And my trek family party.

And my 4th of July party.

And after I poke my eyes out.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Swan and the Toad

I'm all verklempt-like this morning because I'm sitting outside listening to my neighbor mowing his lawn. I'm also listening to the doves coo and my dog chew and my playlist woo. Right now it's playing For Good from Wicked, which is so appropriate, since Swirl (remember Swirl?) was here (on my blog) and so was Iwa (remember Iwa?). Iwa told me that she went to a party with my favorite student, Wolfgang (remember Wolfgang?) where they ate Japanese rice crackers without me.


Sometimes I miss my Hawaii peeps something fierce.

You guys know I used to live in Hawaii, right?

Do you remember my know-it-all 12-year-old son who used to live in Hawaii too? And who turned into a sassy-pants 13-year-old? Well today he turns into an eye-ball-rolling 14-year-old.

That's right, fourteen years ago today I was in the Bethpage hospital in New York watching Oprah and crying for the anesthesiologist. A week later we were packing up our little Nantucket apartment and driving across the country with two teensy kids, a bag of sunflower seeds and a raging bladder infection.

Was that TMI?

On that trip across the country I could hardly keep my eyes open, probably because nursing moms cannot live by sunflower seeds alone. I spanked my daughter for the first time and I thought mean thoughts about my hub for the second time. Or maybe it was the third time, I can't be sure. Alls I wanted was a hot bath and a clean bed to rest my weary postpartum soul. Was a hotel room every night or two too much to ask?

We were in between grad school and our first real job so we shacked up in the magic cabin for a few months during the interim, where I thought my fourth mean thoughts about my hub for letting his mother drop by every morning at 7 a.m. and call through the screen door, "YOOHOO! Do you want to go hike Stewart Falls? huh? huh? huh? Do you want to go play tennis? Do you want to go to Chuck-A-Rama? huh? huh? huh?"

"Do you want me to go all Kung Fu Panda on you?" I would call back, as I dragged myself out of bed and strapped on the freakin' baby carrier and filled my head with mean thoughts.

I was full of mean thoughts fourteen years ago. But then we moved to Hawaii and I took control of my life and I was healed.


And Amen!

So we started celebrating my son's birthday yesterday. My boys all slept on the trampoline, until the sprinklers came on at 5 a.m. We didn't tell them to, but them darn sprinklers do whatsoever they please, whensoever they please. They must be teenager sprinklers. So then my boys crashed on the living room couches, until I had to go to my early morning church meetings and I accidentally turned on the car alarm for car #1. And then while fumbling through my purse to find the keys to stop the insanity I accidentally turned on the car alarm for car #2.

So yeah, both car alarms were breaking the sabbath simultaneously.

Then we went to a mission farewell and guess who happened to be there ROCKIN' the piano for the instant ward choir? BARBALOOT! (Remember Barbaloot?) She ROCKS THE PIANO SO HARD! Did you guys know that about her?

Me neither!

I was this close to jumping out of my seat and joining the instant ward choir so I could Rock out to her piano.

So my Chinese commenter struck again and I got all curious George and plugged the comment into an ancient Chinese secret translator and this is the message: “in an organization's fool, is bigger than permanently is equal to 2/3.”

Hmmmmmm . . .

Iwa translated the last comment on my Jack Johnson moral to the story and it was something about a swan marrying a toad and giving birth to an ugly duckling.

Hmmmmmm . . .

Does anyone else find that oddly coincidental, being as it's my son's birthday an all? Do you think the swan ever had mean thoughts about the toad?

hee hee hee

Okay, I promised to tell you about the books I read at Lagoon so let's get to it before I am forced at gunpoint to throw one more partay!

First I finished reading Braden Bell's book The Road Show. It's definitely a Mormon book, but you know what? I enjoyed it anyways. It represented. The cool thing about it is that it is so straight forward about the most important topic in the world: The healing power of the atonement. I personally believe it is the most valuable message we can share and I often try to share it in subtle ways, but I'm way way way vague. I skitter around the topic with inferences but Braden Bell comes right out with it and nails it square on. I respect that!

I also read Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen. I favor narrative non-fiction and memoirs and this one is a charmer. I lubbed it, but it will take me a whole nother to post to tell you why, so stay tuned.

I also started Legend of a Suicide by David Vann. It's very poetic and lovely and well written. He's a major award winning writer, but my literary ADD kicked in and I switched to Hunger Games after 43 pages.

But after I finished the first page my daughter's friend said "STOP READING NOW! Don't pick up Hunger Games unless you have time to read the whole book at once. I stayed up until 2 a.m. last night to finish it."

I'm just not in that place in my life right now so I took her advice and STOPPED.

But I pinky promise I will get back to it very soon. In fact I think we're going to Lagoon again on Thursday.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Have a nice day!!!!!!!

OMGOSH, yesterday I spent the whole day sitting in the Maple Pavilion at Lagoon reading. Reading, reading, reading. Totally reading. As if I were sitting in the public library. The teenagers who came and went next to my picnic table finally caught my attention and said, "Gee whiz, you're just having tons of fun at Lagoon today!"

"Actually, I AM having tons of fun," I said. "What of it?"

Teenagers these days!!

It wasn't like I just sat and sat and sat. I did get up twice to go to the bathroom. And to buy six water bottles for my kids at three different locations so I could use all of my buy one, get one free coupons.

See, I ain't no weirdie!

I don't know why it felt so good to just sit at a picnic table and read. Maybe there was something about all the chaos and commotion--all the screaming children on the backwards Chinese dragon ride behind me and the passerbyers with oversized nose rings and spritely mohawks. (By the way, how do you blow your nose with an oversized nose ring hanging there? Just one of the deep thoughts I was pondering at the picnic table in between pages.)

Or maybe there was something about the fact that I haven't done a single batch of laundry since we returned from Lake Powell. I take that back. I haven't folded a single batch of laundry since we returned from Lake Powell. Our laundry room is just one huge pile of unfolded clothes right now.

Which is kind of a great metaphor for my vida loca right now.

Not to mention my facial loca. I pulled the tweezers out after Lake Powell, but I somehow got interrupted after plucking the first eyebrow, and yeah, I never have gotten back to that.

Which is another great metaphor for my vida loca right now.


I did drop my daughter and her Hawaii friends off at the temple again this morning, but this time I was prepared. I drove. And I kept the windows up. And the music down. Partially because I was in my pajamas and partially because I was in control of the situation.

I'll have to report on all the books I read at Lagoon tomorrow because I gotsta run. I've got three basketball games, two tennis matches and an all star-baseball game to attend today. All on opposite sides of the state.

Oh, and I've got a room full of laundry to fold.

Have a nice day!!!!!!!!!!!!!

P.S. Yes, DeNae, Spritely is a real adverb. It means the mohawks were crisp and clean, with no caffeine.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Okay, who, who, who is my Chinese reader? Hmmm? Hmmm? Hmmm? Inquiring minds want to know. My inquiring mind in particular.

Please step forward and identify yourself. Preferably in English. Or in Spanish. I could probably even decode your comments in French, (as long as they are instructing me to pick my nose or grate my cheese). And please do tell me what's uh, the dealio with the all the dot dot dots? Why does every comment end in 26 periods? ......................................... Is it some ancient Chinese secret message from the Universe? Do I need a Little Orphan Annie decoder ring to understand it?

Let me guess, the Universe is trying to tell me that life is redundant.

Am I right, or am I right?

For alls I know, I might have more than one Chinese reader. Maybe I'm hitting the big time in China. Maybe I will be taking over the world in the very near future.

I hope not. I'm too tired to take over the world right now.

A few of you asked me yesterday if I was done living life so I could get back to writing about life. My answer is YES, I'm so done. It takes way too much time to actually live life. Especially one as wonderful as mine. I'm ready to be miserable and bored again.

Technically, however, I'm not going to be miserable and bored again until next week because my daughter's best friend, Tum, from Hawaii, is still here with us, which means we are still partying like it's 1999.

Yesterday started at 8 a.m. with baptisms for the dead, and then tennis and then Del Taco and then Karate Kid and then we piled a bunch of rowdy friends in my car and drove to Classic Skating, which was closed so we drove to Jump On It and jumped on it and then to the lake and stood on a bridge (fully clothed) and jumped off it and then I cooked spaghetti at 10:00 p.m.

In between all this I drove to Thanksgiving Point, Provo and Kearns for basketball practices and baseball games, all the while making dozens of church related phone calls.

That's my vida loca.

But YES, I'm back, and I'm so grateful to all of you who said you missed me. It feels soooooo good to be missed. I missed you TOOOOOO! Which also feels good.

I'm also so grateful to those of you who called me a weirdie. I'm not afraid of being a weirdie. Especially when I have a cause that I really believe in. Is it so wrong that I want all the shells in the world to live in peace and harmony and stay together so their kids won't have abandonment issues/committment issues/depression issues/body complex issues/empty shell issues when they grow up?

Get it? Empty shell issues? Ah, sometimes I crack myself up.

And sometimes I don't.

Braden Bell asked if he could use the touching/borderline creepy image of a woman putting shells back together on the beach in a future book. I say, have at it Braden Bell. Just don't forget to give me credit for being your touching/borderline creepy inspiration.

Speaking of Braden Bell, I am reading his first book The Roadshow and even though there are no borderline creepy weirdies in it, it is still very touching. I think it's one of the most honest novels within a Mormon context that I've ever read.

But then I've only read two Mormon novels.

J/K peeps. Please don't report that to the proper authorities.

I'm no stereotyper or labeller and I never make assumptions or sweeping generalizations about whole groups of people or cultures, but frankly my dear, us Mormon's aren't all that honest-abe sometimes. I mean, we're honest, YES, but we're not honest. We don't lie, per say. We just don't always tell the truth. You hear me? I was pleasantly surprised that Braden Bell let his characters be so real. Like them or not, his characters think and feel and struggle with things that I bet millions of Mormons think and feel and struggle with.

Good on you, Braden Bell!

Oh peeps, It's time to end this post and I haven't even started it. Seriously, I didn't say a single thing I needed to say. I didn't even give you my Karate Kid review (TWO THUMBS WAY WAY UP!) or tell you how embarrassing it was when my daughter drove to the temple yesterday with the windows down and the music blaring.

I should probably rephrase that because she didn't just drive to the temple, she drove to the temple--past the parking lot and through the pearly white gates which separate us from them. She didn't stop until I squealed. Once she stopped I got all hot and flustered upon seeing all the cute little temple ladies walking towards us and our Black Eyed Peas so I jumped out of the back seat and dove across my daughter's lap to turn the music down. Then I had a startling realization that I was in my tennis shorts and my legs were bare naked so I yanked my daughter from the driver's seat so I could hide my shame. Unfortunately my daughter had not yet placed the car in park so technically we were still driving towards the light .........................................................

Yeah, I wish I had had time to tell you that story today, but I gotsta go watch my twins play some baseball.

Monday, June 21, 2010

My Jack Johnson Moral of the Story

Where do I even begin?

Hows about backwards.

You know what's uber awesome after four days on a houseboat? Make up. Make up is uber awesome.

Don't get me wrong, I was totally digging the whole bare naked face thing at Lake Powell. Until I got home. And I actually looked in a mirror.

Mascara ROCKS!

If Gad wanted our faces to be bare naked, he wouldn't have invented mirrors.

Or tweezers.

Or mascara.

Mascara ROCKS!

You know what else rocks after four days on a houseboat? A hot bath.

But even a hot bath doesn't rock as hard as picking up your puppy from the babysitter's.

OMGOSH! Have I mentioned that I have the cutest puppy on the face of the earth? When we picked her up from the babysitter's she was so gosh dang, gol darn, flippin, floppin, rootin, tootin adorable. Even when we disappear for a week she lubs our guts to death. How's that for unconditional?

I lub her guts to death too.

In fact I wish my guts could be more like her guts. Her guts don't have abandonment issues. Every single time she sees us she stops, drops and rolls over onto her backside, wriggling around all open-hearted and vulnerable like.

If my owners left me for a week, I'd have my paws folded tightly across my chest upon their return. And I'd have my nose in the air like I just didn't care.

But that's just me.

I have a feeling that my puppy, Lulu is rubbing off on me though because I've been feeling some weird things. And doing some weird things too. Like at Lake Powell, there were all these shells scattered across the shoreline. Some of them were coupled up and complete.

It was the most bee-U-tiful thing I'd ever seen.

But most of them looked kinda lonely. And cracked. And broken.

Why can't shells just tay together?

Can't they all just get along?

As Hamlet would say "It hath made me mad!"

And sad. Super super sad.

Is it weird that I went around putting them all back together?

That's better, don'tcha think?

Me too!

There's a Jack Johnson moral here, simple, yet profound, as all Jack Johnson morals are:

We're better together!


And Amen!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Lake Powell Cliff Notes

Lake Powell.  What can I say?  Especially at one o'clock in the a.m. 

I could always say OMGOSH and punctuate it with a bunch of !!!! because technically it's Father's Day and technically I'm lying here in the dark sweating from every pore. Not because I'm hot, but because I've been so busy lounging around all week sinking my summer toes into the summer sand at Lake Powell that I haven't had time to shop for Father's Day food or gifts. Or accessories. Or paraphernalia.  

Luckily my hub doesn't want much.  He actually only asked for one thing--that we all skip church. 

Of course this puts me in a bit of a moral pickle because I'm so subservient to my hub. And also because I live to make his every wish my command. I'm like a jeanie in a bottle that way, (when I'm not busy sinking my summer toes into the summer sand).

I could say all that, but instead I'm just going to say LAKE POWELL and leave it at that.

Nuff said.


Did you seriously think I could sum up my first trip to Lake Powell in two words?  That Makes less sense than Wordless Wednesday.  

But in the interest of time, (and Father's Day) allow me to post the Lake Powell cliff note version:

I don't lead an exciting life. But I know people who do, so I mooch. I live vicariously. That's who I am. And what I stand for.

Hence the Lake Powell invite.

My whole famdamily was pumped, even me. I'm all about bare naked feet, plus a bare naked face for four. days. straight. 

Add a speed boat the likes of which peels off your first layer of skin, and if you leave your mouth open, makes your cheeks flap ferociously. 

(My favorite girls camp adverb.)   

Throw in enough food to be gluttonous for a month and I become living proof that good girls really do finish last. 

No, seriously, I'm a good girl. And I really did finish last. 

Ask my hub. 

There were three of us mom ladies on the houseboat and I took the bronze medal in preparing mouth-watering, knee-slapping fresh, organic, authentic meals.  

I also took the bronze medal in the best lake hair, glitter toes and Victoria Secret sweats, and although I was the  least physically endowed, domestically skilled and fashion sensible, I had thee time of my life.  

I may not have had the best smelling lotions or the cutest swimsuit cover ups, but I did get the first cold sore so nani nani boo boo. 

And I was, hands down, the best crash test dummy on the boat. Especially during Mafia when I kept accusing the narrator of being the hit man and everyone kept asking me if I was feeling dizzy or if I needed to lay down. 

Turns out I did need to lay down because, as I discovered, sleeping is contagious. And addicting. It seemed like the more I slept the more I needed to sleep.  

You get me? 

Relaxing can really take a lot out of you.  That's alls I'm saying.

But that's not alls I have to say. I have so much more to say about Lake Powell. SOOOOOO MUCH! 

And I have so much photographic evidence. SOOOOOOOOOO MUCH! 

But it's after one o'clock a.m. and I have so little energy. SOOOOOO LITTLE! 

Let me just say that there were things I did and things I ate and things I read and things I felt that I just have to TELL you about before I pop. 

So I'll be right back after Father's Day.


P.S. For the record, yes, we are skipping Sponge Bob church but we are attending outdoor Sunday School at the magic cabin.  So there!


Monday, June 14, 2010

Later Gator

So anyways, I'm back from girlz camp. And I'm on my way to Lake Powell.

Jimmy Stewart was right. It's a wonderful life.

(Ironically, I've always wanted to smack people around who use that word. It's so . . . yesteryear, you know? And yet I subscribe to the theory of if you've got it, flaunt it. So I've got a wonderful life. What are you gonna do? Sue me?)

I'm sorry I didn't write sooner, but I've been waiting for my ex-door neighbor, Martha to comment. SNIFF. It's kinda hard to move on without Martha. You get me? Somehow she's got it in her little head that my readers don't want to hear about her life anymore. Raise your hand if you want to hear about Martha's life!

Me tooooooo!

Okay, so girlz camp with the Sponge Bob ward was A. MAZE. ING. Lubbed every single minute of it. Except for the time I made the camp director's hub use a swear word after I got the ropes caught in the prop while boating.

"Are there any adults on this boat" thoughtful pause "besides dummy" deep sigh "who can keep the ropes out of the prop?" said the camp director's hub.

(btw, my sister was the camp director. You do the math.)

Apparently prop is boat-talk. For propeller. But how was I supposed to know that? I went ahead and crossed my heart and hoped to die and pinky promised I would stick a thousand needles in my eye if I got the ropes caught in the prop.

In my own defense, I honestly didn't see a single prop.

Also in my own defense, and taking Monty Python's advice to always look on the bright side, at least I didn't get the ropes caught in the stage set or the costumes.

Am I right, or am I right?

Speaking of stage set and costumes . . . since our girlz camp was at Snow Canyon in St. George, and our theme was Faith, Not Fear, we took our girlz to the Tuacahn amphitheatre to see Tarzan.

O. M. GOSH. Best play EVAH! You must go see this play if you're within a state or two. YES, it was wonderful, but it was also SPECTACULAR. And TREMENDOUS.

The play opens up with 10 words wafting through the air on a wing and a prayer

"Put your faith in what you most believe in."

These words linger in the air for one magical moment, giving you chicken skin and making you think deep thoughts about what you most believe in . . .

And then Tarzan swings out of the sky and the word biceps comes to mind. You suddenly realize you most believe in biceps.

hee hee hee

Just joshin peeps. I could care less about biceps. Seriously! I'm an ole' lady.

And no, I'm not one of those ole' ladies. I'm touchy feely with everyone


But anyways, girls camp truly was da bombdiggity. I didn't even mind the time the fox jumped up on our table or the time the priesthood discovered all the black widows under our picnic tables because it was literally the tail end of the very last night and we were so outta there already.

Ignorance truly is bliss when it comes to black widows.

I took nearly a thousand photos because it was so breathtakingly bee-U-tiful.

And it was nonstop fun. Everyone got crazy and silly and sappy ( . . . which we all know equals downright spiritual.) There was no drama or contention or cat fighting or whining or complaining. Everyone was too busy working together.

That's my sis bossing everyone around. 

hee hee hee (I just made that up. Because I could. And because my sis doesn't have a bossy bone in her body).

Girlz camp in the Sponge Bob ward was just like being in High School Musical.

That's me, btw. 

It was all about being together, together, together everyone! 

OMGOSH, I am so out of time.  I'm just going to have to up-chuck a bunch of highlights unto the page.  (And yes, DeNae, I meant to say unto rather than onto. LY!)

First, you wanna see what I look like all red-faced and sweaty with no make-up?

 Hows about all red-faced and sweaty with no make-up getting a piggy back ride?

Here I am again all red-faced and sweaty with no make-up with one of the cutie patootie beehives. 

Okay, I will now attempt to rush through the remaining highlights: 

Is it bad that I am showing the whole wide world my sister and her hub first thing in the morning? 

Well, I'm off to Lake Powell now. 

Later gator!