Thursday, January 31, 2008

Goodbye January!

So, on this last day of January I have to note a couple milestones. I started...but more importantly...I finished my playroom. That was the room I chose to simplify this month. Thanks to my 'home-away-from-home' Ikea, and my girls who went through and parted with many childhood friends (stuffed animals), it is complete.

My original plan was to have an adorable, super-clean, white & pink playroom, similar to the rooms you see in the Pottery Barn mag. Well, as life would have it, my kids would rather have bright, bold-colored, awkward-looking toys! Toys that don't fit in pretty white baskets with gingham liners. Who would have thought? I really wanted to paint stripes, checks, or a harlequin pattern in the room, but it looked so busy already, I couldn't do it! I got so wrapped-up in the decorating aspect of the room, I neglected functionality! Simplifying my life does not mean making it look mean making it easier to keep clean, and everything having a place. (If only I could remember that when I went shopping at Ikea)

If I were my dear friend Candice Olsen from Divine Design (we're not really friends, but I imagine that we are) I could do both. But given my limitations, (4 children, crazy schedule, too many freakin' toys, and the lack of a few thousand dollars) I accomplished the simplifying task.
I also lost 10 pounds this month. (don't congratulate me yet, I think it was just what I gained the week between Christmas and New Years) I have been eating healthier, aside from my trip to St. George. I have tried to cook, and keep healthier food in the house. (Despite Mike's best efforts to have chips and soda on hand) I started with making my own granola cereal, granola bars, and adding pureed vegetables to EVERYTHING. That only last a week or so, and I backed off a bit. I did learn that while you can add healthy ingredients to many meals, it's not a good idea to add cauliflower to frosting! But hey, now I know!

I swear to you...I will never complain about the snow again. I can't help but think that if I would have kept my mouth shut and my fingers motionless, there might not be as much snow outside. I'm grateful for the moisture, and pray for continued moisture in warmer forms. (rain in March)
We are all finally kicking this cold. The coughs are fading and the sniffles are drying up! I'm welcoming February, and looking forward to simplifying my bedroom. I have been waiting on a fabric from Ikea, and I feel that this will be my week. I'm just feelin' lucky I guess! Here is the insight into why I chose my bedroom as my next room:

While I was in St. George this weekend, Addi got into my Inkworks (semi-permanent hair color) Now you may ask yourself why I keep Inkworks in my room? It's the same reason why I have doll-heads on my dressers, bookcases and on a tripod in my bedroom...I really enjoy playing with hair! I had just touched-up an aqua panel in my sisters hair last Tuesday, and put the Ink in my room instead of downstairs. Anyways...she spilled BLUE ink all over my white duvet, but better yet, my carpet in my bedroom. Mike had called and told me about Saturday. I think that because I couldn't see it, I was able to just compartmentalize it until I got home. When I saw it...I wanted to cry, and yes, she did get a big swat to the bum. There were eight bright blue spots ranging from 2" to 5" in diameter. I dabbed, blotted, patted, tapped, massaged, rubbed, scrubbed, slapped, hit, whacked and beat the spots until the carpet started falling apart. (my bro-in-law used to clean carpets, he advised I put a towel down and whack it with the back of a brush. Maybe it was a trick to see how gullible I am, but it was great therapy, thanks Justin) Nothing was coming up! It was late, I had driven home that afternoon, I was emotionally exhausted, an any other excuse possible...because then I got out the bleach. (In my defense, I AM a hair stylist. While it damages the hair, bleach can remove ANY color from the hair. What's a few damaged strands of carpet if they are not as noticeably BLUE?)

FYI: NEVER, I will repeat, NEVER under any circumstances put Clorox bleach on your carpet. I'm sure most people know that, really, I thought I knew that! Desperate doesn't fully describe my desire to get the blue out of my carpet Sunday night. The bleach was soaked up by the pad, and spread. Now...I have eight, 5" to 8", light blue circles with bright orange and yellow rings around them across my bedroom floor.

Consequently, our bedroom furniture will be strategically moved around and I will be purchasing a rug (probably from Ikea) to match my bedroom decor. Someday, or maybe not, we will replace the carpet in our bedroom. So at the end of February, when I post pictures of my bedroom, feel free to look for the rug!

PS-pictures of the playroom are camera is not working!

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Sad Week!

I returned home yesterday from my Grandpa's funeral in St. George. It was an emotional day, much more than I had planned. I got a head cold on Thursday, and each day it seemed to get worse. I felt bad for my sisters, because I was dripping, coughing, and complaining all weekend. I blew through entire boxes of tissues multiple times a day. I love taking trips with my sisters, five hours in a car never went so fast!

It was good to see my Dad's family. I rarely see them, and especially all of them together. All of my cousins were there, and it's always great to get to talk with them. I'm so impressed by the strength each of them have. We were all raised with craziness and chaos, but it fascinates me to see us now as adults. I feel like the bond between us is more than the blood we share. It's also the understanding of each others situations. Knowing the major events which shaped our lives, and sharing the stories of the crazy family that we belong to.

There was a viewing at the mortuary home. This tradition has never sat well with me. I do not like looking at a dead body. Even of someone I loved so dearly. I have a hard time getting that image out of my mind. I would much rather remember them alive, the mannerisms, facial expressions, and personality which came from their spirit. To see the body without the spirit is hard for me. On one hand I feel it is a great reassurance that they are no longer here, it is obvious that the spirit plays a huge role, and I know that the spirit lives beyond this earthly life. It was also a great confirmation to see his body dressed in his temple clothing. I am glad he is in a better place.

After the viewing we went to the graveside service. The U.S. Armed Forces gave a beautiful military tribute and flag presentation ceremony. My Uncle gave a eulogy which reiterated what a genius my Grandpa was. I didn't realize how accomplished of a man he was. He was a physicist, and had a tremendous gift of invention. He was honored and recognized by our country's Presidents, as well as major corporations. Each of his children spoke of fond memories, it was great.

Following the remarks and dedicatory prayer we had a luncheon. It was great to get to know everyone and gather in honor of such a great man. Besides the offensive and inappropriate remarks from my Uncle it went really well. It was a nice day. (and we all expect those remarks from arrogant and pompous people, right?)

Last Thursday morning Mike's Grandma passed away. She too was older and had lived a long accomplished life. This is Mike's Mom's Mom. We both have not had much of a relationship with her since Mike's Mom passed away. It has been really hard to stay in touch with his family. Grandma's health had really declined, especially since Carol's death. The last time we visited with Grandma we didn't know if she knew who we were.

I have been so impressed with Mike's Uncle and Aunt. They have had Grandma in their home for the past 10 years or so. Mike's Uncle has always displayed such kindness and love, especially for his mother. I know this must be very hard on him. He has always been my favorite extended family member on Mike's side of the family. He's a self-proclaimed atheist, and yet the most Christ-like person I know. He has the biggest heart, and he's absolutely hilarious! His sense of humor is great, and he has a contagious personality. I know he didn't have the best childhood, he's hard a hard life. Which makes his love for his Mom even more impressive. I've had a hard time letting go of anger for my Mom. We are descent to each other, but I'm not as good of a person as I should be.

Her funeral is tomorrow, and Mike is conducting. He is not a public speaker, so he's a bit nervous. He will do a great job!

President Hinkley passed away last night. When I turned on the news it caught me off guard. If one more person dies, I think my tear ducts will explode! (not to mention my head cold will never get better!)
Pres. Hinkley has been the prophet I knew the most. I had such a great love for this man. I knew he was a prophet and chosen to lead God's church. His legacy of temples, travel, and many other things will never ever be forgotten. My girls loved him so dearly. When Lexi was 3 years-old, I found her in the living room rocking and kissing the Ensign magazine. I asked her what she had. She put her face to the picture of him and said "I love him SO much!" I asked "Do you even know who that is?" she defensively said "Yes...It's Heavenly Finckley!"
Lexi shares a birthday with President Hinckley, and I think she has always had a special connection to him. He will be so dearly missed and continue to be loved by our family forever!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

You know you live in Utah if...

Thanks Anita, I love these! (plus, a new post will distract from the last:)

1. If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don't work there, you live in Utah.

2. If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you live in Utah. (that would be my Husband!)

3. If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed the wrong number, you live in Utah.

4. If 'vacation' means going anywhere south of Salt Lake City for the weekend, you live in Utah.

5. If you measure distance in hours, you live in Utah.

6. If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you live in Utah.

7. If you have switched from 'heat' to 'A/C' and back again in the same day, you live in Utah.

8. If you install security lights on your house and garage but leave both unlocked, you live in Utah.

9. If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you live in Utah.

10. If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, you live in Utah.

11. If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you live in Utah.

12. If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction, you live in Utah.

13. If you find 10 degrees 'a little chilly' you live in Utah.

and I have to add... 14. you know you live in LEHI, Utah if...

(that's for all my fellow stylists...aren't I lucky!)

Snow anyone?

It serves me right for complaining about the 5 inches of snow in my I was sent 12 more inches over the past two days. I need to learn to keep my negative thoughts about the weather to myself. I still totally believe in 'jinxing' my life. Anytime I say things out loud I think I will jinks it! Like when I was pregnant...I thought if I told anyone I thought I was going to have a girl, then I would have a boy. Yeah, I know it doesn't work that way, but it seems to for me.

I have to write some personal thoughts, so this may get a little deep, but I feel I must write it down.

I received a phone call late last night that my Grandpa died. He had been living in a Skilled Nursing Facility in Las Vegas for the past 8 years or so. He is my Dad's Dad, so I didn't know him too well, until I got older. I only started a relationship with him about 13 years ago. When I got in trouble in Arizona, he came and picked me up.

So I have to give some background, to fully understand why he was so important to me...My Mom sent me to live with my Uncle (Dad's brother, who I really didn't know) when I was 15. I was getting into trouble and my Mom was in the middle of a divorce, she didn't know what to do with me, and didn't want to deal with me, so she was trying to find a place for me. (This was after living with my Mom's parents in California didn't work out, I lived there for only a week, then they didn't want me either) So I was a troubled youth who was sent from Utah to Orange County, California. Not a good plan! Take my advise, #1-don't send your child away! not ever! If they are rebelling, it's because they need to know you love them, not that you don't want anything to do with them. #2-never send a troubled youth to Orange County, they will only find more trouble.

So, after staying with my Uncle for a while, I ran away. Well, it wasn't the 'run away' like I did when I was little, it was more like a spontaneous vacation of sorts. It started with taking my car (which my Grandpa bought me, and wasn't going to be registered until I could pull better grades, and had the previous owners plates still on) and taking my two best friends with me to the beach. We often did that instead of going to school. (I'd say at least 4 days a week) At the beach we decided that we would take vacation. Down to San Diego, after all, La Jolla beach was much nicer than Newport. (We were so stupid!)

We went home to pack a few things. My friend took his mother's Debit card to fund the trip, and I snagged my Uncle's gas card. We went to San Diego, and spent the day at the beach. The next day we called a friend back home who informed us how much trouble we were in. He said the police were looking for us...then in the next breath asked when we could pick him up!

Now...understand that I have always had the attitude that if I'm going to get in trouble for something, I had better make the most of it! So I wasn't going back!

We strategically met our other friend and headed to Lake Havasu, Arizona. We stopped in Vegas for a couple days, then made it to Arizona. One of my friends had stayed at a friends house on the lake, he said we should go there and he knew where the 'hide-a-key' was.

This story is already too long, so to get to the point...He couldn't find the key, we tried sleeping in the car one night (four 16 year-old's in a 1970 VW bug) but it got too cold at night. We broke a window and stayed in this house. We woke up one morning to the police, because the owners had come to stay the weekend and saw our car around back. We were arrested, and in the State of Arizona, upon breaking and entering, if you touch any personal property, it is also considered 3rd degree burglary. Lucky for me, because I now realize these events could have changed my life forever, the charges were dropped. But not until we spent some time in Juvenile Hall.

So, back to my Grandpa...when the charges were dropped we were all released. All my friend parents were there to take them home. I remember when my last friend was picked-up, I cried to his Mom to take me home with them. My Mom had refused to come and get me. They had no right to keep me, so I walked down the street with $60 in my pocket. I got a job at a little cafe, and I expected to sleep in my car until I could afford an apt. I caught a taxi to take me to where my car was impounded. When I got there, I found out they wouldn't release it to me, because I was a minor. I had kept it together until that point, I collapsed on the floor and I was crying so hard I couldn't move. They called the police, who took me to a homeless shelter, and a shelter for troubled teens. I will never forget them yelling at my Mom on the phone. "You HAVE to come get her!" they would yell, "I don't care, she is your responsibility!"

So I lived there while these people fought with my Mom, and while my Mom tried to give me to the State of Utah. She wanted to put me in the Foster Care system, but they wouldn't take me either. My Mom couldn't afford anything else, and nobody would take me. Living in this shelter I had many more experiences a person should never have, let alone a 16 year-old. I witnessed horrific evil things from people who made ME look like a perfect angel. I made good friends with the people who worked there, they were kind to me. I also had a very spiritual experience which changed my life, and made me really look at the road I was heading down and the life I was choosing.

One day, the social worker lady, who had been ripping my Mom up and down walked in and said my Grandpa was coming to get me! "What?", I told her she must be mistaken, I had tried to live with my Grandpa and Grandma, and my Grandpa told me I was "no longer his grandchild". (FYI-if I could add a #3 and #4 to the above advise...never try to give your child to the State or put them in Foster Care, and don't tell them you disown doesn't help any.)

Well, much to my surprise, here comes my Grandpa (Dad's Dad) from Las Vegas. He had sent me Birthday cards with money in them, but that was the extent of our relationship. When my Mom had remarried, we had been cut off from my Dad's family. I was in shock that he would come and get me. Maybe no one had told him what a great attitude I had?

When he picked me up, I walked outside and saw my bug in tow. He had paid the fees and still considered it mine. I got in the car and we drove to Vegas. He didn't say much, and I didn't have much to say. We sat and drove in silence. It was the most loving silence I had ever heard, and to-this-day...the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me. I felt like he was my Savior, not in a sacrilegious way, just in the act of saving me, and being sent by my Heavenly Father.

I lived with him for a short while, but it felt like a lifetime. He told me so much about my Dad. He cried when he talked about my Dad's suicide, and told me how he blamed himself. All my life, everyone I had talked to put the blame of my Dad's death on other people. Hearing my Grandpa talk about how much he loved my Dad, and how hard it was to lose him, and how his life has never been the same, was all new to me. My Mom was so angry, she never talked that way. I developed a relationship with my Grandpa that I couldn't have lived without. He loved me at a time in my life when I felt absolutely no love from anyone! He never talked about what I had done to get myself in such a horrible situation. He took me into his home and cared for me as if I were a small child. He gave me exactly what I needed, he helped me heal, and gave me part of my Dad that I would have never gotten from anyone else.
He ended up having to drive me (and my Bug) home. (My Mom exhausted all her resources, and she was only obligated to keep me for 14 more months at that point, and I moved out before I turned 18 anyway.)

There will always be a special place in my heart for my Grandpa. He will never understand what he did for he changed the way I felt about myself. I was in a very self-destructive state, with an extremely bad attitude about life. This was the worst mistake I had made in my life (up to that point, and thus far) and I somewhat expected it to be the event which cut me off from all the people I knew. (I didn't have the understanding that a person could make mistakes and still be loved) The love he gave me was unconditional, and I will appreciate that forever. My road to recovery was still a long one. I'd like to say that I was magically cured, but I had a lot of learning still to do. So, I hope sharing this much doesn't scare everyone, I really wasn't that bad of a kid, I just didn't know how to handle some of feelings I felt from the way I was raised and the things I had been through. However, I do believe that having my Grandpa care for me like that made all the difference in the world.
I am glad that he is in a better place, and with his loved ones. I was lying in bed last night thinking about his reunion with my Dad. How happy he must have been to see him again. The past 8 years his health had gone down-hill. He was forced into a Nursing home and declared incompetent by his children. His sons took over his life, and he wasn't treated well. Being in Las Vegas, there was no family close. I tried to get him moved to Utah, and fought with my Uncle's about it. In some way, I felt I owed him for what he had done for me. For financial reasons, he was kept in Nevada, and I didn't visit him as often as I wanted. In visits with him, his short-term memory wasn't there, but he always not only remembered me, but Mike and the girls by name. He would cry when I came, and cry when I had to go. I will miss those visits.

He would talk about my Dad, and talk a lot about cars. He was car genius! He founded Mitchell Wheels in Van Nuys, California and invented the first ATV wheel in the 1970's. He owned patents on aluminum wheels, and was one of the smartest men I've ever known. Even when his mind wasn't working well, the first thing he would ask me was, "So what kind of car are you driving these days?" Then he would go on to tell me all about that car, and how I should be maintaining it! He still holds records in track for UCLA. He was one of the fastest men in the country when he was in college. He was scheduled to run in the Olympics when he got drafted into the war. He loved his Baja Bug and ATV's.

I am so proud to be related to him, and honored to call him my Grandpa.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I am a Child of God!

Oh my sweet Addi girl! This kid has got to be God's gift of humor to our family....
As I've mentioned, Cori is getting baptized. She is actually getting baptized with her cousin, so it will be a major family event. Mike's sister and I have been planning the program and preparations for the big day. Lexi has been feeling a bit left out of all the festivities, so I had an idea that the siblings could sing a musical number. This would be my 2, 4, and 6-year-old, and my 3, and 5 year-old niece and nephew. I thought, how cute that will be to participate in their older sibling and cousins BIG DAY. We decided on the song 'I am a child of God', due to it's popularity and the fact that the 2 and 3 year-old's might get a few words in.
This week as I was putting Addi to bed I gave her the singing news. Addi is a performer and loves attention, so I'm convinced she will love this opportunity and do so well. She jumps with excitement! I know that she knows the song, but tell her I think we should practice so Sophie can learn to sing with her. (Now remember that Addi's volume is set on a level way above human tolerance...she just came that way!) So Addi starts belting out this song...
"I am a Child of God, and he has sent me here,
has given me and earthy home, with parents KIND OF DEAR..."
I stopped her and snapped, "What did you just sing? Parents what?"
She looked at me and again said "parents kind of dear" I started laughing so hard, and she had no idea why. She finished the song and climbed in bed.
So apparently Mike and I are just 'kind of dear'. I'm glad we get to work on that before the baptism. (work on the words that is, I'm sure we'll still be just kind of dear!) That would have been an embarrassing discovery on that beautiful day!
I went to my first Stake Girls Camp meeting. It was so awesome! I am so excited to get the opportunity to go and the women in our group are all so amazing. One of them recently lost a ton of weight and looks absolutely fantastic. She told us that she cut out treats (no sugar), and kick-started the first two weeks with the South Beach diet. What an inspiration! I've got to just do it!
I've caught up on my running, and ran my first 3 miles on Friday. It felt good. The kids are starting to get better. I think Cori's caught that nasty croupy cough. Let's hope it doesn't get passed around.
Our Activity Days group met Saturday to clean the church. The youth got there an hour before us and had it all done. I suggested that we clean all the nursery toys! (I know, I know... it was selfish, but it was still service right? and my kids are not the only ones getting sick from those toys!) We didn't just Lysol them, we sprayed and washed each toy by hand. I pulled out all the cloth and stuffed animals, I was really grossed out by the thought of what germs and diseases were festering inside them. There was no way to clean them, so at the end, we set them back on top of the bins. I'm calling it Divine inspiration, because the next day (today) I was called to sub in the nursery. I mentioned the cleaning...and casually said "...and we didn't know what to do with the stuffed animals...we couldn't really clean" She said that we should just throw them away. They had gone through and thrown away a bunch of toys, but things find there way back in. Now...there are 5 nursery classes in our ward. With 10 kids in a class and our ward being the last of three wards in the building. I know that those toys are NASTY! but thinking about the ones that can't be almost makes me hurl!
So I was playing with the kids today while a friend of mine was gathering unacceptable toys to be thrown away. I did start to feel bad when I realized how attached some of those kids are to particular toys. I started to feel bad...but I got over it pretty quick when I looked over to see green snot drip onto a dump truck held by a sweet little chubby hand.
(So at least I can sleep a little better tonight!)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


So...I wrote that last blog, but didn't post it. It was a vent session last week and blogging is sure cheaper than a therapist. (trust me I know)
Things have slowed a bit, the night I wrote that last blog I played a church b-ball game and stayed to play the next game because they were short a couple players. Who knew the fat girl could play for 2 hours? Let's just say I couldn't walk last Friday. Ibuprofen was a my best friend that day, and I had way too much to do.

The party went well, besides Cori leaving the room to throw-up and go to bed early. Happy Birthday! UUURRRGGHHH! (that's the throwing up do you spell it?) yeah, it was good. But she woke up and felt great, so we had her friend party. I'm sure the parents will love me for that. It was a "Garden Party". We had a picnic in the Family Room, made candy flowers and decorated flower pots, and made butterfly hair clips. So much fun! Then I packed and hopped on a plane.
My training was in Boise, and it was so fabulous. Hair dressers have got to be the funnest and craziest people in the world. I always feel a bit out-of-place, but at this training our team really came together, and I felt much more accepted. I passed the last written test I had, and certified on the newest collection. Granted, I am still the weird Mormon girl who doesn't drink or cuss, but that doesn't stop me from having a good time. And I guarantee I wake up better the next morning! I always come back from these trips on a major 'high'. Trying desperately to ease my way down...but not too down. Mike is so good to keep me in check and gives me that stability.
I worked in the salon last night, when I got home, the Stake came over and called me to girls camp. I've only done camp on a ward level, so I'm excited to take on a new challenge. I love camp! Mike thinks it's crazy, but I seriously love it. Then, still last night, I received a call from the Primary to speak at "8 is Great" (The irony is, that was the name of a blog I wrote) I am the ward's Activity Days leader and get to pump up (or scare to death) the 7-year-old's joining out group this year. I think about how freaky I must seem to some of those girls. Can you say intense? the training, I was given the opportunity to stand and give my schpill for my software. (Mike and I started a software business in 2002...well..rewind...I started, then stopped, then recently started a software business. That's how I do things, all or nothing. Or all, until I go bonkers, then I crash and my sweet husband helps me pick-up the pieces. So...back to the point..)I gave my presentation and passed out flyers. which I'll post only because the marketing piece of this is a new venture for me and I'm a little bit proud of how they turned out. I was glad I had photo work to add to advertising. Little did Lindsey know I would put her face on a handout one day :) Again...back to the point...the presentation went well in the long run. One very successful salon owner kept saying, "I have that...oh, my software does that..I have that too." Every stinkin feature I touched on, he informed us he already had. Mike has written (and continues to write) this software with cutting edge technology, so I know he can't be telling the whole truth. To credit Mike...Mike is in the top of his field and he's and amazing software architect and developer. So, as my blood started to boil, I get to the end of my bit and I asked HIM a question about HIS software. His response, "Oh...I'm not sure, I have an IT person on staff who does all that computer stuff for me." Everyone's faces were priceless! How many salons can afford a dedicated staff member for computer technology? (IT person) What he didn't realize...he just sold my software for me. It has all the features of his Super-Duper software, but you certainly don't need to hire someone to run it for you.
We are launching the beta version February 1, and Salon 2.0 on May 1, 2008. I am a bit nervous, but mostly excited. I've taken things on and fallen on my face so many times in my life that I almost expect to be picking myself up off the floor every time I take a step. I guess that's why some of us have thicker skin than others?
Setting up and running a business has been such an education for me. I will tell a little story. (I apologize if you are a lawyer)
In June of 2002 I set up an appointment with a lawyer. I had been researching and getting everything in line to set up an LLC among other things for my business. I wanted to meet with him and ask some questions, get some advise. I was paying him something like $60 for a fifteen minute appointment so I really wanted him to answer my questions. I went in there and he literally treated me like I was 2 years old. I would ask a question and he would say "oh..YOU don't need to worry about that, I can do that for you", "YOU wouldn't understand all that", then the kicker "I can talk to your HUSBAND about that".

Now, I didn't drag myself into his office with all four of my kids, wearing sweats with evidence of lunch on my shirt. (that's my usual look) NO! I got a sitter, and dressed in a business suit. I was also thin in 2002, like high school thin, so I was lookin' pretty darn good if I do-say-so-myself!

And those were the answers I was paying him a zillion dollars a minute for? I don't know if I've ever been so insulted. He told me to give my info to his receptionist and for $800 he'll set up the basics of what I needed. Keep in mind he wouldn't even TELL me what I needed because my little-girl brain wouldn't process it, right? SO finally I realized that this ridiculous man would take the bait if I gave him the right opportunity. I said, "well, if I'm going to call my husband (cause he couldn't imagine I could manage to do anything on my own) and tell him he needs to meet with you and pay you $800, he will need to know what the $800 is for?". "Oh honey, I will meet with him, don't you worry about a thing." I then said "No, I would like to tell him." He was not happy! With a fat list of questions I was trying to ask him, he would keep saying I just "don't need to worry about those kind of things", but this question just flat out made him mad! He leaned over and looked at me like I had no right, my tiny, insignificant, feminine world should have never crossed his. He then gave me the most detailed steps and contact names of every contact he used to set-up an LLC. He leaned back so proud of the BIG scary words he spewed out at me. Knowing I could never repeat a word of it. What he didn't realize, was that he had just saved me thousands of dollars. Not only did I have all the information to do it all myself, but the best contacts and resources I need in the future. It was the best $60 I ever spent on the business.
Diving into the world of marketing has really opened my eyes to so much new information. I love to soak up info from professionals, and have to thank my bro-in-law. He's got his MBA from the U (it's ok, he got his bachelors from BYU, his blood runs blue) and he's such a great resource. Mr. Smartypants (Nicole's husband is like a library, he retains everything and know so so so much!
I've also found that I LOVE working with my husband. He's a freakin genius! We collaborate so well together, and for some reason that surprised me. Granted, last night at 1:30am he was ready to shove a sock in my mouth, but he's good at putting me in my place. I need that. Someone to keep me in line, and make me stop and evaluate now and then. He is such an amazing man. Over the weekend, our Educator team spent 14-15 hours together a day. I heard so many complaints about husbands. Some of them were divorced or going through a divorce. What killed me were the complaints of husbands who were home and not doing things right, feeding the children the wrong things, sleeping in, calling to ask too many questions. I thought, you know what?..We are sitting here in, dressed up, getting educated and team building, in a swanky restaurant, and your husband is home watching your children. That's called support! Of course he's not going to do things like you do. So what if your kids eat mac-n-cheese for all three meals one day?! Will it kill them? Plus, they get to spend time with their Dad, a relationship they need to have! I'm sure Mike had football on TV the entire time I was gone, there was a big bag of Doritos in the cupboard when I got home, but I least I know he fed them, right? He took Monday off of work and I appreciate that. He is the most supportive husband I know of, and trust me, supporting me is not walk-in-the-park! I am a total wreck of high's and low's with spontaneous plans and ideas on a daily basis. I have no doubt that we are together on purpose, not by accident. He is a wonderful man! (and so dang tall and handsome, how did I get so lucky?)

So moving on, I have not run since last week:( I'm determined to get in at least three this week. I had a friend suggest a challenge, or bet, or something. Becky? where are you? I need a challenge! Maybe a monthly update on our progress? Maybe over pizza? No really, let do something before it's January of 2009.
The kids are all well again and the light at the end of my tunnel of laundry is beginning to shine. (you think I really don't have a tunnel?) I have been enlightened with tofu powder, flaxseed, and wheat germ. I feel good, my skin is thanking me, but my back-side is still ignoring all the effort. I put a tracker at the bottom of my page, it will be removed soon if I don't kick it in gear. Becky? where did you go? what's that you say? three little boys and no time for yourself? seriously! let's do this thing together!
All this snow is getting to me. I know we need the moisture, but can we just get some rain in March or something? I do not like the winter, I hibernate, and I make my kids hibernate with me. Cori and Lexi are old enough now to go out and play. I just stand inside, wave, smile, and take pictures. I don't do cold well. This is our house after one of the many dumps. Neither Mike or I shovel, so as the snow piles up to our front door I wonder why people don't come over? what's that? you DO want to come over? you have a pair of snow shoes? yeah...Good Luck!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

3,2,1 Meltdown

So Lexi has been sick since New Years Day. She gets better for 12-14 hours and I think we're out-of-the-woods. Then she starts vomiting. This morning (after a night of yacking) I noticed she'd broken blood vessels on her neck. She's been dry heaving so violently off and on for 8 days. I thought I should take her into the Dr.'s. As I assumed, it is probably viral and should pass soon. He prescribed her Phengran, so that should help.
I received a call this afternoon reminding me of the Primary Activity I was in-charge of today. (25 girls making purses) Oops!
Cori's birthday is tomorrow. Addi's is on Monday. We are having a family party tomorrow night, and Cori's friend party is Saturday from 11-1pm. I leave Saturday night for a 2 day training in Boise, I'll get back on Addi's b-day.
Whew! At some point I'm fully expecting to lose it! Probably when everything is finally calm and I really don't have a reason to.
The kids sickness has made it impossible to run this week. They yack all night (heaven forbid during waking hours) so I getting just a couple broken hours of sleep at night. I cannot take them to the gym during the day, although I bet that is where it came from. I'd bet the kids there have already had it.
My laundry has been on hold due to the yacked on item which take first priority. I sit here in my dirty house, with laundry piled everywhere, my kids walking around with bowls (in case of a vomit emergency)I'm thinking..."Stand back...and watch out! We're gonna blow!"

Saturday, January 5, 2008

8 is great!

I just wanted to quickly write about Cori. She is such an amazing girl, and growing to be so OLD! She is turning eight next week so the preparations have begun...
Last night my Mom picked her up and had a sleepover with her. My Mom likes to have "special Grandma time" with the kids for their birthdays. They watched movies, played with the Wii and stayed up late. Today they went to the mall and got Cori her own scriptures with her name on them. They penciled Grandma's favorite scripture inside. I met them at the mall to pick-up Cori.
Cori and I went and got her ears pierced! She was so nervous! We have been talking about it for months, and at one point she said it just wasn't worth it. She was so brave, and so cute.
We then went and found her a baptism dress. Well technically a post-baptism dress. She picked out an adorable frilly dress. I was shocked! She is such a tomboy (like me) Her favorite color is blue, she loves to play sports, she won't brush her hair, her outfit has to meet 'monkey bar' standards...get the picture? In one afternoon she got her ears pierced, and picked out a beautiful PINK puffy dress. Whoa! slow down there!
No really, she is such a great example to me. She has taken this decision to become a member of the church so seriously. She fasted last month! I can't even fast! OK I can... but it's not easy. Miss Fatty McFatty (aka ME) could stand to skip a few meals.
I always joke that she should be MY mother, not the other way around. I am also so grateful for my amazing husband. Having him baptize her is such a tremendous blessing. I am so thankful that he honors his priesthood and is so worthy. Having his example and the Priesthood in our home has been amazing for me. I am learning so much from watching him. Living with the priesthood in my life for the last 9 1/2 years, I have witnessed miracles. I hate so many things about my childhood, and still hold so much anger about the way I was raised. I think the Lord knew I would witness what I needed through my husband and children. I think he also knew I would appreciate it more that way. My heart has healed so much in the past few years. I know that it's only been through the spirit of Christ, strength of my husband, and examples of my children that I could be in this place. Who would have thought? So many people gave up on me in my life. I am so lucky to have the love of my husband and my girls. Sometimes I wonder if I deserve I will get a knock on my door and someone will say "Sorry, we made a mistake, this is not supposed to be your life." In ways I feel like I've had two different lives. The first 18 years (the life I like to pretend didn't happen), and the last 10 years, which have been better than I ever dreamed of.
Cori getting baptized makes me realize how old I'm getting. I still feel like I'm 15. I wonder if that will ever change, in some ways I hope it doesn't (Although it will feel REALLY strange when Cori gets married) She is beginning her spiritual journey of commitments and covenants with her Father in Heaven. I just look at her and feel so proud. Not proud of myself by any means, but proud of her. I know she's a special spirit, and I am so lucky to have front row seat to her life.

(On a personal note...I've started training for my run and had to get in 2 miles today. I stopped at Gold's on the way to the mall. So what do you know? I ran into 3 friends at the mall. In my gym clothes, no make-up, sweaty and stinky! It was awesome! and I wonder why I don't have friends? It got me thinking about friends, or the lack thereof.
I started this blog as a way to journal my life. I wanted to have in writing some thoughts, memories, etc. What I didn't expect was how much fun I would have reading other people's blogs! I've become re-acquainted with some old friends, and it is awesome. I've read about some of them and think "Wow, that is exactly me!" or I just laugh until I pee my pants! I have loved the comments and love commenting.
Here's my problem...I think I've completely gone overboard with some people. You know...assuming they want to be my friend in the first place. I mean if they didn't want to be my friend 10 years ago, why do I assume they want to be my friend now?right? (although, I don't think I was even friends with MYSELF 10 years ago, High School was not good to me!) I'm not good at having friends or keeping them. I'm an all or nothing person, so if I've scared anyone... I publicly apologize! If I comment on your blog and you wish I'd just go away, don't hesitate to shout me back a "hey...knock it off...we really aren't friends!" But just so you know...I will still keep reading your blog;))

Friday, January 4, 2008

More confused than usual (because I'm always somewhat confused!)

Whew! The new year is hear, but I'm not quite. The aftermath of the holidays is taking much more time and energy to recover from than I had planned. The girls went back to school, but my days are all screwy. I'm hoping that Monday will be the beginning of the new year for me.

I did sign up to run a 1/2 marathon in April, that will be interesting. That's right, 15 weeks from tomorrow I will run over 13 miles. I started running back in November, but I started a training schedule this week. It feels good now, but I know there will be major mental and physical challenges ahead. I've never ran more than 5 miles, I cannot imagine running a full marathon, but it's one of those things on 'my list'. You know, my list of things to do before I die. I figure if I survive a 1/2 marathon, a full marathon might be more obtainable.

IKEA is my new home away from home. I think this simplify resolution may have just been an excuse to spend all my time there. I like to check my kids in and pretend I live there. I SERIOUSLY pretend I live in the displays. I have not stayed from Tai Pan, but I finding it is the things I buy there that may have caused my need to simplify. I have started with the Playroom. I hesitate to do before and after pics because I'm embarrassed of the "before's" I'll just do after pics! It's getting there, but it had the true test this morning. I had 7 kids 3 years-old and younger playing for 2 hours. Previously...all the toys had been in 18 gal. Tupperware bins, which I tried to get the kids to sort things in . The problem? In order to get what you wanted, the bin had to be tipped over with all it's contents in the middle of the floor. With 8 bins dumped out in the same pile, sorting and cleaning became rather daunting. I would end up having to help and the process took at least an hour. I tried rotating toys (because there are so darn many!) But it was still overwhelming. Now...I have the room in sections. Kitchen Corner, Dress-up, Reading Corner, and Movie Corner. Two large bookcases hold 12"X12" cubes to sort and store things like barbies, puppets, balls, blocks, and baby toys. Everything else can go on the shelves where it is visible and accessible. Wa-Hoo! The kids seem to like it and it took about 5 minutes to pick-up. It's the dress-up area that still needs some organizational help, but even so, the difference is amazing!

I am running into obstacles regarding my healthy food lifestyle for 2008. There is so much darn information about what is and isn't 'healthy'. I have been so overwhelmed by the information and opinions out there. I thought natural and organic would be a fairly simple concept...oh was I wrong! Some say that just about EVERYTHING we put in our bodies should be 100% organic. Meaning no hormones, no preservatives, nothing processed, no pesticide treated fruits and veggies...etc. I thought ANY fruit or veggie would be a step-up from chicken nuggets. The person helping me at the health food store told me that my family should be taking probiotics, herbal and vitamin supplements, something for immune defense and so forth. Where do you draw the line?
I stared to wonder...white eggs or brown eggs? butter or margarine? Are sugar substitutes really better than sugar? What about brown sugar? Do I clean my fruits and veggies thoroughly? Where are my fruits and veggies grown? What's in the dirt there? Does the yogurt we eat have enough live cultures? What ARE live cultures?...AARRGGHH! My head was about to explode! Not to mention how INCREDIBLY expensive it all is. healthy is healthy enough?

I want to be healthy. I want to avoid over-processed food. (the way-too-frequent stop's at Wendy's) I want to eat more fruits and veggies, and I just want to live a well-rounded healthy lifestyle.

So I pose this question...if knowledge is power, why is it that the more knowledge I obtain, the more and more powerless I feel? Seriously! I left the store and you know what? I just wanted to call ahead Cafe Rio so I could pick it up on my way home! (no worries, I didn't:)

I think it's actually all the easily available information that makes it even more difficult to know what is really truth and what is myth...and what really doesn't matter anyways! I have decided on one thing. If I cook it, it's better than if I didn't. I know what I put in my food, and exactly how much. My current favorite cookbooks are:

Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld
I really enjoy the recipies in here, even the desserts. It helps those guilty pleasures feel not so guilty. Warning: do not let your 7 year-old watch you cook from this book! Cori read the recipie and then watched me put some funky things in her mac & cheese, she tasted it, but if she hadn't know it would have gone better. Now, I copy the recipes on a paper, because she knows when she sees the book, that there are vegtables hidden somewhere!

Lunch Lessons-changing the way we feed our children by Ann Cooper and Lisa M. Holmes
This has lots of information, and recipes in the back. Some really scary statistics on school lunches and how our childrens food habits are displayed in knowledge and production at school. I really enjoy the granola recipe, and bought Thermos' to send warm things for lunch. (what a concept! more than sandwiches!)

Both are filled with healthy, kid-friendly recipes, that are quick and simple. Great tips and information on raising healthy families.
So, as resolutions go for me...I hit the ground running, full speed and fast ahead. I tend to trip up at some point and land flat on my in March, I will need someone to ask me which room I am currently simplifying and what I am cooking for dinner that night!