Thursday, June 30, 2011

She's Got Legs, She Knows How to Use Them. . .

I passed a billboard with Jennifer Aniston, her long, tan legs stretch across the board. Next to that cottage-chesseless, tan, sculptued thigh, is a bottle of Smart Water.  I wanted that water.  No, I wanted that thigh.  But it was probably photo shopped and air-brushed, right? Right?

And then I got to thinking, how can water be smart?  And if there is smart water, I've probably been drinking dumb water. 

And then I had an epiphany: Nobody cares about my legs.  You never think about my legs, do you?  And if you saw me in a swimsuit you wouldn't lay awake at night thinking about it. Would you?

Why do I obsess about these things?  Stretch marks on thighs, which I started getting during my third pregnancy, are like those mother pins my son fastens to my shirt at pack meeting only they are permanent and don't get lost in the washing machine.  The scar where the neighbor's horse kicked me and my knees that show the signs of being skinned too many times, and even the cottage cheese, all say that I used these bad-boys for more than propping up a bottle of Smart Water. 

Here's another quote I love.  Some have attributed it to Marjorie Paye Hinckley but I can't verify it.  But, if she didn't say it, she thought it and lived it.

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "Wow, what a ride!"

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


My fourth child, a beautiful strawberry-blonde girl with rose-bud lips who was supposed to be a boy, was born smiling 20 years ago today.

The day before her birth, we had bought our second vehicle, a big, screaming-maroon Dodge Ram Van with no plushness, pretty much a cargo van with seats and a few windows.  But we were happy.  It was having some work done on it and all day long my husband kept asking me to find a ride and go pick it up.  My response, "I think I'm in labor."  His response, "You always think you're in labor.  The baby's not due for another month.

So as my mother-in-law was driving me to the hospital because suddenly my contractions were very close together, we passed my husband on the way to the freeway.  This was way before cell phones.  We frantically pointed to the hospital, only he thought we were pointing to the garage.  He learned differently when he got home and my neighbor who was watching my 3 children, ages 4, 3 and 1 told him that we were NOT picking up the van.

Yes, he made it to the hospital in plenty of time to see the arrival of our daughter whose birth was a breeze and who smiled upon arrival and has smiled ever since.  Really.  This child was born smiling and has never stopped and that is one of the things I love about her most.

Happy Birthday Bri.  Keep smiling.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hurray for Clothes or Clothes Don't Make the Woman but the Woman Makes the Clothes but not on a Sewing Machine

I have been at a posh resort all week with my husband.  While he is in meetings all day, I am eating peanut butter on bread, bananas, nectarines, carrot sticks and candy bars in my hotel room.  Also, I am not getting dressed, looking at the 500 emails in my inbox, organizing my photos from the past several years--who are these people and what are they doing??? reading Harry Potter 7 again, cat-napping, and writing blog posts and mediocre adolescent literature.  I am quite content to be left in this room by myself.  I don't get a lot of by-myself-time with 7 children.  I did venture out once to read by the pool.  The only problem was that I had to put on my swimming suit or else I'd look like a doofus and my legs looked like cottage cheese--texture-wise and color-wise.

I ventured out of my room again the next evening to go to a swanky dinner reception with my husband.  The only problem was that I had to get out of my pajamas at 5:00 p.m., comb my hair, put on make-up, shave my legs with my husbands electric razor, and brush my teeth and I didn't have anything swanky to wear.

Most everyone, except for the men, were in high-heels and cocktail dresses. I heard once that high-heels were invented by men so they could watch womens' behinds wiggle.  I cannot balance a checkbook much less myself on three inch spikes.

I was in a skirt I bought for $5.00 probably sometime in the last decade, a "respectable" looking shirt, and my Bible sandals, okay at least they were post Old Testament. How was I supposed to know I'd be invited to this thing?  Okay, honestly, I wouldn't have had anything to wear anyway.



I was feeling kind of conspicuous, but really enjoying the food after my week long forage of peanut butter, when Marsha was called to the podium during the business part of the reception.  She was dressed kind of like me only in pants.  She was wearing the same color as the commentator who jokingly commented that she was dressed better than Marsha.  Drinking tall glasses of wine makes you say things like this.  It also makes you feel warm and tingly and like you can yodel and belly-dance in public, or so I've heard. 

Here is what Marsha said to the commentator lady.  "You always look impecable, have the best fashion sense, and dress stunningly.  I on the other hand," she continued, "am always dressed."  This got a big laugh.  I wanted to high-five this lady and give out a friendly woot, woot, because I knew where she was coming from--mostly the pajama-bottom, t-shirt state-of-mind that I live in--but I didn't because my husband would have turned red. 

I like Marsha.  I like that she wears clothes.  I like that she's comfortable with who she is.  I like that she made me feel comfortable too.  So Marsha, thanks for making me delicious.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I read a book where the main character was obsessed with her hands because she believed that the appearance of her hands revealed much about her.

I have a scar on my right pinky finger that I got at Heritage Halls, my college dorm at BYU, after my roommate and I argued about cleaning the bathroom. As I was cleaning the sink, I cut my finger on the faucet.

When I was 7, I was waiting for my dad to come home and take me swimming. I was so excited to see him that I pushed the door handle with my right hand and the glass with my left, only the door was locked.

I don’t remember the shattering glass, just lots of blood, being scared, shaking, my dad wrapping my hand in a towel and the mad dash to the hospital—running red-lights—sitting snug and safe between my dad and uncle. Nothing is left from that moment, but the memory and three scars on my left palm.

I have age spots too. I got them when I was 21 after I delivered my first baby. The scars, the age-spots, the protruding veins, all say that I lived, right? My hands say that I did more than eat and take up space while on this planet. So hurray for me and my pockmarked hands!

One of my favorite quotes is by Majorie Pay Hinckley. It’s a little dated because if she was alive, she’d be 100 in November. But you get the idea.

"I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails.

I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp.

I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children.

I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden.

I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder.

I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived."

— Marjorie Pay Hinckley

And yes I liked the book, Jacob Have I Loved, I gave it two blemished thumbs up.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What Can You Do in the Summer Time?

I thought some of you might be getting bored now that we are 3 weeks into summer, unless you live in Utah and it is still raining. . . and cold, or unless you are a mom with several children who you have been carting to places like Oakcrest, b-ball camps, Girl's Camp, EFY, work, etc.  But just in case you and your kids are bored and you've seen every episode of Psyche and Monk on Netflix, here are a few good ideas.

Planking.  It is the new rage:  I have asked my kids for an explanation. There is none.  It is what it is and if it entertains others, why not you and yours?

Yes, thank you Madi and Gavin for this swell idea.

If you get tired of planking, you can always try "fetaling," the new planking.

Can be done anywhere by almost anyone.  Even 20+ year olds.  Thanks Cassie and Maddy.

If you're worried about getting dumb over the summer, you could always do a bit of science.

1.  Lie down on your back.
2.  Put a piece of bread on your stomach.
3.  Put some matches in the bread.

4.  Light the matches.
5.  Put a glass tightly over the matches.
6.  Wait for the matches to stop burning.
7.  Now stand up.

Contratulations, you are cool and so is science.

I always get a kick out of photoshopping.

If you're the active type, you might enjoy wrestling, sumo-style.

You could alwys work on your Harry Potter costumes for the final movie coming out next month.

Then there's always the fill the hot tub/swimming pool/wading pool with something.  Popcorn, spaghetti, Jello, ice cream and toppings or you know, water.

Or a great idea from my friend Madi's blog.  Look for an F.P.O.D.  -- Favorite Person of the Day. 

Have Fun!!  What do you do in the summertime?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Yarning, Folks, Yarning

My daughter whose initials are Morganne read my post, looked at me annoyed and said, "Yarning Mom, it's yarning."  There was an implied DUH at the end of her sentence. 

I've never done it, I don't know what it's called, but apparently I can clean it up.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Powering Boxing and Stringing

A million years ago when I was a kid/teenager/okay maybe young adult, we went toilette papering.  My poor husband has never been because he is respectable and I'm not.  We always toilette papered the Hansens.  One night he chased us for an hour in his old jeep.  I hid in a ditch, a ditch with water in it.  It was intense.  So was Mr. Hansen.  Sorry Mr. Hansen.  It's not my fault you had such awesome trees.

However, toilette papering now has competitors, power boxing and stringing.  Powering boxing is when you cut the power to someone's house via their power box of course.  So annoying because you have to reset all your clocks and reheat your curling iron and finish up business in the dark if you are in the bathroom.  But, so funny if it happens to somebody else.

Stringing is when you take all your mom's yarn that she has collected for the past 5 years to knit totally awesome scarves for Christmas presents and string it around peoples yards--from tree to tree, around cars, door knobs, mailboxes, etc. like a big spider web of love.  Love right?  Because you are doing this because you love us right? Or at least because you think my teenage daughters are cute, right?

My daughter Morganne strung her friend Micah because he said she wouldn't because she didn't even know where he lives.  Only how smart is he because she found out. 

Morganne got a phone call that went something like this:  "Morganne, you strung my dad's house.  I'm at my mom's this weekend.  He's so mad; he couldn't even open the front door.  (I guess Micah's dad was NOT feeling the love) and now I have to go over and clean it up."

This was not a problem for Morganne because while Micah was at his dad's house cleaning up the love, she drove to his mom's house and did some stringing.

Phone call from Micah:  "Are you kidding me?"

Apparently Micah was feeling the love because he strung us, toilette papered us, and dumped a whole bag of flour on our lawn 3 different times in the same night.

We got power boxed again last night.  Micah has an alibi.  So who did it???  I have a feeling this summer is going to be a real "love-fest."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Delicious You, Delicious Me

Was at a Young Woman Meeting and and all the girls that were graduating from high school were speaking.  One said that flour by itself is not so great.  But you mix it with sugar and eggs and oil and salt and CHOCOLATE and you get cookies which are scrumdillilicious and also fattening but that is not the point here.  The point is that any one ingredient is not so great by itself, except for chocolate which has it's flaws like melting on the seats of your car or sticking to your teeth and making you look like a dork.  But the point is, it takes a lot of ingredients to make a cookie.  And her point was that it took a lot of people to make her life great. 

Her final words of wisdom: Middle School Ends (although I still have nightmares about it sometimes) and


                      (Me and my mom as cookies because she helped make me delicious.)

It's also been said that no man is an island although my husband, who is pretty independent, says he could probably be a peninsula.

Thanks to the many people who help make me delicious, or at least palatable.  I hope I have made a few people delicious.  Who makes you delicious?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sobering Thoughts and Tough Questions

Life is short.  Especially for some.  My mom died at 61, barely.  If I live to be as old as my mom, I've got 15 years left.  I've lived in my current house for 15 years, and I just got here.  I don't even think I've fully unpacked.  Fifteen years is a blink unless you are in prison or in pain.  Fifteen years ago was yesterday only I didn't have as many wrinkles and I was smarter or at least I thought I was.  Fifteen years into the future is tomorrow.  What have I done?  I've thought about writing books, I've thought about making scrapbooks for my kids, I've thought about getting organized I've thought about getting in shape, I've thought about what I want to be when I grow up, At this rate, what I be when I grow up will be dead.

I've thought about doing something meaningful with my life, leaving some kind of mark besides Hershey Kisses wrappers and a pile of clothes that need ironing. But what?  Which of these things will matter when I'm gone?

Well that was morbid and reeked of mid-life-crisis.  (Actually if I'm optomistic and realistic, more like 2/3-life-crisis.)  Anybody else feel like time is moving faster and faster? What's been your biggest accomplishment in the last 15 years?  If you knew you only had 15 years left (and you might--maybe less) what would you do?