Random Friday is now Random Thoughts Thursday

My neighbor had surgery yesterday, so she asked if I could take her kids to school and pick them up. No problem! I went to get her three kids, but only two got in the van. The third was walking home from a piano lesson. I talked with the mom for a couple of minutes, then said goodbye and drove off. I was out of the neighborhood and through the first major light when I suddenly stopped the car. “I forgot Harrison!!” Flipped a u-turn just as my cell phone started ringing. Oops. I was so distracted talking to my neighbor that I forgot she told me her son was coming and hadn’t gotten in the van yet.

And I wonder where it’s coming from when I get an email from Aiden’s teacher saying, “Have you thought about having Aiden tested for ADHD? He can’t focus and is easily distracted…”

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My birthday is in two days and there is a serious lack of chocolate boxes coming in the mail. I’m disappointed. 😉

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This year, during our winter break, we get to go to San Diego to visit my aunt and uncle. I’m super excited because it’s not that far a drive and we just haven’t done it since we’ve lived here. FOR SHAME! That and my aunt and uncle are just plain awesome and we all have a good time whenever we see them. We have plans to go to the San Diego Zoo, the Safari Park (I am not used to calling it that. It’s still the Wild Animal Park in my head!!), Balboa Park to the science center, La Jolla to see the seals, and I don’t remember what else. The biggest part is a surprise to the younglings. We’re taking them to a certain theme park (not the mouse theme park! I wish!!) that is in San Diego. It has to do with a certain kind of small building blocks… We’re not telling them a THING. We’re just going to get them up in the morning, get them dressed, and drive there. I will have to have my camera set on video for when we arrive and they see the sign. Oh, I’m excited. They have actually been asking to go for a while now and we just keep saying, “No, it’s too expensive.” or “No, we don’t have the time to take off and go there.” Can’t wait!! I know it’s not as exciting as the Magic Kingdom, but hey. That’ll be another trip, another time. We take what we can get. This will be grrrrreat (said in a Scottish accent, of course. Not Tony the Tiger).

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I was watching Netflix last night and started watching a movie called “From Prada to Nada”. It’s a modern day take on “Sense and Sensibility”. It was cute, just not what I wanted to watch. I mean, heck, the good version of S&S with Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, and Hugh Grant is on Netflix. Why not just watch that? Anyway, I found it kind of amusing how this centered around a Latino family, so of course they had to change the daughters’ names from Maryanne and Elenor. Nora was a good fit. But the younger daughter was just Mary. Really? An Hispanic guy with THAT thick an accent is going to name his daughter Mary? Make it Maria and I’d find it more realistic. Just made me giggle. I might have to try watching the rest of it later today. It wasn’t bad. Just not great. I watched “Elizabeth” instead.

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Parker is determined he is going to be Thor when he grows up. “Then,” he says, “I can save you all the time, Mom!” What a sweetheart!

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How else is SO EXCITED for “The Hobbit” to come out?!?!?! I mean, sure, we have to wait a year. But that preview looks AAAAHHHHH. MAAAAAAAZE. INNNNNNNNG. I love Peter Jackson. I’m so glad he ended up doing this movie after all. Oh! And the guy playing Bilbo Baggins? He was Tim in the UK’s “The Office”. Nice. 🙂

*****

My new motto: Fake it ’til you make it.
Is it working??

The End Cometh

Apparently, Judgement Day is on Saturday. This Saturday, that is. May 21, 2011. I know because it says so on a billboard a couple of miles from my house. And on Friday I saw a bunch of people standing on every corner of a major intersection about a half mile from my house who were carrying signs and wearing t-shirts that said so. The signs all have some website and about 6 months ago I actually looked up the website. I don’t remember what it is now, and I’m not going to go look again. Basically, some preacher and his followers claim to have read all the clues in the Bible and interpreted it to mean that the end of the world will happen May 21st. They made it all sound like, “Well, duh. It’s so obvious. But you don’t have to believe us. Just read and find out for yourself.”

Of course I don’t believe it. I believe that some day in the future we will have a judgement day and all that, but I don’t believe it will happen this Saturday. Not a chance. Seems like if you do read the Bible there are still a lot more things that need to happen before the end of the world or the Second Coming or anything. So no. Not on Saturday.

But a little tiny piece of me is still a little anxious that I’m going to be separated from my husband and kids on that day because I have an early call time for my concert.  I kinda would rather just hang around Ches and the boys just in case. Is that silly, or what?

Mistakes

When I was a senior in high school I was the 3rd chair flute in our school’s audition band. The 2nd chair flutist was a junior I’ll call “Kayla”. Kayla and I were friends… to a point. She actually drove me crazy. The worst was that whenever she made  a a mistake during rehearsal she would turn to me and tell me what to fix. “That was a B flat”, she would say in what I heard as a sickly sweet voice with a simpering smile. Blech! I sat next to her and could hear that she was the one who played B natural instead of B flat. Not I. I played to correct note. I hated being “corrected” for something I never did wrong.

In the spring we both auditioned for and made an all-region honor band. It just so happened that I actually made second chair and she made third chair. In the middle of sight-reading a piece, I made a mistake on a note. I couldn’t help myself. I turned to Kayla and said, “That was an F sharp, not an F natural” and gave her a big, fake grin. She gasped, “Oh my gosh! You’re right!” and quickly marked her music. She never made that mistake. Just me. But I wanted to get back at her. Not my finest moment.

Last night I got an email asking me not to do something. I can’t really go into the details here, but it was from a family member and it was asking me (with several other family members) to specifically not do something to one of my siblings. I felt like I was being admonished and chastised for something I have never done and would never do. If anything, I felt that this family member treated this sibling much the way I was being asked not to. It reminded me of sitting next to Kayla in band again. I bristled at the email, but the more I thought about it, the less angry I got.

You see, we all make mistakes. We all know that. It’s part of being human. However, it is often just so hard to admit when we have made mistakes. Sometimes it’s harder to admit the small mistakes than the big ones. So we point it out in others, perhaps to take the attention off ourselves. Perhaps to make us feel better about our mistakes. Perhaps because we assume that if we’re making these little mistakes, others must be, too. Sometimes we may honestly be blind to the fact that we make those mistakes and we really do want to help others that we see making those mistakes. I don’t know, honestly. I just know that I am going to try not to let the admonitions of others bother me anymore. They are not telling me something because they hate me. And maybe I am blind to the fact that I really am making those mistakes.

Here’s to me, recognizing my mistakes and striving to be better. That’s all we can do, right?

Mormons, Sex, and Basketball

There has been so much press lately about this “sex scandal” involving Brandon Davies, a basketball player for BYU. I’m not going to rehash the entire story or even provide links to the story simply because I think most of you have read enough and know enough of what’s going on. I just want to give a few of my own thoughts on the subject. Am I an expert? Nope. I am a Mormon, but that doesn’t mean I speak for all Mormons. I speak for myself. I enjoy watching basketball, but I don’t follow it closely. I just enjoy the game. So everything I say here should be taken with a grain of salt.

I am not a fan of BYU. I don’t hate the school or anything, but I’m just not a fan. Through all of this “controversy” I have become a huge fan of Brandon Davies, however. And yes, I will be cheering BYU on as they play through the championships. I hope they go far.

I attended a Church-run school myself. I wish given a copy of the Honor Code with all the information about the school, so I had a chance to read it and agree to it before I ever even applied to the school. BYU and all the LDS church run schools are private schools. They have every right to have an extremely strict Honor Code. Every applicant knowingly signs the Honor Code. They all agree to it. It is never a surprise to find out that rules are being broken because as a student, you are made fully aware of what you are signing on to. If you don’t like the rules, you either don’t attend the school (thereby giving the spot to one of many students who would gladly follow the rules and attend the school) or you obey the rules but get on a committee that helps review things and change things. You try to change things in a positive manner. When I was at Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho) I was in amazement at the many people who had blatant Honor Code violations because they simply didn’t like it. I may not have agreed with everything,either (seriously… a curfew for college students??),  but I did my best to adhere to what I had signed on for. I signed my name stating that I would follow the Honor Code and I tried to be honorable and live by my word.

I have made the mistake of reading comments on other news articles and blog posts about this whole thing with Brandon Davies. Wow, there are a lot of negative, degrading people out there! I couldn’t believe how many people used the words “medeival”, “archaic”, and “antiquated” when describing the part of the honor code the says to live a chaste life. Most people didn’t even have the verbal skills to use those words, however, and pretty much just called it stupid. Many commenters said it is unrealistic to expect a 19 year old to not have sex with his girlfriend. And even more said that the Mormon church is making sex out to be dirty and shameful.

Again, I don’t speak for the Church and I don’t speak for every Mormon, but I do have my own experiences and opinions on this. So this is what I believe.

Sex is not dirty. It is not shameful. I have never, ever been taught that in church or by my church leaders or even by my parents. Not once. I was taught that sex is very special, sacred, intimate, and private. My parents didn’t talk a lot about it to me, and it would have been nice to have some more information, yes. It was drilled into me that premarital sex is not okay, but I knew there was a difference between being told not to have sex until marriage and not to have sex ever. Mormons obviously have sex (look at the number of children we have!), and we don’t have to constantly talk about it or advertise our sex lives to know that we actually have very healthy, enjoyable sex lives. The thing is, we hold it so close to our hearts… make it into such a special and intimate act… that it really is that important to only have sex with our spouse, and only after we’re married. Ches and I did not have sex of any kind until after we were married. Why? Because we wanted it to be that special. We wanted to wait and to save it for that time. Did I want to be intimate with Ches while we were engaged? Absolutely! But it was more important for both of us to wait. I cannot express how important it is to members of my church that we really do hold off until marriage for sex. It is not something that everyone else believes and I don’t think I’ll be changing anyone’s mind, either. I would just like people who are not of our faith to understand and respect that this is extremely important and leave it at that.

I also do not believe it is unrealistic to expect teenagers or young adults to abstain from sex. Yes, there are plenty out there that are going to have sex. I get that. I do not deny it. I feel like society has turned teenagers into walking hormones with no self-control that are ready to rip each other’s clothes off at a moment’s notice. We have made sex so prevalent in our movies, music, advertisements, books, speech, etc., that it’s no wonder that’s all we think about. Just because it’s so out there doesn’t mean that it’s that normal, however. There are so many things going on for teenagers and young adults. They are figuring out who they are and what kind of adults they want to be. Why do just expect that sleeping around is part of it? It’s not! It’s okay to teach kids to abstain from sex until they are older and more ready for it. Because of my believe that it is such an intimate and special act, I believe that it is a highly emotional thing that is being shoved down our throats as something commonplace. It’s not special if you’re experimenting with different partners or whatever. It’s not special if you never hold off or hold back. I’m not saying that it is shameful to ever have sex and we shouldn’t have it at all. I’m just saying to hold off… and don’t have such a low opinion of young adults that they “can’t”. Sex isn’t everything. There are so many more things… far more important things… than having sex. And there is so much more to it than having sex because your 19 and that’s what 19 year olds do.

I feel awful for Brandon Davies. He has been thrust into this spotlight for a seemingly small mistake. As important as chastity is to us as members of the LDS church, in comparison to the kinds of things athletes at other schools do, this is nothing. I find Davies to be extremely brave. He broke the Honor Code. He committed a serious sin. He did not wait until the end of the basketball season to confess. It seems to me he went to his bishop right away. He could have waited, you know. It doesn’t sound like anyone caught him doing anything. He made the choice to confess. He wasn’t coerced into confessing. There is no actual scandal involved. The girl isn’t pregnant. Again, he could have waited until April and stayed on the team, but he didn’t. He knew what he did was wrong and he decided to take care of it right away. That takes guts. That takes honor. Sadly, the entire nation knows what he did and he is unable to take care of this privately, as he should be. Can you imagine the pressure he must be under? Let’s not forget his girlfriend in all this. She is also a BYU student. Everyone knows what they did. That’s just never fun to have your private life broadcast. I wish we could just let them take care of this privately. (And yes, I realize that by writing on my blog I am also making this much more of a public display that I should. I have thought long and hard about writing this, believe me.)

I read comments that Davies will be shunned because of having sex. Interestingly enough, that seems to be the opposite of what has happened. Davies has the support of his teammates and coaches and the entire student body. Guess what, general public? Most Mormons do very little shunning. I’m sorry for that one random person you know that was disowned by their family, but in most cases, we are a very accepting group of people. We know that we are all human and we all make mistakes and we are all just doing the best we can. None of us are perfect, and we don’t ostracize others for not being perfect.

I am glad he didn’t get any kind of preferential treatment. It says a lot for the university. Basketball is extremely important to Mormons. We have basketball leagues in our congregations across the world. “Church ball” is crazy! But it’s part of our culture. We love playing as much as we love cheering it on. And BYU fans are pretty rabid (I know some of you reading this “bleed blue” and can attest to this) about their sports. So yes, it is disappointing to have such a great player get suspended from the team. I am absolutely amazed at the love and support Davies is getting. No one is going to blame him if the team doesn’t win the whole sh-bang. If they do blame him… well, we need to re-teach the concept of team sports, then. One person does not make the team. And honestly, before he was suspended, how many non-BYU fans had heard of Davies? It was all about “Jimmers”, wasn’t it? Not saying he’s not an important member of the team, but there are all those other guys on the team that also play and can pick up the slack.

So Davies confessed to violating the Honor Code and was suspended from the team. He had to know he was going to be suspended from the team. He had to know that by not waiting until the end of the season that he was putting himself in jeopardy of suspension simply because BYU has suspended football players for the same thing. It’s well publicized. You break the Honor Code, you face the consequences. Hey, Amare Stoudemire… he’s still in school. No one is denying him an education. Before you start spouting off ugly, hateful things you should understand what you’re talking about. We have this great concept that we believe in as Christians. It’s called the Atonement. We believe in repentance and forgiveness. By confessing what he did, Davies is seeking repentance and forgiveness. There are consequences for our actions, and being suspended from the team is the consequence. However, because he isn’t repeatedly breaking the rules he gets to stay in school and everyone says they are sure he’ll be on the team again next year. I can completely see that happening. We believe in forgiveness, and Davies is absolutely going to get it.

So, I’ve rambled on far too long. Most of my readers are also LDS, went to Church-run schools, and probably having the same thoughts as I. I just wanted to throw it out there. Not to beat a dead horse, as my friend Katie has said, but I find the entire issue fascinating because of the reactions of both Mormons and non Mormons.

Answered Prayers

I was looking through some photos, trying to come up with ideas for new hair color. I knew Alyson had a picture of her super hot haircut and color. As I looked through photo after photo on Facebook, I came across several of me from long ago. When I was very thin. “Look at those arms,” I thought. “They’re so lovely. Look that that stomach. You can’t see that I have one! Look at my long neck.” Then I saw some more recent photos. I am unrecognizable. I’m so round and fat. There is just no other word for it. I am fat. I have been watching what I eat and I try to exercise regularly, but it’s a battle that I’m just not winning. I have lost weight since last year, but I am still not anywhere near close to where I would like to be to be comfortable with myself. I miss me. I don’t feel like me.

As I went to bed that night, I prayed. “Please, make me thin. Make me skinny. I just want to lose weight. I’ll continue to make good food choices and I’ll continue to exercise, but the only way it seems I can actually lose weight is if You make it happen. Please make me skinny. I don’t want anything else right now. I just want to be skinny. I know it’s shallow and selfish, but I want to be happy with myself and I am just not happy like this. Please, please, please make me lose weight.”

I woke up Sunday morning with a sore throat. I couldn’t swallow anything. All I could think of was, “Oh, so this is how it’s going down.”

I told Ches the entire story. He laughed at me and said, “Be careful what you pray for.”

God has such a sense of humor, doesn’t He?

Window Shopping

I am a window shopper. I love to go just look at stuff. I could spend hours at a mall because I actually like going into the different stores and seeing what’s there. I don’t look at price tags (because I’m never buying), and I don’t even try on the clothes. I like to look, feel, smell the merchandise.

I don’t like to do it alone, however. It’s way more fun to go with another window shopper. I don’t really know anyone else who likes to really window shop, however. Sad. For me.

When I’m at home, I like to window shop online. It’s fun to find cute things that I would love to have or would love to buy for someone else. Again, it’s not going to happen, but I still love to do it.

Yesterday I was window shopping online and I found these awesome peg dolls from Randomly Generated on the front page of Etsy. The ones on the front page were of Ghostbusters. Love!! I looked further and found Star Wars, Doctor Who, Back to the Future, The Big Bang Theory, Lord of the Rings, Firefly, and more. No Buffy, though. I did find Hermione. I may just have to splurge and get myself Harry, Ron and Hermione. SO CUTE. 

Finding these prompted me to email the link to Jen of Cakewrecks and Epbot fame. They just seemed up her alley. She emailed me back. I feel so cool by association. She loves them!! I knew she would. 🙂 And I have an email from JEN!!

I did some more window shopping on Etsy while I was there. I SO want to get this clock for Ches. 

I found it at a shop called Stuff Made From Stuff. What a great, descriptive name! Check it out because there are all sorts of fun clocks there. Other stuff, too. But I like the clocks.

Speaking up upcycling… today I found this totally rad notebook at Soma Venus. It’s made from a cassette tape. A CASSETTE TAPE! Is that not the coolest thing?? 

And now we come to something I should not be shopping for (which, really, I’m not. I’m window shopping. Big difference) because I am supposed to be making this. Laural and I made a deal a couple months ago to do an apron exchange. I’d make two and send her one, and she’d make two and send me one. That way we each get two new aprons. I do a lot of work in the kitchen and really need aprons, and I’m kind of bored with the one that I have. I have done a lot of looking at patterns and fabrics and I’m gathering ideas. Laural, you just might get something like this:

So cute, huh? Simple, kind of retro, and covers your clothes well enough that you won’t have oil splatters on your favorite shirt or flour handprints on your jeans. This apron comes from Boojiboo and there are tons of cute aprons to look at there.

Phew, I think I’ve spent enough imaginary money today.

My Sunday I’s…

1. I am writing from my iPod Touch.
2. I feel so cool, writing from my iPod Touch.
3. I successfully used my new flat iron to do my hair for church today and I don’t think it turned ou half bad.
4. I was stopped by a lady at church today. She said she sees how skinny I am getting and she is so jealous.
5. I responded with “I am so hungry!” That’s the price of weight loss.
6. I absolutely love having the kind of weather in January that I can be outside in short sleeves and watch my kids play in luscious, green grass.
7. I miss wearing sweaters, however.
8. I am currently reading “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card and surprisingly am enjoying a lot.
9. I am lying in bed because I was trying to take a nap, but it just never came, so now I’m doing this instead.
10. I don’t think I have anything to day today that I haven’t already said on Facebook.
11. I think it’s time to lay off Facebook for a while.

Just Some Random Thoughts…

Yesterday I got to take Parker to the Sea Life Aquarium for his preschool field trip. The Sea Life Aquarium is located in the Arizona Mills Mall, a very large mall not far from where we used to live. It is now a good half hour drive from our current home. After the adventures of the Aquarium, I decided to take Parker to the food court so he could have some lunch and (hopefully) fall asleep in the van on the way home. Then we could both get a little nap in.

Being that it is a mall, there are kiosks. I am a sucker when the vendors at kiosks stop me to show me whatever cool product they are hawking selling. So I got stopped by the woman with an exotic accent who wanted to buff my nails until they were super shiny and pretty (no need for nail polish!), then show me her sea salt rubs and body butter.

First of all, yes, my nails are very pretty. We’ll see if it really lasts a month. However, I am NOT spending $60 for a kit just to buff my nails. Seriously? I’ll put on clear nail polish that costs $1.50 from Wal-Greens first.

Second, the accent? So fake. You can’t even decide if you’re supposed to be French, Israeli, or Brazilian. So it switches constantly. Yes, you sound exotic and it’s supposed to make me trust you more, but I know it’s fake. Everyone knows you don’t have that accent. Someone ought to really stop this practice.

Third, yes, in fact I did like the sea salt scrub and it does seem to be helping the massive eczema on the palms of my hands. However, there is no way I would ever pay $80 for it when I can hop over to Bath and Body Works and get the same size tub for $10. Do I really look that stupid to you? And just because it says it’s made in Israel does NOT mean it actually comes from the Dead Sea. I don’t care where the salt comes from, anyway. It’s salt.

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I believe I have passed on my anxiety to my children. On the way to the school for the ceremony where Dallin received a certificate because he is a Cardinal of Character (he demonstrated the characteristic “fairness” in the classroom), all I could hear was bouncy Dallin saying, “I wonder what my award is. Will they call my name? Where will I sit? Will you all be in the audience? I hope you are in the audience. Do I get a paper? I can’t believe I get an award.” He repeated it constantly until the start of the ceremony.

He got a certificate and a t-shirt. The t-shirt says, “I’m a Cardinal of Character at Centennial Elementary.”

The whole way home he repeated, “I love my t-shirt. Do you have my certificate? I hope my t-shirt fits. I want to wear it tomorrow. Will my t-shirt fit me? It’s so cool.”

On the way to the Aquarium yesterday, Parker repeated, “Are we going on my field trip now? Are you driving fast enough? Can you drive faster? Is this the right way? Did you get lost? Are we closer yet? How much longer? Will I see fish? Are there sharks? Did you make a wrong turn? I don’t know if this is the right way. Can you go faster?” Seriously, repeated this the entire half hour.

Sigh.

*****

Can someone please show me where in the Bible it actually says that Jesus said “If you deny me I will deny you to my FATHER”? I hate that stupid post on Facebook. If I don’t repost am I saying I am ashamed of Jesus and I don’t get to go to Heaven now? Whatever. Reposting these things that say, “Let’s see how many believers are on Facebook!” or “I believe in Jesus. Do you?” is just lame. I don’t need to flaunt my faith in the face of all Facebook to know that I have a testimony that Jesus Christ is my Savior. I feel like posting, “OMG!! I totally ❤ Jesus!! Repost this!” just to see what people will do. Stupid, but it’s the same thing to me.

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I am in another “Biggest Loser” challenge. We’ve had two weigh ins and I have lost 5 lbs. I weigh in tomorrow. Hoping to have lost another 2 lbs this week. The best thing I’m doing for me this time is I have started using MyNetDiary, an online food diary. It helps me keep track of everything I’m eating, counts my calories, has a spot to enter how much exercise I do (and how many calories I have burned), and has handy dandy charts to help me know how much I should be consuming and burning each day in order to lose weight. It’s keeping me totally accountable and I love it. AND it’s free!!! I highly recommend it.

*****

I’m lonely. I have tons of friends (you guys), but you are all too far away. Someone move here, please. Seriously.

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My book club chose enough books to last us through July. I’m super excited about the books, and only one of them have I actually read before.

This month we are reading Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. It has been on my “to read” list for forever because people are constantly telling me to try it. The love it. So I am excited to read it for that reason. However, it’s Sci Fi. I don’t enjoy Sci Fi and I don’t enjoy Fantasy (as a general rule). I try, but I just can’t get into it. So I was telling a girl in the book club that I was excited about reading it, but I said off handedly, “I won’t like it.” She then started to lecture me about having an open mind and being positive and I have to try the book anyway… ugh. I didn’t mean that I’m closing down to it! I didn’t mean I wasn’t going to even try to read it! I am!! It’s just not my style of book and I have tried and tried in the past to read these types of books with no success. I just don’t like it. Geez. Again, I am excited to read the book because it sounds interesting and it comes so highly recommended. But if I don’t like it, then I don’t like it. That’s my opinion. That’s my taste. So there.

*****

I love this weather. It’s been in the mid to upper 70’s all week. So beautiful! We take visitors, by the way. Any time. We have enough floor space for anyone who wants to partake in our sunshine.

If Clothes Could Talk

Today I started the day wearing my size 16 jeans and feeling really, really fat.  I have lost enough weight, however, that these jeans are just a little too big and much too uncomfortable. Both pairs of size 14 jeans were in the wash. I ended up putting on one pair even though they need washing because they are more comfortable than the 16s. My 16s are saying to me, “Sariah, I’m still so dark because I’m your newest pair of jeans. I’m not new enough to be too stiff to wear, however. Sure, you’ve lost weight, but you know you’ll gain it back, so keep me. Put me back on. Put on a belt for now, and just deal with it. You know you love me.”

Meanwhile, my 14s are just begging me to throw them in the wash already. They are faded and torn at the bottom. They are slightly tight at the waist, but fit everywhere else. And they are still begging me to wash them.

From my closet you can hear a faint screaming. That would be the size 12 and 10 jeans. They have been packed away in boxes of clothes that I love, but I’m just too big for. I refuse to get rid of them in the vain hope that I will wear them again. They are screaming for help: “Please, Sariah!! We love you! We miss you! We can’t breathe in here!!” They forget that I can breath in them. I can’t even button them up. So they must stay squashed in boxes in the back of the closet.

I had a funeral several years ago for my size 8 jeans. You can’t hear them.

My size 6 and size 4 jeans moved out with the ’90s. I actually liked the ’90s. I miss the 6s and 4s, but it is impractical to even think about them. They are probably a part of someone’s denim quilt. I wonder if they think of me like I think of them.

Here We Go Again

At the request of Alyson (and all of you who “liked” her FB status), the Chocolate Phoenix is rising again. You knew it was bound to happen.

In October I drove myself and the three boys 17 hours up to Boise, Idaho to attend the wedding of one of my younger brothers. My boys did well on the drive. I am more than pleased with them. It was fun getting to see my siblings and I had a blast hanging out and getting reacquainted with my one brother, Charles. He is awesome. The wedding ceremony was beautiful. Allen (the groom) was handsome and actually cried. Emily (the bride) was radiant.

And that’s all I’m going to talk about the wedding because I’m really upset (still) about driving that far to never actually get to meet my new sister-in-law, for the photographer to not bother to even try to take pictures of Allen’s family, to feel left out of a LOT of the wedding stuff because I’m just a half-sister, or to have not been able to see the cake being cut, the boquet tossed, the garter tossed, or the first dance because I was outside (with ALL of the groom’s siblings and nieces and nephews) decorating the car. It felt like I drove 17 hours to decorate a car. Yes, I’m mad. There’s a lot more detail I could go into, and I know I need to get over it, but since I spent $500 in gas just to go to the wedding and now don’t have the money to buy my kids Christmas presents because we have been in the hole every paycheck since spending that money… yeah, I’m mad and bitter. I’ll get over it eventually.

After the wedding my father, my sister (and her three sons) and my in-laws came to attend the baptism of Aiden. Aiden looked extremely handsome in his suit and was so excited to have two of his grandfathers present to be the witnesses for his baptism. We are so proud of Aiden for the decision he made. And yes, it was his decision to be baptized. It was fun to have so many people visiting. My kids absolutely loved it.

A few weeks after everyone left, my mom came out for a visit. She specifically came to watch the kids so I could attend two marching band competitions with Ches. My boys love to have grandma come visit. She always brings interesting things and tells stories and reads books to them. She pushes them on the swing at the park and takes them on walks. They love Grandma.

I have lately been involved a lot in the church choir. Our new ward choir director is amazing. She is a concert pianist and a professional vocalist. I am learning so many things by being in the choir. I have also been singing in the stake choir, getting ready for a community Christmas concert we’re putting. We are singing a John Rutter piece that is as beautiful as it is hard. If you have ever sung John Rutter, you’ll know what I’m talking about. That piece is going to be accompanied by a string orchestra, which Ches is directing. I am in charge of a flute choir that will be playing, and Ches is also putting together a brass quintet to perform. There will be other soloists and small groups, and I’m excited about this program.

I started to write for NaNoWriMo again. I stopped. Just couldn’t do it again this year.

I stood in line all day and saved seats and met cool people and wore a Gryffindor shirt and scarf and got to see “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1” at the midnight showing on opening night. So worth it!!! Ches and I have been saving for that and waiting for that. I will do it again for Part 2 on July 15th. And hey, anyone else see the preview for “Cowboys Vs. Aliens”? We could NOT stop laughing.

I have had some personal issues going on, however, that has kept me from my blog. I apologize for that. I’m trying to sort things out and get back into the game. I haven’t been myself, and I’m not proud of what I have turned into. I’m working on it, and it will get better. It has to. I can’t get worse. I can’t let it. I can’t talk about it here because it scars the crap out of me to let any of it actually be out there for just anyone to read, you know? I mean, I know I don’t have a ton of readers, but this is not something I just want floating around. Many of you already know what’s going on, and if you don’t, well, ask. I might just email you and let you know. Might.

So… that’s what’s been going on! Now you know. And now back to your regularly scheduled programming…