Anywhere But Here

I have an itch. I have often had this little itch, and it comes and goes. Lately, since my big trip to Switzerland, this itch has grown and just won’t leave. Now I have made the mistake of reading “My Life in France” by Julia Child and it’s making that itch worse and worse.

I want to live in Europe. For just a few years. Maybe permanently.

I want to experience something totally new. I want to learn a new language. I want to live the lifestyle of a European… one who enjoys life and family. Where stores close and people leave work at 5 pm. Where nothing is open on Sundays because it’s a family day. Where everyone rides a bike or walks where they need to go. Where public transportation is huge and works well, so you don’t need a car to get everywhere. Where exercise isn’t going to the gym and killing yourself, but just a part of daily life (the walking and bike riding…). Where food tastes amazing and people take the time to enjoy their meals. Where the scenery is just breath-taking, the architecture is amazing, the history is so alive…

There is so much more to it than that. I know it’s easily dismissed. I can’t explain it properly, but I have always felt this pull… I belong there. I want it. I need it.

The biggest problem is I am just a teacher and stay at home mom. And I married a teacher. It’s not like either of us have jobs that can get us transferred overseas for even a short time. And don’t tell me about DODS. I know how that works (believe me, I have looked into it!). They aren’t exactly looking for band directors to teach at these American schools. And it’s super hard to actually get Western Europe. (Asia apparently is easier).

So I will continue to read all about other people’s experiences and look at my pictures from Switzerland and England and try to remember my time in Norway and I’ll save and save and save and hopefully make another trip (this time with Ches) in the next 10 years or so… All the time wishing and hoping and dreaming for something that apparently I just can’t have. I’m kind of used to that anyway.

10 Years

It’s been 10 years. I should probably write something poignant, reflective, somber, passionate, and meaningful. I probably should have made an effort to watch something on TV or attend a local remembrance ceremony. I probably should have taken the time to sit my children down and explain to them the significance of this day and why Mom is just so sad. The memories are still pretty fresh. I would never try to say that my experience with this day 10 years ago is anything compared to those of New York or Washington, DC. However, it was quite emotional at the time and for some reason I feel this strong emotional pull towards it today. It was a day I will always remember and I hope to never forget.

The thing is, I have sat my children down before. They know all about this day. Well, as much as I feel is necessary for such young children to know. I have mourned and continue to grieve for those lost on this day because of the massive amount of hate from another group of people. I mourn the loss of life. I mourn the loss of innocence. I mourn for the feeling of stability and security we (perhaps falsely) had before this day 10 years ago.

Today, however, I don’t feel up to it. I am just looking for tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day. And on and on as we continue to move forward and rebound. I loved what Cara said on Facebook today of using tomorrow to rise up and move forward by participating “in an act of kindness, an action of renewal, or a gesture of betterment.” That is what our country did so well starting on 9/12, and we should continue that. I remember being completely amazing at the spirit of the people of my country, not just in the shows of patriotism, but also in the unity of all people of this beautiful land, and how all people really did rise up. In the past 10 years we’ve lost that unity. We’ve become so divided over such trivial things. I want my children to know peace and security and happiness. And I want them to show others they know what kindness really is.

Yes, I remember 9/11. I want to live 9/12.

I Am A Liar

Anyone remember Alyson’s email address a few years ago? I do. It was “bigfatliar”. I thought it was pretty funny at the time. I think I need to take it over, now that she doesn’t use it anymore.

I am a liar.

I don’t mean to be. I don’t think most liars mean to be liars. We just fall into bad patterns. We are full of good intentions. You know what they say about good intentions, though. Apparently I’m on a path to Hell. Sigh.

I intend to keep up with my blog and write well. I tell everyone I’m going to blog at least once a week (but I’d like to go back to three times a week) and it’s going to be great. I’m going to work on my novel. I’m going to finish reading Dave’s novel. I’m going to deep clean my house. I’m going to walk at least four miles a day, every day. I’m going to practice my flute for an hour every day and the piano for at least half an hour. I’m going to finish watching “Firefly” so Ches and I can watch “Serenity”. I’m going to send random emails to my friends. I’m going to make my kids keep up with their writing and math skills all summer.

So far… nothin’. I am a liar.

But I’m working on it. I’m forcing myself to be honest and truthful and stick to my word. And when I don’t… feel free to call me on it. You guys who read my blog are my real friends… go for it. Call me out. I welcome it!

There now. I blogged. Now I’m going to go walking. And later I’m sending out a couple of emails. Seriously.

Random Friday

I just have a few announcements.

Tonight we are having our pictures done with Blue Lily. Remember how I won a photo session from the blog Seriously, So Blessed! last October or something? Finally getting to use it. I am so excited! I bought me a new shirt, bought Ches a new shirt, and have some (I think) cute/cool clothes for the boys. I’m just sad it’s 104 out today. I really would rather we were wearing long sleeves, but Ches nixed that right off. Don’t blame him. Sweating, dehydrated people would not look good in a photo!

Aiden has less than 2 weeks of school left. Crazy!!

I got a new printer!!! One of the staff members at my school brought in her old printer and said whoever wants it can have it. I asked her about it, and she said it’s old… like 6 years. I laughed. Our printer (which is basically not useable now) is 11 years old. It’s a bubble jet. She said, “What’s a bubble jet?” and that just told me that must mean it’s really old. Anyway, my “new” printer is also a copier/scanner. So I can finally show off some old photos!!! YAY! Now, I just have to figure out how to hook it up…

I’m reading Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin for book club this month. It really is an inspiring story. I’ve only got about 70 more pages left to read. I like it, but I have to warn you that it isn’t the easiest read. It’s written by a journalist and really has that journalism feel. Not bad if you’re reading a story in a magazine or a feature article in the paper, but hard if you want to read a novel. Nothing about it is a typical novel. In style. However, the story is wonderful!!! Go get it from the library or buy it today. Right now. My blog will still be here when you get back.

A teenage girl in our ward sent out an email saying that she is saving money to go to EFY this summer, so she is offering cookie dough for sale. And tomorrow night she is holding a “mom’s night out”. From 6 to 9 pm she will take our kids for $5 per kid, and this gives the dads an opportunity to take their wives out for mother’s day. I’m so excited!! Ches has this girl in his orchestra and talked to her about it. She said there are about 40 kids coming. I don’t think she expected that big a turn out. She also wants to do this once a month, but is thinking of making an attendance cap or something. Limit it at 15 to 20 kids. She is enlisting her entire family to help out tomorrow night, I think. heh. But now Ches and I are going to celebrate our anniversary (11 years on May 2nd, baby!!) and see Star Trek or something.

I love Pandora. Thanks for introducing me, Kenyon. I’m listening to my Paramore station right now. I need to learn lots of Paramore songs because I’m seeing them in TWO WEEKS. That’s right. No Doubt and Paramore in Phoenix, and I get to go!!!! My first concert. I couldn’t be more excited. Anyway, it’s cool to listen to Paramore and other groups of a similar style (according to Pandora). I like everything they put on there.

I had a dream last night that I had hip surgery and needed to walk with a cane, so I got this really cool carved wood cane. And I was super excited for the changes it would bring me, namely that I would be able to go running with Alyson this summer. Then today I read Karen’s blog and April’s status on Facebook. I must be thinking about the two of you a lot. More than I realized!

And Alyson, I’m still not running with you and Em. You guys have fun. I’ll just seclude myself in my tent and read a book. ๐Ÿ˜‰

We finally made a decision about Aiden’s schooling for next year. We are sending him to another elementary school in this district (it is actually a K-8 school. All the schools in this district are. I hate it, but that’s another story for another day). It’s going to be brand new next year, and they are starting a Gifted program there. It’s the inclusive classes (I can’t remember if that’s what it’s called). It’s where they have classes of just gifted kids. The classes don’t start until 3rd grade, and Aiden is going into 2nd, but this way he’ll have a year to get used to the school and he’ll be in a cluster class of kids he’ll be with the next year anyway. This school is also expected to have a very low enrollment over all (there’s a loooooong story behind that, which I won’t go into right now), and while class sizes will probably be the same size, I’m hoping things will be more personal in general. Aiden needs that. Oh, and Ches will be teaching a band class at that school, so it will be nice for Aiden to know that his dad is on campus. He will still be pulled out of his classroom next year to work with the gifted advocate on a regular basis, so we won’t be taking another year off from that. This year was just a mess. It’s not the gifted advocate’s fault. She is very busy and I just haven’t been proactive enough… lots of stuff going on… anyway. I will be quite involved next year and it will be a great year for Aiden, I’m just sure of it. So… there you go. For those of you who were wondering.

Have a great weekend, everyone!!!

Suppertime!

Anybody know the song “Suppertime”? (Mom and Lura, you don’t count. Don’t answer). Just curious if you can tell me what it’s from. Good song. Great play (musical, whatever… sorry Aiden.).

The actual purpose of this post is to put a huge question out there in blogworld. Please don’t think me odd (even though I’m sure you already do), just understand that I’m bored out of my mind with this, and I need to know what other people do. So… here goes.

What is your dinner menu for this week? Or, if you don’t make a menu for the week, what is your typical week like for dinner? I want to know it all… main dish, side dishes, desserts, whatever. If you go out for dinner, you don’t have to give me all the details of that, but you do need to tell me if you went out or go out frequently so I can take that in account. I want to know what other people typically make for dinner in their own homes for their own families.

I get so bored of what we do for dinner, and I often think that we just aren’t typical in how we eat for the most part. Seems like I have friends that make these really great, full-on meals, but I don’t. I like easy and quick, and I run out of ideas so easily.

Okay, so you all have your assignment. Now… get crackin’!! I need to know this! (Yes, need. Please indulge the very big, hot, cranky, pregnant lady.)

Claiming a Name

I’m wondering what the “etiquette” is when you are picking out names for your baby. We don’t want to use a name that is already being used by a close family member, and we don’t want to use a name that has been “claimed” by a close family member, either.

Although sometimes I think that “claiming” a name is just wrong. If you have a baby before me, then use the name you love. But if I have a baby before you and I love that name, then I shouldn’t feel guilty about using that name. I have a SIL that years ago stated loudly and often that no one in the family could use the name Caleb because she likes it and if she and her husband have a boy, it also goes well with their last name. A couple of years later, she “claimed” the name Brenden Riley for the same reasons. She was almost threatening in the way she would say, “I have claimed this name, so no one else can use them.” Well, she is divorced now and it’s not looking like she’s going to have more kids, so does that mean I can use Caleb, Brenden, or Riley if I so desire?

The other thing I wonder about is when your close friends have kids. I have several friends have had babies recently, and I really like a few of the names they have picked out. So, do I scratch those names off my list? Many of the friends, while we are close in friendship, we are not close in geography and most likely never will be. Others we are close in geography, but since we’re moving anyway, I don’t think we’ll stay in touch for very long. So which names to I keep on the list, and which do I cross off?

It’s such a silly thing to worry about, I know. The world has much greater problems than this, but I’m really curious. What is the etiquette here? Does is really matter? What’s your take on it??

Why My Sister, Lura, Is Awesome

10. Lura is always nice. She almost always has a smile on her face and a kind word for everyone. No kidding.

9. She used to help me figure out how to sneak in an out of the house through the bathroom window. (Mom, you already know about this, so don’t go acting all shocked and stuff)

8. Lura is so super talented!! She is getting her master’s degree, and the program she is in is very competitive. The school she attends has one of the best programs in the nation, they only accept a couple of grad students a year, and her advisor is considered the guy. I had no idea my sister was this awesome until she started her master’s program.

7. Lura is good about sacrificing. She just celebrated her second wedding anniversary, and in those two years she and Jesse have only been together about a quarter of that time while he was off with the military and in Iraq. Lura rarely complained about it. She just supports her husband fully and does what she can at home. She is proud to be a soldier’s wife. Also, when I got married, she got up at 4:30 in the morning to help me do my hair. She helped me out with all these dumb little details for the whole day, and she looked absolutely beautiful and happy, too. And she took the brunt of criticism from family members when they were making remarks that they thought I didn’t hear them make.

6. Lura always has a sympathetic ear for me. Even if I’m all crying about my own husband being gone for a couple of days, Lura never gets resentful to me. She is sympathetic and understanding and always there for me.

5. She gave birth to one of the most adorable little boys ever!! Jago is seriously a cutie (of course, I’m not going to say he’s the most cute or anything, because that is reserved for my own kids). Lura is such a good mommy to Jago. I’m proud of her.

4. She gives us funny stories to tell for the rest of forever, even if they really aren’t funny anymore. Hee hee: Boston Tea Ship!! Beep Baaaaah!!!! Hee hee hee. I’m seriously giggling here.

3. We’ve had to share a room most of our lives, and she was always really fun to room with. We would sit on our beds on opposite ends of the room and toss MnMs into each other’s mouths. Of course, we hardly ever actually made it, but it was so fun anyway. We would listen to Disney tunes and pretend we were different characters and act out the songs. We were always rearranging the furniture to make things more interesting or give us more floor space or something (although that didn’t always work).

2. Lura has to do everything I do. Heh. She played the flute in 5th grade because I already played the flute (but then again, she hated it and didn’t play anymore after that). I always had long hair… she grew her hair out. Her favorite author is the same as mine. I love silver more than gold… so does she. I love a good cup of hot chocolate right before bed… she has to have one too. I get a surprise pregnancy while using protection… so does she!!

1. Lura is my little sister, so, uh, that’s it. You can’t get any more awesome than being Sariah’s sister. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Waiting Game

Still no news about a job, but the holiday was only yesterday. We expect to hear by the end of this week. So, we are waiting. Patiently.

Yes, patiently. Believe it or not, I can be patient. Sometimes. When forced.

We got a wonderful offer to rent a house from some friends. It’s not too bad of a commute to where we want this one job, has three bedrooms and two baths, a yard with two citrus trees and a palm tree, includes all appliances (even the washer and dryer and the microwave), is close to schools and parks, has good, central a/c, and the roof is only like five years old. Oh, and it’s totally within our price range.

The only drawback is that it’s some friends that we were looking forward to hanging out with. She is also a flute player, so it would have been nice to have someone to play duets with again. Oh well. By the time they move back and want their house back, we should be in a position to buy our own. I told Mr. Universe that I don’t even have to think about it. Let’s do it. So now it’s up to him. We can hang out with these friends when they move back.

I’m ready and willing to move. Wish we had some definite offer.

Still waiting. Patiently. Really.