Friday, October 30, 2009

So much to do, finally ready to start

Once I let a little time go by it is hard to catch up on things I want to blog about. So in the tradition of Tara, who was blogging about June in October, I will try to get it all in over the next few days. Sadly, one of the things that throws me off is not getting my photos downloaded. I know this is a lame excuse, since it merely requires me plugging my camera in, but there you go.

A couple of weeks ago I had a therapy session that left me feeling rather excited. He said to me that several years ago, he and his wife were on vacation, enjoying an evening stroll when they had the following conversation (my words, of course):

Wife: Will you play an imagination game with me? (She happens to be a therapist, also. Can you imagine what their conversations or arguments must be like?)

Steve: Sure

Wife: Imagine that you had a distant relative that you didn't even know about. He died and left you so much money - it was basically limitless. So first you bought all the toys and homes, etc. that you ever wanted. You shared with charity, bought your family whatever they wanted, fulfilled every wish. After a couple of years you become bored with this so you travel all over the world. After a few years you want to settle down back at home. What would you do with your time? What interests would you want to explore?

Steve went on to tell me about some of the interests he ended up pursuing. He said that he had used his family as excuses to prevent himself from doing the things he wanted to do. He said that he found he could still be a great father and husband and pursue target shooting, welding (for art), and sports. All things he had been interested in, but convinced himself that he couldn't develop these interests since he was a father and husband.

Based on this he gave me a homework assignment: create my list - sort of a mid-life bucket list - what have I been putting off? As I mentioned a few things to him there on the spot, he said "those are all things you can do right now! It won't interfere with you being a wife and mother." I realized he was right!

So my initial list includes:

  1. Writing classes
  2. Voice over acting workshops (I have always been interested)
  3. Travel
  4. Yoga

I reserve the right to expand the list at any moment! I have looking into numbers 1 and 2 and hopefully will start pursuing those next month. What have you wanted to do - but keep finding excuses to stop yourself?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Is anyone there?

Test...test...Is this thing on? Anyone? Hello? Where are my friends comments?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A spooky tale...oooo!

In honor of the upcoming holiday I want to share a very scary and true story that happened to me several years ago.

Bob was working a swing shift at the production facility he was managing. He was gone from about 3 in the afternoon to 2 or 3 at night every night. One Thursday in late summer I had made arrangements to have a babysitter come and watch my girls so I could attend my book group. Bob arranged his "lunch" so that he could take the babysitter home and then return to work once I had finished book group around 10.

At the time I was completely engrossed by a book entitled These Is My Words, and was thrilled to be able to return to its pages. After a few minutes of reading I could hear a small shuffling noise on the stairs and discovered 3 year old Kristen sneaking out of bed. After a story, a hug and kiss I returned her to bed and excitedly got back to my book. But once again a noise interrupted my reading. As I walked to the stairs I said "Kristen, you little turkey? What are Check Spellingyou doing out of bed?" But as I looked on the stairs I couldn't see Kristen there. I went down to her room and saw she was fast asleep. I tiptoed into Nicole's room and discovered that she, too was sleeping peacefully. Although nervous I was certain that I had heard something and decided to investigate.

I went into the toy room and discovered the sliding glass door was wide open. I began to feel very nervous. I quickly checked the girls closets and under their beds and then closed their bedroom doors. Not feeling brave enough to go through the house alone I decided to call my neighbor, Robert, to see if he would make sure the house was safe. Although it was midnight I knew he would just be returning home from the restaurant he managed and would still be awake. He answered the phone on the first ring (no one calls with good news at midnight) and said he would be right down. At this point I began to feel a little embarrassed, but grateful that he was willing to investigate with me.

We both nervously giggled that he had come armed with a steak knife, in case he needed to fend off any burglars. We started downstairs, checking each room and every possible hiding place and fortunately found nothing out of order. We went upstairs and began looking through the room off the kitchen and the back hall that provided an additional entrance to the master bedroom. Unfortunately, there was no light switch by this back entrance, so the room was dark as we looked through the walk in closet and headed toward the master bath. I was chatting mindlessly as Robert headed toward the bathroom door. He peered into the bathroom and began to close the door while mouthing to me, "There's someone in there." He immediately wedged himself up against the door, with steak knife at the ready, while I tremblingly dialed 9-1-1.

The 911 operator tried to calm my frantic nerves as we waited the few minutes for the sheriff to arrive. I couldn't believe that someone had come into my house and was hiding there as I sat reading and the girls were sleeping in their rooms! The sheriff came to the door and told Robert and I to leave the room as they needed to draw their weapons.

"This is the Sheriff's department! Come out with your hands up!" (Yes, TV gets that line right.) There was no response from the bathroom. The deputy repeated the command, again with no result. "We're coming in!" he shouted. I held my breath while I heard them open the bathroom door. There was a long pause...no noise or commotion. "Ma'am, could you come in here please?" I walked toward the bathroom and saw that there in the shower stall were Bob's jeans and t-shirt hanging on the shower door and faucet handle - Robert's perpetrator was merely dirty yard clothes!

Robert turned to me, "Bye" he said and quickly crept back to his house. I was mortified!!! The sheriff then lectured me on the number of windows that I had open, considering I was a woman alone with children, and that I needed to take safety more seriously. I apologized to the deputy and tried to explain that I had never seen anything, I was going on what Robert had said and that was why I had called 911. He was unimpressed, but kind enough to make sure that the whole house was intruder free.

After the deputies left I called Robert and told him he had to come sit with me until Bob got home. My adrenaline was coursing through my veins, and in spite of the fact that my intruder was merely an outfit too dirty for the hamper, I couldn't seem to calm down.

The next day when Robert's wife Kathy found out about our midnight adventure she could not stop teasing the two of us about it! The next night when Robert came home from work he discovered his family had hung jeans from the ceiling of their entry with signs that read "Help us! Help us! Don't let the levi's kill the family!" HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Grrr...

Just got in a car accident. My car is not drivable and now I am super grumpy! (I'm not hurt - just a bump on the head.)

One hour later: Just got a call from Katie (work) and she just got in an accident too! What are the chances? We both had the passenger sides of our cars smashed in. How lucky that neither one of us was hurt! Can you imagine? We would have had to shut down the gym!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Another new phone and getting to know my team!

I must start by telling you that I returned the dreaded blackberry and got a G1. Much better, although to be honest I haven't spent much time to try and learn that yet either!

Today in my staff meeting we did a little get to know you exercise and I learned some fun, quirky and disturbing things about my staff. I have been so blessed these past 8 years with wonderful women (and occasionally men) to work along side. I had always hoped to be a stay at home mom, but since I have to work I have been lucky to have mostly perfect people to work with. The not so perfect ones have been so incredibly strange that I wonder how I didn't pick up on it when I interviewed them!

Today we just needed to have some fun in staff meeting, so after a few announcements we had people answer the following questions and then guess who it was. The question were:

1. If you could have a super power what would it be and why?
2. If you could add a face to Mt. Rushmore, who would you add?
3. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
4. Tell us one unique and quirky habit you have.
5. Write a thought or prediction for a fortune cookie.
6. If you could be any comic strip character who would you be and why?

I think the answers that were most enjoyable were the ones for number 4. One employee said that she can't leave a grocery store (she shops at the big mega ones) without buying a new pair of underwear - she has a lot of underwear. One said that she likes to sing loudly in an operatic voice when she feels angry or frustrated. Another one can't go to sleep without vacuuming her whole house first. One likes to wear socks with her sandals. Another has to go through and check all the windows and doors at night to make sure they are locked, even if someone else already has checked.

The fortune cookies were pretty funny! "You are being watched!" "You have herpes." "You can eat all the chocolate you want and never get fat." "You will eat another fortune cookie."

It was really nice for me to just be able to have some fun. Therapy was super intense and has left me feeling drained ever since - so I thoroughly enjoyed being able to laugh for awhile.

Do you have one (or more) quirky or unique habit? Care to share? By the way, the only one I could think of for me was the spelling thing - switching out letters and such...not so interesting when compared to compulsive underwear purchasing.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Old dog, new phone

I really want to be able to like this phone, but all of its functions seem way too complicated for me. There are so many options and menus and functions and apps that I am overwhelmed. Maybe this is the first sign that 40 is around the corner - I am losing my ability to understand electronic devices. (Although, it did take me about 2 years to figure out how to turn off my flash on my camera....maybe I have never had electronic device i.q.)

Today, during Kristen's harp lesson I attempted to learn more about working the phone - and ended up in a very crunchy mood.

This has been my phone for the past several years.

It has been a wonderful phone. It is hot pink - so that alone is fabulous - and I figured out how to use it...including the calendar/date book, and all sorts of little convenient features, without having to devote hours of time studying. Plus, I have a rather cute polka dot wall paper. Now this may not seem like a technical deal breaker - but the lack of cuteness is not helping me enjoy the blackberry.

I know this seems like a trivial post, but it is clearly affecting my mood! Apparently, I am much closer to being a complete nut job then previously believed. I mean if my cell phone is determining my state of mind - how stable can I be? So, tomorrow I am returning the phone and getting something I can actually use and understand. A couple of days ago I mentioned I might return the phone - Nicole told me I shouldn't because my phone (the razr) is so lame. It was a sad moment for me. The problem is I thought I was a little fancier and more technically savvy than the average middle aged (gulp) person - but apparently not. Maybe I should buy one of those Jitterbug phones. Thoughts?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A few things I don't understand....and a girl power weekend.

I don't understand why people put these vinyl stickers on their vehicles. Are people bragging that they can breed and care for animals? Judging from the number of these that I see everywhere, I have started to wonder if there is some new regulation requiring an ingredient list for every SUV and mini-van. Although I can appreciate the cuteness factor, I don't understand, in this world of identity theft, why you would advertise the number and gender of your children, as well as their extracurricular activities. I guess the one that really makes sense to me is the dog. This way if someone is tempted to find out where you live in an attempt to rob you - they would be forewarned that you have a dog.

Along that line, as I was driving home yesterday I saw a license plate holder that said "I love where I live." I have to admit I wanted to follow the guy home. I wanted to know what was so great about his place because he was driving a rusted out, dented sad little pick up truck. Is he putting all of his funds into his home? I truly hope he doesn't live in his truck - it looked a little too loved. Of course he could be referring to Salt Lake or Utah or America - but I still want to know if he has some incredible, don't be fooled by my truck, estate.

I also don't understand my new phone. It is far smarter than I am. I read about all of the wonderful apps it has but am completely stumped by it. There is absolutely nothing intuitive about it's function. I will actually be forced to read the manual and spend days learning how to use it....if I don't return it first.

Now these shallow minded meanderings may be because of my crazy weekend. Kristen had 11 girls over for a hot dog roast up the canyon and a slumber-less party. The girls were actually great, in spite of the fact that they wouldn't go to sleep. The shocking part was that mild-mannered Nicole unleashed her wild hysterical side and was louder than all the party-goers. Nicole and her friend laughed hysterically for approximately 2+ hours. I think even the 11 and 12 year old girls knew they had been one-upped.

Late last night Cathy and I took the girls to the Haunted Village at This is the Place Park. It is incredibly scary. The whole thing takes place outside through a farm and a village comprised of refurbished pioneer buildings. I was concerned when Kristen wanted to come this year because I thought she would end up with nightmares - but it only left her feeling like she wanted to vomit. Cathy's daughter, Sadie, is definitely a "flight" kind of stress responder. She would plow down any one or thing that stood in her way when a creepy zombie came along. The girls had paired up with Sadie hanging out with Kristen. The comical thing was anytime Sadie got scared and she went sprinting down the trail, you would see Kristen holding on for dear life practically flying behind her.

I would like to say that I am fairly fearless, but it is simply not the case. My vocal cords are still tired today from all the screaming.

Photos will be added to this post soon!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Random Thoughts for the middle of the week

I love that Katie, my coworker, was hit on by a 77year old man while we were eating lunch yesterday. (She's 27!) I don't know if I am delighted by his moxie or disgusted.

Yesterday, while in line at Subway, a Dad was waiting with his 2 and 4 year olds (guesstimate). A rather loud dance party song came on and both kids started dancing like crazy. The 2 year old girl said, "Dance, Daddy!" and the 4 year old said, "Yeah, Dad - what's wrong with you? Dance!" I so wished he would have started dancing! It would have brought great joy to me and you know he must have crazy dance parties with his kids at home - no matter how uptight he seemed at Subway!

A mom in my 2 year old parent child class told me yesterday was her birthday and today she had a huge hangover. I felt very badly for her when I realized one of our activities was a tapping rhythm stick song! You should have seen her twitch each time the 15 2 year olds banged their sticks together! (Just another reason not to drink.)

Monday, October 5, 2009

A cheesy compliment and more Paris

Today a salesman called me to try and get me to purchase advertising from him. At the end of the conversation he said - "I bet you are as beautiful as your voice sounds." It was so comically cheesy I almost agreed to an appointment.

I still haven't downloaded Nicole and Kristen's pictures. Frequently, I didn't take pictures because they were taking so many I figured I could enjoy the sights in person and not through a 2 inch screen. When I did take pictures I tried to include someone in them because in the long run the people will be more interesting than the sights! Here are a few more sights (unedited) of things I enjoyed!

Rodin Museum
department store ceiling

Stairs in the Arch de Triomphe


I can't remember which Jardin...Michelle?

Gorgeous scarves

Gorgeous girls at Versailles

Gardens at Versailles

Just a cute street

Statue at Les Invalides

Topiaries at Versailles

Versailles


Local Florist


Window in an apartment building

Notre Dame

Friday, October 2, 2009

Safari Bob in Paris

"Comfort has its place, but it seems rude to visit another country dressed as if you've come to mow its lawns."- - Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris, 2000

The birth of Safari Bob occurred months before our actual trip. Initially, Bob grumbled a bit about going merely because he felt that a week wasn't long enough - so why go with only a week? Eventually, he came around and got excited. Actually, the most excited I have seen him about something other than cars, shoes or watches, in a long time....maybe ever. Marc and Michelle were even concerned that Paris would not live up to his expectations. Bob read up so much on Paris, that when Michelle and I were working on a Paris puzzle at Snowbird he knew what was missing or in the wrong place on the puzzle.

As his excitement began so did his quest for his "Paris Wardrobe." Now many of you may think that a "Paris Wardrobe" would be the height of fashion and take place at Nordstrom or the like...You would be wrong. Bob's "Paris Wardrobe" search included REI, Kirkhams and Sierra Trading Post catalogs. I began to wonder if Bob thought of Paris as one giant mountain topped with the Eiffel Tower.

One day a very large box arrived from Sierra Trading Post. Inside were approximately 10 - 12 pairs of shoes. Bob requested my presence so he could show me all of his potential Paris shoes. Some were regular men's casual loafer type shoes, but the majority were hiking boots. "You do realize that we are going to a city, right?" I asked. "I don't believe we will be on any hiking trails....." He looked at me blankly. I stopped talking. Eventually the perfect shoe was discovered...he was so excited that when my parents came by he had to show them, too.


(Safari Bob's shoes - apparently deserving a spot on Marc and Michelle's dining room table. Sorry Michelle!)

These shoes, dark wash jeans, 3 red shirts, 2 navy blue shirts, and the world's largest fanny pack made up the Safari Bob "Paris Wardrobe." He apparently was not a tourist but a man on Safari across the wild city of Paris. And trekking he was. We quickly discovered that Bob and I have very different touring styles. He likes to wake up at the crack of dawn and check off as many sites as he possibly can in one day. I like to wander the city, watch the people, leisurely explore the museums and see where the day takes me. I am pretty sure Bob walked about 200 miles while trekking across Paris.

Safari Bob always had his trusty fanny pack, (yes, I will be making a song like Dora has for her backpack....I will let you know when I am done.) 2 water bottles, maps (Dora had the right idea with this one, too) and who knows what other treasures. The strap is detachable - so when needed you can go in full fanny pack mode, although I don't know when there would be a need for this.


Unfortunately, no shoe, no matter how great, could live up to Safari Bob's unending need to explore. Eventually, his shoes gave out and his legs could take no more....at least for 10 minutes. I am pretty sure I could come up with some sort of children's series about the adventures of Safari Bob. "Safari Bob...Protecting sleepy children from annoying picture taking mothers...coming soon!"

With all of his shopping I decided I needed some cute Paris shoes, too. Marc has said that you can always tell who the tourists are just by looking at their feet. I new I couldn't go just on looks, I needed something comfy, as well.

These cute shoes from J41 fit the bill - extremely comfortable, cute green and a spot for the toes to peek out from. Unfortunately - not so great with gravel. I only had to cave to the cross trainers once or twice....but there was no question that I was a tourist. The french women walk all over Paris - gravel, cobblestone - in shoes like this:

I am not kidding. I have decided that all french women must be numb from the ankles down. Even Safari Bob couldn't cope with those. (Maybe french women will be his nemesis in my children's series...)