Friday, March 30, 2007

Random Story Day

I really have nothing to say, so I'm calling today Random Story Day. No, I am not making Fridays Random Story Day. I thought it would be more appropriate for it to be more...random. So you'll never know when Random Story Day will pop up. Maybe Random Thoughts Day will make an appearance. There's no telling. Isn't the mystery and suspense intriguing?
So today's random story comes from a discussion we had last night at our ward card swap. We were discussing my gum addiction and how I suck on it, not chew it. So I thought I'd give you all a little insight and background into my world of sucking.
It started when I was a baby. I'm sure I sucked on a lot of things as most babies do, but I took it a little furthur. Even after the bottles, breasts and pacifiers were gone, I still found things to suck on. When I was a toddler and acting up in Sacrament Meeting, my mom would give me gum to make me happy and I would start sucking on it and instantly fall asleep.
I also sucked on food. Here is where the random story comes in.
One day my parents were gone all morning, for several hours, out shopping. We were home with a baby-sitter. When my parents got home around lunch-time, us kids were out on the driveway riding our bikes. My mom saw me sucking on something and came over to see what it was. Inside my mouth she found a piece of bacon FROM BREAKFAST. And it was BLEACHED WHITE! Yup, I'd sucked out the color over those four hours. And I was still working that bacon, getting every last possible bit of flavor and nutrients out of it that I possibly could. Why did I do this? Because I didn't have access to gum back then, so apparently I hung onto the last bite of breakfast to have something to suck on.
So there it is, my famous bacon story. And now, 25 years later, I'm still sucking away, only not on bacon now. No, I've progressed to gum. Any time now I'm gonna get that call from Wrigley's, (Extra Division) offering me the position of CEO. And then I'll finally be able to afford reconstructive surgery on my jaw.

*Today's Enya song is called Carribean Blue. They've used it as the waltz on Dancing With the Stars before. It is one of my very favorites.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Secrets. We all have secrets. I don't mean secrets like things people have told us in confidence. I mean things going on in our lives that we can't or don't want to share with anyone else, even our closest friends and family.
I've been thinking a lot about secrets lately. There are the exciting secrets that you have, like when you're pregnant (no, I'm not) and exploding with excitement to tell someone, or everyone! Then there are secrets that you're dying to tell someone but shouldn't, but you do anyway, and then you have guilt. Then there are secrets that you can't tell anyone and don't want anyone to know about, but it's killing you to hold it it all inside and you really need to talk about it, but just really can't. And then there's secrets that are so secret that you can't talk about, don't want anyone to know about, and don't care if it's hard to bear the burden yourself as long as no one ever finds out.
It's so weird to me, secrets. That something could be happening in someone's life that is a huge deal, that is occupying 99% of their thoughts, and yet their closest friends and family are clueless. They have to walk around like normal, acting as if everything's the same, when on the inside they're screaming that they have this huge secret and are almost resentful that no one has a clue. They are dying for everyone to know so they can stop holding it inside and bearing the burden themselves while simultaneously knowing the repercussions of the secret being revealed.
Am I killing you? I'm not meaning to. Try not to fixate on what my secrets might be, and just take this moment to think about the above mentioned types of secrets and realize that if you have had these kinds of secrets you would want people to respect your privacy.
I promise I'm not trying to torture you or be all mysterious. My intent in writing about this is to relieve some of the burden, to let people know that if I seem different in any way, this is why. It feels so liberating to even say I have secrets, it doesn't feel so lonely. I'm not looking for people to try and figure out what it is, and even if you called me up and asked me I wouldn't say. I'm simply asking that people understand, that they would think, "Okay, something is going on with her, she's obviously going through something right now" and understand that I'm not often in that happy, funny, light-hearted place right now. I go back and forth, but mostly it's been very hard.
Thank you for being the friends that you are and forgiving me for being so cryptic. Honestly, it feels better even saying what I've said.

*Today's Enya song is called Only Time. You may have heard it on the final season of Friends, a lot.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Salespeople, Signals and Snobs

My pet peeves are as follows:
  • When people ask you a question trying to sound nonchalant like it's completely innocent, but you can totally tell it has an underlying meaning.
  • BAD DRIVERS!!! I can't stand bad drivers in general, but by far my biggest driving pet peeve is when you are waiting to pull out into a street and you're waiting for a car to pass by so you can, and then suddenly at the last minute they turn on a street before they get to you without using their signal and you sat there waiting for them that whole time when you could have gone like, five minutes earlier.
  • Salespeople. I hate them all. Telemarketers, solicitors, anyone who works in sales. And if they work on commission they better steer clear of me, because the horns and the claws come out. Seriously, if I needed help, wouldn't I come find you? Just let me look in peace for the love of Pete!!! And then you get up to the counter and they try selling you more crap. If I needed more crap, wouldn't I have brought it up to purchase along with the items I actually want? Get a clue, people.
  • People who walk down the middle of the parking lot while you're driving, looking for a space, and won't move to the side. You cannot tell me they don't hear my engine. Basically they are snobby people who are saying, "I'm better than you, you can wait til I have made it all the way to the entrance of the store and then you may proceed. There is no chance of me taking a few steps to the left for you to get by. I'm a stupid dumb-head."
  • Incompetent people. People who can't even do their own jobs. (Can you say Walmart employee?) Seriously, you work here. This is all you have to know how to do.
  • Grammatical incorrectness. It drives me nuts. If you don't know what it means or how to use it, don't. It's called circumlocution--use the words you do know. You might think it makes you look smart to use big words or phrases, but for the actual smart people who know what it means, you look, well, the opposite of smart.
  • Open-toed shoes with socks, nylons or tights. Just not meant to be, folks.
  • When people you don't know super well call and just start talking as if you know who they are. They don't know I have caller ID! How awkward would that be if I didn't and I had to play along like I knew who the heck they were. Or, when people call who have VERY common names, like, oh, say, John, and say, "Hi, this is John." Oh, hi John, the one and only John in the whole world that couldn't possibly be mistaken for anyone else, thanks for callin'.
  • People you can't count on. People who say they'll do something for you, but never do, or they make you nag them until they finally do it and you feel so stupid having to nag them, when, why should you feel stupid when they are the one flaking out?

Okay, I better stop. I'm getting too fired up. The list could go on and on, this is by no means my entire list, but I should really stop before I really put my foot in my mouth. So on that pleasant note, have a nice day!

*Today is the start of my Enya week, featuring Orinoco Flow, her most popular song and still my favorite.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

13 Going on 30

I've been toying with the idea since I first thought of starting a blog to have something constant on it that has to do with movies. I love how Danyelle and Marilyn have days of the week specifically devoted to certain things, therefore, I am commencing Movie Madness Mondays. Because I cave under pressure and I just want to be able to relax and have fun with it, I'm not going to review every single new movie, and it will probably just be all over the map, because, well, basically it's my blog and I can do whatever the heck I want. It might be a ten year old movie that I just really love and want to talk about. So for my own peace of mind, don't come hear every Monday expecting the review of the newest blockbuster released over the weekend, because, frankly, that might happen twice a year. (Sadly enough, although it is my very favorite thing to do in the world, I rarely make it to the movie theater, due to my loathing of getting baby-sitters.) But please come ready to share your opinion of featured movie, even if you completely disagree with me. So, I present to you in all its glory.............
I put a lot of thought into which movie I wanted to showcase first. Suddenly it popped into my head. One of my all-time favorite movies:
13 Going on 30

It's funny to me that it's one of my favorite movies, because I was really hesitant to see it when it first came out. I usually get really irritated with movies where adults try to act like kids, and I couldn't stand Jennifer Garner at the time. It also looked like it would be trying really hard to be cute and adorable, which I also despise. However, my husband really liked Jennifer Garner at the time, so we rented it. It became the first movie ever that I finished watching then started all over again immediately. I loved it!
Jenna Rink (Jennifer Garner) is a young teenage girl who dreams of being one of the Six Chicks (the popular girls) even if it means snubbing her best friend since childhood, Mattie (Mark Ruffalo). After being humiliated by the Six Chicks at her 13th birthday party, she goes into a closet and makes a wish that she was "thirty, flirty and thriving." The next morning, she wakes up and her dream has come true. Suddenly she is living her dream life as an adult, finding herself to be an editor of her favorite fashion magazine with a gorgeous boyfriend and leader of the Six Chicks as her best friend. What follows is nothing short of comical, watching a clueless teenage girl from the 80's adapting to life in the 2 thou's as an adult. The movie pulls you in when the comedy stops, however, and Jenna realizes that the woman she has become is not someone she would ever want to be. She also realizes that Mattie meant more to her than any Six Chick, and is soon longing to have her old life back. The end is fabulous, and you walk away feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.
What I love about the movie is Jennifer Garner. She managed to walk the fine line between being believable as a 13 year old and being irritating trying to play a kid, something not many people can do. She was adorable and charming, and I don't use these words lightly. I laughed as she relished the way she filled out her clothes and ached for her as she realized she loved Mattie and wanted her best friend back. I recommend this movie to anyone, it is such a feel-good movie and one every girl can appreciate.
My Top Ten Favorite Parts:
10. The scene in Mattie's bedroom where Jenna is crying and asks for the house back.
9. The whole beginning part in the 80's. Classic.
8. When Jenna says, "Yes, I will be prepared to take my limo ride at that time."
7. Jenna's adult wardrobe
6. The "getting ready for the party" montage
5. Mattie rocking out in Jenna's basement at her party, totally alone.
4.After being told by her friend that a guy behind her is checking her out, Jenna walks over to a 13 year old-looking boy and starts hitting on him. Her friend walks up and asks her if she wants to go to jail and points out the guy she had been talking about, to which Jenna replies, "Ew, the man?! Gross!"
3.When asked "Who's your daddy?" Jenna replies, "Wayne Rink."
2. When Jenna tells Mattie that is tongue is "Razzle Red."
1. Jenna does the thriller dance at a business party to liven things up. My favorite scene in any movie, ever. The movie is worth watching for this scene alone!
Making this list was hard, I realized I could go on and on and on, but you'll have to insert your own favorites. So that is my take on 13 Going on 30. What did you think of the movie?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Simply Found

I stumbled across the most delightful store in Leavenworth last weekend, called(appropriately)
"My Favorite Place"
It had the most wonderful atmosphere and merchandise. I wanted everything!
The website, they tell me, is new so it is very limited, but you get the idea.
This was my purchase:
(grape soap dispenser for my grape kitchen)
even the bag it came in was yummy:
(You can't tell from the picture, but the tissue paper is
brown and cream and that matching green)
Even the name is wonderful, both of them.
My Favorite Place by Simply Found
One day if you find yourself in Leavenworth you must go into this shop
and experience the loveliness. It makes you excited to be a girl.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Deep Thoughts

Today Payson and I were driving to pick up Macy from school and as we drove in silence I did what I often do when I'm with one of my kids alone in the car to fill the silence: I said "I love you." In his sweet little voice he immediately responded as he always does, "I love you." My thoughts had already turned to something else when suddenly Payson said: "What's 'I love you?' " And before I could answer he re-phrased his question as he usually does as his little brain catches up with what he's trying to say. "What's 'I love you' mean?" It caught me so off guard, but it was immediately one of those "moments" that I knew I didn't want to end. I was so amazed and thrilled that my son was beginning to question things that had always been so automatic, and wanting to learn about things that he senses are important.
But suddenly I panicked as I realized I had no clue how to answer the question, at least in terms he would understand. How do you explain love to a 3 year old? The best I could come up with was, "It's when you like someone a whole, whole, whole, whole lot." I knew he understood what it means to like something, so I was pretty sure he could understand what it meant to bump it up to the next level. He was satisfied, and responded with an "oh."
This conversation has stuck with me all day. I get so warm and excited inside when I think of what must have been going through his head as he suddenly questioned what this phrase meant that he said so automatically. I know we read about these moments in books about parenting and magazines and such, but in reality, at least for me, they don't usually happen. They are very rare for me and so needless to say I soak them up.
Macy too has become quite the philosopher. Her area of pondering is always the gospel and the meaning of life and it amazes me. It's always as I'm saying goodnight to her, tucking her in, she'll suddenly ask something such as: "Mommy, we're not supposed to do what Satan wants us to, but will it hurt his feelings if we don't?" or "Does Heavenly Father sleep?" More often than not they are questions I am completely baffled by, but sometimes they are valid, thought-provoking questions and before I realize it we are in the depths of a powerful gospel discussion. She's not even six yet! It's not that I'm especially amazed at her knowledge of the gospel; most of what she knows is typical primary stuff. It's the fact that it's obvious she is seriously thinking about these things, A LOT, when I would have thought it would be things like which Polly Pocket she wants for her birthday or when is she going to get a new baby. (Poor, deprived girl!)
But really none of this surprises me. I have contemplated life and the here-after for as long as I can remember. It's one of my favorite things to do to think about things we can't possibly know and see if I can put some of the puzzle pieces together and get some answers. It gives me peace during times when life here on earth seems too hard to bear, to think about a time when there will be no more pain, no more suffering, no more physical ailments or heartache or anger. I have had numerous dreams about the second coming and I know that the way I feel during those dreams is exactly how it will feel when it happens. I can't wait.
It's wonderful to know that of all the many things I have passed onto my kids that I wish I hadn't, there is at least one thing I am learning I passed onto them that I am extremely proud of.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

So Very...

I want to say thank you to Marilyn (again, I apologize that I can't turn her name into a link, I have no idea why my computer won't let me. Just know that from now on whenever I have not turned a fellow blogger's name into a link, it's not for lack of trying.) for asking us to list what we love about this stage in our lives. It's hard enough coming up with daily blog ideas, even harder when a solemn fog has settled over things right now and it's hard to be light and silly.

It feels so very ironic to be listing the things I love about my life right now when I've been having such a hard time, but that usually means it's exactly what I need to do. So here it is:

  • I love that I can sleep in again and sleep through the whole night (usually).

  • I love that for a few hours each day I only have one child at home and a few hours a week I have none.

  • I love that Payson is at that age that he wants to cuddle with me all the time and comes up to give me random kisses constantly.

  • I love that Macy is starting to ponder life and ask questions that absolutely amaze me.

  • I love that my life is still pretty simple, not to the point where we have crazy schedules with four people needing to be four places at once...all week long.

  • I love that this was the time Heavenly Father chose to teach me a lesson, to do what He knew He had to to get me to start doing what I needed to be doing. I love that He cared that much. I love the way it feels to finally be doing it.

  • I love that we don't have a lot of money, but we always seem to have enough to not be completely deprived of the little things that make life fun.

  • I love that for the first time in years and years I have friends outside of family that like me even though they don't have to.

  • I love that I'm at a point where I am learning what matters and what doesn't and trying to stay true to that.

  • I love that we still have the most fun just the four of us. I dread the time when my kids will only want to go on family trips if a friend can come, and won't think being with mom and dad is the coolest thing ever.

  • I love that I'm still young enough that it's okay that there's so much I don't know, that people have to understand I am going to make mistakes and I don't pretend for a minute that there isn't SOOOO much I have to learn still.

Okay, it wasn't as hard as I thought, but it did require some serious brainstorming. I love how Marilyn wrote that every stage in life has its blessings and its trials. It is so true. This is a fascinating time for me in that I feel so very blessed and yet it has been an unbelievably trying time for me. Thank you again Marilyn, for giving me the opportunity to focus on the blessings.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Romantic Weekend Getaway Part 1

So, I'm sure you're all dying to hear about my romantic weekend getaway. Where do I even begin? Do I tell about the wonderful time we had shopping and just being together? Or do I tell about the shack and the devil woman and our reconaissance work? How about I just tell the story? Before I do so, please refer once more to the pictures on the website that advertises Alps Romance Suites, the one that compelled Bill to choose it as the setting of our romantic weekend.
Okay, you are now fully equipped with what you need to truly appreciate this story.
It begins with the drive there which Bill almost killed us both. Too busy enjoying the beautiful scenery as we neared Leavenworth, he failed to see the car in front of us that had stopped in the middle of the freeway behind another car that was stopped, waiting to turn left. Bill slammed on the breaks after my scream brought it to his attention, but we just skid, barreling toward the car that we would have smashed into if it hadn't swerved around the car in front of it at the last second and drove off. I still don't know how we didn't get in a wreck. We pulled into Leavenworth excitied and anxious to begin what was sure to be a wonderful weekend. We followed the directions on our MapQuest printout, passing the main street in Leavenworth where all the Bavarian shops and pretty much everything were. We pulled onto the street that our hotel was on, and started to panic. This is what we saw:
Yup. The ghetto of Leavenworth. We thought, "This can't possibly be right, it must be furthur down the street, where it gets really nice." But we continued to follow the directions, which took us just a few houses furthur, to this:

This was Alps Romance Suites. A house in the middle of the trashiest neighborhood that someone fixed up a little bit and started renting rooms out to people, calling it "suites" which of course leads people to believe they are staying at a nice hotel or resort. Very, very nervous, we get out of the car, terrified of what we would find as we got closer. This was the first thing we saw:

The broken fence, an entire section missing. Then, this:

The "beautiful" fountain made of that lime green cement that pools at old creepy motels are made of, and it's absolutely covered in algae. This is what we found under the porch at the front of the house:
A pile of cat poop. Now, what you need to know is that Alps Romance Suites has a VERY strict "NO PET" policy that results in an automatic $250 fine if violated. We also saw a mangy looking cat roaming around the yard.

Okay, now you must refer to the continuation of my story, as I have to show the rest of the pictures and have reached my limit on this post. Scroll down to next post.

Romantic Weekend Getaway part 2

Okay, so as we walked furthur into the yard, we realized we were sinking into the ground with every step we took. The entire yard was one big mud pit. No grass. There were stepping stones that I still don't know how we found because half of them were buried under a mound of frozen snow and the other half were sunken down and covered in mud. This is what we had to walk in to get to the "suites":
The other thing we noticed about the ground was it was completely covered in cat poop. Everywhere. It was literally all over. As you can probably guess, the circled items below are, well, cat turds. This spot was not an isolated spot, either. The whole yard looked like this.
Finally, we find our "suite." First we reached our personal "private" hot tub. Apparently to them, private means you don't need a fourth wall, and that gaping hole where the fourth wall should be can open up into the yard where anyone passing by can see you.
And if you look below, you will see what our beautiful view would have been through that gaping hole while lounging in our personal, "private" hot tub. The house next door, which was only missing some yellow "condemned" tape wrapped around it and some runaways hiding out inside. (It was a vacant house, we found out later.) See below.
And my last picture for this post is the wall behind the hot tub. It looked like, well, I'll let you use your imagination. This picture barely does it justice. It was a mustard/puke green color and absolutely covered the entire wall. I have no idea what it was and don't want to.

Okay, once again, and I promise for the final time, I'm going to have to ask you to refer to part 3 of our exciting adventure. Scroll down.

Romantic Weekend Getaway, Final Installment

So then we looked up and saw this:
Mold or moss, I don't know, but it was green and fuzzy and definitely some kind of fungus. We then looked up furthur onto the porch above the hot tub and saw this:
A cat scratch post. Okay, well, that made it official, the cat lived there. At a "hotel" with a very, very strict "NO PET" policy.
This picture below is what the lot across the street looked like:

It was a vacant lot with all kinds of broken down toys over to the right. And below is the vacant house. Borded up, abandoned, probably condemned.

And, the house on the other side of A.R.S:

What you can't see in this picture is their side yard with the abandoned, broken-down school bus in it. So, that is all my pictures. To proceed with the story, we then entered our "suite", absolutely dreading what we would find. Although it was a bit nicer, (it was clean, well-kept, and cozy) it was smaller than our room here at home and felt exactly like we had just gone to visit a great-aunt and were staying in her guest room. As we stood there looking at each other trying to figure out what the heck we should do, we suddenly heard footsteps above us that were so loud I thought the ceiling was going to collapse. We were outta there. We drove back to a really nice-looking ACTUAL hotel (which was actually cheaper than A.R.S.) we'd seen just as we drove into town and got a room. It was so nice inside. Once in our room, we knew our first piece of business had to be cancelling our "suite" and getting our money back. We looked up the place in the phone book, it was no where to be found. That was a little disturbing. Luckily, Bill had the confirmation letter in the van, so he went and got it. We called and got some young girl who said there were no refunds unless something was broken. After arguing with her, she said she'd have the owner call us. A few minutes later, the owner called, and what followed was nothing less than absurd. Seriously, if the confrontation had been in person I would have hit her upside the head with my shoe. The stupid lady, instead of being apologetic and trying to fix the situation like a good business-owner would do, kept asking over and over what was wrong with it. Bill and I each took turns telling her, and she kept saying the dumbest stuff like, "Why did you make the reservation in the first place?" and "What would you have done if you weren't able to find another place to stay?" I thought Bill was going to throw the phone through the hotel window. Then she had the nerve to say, "Do you mind me asking where you did decide to stay?" Bill pretty much told her then what she could do with her romantic "suites" and where she could shove them. And she had the most ridiculous excuses for all that we complained about, such as: it was okay that the hot tub opened up to the yard and the neighbors, because the house was vacant. And she kept blatantly lying to us, saying we clocked in at 2:58 (check in was at 3, we got there at 3:15) which would conveniently allow her to charge us for the whole first half of the day, and that we were there a whole half hour. We were there about five minutes. She kept telling us that if nothing was broken or "sub-standard" there would be no refund. Everything was sub-standard, Devil Woman! Grow a brain cell already! Then she said our only hope of a refund was if she could re-sell our room for that night, and even then it would be minus a 25% cancellation fee. She said she would call us no later than six that evening to let us know. She never called. In the meantime, we called our credit card company to try and stop the payment. The guy on the phone told us he had a payment today for a Bavarian Lodge (the new hotel we were at) and a payment a month ago (when Bill first reserved the rooms at the A.R.S.) for a Bavarian Lodge!!! Oh no you didn't. Something was seriously going on here. The plot thickened. We marched down to the front desk of our hotel and asked if they were in any way connected with A.R.S. They said no, but that the people that owned A.R.S. also owned a chocolate shop that used to be called Bavaring Lodging. Okay, the nice ladies behind the desk were off the hook. They asked why, and after hearing our story proceeded to tell us that there had been a lot of complaints about A.R.S. and that we needed to take a complaint form to the Chamber of Commerce who would take it very seriously. After all, Leavenworth depends on tourism to survive, they can't have stuff like this happen. They even gave us the form, called over to the C. of C. to see who was there to help us, and also told us to try going to the chocolate shop (which was also the office of A.R.S., there was no office at all at the house) to see if the devil woman was there, to try and settle it in person. We first drove over to try and settle it with the lady. They had just closed, but the young girl (the same one we had spoken to on the phone at first) told us the owner would be back in the morning at 10 and then again at noon. We said we'd come back. This is when we decided we needed evidence. We snuck back to A.R.S. and took the above pictures. We felt like spies. It was really fun. Back at the hotel, I fell asleep because I was nauseaus from reading in the car, and poor Bill watched UFC in Spanish for three hours. I woke up at 11 pm, and every restaurant was closed. We decided to take a walk, and that was by far my favorite part of the weekend. It was dark, beautiful spring weather, and all the bavarian shops were lit up with little yellow lights. There were other people out walking, too. We walked along the closed shops and peeked in the windows and chose which ones we wanted to go into the next day. Then we walked to the gas station and bought a lovely dinner of a frozen personal pizza for me and a Hot Pocket for Bill, which we had to eat on wash cloths back at the hotel. Look at me trying to save money by not wanting to spend ten bucks on plates and forks at the gas station. The next morning we slept in but woke up in time for the awesome continental breakfast of waffles and to be at the chocolate shop at 10. They were closed. Interesting. We shopped for two hours and went back at noon. The she-man that was working there was devil woman's sister and said she was out of town for the weekend. Okay, now some serious butt was about to be kicked. We marched right over to the Chamber of Commerce and after telling our story, the people there were bending over backwards to help us. They took my little complaint form from me (which I had yet to fill out) and handed me a few sheets of paper, instead, saying it sounded like I needed a lot of space to write! I filled them up with our story and were promised they would let us know what their ethics commity decided when they met next week. Satisfied, we shopped the rest of the day, which resulted in aching feet. So, before dinner, we soaked in the public hot tub and met some very nice people from Canada, eh? Then we went to the front desk to look at all the restaurant menus and our nice friends from the day before were working. They asked how things went and we updated them. They were so apologetic and sympathetic, soooo nice. They suggested some places to eat, and we left for a place called Gustav's that was delectible, and got some gelato ice cream next door that made us never want American ice cream again, it was so good. When we got back to our hotel room, we were shocked to find a tray on the table of two wine glasses and a bottle of Martinelli's Sparkling Cider, with a note from our two friends up front saying they were sorry for our unfortunate experience and hoped our stay didn't end up being too awful. It was so sweet, I couldn't believe it! They even signed their two names, not just "staff." It was really cool because we were going to get Martinelli's that night anyway, they saved us four bucks. The next morning we gorged ourselves on more Belgian waffles and checked out of our beloved Bavarian Lodge. We hit the shops one last time for last minute stuff for the kids, although I think we spent the most on me. (oops.) Then we left, seven lbs. of fudge heavier. (in a bag, not in us.) Diet? What diet? And that's it. That was our roller coaster of a weekend. It felt like ten minutes. When people ask how our trip was, I don't even know what to answer. There was soooooo much good and so much crap, too. All in all, it was quite the adventure, but the bottom line was it was still a weekend of just Bill and I without the kids, and that was the whole point in the first place, eh?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Last weekend we decided to get McDonalds as a family (shocking, I know.) So we pull into the drive-thru right at the really busy dinner hour with a million other people, with five people pulling instantly in behind us. It was at this point that we remembered our driver's side automatic window had stopped working a few days earlier and wouldn't open, even a crack. Seeing that we were trapped, we started laughing as we realized what this meant. We pulled up another foot so that our window was well past the order screen so Bill could open the door. It was so ghetto I could not stop laughing. And it was the really feel-good kind of laugh where I could not stop. Bill could barely get out the words to place our order.
We wait our turn to get to the first window, still laughing at the knowledge of what was to come. The girl stood and watched us drive past her. I'm sure she thought we were forgetting to stop and pay, but, no, Bill needed to be able to open the door enough to reach his hand through. I was laughing so hard by this point I thought I was going to wet my pants. The teenage girl taking our money started laughing and was still laughing as we pulled off, closing our door.
Finally, the third stop on our white trash joy ride: The food window. Again, the worker watched us pass the window and then stop and open our door. I am laughing uncontrollably, he doesn't crack a smile, but asks us to pull into parking space #1 to wait for our order. Sweet. We get to do this again.
So, once again, we open our door to get our food from the worker who brought it out. I seriously don't think the guy even realized it was weird that we didn't just roll down our window. Them's are some bright ones, those McDonald's workers.
So, we finally pulled out in our Ghettomobile with our food and I am still laughing as we get on the freeway. Why can't all trips to McDonald's be that much fun?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Story of Us

I am so relieved I decided to read all the other blogs first before doing mine. I have been so uninspired lately about what to write. So I was very grateful when Danyelle asked us what made us brave. (And I would have just turned Danyelle's name into a link except that my stupid computer won't let me for some reason.)
I thought I'd take this opportunity to tell a story I've been wanting to tell for a while, a story in which some people (not me) thought must have taken a lot of bravery. It's my all-time favorite story to tell, and if you've heard it, well, read it again.It's the story of me and Bill. It began almost exactly 7 years ago, in March 2000. One night I was particularly bored and decided to check out this whole chat room thing. I went to LDS chat, and instantly I was chatting with members from all over the globe. It was very cool. It wasn't long before I noticed there was a 21 year old guy from Yakima, Washington. I IM'd him and we sort of chatted about people we both knew and that was about the extent of our first "conversation." The next night I went into the chat room again, not looking for him, just wanting to talk to the same cool people. There he was again, and we started talking again, this time IM'ing the entire few hours I was on. We exchanged e-mail addresses before getting off, and I was already starting to feel the beginnings of something. The next day I got on with that little feeling of butterflies in my stomach, hoping he'd be there, and there he was. Immediately we started talking and pretty soon were only talking to each other. We talked and talked and began learning so much about each other.
The next day Danyelle and I were leaving for a trip to Utah, just me, her, and 3 month old Easton. On the drive there I told her I somehow knew this was the guy I was going to marry. It was scary how doubt-free I was. As soon as we got to my aunt's and uncle's I ran to the computer hoping for an e-mail but thinking I was probably an idiot for expecting one. And there in my inbox was an e-card from him saying he'd hoped I had a good trip and couldn't wait to talk to me that night in the chat room. It was at that moment that I knew this was something.
That whole week I was like a happy fool, just walking around without feeling my feet touch the ground. We chatted every night from 9:00 pm when he got off work til 5:00 am when we decided we probably needed to sleep. Each night the conversations became more and more personal, learning more and more about each other. The scariest moment for me was when he e-mailed me his picture. It wasn't a great picture, but I was so relieved. He had nothing of me, though. Even if my aunt and uncle had the technology to send a picture via e-mail, I sure didn't know how to use it.
Eventually the conversation turned to our futures, and how they might overlap. It wasn't weird, to either of us. We both knew. By Saturday we had both addressed the way we felt and and had started talking about our future together. We hadn't talked on the phone yet, because I wanted him to call me first (I know, how very old-fashioned of me) and I didn't want him to have to call long distance. So on Sunday when I got home, we talked on the phone for the first time. I was worried it would be weird, but it wasn't. We talked for three hours, and it was awesome. We went into the chat room again that night, instant messaging again, and he told me he loved me. I about died.
The next night we talked on the phone again, and I wanted to hear him say it to me, so I was sort of trying to get him to say it, and I found out later he thought I was trying to get him to propose, so he did! I know it was that misunderstanding that was the ONLY way he had courage to do it. I didn't even have to think about my answer and said "yes" right away.
And then we were engaged. Never having met, him not knowing what I looked like at all. We decided to keep it a secret for obvious reasons, until we could meet in person that Friday (conflict in work schedules). But I had to tell Danyelle, and then I had to tell Amy, and it snowballed from there. He ended up telling his dad and siblings, and eventually his mom. Our parents were supportive but skeptical.
That Friday we met for the first time. When I opened my front door and saw a young man with a baby face that made him look even younger holding a rose looking terrified, I freaked out. I could not put this person together with the person I had gotten to know so well online. But we talked (and kissed, his first,) and then he had to leave for work. After he left I freaked out and thought "Oh my gosh, did I act too soon?" I just couldn't look at this strange guy and feel what I'd felt for this online guy. Poor Bill thought I'd taken one look at him and got scared off. But eventually I got over my fears, had him back over two days later for General Conference so the rest of my family could meet him (it was that conference they announced our temple) and they all fell in love with him. Soon I was able to put the two people together, and suddenly we were planning our wedding! In May he moved here and lived at John and Amy's house, who were in Seattle at the Ronald McDonald house, and we were inseparable right up to our wedding in July.

(Our engagement picture)
And now here we are, seven years later. Although I'm not a huge fan of the song, I love that there is a song called "I Knew I Loved You Before I Met You." It's so us! Thanks for reading, I know it was long, but it was a lot of fun re-living it!
P.S. This is our song.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Game Crazy

I have a problem. A new addiction, as if I needed one more to add to the list. But this one is seriously out of control, and I need help. The worst part of it is, it's embarassing. See, Payson and I play games online. It started with Thomas the Train games, and then he wanted to play dinosaur games. So I googled "dinosaur games" and found a few sites that had some games to play, most of which were too hard or confusing, even for me. But, on one site, I stumbled across one game that I tried out for Payson. A half hour later, Payson wandered off, bored, and I continued trying to beat my score. The game is called Dino Drop and I'm hooked. I tried to find a more grown-up version of the game that didn't involve dinosaurs, but to no avail. So, Dino Drop it is. You can find it at:

Friday, March 9, 2007

A Day in the Life of Me

The day begins with "No, not yet" and "five more minutes, please"
Then realizing it's hopeless I get up and on my knees
Macy says she brushed her teeth, I know that it's a lie
and then we're headed out the door, and Payson starts to cry

At the school we say good bye and then we're on our way
And once we're home I check my blog and read what others' say
I tell Payson "no snacks yet", he punches at my thigh
I head back to the cyber-world and Payson starts to cry

Then back to school the chauffer goes with three year old in tow
Macy starts to whine for fun and back to home we go
I make a million sandwiches for two kids with a sigh
And then it's time for naps (yippee!) and Payson starts to cry

I wake up feeling so refreshed and then I start to clean
The kids play trains in Payson's room and then I hear a scream
"Mommy!" Macy's crying, "Payson said I'm going to die!"
I close my eyes and count to ten and Payson starts to cry.

And then the precious hour comes when Bill walks through the door
The guilt creeps in that dinner was a thought and nothing more
We pull up to McDonalds and the girl says, "Lepperts! Hi!"
We soon find out they missed one toy and Payson starts to cry.

Finally the time has come, that hour of sweet, sweet bliss.
Excitedly I say goodnight and give them each a kiss.
And as we start to watch our shows with joy, just Bill and I
I savor time just to myself.....and Payson starts to cry.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Never Been Kissed

His name was Roy, and he was eleven. I know. But I was twelve, so it wasn't weird to me that he was eleven. Now it seems like we were babies. Anyway, I was in eighth grade, he was in seventh, and all the girls were in love with him. For some reason, he set his eye on me. I'd never had a guy like me before over my friends, and I was shocked. But, he ended up being my first boyfriend, and my first kiss. First nine kisses, actually.
I remember I was in the middle of taking a test and had to go to the bathroom. I got the hall pass and went, and on the way back saw Roy rounding the corner. We were the only two people in the hall. I panicked, as all middle schoolers do when they actually have to face the person they were "together with." We'd only ever talked on the phone.
We stood there making unbelievably strained, uncomfortable light talk and then I said I needed to get back to class. As I walked away, he suddenly grabbed my hand and pulled me back (that part was actually really cool, straight out of a movie) and literally before I realized what was happening, my first kiss was over. It was a little peck, very sweet, but I thought my heart was going to explode it was beating so fast. Not because of the amazing chemistry with a boy whose middle name I didn't even know, no, sadly all that was lacking. It was merely from that magic of experiencing your first kiss.
Which is why the only word I could think of to describe it was "gold." Of course the cliched descriptions popped into my mind, such as "heaven", but I wanted to try and be a little creative.
So that's it. That was my first kiss. I even remember what I was wearing: my BYU football t-shirt that had images all over it of players in an actual game. It was blue.
The relationship lasted a whole eight more kisses despite the fact that I freely admitted to all my friends I felt nothing for him and was more annoyed by him than anything. But no girl in her right mind broke up with Roy. So I waited until he dumped me a few weeks later, and of course, being 12, I was devestated. Literally, my life was over. Even at the time I recognized the absurdity of the fact that I was broken-hearted over a boy I didn't even like. But when you're in eighth grade and someone dumps you, drama is the only thing that can ensue. And I thrived on drama.
I would love to hear everyone else's first kiss stories. So I guess this is my first challenge for my fellow bloggers, to blog about your first kiss. It was pretty fun, walking back down that lane of memories. Hope you find the same!

Little fact: Sarah was the go-to person between Roy and I. She had classes with him and became our messenger. What a pal.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Me...By The Numbers

1 week of chatting online with my husband before getting engaged over the phone
2 adorable kids, Macy and Payson
3 months of engagement
4 siblings
5 years old when I broke my arm
6 years ago next month I gave birth for the first time
7th month and day Bill and I got married (July 7th)
8 months is the longest I have ever been pregnant
9 times of seeing Titanic in the theater
10 blogs I visit regularly
11th month of the year that I started my blog
12 years old when I had my first kiss
13 times a day I think about my vacation next week
14 songs in my "Rock" playlist
15th day of May, 1979, I was born
16 years old when I got my first car...a 91 Ford Escort
17 years old when I was a camp counselor for the Arc summer day camp
18 things I've thought of to put here that didn't work
19 months I've been in my calling
20 minutes it takes me to shower
21 years old when I got married
22 times a day I tell Payson to stop whining
23 people in my extended family
24 hours a day I have gum in my mouth
25 things about me

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

What Goes Around Comes Around by Justin Timberlake

I am in love with this song. I saw J.T. perform it at the Grammy's and instantly fell in love with it. I actually prefer his live version, but still love the radio/album version. Unfortunately, hotget didn't even have the song, just the video, and this trailer. So I only have a fraction of the wonderful song to share with you, although I'm sure many of you have already heard it. I know it's about cheating but I just love his voice and those notes in the background played over and over, and the harmony when the chorus comes in. I have had my iPod on repeat for two days now. So enjoy this little taste of my new favorite song, and BE WARNED....don't go looking for the whole video. It's like a movie, with Scarlett Johansen, lots of sex and language. I couldn't turn my volume down fast enough when those F-Bombs started flying!

Monday, March 5, 2007

Charlotte, Start Spinning

I was feeling very uninspired for this post, so I decided to read all the other blogs for some inspiration. Luckily, my pal Heather posted her results from a forward she sent out to her friends asking them to describe her in one word. Since I also sent the forward out, I thought I could do the same. (Thanks for being my inspiration, Heather.)

So this is me, in a nutshell, according to my friends:


It kind of sounds like I'm Wilbur, from Charlotte's Web. And yes, my list is much shorter than Heather's, apparently my friends aren't as forward-friendly as Heather's. Have a Happy Monday!

Saturday, March 3, 2007


I can keep making excuses to people who come over about why my house is such a mess.
I can keep eating healthy in front of people and then gorge myself on junk when no one is looking.
I can keep talking about my husband and how awesome he is so that people will know we have a happy marraige.
I can keep comparing myself to all the wonderful women that surround me and try my hardest, bit by bit, to become them.
I can keep my anxiety, phobia, and depression to myself for fear of what people will think of me.
I can keep appearing to be the perfect member of the church, making sure people know when we have FHE or watch every session of General Conference.
I can keep telling my friends about the times I read to my kids or do something loving so they'll think I'm as good a mother as they are.
I can keep it a secret that not a day goes by that I am not on my couch taking a nap after lunch while my kids watch a movie.
I can keep trying to hide the fact that we're poorer than everyone else we know.
I can keep telling people whatever they need to hear to think I am just as good as them.
I can keep being something I'm not.
But I refuse to.
As terrifying as it is for me to think of everyone knowing the true me,
it is more terrifying (and exhausting) for me to constantly put on an act.
I have to be me.
And I'm not saying I'm completely happy with who that is,
but I accept that I am not perfect, or even that I'm nowhere near as good as most people.
And as I try to change the things I don't like, as hard as that is,
I will be truthful about the person that I am right now.
Because in reality
I struggle to keep my house clean on a daily basis. Despite my efforts, it is almost always a mess.
I struggle with my weight. I love food. Losing this weight has been one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.
I struggle with the constant desire for people to know how awesome my husband and marraige are. Of course we have to work at it just like every other couple.
I struggle with self-esteem issues. I am forever comparing myself to everyone else and consistently come up short.
I struggle with anxiety and depression. Every day of my life. I will never be ashamed of the fact that I will be on anti-depressants for the rest of my life. And I'm in therapy
I struggle with things I know I should be doing, and things I should not be doing.
I struggle immensely with being a mother. There. I said it. It's the hardest thing I have EVER had to do, and I wonder every single day if I wasn't cut out for it. I live in a world of guilt and fear of what I might be doing or not doing that will affect my precious children.
I struggle with an excessive need for sleep. I have to have a nap every day to be able to function for the rest of the day.
I struggle with embarassment of how poor we are and that everyone has such nicer things than we do.
And that is me.
No pretense, no rose-colored glasses.
I strive every day to be honest to that person
and to try my absolute hardest to not care what anyone thinks about me
except me and the Lord.
Because He made me.
That right there says I am just as good as anyone else.
I know that I love and want a clean house, and try every day to achieve it.
I know that I desperately want to lose this weight and every day I wake up determined to "do better today."
I know that I have a wonderful, healthy, happy marraige and am with to my soul mate.
I know that my husband and my Savior believe I am just as good as everyone else, and that is all that matters to me.
I know that I have a medical condition that makes me scared all the time. It's my trial in life, and I chose it. I am still learning after 14 years what I am supposed to be learning from it.
I know that I strive to better myself every day. To be honest to myself, to others, to the Lord, and to do what I know I am supposed to be doing.
I know that I love my kids more than anything on this planet. They are my world, and I would give my life for either one of them. If they never have to question one thing, it is that I love them.
I know that it has been proven that some people require more sleep than others. I am one of them. Depression makes people tired, as do anti-depressants. I defy anyone to judge me for taking a daily nap.
I know that despite the fact that we are poor, we have never wanted for anything. We have a beautiful home, have never been car-less, hungry, or cold, and have a house full of things we wanted and were able to get. We are still in the school phase of life, and I have got to stop comparing myself to people who aren't.
So this is why I am so honest about my flaws.
Because it is how I feel better about them.
Weird, I know.
But that's me.