Sunday, August 30, 2009


Just being really forthright here--

I finally cleaned today. I didn't do top-to-bottom whole-house cleaning. But I took care of some stuff that I had been procrastinating for the last few weeks. (Not an exaggeration.)

Which means I:
emptied milk-chunk out of sippee cups
laboriously scraped dried frosting off of several dishes
unloaded the dishwasher, loaded it full, then washed the remaining forty minutes of dishes
swept (This was disgusting. I have not swept I can't remember. That's BAD.)
vacuumed (This was satisfying.)
wiped down counters
and lastly, which was HUGE for me:
I cleared the desk of all papers, and actually sorted the papers into Trash, File, and Pay Attention.

My reward is a somewhat more clear conscience, a sore mid-back, tired dry eyes, lurking worry about waking up in the morning, resignation to the fact that it will all be undone eventually, and contentment--contentment when I look around my livingroom and kitchen and see what I've done tonight.

I could make excuses like, oh, say, August 2009 was the busiest month of my life. But I know that the root of it all is my persistent procrastinating self! My only real excuse is lack of motivation!

So. Not too important. Certainly not my most impressive post. But I thought it might be nice for the rest of you procrastinators out there to know you're not alone. ;)

Friday, August 28, 2009


Today I'm guess-posting over at Overstuffed. Go see! :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I Love Projects: Before & After

I have this stool that went with an old Singer sewing table. It was my stool for practicing cello--the perfect height! My mom recovered the brown plastic seat-top (it's removable; I used to put candy inside) with a really pretty burgundy fabric for my 17th birthday.

A cat and three kids later, and the fabric was horribly ragged; the stool had seen better days.

My artsy, crafty, brilliant friend Cara showed me this blog, without realizing that it would saddle me with a Martha Stewart fever to make me want to re-do my entire house using thrift stores and ingenuity. (Or did you realize it would make me want that, Cara? How evil of you!) I pored through the before & afters. I dreamed up project after project, filling up three pages of a notebook with ideas, and talking Phill's ears off. "I'm thinking sophisticated black & white & cream for the master bedroom is perfect--in fact, I blah-blah-blah-blah and then I'll go to the store and blah-blah-blah--Phill?....Phill? Are you asleep?"

I did realize, eventually, that I need to do this overhaul thing slowly, if at all. I need to hunt Craigslist, comb through thrift stores, and check out eBay. And wait, wait, wait.

But I realized that my Singer stool could easily (and quickly--that's important) be rehabilitated in a beautiful way! (It was a thrilling realization.) Want to see? I was so darn excited that I FORGOT to take Before photos (after Cara telling me about three times) until I had already sanded it a little and put the first fabric layer on. (Sheepish bleat.) But just imagine a brown plastic cover and brown legs. Okay. Ready?

Post-edit: Abby asked me how much this cost me and I was actually going to list it. It cost me three times what I expected (I wonder if that's a standard?), but it was still pretty reasonable.

Staple gun: $10 (Just bought the cheapest one I saw at Home Depot)
Black latex paint (I think a pint): $3.47
Sandpaper: $2.47
Paintbrush: $2.67
Fabric: $12.00 (Went to JoAnn; bought a yard of white cotton and then a yard of the patterned fabric)
Staples: $2.97

Total: About $35

Assorted Thoughts & Heat Rage

So much to say; hence the silence: where to start?

I ran 16 miles last Saturday. I was surprised--well actually, flabbergasted--by how good it felt, and how good I felt even when it was over. I highly suspect it had lots to do with the gallon of water I consumed from my Camelbak while running. This bodes well for me!

Reed lost his first tooth. First grade, first tooth....whew. This boy is moving at high-speed, and I'm only barely at his heels. When he got to school that morning (yeah, it happened the morning before school--so perfect!), he was Confident and calm, walking with the posture of a changed man. "Yeah, I lost a tooth. What of it?" Remember when I said Abby, my beautiful sister, and her 4 beautiful girls, were visiting? Here is some evidence--
Tomorrow, I will go up north for a girls' weekend to celebrate my birthday! (which was the 18th, and was lovely) I have no idea what is entailed--Phill has planned it all with smiling hints and intriguing leads, but no real information. I'm excited! I love to be surprised!

It is hot today (111, folks), and it is getting to me. Phill says the seizure was sort of a heat injury, and that my tolerance for heat/cold may be lowered for a while. I must admit that 92 does feel a little more torturous than usual--not to mention 111! Actually, I've always been a wimp about hot temperatures. My temper seems to flare with the heat, so I tend to simply shut my mouth. (If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all....) So today has been a quiet, grumpy one--plus a few emotional outbursts on my part. I just.....I just want to yell when the sun is beating on my face and my *sweet* children are saying, "Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom!" and tugging at my shirt collar, exposing my bosom for all to see. (No joke! Three times on the walk from the school to the car.)

Needless to say, I probably should go drink some cold water, cuddle with my children, hug my husband, and do some cleaning.

Please pardon my crankiness. It's temporary.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


- adjective

1. both bitter and sweet to the taste
2. both pleasant and painful or regretful
First day of Preschool : First day of Kindergarten : First day of First Grade

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Romantic Gestures: I Am an Unconventional Girl

Are you ready for something ridiculous? I woke up at 4:00a.m. to make my 7:00a.m. flight on Tuesday last. I got to the Vegas airport at 6:00a.m. sharp (Vegas time) and got to the ticket counter at 6:10.

Guess what?

That was too late.

"Oh, this is the Vegas airport, honey. We like you to be 90 minutes early."

WHAT?! I should have woken up at 3:00a.m.? My bad. (I'm sorry; some of the bitterness hasn't receded yet.)

I had a meltdown. It was ugly. Having gulped down some caffeine that early morning to be energetic for the drive, I was....energetic. I was jittery, jumpy, emotional, stomach-cramped and frighteningly alert. I simply sobbed and shakingly wiped my tears as they fell.

The next flight they could get me was five hours later. Five hours.....which meant that I would arrive in Jacksonville at 10:30p.m. Abby is in Tallahassee, and that's a 3-hour drive....are you doing the math? Right. Thankfully, Abby and Eric put me in a hotel--a really nice hotel--for that night.

So--moving on. After a lone night's rest (severely underrated), I returned to the airport to greet Abby and her four beauties. It was exciting and exhausting. We got home to St.George at 2:00a.m. on Thursday early morning/Wednesday late night.

The next day was spent recovering; Abby somehow let me have a 3-hour nap to combat the migraine that was the result of my 2:30a.m.-7a.m. sleep. I had planned to do a short run that night (Thursday), but was convinced by Phill and Abby to rest some more. I rested that day, and I rested on Friday, at least as much as you can with seven children (under 8) in the house!

The only thing I forgot to do was drink water. That's all.

So Saturday morning I was actually excited for my 10-mile run! I had been flying/resting for a week, and I was ready to run. Never mind the fact that I had a wedding to shoot at 9:00 that morning; I was sure I would be done with enough time left to get ready and get out the door.

My run was glorious. I had put out water stops, but only felt the need to drink about one-third of each bottle I had set out. (And here we can see the delirium starting...) I felt sleepy, but able. I finished with only 15 minutes to spare before I had to get in the car and go to the wedding. Abby (who is an angel in human form) made me breakfast so that I came home, bolted down a bowl of oatmeal, two poached eggs, and 2 chocolate milks (wait, no water? that's water). Then I jumped in the shower (pretty literally), got dressed, and went out the door.

The wedding was beautiful; only 3 hours of shooting, actually. The groom begged me to eat, which I did....somewhat meager portions, and (you guessed it) no water.

I came home and threw myself into being present with the kids. I felt some guilt for not being there from 6-12, and wanted to let Abby rest if she wanted. How I forget to re-hydrate, I just don't know.

At around 11:30, I was ready to go to sleep. I laid down and noted that I was awfully tired. Phill said something, and I looked up at him. There were blue flashing lights in my eyes--sort of like when you look at a light directly, and then look away.

"What's wrong?" Phill said, with far more anxiety than I had ever heard in his voice.
Then the picture in my eyes was jumping. "I don't know. I don't know. I don't know." I said.
I thought to myself, "Maybe if I change position, this will go away." I rolled over, and--

that is the limit of my memory. Phill says that immediately every muscle in my body locked up, my jaw opened as wide as possible, and I began to shake. He yelled for Abby to call 911, and moved me so that I would not choke on my vomit. (I know, I know, gross.)

When I came to, there were several people in my room asking me questions I couldn't answer, such as, "What did you do today? Where are you? What is your last name?" Apparently, I asked Phill what color he was "White, sweetheart.", and asked several times what was going on, without retaining the answer. I do remember once asking, "What happened?" And Phill leaning over me with a shaky smile and wet eyes, saying, "You had two seizures, sweetheart." I don't remember being moved from my bed, but I do remember how it felt being moved from the house to the outside--the air inside was a little too cool, and artificial; the air outside was balmy and close. I don't remember the majority of the ride to the hospital, but I do remember the paramedic next to me on the way--he looked like Santa Clause, and he was very soothing. I remember two priesthood holders in the doorway of my hospital room, the scent of one of the paramedic's perfume, and Phill's hand on my arm. I don't remember my body taking two bags of saline (that's 3 liters, folks) in less than an hour, coming home at 4a.m., or anything until later the evening of Sunday. (I was given anti-anxiety medication; apparently that's how they treat seizures....I slept and slept and slept. )

I do remember the feel of Phill's basketball shorts under my hands as I lay in the hospital. I sleep in undergarments; Phill had hastily dressed me before the emergency people had arrived.

I am still sheepish, but recovered completely. I am still a bit traumatized by the fact that I forgot so completely to pay attention to basic self-care that my body had to give me an unforgettable reminder. I am a little afraid of myself; carefully keeping count of how much water I am getting, how much I am eating, how much I am sleeping. Last night I went to bed at 9:30. The few nights before that, it was 10:00. Considering that my "normal" bedtime is 12, and that my sister is visiting, this is rather unusual. I still feel shaky remembering all of this, but I also know that things could have been much, much worse. I have also had the great blessing of having dinner brought to me by ward members Sunday night, Monday night, Tuesday night, and Wednesday night.

Are you wondering, yet, where this gargantuan story is leading? There is an end in sight.

Today, Phill called me around lunchtime.
"I bought you something."
"Yeah. Something that will make you feel less nervous on your runs."
He came home with a Camelbak. It holds 2.5 liters. Which means that I will be hydrated while I run, and I will not have to set out waters the night before.....and I will not be seized by dehydration.
"Phill, this is one of the most romantic things you have ever done for me."
"Yes. Right up there with the time you bought me a terabyte for my photos. And the Carbonite gift, too."

You may think my love language is Receiving Gifts. But I beg to differ, and actually, I would suggest a new love language--Back-up. Whether it is back-up for my photos or for my health, or back-up in the form of making sure I am modest among strangers, this is the most far-reaching and effective way that Phill shows me how much he loves me. That is the romance I like.