pigskin therapy

I make pancakes or eggs and then encourage some chores to happily get done. But after this family time, Saturdays are for me. Selfish ol' football-lovin' me.

I curl up on the couch under a brown heavy blanket and check out my options. Often I record one while I watch another. The brilliance of the DVR.

When I video skyped with my husband today (he is in Atlanta), I told him about a few stresses from the week. He leaned forward into his webcam and said, Why don't you just relax and watch some football?

I love him.


Sometimes a Girls' Night Out is just what the doctor ordered.  As my husband is busy getting his presentation ready for an academic conference this weekend, I am packing his suitcase (yes, I am kinda old school that way) and making plans that have to do with dinner out with girlfriends, maybe a movie, maybe some window shopping.  Sure, I will miss him, but I try and be efficient with my regenerating.  So while he is away I will power up with some girl time. 

I am a people person.  I like meeting new people.  I like hearing peoples' stories.  I like laughing with people, crying with people, working with people.  It is not only a fun way to spend time, but has become essential to my mental and emotional well-being.  I know that about myself.  When I start to get a little jittery about my life it is usually because I have slipped into some kind of isolation mode, with school work or paper work. 

Anybody with me on this?

stuck to my shoes

The leaves crunch and stick to the bottoms of our shoes.  They carpet the whole front yard in October, but we refuse to clean them up because they make us feel like we have little golden flakes welcoming us home everyday.  Then the cottonwood goes crazy in November and dumps a foot of leaves in our little backyard.  Those need massive raking because they are heavy and bigger and keep the grass from growing in the Spring. 

In my life there are things I can let stand.  They might be things others wouldn't be able to live with, but in the overall view of things, they are not harmful.  Unfinished laundry, cluttered closets. They can feel familiar and even comforting.  But some big things need constant raking.  Things with deadlines.  School work, paper work, bills. 

The reassessing of daily life can be exhausting.  We plug away at things that need our attention only to go to bed and do it all again the next day.  It's all good.  Sometimes we rake, but often we let the golden flakes stick to our shoes.

reflections on the weekend

With my youngest 2 boys on a scout camp out Friday night, Geo and I had a day and a half together, just the 2 of us.  I got up early to get the kids out the door by 7 am (school holiday), and then went running for half an hour.  I saw my breath as I jogged around my little neighbor a couple of times, and realized Fall was really here now, with it's crisp morning air and crunching leaves under my feet.  Back home to get some paperwork sorted through for school, and then some errands.

I had spent the past couple of days putting together a box for my missionary son in Mexico, and I wanted to be sure and get it sent out Friday.  3-5 day delivery.  Pretty good.  So as Geo made his way out the door to BYU for a lunch meeting,  I loaded up the box and paid 33 bucks to send a pair of pants, a sweater, some Starbursts, and chocolate chip cookies to Monterrey, Mexico for my red-headed son, whom I miss incredibly.

Back home- I cleaned out the car and got it ready to drive down to the credit union for a refi.  Unknown to us, there was a cash gift for anyone refinancing a car or home, so we not only walked away with a much better deal on our monthly car payments, but we also walked away with a couple hundred dollars.  A night out on the town seemed in order, no?

To the mall where I bought a winter coat and some jeans (skinny ones... heehee), and Geo got himself a cool new watch with a fat black leather band.  Some sushi for dinner.  And we never even felt the pinch, using our windfall money.  Bonus.  It was fun to stroll around and shop for real, without having to call home to check on the kids.

At home we curled up in sleeping bags in the living room and watched "The Philadelphia Story", because I was having a total Hepburn, Grant, Stewart craving.  So much fun to watch the banter between all three characters.  They were such pros at that kind of acting.  We laughed a lot.

Saturday morning I went to visit my bleachers at the high school across the street (yes, I consider them mine now), and then Geo played football with the young husbands and dads in the ward.  It was fun to see him hold his own with those youngsters.  He had a good time, and we both felt revitalized and good after some great exercise.  It is so cool to experience the connection between body and spirit.  I love that about exercising.

The boys arrived back home around 5 pm, just before G and I were heading out to have dinner with  high school friend of G's that he hadn't seen in 27 years.  Wow, we are old.  But it was a great night, and a wonderful way to end a good day and a half.  We needed some time together, just the 2 of us.  And now it is back to the grindstone until we can find another secret weekend.

love, witnessed

The four of us went to visit our first-born tonight for his 22nd birthday.  I baked dark chocolate brownies and packed up a gift bag with shower gel, a heavy-duty flashlight, and a small pre-paid VISA card.  How do you buy an appropriate gift for the grown up baby boy who taught you about sacrifice and unconditional love?  That's a tough one. 

Heart-warming stuff to see my sweet new daughter-in-law tending to my son.  The stairwell was decorated with candies, streamers, and "I love you".  And inside we found them eating a nice dinner she had prepared.  Love in action.  This is the kind of stuff that convinces a mom that everything is right in her all-of-a-sudden-everyone-is-grown-up family. 

incremental fog

Today was a day of self-pity and fogginess.  The fogginess, of course, brought on by crying.  10-minute increments about every couple of hours this afternoon.  Why I was crying is stuff for another day.

Then 2 things happened.  I attended a Young Women event where the girls spoke of their divine nature.  We are instruments in the hands of God, they said.  And surely they are.  And second, I read the account of a friend who fell today and hurt herself.  Really hurt herself. 

And so I am now thinking to myself, Why am I whining?  My life is good.  I can't have everything I want all of the time.  I can live with that.

I will smile tomorrow and climb out, and play my own instrument.

needful luxury

When I came home for lunch today I was reading, and I read a quote from Dorothy Parker that said something like, You take care of the luxuries, because the necessities will take care of themselves.  I have found myself thinking a little bit about that philosophy the rest of the day, as my technician/friend and I  had to shoo G back into the bathroom when his pants were half down, and as my husband and I spent time rattling off ideas to save money each month.  Will my necessities take care of themselves?  Really?

I have known some people who spend so much time worrying about and negotiating over saving a dollar here and there, or not wanting to go out to see the world, because they need to save for the new roof.  Of course we need that roof over our heads, but will there really ever be a time when every single thing is lined up and in order and then you can go on that trip?  I am thinking no. 

I believe Ms. Parker spoke a bit of truth in her statement.  Usually the necessities are taken care of, if for no other reason than instinct.  We eat because we need to.  We pay for the house because we need one.  We put gas in the car because we have to get places.  For me a luxury here or there can seem like a necessity, and that is when the line can get blurry.  I admit that about myself.  I like a new piece of clothing, or a road trip.  Even when they might not seem needful to someone else, they do to me. 

So thank you Ms. Parker.  Today I am choosing to agree with you.


Today is my husband's birthday, and I wanted to do a kind of modern little love ditty for him.  He is exceptional in many ways, but mostly in how he gets me, and in how he not only puts up with my weaknesses, but he embraces them. 

The Only Exception

Kazzy's voice has been silenced by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act(see the details here). Sorry you can't listen to her sing directly. But send her a message and she'll try to work something out.

this here tree

So, what has my 40-foot tall, 70-year old cottonwood tree seen over the years it has lived here in my back yard?

google cc image

I assume it has seen returning WWII soldiers, who lived in this neighborhood when it was shiny and new.  It has looked over fences and roofs to see children playing in their backyards and riding their bikes.  It has shaded people who have sat in the yard to have a nice cool drink at the end of a day.  It has seen the whole stretch of this surrounding landscape change, even in the 17 years we have lived in this area.  It has been hit by baseball bats, plastic swords and sticks- not because of anger, but because there have been boys that have grown up here.  Little pirates and knights and warriors of all sorts who have used this tree for practice before fighting the bad guys.  And it has taken it all.

It stands as a reminder of life and change.  It keeps our little secrets and never tells a soul.

denim knees and painted toes

New jeans, smaller size. And as I sit here listening to my spiritual leaders I play around with the focus on my iPhone camera. I focus on the new denim wrapped around a smaller half of my body. Then I focus on my newly painted toes.

Same position. Same set up. Different focus. I can learn a lot from a camera.