Friday, May 30, 2014

Taking stock

I have seen this little list on a few of my favorite blogs.
Which means I must do it too.
I thought it might be fun to look back on and take inventory of where I am at right now.
Or even better, I could encourage all my peeps to do it too and then it will be like one of those dreadful, obligatory chain letters that make everyone involved uncomfortable and wish they weren't friends with you.
Or you could just leave me the answer to one of the verbs listed below in the Comments section.
Because I think everyone likes talking about themselves a little. 
Just me?
^^ Hair like this? ^^
 Making: pom-pom bunting for the empty wall in the kids' room. Because I am Mormon and must craft. It is mandatory.
Cooking: homemade chicken taquitos, which Micah literally gagged on. I love cooking for my kids. It is really gratifying.
Drinking: more water. I am putting down the Dr. Pepper and backing away slowly.
Reading: the Book of Mark in the Bible. And Dwell magazine. They are both scripture to me.
Wanting: for my hair to grow. I am ready for something new. I am thinking a piecey bob a la Jennifer Lawrence.
Looking: forward to my mini vacay with my three to Idaho this summer. I am on a budget.
Playing: baseball with Ezra in the backyard. I am always the pitcher, he is always up to bat. It's fun.
Wasting: a little less time on the computer. I just whip out my Kindle instead. #loophole
Sewing: a tooth fairy pillow, because where else could you possibly put your lost tooth? 
Wishing: for summer love. I think it is nice to be in love in the summer.
Enjoying: throwing my window open at night. A cool breezy breeze wafting in while being snugly under your covers is a bliss like no other.  
Waiting: for my Dad and Heather to leave for work so I can lay back down like a lazy piece of crap. I am not a morning person.
Liking: English muffins for breakfast. I always considered myself to be more of a cereal person but those spongyporous little treats have transformed my mornings for realzies. 
Wondering: when my nose piercing will be properly healed so I can switch my stud out for a ring. #rebel
Loving: T25. Seriously so hard. And fast. And short. twss.

^^ Nose ring here I come. ^^
Hoping: to ace this GRE. I am so effing stressed. Perhaps it would help to study?
Marveling: at my kids. It is like they are little people. With their own minds and opinions. Weird.
Needing: a shoulder massage. Scott's love language was massage and so we exchanged them all the time. I never realized how much I liked them until I stopped getting them. 
Smelling: cilantro. Every time I go to the grocery store, I bury my face in the cilantro and rub it around so I can properly smell that delicious herb.
Wearing: my new boyfriend jeans. They are perfectly worn and ripped in all the right places. And oh so comfy.
Following: Emily Henderson. She is my design idol. Her taste is impeccable. If my decorating style were a person, it would be her.
Noticing: that my eyebrows are quite thick and close together. I think I look like my brother Bryce, who is very handsome but is also a dude. 
Knowing: that life moves on. I have faith that my situation will improve with a little time and effort.
Thinking: about summer activities to keep my maniacs busy and happy. Sitting around breathing on each other (which is what we do during the school year) will not fly.
Bookmarking: DIY toddler bed projects. I cannot find what I want on Craigslist. So the next logical step is to build it myself.
Opening: two packages sent to me in the mail by dear friends. I feel blessed to know so many incredible ladies.
Giggling: when I overheard, and I quote, "Ezra, you are just getting too big. You are so grown up. Look how tall you are. You must stop growing so fast. Maybe you should drink some coffee and smoke a pack of cigarettes." #parentingwin
Feeling: like Micah needs to be potty trained STAT. How can such a small person produce such a large ... payload?

Now, pick one and let me know what you are up to.
I command you.
Okay I don't command you.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Have you ever felt so overwhelmed with your current situation that instead of doing something to improve your footing, you do something else completely unrelated and ridiculous?
That is what I do all day.
On most days.
I should probably be studying more, or at least researching college programs and school funding.
Rather I dink around redoing furniture (again), running unnecessary errands, reorganizing my room, and sewing a tooth fairy pillow.
Or sometimes when my TO DO list becomes so long I could wrap myself in it like a mummy, I just take a nap.
It doesn't help my productivity, but my mood plummets.
And I become increasingly more frantic.
So there's that.
I feel like maybe I am paralyzed by this damn test.
It is hanging over my head.
In fact, instead of fiddle farting around on Pinterest and thumbing through my Better Homes and Gardens magazine, I could be preparing.
But then I look at the workers at Costco and think, "I could do that, if I had to."
And I resign myself to piddling away my college education and pumping gas.
Not that there is anything wrong with pumping gas.
Could I be rambling any more?
Yes, the answer is yes.
It goes around in my head all day long.
"Should I go to school? Can I get into school?"
"I know a lot of weirdos that did get a Master's, so I should be able to get one."
"Or maybe I should get a job? What would I do?"
"My Bachelor's isn't as valuable as it may have been ten years ago."
"But if I went to work, what would Micah do?"
"He eats naive babysitters for lunch."
"But maybe that is a good reason to go to work, to escape the tornado that is my toddler."
"My nerves would be less frazzled."
"Then we could build our shipping crate house sooner."
Just kidding about that last part.
I wish someone would pay me to write ... and talk incessantly.
Anyway, I will just shut it and show you my latest furniture upgrade.
And then probably watch an episode of Scandal instead of reading up on Analytical Writing.
^^ My kids' room. I decided that their dresser looked like crap. I did not like the two-toned finish anymore. In fact, the only reason I did that in the first place was because I could not sand/strip the wood on top down enough to remove 85 layers of paint. Plus the white was looking pretty shabby up close, lest you think it looks marvelous in this pic. ^^ 
^^ I put a whole new piece of very pretty, pet-able wood on top after staining it to match. I also replaced the cheap hardware with something a little bit more substantial and textural. I am still pulling together the rest of their room. I will show it off when it is done. First things first. Saying adiós to that crib. ^^
^^ Cool right? I think that with the new top and knobs, the piece is a lot more versatile. ^^
^^ My handsome turkey. When I got home from Vegas, this guys had a temperature of 102 and pink eye. The fever is down, we are still working on the eye sitch. ^^

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Vegas post with 8 trillion pictures ...

My weekend in Vegas.
Where do I even start.
I do NOT understand the slogan, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," so I will be unabashedly divulging every single minute of my favorite weekend.
And every single other minute of my life in the future. Most likely.
Plus, I just spent three days with eight Mormon ladies in Sin City.
Our idea of fun is very different than most of the tourists down on The Strip.
It was outrageous but mostly because there are a lot of half naked unconventional people wandering around, not because we are a bunch of trouble makers.
But for starters, I just needed to see some of my best friends.
These girls.
I absolutely cannot see my life being complete without them in it.
I think about them every single day because they are my family, in addition to my actual family.
I can talk to them in a way I cannot talk to anyone else.
Mostly because we are gross but also because they know my story.
They get me.
So, we spent the weekend staying up far too late, laughing harder than I have maybe ever, crying, eating at every restaurant in Nevada, and walking, like, 15 miles up and down the main drag, lost 75% of the time.
Like we were really lost, almost all of the time.
I am not actually sure how we managed to get lost as much as we did.
We had smart phones and we are adults.
We were literally dodging traffic, climbing through chain-link fences, getting locked into a private pool, jumping over puddles of vomit, backtracking through countless hotels, and climbing 14,749 stairs.
And through it all, I only saw one, ONE, crusty, disheveled Elvis, much to my disappointment. Sigh.
But we also checked out a flamingo habitat, watched the water show in front of the Bellagio, listened to the gondola rowers? tour guides? scream sing in The Venetian, stopped by Carlos' Bakery (from the Cake Boss), stayed at the Luxor Hotel (the one shaped like a pyramid), took a dip in the pool, ate at Cafe Rio twice, went to the outlet mall, rode the elevators at Caesar's Palace, and then soaked our feet in the bathtub once we returned to the house we were staying at (thanks Jacque!).
My toes looked like sausages.
Anyway, I felt so good being surrounded by these girls and I am hoping we make it an annual trip (though not necessarily to Las Vegas. It is so smokey. And so filthy. I had to wash my hands like eighteen thousand times).
And now onto the pictures.
There are so many.
And I look crazy in a majority of them.
^^ This is what we were doing pretty much the whole trip. But I needed it. ^^
^^ Probably lost. ^^
^^ Mikelle was not staring at this bus. But I was. ^^
^^ I love you Deborah. I love you Mikelle. ^^
^^ I was inspecting the fake grass. Debbie was explaining all it's pros and cons. It is very realistic. That and we had just been passed by the most pathetic drunkard lurching down the sidewalk in his bare feet. I felt sad for him.^^
^^ Admittedly, it was very pretty down here at night with all the lights. ^^
^^ At the flamingo habitat. My friends are so pretty. And my hair is a mile high. I'd like to blame it on the desert heat but we all know that isn't true.^^
^^ The weather was perfect all weekend. It was sunny without being face-melting hot. Which was good, 'cause I am a wimp. ^^
^^ Inside The Venetian. Right next the to gift shop selling penis straws. Classy.^^
^^ We were parked right below this Ferris wheel. You'd think having parked next to such a large landmark would make it easy to find your car. This was not the case. ^^
^^ This guy had Jack Sparrow's characteristics down to a T. And was also one of Tracy's many admirers. Which he demonstrated by chasing her down the sidewalk. ^^
^^ The Bellagio. The water show was really amazing. Even without the lights. ^^
^^ Cafe Rio. This was on almost everyone's To Do list. ^^
^^ Laura, Tracy, Lyndsie, and Jenny. (I like the cat eye, Laura.) ^^
^^ This might be one of my favorite pictures. I seriously was so happy all weekend. ^^
^^ Jenny, me, Mikelle, Lyndsie, Tracy, Debbie, and Laura. We are missing Heidi in this picture. We all arrived and left at different times throughout the weekend. And were sad that our friend Lisa wasn't able to be there. ^^
^^ The more sleep deprived we became, the more often this kind of thing happened. ^^
^^ "Smile Brianne. And watch out for the barf right below you."^^

^^ The end. ^^

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Leaving on a jet plane ...

I am signing off for the next few days.
I am headed to VEGAS!
My bad mood has surprisingly all but vanished with every minute I get closer to my mini-vacay.
I am leaving at a really shocking time in the wee hours of the morning.
And I am going to go to bed in 30 22 15 minutes.
Which is probably the earliest I have gone to bed in 3 1/2 months exactly.
Because I haven't been sleeping well.
At all.
I just stay up until it is stupidly late and I am so exhausted I lapse into a coma and don't have to lay there thinking thoughts.
It works like a charm until I have to get up in the morning with only five or six hours of fitful sleep in my back pocket.
But not tonight!
Tonight I am determined to get at least seven, which means I will most likely stay awake worrying that I can't fall asleep and wreck any chances of feeling alert tomorrow morning.
Oh well. It's nothing a few Dr. Peppers can't fix.
I will be back in a few days with some stories to tell!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tuesday bluesday

I have been feeling really unhappy lately.
I don't have any cheerful thoughts to share and have been scowling at everything.
And rolling my eyeballs excessively.
Today I got up at 7:30, packed Ryan's lunch, did her hair, and sent her out to the bus.
Then I came back in, poured two bowls of cereal for the boys, turned on G-Force (pretty much the most irritating children's movie ever made ... guinea pig special agents? pul-lease) and then crawled back into bed ... for THREE hours.
That's right.
I got up in time to get Ezra dressed, packed for school, and on the bus.
Then I did two loads of laundry, listlessly thumbed through a magazine, and decided the baby needed a nap so I could lay around uninterrupted.
Then I tried to think of something clever to write about and came up with ... a big whiny nothing.
I have been thinking of my life as a whole.
About the things I can control and the things I cannot.
I know that I should be focusing my energy on improving the situations in my life that I have a small amount of control over instead of obsessing about the things that I cannot do anything about.
Scott used to say to me, "Stop pushing. You push too hard. You can't force things to happen. Just leave it alone."
I tell myself this every time I begin to hyperventilate over some insignificant whatever.
So about every four minutes.
I want to piece everything in my life back together RIGHT NOW.
I want it to make sense and to be whole again.
I want to feel content and happy and full of purpose.
Like I am moving forward instead of stuck in the mud.
I am constantly feeling conflicted because I feel as if I should be productive and busy all the time but lack the motivation. Which is new for me. I am usually quite ambitious.
This grieving process has been going on forever. It seems.
I am tired of working so hard.
And am ready to feel better.
If only I could force that to happen with a snap of my fingers.
And yet I know that it only comes with time.
That slowly, so slowly, progress is made and things change.
And then you look back and realize that it's better than it was.
It is better than it was three months ago. On most days.
Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer.
I'll shake it off here soon and be back to inappropriately over-share more irrelevant nonsense.
Something to make you smile:
^^ Ezra drew a lovely picture of a pigeon pooping and then taped it to the door to greet
Papa and Grammy when they came home from work. How delightful. ^^

Monday, May 19, 2014

Me vs. technology

^^ My princess and my pirate playing PBS kids. ^^
It is no secret that I am not technologically savvy.
If something starts malfunctioning, my first instinct is to throw it away rather than try to disassemble it or restart it in order to correct the problem.
I don't know how to add something called apps onto my phone.
And if my Kindle starts acting up, I just stop using it.
Anyway, computers are no exception.
I know how to open the internet.
I can also navigate some basic programs, such as Word, Indesign, and Photoshop.
I also spend a fair amount of time fiddling around on this blog and surfing design blogs.
Although truth be told, my passion for interiors has somewhat cooled due to my personal setbacks (although I do have a great, cost-effective project idea to build a home out of shipping containers. Sounds crazy? Oh it is. Crazy awesome. But that is for a different post.)
Annnnnyyyway, back to my issues with technology.
I feel like they are a great resource for information (duh), ideas, and entertainment.
But I have felt lately as if I am relying too heavily on the computer to provide a way to "check out" periodically during the day.
In other words, I freaking noodle around on the internet instead of doing things that actually matter, like showering, making eye contact with people, and allowing the sun to shine on my pasty, pasty skin.
Our computer is set up in the main living space of our home in the dining/living/kitchen area.
This is ideal when I want to supervise my kids' activities on the computer, or if I need to look up a recipe off Pinterest.
But it is counterproductive if I want to, say, read a book, study for that blasted GRE exam (don't worry, it is two weeks and then I will stop talking about it, unless I do poorly, then I will talk about how poorly I did), or engage with my children.
It isn't necessary to find out whether anyone I know has done anything in the 14 minutes since I last checked Facebook.
So my point is this: I am going to make a conscientious effort to steer clear of the computer during the daytime.
Except now. Clearly I am on the computer in the middle of the day in order to declare that I am going to try not to be on the computer in the middle of the day.
I think that after my kiddies are in bed and I have already watched my daily episode of 19 Kids and Counting (it is just so fascinating), would be great time to put up my posts here on this blog and check out a few favorites.
But I have been thinking a lot about how I can be a better parent; be more present and less agitated.
I find myself getting irritated by my children when I am interrupted on the computer, as if anything I am doing on here is that significant.
And I was thinking about how I feel any time they act annoyed with my requests.
So in conclusion, I am still eager to write my bloggy and look forward to my daily dose of Little Green Notebook, but now I will do it later instead of when my kids need my attention.
Why did I tell you this? I don't know.
The end.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Sometimes life is hard

Remember how I talked about being grateful a few days ago?
Yeah, well that isn't going so well.
At least not today.
I know that typically I have been turning my Friday post into a roundup of things that make me happy, and I have a few of those to include at the end;
But first I am going to record how things are hard.
I don't do this looking for sympathy or pity.
These posts are often more as a reminder, to myself, of how things are/were.
You see, I do believe that my situation will improve with time, effort, and faith.
And then I can look back on these posts as a reminder of how things were and how far I have come; I can hopefully gain a deeper appreciation for my new stage in life.
I don't think I truly appreciated the things I had before I lost Scott.
I didn't really appreciate having someone who liked me, and was invested in our future as a couple.
Our marriage was far from perfect, in fact some might even say it was ... a struggle, and a lot of hard work.
But there is one thing I was always certain of: Scott was committed to me and to our family.
I had someone who was working his arse off so that I could stay at home to take care of our children.
Now everywhere I look, all I see are families. Whole families.
It makes me quite upset.
Things feel so unfair.
In fact, I would dare to say that today at Ryan's job-a-thon, I was downright mad.
Not in a rational, justifiable way.
No, it was pretty much a resentful, pitiful kind of anger.
I watched all those parents cheer on their first-graders and felt bitter.
I may have even glared at a few of them. I'm mature.
And for what? Because they have what I want.
Last night, to kick of the self-pity, I joined one of those online dating sites.
I did it after everyone was in bed and I was all alone.
I felt foolish and after I signed up I went to bed and cried.
I kept thinking, "what if no one likes me?"
And then I slept like crap.
Oh and Micah is phasing out of naps, which makes all those things previously mentioned 1,000 times worse.
Anyway, on that fun note I will definitely finish with a few things that bring a smile to my face.

#1 This girl and her new obsession
Ryan is a great reader.
I take no credit for this.
She just loves to do it and has really become excited about chapter books this year!
She is always reading at breakfast, when she is supposed to be catching her bus, when she is supposed to be sleeping, and as soon as she comes home from school.
She's my mini-me.
^^ Just picture another little girl, seated at the same table about 25 years ago, reading Nancy Drew, only she had Sally Jessy Raphael glasses, a Bob Ross frizz, and neon stretch pants. In my defense I was raised in the 80's/90's. At the height of American fashion. ^^

#2 These three. 
There is a lot of crying/whining/pulling out of hair that happens while taking care of these three maniacs but it is worth it. 

^^ I think Ezra was under the impression that he was participating in a saunter-a-thon. ^^
^^ Ryan was tearing around the track. I should be a sports photographer. ^^
^^ Micah didn't want to be left out. Look at that determination. ^^

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Being grateful

I have been thinking a lot about being grateful lately.
This might seem like a dumb thing to do when it could be argued that this might be a justifiable situation where one could, say, plunge headfirst into an sad, sad hole of misery.
Retreating into a state of despair might even be considered the natural thing to do.
It's the path of least resistance.
Everyone would understand.
They would sympathetically attend my pity party.
In fact, someone actually told me at the dinner following Scott's funeral service, that if I wanted to become unhinged and do something outrageous, now would be the time that I could get away with it.
They suggested I might want to jump up on the table and scream.
That sounded like a terrible idea.
Back to being normal.
I don't often think that the path of least resistance is necessarily the path I should be going down.
It usually leads to more unhappiness.
How will I grow if I mosey down a path that takes no effort and no self-control.
So I am trying to purposefully have a good attitude by being grateful.
It is working pretty good.
On some days.
Of course, being grateful may seem easier when everything is going swimmingly and your life is perfect.
But really how often is everything perfect?
It makes me think of this quote:

We sometimes think that being grateful is what we do after our problems are solved, but how terribly shortsighted that is. How much of life do we miss waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain? -Elder Uchtdorf

No matter how dire your circumstances, there is always good to be found.
There is always something to be grateful for.
And how much do I miss by wishing things were different, were better?
So this is what I do:
1) I start to feel sorry for myself. (Most of the time I am wishing I had my own home. That I owned. This is the one thing I want more than any other thing. In the whole history of things, this one is a big deal. Through all nine years of college, through all of the grody apartments , every time we moved in with family members, all I wanted was a house. I want to decorate it, clean it, organize it until I explode, make memories in it. I want something I can personalize and make beautiful for my family.)
2) I begin thinking about all the people I know who have what I want. (This is always a mistake.)
3) Slap myself.
4) List all the reasons why my situation is beneficial and good. (I don't have to worry about paying for said house while my situation is so precarious. I live with two people that love my kids enormously and pitch in with child care so I can do other things I enjoy. I have the time and flexibility to go back to school or find the right job. See there are lots of reasons.)
5) Remember that my life is blessed and that once I do have the things I want, I will appreciate them that much more.

Now I am not saying being grateful is easy.
Some days, I look around me, at my situation, and all I see is what I don't have.
Those days are always a little more gloomy.
But if I deliberately look for what is awesome in my life (my children, good health, popcorn) then I feel happier.
As Ezra would say, "Easy peezy, lemon squeezy."

^^ My Mother's Day card from Ezra. It is pretty much my favorite card, ever. It is a picture of the two of us. Ezra is  the one on the left with a mustache and mohawk. Apparently he thinks I look like a turd with pointy hair and glasses. ^^
^^ Touché Ezra, touché^^

Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday shmonday

Last night I had a dream.
I dreamt that Scott and I were sitting down for a long overdue conversation.
I had the distinct impression that it had been postponed because we weren't able to connect, kind of like when you play phone tag with someone.
And once you do finally hear from that person, whether your using the facilities or changing a diaper, you answer just so you can check in and catch up.
We were sitting face to face, and he was smiling.
We were talking about our kids. I was telling him about what they were up to.
I vaguely remember reaching a level of desperation because I knew the conversation was drawing to a close or about to be interrupted.
I wasn't finished talking to him.
I wanted him to wait just a minute more.
There was so much to tell him.
Just then, Micah woke up coughing violently, which in turn woke me up since he was sleeping in my bed and hacking on my face.
I attended to him quickly thinking maybe I could slip back into my dream.
Despite my attempt to remain inactive and half-asleep, I was coherent and the dream vanished.
I started crying because for a while I was content, happy.
This last few weeks have been a little rough.
Between our anniversary, his birthday, and Mother's Day, I have been a wreck.
A grumpy, yelling, irritable wreck.
But today is the start of a new week.
And I have a lot of things to be thankful for/look forward to.
I just got T25 in the mail, so there's that.
I will be ripped shortly.
And I am "playing" in my first bout this weekend.
It will be embarrassing and probably painful.
And I have officially declared it to be Math Week.
Which means I will be doing math every day (in preparation for the GRE, not because I like math. That would be silly.)
^^ We came home early from church because he was shivering and sobbing, and his head was on fire. Poor baby.
He pepped up a bit when he was served dinner on a tray while watching Finding Nemo. ^^
p.s. I video-chatted with a male friend this evening and spent the better part of five minutes convincing him I had a skin mustache.
I am going to be really good at dating.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Friday List

It is Friday again, and both of my readers know what that means: a post dedicated to things that make me happy.
Yes, this is happening every week.
So there.
And really Friday is to be celebrated anyway because it is the end of the school week, which means that tomorrow I don't have to drag my kids out of bed to get ready for school.
Instead, they will wake up at the crack of dawn and come in, not quietly, to pile on my bed and watch early morning cartoons.
Even though I went to bed late thinking they would sleep in.
Why do I do this? It has never happened. Not once in their short, little lives.
Anyway, today I will start my list with a ridiculous experience.

#1 Having a regular hairdresser, and her remembering you ... by name ... and then shortening that name to a nickname.
^^ If this is the senior picture of anyone
reading this tiny blog, I apologize.
But really, when was this look ever okay? ^^
This may seem trivial, but our family moved around a lot while Scott was completing optometry school.
This made it difficult to establish a regular hairdresser that was familiar with my style and didn't give me the mom pixie.
I have a butch short haircut which requires frequent cuts, and once you  factor in the few shoddy haircuts you must endure before finding the right professional, the selection process can take months.
The lady I go to is Joan.
I am pretty sure she wears a wig, which I will admit threw me for a second the first time I sat in her chair.
But after I obnoxiously pulled out the dozen pictures I bring with me to every cut (you know, for easy reference), she whipped out her scissors and gave me the best cut OF MY LIFE.
And just like that, I had myself a hairdresser.
Now every six weeks, I call the salon, ask if Joan is working, and then scoot my buns down there on the double.
Today, right when I walked in she said, "Hi Bri. I will be right with you!"
It pretty much made my day.
It's the little things.

#2 This art.
^^ A poor photo of a rad carnival photo. ^^
^^ A close-up. Aren't the colors awesome? ^^

I got this print off Etsy to round out the gallery wall in my room.
It is a photograph taken at a circus.
Now, I realize that this may not be everyone's cup of tea but to me art is art.
If you enjoy the way it makes you feel then it is art worth displaying.
It's different and I like the color palette and composition.
The picture really has a lot more depth in person, and has just the right creepy : enchanting ratio.
I will show you the rest of the wall/room once I am done putting my stamp on it.
I am sure you will all be waiting with baited breath for that day.

#3 This song.
I have loved this song my whole life.
I love it more than anyone should.
My dad tells me, as a toddler, I would ask for him to play it over and over.
It is the one song that puts me in a happy mood instantly, no matter what.
I dare you to not smile while listening to it.
Plus, how dreamy is George Micheal before he went craazzzzy?
My gosh, I love the 80s. And Wham.
^^ Give it a chance. ^^
Happy very early Saturday morning Friday!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Today has been a long day

Never in my thirty-two years have I wanted to pull out my hair quite as violently as today.
My children are driving me to the brink of insanity.
I actually think my youngest may be possessed.
It has been established that I have the stamina to last approximately six weeks of solid, semi-patient child rearing before I crack.
The last time my energy completely petered out, I was rescued by my in-laws, who generously took the kids for 10 days over spring break.
It has been about a month and a half since that recovery period and I have once again reached near-madness.
This single parenting thing bites the big one.
Ezra literally sat at the dinner table softly sobbing for a full 75 minutes over being forced to eat mozzarella ravioli in creamy tomato sauce with broccoli for supper.
It was excruciating.
Dinner is my least favorite part of the day.
In fact, by the end of the meal most nights my family is weeping.
I am actually standing over them a majority of the time wrestling baked macaroni and cheese, tacos, or grilled burgers into their mouths.
It is so rewarding to spend the time and energy to produce a variety of healthy, home-cooked meals.
Ryan was the only one that didn't put up a fight this evening.
So, like the mature adult I am, I snatched Micah's unfinished plate and threw everything down the garbage disposal, put him to bed immediately, scolded Ezra for being as slow as a snail (to which he started crying harder for having been compared to a snail), and then huffed around, cursing under my breath, flinging things into the dishwasher.
Bedtime could not come fast enough.
I am so cranky and plan to curl up with my daily bowl of ice cream, watch Giada De Laurentiis, and paint my nails the sparkliest gold God ever created.
I will be back tomorrow with a much better feeling about my children.

p.s. Micah just woke up crying hysterically.
So scratch that last part.
My life in fun.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Stages of grief ... beware it is looooooong

I have so much literature on mourning and grief I could start my own bookstore.
Between losing both my mom and husband, people have very generously offered me a ton of books, pamphlets, and other such information to help me cope with death.
And what I have learned is this: everyone deals with it differently.
There is no right or wrong way to grieve.
Well, I guess that ain't really true.
Streaking down the street in your birthday suit or snorting a brick of heroine in order to squelch your sorrow would probably be the wrong way to deal with your pain.
But as far as emotionally wrestling with your heartache, there are an infinite amount of ways to overcome it.
Not that I am any kind of expert, as I am still entrenched in my own bereavement period.
But I have dealt with my fair share of loss.
And it doesn't involve any extreme behavior.
It does involve thinking about it and feeling it.
Although I think it is okay to take that in stride too.
The first few days after going through the death of a close family member it is hard to process that kind of trauma.
After not sleeping for 48 hours immediately following Scott's death, my dad finally called my doctor and picked up a prescription of Xanax.
For the following week or so I was heavily medicated.
So much so that I often couldn't stand without assistance.
It helped to numb the very acute pain and aid in sleeping.
But after everyone went home and the commotion died down, I weaned myself to taking a sleeping pill at night only.
I felt that it was important to really feel everything to better come to grips with my new reality.
That approach obviously was accompanied by A LOT of crying.
When I say a lot, I mean more than you think one person could cry without drowning herself.
For the first six weeks I cried myself to sleep every night and often every day too.
I spent a majority of my time in pajamas and plugged my kids into the T.V.
It hurts like a mother effer but for me it shortens the initial depression.
That first two months after Scott's passing were the worst I have ever experienced.
There was a lot of anxiety, depression, fatigue, and weight loss.
My body also had a strong reaction to his departure.
Disclaimer: Oversharer about to spill:
I also developed several lady infections, one right after another.
My body was so out of whack.
I have never had any problem with "imbalance" before. Ever.
So it was a fun new experience on top of everything else.
I also broke out even more like an adolescent and had headaches constantly.
It was a distraction. Of the negative type.
According to my paper on the Ten Stages of Grief, I was definitely setting up camp in Step #4: Physical Symptoms.
Not that I wasn't experiencing other stages simultaneously, it was just surprising to me how grief manifests itself in seemingly unrelated ways.
Now I reside somewhere in Stage #6: Guilt Feelings, Stage #3: Loneliness, Depression, and Utter Isolation, and Stage #9: Gradual Overcoming of Grief.
People I have talked to with more expertise or knowledge on this type of experience, say many people jump around between stages or skip others altogether.
I think I have hit all of them to one degree or another.
They are as follows:
1. SHOCK (Anesthetized against the overwhelming loss. Not comprehending and not able to face the full magnitude of it.) Yep. This happened immediately.
Throwing myself across his body in the hospital after I found out he was gone tipped this one off.
2. EMOTIONAL RELEASE (Beginning to realize how dreadful the loss is.)
This happened for me immediately as well.
The path my life was on changed 100%.
Literally everything had to be different.
It is hard to make that shift.
You have to reset absolutely everything you thought you knew and worked toward for a decade.
3. DEPRESSION, LONELINESS AND UTTER ISOLATION (Feelings of "No help for me." Down in the depth of despair. Should know this is a normal feeling. Aided by EXPRESSED CONCERN.)
I don't know that I feel as if I am in the depths of despair, but a general feeling of down-ness washes over me.
It happens a little less every day.
I think we're clear on this situation. Gross.
5. PANIC (Convinced that "something is wrong with me" as a person; can concentrate on little else. May fear losing their mind.)
I panic a lot actually.
Not that I am losing my mind. Clearly that ship has sailed.
I panic more about my future and how I will navigate working-motherhood.
I worry about how I will provide for my kids and what it is I need to do to improve/enrich our lives.
I panic about remaining alone. I don't want that to happen.
6. GUILT FEELINGS (May recall own past neglect, mistreatment, or wrongs to the deceased. Wrongs may be imaginary or exaggerated.)
I also feel guilt a lot.
But not because I felt I hurt my loved ones but because I am moving on without them.
I know this sounds irrational.
But I feel bad that I am planning a future that doesn't include Scott.
And entertaining the idea that I might share that future with someone else.
Stab. to. the. heart.
7. HOSTILITY (Feeling better leads to expressing yourself more actively. Hostile expressions toward those who "cause" the loss are common.)
If you call me pointing and screaming at my dad about my sucky lot in life as he slowly backs away down the hall to his room hostility, then yes.
8. INABILITY TO RENEW NORMAL ACTIVITIES (Cannot get back to "business as usual" and must bear loos alone, since others are back to normal activities. Need encouragement to face new realities, not to be sheltered from them.)
This is less of a problem now, but proved to be fairly debilitating at first.
I felt resentment for all the activities I normally am responsible for.
I spent a lot of time in bed, ignoring my kids.
I literally did not shower or exercise or eat. For like a month.
It was ugly.
9. GRADUAL OVERCOMING OF GRIEF (Emotional balance returns little by little, like healing of physical wound. Rate varies with individual.)
I think I am here most days.
Not all the way, but I am piecing things back together and formulating a long term plan.
I feel pretty good for the most part.
Which in turn makes me feel guilt.
10. READJUSTMENT TO THE NEW REALITIES (Not "old self again" because there is a new situation. Stronger, deeper, better for having faced and overcome the disaster.)
I like the sound of that: Stronger, deeper, better for having faced and overcome the disaster.
Someone once asked me if I was more afraid of death now.
I thought about that for a while.
I am not; because I have faced it twice and come out the other end still trying, and hoping, and living. I would say that I am actually less afraid.
Do I want to face it again.
Hell to the NO. But I know I can.
You could too.
And now you are better educated on the steps of grief.
I would also dare to say that the best thing one can do for someone going through these steps is keep calling, or writing, or texting.
After the initial shock wears off and the funeral is over, is where it really gets hard.
And there isn't really a "right" thing to say. "I'm sorry," really is the most appropriate.
So now that I have made you thoroughly uncomfortable and induced an enormous amount of pity, I will leave you with some ridiculous pictures.

^^ Me yelling at a teammate to "take this picture-taking business seriously." Do you like the photo bomb? ^^ 
^^ My friend Genevieve "Rogue" posing with me. ^^
^^ Should have known better than to wear briefs with the words "Hit Me" on them.
I got slapped on the tushie a lot. ^^

Monday, May 5, 2014

Here's to the young at heart

I went to my first church single adult activity for unmarried grownups over the age of 30.
It was a potluck/devotional.
I brought muffins I had baked from a box 20 minutes before.
I walked in, only to try and bolt back out before anyone smiled and introduced themselves.
No dice.
Everyone sprinted right over, hands extended before I could slink away unnoticed.
I found the lady I thought to be the closest to my age and plunked myself down next to her.
Peggy is 58 and just went through a messy divorce and is remodeling her house.
We are now BFFs.
She told me, and I quote, "There is never anyone that comes to these that you could actually date."
Ummm, thanks?
I was the only one there in the "30s" age bracket.
Actually it is probably very safe to say I was the only one under the age of 55, when one technically becomes a senior citizen.
It was like a nursing home.
At church.
Full of very friendly Mormons.
Not that nursing homes are a bad place to spend your Sunday evenings ... if you are so so old.
Anyway, everyone was very nice and eager to hear my story.
I am grateful for the church in that people seem to be genuinely interested in the individual.
Which is wonderful because no matter the congregation, I always feel important and loved.
Anyway, after hitting it off with Grandma Moses, I stuck around to hear the spiritual message.
It was an experience.
That I probably won't repeat, but at least I know the general demographic that attends.
So when I am a little bit more mature and still unwed, I can start attending and I will fit right in.
Fun times.
On a younger note, I am only a few weeks away from a very exciting girls weekend in Vegas!
I have never been and am really looking forward to it.
So if you have any incite on what needs to be done there or avoided, I am extremely open to all suggestions.
It will be amazeballs.

p.s. my five-year-old just dropped my entire bag of makeup on the floor with great flourish and broke everything.
Then I yelled.
Not my best parenting moment.
Time to regroup.
^^ My bathing beauty in Hawaii last summer with her grandparents. This year I am taking the kids to Idaho.
It's no Hawaii, but it'll be our first family vacay ever. It is will be great. And probably hot. ^^

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday list

So last Friday I did a post on things that make me happy.
And it made me so happy I thought I would do it again.
Unless it is lame.
Because undoubtedly a lot of things I like are lame ... but I can't help that.
You can't choose the things you love.
So if you love, say, watching Breaking Bad until your eyes bleed, like someone I know who is my father, than you must watch it absolutely every single night.
You don't have a choice.
Those are the rules.
Today's list is a little more vague.
They are all "activities."
Really it is just a pathetic detailing of how I spend my free time.

#1 Stalking Craigslist
There is a lot of furniture I don't need eager to come home with me.
All they want is a little love and attention.
And people are just casting them off like old pieces of neglected furniture. WTH?
For example:
^^ These mid century office chairs have serious potential. Do I need four office chairs? Of course not. ^^
^^ Does this even need an explanation? I just want to lick it. ^^
Which leads me to:
#2 Reimagining furniture.
I really do get my huge Mormon underpants panties in a bunch over bringing an overlooked piece of furniture home and refinishing it.
I love turning something old into something rad.
In fact, I have even toyed with the idea of buying several pieces, redoing them, and then relisting them for significantly more moolah.
Wouldn't that be fun? And a great way to fund my addiction? And my growing pile of furnishings for my pretend house?
^^ Okay I know this is a bogus picture and it's looks ghetto, but just imagine it in a glossy navy or cobalt.
Coupled with a grey and white geometric pattern on the bedspread? Cute little boy's bed. Done. ^^
#3 Throwing things away
I don't mean I like to take out the trash.
I enjoy purging items I no longer need or items that I don't feel other people need.
Like when my dad goes to work, I just rummage around and throw stuff away. (This is a test to see whether or not he reads this blog ... although it is also true.)
I thinks this can also be considered organizing.
If I could be a professional organizer and get paid to go through people's crap and arrange/discard it, I would be in heaven.
Isn't this post making me sound like a lunatic?

#4 Movie kissing scenes
Maybe I am just in need of some nookie a romantic but I stayed up until 1 a.m. last night googling love/kissing scenes from all my favorite chick flicks.
Here are the best ones: (Just in case your hubby/significant other is ever out of town and you are feeling "meh," you can just casually visit this list.)
^^ My pictures are amazing. And not grainy. Ohhhh, just click below and see it for realizes. ^^
The Lucky One
The Amazing Spiderman
Leap Year
The Notebook (this one is really steamy)
Safe Haven

p.s. I literally just rewatched all those scenes.
You know for quality control.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Let me tell you how terrible this sounds to me.
Lucky for you I have no filter and am a pathological over-sharer.
I have been thinking about this a lot lately.
Why? Because I was someone's better half (I really am that great) for over a decade.
And being so suddenly uncoupled is ... lonesome.
I enjoy being married.
And now I am not and I think it blows.
So the only logical thing to do sometime in the future is date.
The last time I "dated," the Thong Song was still popular.
Do you remember that song?
It was on a long time ago.
I am not saying I liked that song.
Because I absolutely did not.
And I absolutely did not stand on a counter top at a dance club in leather pants shimmying to that song.
Anyway, I digress.
I hear dating is all online now.
How can that be?
I am not sure I like the idea of jumping on a website and choosing someone based on a vague set of criteria.
And on the flip side, those same people could be scanning my profile thinking, "What a weirdo. Why does her hair look like a troll doll? Next ..."
And then a judgment has been passed and no one has even talked/seen the other person.
Isn't that bizarre? Maybe I am just too old-fashioned to wield that kind of technology.
And then there's the matter of whether or not I am ready.
And I am not really sure when I will be ready.
Am I ready now? How does one know?
My situation isn't going to reverse itself.
Although when I say it that way it sounds callus and unfeeling.
When really that is the exact opposite of the truth.
But I have accepted that my life is different.
And I cry about it. But it doesn't change.
And I feel sorry for myself, but things still don't change.
I have concluded that I am going to have to do the changing.
So here I am.
I am older now and know what kind of person I want/don't want to be with.
I don't want to play all those silly games you play when you are young and dumb.
The "field" looks totally different.
That and I have children. Granted they are the most amazing children but they are part of this picture too.
So what is my point?
My point is that I am having an affair with my popcorn popper and dating sounds scary.
But I am willing to try it. My sister thinks it will be exciting.
I think I am a nut job and will need to find someone who is reeeeeeeeeallly laid back.
I cannot believe I am thinking about thinking about dating.
^^ A picture of the new someone in my life. My trusty popper died.
A lot of things I love do that. We spend time together every day.
And he likes old maids (the unpopped kernels, silly). ^^