Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Random Things You Might (or Might Not) Know About Me

It's a get to know you of sorts ...

I've mentioned before that one of the reasons I blog is to supplement my journal. This is a post aimed solely at that. It may not be of interest to anyone else, but it's something I've been feeling for a while that I needed to write. So, I am ...

* I love girly stuff. No, really. I LOVE girly stuff. High heels, nail polish, playing with makeup ... I love it all!

* I love gardening. I dislike weeding. (Unless it's cool weather ... then I could weed cheerfully for hours on end. Unfortunately, most gardening seems to be paired with drastic heat and little shade ... ) I love picking the foods I've grown and discovering ways to use them. It's pretty cool to think that God and I made something so amazing grow.

* This is the first year in several that I let my garden die. I know ... it's shameful. (Trust me, I'm as ashamed as I can be about that.) But, I've had to prioritize and choose what I could and couldn't fit in this summer. This year's priorities just happened to be my kids, my personal study time, exercise, family activities, babysitting, single lady stuff, and putting my home in order. Maybe next year will have more time, and I can have the garden of all gardens.

* I hate having dirty hands. Ick! I was born hating to have stuff on my hands. It just is what it is.

* Can't stand the feel of sand and dirt between my toes. When I garden, I have to clean my feet off as soon as possible after I leave the dirt. The only year it wasn't a problem was the year that we had rattlesnakes in our garden and I gardened in cowboy boots. Hmm ... boots. Gotta remember the boots.

*I adore being barefoot. I love shoes, but I love them more when they're not on my feet.

* I love to dress up. Even my casual is pretty classically dressy. The only time you'll find me running around in jeans and a t-shirt every day is summer, and even then, I'm usually wearing some form of heels.

* I love skirts and dresses. LOVE them!

* One of the few casual clothing items that I can't live without? A good, comfy hoodie. Seriously, a hoodie, a great pair of jeans, and my cowboy boots ... Perfect!

* I adore cooking and baking. Couldn't live without the opportunity to do these things ... Pretty crazy when you consider I couldn't cook or bake at all thirteen years ago. I might have messed up Hamburger Helper a time or two. It was pretty bad ...

* I like cooking outdoors. I haven't had a ton of opportunities to do this, but I'm hoping to remedy the situation.

* Music is, to me, pretty similar to breathing. It's something I can't live without. My appreciation for it far outweighs my abilities, but my abilities are growing as life throws new learning experiences at me.

*Writing -- see music.

* I love to laugh. I enjoy slapstick, but I love wittiness. If you are smart funny, you get lots of points in my world.

* I love to make people laugh.

* Sometimes, I can be a bit serious. Life has helped me to become more introspective. I've come to a point where I enjoy the quiet, restful times too.

* I enjoy shooting guns. I'm a decent shot. I've only done target practice. It's all I really have an interest in. But, it can be fun now and again.

* I love museums. Especially if they are history-related or scientific in nature ...

* I love camping. There are no words to describe how much I love being outdoors and away from civilization.

* I'm a small town, country girl at heart. If I could figure out how to make it work, I'd be perfectly content in a tiny town somewhere green. Bliss!

* I'm not really a desert girl. My heart craves greenness and tall trees. I don't mind visiting the desert. I can appreciate its beauty. But, my soul would dwell in the midst of green mountains.

* Campfires are pretty nearly my favorite thing ever!

* I love all things domestic. If I could be home all day, every day, I would in a heart beat. I love the mundane daily things like taking care of the kids, my home, and meals. I love planning out what needs to be done and cooked. I love being able to spend whatever time I need to prepare healthy, delicious, soul-satisfying meals. Home is where my heart is.

* I love to teach. In any capacity ... at home, at work, at church. I didn't know it would when I was seventeen and first given the opportunity to teach at church, but teaching has become a part of who I am.

* I like to be busy.

* I find satisfaction in accomplishing difficult things.

* Working hard toward worthy goals, whatever they may be, makes me want to do a happy dance.

* I suffer from an abundance of excitement when good things happen. I get ridiculously, over-the-top excited over the good things in my life. I tend to err toward cheesiness and happy dances. Maybe someday, I'll learn to act my age when I'm thrilled about something. I'm losing hope though ...

* I love to run. It's a happy feeling.

* I love cowboy boots. A bit obsessively, perhaps ...

* I think every girl should have a pair of jeans she loves and that she looks great in.

* I get as excited for the good things in my loved ones' lives as I do for the good things in my own. In fact, I might get even cheesier then.

* Sleep, chocolate, and/or a long soak in the tub can cure a whole host of ills. They're also great treatment for hormone-induced irrationality. Just sayin' ...

* Jewelry makes me smile. It doesn't have to be expensive. Just cute, fun, and very wearable ... In fact, there's a little store I know that has fantastically fun jewelry for just a couple bucks a piece. (Not kidding ... about $2 a piece.) Some of my best, most complimented jewelry comes from there. It's about 45 minutes from my home. Totally worth the drive every now and again ... 

* Hiking makes my heart happy. There's something to be said for being able to look out over the valleys from the top of a mountain peak.

* Long drives are satisfying.

* Books are the next best thing.

* People are fascinating. They make this world a pretty cool place.

*There's something to be said for having a few great girlfriends. Besties make life brighter!

* Everybody needs at least one friend who gets them at their deepest level. You know, the friend who understands even the quirkiest, nerdy parts of your soul? That friend who will burst into laughter at the same, inappropriate time as you do ... 'cause that one thing struck them as being absolutely hilarious too? Life isn't the same without someone who can unravel your thought process instantly (because their thought process led them down the same path.)

* I love fresh fruits and veggies. It might be an obsession.

* I adore cool to cold temperatures and inclement weather of all varieties.

* October is my favorite month.

* August is a close second. It's like New Year's, but better.

Well, if you've made it this far. Congrats! You know more about me than you probably ever thought you wanted to. Just think of it as a little mislaid musing ...

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dear Stupid, Stoo-pid Car, (Day 2)

The bottom of the freeway off ramp during rush hour traffic is a ridiculous place to spew your guts and die. The kind homeless lady with the sign didn't even bother to ask me for money as she came over to inspect the results of your little tantrum, AND she felt compelled to move over to the on-ramp as your presence was putting a real dent in her business. But, only after she helped a kind man push my car back up the ramp a bit so it was out of the way ...

The second kind man who stopped only tried to sell me auto-insurance after he inspected your vainglorious efforts. He said it would help with repair costs. He also offered me a ride.

Your little death threats were, of course, timed for when my dad was at work and one brother was not near his phone. You didn't realize I was armed with a library book, a concerned father, and an arsenal of brothers. :) While you pouted on the shoulder of the road, I moved to the sidewalk and began to read. I didn't know it, but my dad was calling yet another brother, who pulled up with a smile on his face (as I was talking on the phone with the brother I'd called earlier.)

(Dear Car, I love my brothers ... I hate you.) 

In spite of threatening you with my awesome brothers, you still thought sulking was cute (dripping green goo for tears? ... not your best look) and refused to move. So, my brother looked you over and told me we'd tow you to my parents house. I'd maintained my smile up to this point, but at the words "tow your car" tears became a real possibility.

Towing and I have a past. A VERY unpleasant past ...
(Seriously, go have a look here. A Ranting List of Blessings. You'll see what I mean ... and why you, my dear Stupid, Stoo-pid Car, nearly won the battle.)

My brother took one look at my face, promised it would be alright, and reassuringly said, "It'll be okay. It's just to Mom and Dad's house."

(Dear car, I loathe you. We are not friends. Ever ... )

Lucky for you, we all survived the towing. I still don't like you. Apparently, you don't like me much either, because you began expelling steam. A note?: Not actually helping your cause ... just so you know. The gray smoke coming out from under the front end of the engine block? That was just over the top. Your theatrics were ill-timed and unappreciated. We are not amused!

After hearing three separate men, mention the words "head gasket" in fatal tones this morning, you deserved the cranky kick I aimed at your tire. (Really, you earned it last year and then some, but I've refrained like the sane and calm human I am.)

You should count your blessings. Instead of selling you for scrap metal, you're sitting in lazy luxury living a life of ease. It would appear you've adopted my parents' house for your own. Be thankful they're letting you visit.


Laughing at the Comic Book Drama that is My Life ('Cause it's Better Than Crying.)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

July 2012 Facebook

July 30th:

* Some days happiness is a forgotten bottle of Excedrin that one finds in their purse and a container of leftover chili in the fridge to feed the kids. :)

* On the plus side, my kids said I didn't actually look like a bunny rabbit hopping around the track today AND I knocked two minutes off my mile today. (Not that I think either of those things will last, but it's nice to savor the moment ... )

* Lovely, lovely day ... :)

July 28th:

* Kayleen Miller Hallposted

Facebook is updating me on important things that have happened there... On my side bar, it says, jaymie got engaged to adam. Well, thanks facebook. Without you, I would have no idea! ;)
* Posting one of my favorite quotes at the request of a friend:

"Opposition turns up almost anyplace something good has happened. It can happen when you are trying to get an education. It can hit you after your first month in your new mission field. It certainly happens in matters of love and marriage....There are cautions and considerations to make, but once there has been genuine illumination, beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. Don't give up when the pressure mounts...Face your doubts. Master your fears. 'Cast not away therefore your confidence.' Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you." (Jeffrey R. Holland, BYU Devotional, March 2, 1999)
July 27th:
* Lucky to have such a great dad! Love seat's out and the dishwasher is actually functional again. Thanks, Kent Brierley! You are the best!
July 26th:
* Chocolate Peanut Butter smoothies for breakfast. Kids think it's like donuts for breakfast. I'm happy because they're eating something that's actually pretty healthy. Best part is that all told, it took about five minutes to prepare. :)
July 25th:
* I love those days when you get the little reminders of how many miraculously good things are happening in life all the time. So very many blessings to be thankful for!
July 23rd:
* Things I've learned from getting engaged? 1) I have lots of squealing girlfriends. 2) They have husbands with bruised arms -- casualties of the excitement apparently. Most important though is 3) I have a lot of good friends who care about me and are genuinely happy for me. I'm pretty darn lucky! Thanks, everyone!
July 21st:
* Apparently Saturday nights are a perfect time to run in the park. Nearly deserted and so peaceful!♥
July 20th:
* Officially driving legally again. They even took a really cute picture for my license. Sadly, that picture had to go since apparently my bangs were too close to my eyes and may have obscured facial recognition. On the plus side, I walked out with an average driver's license picture. It looks about how one would expect a license pic to look ... Could have been worse ...
* A few details? Well, we're talking mid-December. We're thinking open house rather than reception. Met him online, but it turned out that we had a mutual friend. Lots that I love about him. The kids and my family love him. His name's Adam, and he makes me happy and treats me very well. :)
* Both kids are going through growth spurts. M all of a sudden hits me mid-chin, and her feet are only about a half inch shorter than mine. The plus side? She'll not be able to swipe my shoes for very long because her feet are going to be bigger than mine. :) You can almost hear my footwear breathing a sigh of relief ...   
* Fairly certain that a garden angel (aka my kind home teacher) has been helping with my plot again. The last few times I've gone up, it's almost always watered and the big open spaces are missing lots of weeds. Gardening is so much easier with kind people who randomly surprise us with help. :)
July 19th:
* For those of you who missed it: He asked, I answered, and there's a ring on my finger. :) And yes, the girls are almost as thrilled as I am.
July 18th:
* It's official ... :)
* My 8 yr old has been telling me what time it is every three minutes or so for the last half hour. Because I may have forgotten ... :) 
July 17th: 
* Crazy, fun day! Met lots of nice people, survived & enjoyed some new experiences. Thanks, Melissa Keeler West for watching the girls so that I could be where I needed to be!
* Oh, good ... a migraine & hair with a mind of its own. Just what this day needed ... :) On the plus side, thanks to a terrific friend, I just happen to have some Dr. Pepper to wash the ibuprofen down with. Kayleen Miller Hall, you are a lifesaver!
* Kind of a crazy busy day, but my run is done AND I actually ran 8/10's of a mile without stopping for my first walk break. I finished it off by running the last 1/10 of a mile. Finished in about the same time as my fastest mile so far. :) Totally needed that today!   
July 16th:
* Lovely day, fabulous company. I love Sundays like this!
July 15th:
* So sleepy, but so very happy ...
July 14th:
* Thanks to the running, I've lost a few pounds and shed a few inches. Decided to try on a pair of my pants that are down a size from what I've been wearing. They fit ... and they zip up ... easily. They're not loose, but a button isn't likely to go flying off either. We're gonna call this a good day! :)
* M has been on an organizing kick lately. Trouble is, she only feels compelled to organize my stuff -- you know the stuff that's actually organized? Latest victim? The recipe box that I had set up so I knew where all the stuff we like was and where the to-be-tried stuff was. Now to-be-tried's are changing the social order and dancing with the favorites. Chaos reigns supreme!
* No idea what day we're on, but I ran 16 out of 25 blocks. Haven't yet done the math, but I know it's over a mile. :)
July 13th:
* Going to see Brave tonight. So excited! :)
July 12th:
* So many strange and wonderful opportunities opening up lately. Feeling a little unreal, but exciting all the same ...
* Best part about being invited to help chaperon the Activity Days Day Camp? Listening to a huge group of 8-12 year old girls singing I Am a Child of God. It's an amazing generation of ladies that we're raising!
* So much that's amazing in life. Lots to be grateful for!
July 11th:
* Plus side about the kids having that kind of day? Non-negotiable quiet time before bedtime so that we can all recover. :)
* Hallelujah! I found my house fairies! My garbage from my craft project just magically cleaned itself up without me even asking it to. (It might have something to do with little ones who are preparing for a tea party, but I'm sticking to house fairies ... )
* Ooh! It's overcast, there's a slight breeze, and I heard thunder. Hoping, hoping, hoping for rain! I'd love a Fleetwood Mac kind of day ...
* Actually got out to run before it hit the 100 degree mark today. It's a good day in my world! :)
July 10th:
* Wow! Do you ever have a day where you feel like you stumbled into an alternate universe and everyone seems to know the storyline but you? :)    
* Isn't life just full of happy surprises? :)
July 9th:
* Dirty donuts & Dr. Pepper & a visit from fantastic friends. What a fun early birthday surprise! Best day ever!!
* Day 17ish: (Yup, I sort of lost track ... ) I have no idea what the actual distance was, but I ran 14 blocks out of the two miles that I went. :)
July 7th:
* Such a fantastic day. Now I'm beat ... :) Time to chill with a little Psych ...
* I love to see the Temple ... but I love going inside even more. :)
* So many good things in my life ...
* Lovely, lovely run! Ran through the neighborhoods this time. So peaceful!
July 6th:
* My cute home teacher seems to have decided that my garden needs more help. I surprised him surprising me. :) He'd already tilled up all the weeds and made furrows, planted a couple of tomato plants, and was planting who knows what all else. I felt really guilty not staying to help after that, but had to be off to keep an appointment. We're lucky to have such good people who care about us!
July 5th:
* Oh, how I love an overcast day! Now if we'd just get some rain, it would be perfect.
July 4th:
* As darn near perfect as a day can be ... :)
* Dear Insomnia,

You make my eyeballs feel like sandpaper, and I don't really care for our random visits ... at all. If you find that your schedule is too crowded, please feel free to give my house a miss. That is all.

Wide Awake more recently than I had hoped

P.S. Allowing me three hours of sleep was kind of like awarding me the Participant prize at the Science Fair. We all know it's just there to lull me into a false sense of achievement.
* :) Just happy!
July 3rd:
* Another lovely day finished off by a super delicious dinner with friends and a terrific firework show. :)
* It only needed that. :P
* Bah! Garlic fumes are wandering around my home. Two girls thought it would be a grand idea to eat a spoonful each of the minced garlic out of the jar in the fridge. Now they're each bringing their own cloud of garlicky "goodness" everywhere they go. It may be a good day to confine them to their room until they've got it spotless ...
* Day 15: Done. Note to self: Eat first, drink first, and go earlier in the morning ...
July 2nd:
* Picnic in the park with the kids, a morning run, a visit to a good friend, laundry, a whole boatload of dishes by hand since apparently my dishwasher has gone on summer break, refereeing two preteen children who came home from their weekend with their "happy" selves, stripping and re-seasoning three cast iron pans, scrubbing another two,and just trying to prevent any new messes from cropping up while I'm catching up on the old AND I just realized that I completely forgot to water the garden. (And playing in the almost dark with the rattlesnakes just doesn't sound very appealing.) Ugh ... I'm exhausted!
* Shaved 3 minutes off my run/walk time. Still not running the whole one mile track, but today I only walked for two short stretches. AND the best part, my legs don't hurt and my lungs feel great. This really is getting to be even more fun!
July 1st:
* Happy, happy, happy ... (Shut it, J. Quinn Brierley :) )

Monday, April 15, 2013

When You Ask If I Got Your Text ...

with a large grin on your face,

I smile and say,

"I did. I've chosen to magnanimously ignore it."

In confusion, you ask,

"But, why?!?"

As gently as I can, I reply,

"You know, it's not very kind really ... "

Puzzlement still bedecks your countenance as you follow up.

"How come?"

I continue my careful reply.

"To send a text reminding me

about a day that should have been my twelfth wedding anniversary.

When, in reality, it may well be that I

will never have a twelfth anniversary at all."

With a soft, "Oh." I see your shoulders

hunch. Your countenance drops

like stone.

As you shuffle off to work,

and I drive home with the kids,

the very normalcy of life floods in,

washing away one more thread to the past.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

You know ...
to the text this morning wishing me a happy anniversary, there are ever so many replies.

* There's the old fallback -- Happy day before tax day to you too!

* A slightly more macabre approach -- You know, it's not really nice to celebrate the anniversary of Lincoln's death. But, since we're at it, why not toss in the eve of the Titanic's sinking as well?

* Apparently, we're nearing the day, in 1943, that they figured out that LSD is hallucinogenic. Perhaps your dates are off. Although I'm still not certain that's worthy of a text.

Regardless of what the reply might be, it is certainly not ...

* Happy anniversary to you too. It's been twelve fantastic years.

* Thanks! Here's hoping there are many more.

or even

* I sure appreciate the reminder; thanks for being so thoughtful.

It could be:

* Thanks for pointing out the nonexistent celebration of our twelfth year together.

* I've learned a lot, wouldn't trade it, but perhaps it's time to let it die?

or perhaps

* So help me, if you do that to me one more time ...

On second thought, it's just not worth the bother. If it makes you happy to send such thoughtless messages, I suppose I can roll my eyes, take a deep breath and remind myself that the intent behind it is not as inconsiderate as the action, and shrug it off. It is what it is, and we all see life a little differently. As for me, I've given up worrying about it. I'd rather celebrate the daily victories in my world -- health and safety for me and my kids, each day of happiness, and little wins that move the kids and me toward our goals. It's a good life, and I'm busy living it.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

More August 2012

August 14th:

* We stopped by the kids' school today to see the teacher postings. Both girls are thrilled about their teachers AND how many of their friends are in their classes. It's fun to see them getting excited about going back to school.

August 13th:

* I realize it's kind of nerdy, but I'm getting really excited for my fall classes to begin. :)

Happy to have my kids home with nothing too pressing to do today. Love those girlies!

August 12th:

* A certain three year old tried to bolt off the bench during sacrament meeting. In spite of not having toddlers of my own in recent history, I still managed to grab him. As I pulled him onto my lap, he looked at me, gritted his teeth, stuck out his chin, and said, "Why you think you're doing to me?!? You are getting yourselves in so much big trouble!!!"

August 11th:

* Thankful it's been such a busy week! Sometimes, busy is a very good thing ...  

* I just said something about when it's time to take my nephews home, and that cute three year old looked at me and said, "I don't want to go home. I want to stay here for a few hours ... maybe just two or something." He then said that his brother "does so too." :)

* When my three yr. old nephew walked in the room, I said, "Hi, Handsome!" He looked at me and said, "I'm not handsome! I'm just tiny." So funny!

August 10th:

* So, so, so good to see old friends! Loved having them and their kids in our little home. :) What a great way to start a weekend!

August 9th:

* Nothing brightens a day like a game of Phase 10 with my little ones. I feel awfully blessed to be their mom. :)

August 8th:

* Thanks to all of you who have celebrated with Adam and me this past while. Just wanted to let you know that, although we both hold each other in high regard and respect, we've decided -- for personal reasons -- to break things off. Thanks again for all of your love and support!! We're lucky to have such great friends and family!

* Lucky to have an amazing friend who was willing to sit down with me & help find a song for Sunday. Thanks, Mai!!

August 7th:

*Brianne Flinders Wetselposted
Hey woman! Wondering if you'd be willing to sing in Sacrament this Sunday?:) Topic is 'My Brother's Keeper' but anything church related would work. Lemme know!
August 6th:
* Things you never want to hear your 8 yr old say? "I can blow a bubble with peanut butter." (as she nods knowingly ... Unfortunately, her knowingly and my knowingly got lost in alternate universes.) The plus side? I heard her say it before she actually tried to blow a peanut butter bubble ...
* Ran just under the first half of my mile in 3 min. 16 sec. I may never breathe properly again (apparently, my asthma was not as thrilled as I was ... ) but it still made me smile. :)
August 4th:
* I seriously think I have the coolest, funniest family ever!! So, so lucky to have been born into the bunch I was. Love family reunion weekend! Thanks to everyone who came!
* A dead vehicle will definitely make this morning a little more complicated ... Thankfully, I've got a great brother who is coming over to look at his jeep. :)
* Brierley Reunion: Today! See y'all soon!   
August 3rd:
* Fun time with good friends and my kids today and girls' night tonight. It's a good day in my world! :)
* Dear Insomnia,

While it was admittedly rather interesting both to see what was on television at 3:30 a.m. and in the hours leading up to it, and while it was a challenge to tired wits to fill those hours when all else was still, I feel a need to confess ... I'd prefer that we don't continue meeting that way. Really! I know, rather selfish of me, but there it is ... Thanks for the experience, but let's not repeat it.

Wide Awake (Again ... )
August 2nd:
* Made this for lunch today. Part of me wants to double the spices and increase the peanut butter, but most of me thinks that I'll keep it exactly the same next time as all of the flavors are perfectly balanced. Either way, it was super easy to make & is definitely a keeper!
August 1st:

* Lucky to have some amazing people in my life. Seriously so blessed!!

* Dear Headache,

I realize that lately you've been here often enough for my head to feel like your home ... but it's not. So, if you'd kindly pack your bags and move on, I'd be happy to maintain the pretense of polite bereavement at our parting.

Done Playing Head Games

* Finally convinced the kids to get dressed. Yup, it's after three. Don't judge ... :)

* Just a quick update: As we've talked about wedding dates, we've decided that we'd rather aim for next year. Maybe early spring, but no specific date yet. We'll keep you posted. :)


Facebook in August 2012

August 31st:

* Two little girls get to stay home for two extra nights this weekend. Guess who's not complaining? :)

August 29th:

* Seriously blessed! A fun day at the zoo with a family member, some yummy cucumbers and tomatoes from a kind neighbor, a short visit with good friends near the garden, L got to go to a back to school activity for achievement days, AND we got a surprise visit from some other neighbors. Busy, but so very fun!

* Ooh, ooh, ooh! It looks like I may have a job this year after all. One that works well with my school schedule, my mom duties, and my observations. That's the theory anyway ...

August 28th:

* Ooh! It is so past time for somebody's 10 yr. old to go back to school. Deep breaths, deep breaths ...

August 27th:

* Phenomenal class tonight! Truly probably the best school class I've been in ... EVER. Started a little slow, but if the rest of the class broadcasts can even come close, it's going to be an amazing semester. Lots of personal aha moments; reminded me that God really does play a very active part in shaping my life. So thankful that I continued on to go through the teaching program!

* I think that Monday is one of my favorite days each week. I love the feeling of having my girls home again after they've been away. Add to that the start of fall semester and even the toilet and car can't ruin this day!

August 26th:

* You know, in spite of some of the quirks, there are some pretty great things about my life.

* Even I know that it's got to be a bad sign when the inside of your toilet bowl develops large cracks ... Oh, dear ...

* Totally forgot choir practice today -- 'cause I'm good like that ...

August 25th:

* Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! :P

* Why, hello check engine light! I wish I could say I've missed you these last few days, but we both know I'd be lying.

* On the plus side, I found the cause of the stench in my kitchen. The not so happy moment now involves cleaning out the grapes that the kids tossed under the garbage sack in the trash can. Love me some moldy grapes ... ew, ew, ew!

* My M is going to LOVE me. Watched Mason Hall make zombie gashes and nasty wounds with liquid latex and toilet paper last night. Pretty sure I can remember how to do it. Not only that, but I don't think I'd have thought of using greens and blacks and mustard yellows in painting them. Oddly enough, I have all the same makeup colors at home. (Halloween makeup is kind of a big deal at our house.) Pretty sure my cool factor is about to go up with my child. :) Thanks, Kayleen Miller Hall for inviting me.   

August 24th:

* Got all my books ordered for this semester, signed up for my Praxis exam, hung out with my kids, and finished the night off with a girls' night out with a couple friends that I don't see nearly often enough. Pretty terrific day!

* L just informed me that she doesn't "like" Super Why. "I just tolerate it, and besides, it's almost over."

* See, this is what happens when we don't get home until nearly 10:30. After the girls and I finish chatting about concerns and questions that they have, I'm wide awake at midnight knowing full well that it's going to make running so much harder tomorrow morning. ... Heck, who am I kidding? It's going to make EVERYTHING so much harder tomorrow morning. :)

August 23rd:

* So there were things that I liked and things that I would have liked to see handled differently on the program tonight. It was interesting to watch the varied perspectives on my religion. I'm glad that those who put tonight's program together chose to include many members of the church who are good examples of what we really are rather than relying solely on outside sources. I appreciated the times when they chose to treat our sacred things with respect. In spite of a couple things that I found troubling (I was disappointed with the lack of respect shown to a couple of the things I hold sacred and wouldn't have chosen to treat the sacred aspects of someone else's religion in that way) I am glad to have had the opportunity to be involved with this. It's been a good experience for me and my children.

*Rachelle Shiflett Leeposted
Just have to agree with everyone else on how wonderful you did on national television and to say hi to my now famous friend. Love you tons and glad that they chose you to be one of the people to represent how wonderful our members are.
* Some days remind you to be thankful for bedtime -- theirs and mine. Pretty sure this is one of those days. :)
* I made these for breakfast this morning. They were a hit with both the kids. I liked them a lot too. I'm going to have to try freezing these to see if I could have some on hand for school mornings ...
August 22nd:

* I just went to check on the girls before bed. M had fallen asleep with her sleep mask sitting on her forehead, her Santa hat perched neatly on top of that, with a travel size pillow tucked under her chin covering her chest, and two sheets and two blankets covering her from chin to toe. She'd also barricaded herself in on either side with nearly every stuffed animal she owns. It's just as well the fan is blowing directly on her. She might have become a tad overheated otherwise. After snickering, I removed the head adornments and the pillow so that she wouldn't be quite so warm. She didn't seem to hot, so I left the blankets. Wish I'd thought to take a camera ...

* It seems this last week that, every time I turn around, new possibilities are trying to burst into existence (no, folks, none of them involve dating ... ) It will be interesting to see where and when everything ends up ...

* Hooray!! Water's back on. :) It's going to be a beautiful day!

August 21st:

* No water. :( Have to admit it's one of those things I hate finding out at random ... Oh, well! At least it's nighttime so we don't need it for all the usual daytime things.

* The natives are restless, and the oldest is having a preteen day. Perhaps I should take my kindle and a bottle of water and have a mommy timeout in the car ... I'm not sure who thought it was a good idea for school to start two weeks later this year, but they should be shot. :)

August 20th:

* It's been one of those days when it just seems like the world is a pretty great place and I feel awfully blessed just to be a part of it. :) Love those kind of days!

* I could get used to these lower temperatures. It makes late runs so much easier. :) Chose to run slower today so that I could run farther. It seemed to work. Ran almost the whole mile. Hooray!

August 19th: 

* Came home to cookies from a good friend. Thanks so much, Kirstan Kuch Johnson! This has been a truly stupendous sort of day. :)    

* My brother cleaned some cobwebs out of my car and played with some stuff this morning. Tonight, the girls and I took it for a drive. So far, so good. Still a couple of quirks, but my dad is planning on checking those tomorrow. Fingers crossed!!! This might work ... I've missed my little car!

* Bumped into my terrific aunt and uncle at church today. What a fun surprise! We also livened up the meeting as my nephew kept pointing out quite loudly, "I hate you, Aunt Jaymie." and, when that didn't work, "Ow. OW. OW! OUCHIE, OUCHIE, OUCHIE!!" Yes, the people nearby were chuckling. On the plus side, he'd later say, "Oh, I just like you, Aunt Jaymie. Do you like me?" It's going to be awfully quiet next weekend when I don't have extra kids and the girls are gone ...

* All four kids for church today. It's gonna be a wild ride! Perhaps I should apologize in advance to those who may be sitting near us. :)

August 18th:

* Well, the car ran. It was a lovely, if somewhat short, ride. Now said car is exhibiting a few more quirks. My sweet dad came over to look at it & it looks like it might be a problem with the computer. It sounds as though I may need to take it to a dealership. (Cause that turned out so very well last time ... ) Trying to think positive -- at least the new engine runs -- and not worry about how much more anything else is going to cost (in time and money.) I was really hoping not to hit the six-months-without-a-car mark. Here's praying that A) there's a good job waiting at the end of the teaching program, so I can actually buy a car that will work and B) that this car will somehow pull it together and hobble through until then.

* I have loved having my sweet nephews over lots this last couple of weeks, and they are always welcome in my home. At the same time, the little part of me that has been undecided about whether or not I would like more babies someday if that avenue opened up to me has definitely decided. The answer has become an emphatic no, thank you. I'm happy without starting over from the baby phase. It's fun, fun, fun to borrow and give back. :)

(Update: 4/12/13 -- Much as I had thought I decided this, I've finally come to the conclusion that it all depends. There are lots of factors: my age, my nonexistent sweetheart's age, whether he has kids of his own already too, etc. All I know at this point is that uncertainty is the certainty. I could be happy either way. I'm just happy to be on this crazy ride called life.)

* I took a week & a half off from running -- and almost everything else. :) Last night, I decided that today was the day to start running again. Yup, I lost some ground because I took a break, but I still finished in about my average time for a mile. More importantly, I'm still doing it.     

* Sometimes, it just takes the right motivation ... :)   

August 17th:

* Just realized that the one day this week that I've actually planned dinner out in advance, there's a church dinner. Good thing the curry can go in the fridge, and I can add the final ingredients tomorrow. :)

* The three year old nephew isn't very happy that I told him he has to eat his lunch. "I hate you! I want Jake and Lisa to come." Unfortunately, I've got two kids of my own and my oldest was fond of the "I hate you!" card when she was three. He didn't get nearly the reaction he was hoping for.

* Chicken curry in the crock pot for dinner tonight. :) So excited!

August 16th:

* Just found a sign the girls made for their bedroom door. "PARTY ZONE Please knock"

Yup ... Those are my kids ...

August 15th:

* The kids went with their dad to Lagoon today. It was nice to have some quiet time without kids for the first time in a couple of weeks, but it's nicer still to have them home again. Love those sweet girls!!

* Sat in my car today for a few minutes. Turned it on & it ran ... and ran. Happiness is listening to my car's engine actually doing what it's supposed to. Now if it will just pass safety and emissions we'll be golden. :) Thanks to my awesome dad and brother for making it so I can drive my own car soon for the first time in months!