the post I wanted to write on my b-day

Because my birthday has always coincided with the beginning of a new school year - and because until recently, it conveniently categorized my past into gradeschool years and semesters - school has basically defined my life.
I often think of my past birthdays in the context of the stages of life that accompanied them: finally entering Young Women's, finally getting to date and drive legally, finally knowing where I was sending a missionary to, finally being packed and ready for Europe, finally giving up hopes of any birthday surprises and/or presents.
(That was this year. It took me long enough!)

Five years ago, I fancied myself in the middle of a Senior love triangle. The details are juicy but not really relevant to this post. Looking back, I'm thinking I should have just counted myself lucky and enjoyed the ride while it lasted. I was rather fortunate to have both dashing young men after me. And I did have a lot of fun with it. But still, the uncertainty of it all put me in a constant state of agony. Sleepless, restless, appetite-less (and consequently, weight-less) agony.
I am not the type who enjoys breaking other people's hearts.


Early in August during Sunday night singing the boys - namely Slice, Rob, Matt, Drew, and possibly Niebs - started whispering to each other and giggling about an idea which soon turned into a plan. They would not tell me, or any of the girls, this plan, try as we might to guilt it from them. Little did they know that I KNEW EVERYTHING.

Weeks later I sat in my room, writing in my journal, debating over my own plan of action. The boys were at their "secret party" (a sleepover in my old empty house, which I had known all along) and I wanted to play a prank on them ... but I needed willing female backup, because Matt was WITH those punks. Instead of making a fool of myself, I decided to go to bed early. And bitter.

The next morning I was picked up and whisked away to a farm, where there was a bona fide surprise party waiting for me. Shooting, fire, food, and friends. Someone brought Baked Lay's, knowing that they were my favorite chips. And Drew had even invited some South Jordan friends to this whole-day birthday surprise for me. I couldn't believe it.

Late in the day we ate birthday cake and parted; after dinner and family time, I went to get my gun from Drew's car. He wasn't home. I waited outside until he showed up, we walked to my empty house, and we talked, one of our typical late-night talks. I didn't get home until after midnight. And when I got there, there was a long yellow rose and a Snickers bar on my doorstep.
The next day, a vase of three pink carnations was delivered to my work.

Love triangles. Such messy, fun, exciting, stressful little things.


I didn't even have to wait that long

Ang started her new blog already! We will now be able to track her across the country (and the world....). I'm so happy.


P.S. Thank you all for the birthday wishes. It was a lovely birthday. But I have yet to "enjoy" Slice's "gift" to me, which is a "date" of NIGHT GOLFING. Tonight. With another ward's Elder's Quorum.

Er, Fig? What do I do? I'm not really looking forward to the humiliation.


Some things I've been wanting to tell you

1. I live in a house with 5-6 adult men. Did you know that? I said 5-6 because I don't know exactly how many; it seems to fluctuate. I do think it makes Slice a little nervous though.

2. I quit a job for the first time last week. (The library one.) Sent a letter of resignation even. But they really wanted me to stay ... So now I will (hopefully) be doing, in half the time, what I used to be doing in full-the-time at both jobs. Basically, I'm a sucker.

Tangent here: It's like college all over again. My coworkers used to laugh at me while I registered for the next semester's classes. "Oooh! The Legend of King Arthur! And History on Film! And History of American Christianity! American Women's History! Joseph Smith lectures! How can I choose between them??? Can't I just take them all?!" And then I would register for 17 credits, despite my job, and try to audit 3 more - until the point in the semester when I realized that I might actually die from brain overload and lack of sleep. The both. End tangent.

3. Slice and I are going to Japan. Japan. And for three and a half weeks, no less. I found killer flights (Travelzoo of course), called Slice and said WE ARE GOING. So we are.
At first we thought about staying for a few months, but we didn't want to deal with work visas and, um, I don't speak a lick of Japanese, so living there would be a bit more terrifying than going to school in Vienna when I HAD three years of German under my belt and everything planned out for me by BYU.
Anyway - WE ARE SUPER EXCITED! Right now, all we have are flights, which say that we are leaving October 29 and coming back November 23. Beyond that ... planning still needing to be done.

4. Slice didn't want me to tell you we are going to Japan. He thought it would be more fun to just say "we're leaving!" and then start blogging from Japan, but hello, I cannot keep a secret like that. Especially when everyone in my physical personal life already knows. Physical personal life meaning, people I see on a regular basis. Or who check my Facebook page often.

5. Slice is awesome and I love him.

6. I watched him play at the Utah Open last weekend, which was very swanky and sweltry and emulous. (I looked that last word up.) Some pretty famous people were there, including Jazz players that are decent golfers, marketing directors of Siegfried & Jensen (whom Slice played with), etc. etc. I had a good time soaking it all in. Except for the heat, which was just about record-breaking. And humid. Ugh.
Anyway, Slice did all right. Day 1 and 2 were great, Day 3 was the downfall. I think it was because I wasn't there the first half of that last round. I am practically his good-luck charm.

7. I am reading Jane Eyre, for you Tay, as of last Saturday. Started it at the tournament. Love it already.

8. How awesome is my mom? She wrote a blog post today on the family blog, her very first, and already it's the best one there. I love that lady.

9. I am 22 today. It feels old.

That's What You Get when you Let Your Heart Win


He loves it that much.

Sunday morning

J: Blue shirt or white shirt today?

S: White shirt, definitely. Always the white shirt.

J: I know you love the white one. But it's getting ball-y. I think it's time to retire it.

S: Retire it tonight, after you wear it.

J: Should we have a ceremony? Induct it into the hall of fame? (snickering)

S: No, I'll cry.

J: Hmmm. Wait -- what?

early morning haze

This morning I woke up, rolled over, looked at the clock - 6:38.
And I nudged Slice. Twice.

"What time are you supposed to be at [Boys' golf team] practice?"

"I told them I wasn't going to make it today."

"Oh. Sorry I woke you up." (I know he can't get back to sleep after he's awake in the mornings.)

Then I started thinking, as I fell back to sleep, I should have said "Sorry I awakened you," not "Sorry I woke you up." Better English.

Slice got dressed and kissed me before he left. And I said it again. "Sorry I woke you up."

"It's okay," he said.

Um, why was I thinking about grammar rules? Who even cares first thing in the morning?


MM Blog Awards 2009

I think it's high time I gave some of these out. Don't you?

The Best Comment Ever Award - to Brent, who wrote such a hilarious comment on my tepee post that I am STILL laughing about it. Mom laughed so hard she cried, Dad gave a good few chuckles, and we all wondered just how much time you put into writing it. (I was hoping you would say something about that ... and you did!) Clever, very very clever.

The Bravest, Most Heartwrenching Blog Post Award - to Nienie of course, whose two latest posts have wrung my insides like you wouldn't believe. What a beautiful example of courage, faith, and perseverance in the face of adversity. How I wanted to hike the Y with her last Saturday!

The Blogger Who Shows Up Most in my Dreams Award - it's a tie between cjane and Dooce. (Coincidence?) P.S. I really loved cjane's posts last week. All of them.

The Photoblog that Makes Me Feel the Most Inadequate - A Little Sussy. She is pretty much amazing.

The Writing Blog that Makes Me Feel the Most Inadequate - The Apron Stage, about which I have sung praises many times. (I know, I know.) Their writing reaches a special place in my soul ... that place which craves such things.

The Blog that I Miss the Most - Fig's. Miss it every day.

Blog I am Hoping For - Angie's adventures Traveling with a Professional Tennis Player And Three Kids.
(Can't wait for that one Ang!)

Who has earned your Blog Awards?


Roosevelt Open

Once a year I lose my husband for several days (and nights), and I get lonely and frustrated and I start having bitter feelings toward the golf course, golf culture, everyone who golfs ... sometimes even the game itself.

This is what Slice gets for marrying an ignorant NON-golfer who really wants his time.

So I decided that in the future, I will spare myself the agony of widowhood and take a trip every second-week-of August. That way I won't be bitter, Slice won't feel guilty, and I will get to see my family members that I miss. Win-win-win.
(Heather, next August? Since I never came this summer?)

That didn't happen this year, what with UBIC, Family Reunion preparations, etc. But I watched some of the tournament, and that was fun because I got to ride in a cart with my sister-in-law. And take pictures. Since she was there, I didn't feel as out-of-place as I usually do.


You'd have to see it to believe it

Several years ago my Dad did some work for a man who, instead of paying for his legal services, gave him the biggest [modern] tepee [made] in the Western United States.
That trusty old tepee has been through a lot since then.

We first put it up, as I recall, during the summer that I turned seven. I was small and it was HUGE. Taller than our split-level home when all put together, it was also very romantic, as far as I was concerned. You could build a fire inside! And sleep at least 24 people! I thought.
The next summer we moved to Glenmoor and the tepee sat under the deck for a while. Those poles stretched almost the entire length of the deck - which stretched more than half the length of the house, which was a really big house - which is to say, those poles were really long.

During the years that we lived there Jordan and Brent did put it up a couple times, no easy task. We swung on the rope and walked on the barrels [but that's another story for another day] and spent nights looking up the v-hole into the skies. It stood tall in our yard, towering over the newly-built fence, yet another thing to make us stick out in that (lovely) homogenous little neighborhood.

One time Brent was supposed to take it down but he didn't, and a windstorm came up and broke several of the poles, and the heavy-duty canvas ripped. It's a well-known fact in our family that Brent was the most expensive child.
(And that is saying a lot.)

So, when we moved to Roosevelt we didn't bring the poles along, just the canvas. Mom called a local lumber place asking for long tepee poles, and when we picked them up they still had the bark on them. They were also all cut to the same length.
So our tepee looks like it had a buzz cut.

Anyway, after stripping the poles and patching the canvas, we put it up and played in it again, this time in Grandma's backyard. And we took an extension cord out there, set up a TV and some couches, and had some teenager fun. Complete with drama.

This summer the wind ripped it again, but with Mom's loving care and mad sewing skills, it's as good as new. Just a little bloody and dirty. Which, I think, makes it more authentic.

All in a Day's Phone Calls

Incoming call, 7:49 am. 'Slice Baby'
S: "Hey babe, did I wake you up?"
J: "No, I was awake."
S: "Oh, well, I just wanted to tell you that the back door is locked, so, make sure you unlock it before you leave so you're not locked out."
J: "Back door ... oh, THE door ... is locked. Okay. I'll unlock it, thanks for calling."

Outgoing call, 7:57 am. 'Home'
J: "Hey Dad, you had court this morning, right? In Duchesne? What time was it at?"
Dad: "Let me see...it's at 9:00. So I'll be leaving soon."
J: "Well, I think I'm going to get my car this morning, so I'll see you at the office a little later."
D: "All right, see you."

Outgoing, 10:02 am. 'Mom cell'
J: "Hi Mom, what are you up to today?"
Mom: "Oh, we're school shopping in Vernal today. Are you at work?"
J: "No, not yet. I wish I had known you were going shopping, I would have come! I don't really want to go to work. I've just been cleaning around the house, you know, laundry and stuff."
M: "Oh.... sorry."
J: "That's fine, I just wasn't sure how to get to work anyway, because Dad's in court and Slice took the car and I thought you would be home. But I can ride a bike to the golf course I guess."
M: "Mmmhmmm."

Outgoing, 10:36 am. 'Slice baby'
S: "Hello?"
J: "Babe, where's the car?"
S: "Out back."
J: "Out back?? Why did you park it out back?"
S: "Because that's where the bus was."
J: "The bu ... ohhhh. The car is at the SCHOOL? Arghhh."
S: "Huh? Where are you? Are you at work?"
J: "No, I'm at the golf course, dang it. I should have known it was at the school, but I was thinking you had to do some clubs this morning, so I thought the car would be here ... and I rode the bike here and got my pants all dirty and black from the chain ... AND I FORGOT TO UNLOCK THE DOOR SO I'M LOCKED OUT OF THE HOUSE. ARGHHHH."
S: "Sorry, babe, I didn't.....um, I have the only key to the house, huh?"
J: "Yes. You do."
S: "Well, you could always stay at your parents' until I get home. Sorry."
J: "Don't worry about it, it's my fault. Ugh. I'll figure something out."
S: "Okay, bye."
J: "Bye."

Outgoing, 10:38 am. 'Dad cell'
J: "Hey dad, are you back at work?"
D: "Yeah."
J: "Hmmm. Do you know when Mom's going to be back from Vernal?"
D: "No."
J: "Do you even have any work for me to do today?"
D: "Yes actually, I do, but I've got a call coming in, sorry..."

Outgoing, 10:41 am. 'Mom cell'
J: "Are in you still in Vernal?"
Em: "Yes."
J: "Great."
Em: "Why?"
J: "Well, I need to get to work, but my car's at the school and I'm at the golf course, I took a bike and rode it here. My pants are all dirty and I'm locked out of my house. But you're not going to be done soon, are you?"
Em: "No, probably not......"

Incoming, 10:43 am. 'Mom cell'
Em: "Mom says you can take the truck."
J: "Okay, (phew!) thanks. I would have done that in the first place, but I didn't want to make Mom mad. *sigh* Better ride back. See you later."

Incoming, 11:30 am. 'Mom cell'
Sam: "Hi, um, Mom wanted me to call and see if you would like to join us for lunch."
J: "Join you for lunch? What are you doing? Where?"
Sam: "Just at home, but we're buying Shells & Cheese right now. We're going to cook them for lunch. And you are invited."
J: "Ah, Mom loves me."


PS - Rob, you provided a bright spot in an otherwise bleak morning. Ü Thanks!


An Exercise in Family Living, or, How Many People can fit into 3 1/2 Houses and 3 Backyards?

Last weekend we held a Woodruff Family Reunion in our own little cul-de-sac.

(For any readers who don't already know, Slice and I live right next door to my parents, who are backyard-neighbors of my grandparents, and one house away from my Aunt Lana. We Woodruffs pretty much own the block.)

All 68 - or 84, or however many actually came - of the family members were accomodated between our homes and yards. Lana did the planning of course (I have previously noted here that she is the family mastermind), so we had four days jam-packed with large amounts of food, fun and family.

Here are a few pictures from the weekend! As soon as I have time I will post many more of them for your viewing pleasure. They will, however, be scattered over the photoblog and the family blog. Just so you know. Please click on this one for a better view of each 'silly face':
I love it.The teens



Every year the Uintah Basin puts on a huge celebration that lasts over a week long, complete with pageants, art shows, triathlons, a parade, fireworks, and concerts in the park. It's something we look forward to every August.

This year we barricaded off our circle and had a barbecue out in the middle, with all the neighbors, and played with snaps and sparklers while the concert blared just over the hill. It's one of the major benefits of living where we do, right across the street from Constitution Park.

Em, Little Sam and Matt
Brit watching Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band with us!

Brandon loved it too.

Little Sam again

Em's all grown up. Is that the same blanket? Yes, yes it is.
Lily getting candy

God Bless America!

I love living in a small town.