Excited Because

1. One month from today, I will be on my way to JAPAN.

2. I got a new passport last week. With my new name. (But now all the old stamps are gone.)

3. I set a new personal bowling record last week - 168! Yesssssss.
And now my name shows up on the "Lane Record" screen for Lane 3 at the Ute Lanes.

4. A friend's mom called me "domestic" on Saturday. Ha! Should I have told her that we had no cheese grater for 7 months?

5. We now have a cheese grater. Nothing else can really do what a cheese grater does, you know?

6. General Conference is this weekend. And I will be in Arizona for it. (I hope.)

7. Dann and Brian won!!!


when the practicality backfired

When I lived in Europe, I developed a condition called plantar fasciitis.

See, I was walking miles and miles every single day on mainly flats, old Skechers, and occasionally high heels.
I was also suffering from a condition called "I've never paid more than $25 for a pair of shoes."

Call me cheap, you'll be right.

On paper, Plantar Fasciitis looks like a little tear in the foot. Like an annoyance, a pebble in the shoe, a strain in the distant limbs that you don't often think about. (Unless yours are as cute as mine.)


It is a tearing, wrenching sensation every time you take a step. Screaming pain when you wake up and first put your feet to the floor. Throbbing heels at the end of a five-mile walk from the train station to the Prison-converted-Hotel of Pension Unitas in Prague. Sitting down at every chance, every time there is a wait for a bus or a streetcar or a hotel key.

After I came home, it took two full years for my feet to heal (if they are 'healed' even now), and I really don't want to deal with it again when we go to Japan. I'm dreading it, actually.

So I'm checking out options: looking for orthotic shoes, calling the local podiatrist, wincing at the prices ...but wincing even more at the descriptions I am finding. Like this one. And this one. Right now my feet are fairly itching at the excruciating memories.
And while we're talking about it, can I just wonder out loud:

Why do good shoes have to be ugly??

For three years now, every time I've seen a pair of adorable or sexy shoes - flats or heels - I've thought,

Cute, but, OW.

So not worth it to me. Especially since I don't have insurance.

Summer, I will miss you.

But I'm so glad we got to say good-bye.
With some Lapoint love,
the best Mexican restaurant I've been to...
the skies, spectacular as always,
Uintah Canyon,

and some pictures cracking me up.

This just might get me through the winter.


now I just need a house to remodel

Can we talk about Antonio for a minute?

What's that? Oh yeah, I talk about whatever I want to here. (I love that.)

Well. If you've been reading this for very long -or if you know me- you should know that I detest television in almost all of its forms.

But then we discovered HGTV.

It started with Property Virgins and My First Place because, obviously, we relate to them the most. Then we moved on to Unsellables and Deserving Design, Carter Can, $250,000 Challenge, Dear Genevieve ... pretty much whatever happens to be on the network at any given time. I saw ads for Design Star and decided to record it, so we could watch the episodes sometime during the week. (Why are the best shows always on Sundays? Hate that.)

The DVR didn't work at first, so we only caught the last two challenges of Design Star. But, oh! How we loved it! And how we love Antonio!

Pretty much he's the man - maybe because he is also a man's man - and his hosting is so REAL. He is so vastly different from anything we've seen on HGTV, now I'm wondering how we didn't see it before. He laughs, he cries, he makes jokes, and most importantly, he makes beautiful rooms.

The Antonio Project already has at least two enthusiastic fans.

If Only

image from here

So lately Slice has been telling me abut his parenting plans.
Every time a child acts out in our presence (mostly when they disobey, talk back or throw tantrums), he tells me “Our kids won’t do that. Our kids are going to be AFRAID of me. They will be glad when I leave the house.”

He is ridiculous, yes, I tell him at least once a day.

We’ve had many a discussion about our parenting philosophies, most of which end up with me laughing at Slice, because he thinks he will be an iron fist. Whatever.

But a couple weeks ago as I recorded papers for an English teacher, I found myself fantasizing about policies I would enforce:

"If your FULL NAME is not on your assignment, you will NOT be getting a GRADE. We are in HIGH SCHOOL, people. Not kindergarten."

"Cell phones will not be tolerated. If you think you can't live without it - TRY ME."

"Seven pages is nothing, you pansies. Try twenty-five."

"You all know what PERFORATION is, right? Most notebook paper is now perforated so you can turn in a nice, neat, lined paper. If you rip it out, I will be throwing it away."
(I really hate those messy edges.)

"Do not even think about swearing in front of me."

Iron fist, you know?

Too bad that would never really happen ... I'm too much of a push-over.
(Don't I know it.)


Sunday Night

It's hard to say when it all started - everyone has a different perspective. And we've been singing around the piano as a family for as long as I can remember.
But we all know this: every Sunday night around 8:00, between twenty and fifty teenagers (yes, fifty) come to sing at the Eddington home.

Personally, I think it started that fateful day I made Matt sing Sally DeFord's Because He Lives while I played. Our ward choir was working on the piece, and I couldn't get enough of it.
A tradition was born.

Matt and I started putting together groups for musical numbers, quartets and octets, mainly because we kept getting asked to. Then I tried to convince all participants to make it a regular thing, to come sing at my house after the Institute fireside. I was determined to make singing cool in this little town of sports. So I made treats to entice, and encouraged all with undeveloped talents.
(At that point, I was pretty desperate.)

Well, it worked.

And naturally the drama ensued. You can't get a group of high schoolers together without having the relationship problems!
My piano skills improved along with everyone's singing skills; I was immensely pleased. Slice was one of my projects in the beginning (although I was afraid to call and invite him because his mother always answered the phone), and he became the Old Faithful of the group. First to come, last to leave. He says it's because he loved my family so much.

When I left for college, the torch was passed to Matt. His friends came and then Kiana's came, now Emily's and even Braden's come to "Sunday Night Singing." There may have also been a blanket invitation by the bishop at one time or another ...

We've gone from treats to no treats, the old house to the new, a capella hymns to Soft Rain, from Mom or me playing to Kiana, Christmas caroling to firesides, missionary meetings to an entire concert complete with parts of Handel's Messiah. There were even times when my family was out of town and the singers came anyway. One year my dad bought hymnbooks for everyone, and gave them out as Christmas presents.

Over time, we've turned out some pretty good singers!

It gets to be a real pain for the family sometimes, having to clean up before and after, worrying about parking and treats and chairs and dogs and noise and music. Fortunately the neighbors are very understanding. Still, it HAS been quite a sacrifice.

My dad always says sacrifice is giving up one thing for something thing even better.


Life and Death

Around the time that the pregnant llamas came to live on our Lapoint property, a waif of a dog showed up under the old trailer. He had been brought there, and left, to die.

The dog was tiny, emaciated, half-wild with fear. He wouldn't come out from his hiding place except to eat the food we took him; then he'd slink out with his massive tan ears flattened, tail between his legs, ready to jump at any sudden movement. Everything about him showed that he had been badly abused.

Slowly but surely, the poor thing is warming up to us. Now he runs to greet us when we pull up, and occasionally follows us around the field until we leave again. He seems to especially love Sam. (And Slice seems to especially love him.)

Dobby's turning into an adorable dog with a great personality. So glad we saved his life.


Today we went out to change water: Mom, Dad, Slice and I. We pushed the wheel line all the way to the top of the field before we noticed one of the llamas was acting strangely. She wasn't grazing with the others -odd enough in itself- and Slice saw she had something sticking out of her. It took a minute to realize that it was a leg.

We called Dad over just as she took off. Normally the llamas won't let us anywhere near them, but we could see how much pain she was in as she stopped every few steps with a contraction. As soon as we got her holding still, I went for her neck and Dad grabbed at the foot. She pulled (pushed?) as hard as she could while he pulled the other direction. Nothing. She was on her knees with the effort. I stroked her neck and talked to her.

It didn't look like the baby was alive. We had no idea how long that foot had been sticking out, but it wasn't moving at all ... and it definitely didn't look good. It was a front foot, we realized eventually. Dad had to reach in and find the other one; he and Slice pulled together, looking for the head. It took a LONG time to come.

Poor mama!

When it finally came, it all came, and a sticky black mess fell to the ground. It was dead.

The mama must have known, because she sank to the ground, exhausted, not even looking to see. It was several minutes before she got up and sniffed the baby, her own baby, her 11-month inhabitant.

Poor thing.

We gave her some time to mourn, found softer dirt to dig a grave. (Mom left.)

Slice dug a hole, and we went back to get the baby. The mother was standing over it, humming -that's what llamas do to their babies - and she wasn't about to let us take it. She almost charged Slice, actually. So we gave her some more time.

Dobby came out and followed us down the field to the wheel line motor. While the men worked, he pranced around, pouncing on unsuspecting creatures and prowling through the tall weeds. I watched the mother llama standing sentinel over her dead baby. An hour later, we left her there.

I can't get that picture out of my head.


That was the first birth I've watched, strangely enough. It reminded me all too well of my own losses and those of my loved ones ... oh, how my heart ached for that mother.

When we got back home I crashed on the bed; two hours later, I awoke with a sore throat and that familiar lethargic feeling.

It's been a hard day.


I got 50 votes

-if you count the provisional ballots that Slice and I cast.

(They didn't count them.)

In this race, that means I go on to the general election!


September 15

I told you months ago that I would give "more information," but I've been hesitant to share much here, mainly because I get annoyed when people push politics on their blog.
But in case you are interested, I'll tell you how I got to this point.

Historians will tell you there are two types of records particularly valuable when it comes to studying a civilization. The record of "outsiders," whose experiences with a culture, though cursory, are vivid and descriptive; those of "insiders," who are immersed in their own culture, are framed by a collective understanding.

I have always felt like more of an "outsider" to Roosevelt. As much as I love this city - and the people who make it so great - there are some major problems in the government, management and direction here. Some people don't run things the way they should.

The longer I live here, the more I see it, and the more I want to do something about it.

At present, our community is facing several major long-term decisions, and my hope is that our citizens will get involved enough to make some major changes.

I hope they care enough.


Sometimes I still feel a little guilty for walking in the halls without a hall pass.


We Learn Best by Example

The sweetest love story I have ever heard is the one my Grandpa Eddington used to tell about my Grandma, one I only ever got little snippets of.
They were high school sweethearts in post-war metro Utah; she was a year older in school, the only daughter of a well-respected Patriarch. He did everything he possibly could to convince her that he was the one she should marry.
This included several school dances, a ring in a sock, and a very nervous young man.
(That's my favorite part.)

Two missions, three years and who knows how many letters later, they were married.
He never let her forget that she was his Queen.

They both went to BYU, I believe, although Grandpa never talked about his own time there. To hear him tell it, Grandma was the brilliant scholar; she was the one who sacrificed most when they started their family and eventually raised eleven children.
She was the apple of his eye, no doubt. While he worked years of overtime at the post office in addition to various callings (later as Stake Patriarch), she was the first one on the block to have a microwave - an electric mixer - a bread maker - etc. She turned down good offers to move and work full-time; she waited until the kids were in bed to do her transcription work.

For many years I wondered if/why Grandpa singled me out among the 70+ grandchildren he had; it seemed like whenever we visited, he turned the conversation to me. My parents reassured me that it wasn't just my imagination. The only explanation we ever came up with was that out of all the grandchildren, I was the one most like Grandma.

Perhaps the best tribute to this great man and his wonderful wife is the one I could never give.
On their 50th wedding anniversary, my grandparents had a special temple session. Every One of their eleven children, and nearly all of their spouses, were in attendance for the occasion.

Now that is true love.


I know some people are pretty passionate about this, but

I have no preference when it comes to Miracle Whip and Mayo. I can't even tell a difference between them. Truly.

I think every student in the nation should have heard that speech yesterday.

I love BYU. A lot. Even when the sports teams lose, and I have to listen to snarky comments from my in-laws. (Oh wait. I have to listen to those even when they WIN.)

I find it completely absurd that people will ask couples point-blank about their "family plans." Isn't that private? Like, is there anything more private than that? I know we're all curious, but when they ask those questions, do they want to hear the real answers?

Thoughts? Opinions?


Giveaway Winner

And Fig wins!

It's funny you should mention a pet chicken ...
but no, we were celebrating the blog-child's first birthday.
(I was actually hoping you would cheat.)
It's been a year of stealing Internet, uploading photos, and laboring over ridiculous blog posts.

According to my Dashboard, this is my 200th post!
Unfortunately, at least 15 of those posts are drafts, never to see the light of the public eye.

Thanks for reading, as always, and especially for all your comments. Fig, your prize has been decided but not made ... I will email you later for details.

Now I better get to work.


Today I'm wishing (a photoessay)

Today I'm wishing I was in Milan with Angie

visiting the magnificent Duomo.

Shopping at the ultra-fashionable stores,

Begging the guy at the market to pose for a picture,
walking through the 15th-century castle and napping in the park behind it.

I would love to see Da Vinci's Last Supper again,

listen to Mozart's Requiem in a cathedral (where there aren't enough seats to accomodate everyone),

and eat the best pizza you could ever imagine.

'Course, only an hour's train ride away, there is a beautiful little town built around a beautiful lake.
In that town there's a McDonald's (like everywhere else in Europe) with free bathrooms. There's also a little chocolate shop where you can get Italian hot chocolate - which is just what it sounds like, melted chocolate in a parfait glass served with biscuits- and warm up for an hour or so. It is so decadent.
Back at the hotel, I'd dye my hair.

Because years later, that hair is all going to be gone.

But the memories won't.


Can't hide my Cougar Pride

Wednesday I went to watch my little sister and cousin run around the golf course. It was the second cross-country meet, third track-type event, I have ever seen.

First of all, I'm so impressed with people who dedicate that kind of time to running, something I have a hard time doing at all, and especially in public so that other people can see. If/When I exercise, I avoid human contact at all costs. Strange but true.
Second, they are competing. Emily shaved two minutes off her time from the meet last weekend - which is amazing - and if you recall, when I was her age, I couldn't run. Period.


A strange thing happened as I watched the runners go past once, twice, and then push on to the end. Parents, teammates and coaches cheered them on from all sides; I joined them as I snapped pics of Audrey and my sweet Em.

I started crying.

The emotion came out of nowhere, really, and I had to check myself to keep the tears from coming. You know, the quick-blink, hard-swallow drill that holds the weeping at bay. I had to do it for almost an hour straight ... Or else I would have been bawling right there on the sidelines.

This happened to me once before, at the one track meet of my life. It was the 2007 State Meet at BYU's outdoor track, and I was there to watch my brother Alex compete. Oh my heavens, I couldn't believe the emotions that boiled up as I watched those kids race toward the finish line.
Isn't that the strangest thing?

Finally, after swallowing and taking pictures and walking around a little, I told my mom that I was having a hard time not crying.

"Oh, me too," she said. "These things get me every time. I'm so glad I'm not the only one!"

Mystery solved. It's genetics.


Giving Something Away...

Slice and Jean would like to do their very first giveaway today.

Because we love you.
But also for another reason.

Can you guess why we are celebrating today?

If you can, you will win a prize hand-selected for you by Slice and Jean.
Just leave a comment and we'll pick winners on Monday.

In the meantime, here is a picture (I just found) of our wedding cake, with the lovely Brit showcasing her work.
Those Rice Krispie treats were de-lish!

(Don't let the picture fool you.)


An Open Letter to My Own Golf Pro

Dear Slice,

You know we went night-golfing last Friday, with your parents and several couples from their ward.
You were really excited about it, and I tried not to dampen the spirits. But after you got my hopes up with that whole "reservations" word, I think I had good reason to be upset.
By the end you were proud of me ... I think. I hit the ball, what? 1 out of 3 times I tried? and I had one (or two) genuinely good shots. Still, I don't think I'll be a great golfer anytime soon.

As soon as I knew I would be marrying you, Slice, visions of golf lessons started dancing in my head. Visions of you (professional-husband) teaching me (prodigy-wife); of us traveling far and wide to golf tournaments (where you would play and win lots of money); of our prodigy children growing up with the game; of many happy days spent in beautiful landscapes.

Now I'm not so sure.

After more than a year of marriage, zero husband-wife golf lessons, and more hours spent at the Course than I care to count, I made a decision. I don't really want to learn how to golf anymore.

Why, you ask?

Well, I say: I've seen too much of the BAD side of golf.

I've seen too much disrespect, harassment, profanity, blatant dishonesty, downright laziness and destruction; too many drunk, vulgar men, and too many spoiled brats with no regard for rules. NOT ENOUGH ACCOUNTABILITY.

I've seen too much of the game itself - the stress, frustration, and incredible amounts of pressure you subject yourself to, not to mention the all-pervasive gambling involved - and I guess I haven't seen enough benefits.

Slice, I know you love this game. I know you love it almost as much (maybe more, actually) than you love me.
You love the pressure of the competition, the preciseness and technicality of the swing, the exhilaration of chip shots hit out of nowhere. (You had a lot of those last time.) You love the grass and the trees and the water, the stillness of morning and the wind in afternoon.
You love teaching young kids the fundamentals, love getting their little notes and comments afterwards.

And because of that, I try. I try to learn the rules, the rhythm, the etiquette of the game. I try to understand when you come home hours later than you said you would. (!)

Most of all, I try to be there for you. I never know what to say, or do, when you've had a bad round or when yet another person has walked all over you, just like people do, all the time. I never know what club you should use next, or how fast the greens roll, or if that par-3 will actually play like a par-4. All I can do is be there for you, anytime, anywhere.

And for now, I hope that's enough.

Because I'm kind of sick of the golf course right now. Maybe we can try again next year?