From One Adventure to the Next

I don't know about you, but I didn't believe Dooce when she got excited about sleeping with a criminal. Not that I would know - haven't slept with one, myself - but I just don't think it would be that great.

Actually, seems like it would be one pain after another.
Having to worry about leaving your rings by the sink, or your quarters on your dresser, or your iPod in your backpack. Petty annoyances like suffocating cologne, an alarm-clock radio blaring all hours of the day/night, having to look decent just for the trip to the bathroom. And what about cig smoke and repeated phone calls from creditors and loaded guns?

Not my idea of fun!


You know what IS my idea of fun?
Before and After pictures!
(It's a universal thing. You love them too.)

Last Friday, Slice and I embarked on our first-ever remodeling project. We are fixing up our bedroom. And since I want you to get more than just BEFORE and AFTER (how do you know what's gone on in between? Sweat, blood, tears; bickering, laughing, decision-making!), I will be posting The Journey.

At the Beginning

Exhibit A: Dark wood paneling (hi, 1970s!) attached straight to the sheetrock. AWESOME. Now we can repair the drywall before doing anything else. I wanted to just paint the paneling, but I got overruled.
B: Paint on top of wallpaper, on top of (thankfully!) paint. At least we don't have to fix the whole wall.
(P.S. That's not me, it's my sister. She was very kind to help us rip down wallpaper.)
C: Lily finds the camera and I show her how cool it is, that you can turn the screen around and see yourself while you take a self-portrait. She likes.
D: Hole in the wall that we found. Caused, obviously, by a large and very heavy object. (Boxing glove, maybe? Jordan?)
E: The current state of our living room.
Just keepin' it real here, folks.

I'll keep you posted.


pardon my exuberance

But the Sunday Singing lives on!


a tidbit from Matt's weekly email:

Our group has now started something that I wanted to announce to you, especially Mom and Kiana and Rachel. I started a class about three weeks ago on the hymns and singing lessons, but for a big group. Well, to be short, Sunday NIght Singers now exists in Filadelfia, Paraguay! I play the little keyboard while they sing, and they just love it. Yesterday's singing session came after a long weekend where we had a little runin with a drunk and both me and my companion had some little death threat incidents. However, drunks say things that they do not mean. If they ever decided to do anything about it, I would be scared. However, we'll be fine. Anyway, the session was an incredible one. As we sang the last number, I asked them to sing The Spirit of God like a Fire is Burning nice and loud, and the Spirit filled our little circle. It was an enveloping feeling to see these new saints who hardly even know the hymns, be blessed by something that I learned so, so long ago. Talents really are incredible. I have been so blessed to learn more about and use mine the last year.


Taking it Easy

I'll tell you what.
This self-imposed, semi-bedrest lifestyle is presenting problems on all different kinds of levels.Self: I want to do things that normal people do, like walking/jogging or grocery shopping or, hey, making cookies. That sounds fun.
Shoulder Angel 1: But you'll have contractions! And you know that when you stand for even minutes at a time, you get light-headed and weak and sick to your stomach. You hate that heart pounding.
Shoulder Angel 2: You are such a pansy.
SA 1: Am not! It's the baby! I'm protecting the baby!
SA 2: Sure, sure. Who knows if anything you do is even going to matter. You've been contracting for weeks and HELLO, not dilating at all. You're just going to be all geared up for the real labor when it comes. Actually, wouldn't you be in better shape (like, more prepared for childbirth) if you were exercising and stuff?
SA 1: I don't know ... seems like too big of a risk. You REALLY don't want to be shipped out to Salt Lake for early labor/preemie care. Especially since you wanted to work as long as possible before the baby comes!
SA 2: GAH. Fine. Just sit there then.

Three hours later ...

Self: I have to clean my room! Declutter, reorganize, redecorate! This cramped space is driving me crazy! If I just shifted the bed a little, I could replace my nightstand with the bookshelf--
SA 2: Well, the dishes do need to be done. Slice cooked dinner, so you could at least clean up. And while you're at it, why don't you just pick up the bedroom a little? Fold some laundry?
SA 1: Because she'll have to bend over 20 times.
SA 2: Oh, hush. It will make her feel better.

Thirty minutes later ...

Self: (groaning) I don't feel good. I'm gonna lie down now. I'm tired.
SA 1: I told you. Also, you won't be able to sleep no matter how tired you are. No position is comfortable; you know that.
SA 2: Yeah. It's a waste of time, unless you read or write missionary letters or do something productive.
Self: So? I don't feel like doing anything. Not even reading. I just want to lie here and feel my baby move. He's still there, you know, still growing. It makes me feel like it's all worth it.
SA 1 & 2: WELL.



I’ll just say this now: I have issues with showers.

Not the hot-water kind, either. (As long as there’s hot water I’m happy.) (Except for the contractions.)

It’s those traditional, gift-giving showers that I have issues with.

Always have, really.

I have vivid memories of dressing up on Saturday morning (“you can’t wear jeans!”) and heading to Grandma’s house with my mom and all my sisters. The women in the family would ooh and aah over dishes and baby stuff while we played awkward games and gave awkward presents and, in my case at least, pretended that we wanted to be there. Sometimes the food was the only redeeming part.

In college I made sure that my roommates knew how vehemently opposed I was to bridal showers – they thought I was crazy – and furthermore, that if they ever threw one for me, they would never be forgiven. When the time came, they did it anyway.

And when the time came, I forgave them.

It’s not that I dislike the sentiment of showers. Gift-giving is wonderful and gracious and especially at those stages of life, the woman of honor (usually) really needs the gifts. I’ve certainly never been opposed to people giving me stuff either … which is maybe why I didn’t make a fuss about my own bridal showers. And to be fair, I have been to showers with fun games, easy relationships all around, and fabulous food.

Still, I haven't been able to pinpoint why they’ve always made me uncomfortable. Until today.

According to Wikipedia (I know), Sociologist Beth Montemurro wrote that “the bridal shower ‘socializes women into the hyper-feminized traditional wife role,’ with its emphasis on the future role of the bride-to-be as family cook, homemaker, and sexual partner.”


It’s just another scrapbooking convention, Scentsy party, cooking class, chunky jewelry boutique … just another one of those things that I don’t get.

Can't we all just get together and have lunch? Visit like old friends and family, which we ARE?

You can even bring your husband.


Some things about which I am ignorant

having never been 7 months pregnant before, I am unaware if this is "normal" or not. My baby is moving approximately 22 hours out of the day.
I hear/read people say "husband felt the baby!" And I think, "husband gets kicked if he comes anywhere near the baby!"
We started this game where Slice pokes my stomach to see if he'll get kicked back. He does, oh he does. Pretty much every time, unless baby is sleeping.
I had a real scare Saturday when (amidst 5-min-apart contractions) I didn't feel him for several consecutive hours. A few punches would have been welcome....
which is what I'm trying to remember this morning as my ribs and lungs are being assailed.

Girls (girl's? girls'?) golf season. New team members. Precocious freshmen.
Charming coach.
They are "working really hard" at practice, staying afterward so the Coach can work with them. Last Thursday Slice ate lunch here in the LMC, stayed to type some stuff on my computer, and I watched from the back room as the freshmen girls swarmed him. They chatted, checked out books, returned them, moved to MY SIDE of the desk, etc. When I came out, they scattered.
Saturday we went to see our local Oklahoma! production. We sat in an empty row and -you guessed it!- the three freshmen girls came and sat in the row with us. After intermission they moved CLOSER. To the seat right next to Slice.
I thought it was funny, Slice not so much.

Should I be doing something here?

Like this?


She Grows

29 weeks

He grows too.
I've now gained 20 pounds (I know you wanted to know)
and I've forgotten what a good night's sleep is like.

Also, apparently I need to start taking iron pills.


Top of the Third

(trimester, that is)

Last Wednesday after work we headed out to AZ and drove through the night. We got to Heather's around 5:30 and crashed for a couple hours before getting up for the day.

Thursday and Saturday Slice golfed with his brother. Technically, that's why we went in the first place.
Friday we all went to a Baseball Spring Training game - Angels v. Indians - and it was H.O.T. Seriously, the 70s felt like 90s to me, I was sweating and sunburning and stuff. It was fabulous.
Right as he took this picture, our cameraman asked "Are you two newlyweds or something?"
Please note my BLACK shirt + totally awesome hair.

Saturday, Slice turned 23. We celebrated with "giant candy!" gifts and carrot cake (cream cheese frosting, rolled in sliced almonds). You should have been there.

Also Saturday, my brother Alex came home from his mission in Nebraska. I was sad to miss it.
Sunday we drove home and Laurel made us some fab lava cake. She didn't even KNOW I'd been wanting lava cake for at least six weeks. (You'd think I would just make it for myself. But no.)
We didn't get home until midnight.

Yesterday the Roosy golf course opened ... which means Slice is dead to me.

Still contracting. Frequently. They are starting to hurt.


One Year Later

Hoover Dam is still there.
So is Nevada.
And the bridge looks like it's almost done, but with a project like that, who knows?


Isaiah 48:10

"Behold, I have refined thee,
but not with silver;
I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction."


small-town living: where is that?

Once upon a time I lived in South Jordan, Utah.
We went sledding on Glenmoor golf course and in the gully during the winter; we played night games every night on the greenbelt in the summer. I went to a middle school that was only six years old (I guess Jordan School District had money back then), there was a Wendy's three minutes from my house, and also, daisies bloomed year-round.
I didn't even know where Taylorsville was. It was a charmed life.

Then I found out that my family was moving ... to Roosevelt. For this eighth-grade girl, the news was shattering. I had spent seven years working to make and keep my circle of friends (a post for another day!), and now I had to start ALL OVER. In a town that no one had even heard of.

If you didn't know, Utah is simultaneously one of the most "urban" and least densely populated states in the nation. This means that anyone not living along the Wasatch Front is basically living in OUTER DARKNESS. Worse than the mission field. We were moving to Outer Darkness.

As I tried to explain to my fellow SJ-ers where "Roosevelt, UTAH" was, pictures formed in my mind. Pictures of tiny church groups with no piano players. A 20-piece school band. (It WAS that small.) School colors: black and yellow. No Wasatch Mountains or Copperton Park or Ensign Peak. No mall!

Many things didn't occur to me back then, of course, but have surfaced over the years since. For example, did you know that big mountains get in the way of spectacular sunrises? And that in some places, you can't get a decent shake after 9:00 at night?
(Sorry, have I mentioned that before?)
For better or for worse, my pre-conceived notions were waaaay off.

For nine years now, I have come home to a town that's "On the way to Vernal."

What - you don't know where Vernal is?

Where do YOU live, a bubble?


I pledge to drink more water.

I pledge to eat something other than cold cereal for my next meal. (Honey Bunches of Oats with cinnamon clusters? Yum.)

I pledge to not forget my next voice lesson, requiring me to reschedule right on top of ward temple night.

I pledge to not forget my next ward temple night.

I pledge to remind Slice about his math quiz every Friday. And about his class every Monday and Wednesday. And about his papers due practically every week.

I pledge to post another belly picture - proof of my recent ballooning - sometime. Soon.

I pledge to get rid of all the mismatched socks that have plagued the dresser/bedroom for 20 months. Sometime.

I pledge to sing with Slice more often.

I pledge to do my visiting teaching this month.

I pledge to sleep the whole way to Arizona tonight/tomorrow. To do only what I feel like doing for the next four days. And to not feel guilty about it.

I pledge to surprise my husband on his birthday.
(It's this Saturday.)


Last Week

14 girls, 9 guys
3 directors
45 minutes of music 5 shows at 3 schools
2 public performances1 handsome sound technician
1 pregnant girl
and a big sigh of relief.

small-town living: crime edition

You know it's a bad sign when the only two people in the [church] meeting who recognize a name are the two attorneys.



my works

In case you missed it - but I'm sure you didn't - c jane had some interesting discussions going on at her place last week. I generally enjoy reading such Internet discussions, although I rarely join them, because I think we can all learn something from everyone else. Even cowardly anonymous commenters.

There were way too many facets of last week's conversation to cover in one post, or even by myself, but one topic that caught my eye was the "Faith vs. Works" question. (Ah, the old faith or works debate! Check!) The oldest one in the book....
I'm not really going there, either, except to comment on one thing that was said. A commenter criticized "Mormons" for thinking that we can earn our way to heaven, for doing good works and then patting ourselves on the back. I spent approximately .5 seconds thinking about that before I decided that
1. I KNOW good works will not get me to heaven; no one has ever told me that in 22+ years of Mormonship and
2. Still, sometimes I do things just because I think I should. Call it over-achievement, following blindly, an overdeveloped sense of guilt (we Mormons are famous for that one!), call it what you want. Even when there are no foreseeable benefits, even when I don't know why, I try to do what I am asked. Or what I'm not asked. Just hoping it will do me good.

For example.
My brother has been living with Slice and me for almost a month now ... in our one-bedroom, one-bath, half-kitchen portion of the house. We gave him half of our living room when he had nowhere else to go.

I was apprehensive about it, to say the least. I knew he would take our bed, our space, our water, our LIMITED ALONE TIME. I figured he would take our food and towels and toilet paper. And, judging his past behavior, I knew there would be conflict on several different levels.

What I didn't count on was the danger he would pose; the stress it all would put me under. Stress I really don't need right now, if you know what I mean.

And I'm thinking -- I BETTER be earning some brownie points here somewhere.
Judge me as you will.


a slight fever?

So I spent a couple hours in the hospital Saturday.

I've been watching my contractions for a week now, timing and drinking and taking note. Saturday morning, after I had six in an hour while I was lying in bed, I knew it was time to make a phone call. Frequent contractions at 26 weeks is NOT normal.
Less than five minutes apart is dangerous.

I called my Dr. at home (have I told you how great my doctor is?) and he said, "you better go get checked." I called my Mutti, who has seen every pregnancy experience under the sun, and she said, "you do NOT want to be on medicine for preterm labor. It is horrible. You also do not want to have a baby three months early. Do WHATEVER IT TAKES."

She may also have said "I will do your grocery shopping for you" and "We will tie you to the couch if we have to."

Anyway, Slice and I went to the hospital.

Sparing you the -painful!- details, they didn't find anything seriously wrong. I shouldn't go into labor within the next two weeks. And I don't have to be on bedrest. Yet.
"Just take it easy," they told me.
(I know, right?)

But we still don't know why I contract every time I stand up - do you know how many times in a day you have to stand up?! - or bend over, plus frequently when I am sitting or lying down and doing nothing. When I shower they go in rapid-fire succession.
It's really not fun.

P.S. In case you're wondering, this child is wilder than ever. While I was hooked up and the nurse was trying to get a heartbeat, he kicked and punched and moved around. Typical. We could hear the punching on the monitor, so she poked a little and slid the wand all over, trying to catch him.
(I could almost hear him giggling.)
After a few minutes - "Wow, he's active, isn't he?"
"Uh ... wow. We'll, uh ... we'll just leave it at that."