If it gets any better I might just wake up

Saturday I watched the annual General Relief Society Meeting with my Mutti in the comfort of her living room.  I always love this meeting, always leave knowing exactly what I need to do better and feeling so humbled that I have to try.  This year was no exception.

Sunday I was standing in the hall after church, holding Liam and talking to people as they passed by.  I looked down to see a darling girl (7 yrs old?) from the ward watching me, not the baby as I'd thought.  She said "You're beautiful," quiet and earnest-like, then walked away as soon as I thanked her.  And I melted.

Yesterday Slice got a call from a Realtor informing that the seller had accepted our offer - meaning WE ARE GOING TO BE HOMEOWNERS - and so, if all goes well, we will be posting pictures and updates as frequently as possible.  I'm ridiculously happy about the prospects of having so much space to ourselves, not to mention a garage and dishwasher, but when I think about it too much I can't sleep at night.
(Also, it's not a done deal yet, so you never know what could happen.)

But hey .... YAY!


Just trying to keep up

- with my growing baby, who is now rolling and playing with his toes and giggling and drinking rice cereal in a bottle at night (it fills him up; he sleeps twelve hours with one feeding!)

- with my house, which has been gutted and neglected with all this yard sale business going on

- with my husband, who has ideas (and energy) enough to fill a warehouse and then some

- with my laundry, which is never done, if you've ever had a 3-month old you know what I'm saying


- with my brain, which I'm having a hard time reining in during the wee hours of morning.  It's taxing.
(More on that later.)


There are people in this world who want all the best for you in life.  Truly.

These people are happy for you when things go well.  They offer encouragement and assistance without being asked; they offer advice only when asked.  If you do ask, they'll tell you about their experiences, then say - "I'm sure that won't happen to you, though!" or "That's what I wish I had known!" or "I hope it goes even better for you!"  And the best part is, they mean it.

You know these people, right?  You befriend them and love them and hang onto those friendships, because they make your life better.  I'm a firm believer in the whole "learn from other people's mistakes" idea.  In fact, I believe that's what we are here for.

There are other people, unfortunately, who don't want you to have what they don't/can't/didn't.

These people caution you about doing anything they don't believe you can do.  They give you unwarranted advice, worst-case scenarios, horror stories.  "Oh BOY are you in for it," they say, or "I hope you know what you're getting yourself into!"  (Like that's helpful.  Thank you, I'll call later for the I-told-you-so speech.)
They might be jealous, they might want pity ... who really knows?

I bet you know some of these other people as well; they are everywhere.  I'm sure I have even been one myself, on more than one occasion.  Lately I've been thinking -- maybe it takes the latter to know the former.  Maybe you have to have opposition if you're ever going to get where you want to go.  Opposition makes us stronger, wiser and hopefully, more compassionate.

But by jove, I am grateful for those who have supported me.  For my parents, who taught me everything and now trust me to make my own decisions.  For my siblings, who treat me as a peer when I need it the most.  For my friends who want the best for me, even when I don't know what I want myself.
I hope I can do the same.


So worth it

After more than two years of trying every possible way to get around it, I finally bought a blender that will crush ice.

What a world it is!



the "fro-hawk," as Slice calls it
our first canning attempt
Slice's remote-control plane
watching him (try to) fly it
precious cargo (check out those chubby fingers!)
our Lion King


He knows me so well.

The other day Slice came home from a tournament in Preston, Idaho, a bit earlier than I expected.  Liam was almost as excited to see him as I was.  Then he said, "I brought you back some presents."
"Ooh, really?"  I started thinking of the possibilities.  Clothes? Jewelry? 
"Yep.  Look on the table first."
It was a giant cinnamon roll.  Like, bigger than my head.  "Now look out the back door."
A box of Brigham City peaches.
(Guess I shouldn't have told him now my mom used to bribe me to babysit - with ravioli or shells & cheese.)

Two, coming back from the Park City Outlets:
"...So I was telling one of the other coaches, 'If I don't go shopping with her, she won't buy anything,' and he was like, 'Dude. Do you know how lucky you are?!' And I said, 'Yeah, but I want her to have nice things!  If you want a purse, buy a purse!  Don't make do or just buy what's on sale --'"
"You want me to have nice things - ?"
"Yes!" (Exasperated.) "What? What's so funny?"
"You are, dear.  And you're exactly right.  I only buy stuff because you want me to."
"I KNOW." 


6:15 pm

You may say I'm a dreamer

Things I've been dreaming about this week, in no particular order:
  • dishwasher - the machine kind
  • guest room
  • driveway - a garage would be icing on the cake
  • a garden
  • bedroom for Liam
  • music studio - well, any room that would fit my piano would do
  • a bathtub
  • ok, ok, and this house
But I'm not the only one...

What are YOU dreaming about?


For the Money $$$$$

More college jobs: Research Assistant, Teaching Assistant

Details:  I got paid to read.
I did research for my favorite favorite history professor, who was looking at Old English Poor Laws.  I didn't do much research on the actual topic but more on historiography of the topic.  (In layman's terms: the history of what historians have said about history.)  I searched the HBLL's shelves and J-Stor, read and compiled a report.  It took months and I'm still not even close to being an expert on the topic.  Yay for history.

I also applied to be an assistant for World Civilizations, 1500-present.  I hadn't taken the class from that professor (thank heavens!), but after getting a positive recommendation I was accepted.  So I held office hours and review sessions, graded quizzes and assignments.  It was tough.

On the very first day the professor said, "You can fill out teacher evaluations at the end of the semester, but I don't really care what you say.  I have tenure so it won't affect me at all."

I got good at: SKIMMING.  Oh heavens.  I skimmed thousands of pages, online and otherwise, for both jobs.  And I STILL have issues with this.  I can hardly sit down to read a book without jumping forward on the page, no matter how hard I try not to.  I ruin all sorts of surprises for myself.  (And miss things, besides.)

Other awesomeness:  I got paid to do what I love best.  You just can't beat that.


For the Money $$$$

I started this series over three months ago, and now that it's official - IT'S OFFICIAL - that I am no longer working at the high school, I thought I'd finish it up quick-style.

Short-Lived college job: Vector Marketing
AKA Cutco Cutlery
AKA "Knife Salesperson"

Details:  I'm still not sure how it happened.
I was looking for a sidejob to help pay for my Vienna Study Abroad, and the ad that said STARTING AT $14/HR just caught my attention, I guess.  I sat through a group interview and received a call that night asking when I could start.  After training in a little basement office in Orem/Provo, I "practiced demonstrations" on everyone I could think of.

Me?  A salesperson?

Well, the only reason I even considered doing it was that I have a true testimony of Cutco.  It's a family thing.  My parents give knives (the world's best!) as Graduation/Mother's Day/Christmas gifts, and I'll tell you what, that cheese knife could be the best thing that's ever happened to you.  I don't know.
(The ice cream scoop is equally good.)

SO....yes.  I demonstrated Cutco products for family, friends, family friends, bishopric members, coworkers, you name it.  The worst part about it all was making phone calls.  Also, customers getting furious about me offering to sharpen their knives.  For free.

I got lost a fair number of times, cut myself even more times, and sold enough stuff to advance a rank or two in the heirarchy.

I got good at: putting myself out there, something that is reeeeeally hard for me.  By the end of my 3-month stint, I figured that if I could do that, I could do just about anything.  Including a full-time mission.

Other awesomeness: At the end of August I went to a nationwide Vector Conference in Chicago.  It was in the coolest hotel I've ever seen, and I roomed with a girl who was heading to BYU two weeks later.  We stayed up all night, flirted with boys, sumo-wrestled and walked through a McDonald's drive-in past midnight.  On the last day, we rode the Subway to downtown Chicago and strolled along the pier.  Then I had to make my way back alone - and I GOT LOST on the subway lines.  In Chicago.
Thank heavens I found my way and made the flight, because I didn't have a cell phone back then.


Some Cuteness - old and new

the swing

discovering his hands
(they are pretty cool)

loving on a bear

playing with dad

we're still working on capturing his REAL giggle ... no small task!


To sleep. Perchance.

Sometime around six weeks ago I was asking my mother how to teach Liam to fall asleep on his own.

Folks, when it comes to pregnancy, labor, baby and child-related subjects - oh, right, that's Motherhood - I consider my mother to be the Premiere Expert.  I don't read books or online forums or ask the Internets for advice, because, how many of those people have birthed ten children and raised twelve?
That's what I thought.
And when it comes to family, I value firsthand experience much more than book knowledge. So when I have a question, I ask my mom.  And then I do what she says.

All of that to say, this is what we've been doing:

We give Liam a bath every night around 9:00.  Slice does the bath, we lotion him up and dress him and wrap him in the Swaddle Me thing so he can't get his arms out and wake himself up.  (Thanks Miriam!)  I feed him and rock him, sing and read scriptures.  Then - I used to rock/walk/bounce him until he fell asleep, and lay him down gently HOPING that he wouldn't wake up.  Sometimes this took an hour by itself.   Five hours later, I'd have to do it again.

Finally a week ago, I had had enough.  I knew he was exhausted because he'd fallen asleep four times and woken up the second I put him down.
So we moved his bed into the storeroom ('tis a Spartan existence we lead!) and laid him in the cradle, and .... left him there.  He cried for probably half an hour before he fell asleep.

That was it!

Now I feed him, rock him, and put him down for naps as well as bedtime.  He cries sometimes, but seriously, never more than five minutes before he falls asleep.  He has also been sleeping longer each night, almost without exception.  He is even happier during his waking hours.

And I have a life again!

This sleeping baby thing is so great.
My mom was right.  (Of course.)


What I thought

Siegfried's never disappoints.  Last week I got the Wienerschnitzel, Lu got the Goulash and Spätzle, and we shared.  You should really go sometime, if you haven't.  Best German food around.

Vienna Bistro, on the other hand, was a bit of a disappointment.  Maybe just because I was SO EXCITED to go, or because I forgot that I don't really like SemmelKnödel (my fault), or maybe because Liam woke up right when we got there and I had to hold him through the entire meal and he also grabbed a fork that splashed gravy all over me.
Who knows?
The Sacher Torte was really good though.

OK, not really new, because the restaurants around here usually just change ownership.  But anyway, it used to be a Mexican place and now it's Italian, and not bad Italian at that.  Slice and I went Friday night and tried 3 of the dishes -- we'll go back.

Date Night, old news.  We just watched it for the first time.  There were some funny parts, but don't watch the unrated version unless you're a porn and/or profanity kind of person.
(I'm not.)

And... Mockingjay.  Totally not what I was expecting.  That was fine, I still liked it and I certainly never thought it was boring (like some people), but it was my least favorite of the three.  Pretty heavy for school-age readers, too.


Dear Summer,

Here's the problem.
I'm not ready for you to go.

You know I am your girl.  I love everything about you: long days and pleasant evenings, swimming, camping, roasting marshmallows, family vacations.  Sunshine.
I love to sit in your sun, eating sherbet and reading a good book.  I love to sit in my yard, watching fireworks, listening to concerts at the park.
And although I am water-sport handicapped (WORD), I still love boating.

But summer, here's the other problem.
My husband's job has made me hate you.

He is often gone from sunup to sundown.  He leaves me for days to play in tournaments.  A few times during the summer, he pretty much lives at the golf course for days at a time.
This summer, I had a BABY and no car, so I hardly left the house at all.
I didn't get my summer fix!

And now all I have to look forward to is colder days and longer nights, family visits getting scarcer, entertainment virtually disappearing.
But also, my husband.


One day, Summer, you and I will get back together.

Pasty Legs