Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas 2008 top ten

I'm so behind in my blog posting - especially my pictures. My old laptop is seriously on its last legs, and even uploading pictures to it from my camera left the possibility of crashing the entire thing. But, I got a new computer for Christmas, and it actually lets me upload pictures. So, Halloween to present pics are forthcoming. To start, here's a recap of my top 10 favorite things from Christmas 2008:

#10: happy girls under the Christmas tree
#9: making our annual gingerbread house
#8: gorgeous sunrises from my front porch
#7: dresses that make my girls feel (and look) like princesses
#6: falling asleep surrounded by Christmas loot

#5: Christmas cookies a la Pioneer Woman

#4: cross-dressing nutcrackers

#3: hugs from happy kids

#2: enough snow (over a foot on Christmas day alone!!) to say we had a white Christmas.

#1: the Barbie house Santa brought. It has already given the kids hours of entertainment!

**I've given up trying to fix the formatting on this post. The more I mess with it, the worse it gets.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Movies vs. reality

Have you ever watched a romantic comedy that was just wonderful - the chemistry between the characters was amazing. You were totally drawn in. You didn't want the movie to be over, and when it was, you felt disappointed in your own life. Maybe even a bit sad that your own life wasn't more romantic and exciting - that you needed more spark?

I know I have.

In a recent article by BuzzSugar, this very issue was addressed. Since the article was short, I'll quote it all here:

According to relationship experts at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, romantic comedies give people unrealistic ideas about love and sex, and cause them to "fail to communicate with their partner."

Psychologists at the family and personal relationships laboratory at the university studied 40 top box office hits between 1995 and 2005, and identified common themes which they believed were unrealistic.
The university's Dr Bjarne Holmes said: "Marriage counselors often see couples who believe that sex should always be perfect, and if someone is meant to be with you then they will know what you want without you needing to communicate it. We now have some emerging evidence that suggests popular media play a role in perpetuating these ideas in people's minds. The problem is that while most of us know that the idea of a perfect relationship is unrealistic, some of us are still more influenced by media portrayals than we realize."

Do you think this is true? Is real-life romance a big ol' letdown? Sure, lots of people like the idea of a perfect man or "happily ever after," but does that mean we're all unable to separate fantasy from reality?

Also, have you ever had an experience that could have been right out of a romantic movie (think John Cusack holding up a boom box)?

I know for me, real-life romance is definitely not a "big ol' letdown" but I will admit that there are times that I wish for more spark. There is comfort and security in knowing that I have someone who isn't leaving me, and I love having a husband who is around. But it would be nice to have a few more heart-pounding moments that take my breath away - I guess you trade those for the comfort of a life-long partner.

And I've never had a "John Cusack holding up a boom box" type of moment either. I have had moments that seemed right out of a movie, but maybe more of a horror or drama - certainly not romantic comedy material. But then again, who has?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Speaking of burgers

Apparently Whoppers are good. So good in fact, that a company has made a cologne that smells just like a flame-broiled Whopper. Its called: Flame by BK. And if you want, you can smell like one too.

If you don't believe me, just read these customer testimonials:

Chris from WV says:
This is the best chic getter ever. I can't beat the horny pregnant hoes off me. They smell me a mile away. Thanks for such a great scent trust me this is a great way to meat woman!!!

Chick Magnet from Hades, AL says:
At first I was a little wary of your product, I mean, I've tried other things to help maintain my "chick magnet" status, such as the infamous "wolf sweater" or maybe just a pair of hot pants, but I really was missing the ultimate compliment to my attire, the Whopper Flame. Now the ladies literally want to eat me, literally....if only they had the fry vat body spray as I'm tired of wearing 5 hour old "Big Mac special sauce deodorant" wearing off and smelling like milk left in the sun for 3 days. It's folks who create stuff like this that are the "real men of genius."

Amanda Creek from Virginia Beach Ink, VA says:
I received Flame in the mail two days ago....yesterday I wore it to work for the first time. As a tattoo artist, our tip amounts vary greatly..... but yesterday not one tip was less than $50!!!!! I know it had everything to do with wearing flame....... THANK YOU!

Now I know what to get my husband for Christmas. And at only $3.99 a bottle I should be able to buy a dozen bottles so that we never run out.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Just in case anyone is wondering, I'm a whopper virgin. What's the big deal? Are there really that many people in the U.S. who have never had a whopper? Maybe I should be on the commercials. :)

And yes, I've eaten a big mac before - once. It was awful. I really don't get what all the hype is about hamburgers.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Yes Brynlee, there is a Santa Claus

Holiday photo evolution - well, at least the evolution of the pictures on my computer at work.

Here's 2008 - doesn't it seem like Bryn is studying Santa to make sure he's real? I love this one:

Both girls 2008:
The whole family, complete with a real-live reindeer, 2007:
Just under the tree (stranger anxiety year), 2006:
I guess I don't have a 2005 on the computer at work :(

Just G, 2004:

Monday, December 15, 2008


Carrie (I’d link her blog, but since its private you wouldn’t be able to read it anyway . . .) tagged me weeks ago – and I’m finally getting around to completing the tag. It took me awhile to come up with stuff. I also changed it up a bit – hope that is ok!

7 things I can do:

1. I can do a backwards dive off of the diving board.
2. I can crochet – and I actually like it. I learned at a youth activity in high school, and I’ve made several Afghans since. Totally relaxing hobby, although I rarely have time for it now.
3. I can sing alto and harmonize. I also play the guitar and piano (sort of – since I never practice). There was a time when I was really good.
4. I can lead music well. My piano teacher taught me how to lead music when I was only 7 or 8. Its actually natural to me, and I can tell the timing on a song that I’ve never seen the sheet music to. I’ve lead the congregational singing in church (started when I was 14), lead the children’s singing at church, and I’ve even lead some choirs. Who knew marathon mom was musical?
5. I can ski – snow and water. And I love it. I’m not very good at either one though, but I still have fun.
6. I can do most things with either my left or my right hand – I’m ambidextrous.
7. I can bargain shop for hours. I rarely pay full-price for anything. I have a knack for finding good deals and I love it. Right now I’m wearing some Big Star jeans that I found for $40, and they’re so cute!

7 things I cannot do:

1. I cannot whistle – there was a time in my life when I could whistle. Then I got braces, and I lost the ability.
2. I have absolutely no artistic talent. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Its pretty sad, considering the fact that I have so many artistic family members.
3. I cannot speak foreign languages. For some reason, I have a huge hang-up when it comes to trying to learn a language – I can’t even correctly pronounce the words. I can read and understand that way, but when it comes to speaking I’m lost. I don’t think I could ever live in a foreign country.
4. I cannot lose weight for the life of me. Believe me – I’ve tried. The scale just doesn’t want to budge. I think I’m ready for drastic action.
5. I cannot throw a ball – ok, I suppose technically I can throw a ball, but I do it like a frreakin’ girl. It embarrasses my jock-husband. Apparently I look “re-todd-did” when I try. He’s asked me not to try anymore.
6. I cannot go without sleep. I need a good 7-8 hours a night to function.
7. I cannot cook. I’m a terrible cook, and almost anything I try to make ends up disgusting. My husband can’t even try to eat it. I wish I could be better, so that my family could have some yummier meals. Oh well – at least there’s Café Rio to do it for me.

7 totally random facts about me:

1. I’ve flown a small airplane over the skies of Utah County. I had a boyfriend who had a small plane. He took me on a date once, and let me take the controls of the plane. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life.
2. I’m afraid of deep water. I had a slightly scary experience while fly fishing in the Madison River in Montana. Ever since, I’ve been terrified of large bodies of water.
3. I’m also terrified of heights – like seriously freaked. I get dizzy leaning over a balcony. I’ll subconsciously pick at a hangnail till it bleeds, or bite my lip until I get a sore. Its my least attractive trait.
4. I bite my fingernails and pick at my skin. It’s a terrible habit. I’ve noticed that G does it too.
5. I hate talking on the phone, and avoid it at all costs. I’m sure people think that I don’t like them – I just don’t like talking on the phone.
6. I don’t make friends with women very easily. For some reason, I’ve always related to men easier than women. I have a few really good girl friends, but for the most part, most of my female friends are more like acquaintances. Its been difficult since I’ve gotten married, because it is no longer appropriate for me to hang out with “the guys”. Expect when my hubby has friends over.
7. I am allergic to almost everything. It makes life interesting. A few years ago, I was a youth advisor at church. We had a slumber party with the girls at one of the other leaders’ houses. I was so allergic to her cats that I ended up in the ER the next morning. Good times. (yes, I do have a cat)

7 foods I love:

1. Salad – I know that sounds like a cop-out – I’m sure my readers are thinking that no one really loves salad. But I do. I could eat it every single day.
2. Dill pickles – another totally strange one, I know. But some days I crave them – and so does Bryn apparently. The other day at the store, she cried until I bought her pickles.
3. Apple deserts – it doesn’t matter what it is. If there is apples in it, I have no will-power
4. Pumpkin – along with the apple stuff. If there is pumpkin in it, I’m powerless to resist.
5. Café Rio – I love, love, love anything from that place – especially the salad. I know I’ve already claimed salad as #1, but this seriously deserves a category all its own.
6. Grapefruit. I love me some ruby red grapefruit. I actually eat it like a giant orange. Mmmm. I’m getting hungry.
7. Chocolate chip cookies – especially Paradise Bakery cookies. I have no weakness to those either.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Flashback bloggers

Remember my old Flashback Friday posts? Where I would post old pictures that I scanned in (usually of terrible quality) and then reminisce about them? Well - I've decided to start Flashback Friday again. I like looking through old pictures. And just so I don't bore anyone (we all know how awful it can be to go through other's old photo albums) I thought I'd "shake things up" a bit - by posting flashbacks of some of my blogging buds. I'm also leaving out the names, in case anyone wants to try and guess. The qualifications for these pics, is that they were all prior to the year 2000. So, without further ado, here are some old, poor quality pics and weird blogger spacing that I can't figure out:

This picture was taken in Washington DC, about 1998. We're standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial. I'm the psycho on the left, and the girl on the right is on my blogroll. She and I were roomies through most of college, and then after we graduated until I got married. She's a fun and crazy person who is now a very successful woman, and I only wish the picture was better.

This next picture was taking in the Narrows at Zion National Park. There was a close wildfire that was casting a strange color to the sky, which is why we all look "fake baked". I'm in the black tank, and the girl in the hat next to me is also on my blogroll. She was also one of my fun roomies, and is now also a successful woman. She was such a genuine person (I'm sure she still is too). And as a side note, check out the stomach my right hand is touching. It was as nice as it looks ;)
Ok - I'll admit it - I only posted this pic because I wish my ass was still that nice (that is me on the right - the one who looks like she's a second away from falling on my butt). But there is also someone in my blogroll in that pic - you can see her face above that guy's shoulder (and don't ask what that guy is doing, because I don't know either). But don't fret: I've got a better pic of her later. . . . dang I wish I could still wear that pair of jeans!
This is another pic of some roomies. I'm obviously on the left, and the girl on the right is also on my blogroll. She is one of the funniest, most spontaneous people I've ever had as a friend. She's now a mommy of 3 beautiful children, but I'm sure she's just as fun as ever!

Ok - here's a better pic of the ice skating girl. She's the cutie in the cowgirl hat - and yes, that really is her hat. We were horseback riding in Jackson, Wyoming. She and I were never roomies (which you might think was the trend here), but we were great friends. She even caught the bouquet at my wedding, and actually was the next one married (but not to that guy in the pic)

This final picture is also a roomie - we lived together in college for just a few short weeks. But she's hilarious, as you can probably tell from that pic. I actually just recently reconnected with her through facebook, and from what I can tell in her blog, she's just as crazy as ever. Good times!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What happens in Vegas . . .

Last weekend, I went down to Las Vegas to compete in the Las Vegas Marathon. Technically, I "only " ran the half, but 13.1 miles is still noteworthy. I actually didn't talk too much about the race prior to it, because I hadn't trained at all. If I did badly, then I just wouldn't have to mention it. And I really was expecting to do badly. Since my foot injury in August, the longest run I'd had was barely 4 miles. I knew I was going into Vegas under trained and unprepared, so I wasn't expecting to do well. Honestly, my time wasn't stellar, but I did manage to run most of it (albeit slowly), so I suppose it is worthy of a race report. Pictures are coming - they're on my camera at home, and will hopefully be up shortly.

The race started on the Las Vegas strip promptly at 6:07am with a fireworks show at Mandalay Bay (on the southern end of the strip). The route began northward up the strip, and the first 5 miles were fun. I was feeling good and strong - the feeling that I was born to run. I intentionally kept my iPod on slow songs to help me keep my pace slow. After 5 miles, the route continued northward, but we were now out of the traditional "strip". The scenery became seedy bars, strip clubs, and wedding chapels - the part of Vegas that most people don't see often. It really dropped my motivation level - running along flat streets with boring scenery wasn't nearly as exciting. I was still able to keep up running, but I was starting to struggle. By mile 7, my injured foot was hurting and I had to pee, so I stopped at a port-o-potty. Stopping was a mistake - I never did regain my stride. I struggled the last 5 miles, and alternated slogging with a brisk walk. The scenery was boring and ugly too - I was running along the back of the casinos, next to the freeway and railroad tracks. Even Eminem's Till I Collapse and Cake's I Will Survive did little to light my fire. I finished just under 3 hours, which is a pretty pitiful time - its a full 30 minutes slower than the SLC half that I ran in April. But I was happy to be done. My brother ran the full marathon, and finished around 4:30. His girlfriend who also ran with us took 14th place in the half - they both pretty much kicked my butt.

Highlights of the race:

1. All the "freaks". There were people running dressed as Elvis, men dressed as women, women dressed as brides (there was a run-through wedding chapel on the route) and even a drunk Native American man running in jeans with a beer in his hand (I'm not sure he was an actual participant). There were actually a lot of people running at the beginning with drinks in hand. The people watching couldn't be beat.

2. The fireworks at the beginning did a lot to get me pumped up and ready to run.

3. The volunteers were wonderful.

4. The field of racers was much less serious/athletic than the average race. I was much more "mid pack" than I normally am.

5. The wonderful high that came when the race was over. Its the reason I run.

Low lights of the race:

1. The shirts - I paid $95 for registration and got a crappy cotton tee. I was expecting a tech tee (that I may actually wear again) for that price.

2. The spectators - there were so few people cheering along the route (there were a few drunk people gawking at us). Even the finish line was pretty pitiful - so few people cheering and minimal crowds. I've been to much smaller races with 10 times the crowds. It was a bit anti climatic to come to the finish line without the cheer of the crowd. The announcer at the end of the race was really annoying too.

3. The route - was boring and flat, which gets tiring on the body after awhile. Hills are good, because they work different muscles. The flat route made me quads extremely tired. The route was ugly too - I guess I'm spoiled from having nice scenery along my runs.

4. The "goodies". Other big races I've run have great goodies at aid stations: gels, fruit, people with Icy Hot to rub on tired calves. There was none of that at Vegas - only water and Gatoraid (which is good too, but not as good).

Overall, it was a great experience, and I'm so glad to have been able to participate. I'm already planning my next big race, although I'll never do Vegas again. There are so many other races that are much more fun.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Meeting Boomer

I have to make an apology to my readers. Yesterday I posted the list of 100 things, and highlighted which ones I'd done. Well, reading through my comments, there was a question from a couple of my readers asking which movie I'd been in. I thought that was funny, because I've never been in a movie. In fact, I didn't even remember that question being on the list. But, sure enough, I had highlighted that. As I was doing the list, I read that question as ever having been to a movie, and I thought how silly that was - hasn't everyone been to a movie? Anyway - I wasn't trying to mislead anyone. So, in an attempt to redeem myself, here is the story of meeting a famous person: the story of meeting Boomer Esiason. In fact, not only did I meet him, I inadvertently went to a Christmas party at his house.
I was 17, and a junior in high school.  My sister and I were driving to a dance at our church, but because we were earlier than we wanted to be, we decided to just drive around a bit.  It was raining/misting a bit, and also quite foggy (as it tends to get in Kentucky), and I had also taken some cold medicine that had made me a tiny bit groggy - that is my defense anyway.  The neighborhood we were driving through was hilly, and we were driving down an especially large hill.  At the bottom of the hill, it was quite foggy, but I could see the road continue back up the other side, so I kept driving.  Unfortunately for me, the road dead-ended about where the fog started - and I kept driving.  I ended up getting my very snazzy, green Chevy Corsica (hey, this was 1991) high centered on a large mound of dirt.  All the rocking and engine-gunning I could do did nothing to get the car moving again.  Two of the tires were actually just spinning in air, and there was a large mound under my feet where the car had actually buckled.
Great - I was stuck.  And here we were, on a cold and rainy night, stuck on a residential road.  We were a good 2 miles from any type of commercial establishment.  It was raining pretty hard, and I had no jacket (I was too "cool" for jackets back then).  Being that this was well before the days of cell phones, we had no choice but to knock on doors and ask for help.  Just down the road, was a house all lit up.  It was obvious they were having a Christmas party, as there were several cars parked out front.  We chose that house, because surely someone would be inside to help.
We nervously rang the doorbell, and who should answer the door, but Boomer Esiason himself.  At that time, he was still the QB of the Bengals, and they were actually a good team back then.  I just about died.  He was so nice, and invited us in.  I told him that I was just there to use the phone, because I had run my car off of the road in front of his house.  I told him that I needed to call my dad, and then probably a tow truck.
But, he had a better idea.  He was having a party, and there were several other football players at his house.  Surely they could get my car from atop the mountain of dirt.  About 6 or 7 other players went out to my car, and tried their best to get me unstuck.  But to no avail.  My little Chevy Corsica was no match for the defensive line of the Cincinnati Bengals.  One of the poor guys had on some white pants (it was 1991) and he got really muddy - I felt badly about that.
I had no choice but to make the call to my dad.  And I was scared - my dad was a very scary person to me back then, and I knew he was going to be upset.
I nervously dialed the phone.  When my dad answered, I immediately spilled out my story:
"Dad, I'm sorry, but I ran the car off of the road, and I'm stuck on a pile of dirt."
"Where are you?" He asked.  "And are you and Jen ok?"
"Yes Dad, I'm ok.  I'm actually at Boomer Esiason's house.  He tried to help me, but the car is just too stuck.  I need some money to call a tow truck."
My dad started laughing.  He honestly didn't believe me.  I think I actually had Boomer get on the phone to explain the situation to my dad, but that part is a bit fuzzy.  In the end, he gave me the credit card number and I called the tow truck.
While we were waiting, Boomer invited us in and they were so friendly to us.  They asked us where we were headed, and I was too embarrassed to admit that we were headed to a nerdy church dance.  I lied, and told them we were on our way to a party.  Then Boomer asked me if I'd do him a favor - his 17 year old nephew was there visiting from Colorado for Christmas.  He was really bored, and wondered if we'd mind taking him to hang out.  He brought the kid over to meet me, and he was a hottie - definitely a 17 year old girls' dream come true.  But, since I'd lied, there was no way I was taking him to a nerdy Mormon dance at the church.  So, I told another lie, that I wasn't feeling up to partying, and I just wanted to go home.  I missed my chance on that one - I'm sure had he gone with me, we'd have fallen madly in love and lived happily ever after.  Oh well - at least I learned my lesson about telling the truth.
Finally, the tow truck showed up.  The driver was actually a kid who used to ride my bus - a kid who I had mercilessly teased.  And unfortunately he remembered me.  He refused to take the credit card information since it was just numbers and not the actual card, and told me that unless I had a valid form of payment he wasn't helping me out. 
I was still stuck.
That is when Boomer came to my aid again, by offering to pay the tow truck driver for me.  I declined his first off, but he insisted.  So, he paid the driver for me.  Of course I sent him the money back the very next day, but he was very generous and probably not expecting to get the money back.  He was such a generous and kind person, who could have been a big jerk when I interrupted his Christmas party.
And that is the story of meeting Boomer.  Did that make up for my lie about being in a movie?

Monday, December 01, 2008

100 more things

I've copies this from several blogs. The things I've done are in red:

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
- I counted this, although I didn't actually jump. I got all strapped up, looked down, and told the guy that I couldn't do it.
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept overnight on a train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when your're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden a gondola in Switzerland
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagra Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen Amish country
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
- as an EMT, but never a patient
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in movie
55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades - I didn't take a tour per se but I did go there, so it counts to me
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

100. One cavity or less

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Baby lust

On my lunch break today, I ran to the store to pick up a couple of last minute items needed to make my Thanksgiving food assignments. Walking out of the store, I saw a woman walking in with the most beautiful baby. You know the type - a baby so cute that it makes your uterus ache. I've actually been experiencing a lot of "uterus aching" moments lately. For some reason, I've got a serious case of baby lust. And I've got it bad. Despite the fact that it makes absolutely no sense for us to have another baby, I want one. Logically I know that I shouldn't, and probably never will have another biological child, but it doesn't stop me from yearning. Perhaps its a feeling that plagues all women in their child-bearing years. I remember my mom saying several times growing up that she always felt like she was supposed to have one more child. Am I the same way? Am I always going to long for that child who could have been mine? To live my life with the regret that I should have at least tried?

I've actually been thinking about getting pregnant again so often, that I sat down an made a list of pros and cons - to actually see if it did indeed make sense for us to try and have one more baby. Here's the list that I came up with:


1. I'm old. Chances are, that I'd be 35 before I ever conceived and/or gave birth, and the odds of birth defects would be significantly higher. Not that I wouldn't love a special needs child, but I'm not gonna lie - it would make life much more challenging.

2. Pregnancy is difficult, especially for me. Between the hyperemesis (puking every single day), blood pressure issues, pitting edema, pre-eclampsia, and weight gain, I don't know if I could physically handle it again.

3. The weight gain. How I managed to gain 65 pounds with the first baby and 75 pounds with the second baby, while puking up almost every single meal that I ate the entire pregnancy, remains a mystery. But with my upward trend, I'd be on track to gain 85 with this baby, and that would be awful. I've just about lost all the baby weight now, and it would be difficult to gain it back.

4. Financial reasons. We can barely afford daycare for 2 children. Adding a 3rd child would almost certainly mean that either Ben or I would need to stay home, and I don't know how we'd afford that.

5. Emotional reasons. Some days, I can barely handle the 2 kids I have. They're really great kids too, but I get so overwhelmed sometimes. A 3rd just may push me over the proverbial edge.

6. Numbers. Everything is nice and even around my house, just the way I like it. There are 2 kids and 2 parents. No one is outnumbered. And my house only has 3 bedrooms. Where would another child sleep?

7. My girls are more grown up. Bryn is almost potty trained, and G is starting school next year. I'm not sure I want to start all over again with bottles and diapers, and night wakings.

8. More on the numbers. My first baby was 6 pounds 2 ounces (at 35 weeks). My second baby was 9 pounds 2 ounces (at 38 weeks). Does that mean a 3rd baby, if carried to 40 weeks, would be 12 pounds 2 ounces? I think I'd die (its not totally unreasonable - my brother was an 11 pounder)


1. The chance at having a boy. Poor Ben is seriously outnumbered in the house - even our cat is a girl. Some days, the estrogen is running so thick you could cut it with a dull knife. A boy would be good to even things out a bit - besides, Ben's such a sports freak. He would love someone to teach football/baseball/basketball/golf/etc to.

2. I really want another baby.

3. I really, REALLY, want one.

Ok, so I'm stretching a bit to come up with more pros - obviously on paper it doesn't make sense to try for another baby, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to try. We've talked quite a bit about adopting a child from a Russian orphanage, and I'm certainly open to that possibility someday. But I also really want to have another biological child. Despite the fact that my pregnancies were awful, I had the most amazing birth experience with both babies, and I'd love to do it again. But I'm afraid I'll just have to dream about it.

Edited to add another pro:

My adorable babies. Doesn't the world need more babies this cute?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Against the grain

I've always been just a little bit different than most people. Its not something that I consciously do, but my thinking is usually not in conformance with the majority. In high school, I embraced it, and proudly labeled myself as a "nonconformist". I liked being different (I don't think I was totally strange though) and took opportunities to prove how unlike most people that I was. I thought it made me "cool". Now that I'm an adult, I definitely don't try so hard to be different, but it still happens: my way of thinking rarely aligns with the majority.

It has become very apparent recently with the whole "Twilight frenzy", that seems especially crazy in the LDS community here in Utah (Stephanie Meyer, the author, is LDS). It feels like everyone and their daughter (and their dog) has read the books an average of 2.76 times, and haven't even cracked the cover. I haven't even through about buying the books. In fact, I have absolutely no interest in reading them.

I actually love to read too. In college, I majored in English for the first 3 years. I actually wanted to teach literature. (I changed my major after 3 years because I became disillusioned with the English department, but that is for another post). I'm a fast reader too, and as a kid, I'd check out stacks of books in the summer. Its pretty common for me to finish a novel that is hundreds of pages long in one day because I just can't put it down - although many times that meant staying up until the wee hours of the morning. Of course, back then, if I stayed up until 3am, I could sleep until noon. Now, no matter how late I stay up, I still get up by 7am (I have 2 cute little alarm clocks that make sure I don't oversleep). And honestly, that is the main reason that I don't read much right now. I simply don't have the time to devote. I have a long line of books right now that I'd love to read, and Twilight isn't even on the list.

But also, I have little interest in the subject matter of Twilight - the love story between a high school girl and a vampire. The vampire part sounds good, but I doubt I could get through the drippy, sappy love stuff. I'm not a big fan of the whole romance genre.

I am not saying this to put down anyone, or to say that I'm better than anyone who reads the books. In fact, I think its great that so many people love the Twilight series. I'm just not one of them. And just in case you're wondering, I've never read Harry Potter either.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Simplify life

I've been thinking about this post for awhile, but I just can't seem to find a way to word it. So, I'm just going to write. Here goes:

Lately, I've been feeling a sense of of foreboding - almost impending doom - about the state of things in my life. Maybe its the economy - I don't know. But when I think about the economy, or money in general I start to get serious anxiety and I don't know why. It isn't like me to worry. But even just this week, I read in the news that Ben's employer is planning to layoff 10% of its workforce, and I get the news at work that they're will likely be no raises this year (but at least layoffs are their last resort). Some days, I literally fight the urge to just run away from it all. I want to get out of suburban hell - to sell everything we have, and find some small home in a small town away from everything. Somewhere that we can have a little bit of land to grow a large garden and to find a life that may be simpler.

I have this romantic notion that somehow I'd enjoy life a little more if we could just stop worrying about mortgages and insurance; TV; stressful jobs; etc. To just focus on our family. To live in a small town, and have not much more than each other. That sounds nice to me. I've actually been reading a blog about a man who has done just that - he has quit his job, and selling everything so that he can just live his life. (I'd link it, but he just recently went private) I don't want to be that drastic, but in a way it sounds nice.

I must go through this every once in a while I suppose, because last year about this time I was applying for jobs in remote places like Kalispell Montana and Palmer Alaska. I even interviewed for a job in Moab - would that have been nice - but I turned down the second interview out of fear that I'd actually get it.

I actually started ripping up the sod in my dinky backyard so I could plant some fruit and veggie bushes in the spring. Perhaps I can bring a bit of simple to me.

Monday, November 17, 2008

If the walls had ears

The following conversations may or may not have gone on inside the walls of my home recently:

Mommy: Please get your toothbrush out of your bum.

G: Did you know that if you stick up only your middle finger and leave the rest of your fingers down that you don't believe in Jesus Christ?

Bryn: Can I eat salsa for breakfast please?

Mommy: Boogers are for blowing into tissues, not eating for dinner

Daddy (to the girls): I'll let you stay up late, but only if you want to play Rock Band with me. Otherwise, you have to go to bed.

Mommy: Princesses don't poop in their pants.

Bryn: My favorite part is when Gabriella and Troy dance in the rain.

Mommy: Please get your toothbrush out of your sister's bum

G: I would be sad if I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus

Bryn: I love to eat poison apples. Unless they are the poison apples from the middle of the road with ants crawling all over them. That is yucky.

Mommy: Don't sick your toothbrush in your nose!

G: I gotta stop eating this candy so I don't get fat like mommy.

Mommy: I'll let you stay up late to watch a movie, but only if you keep your eyes closed.

Bryn: NO! I don't want to eat more candy, I want more SALSA!

G: What? Daddy doesn't like football? I do NOT believe it!

Mommy: Toothbrushes don't go in your ear either.

Bryn: (as she was watching a Disneyland sing-along after being promised she could go to Disneyland after she pooped in the potty) Mommy, look at all those people who poop in the potty. Good job peoples!

Mommy: Way to go girl! We stick toothbrushes in our mouths. Only our mouths.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Always shave your legs: A cautionary tale

Its the middle of November in Utah - well past swimsuit and shorts weather. So, naturally, I've taken a break with the shaving of my legs. The only time my legs even get seen is when I'm in my running shorts - and I only wear the shorts in the privacy of my own basement. Except that today was almost 60 degrees. Anxious to take advantage of the "balmy" weather, I donned my running shorts and stepped outside for a nice long run.

The weather was perfect, and I was loving my run. I had the iPod on, and was totally in "my groove". My pace was perfect and I was feeling great. I'd gone about 1.5 when, out of no where, I realized that I was being chased down by a dog - a fast-moving border collie that resembled Doxie. Before I knew it, the snarling beast had latched its sharp teeth right into my left calf.

Immediately I stopped running and, luckily for me, the dog's owner had witnessed the whole incident. He called back the dog and asked me if I was alright. I actually didn't have any pain in my leg, but I looked down and the blood had already run down to my ankle. The entire family had been putting up Christmas lights, and they saw the entire incident. The 3 kids were crying, and mom was frantically trying to find a first-aid kit. They asked me to come inside the house to get cleaned up. Blood was running down my leg, and I was a freakin' mess.

I was actually pretty traumatized, and couldn't stop shaking. As I stood on the family's porch waiting for Mom and the first-aid kit, I kept thinking that I was so grateful we had gotten rid of Doxie a few weeks ago - I had feared she would do a similar thing. This dog even looked like Doxie.

Mom finally came with the first-aid kit, and insisted upon cleaning the wound for me. As I stood, she knelt on the ground and wiped up the blood. I was so embarrassed -my white leg was badly in need of a sharp razor and my dry skin needed some exfoliation and lotion. I think the lady was too mortified to notice the sad condition of my winter leg, but I couldn't focus on anything else. Having her touch my leg was more embarrassing than being attacked by the dog.

I finally got bandaged up and went on my way. I wasn't really thinking too clearly - I just wanted to get back to running. But I just couldn't. My heart was still racing, and I couldn't find my pace. I alternated slogging with walking back home, and decided to call it a day.

By the time I made it the 1.5 miles back home, I had completely bled through the bandage. In fact, 3 hours later the wound was still actively bleeding. I also couldn't remember the last time that I'd had a tetanus shot, so I decided to make a trip to InstaCare.

Thankfully there was no wait at InstaCare and they got me right in (that isn't always the case on a Saturday afternoon). The nurse and tech couldn't tell if I needed stitches or not, so the doctor had to come in and consult. All three of them were gathered around my leg (my sad, white, hairy leg), poking and prodding to determine if it needed stitches.

Ultimately, they decided that I had a deep puncture wound to one of the main blood vessels in my leg, but they didn't want to stitch. The doctor thought that the active bleeding was a good thing - that it would keep the wound from becoming infected as bite wounds have a tendency to do. They cleaned me up, gave me a tetanus shot, and sent me on my way with a 10 day course of antibiotics "just in case."

I went home and promptly shaved. I then put a healthy coat of sunless tanner on my leg. Although no one will probably see my legs for months, at least I feel better about myself.

And just in case anyone is wondering, my leg is ok. It is sore tonight, still bleeding a bit, and is terribly bruised, but I'm ok. It doesn't even hurt to run, so it shouldn't affect the Vegas 1/2 that I'm planning to run in a couple of weeks. I am feeling a bit conflicted though about calling animal control. I have the paperwork from the doctor that I'm supposed to send to animal control, but I haven't done it yet. I definitely don't want the dog to go after someone else, but I felt badly for the family. I also have to include the address on the form, and since I wasn't in my own neighborhood, I don't know the family's name or address - so I'd have to go by and get it. I know I should, and I plan to in the morning.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Life without caffeine - day 1

I'm pretty sure that all of my blog readers are familiar with my latest drama - the saga of my weight loss. It is pretty much the only thing that I've blogged about lately (sorry about that - I do have some Halloween posts yet to get up. Maybe I will actually post before Thanksgiving) Yesterday I asked for some advice because I'm desperate, and y'all totally pulled through! I got some great advice - on Monday I'm going to totally revamp my diet and exercise plan.

But today, I decided to go "cold turkey" off the sauce (aka caffeinated beverages). I know it doesn't make sense that diet soda should affect my weight - I actually totally agree with Chelsea's comment that it has no calories and that caffeine is an appetite suppressant. But somehow for me, it makes a difference. Maybe it is just serious water retention that it gives me (I still have problems with edema since my huge problems from being pregnant), or maybe it slows my metabolism. I really don't know. But I do know that I lose weight easier when I'm not drinking it on a regular basis. (I also run better, sleep better, and have more energy overall).

So - I did it. I made it completely through today without a caffeinated beverage. And honestly, it hasn't been that bad physically. I haven't had cravings at all. I've thought several times today that a diet soda sounded good, but I was totally able to resist. I also haven't had any headaches. I have, however, been a raving bitch: moody, impatient, and pretty much unpleasant to be around. Of course, my (not so) dear Auntie Flo is here for a visit, so that my be a factor, but I think that my body is none too happy about the lack of its daily fix. I am excited to see if I've lost any weight when I weigh in the morning ;)

Overall, I'd have to say that today was a pretty good day. I only at 3 small pieces of the girls' Halloween candy, and I had salad for lunch and dinner. I didn't get a chance to exercise, today, but that means I should be nice and rested for a long run tomorrow. Bryn woke up with a wet diaper, but other than that we had zero potty accidents, and we were at lots of stores today.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I need a new plan

If I ever found a genie in a bottle who gave me one wish, it would be that I could eat whatever I want but still be super model hot. Wouldn't that be perfect! To never feel like I'm depriving myself of the yummy thing in life and to have that muffin top gone. (basically to have my highschool self back)

Did I mention in my last post how unfair life is? I think I did, and at least most of my readers agree with me (thanks for backing a sister up!) that life just isn't fair. In fact, since I wrote that last post, my husband has lost even more weight while I've gained 4 pounds - 2 of which happened to be over night! How do I gain 2 pounds while I sleep? Am I sleepwalking to the kitchen or something?


Needless to say, my current plan of trying to watch what I eat and to run when I have time isn't really working anymore. I need to "change things up" and do something drastically different. The problem is, I don't know what else to try. I need suggestions, ideas, etc. Please girls, tell me what works for you! How have you managed to keep the weight off? What are your little secrets? I may even be willing to try legal drugs at this point (although I have considered meth - have you seen how skinny those stung-out people are?)

I am in the process of doing one very drastic thing: I'm trying to kick the diet soda addiction. I'm a pretty serious addict, so the whole cold turkey thing wasn't an option. But I'm slowly reducing my intake. I only drank 1 today - I'm trying for nothing tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Life isn't fair

Anyone who reads my blog knows that my weight is a constant struggle.  I'm always trying to eat healthy/deny myself/work out/cut calories . . . etc.  And to no avail.  I have managed to drop a few pounds, but I still have much more weight to lose.  A couple of weeks ago, I got discouraged, and decided that maybe it just doesn't matter.  I gave into some of my sugar cravings. I indulged in Halloween candy.  I ate some pie.  It tasted delicious.  Then I stepped on the scale and realized that I'd gained 5 pounds in just a few days.  Now I have even more weight to lose . . .
Enter my dear husband.  Last Thursday he decided that he wanted to lose some weight.  He exercised once, ate smaller and healthier portions, and stopped drinking diet Dr Pepper.  He's already lost 7 pounds in 5 days.  This morning when he got out of bed, he looked as if he had lost even more weight over night.  He was noticibly thinner.  I'm not trying to say that he hasn't tried - because he has tried hard.  But no harder than I've been trying for the past 2 years, and he's lost more in 5 days than I have in 5 months.
Please someone tell me how life is fair!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Do you believe in the afterlife?

I've always believed in the afterlife.  It is comforting to believe that we simply "pass" from this life into the next.  But I believe in it for other reasons than just comfort - I have had several experiences in my lifetime that have made me feel that our spirits still live after our body dies. I'm not going so far as to say that I'm psychic, or even "sensitive", but I have had several instances where I've felt/seen/heard spirits, ghosts, or whatever you want to call them.  I had one such instance last night.
I had just gotten the girls out of the bath.  We were on my bed getting dressed.  Like we usually do, we were laughing, singing, and even wrestling a bit.  The girls were happy and having fun.  I had a very strong impression that my grandfather was there watching - I didn't see him or anything, but I felt his presence strongly.  He loved little children - most especially his own grand and great-grand children - and I'm sure he would have loved being a part of our playtime.  I probably wouldn't have even given my feelings a second thought, but Bryn did something that confirmed my feelings.
She stopped her jumping on the bed, and came over to me to give me one of her big bear-hugs (she's practically famous for them).  She told me that she loved me, but then looked past me and said "I so sorry that your grandpa died."  She then looked back at me, and gave me another hug.  The doorway was to my back, and Bryn appeared to be looking at something in the doorway.  I even turned around to see what she was looking at, but there was nothing there.  I think she saw my grandpa standing there.
I love knowing that he is still watching out for me.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Everything I need to know I learned from motivational posters

We all have something that someone else wants

Make no little plans
Sharting isn't cool

Always flush

Spiders are really scary

Don't ever make eye contact

Blogging is a great way to show our individuality

Not every answer is found in Google

That milk campaign is all bunk

Mullets are sexy

Everyone is beautiful in their own way

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Don't judge

Little Suzie wants to grow up to be just like her mommy - who works at Home Depot. Here is a picture of her selling a shovel. What were you thinking?

There is a life lesson here people - don't go off of first impressions.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Gone doggie gone. . .

. . . our dog is gone. 
I know, super bad reference.  I'm just trying to make light of a very sad situation, and I don't think its working well.  We had to get rid of our dog this past weekend, and it was sad.  It has only been about a month since we adopted her from foster care, and we really were naive.  We thought that we could just adopt a dog, not really knowing much about training a dog, and that she'd just magically fit into our family.  But, this dog came from foster care because she'd been abused.  Clearly, in retrospect, it was not a wise decision for us.  She actually did pretty well.  She and the kids got along great, and she would play ball with Ben for hours (he actually taught her to catch a ball mid-air).  She was well-behaved and knew several commands.  But for all of her good traits, there were several things that I just couldn't deal with.  Individually, none of them were big issues.  But the combination of it all was too much for me.  For example, she:
---made me sneeze, cough, and unable to breathe (I was incredibly allergic)
---dug holes all over the yard
---barked at the neighbors and their dogs
---chewed everything and was fairly destructive - she even shredded the cover to the bbq grill and tore the vinyl trim from the brand-new fence
---dug up and ate several of my plants (seriously, there weren't even any roots left)
---she had aggressive tendencies towards strangers
---needed more attention than we had to give her
Add all of this into the fact that I'm not a dog person, and we reluctantly decided that we needed to find her a new home.  We first of all called the friends we had fostered her, but they were unable to take her back.  I then tried to give her away to several of my friends from work who live on small hobby farms, but none of them were interested in another dog.  So, I put out a classified ad - to which I got a great response.  In the first 24 hours, I had 3 people come and look at her.  The first man who came spent over 2 hours with her.  She was generally well-behaved towards him, but a couple of times she nipped at him.  It wasn't overly aggressive, but it was enough to worry him.  He was a police officer, and asked if I minded if his animal control friends took a look at her.  I didn't mind, so they came over.  Doxie took one look at the uniformed animal control officers, and went crazy - barking, snarling, growing, and trying to bite the officers.  Obviously, he decided against taking her.  The other 2 people who came to see here created an equally scary reaction from Doxie, and no one wanted. her.
Including me. 
I developed serious anxiety worrying about her violent reactions.  98% of the time, she's a great dog, but the other unpredictable 2% was worrying me sick.  I just couldn't get the thoughts out of my head - the "what if" scenarios where she hurt someone.  It got to the point that a person would bend down to pet her, and I'd have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach worrying that she would attack.  In the end, I decided that taking her to the Humane Society (a "no kill" facility) was our best option.
On Saturday, we drove her out to the Humane Society.  I sadly took her inside, filled out the appropriate paperwork, and said our goodbyes.  I was feeling very guilty, even to the point of second-guessing myself and wondering if I shouldn't have tried harder.  Then, she attacked the man who worked there.  He deals with animals every day, and she frightened him.  I was told that she is unadoptable because of her violence.  They will try to foster her for 3 days, but if no family is found, then she will be put down.
I'm so very sad for her - she was generally a sweet dog and did love our family.  I know she's scared in that facility.  And I know that probably no one will take her because of her aggression, and will likely be put down.  It is sad to me that someone abused her to the point where she cannot trust people.  The whole situation is just sad, sad, sad. 
I actually held it together pretty well, until Ben told me that she would be his dog in heaven.  And then I cried.  Then, G told me that she couldn't wait to go to heaven so she could play with Doxie and Grandpa Duke.  Then I cried harder.  Bryn asked me where I was bleeding (I'm sure in her mind, only someone bleeding could cry so much).  What can I say - its been a difficult week.
Thanks too for all the great responses on my "Why Blog" entry.  I'm definitely not going anywhere - I love my blog too much.  But I may start being more candid. Don't judge me too much :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Why blog?

I've been struggling lately.  There hasn't been much going on that seems like good blogging fodder.  Lately I feel compelled to only blog when I've got something interesting and/or funny to say.  And I guess my life has been boring, because nothing has struck me as important enough to blog about.  I'm feeling a bit unhappy with life.  When that happens, I tend to stay away for awhile, and not even read my friends' blogs.
It actually got me thinking about why I started blogging - back in 2004.  Initially, it was just for me.  No one actually knew I had a blog - it was simply my on-line journal.  I have posted to message boards and other forums for years - I still do.  But blogging was nice because I could keep and remember the things I posted about.  My blog was also completely uncensored - I wrote about frustrations and struggles - things that I normally keep to myself (I'm a pretty closed person).  Slowly I started making my blog known to people, but it was still primarily just for me.  No one in my "real life" knew about my blog - only my online friends (people I met on message boards, etc) were privy to that information.  I was still pretty honest about things back then.  Eventually, people in my "real life" found me, and honestly, it scared me a bit.  I actually went back and deleted several older posts that were a bit too honest/raw/uncensored.  I started feeling like I had to keep myself in "check".  This is when my current blog started to evolve - the blog that is mainly about trivial things.  Sometimes I'm actually afraid to post about the real me, because I never know who is reading.  Its not that I have any deep and dark secrets, but I am definitely more careful about what I say.  My current blog is mostly from my friends and family now - so I can let them know what is going on, and they can see how my kids are growing up.
I actually miss my old blog on occasion, especially during times like this.  I find that writing about my struggles and frustrations is cathartic, and really helps me work through it all.  I think that is why I go through these blogging lulls - kind of like the old saying:  if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.  I miss having something that truly reflected me, not just the happy, artificial me.  (not that I'm not a happy person, because I am.  But there is more to me.)
So, if I did blog about real life, would y'all think less of me?  Would you judge me?  I know that most of you wouldn't, but I guess that fear is still there.  Likely, there'd be many of you who could relate to things, and maybe even find it refreshing to know that others struggle as well.  I'm stuck in this conundrum, and my poor neglected blog suffers.  Does any of this even make sense? 
What causes the rest of y'all to blog?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

My mom and I took the girls to a local pumpkin patch, and then did Halloween mani/pedis. What else is there to say?