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Sunday, December 28, 2008

NOT a tradition

I have seen several people who's blogs I stalk, post pictures of their very cute gingerbread houses that their families have done. This has never been a tradition in my family, and I may have found out why today. Growing up with parents who are both artists, I have found a vast number of people who assume that talent was passed on to all their children. Sadly it was not, at least not to me. I am going to print out these photos and carry them in my wallet as prof.

Now this was a kit, and I'm pretty sure that is supposed to make it easier. Now granted the decorating was done by a 3 and 4 yr old, but the icing was done by an adult (you know who you are) and I'm a little worried.


Notice the trees that had to be used as braces to keep the roof from sliding off.

Now the kids had a lot of fun, which was the point, and the end result made it so that we didn't feel bad at all about eating the house. But I look at these pictures and it reminds me of going to the Christmas Chorus concerts when I was a kid. The concert is held in the chapel at the state mental hospital and when I was a kid there was a tree that had decorations made by the patients. I just remember always seeing candy cane reindeer that had 3 antlers and 5 eyes, things like that. Not that I'm saying my family is mentally handicapped, (although that is debatable), but I think we need some refining on our gingerbread house skills.

Here is an example of what gingerbread kits can actually look like. (I stole your picture Wade, hope you don't mind, it was for a good cause)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Unwrapped

Christmas has come and gone once again. I think this Christmas was probably a pretty typical toddler Christmas. Sheer elation along with complete meltdowns. I think my family got their first glimpse at just how loud Will can scream.

For Christmas Eve we had our traditional Craig family Swedish dinner. The party was at my grandpa's house, and I first have to say how much I love this wallpaper in the bathroom. I'm normally not a fan of any wallpaper, but I'm not sure if you can get more awesome than this.

There were lots of cousins for the kids to play with and the food was great as always. I had the assignment to attempt the rice pudding. After some suggestions from Britta, I think it turned out pretty good. Even if it was a little past it's prime by the time we got around to dessert. Maiken's water was salted by Katy, but I'm not sure if she drank any after the attack, so it may have gone unnoticed. Hey, if the prank is still going even though we are 30 yr olds, I don't see it stopping anytime soon. I attempted to get some pictures of the kids in front of the tree, it was an ordeal.


This was the result of me asking them to stand next to each other. Fine, then we will try them apart.


Christmas morning opening of presents. I took some videos of Will opening his presents, but I guess I had my camera turned sideways the whole time. So I need to figure out how to fix that. Will's big presents were a fire truck (thanks to special Santa who looks a lot like my boss), a fireman dress up and a food/cooking set. I was most excited about the fireman dress up because Will has been playing fireman a lot and using a rubber snake as his firehose. I specifically looked for a set with a fire hose and thought it would be a hit. I didn't think that he would throw a tantrum and shut himself in the bathroom because you can't put real water in the fire hose. A snake, that's fine to pretend with, but none of these fake hoses.

The highlight of the morning was being able to talk to Britta, Tom and Ella on video phone. Ella was very excited to be on the camera and it made it a little easier to not have them here. The present unwrapping ended with another meltdown from Will. What do you mean there aren't anymore presents? And how dare Lucia want to touch my presents!

Oven pancakes for breakfast and then home for a much needed break and nap. Back to mom and dad's for dinner. Stayed up late watching Wall-E. Decided I didn't want to brave the blizzard so we stayed over for one more night. This time I got to sleep in Alex's king size bed. Very comfy, and it's amazing that even though Will was sleeping in his usual horizontal position, I had more than 2 ft to spread out in.

Overall a good Christmas. I'm glad Keeley, Will and Alex were all able to come up, but still wished the whole fam could have been there. I missed seeing the Van Wagner clan, Will and I will have to come in the next week to see everyone. Hope everyone had a good Christmas, on to the next adventure.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Encouraging Words

Just now as I'm getting Will dressed for our Christmas Eve Party.

Will: Mommy, I think you have something on your eye
Me: Yeah, it's makeup
Will: No, I think your eye has an owie

Guess it's a good thing, or an obvious thing that I don't "dress up" that often.

Sad Day

My Pampered Chef cookie sheet just slid out of the drainer and shattered on the floor. I know in the realm of things it's just a possession and a thing, but man I'm bummed. Anyone who owns anything from Pampered Chef will understand when I say that my pan was black. It was well seasoned from years of use and was the best cookie sheet I have ever used. Even if I get a new one, which I will, it will take years to get it to that perfect state. Without hesitation I can say that it was my favorite cooking item I own, and I own a few. Stupid drainer. I was washing it so that I could use it to make some Armenian bread for our Christmas Eve party. I guess I will have to settle for just a plain old metal cookie sheet now...

Video Star

The other day Will and I were sitting on the couch and Will said he wanted to tell me stories. Of course they never repeat it as well when you bother to get out the camera. But here is Will telling me a story about his lost cars. I can't get over how he says "lost" right now, his pronunciation of "helicopter" is pretty cute too. (I swear I was holding the camera perfectly still)


video


Here is Will singing Hush Little Baby to me. I think he only remembers one line, and it's the one line he has always been most interested in.

video

Monday, December 22, 2008

I Hope

So I think my new year's resolution is going to be more honest with myself. I'm going to try to not hide behind my fear that others won't like me if I say or do something that they don't agree with. I don't like having to pretend that I don't feel a certain way about something, or that my opinion has any less value. So with that, here it goes. I know that many people that will read this don't agree with me on this issue, but these are my feelings.

I purposely haven't delved into politics on my blog or brought up certain issues, but this is one that I just feel too strongly about to not mention. I can't tell you how hurt I was that Proposition 8 passed this last election. Not mad or angry, but hurt for what I think it says about our society. I came across this video and it really touched me because he brings up a lot of points that I happen to believe in very strongly. So I will leave the rest to him.



This topic also makes me think of my favorite song right now, I Hope by the Dixie Chicks. This is my favorite part:

Our children are watching us
They put their trust in us
They're gonna be like us
So let's learn from our history
And do it differently

Our children are watching us
They put their trust in us
They're gonna be like us
It's okay for us to disagree
We can work it out lovingly

(they didn't do a video for the song and this was the best I could find, although I think it is a little distracting for listening to the words which I love)



They have another song, More Love that I think hits on a lot of the same points. I know a lot of people would say this is naive, but I whole heartedly feel that we would have a lot less problems if everyone just had more love towards other people. The golden rule really is a great rule. I don't think very many people really live by it. I'll admit it's hard to do, it requires not always putting yourself above others. It requires being able to give up something of yourself for the good of someone else. And isn't that what love really is about? Not giving up who you are, but being able to sacrifice something because of the greater benefit it will be to someone else.

I'll admit I haven't been in the "Christmas Spirit" this year. But I do hope for better times.

I hope
For more love, for joy and laughter
I hope
We'll have more than we'll ever need
I hope
We'll have more happy ever afters
I hope
And we can all live more fearlessly
And we can lose all our pain and misery
I hope, I hope

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Very Helpful

Will's latest thing to ask me is "What I could do for you Mommy?" It is very sweet but usually followed by me saying something like, "You could go pick up your toys." Which is followed by Will tilting his head a little to the side, slightly shaking it and responding with, "No, what else I could do for you?"

Shoes and Snow

So anyone who knows me very well probably knows I have some issues with shoes. My sister Britta has the typical girl shoe fetish which I am lacking. Of course it helps that she has size 5 feet and so anything looks cute on her. I on the other hand have feet that nothing fits. Some of my worst memories as a kid involve trying to find shoes. It was never a one store or even one day process. I have wide feet but narrow heals, which they don't design shoes for. Plus I think I have claustrophobic toes, they don't like to be confined. This translates to other areas including the fact that I can't sleep in a sleeping bag if it is zipped up. My feet are also my thermostat and I need to be able to wiggle them out if I'm too hot and then pull them back in when my ideal temperature has been reached.

Enter my fondness for flip flops. In high school it started with my Kmart Birkenstock knockoffs. I'm pretty sure I wore them 98% of the time, even in the winter. And socks and any kind of sandals don't go together, just so you know. This did lead to some interesting experiences such as being at a dance at Springville High School and my friends and I all wanting to go home early. Of course this was before the days of cell phones and I don't remember if there wasn't a pay phone around, or if we just didn't have any money, but it was decided that we should walk up the hill behind the school to where my grandparents lived and call my dad to come pick us up early. For some reason we decided that it would be much quicker to walk across the football field even though there were a couple of inches of snow on it. And of course I was wearing my Birknocks, but trudging away we went.

I have matured since high school and now break out my one pair of closed toe shoes when there is fresh snow on the ground, but that is the only time I venture from the flip flops. I do have a few theories about sticking with the flip flops, besides the comfort of them. When it's raining flip flops are by far the best thing to be wearing, unless you want to wear rubber boots all day. Yes your feet get wet, but they dry much faster than shoes would. So you don't have to spend the rest of the day with wet shoes and socks. Same goes for it being cold outside. I feel like my shoes get cold and take a really long time to warm up, meaning my feet stay cold. Unlike wearing flip flops were my feet are cold if I’m outside for an extended period of time, but warm up very fast once going inside. Of course both of these points could have something to do with the fact that the one pair of shoes I own have several holes and cracks in them. I've been looking, trust me, but I just can't find a suitable replacement for the Super Girl shoes.

It seems that Will has followed in my fondness for being shoeless. I'm lucky if we get to the store before he has taken his shoes off in the car. And the first thing he does when we get home is take off his shoes. Of course he follows that immediately with his pants, which did not come from me. When my sisters and I were growing up we used to run around outside on the road to toughen up our feet at the beginning of the summer so we didn't have to wear shoes outside. Of course the down side to only wearing flip flops is that my feet are definitely not touchable soft, and usually look like I have been walking around without shoes on.

So I finally had to break out the Super Girls this week because of the snow, another reason I hate snow. On Tuesday I was dropping off Will at Pat's apartment. As we were walking up the steps he looked down at my feet and said, "Mommy, whose shoes are those? Are you wearing aunt Alex's shoes?" I guess he has noticed my preference too. On Wednesday my quirk also made an appearance at the work Christmas Party Jeopardy game. Sadly, because of the snow I was not holding very true to the statement and was not wearing my flip flops even though it was winter. It’s probably the one thing I get the most comments on, even from strangers. I don’t foresee this changing anytime soon, so here’s looking forward to more flip flop wearable days.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cuteness

Megan and Scott put up a Cuteness Throwdown on their blog. Now being the kind of person who wishes that everything could end in a tie, I'm just going to post some pictures that I think are pretty damn cute. And after the Art City Days Baby Contest experience, I swore I would never enter Will in an official contest again. And Scott is very talented, so I consider this official. Unfortunately all of our videos of Will are still stuck on the tapes they were recorded on, and I don't really know how to get them on the computer. Maybe someday. For now, just some random cuteness.






I will mention though that Target thought this last picture was cute enough to be added to their display book. He ended up having the pictures from his Easter photo shoot added to the book too. After that it's gone down hill. Toddlers who won't sit still for photo's usually don't get added to the book.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ramblings

I’m taking inspiration from Wade’s short stories, which I love to read. Although I’ve never been very good at the “short” story. So I’m basing my format off of This American Life which is by far my favorite thing to listen to on the radio. Each week they pick a theme and then present three acts on that theme. Think of each act as a chapter you can stop at in case you get bored. I'm sure most of my installments will be stories the majority of you have heard before, I like to tell my stories. I’m thinking of this more as my online diary documentation of them.

Here it goes,


Ramblings Installment 1:


Charity Chauffeur

This week’s theme is based off of my last post. Another instance that I feel I am a charity target is the “ride” somewhere.


Act 1:

It’s 1997. I’ve been living on my own in Ogden for about six months going to Weber State. I stop at my bank just off campus in my newly acquired purple VW Bug. (Thanks dad!) As I’m getting money out of the walk-up ATM four teenagers all with skateboards come walking up to me. Not exactly the place you want groups of people approaching you, but they didn’t put off any scary vibes. They just came right out with their request and asked if I could give them a ride home. As someone with some social anxieties, I have no idea how someone could just walk up to a stranger and ask them for a ride. I think I tried to come up with some excuse and the kids could sense that and started into their pleading. I don’t really remember how the exchange went, but soon enough they were all piling into my car, skateboards in hand. I ended up driving them about two miles till we arrived at the entrance of a very high-end gated community. I couldn’t enter, so I left them at the gate. They all piled out gave a sort of half-hearted thanks and rode off on their skateboards.

The first thing that entered my mind was that if all these kids live in this upscale community, I’m pretty sure they could have found one of their parents that could have given them a ride. Maybe it’s a stereotype but I figured most of them probably had stay at home moms. Of course those were the days before cell phones, and maybe none of them had a quarter to spare. So not really anything exciting with the experience I just thought it was sort of weird that they just came and asked me for a ride. Maybe because it was such an uneventful ride, it set me up to be more vulnerable in the future.


Act II:

Jump ahead to sometime between 2001-2003, don’t really remember exactly. Pat and I have moved to Payson because of a new job he got in Provo. I’m working at my current job and while on my way home noticed that one of my tires was a little flat. I know that Chevron’s have free air, so I pull in. As I’m filling my tires a guy probably in his 40’s approaches me from the payphone. He has a thick Middle Eastern accent so I assume right away that he is not from around here. He asks me if I know how he can catch a cab, definitely not from around here. I tell him that you can’t just catch a cab you actually have to call and make a reservation. He tells me that he called a company in the phone book but they said they wouldn’t take him as far as where he needs to go. He asks if there is any chance that I am going south and could give him and his brother a ride. Again, I lack the ability to lie so I tell them I am going south and ask where they are going. He tells me that they need to pick up their car that was just fixed and it is in Payson. Damnit! I tell him that I am going to Payson and will give them a ride. Oh, yeah, well they have a rental car and they need to return it before 6 p.m. so can I follow them in the rental, let them drop it off, and then take them to Payson? Sure, what the hell. Of course the rental place ends up being in North Orem, so let’s just add to the wonderful time we are going to spend together.

I follow them to the rental place and then they tell me that they have a few things they need to put in my trunk. I’m not exactly sure what the deal is with me and the trunk, other than I just seem to feel the need to hang onto all the crap in my life, but if something gets put in the trunk, it ends up staying there for a very, very long time. And it just so happens that on that day I am taking home a mannequin torso that my little sister Keeley let me borrow to display some new soccer uniforms at work. Why my sister has a mannequin torso is another story, unless you know Keeley. So I have even less room in my car than usual. It ends up that they have about 100 cell phone boxes along with all sorts of accessories for about that many phones. We put as much stuff as we can in the trunk, not much, try shoving stuff around the mannequin, but the one brother sitting in the back seat ended up holding piles of cell phone boxes that covered almost his entire body. I don’t think he said a word the entire trip. I’m not sure if it was because he was shy, didn’t speak English, or just couldn’t breathe. The brother sitting up front with me had no problems talking.


He did first say that I needed to call someone and let them know that I was giving someone a ride and that I would be late so that they wouldn’t worry. He then asked about the Evil Eye I had hanging from my rear-view mirror. I told them that my father-in-law had brought it back from Turkey where he was stationed in the Air Force. I started to tell them the significance of the Evil Eye when he went off on a tale about it. He proceeded to tell me that he was from Bulgaria and why Bulgarians hate Turkey and what an evil place it is along with anyone from there. He also told me how he and his brother had come to America to try and make some money for their families. They were on a road trip from California selling cell phone supplies to different businesses when their car broke down in Payson. He started asking me about all different kinds of cell phone accessories and if I owned them. I assumed that he was going to try and sell me something so I kept telling him I already had one of those. I later found out he just wanted to give me something for the ride.

When we finally reached their car in Payson the guy offered me $40. After hearing the story about trying to make a living to send back to his family I felt too guilty to take any money. I told him that I was fine and had been going that way anyways. He asked if I like sunflower seeds. I thought that was weird but told him that my husband loved sunflower seeds. He proceeded to open the trunk of his car and pulled out an entire grocery bag full of unsalted sunflower seeds and handed the bag over. Not exactly what I had in mind, but if it made him feel like he paid me back, I’ll take it. He then pulled out another grocery bag full of homemade trail mix. Ok, not sure what I’m going to do with this, but alright. I felt bad because it seemed like they gave me their entire trips worth of road snacks, but I could tell the guy felt better about leaving me with something. I helped unbury the brother from the backseat and load up their cell phone haul and off they went.


Act III:

Jump back to early 1999. Not sure how Act II even happened after experiencing this next chapter. And if this instance didn’t stop me from giving random strangers rides against my better judgment, I don’t know if anything will. It was the first year Pat and I were married and we were living in Roy. I was the department manager of fabrics at Walmart in Riverdale, exciting I know. It was our yearly inventory which meant a 20 hour day at work the night before followed by three hours to go home, and then back at work at 6 a.m.

I go out to my car to find that a horrible ice storm had hit. There was about a ½ inch of ice plastered to my car. After about ½ hour of the defrost and chipping away at the ice I was able to see out of enough patches to feel that I could make it home. It’s 3:00 a.m. and luckily the roads are empty. The sheets of ice covering everything would have been bad enough, except now there is a wind that is blowing up snow and blowing it horizontally across the road making it almost impossible to drive. About half way home I notice a car pulled over to the side of the road with it’s flashers on. About a block ahead I notice someone walking along the road. There is a gas station about another block ahead and I figure the person broke down and was walking to the gas station. I figure that I might as well offer the person a ride assuming it will be a very short one, but no one should have been out walking in that weather.

Before I can even start to pull over to see if the person wants a ride, the lady walks out into the middle of the road flailing her arms to make sure I stop. I feel a little safer when I realize it’s a woman. I pull up next to her, unroll my window and ask if I can help. She asks for a ride and I tell her to get in. I start driving towards the gas station assuming that is where she is going and then the whiff of alcohol drifts over. I don’t think I had ever smelled someone that had reeked that bad, at least not since the bums that hung around the bar outside the reservation in Nevada. She tells me that she is lost.


It ends up that was not her car a ways back. Her friend had dropped her off at the gas station because they got in a fight and now she couldn’t figure out how to get home. I asked where she lived and she told me she didn’t know but she knew it was a trailer park. There is only one trailer park in the area so I figured I knew where she was talking about. I described it a little and she said that yes that was where she lived. I drove the very slow drive back the other direction and to the other side of town. I was trying to breath through my mouth because I could not handle the smell. The lady alternated between crying and yelling about this fight she and her friend had and how upset she was that they left her at the gas station. We finally made it to the trailer park and drove slowly around until she found a trailer that she said looked familiar.

As soon as she got out I had the very strong desire to drive off as fast as I could, but I waited to see if she was able to get inside. She came back to the car and said that it was locked and she couldn't find her key. Again I felt the need to just drive off and forget about her, but I couldn’t. She asked if I could help open a window in the back so she could climb in that way. Holy Crap NO I did not want to help her! But instead of saying that, I found myself trudging through the drifting snow to the back of the trailer.

I help her take a screen off and then tried sliding open the window. I told her that it felt like there was something blocking the window. She said that she forgot there was a large dresser blocking the window. I figured that was a result of the alcohol and asked if there was someone I could go call for her. She said no, but that if I could help her move this ladder to the front of the trailer she might be able to get in the kitchen window. Again, I resisted the urge to run to my warm car and leave her to fend for herself and picked up an end of the ladder and helped her around to the front. When I saw the window she was going to try I knew immediately that this was not going to work. First it was high, second it was small, third it had metal louvers on it.


Not knowing what else to do, I held the bottom of the ladder while she climbed up. She tried adjusting the louvers to try and open the window inside. It was pretty easy to tell that only a small child would have fit though them, but I let her try. The next thing I know I hear breaking glass and the metal louvers bend in half from her weight. Great. The lady climbs down and starts getting hysterical about how Susie is going to kill her. She couldn’t believe that she broke Susie’s window, and now she was going to kill her. Who’s window? Wait, this isn’t your house! I just helped some crazy lady try to break into someone else’s house! And this is the girl that can’t go in the exit doors at Walmart and now I'm an accomplice to a crime! I’m holding the ladder for someone who just broke Susie’s window.

I try to plead with the lady to just let me take her to the police station, they will be able to help find her friends and give her a warm place to stay. She is very adamant about not going to the police. She says she will just wait on the porch till her friends get home. Not knowing what else I can do I finally go to leave. I get in my car but know that if I leave this lady here she is going to freeze to death. I start looking around in the car for something to give her and find a blanket I keep in the trunk for emergencies. I go back to the lady sitting on the porch, give her my blanket and gloves. I drive off feeling a mix of emotions. Guilt for feeling like I wish I could have done more, Fear that she is going to die waiting on that porch, Guilt for being a conspirator to home robbery, Regret for just not being able to drive past her or say no. I get home and call the police. I tell them that I had given a drunk lady a ride to a trailer home, I couldn’t remember the number, but that she was locked out and I was afraid she was going to freeze to death. I figured the whole attempted breaking and entering details could be sorted out later.


To this day when ever there is a bad winter storm I think about that lady. I wonder what happened to her. And as much as she is the reason I wish I could say no to people, she is also the reason I don’t say no.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Charity Guilt

I just got back from Walmart. While loading my stuff into my car a girl who looked to be in her early 20's came over and said that she had to drive down here from American Fork to pick up a prescription, and now was out of gas. She said she needed $12 to get home. For some reason I think I am the perfect target for people on this kind of thing. I have yet to go a year where at Christmas time someone approaches me in a parking lot and gives me the same kind of story. The problem I have is that for some reason I lack the ability to lie to someone face to face. Sometimes I think that is a good thing, but in cases like this I feel that it leaves me vulnerable. I rarely carry cash and so I always say I'll check but I'm not sure if I have anything, always hoping that I will open my wallet and see it empty. For some reason, they always catch me on the rare occasion that I do have cash. So when I opened my wallet today and saw a $10 bill I gave it to her. She did ask for my phone number so that she could try and pay me back, but if it is a scam the last thing I want her to have is my phone number. So I just told her Merry Christmas.

The problem is that as soon as I got in my car, that is when I start replaying it in my mind. $12 to get back to American Fork? Pretty sure you could get there on $2 in gas. I then noticed that the first thing she did was go back to her truck and call someone. She didn't really seemed stressed or bothered the way I would be if I was in that situation. And she didn't seem in any hurry to leave. I drove away slowly watching her and I had the feeling she was waiting for me to leave and then was going to go ask someone else the same thing.

Two years ago I had the same type of situation in Provo. I actually really did believe the guy until I saw him approach someone else even after I have given him more than enough money to get where he said he was going. I watched several episodes of Intervention where drug addicts have used the same type of story on people to get drug money. So maybe now I'm just jaded. Although not enough that I feel I can say no to someone in person. So do I feel jipped that they talked me out of $10 or do I just figure that no matter what the reason was, they needed the money more than I do.

Willism

While running errands today Will and I stopped by our landlords to pay rent. When I told Will what I was doing he said, "I want to pay some rent too Mommy." I am documenting this and will print it out and give it to him on his 18th birthday.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Changes

The blog world is a strange thing. You get to be a voyeur into people’s lives in a way that most of us wouldn’t experience. I’ve really enjoyed that in the sense that I feel a part of friends lives that I’m not great at keeping in contact with. It sort of makes the world seem smaller. I can see my niece growing up and hear all of her fun stories even though she still lives on the other side of the country. The other side of the blog world is that you probably share things with some people who you wouldn’t otherwise tell. But there is a therapeuticness to blogging, to sharing your feelings, and so I guess in that sense it’s all for the best.

So what was all that blabbering about? Pat has moved out. We decided a couple of weeks ago, and tonight is going to be the first night he isn’t here. It’s really surreal and I don’t really want to delve into it, but just felt like I needed to be open about it as part of me dealing with it. Nothing is final, but for now we are going to try living apart. Right now we are just trying to focus on Will and making sure that he is ok through all of this. I guess that is really all I have to say about it for now. Last week at the Kenny concert he sung this song that I don’t think I had ever heard. Considering what’s going on it really touched me and hit home. And I hope that someday Will will realize that his parents were just trying to find happiness.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

And the winner is....

Not us, but Provo Parks and Rec is now the managers of the Peaks Ice Arena in Provo. I realize this probably was a lame secret to anyone, except maybe those who used to work there. We have been threatened with this for the last six years so it never really seemed like it would happen, but it did, and it sucks!

So one of the problems with a "hostile takeover" is that it is sort of like when someone has their home foreclosed and they just take everything they can just to be an ass. Yeah, well, I walked in this morning to the front counter that had an old computer, that sort of works (even though the keyboard and mouse do not), and a phone. That is it. All of it. No paper, pens, stuff that you know, work with. We then move on to the concessions stand. There is the Coke machine and a fridge. That is it. All of it. Or wait, there are some broken down machines. Oh and just so you know we open in less than three hours. So yeah, welcome to hell. Shellianne probably had more hell than me today. After three truckloads of stuff from Sams Club they will make it through the weekend bookings, not sure what we she will need to do for next week. I would be having a panic attack if I was my boss Scott, I don't think I could handle that much pressure on me. I mean I was feeling pretty overwhelmed today, and I didn't have much that was leaning directly on me.

One good thing is that the staff that was retained seems to be really great. I enjoyed working with everyone I met today and they were all really upbeat and not acting at all how I think I would in their situation, scared, panicked, emotional, you know the usual me :) I told a couple of them that I was feeling kind of overwhelmed and they said they were ok and used to dealing with crisis. I told them I'm ok dealing with crisis at my office, I'm just not comfortable dealing with someone else's crisis that I have been pulled into.

So after a day of just trying to make sure the building didn't fall down around us, we made it through day one. Oh, and we are just entering their busy season, so that's pretty awesome. At least we are in our slower time, so I guess that's a silver lining. Well hopefully by the time we get to 09 things will be a little smoother. Here's to minimal freak outs and breakdowns!

Oh, and it's interesting to me that the press release came out today, and yet I can't find a thing about it online. Good thing we all kept this secret, it obviously was a big deal.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Kenny!



Oh yeah! Be jealous!!

So I don't think I would have actually paid to go see the Kenny Loggins concert (at least not the prices they were charging), but when they said we needed more volunteers to work back stage I said sure. I'm glad I did, even if I should be in bed right now because I have a pretty crappy day ahead of me tomorrow. But tonight was fun. There is a roller coaster feeling to working back stage of a rock concert, really fun, exciting times, and then really boring times. Like having to be security at a door that no one has come in or out of for over an hour, sorry Ian!

Ian and Penn (guys that I work with that also volunteered) were assigned as backstage security. They got to have some tackling training, but in the end got a pretty boring job. It was cool to be in the hall with the band though before and after the show, it was just pretty boring to be in the hall during the show. Although while giving Ian a break, Penn did a very good job of entertaining me with his rock band impersonations.

I got assigned to wardrobe. I wasn't sure what this would involve, especially since I had been warned a few days before that Kenny is a nudist. I ended up being in charge of steaming his shirts and jeans, and the band members shirts. It was kind of nerve racking because the steamer keeps shutting off about every 10 seconds so it doesn't overheat. I had no idea how picky these guys would be about little wrinkles in their clothes. But I have to say they looked pretty good, and I didn't hear any complaints :) The band members had some good taste is shirts, Kenny on the other hand was wearing one that was covered in large pink flowers. Not so rock n' roll to me. I was one of only three people allowed in the dressing rooms, so that was pretty cool.

The best part about the night was just hanging out in the back while everyone was getting ready. Kenny stayed in his room and away from everyone else, so I can't really tell you anything about him, but his band was pretty cool, and his manager is awesome. My new favorite guitarist is Scott Bernard. Ok, no I had never heard of him before the show. But he was really nice, and a great guitarist. I just wish they would have let us take pictures with them. Here is a picture from another concert (Scott is on the left), in the same outfits I steamed for them.

The band was really chill, and the manager CJ was very down to earth for someone who is as involved in the "biz" as he is. He asked my name when we first met, and remembered it for the rest of the night, calling me by the correct name the whole time. That's actually pretty rare for me. There are people I have worked with for eight years who still pronounce my name wrong.

After the concert started I got to go inside and be security along one side of the theater. It was pretty fun. I will say, the next time you go to a rock concert, make sure to take ear plugs. They make a huge difference in your enjoyment level. Especially when you are that close to the speakers. I did have to be mean and pointed out someone who had snuck in a video camera. Besides that one "incident" I basically just got to walk around and look official, but it was fun. I gave Penn and Ian a break from their less exciting jobs and gave them a chance to go inside. While relieving them I got to chat a little with the roadies in the back. They looked like the typical band roadies, but seemed like nice guys.

After the concert while waiting back in the hall for the band to get changed for the meet and greet, Penn and I overheard an interesting conversation between the crew guys trying to figure out how they were going to get the "hotties" in to see Kenny. My little view into the "real" rock n' roll lifestyle :)

It was pretty cool to see "Your momma don't dance" performed, great memories from my childhood. Overall it was a fun time, although a very long day. Not as long as the people that actually work there, who are still there, but I'm still pretty tired, so that is all for now. Back to my boring desk job tomorrow.

*I forgot the best part! We were given very strict instructions from the tour manager that no one, NO ONE without a pass was allowed back stage. Penn was handling the main door back stage. When the Mayor showed up, Penn asked to see his pass. Now of course Penn knew who he was, but they said everyone. Well the Mayor didn't have a pass, so Penn turned him away, even though we all knew he was doing the introduction for Kenny! Ouch! He had to go track down someone and find his pass and come back. It was by far the best work moment I have ever had! And I'm just so glad it was Penn working the door and not me. Penn is already a hero to the tech crew that have had their own issues with some higher ups :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Shhhh....secrets

Have you ever had to keep a secret at work? And they tell you, this isn't going to be a secret anymore on this day. And then that day comes and goes, and it's still supposed to be a secret. Only by now most people know about it and you're not sure who the secret is being kept from, except "the press." And then you have to actually do lots of work to try and get ready for this secret, but you can't really do the work unless you tell people why you're doing the work, so you have to tell people the secret, but still pretend it's a secret. And then you worry that someone is going to get in trouble because everyone knows the secret, and you worry that it will be you. Well, welcome to my week. And it's not even a good secret, it's a really crappy secret that is just going to cause stress for lots of people. And it takes two people like three hours to buy one item related to this secret, and who knows how many more items need to be purchased.

For those of you with previous insider knowledge, you know that thing that they always told us might happen, but it never really did. But they have been telling us for like eight years that someday it could happen? Yeah, it's happening. On Thursday. And it sucks.

Curious?..........sorry, it's a secret.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Christmas Chorus

So I've never really been big on inviting people to something, but since I have a blog, figured I should post this.

The Christmas Chorus is having their annual concert on December 6th and 7th. The performance on Saturday the 6th is a matinee at 1:30 p.m. that kids are welcome to attend. The performance on Sunday the 7th is at 7:30 p.m. and is for 8 and older.


This is a choir that is conducted by my aunt and has had multiple members of my family perform in it. This is my 9th year performing and my mom, two aunts, and two cousins are also performing this year. My sisters Maiken and Britta have performed in previous years, along with several other extended family members. This is the 29th year, and my mom and two aunts were all original members. I don't think it would feel like Christmas to me if I didn't hear this music. I have attended every year except the four we lived in Nevada. The choir was created to perform Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols. Every year that piece is performed along with several other pieces that change each year.

The concert is held in a beautiful rock church on the grounds of the Utah State Mental Hospital. Sounds weird, but it is a beautiful setting for a Christmas concert. Don't let that worry you though, they have never made any of us stay. Even the year that my cousin Katy was in a wheelchair (double foot surgery), and we raced her down the sidewalks screaming and laughing. I'm sure there were people that thought we were trying to escape.

No obligation to attend, but just a shout out.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bean Museum

Maiken and I decided to take the kids to the Bean Museum today. They have a reptile show on Saturdays, and we thought the kids would enjoy that. We were sort of wrong. Lucia was very interested in asking questions, or at least raising her hand, even if she didn't have a question. She was willing to pet the turtle, Will was not.


After about 5 minutes of the reptile show the kids were ready to move on. I remember the museum being a lot larger, but it has been quite awhile since I have been there. Will loved the exhibits that had the button you can push to find out more info. He wasn't really interested in the animals they were talking about, just that they had a button you could push. When he realized the rest of the exhibits did not have buttons, he was done with the museum. Or at least made that clear to me by throwing himself on the floor.

After some prodding we did get the kids to look upstairs, and they got a lesson in the circle of life. There were a couple of displays with animals attacking prey. Both kids were a little disturbed about the animals being killed. (I don't think either of them really understood that all of the animals in there were dead.)

Back down stairs and we discovered a play room. Not sure why it is there, other than a place that kids can get out some of their built up need to touch things. This was by far Will favorite part of the museum. They had a truck.



Another tantrum after being separated from the truck, and mom is ready to leave. Not quite sure how long it will be before we try this adventure again, but hey, at least it was free.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Ella Bella

This is a little late, but Happy Birthday to Ella Lisette Schroeder. She is the big 2 today. I remember when Britta told us she was pregnant, we were at my parents house and I was holding Will in my arms. I screamed, very loudly, and Will cried for like 20 minutes because he was so scared. Just to be the same as her cousin Lucia, she made the delivery pretty difficult on her mom. I guess the Huntsman genes breed stubborn girls. But I think everyone would agree that she was worth it.




I can't tell you how happy I am that I am living in an age of the internet, blogs, video cameras and youtube videos so that I still feel like I'm part of her life even though they moved so far away this summer.




I don't know if she could get any cuter, but she seems to be every time I see her. Ella's going to be a big sister next year and if the new little one is anything like Ella, Britta and Tom are going to have their hands full, but with some damn cute kids. Happy Birthday Ella (Bella Bella to Will), we love you!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why I love my job

Pat dropped Will off at my work before the carnival today so that I could show off his costume and take him trick-or-treating around our building. He is usually extremely shy around anyone except my immediate family, and today was no exception. It didn't help that people were also dressed in costumes that he thought were scary. He didn't want to leave the safety of my cubicle. My boss Scott got him to venture out by offering to color with him. I'm not sure how many other people have a boss that would get down on the floor with your child and color, but man I'm lucky.
(sorry about the shaky camera)

video

Party, party, party

Well it's not even Halloween yet, but I have fulfilled my Halloween quota for the year. Last Saturday my friend Jenny invited me to a Halloween party at her sister-in-laws. I was her date since her husband was out of town. It was a lot of fun, and with some prodding Jenny got me to try karaoke for the first time. It is definitely easier when the other people there have already made a fool of themselves, and you don't really know anyone else there. We were playing the American Idol karaoke game, and for those of you who haven't played it, it follows you along and rates if you are on tune, adds an interesting element to it. Thanks again Jenny for the invite.


Today at work we had our annual work Halloween Party. Since most of us don't work on Fridays, we celebrated today. We moved the location to the Park Maintenance shop and they hosted. For the first time, a lot of the parks guys actually dressed up. They decided to all pick a general theme for their costumes, hillbillies. I think so many of them dressed up because the theme wasn't a stretch for a lot of them :) I wish I had taken some pictures at the party, I'm hoping someone else got some. We had a good lunch and played some games. I can definitely say that today was not a productive day for any of us at work. We did take our annual Arts Center steps photo, but as usual we didn't get everyone in the photo.


After work Maiken, Lucia, Will and I all went over to The Center's annual Halloween Carnival. My camera was being weird and I didn't get any photos that weren't completely blurry :( The main attraction this year was a 1/4 mile long maze that filled the entire gym. They did a great job on it, and it was a lot of hard work. While helping to hang the black plastic for the walls, and then decorate, I continually got lost. Which I took to mean it was a good maze. If the people creating it can't get out, what chance does the public have. We got there right after it had opened and went staight to the game room. I'm glad we did, because after the next attraction we came out to a line of at least 50 people for the games. We had gone in to see the magic show. Cheesy, but the kids definitely liked it. I sat on the last row because I didn't want my hat to block anyone. I was kind of surprised how many people walked in during the show and just stood straight in front of me. Most of them were kids, but come on people, look around. I guess social skills are definitely something that you have to teach your kids, they don't really seem to pick them up on their own. By the time we got home I had been in my costume for 14 hours, and was done with Halloween. It's been a fun day, but I think right now my kitty ears are all I can think of getting up the energy to wear tomorrow.

My little accessory



I do have to say that I really liked having dark hair. I have never liked my natural color and always wanted to be a red head. I have never wanted black hair, but I was quite fond of it today.


Caution: if you are going to use spray on hair color, this is what happens to your skin where it touches:

You would be scared if you saw what the tub looked like afterward.

Well, Happy Halloween everyone. Hopefully I will get lots of sleep tonight so that I will be re-energized for the actual day.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Final Party

(disclaimer - I in no way mean for this to come across as disrespectful, so hopefully it doesn't)

A guy in my department at work died this weekend from a heart attack. (for those who used to work with me, it was Bob Green from the Eldred Center) I didn't really know Bob, never worked with him directly, but it's obviously still sad when someone dies, especially unexpectedly. (sidenote - I'm in charge of doing things like sending out flowers during these times, and when I got his address I realized that he lived a block away from me. We worked in the same department for 8 years and never knew that. I guess I need to get to know my neighborhood a little better, or my co-workers.)

So just by coincidence it turns out that his funeral is going to be the same time as our work Halloween Party. We discussed the different possibilities, including canceling the party, but decided to move the party back a couple hours so that those who were going to the funeral still could, but we would also still have the party.

This just got me thinking, and I now kind of hope that when I die, hopefully not anytime soon, that it is near Halloween. Again, I don't mean for this to be disrespectful, but I think it would be totally awesome if everyone came to my funeral dressed in costumes. Maybe that is too morbid, but if I was able to see what was going on, I would love it. I just love dressing up for Halloween and think it would be good to have a fun memory associated with my passing. So if anyone that reads this is around when I die, and it is around the end of October, I expect you to show up in a costume. Just so you know, I also hopes it rains that day. I'm sorry that you will have to be standing at my grave in the rain, but I hope it's a huge rain storm with lots of thunder and lighting. If this happens, just know that I ended up in a pretty awesome place, and I have some awesome control over things. You never know.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Little things

Will is going through, what I hope is a phase, where he gets very upset when Pat is not at home. Considering that at those times I am home with him, it makes you feel kind of bad as the "other" parent. You know, that one that you don't really mind when they are gone. So I get a call from Pat today that Will wants to talk to me.

Will: Hi mom (in his very sad, slow voice) I'm just having a hard time cause you at work.

(I think, wow, it is nice to know you are missed, even if it means he is sad right now.)

Pat and I talk a little, then in the background Will: Wait, I have ONE more question (giggling now as Pat gives him the phone again)

Mommy, I love you

It really is the little things that can change your day around.

*UPDATE 10/28*
Today Will told Pat he wanted to come see me at work. Pat drove to Provo and when they got there, I had already left for lunch. Pat called me on my cell to see if we could meet up. When he told Will they were going to go meet me somewhere else, it turned out Will didn't want to see me, he wanted to get candy from my office. Upstaged by candy...guess affection is a day to day thing :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Nights

This is about as exciting as my Friday nights get. Will was very upset (again) because Pat was leaving for work. So to distract him I offered to help sort his cars. This is something we do every couple of months to see how they have grown and to work on colors.

The proud collection owner

Will then proceeded to smash the white diesel through all of the cars and then asked if I would take a picture of the mergency.

This is my life

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Quirks

Tagged by Kristen, 6 of my many quirks

1. I have an addiction to my hair. It goes back to my childhood and smelling my hair whenever I sucked my finger. The finger sucking went away (although very late) but the hair smelling thing stuck. I think I actually have a release of endorphins when I smell my hair. I think I should be studied. I usually find myself doing it when I am stressed or bored. I catch myself doing it at work all the time. It used to embarrass me, but now I figure they are used to it. Although my boss still asks if I just changed my shampoo whenever he catches me doing it. When Will was born it was one of the first things that I noticed as a trait of his, he loved playing with my hair. Now he loves twirling his own, till he got it chopped last week. Smelling Will's hair has the same effect as smelling my own.

2. I can't handle hearing people chew/swallow. And not just loud annoying eating, just regular eating. I feel bad because I know it's not something people can control, but it is just my sound that is like fingernails on the blackboard. I prefer to eat around people that are talking or who have the tv on. Maybe one reason I like restaurants so much. Luckily it doesn't take much noise for me to not focus on it.

3. Like Kristen, I don't like for there to be time left on the microwave. Maybe it's because we don't have a clock in the kitchen, so I just want to always be able to see what time it is.

4. I get way too much comfort from food. Maybe that's not a quirk but a deep, dark secret. I fear that I will never be a weight I'm comfortable with because of this. Along with this, I cannot understand people who don't like chocolate. I feel as though I will never be able to fully connect with someone like that. I cannot explain what chocolate does for me, other than it is definitely a drug for me. I can be reasonable about it unless it is that time of month. If it is, don't mess with my chocolate. Tears will follow. (my husband has learned this the hard way)

5. I constantly have conversations going on in my head. A lot of times they are in the form of an interview. Me explaining something to someone else, reliving an experience. If I am going to have or have had an uncomfortable conversation with someone, I will run it through my mind over and over again. What I want to say, what I wish I had said, what I wish I hadn't said.

6. I have to have a visual reminder of things I need to do. This has become MUCH worse since having a child, and it seems there are a lot of other moms who say the same thing. I was never a grocery lister. Now if it is not on my list, I will not remember to get it. I can walk into the store thinking of something I need to add to my list, repeat it over and over again to try and remember, plan out the path in the store I will need to take to get it, and still somehow leave the store without it. At work this means that my computer screen/desk are literaly covered in post-it notes. This also leads to me leaving piles of things all over my desk. My boss is not a fan, but if I put something away, I forget about it. Out of site, out of mind. Yes my desk is always a mess, but I have yet to find any system where I remember to do things unless it is staring me in the face. I have also become someone who writes things on my hand. I just started doing this a few years ago, but I seriously feel like I have a brain tumor sometimes.

I tag anyone else who wants to share

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Heeby Jeebies

I came home today, went to put my key in the door handle and realized this was three inches from my hand

(go ahead and click on that picture, see it just like I saw it, I dare you)
What the hell kind of spider is that!?! I normally try to leave spiders alone, as long as they don't try to crawl on me. I will turn my head, try and pretend I didn't see them, and just let them be on their way. But this freak has to go!!

Down on the farm

My sister and I took our kids to the Country Farm Fest in Payson. I only heard about it by reading someone's blog that had been on Thursday. It was kind of small, just set up in the yard of someone that lives in north west Payson, but the kids had fun. There was a corn maze, tractors, petting zoo, horse rides and a small train. Over all a fun way to spend a nice fall Saturday. The only down side was the vampire bunny in the petting zoo that bit Maiken on the neck. I hope he wasn't rabid. Oh, and just a warning, hay is not very comfortable when it makes it way under your clothes, especially down your pants.





Thursday, October 16, 2008

Boredom at it's best

Slow week at work + boss at conference = yearbookyourself.com

Basically a way to try on all those hairstyles you have been thinking about. See what you would look like in yearbook pictures from 1954 - 2000. Finding a picture that works well is a little difficult, and you find out pretty quickly if your face is not completely symmetrical or too skinny for this project. (sorry Shelli)

Just in case you wanted to know what Pat and I would look like in 1954:


I think this is pretty hot. I might have to try rockin this look. Umm...sorry Pat, I couldn't resist :) You look a little old for high school.

My second fave:













And Pat looks way too much like his dad back in high school:


And here is "special" Pat:













Just to be fair:













And in case you ever wanted to know what I would look like with a fro:













Or what I would have looked like if I had sported the Payson bangs:
(and this is the look from my graduation year)


And lastly, what I actually looked like in high school. Man I can't believe how much my hair has changed! :)