Thursday, March 1, 2012

i heart period dramas

Like many women (and men, I suppose), I love me a good period drama. I'm a little late to catch this bandwagon but have you been watching this little program?
I am obsessed. Like, stay-up-way-past-my-bedtime-watching-one-episode-after-another obsessed. I'm outing him here, but my husband is even mildly interested. It's an epic, sweeping story about a aristocratic family and their staff who live at Downton Abbey, an estate in Yorkshire, England, at the turn of the 20th century (have any of my male readers dozed off yet?). The acting, scenery, costuming and storytelling are all superb and it's such a fascinating time in history that I don't know much about. And it seriously has made me consider how much easier my life would be if I had a household staff of my own. My staff could even just consist of one person. I think I would chose a maid--in fact, I want Anna, the maid from the show. I think she'd even fill in as a nanny and a cook if I needed her to. Anyway, we watched the first season (7 episodes--not nearly enough) streaming on Netflix and I've been watching the second season (8 episodes--again, not nearly enough) on and Until March 5th, the second season is free to watch on The first season may be there too. So, go. Start watching now. Seriously. It's good, good TV.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

do i even dare say it?

After a very loooooong hiatus, I think I may be back at the blogging desk (note the indecisive, non-committal tone here). I know you're all asking yourselves, "What made her leave? And why is she back?" Well, when I originally started this blog way back in the olden days, it was primarily to keep in touch with my parents who were living out of the country for a period of time. They came back and I could see them all the time, so the blog just sort of sputtered out and died. And then I got really busy being a wife and mom to three active little kids and didn't feel like I had time to keep the blog going. And then, wouldn't you know it, out of nowhere on November 2, 2010, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. What?!? You read that right--I was a healthy, 37-year-old woman and that came along and completely turned our little family's lives upside-down (check out the sah-weet last day of chemo pic!).
The past year has been pretty brutal--six months of chemotherapy, four surgeries and lots of visits to doctors--so I've been mostly out of commission. But as I was going through all my treatment, I really started to think about a lot of things. As with any life-changing experience, I started to assess what was most important to me and what I should really be spending my time doing. I started thinking a lot about this here little blog and it's just been here nagging me to pick it up, dust it off and give it a second chance. This has mostly been a journal and place for musings, observations and such but I've really wanted it to evolve into something useful, engaging and interesting--decor, crafts, projects, travel, photography, scrapbooking, bargains, thrifting--you get the idea. I have been completely blown away by so many talented people out there who are already in this space and I don't know if I'll have much to contribute, but I'm going to try. And saying I'm going to get this going may motivate me to dig into my piles of projects around here! Anyway, if anyone's out there reading this, welcome! I hope you'll come back and visit me often. I'm off to go figure out how to get everything updated and looking pretty (how is everybody doing that? Remember, I said I've been out of commission? I mean, really out of commission!) so I can get this party started!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Little House on the Prairie -- not so innocent . . .

Sorry, another post from Tom.

As part of my night time routine with Avie (3 yrs old), when I'm walking out of her room after tucking her in, etc., she reminds me in a very authoritative voice to "make sure the house isn't on fire." I believe it has something to do with her getting in trouble for her frequent screaming and Jen and I telling her she is only allowed to scream if the house is on fire. We've actually said more than once "Hey, Ava! Is the house on fire? Then stop screaming!" Anyway, every night I tell her that I'll make sure the house isn't on fire and that's that.

Ava also likes going to the allergist with me to watch me get a shot. She gets to work the water cooler in the waiting room and brings me about 50 separate "drinks" of water of about 1 teaspoon each. Last week during this routine I was pretending to savor each drop of every drink while "Little House on the Prairie" played on the TV up on the wall. In my youth and as an adult, I have known several families who do not watch much, if any television. I know of at least three families whose kids, however, are allowed to watch "Little House on the Prairie". I don't think I've ever actually watched an entire episode, but I figured it has to be about the safest thing ever broadcast if those strict families allow their children to watch. Anyway, after Ava began to lose interest in the water cooler, I pointed out the TV with the "show" playing.

We both started watching. On this episode there was something smoking in a room which soon turned into a fire and began to engulf the entire house. To my shock and horror, within 30 seconds, instead of seeing the woman rescue the crying baby and everyone escape, Ava and I witnessed a woman pick up the baby, try desperately to escape through several windows to no avail and finally die with the baby in the fire. During this ordeal, Ava asked several times if the baby was going to be ok. I told her "yes" knowing that things always work out on these shows. Well, "Little House" made a liar out of me. Further, I had to tell about 15 more lies about how the baby and the lady went out the "other side" of the house and ran home and that all the sad people it was showing now were sad because now they have to build a new house, but that it's really not that hard.

So, I now I have a new respect for those people who were actually scaring their kids into submission by only allowing this horror show to be played in their homes. So far I've avoided it, but I'm not looking forward to my next night-time exchange with Ava about making sure the house isn't on fire.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

merry & bright

I've stepped out of "The Sweatshop" (more on that later) to finally clean up the breakfast dishes (if that's any indication of how our day went) and reflect for a minute about today. Another Christmas has come and gone, the kids are all asleep and I'm breathing a huge sigh of relief. Relief that I got (almost) everything done and relief that my little ones had a wonderful, magical day. I hope yours was very merry.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

a christmas miracle

For the first time in I don't know how long, this year I have managed to send or deliver our Christmas card BEFORE Christmas. This is huge for me! I was determined to be totally prepared and finished with everything waaaaay in advance this year, but once again, as it always does, December 25 has sneaked up on me and I'm in hyper mode to try to get it all done. At least the card is crossed off the list and I can breathe a small sigh of relief there. And I am so happy with how it turned out--not the traditional holiday card look but I totally dig it. I guess I should move on to the wrapping, delivering, cooking, cleaning, etc., etc. and trying to fit a little sleep in somewhere. I hope you're more ready than I am!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

thank you, Ron Popeil!

You're probably expecting to read something witty from my very talented wife. Sorry to disappoint, but I'm hijacking this because I don't have a better place to write it.

On several occasions over the years, Elleke has expressed some concern over my lack of hair. It's typically expressed by a look of pity and confusion on her face as she asks me about wearing a hat. She's been very good about being delicate, though, until last night.

I had just finished doing some work in the garage and came in the house to find the girls in their beds. I checked to see if Ella was awake so I could go read to her. As I was situating myself next to her she suggested very politely that "they should make some kind of spray that 'people' can spray on their heads that looks like hair."

I laughed inside just a little and decided to cut to the chase. "Do you feel sorry for me that I'm kind of bald?"

She looked at me, teared up a little, got that look of pity on her face, and admitted "Yes."

I assured her that I don't feel bad about it and that she doesn't need to worry about me. I'm fine. Then I remembered Great Looking Hair from those Ron Popeil infomercials when I was in my teens. I had to share this with her: "Someone actually did make something like what you're talking about. It's like spraypaint, but it goes on your head and colors the little wispy hairs to make them look like real hair. And it makes your scalp hair-colored so people don't see the bald spot as easy. It actually looks a little worse than being bald."

She looked at me with the pity again, this time accompanied by the self assured nod that 'knowing better' provides.

I got the hint. "Do you think I should try some?"

"Yes," was the reply.

"If you really want me to try it, you can buy it for me for Christmas, but I don't really want it."

"Ok," she said.

Phew! It was over. I figured she'd forget about it and now that we had both aired our feelings, maybe she wouldn't feel so sorry for me. I was feeling fairly smug about how deftly I had handled it.

"But," she continued, "I'll have to buy white and black to match your other hair."

Thanks, Ron Popeil! You really know how to make a guy feel old.

After doing a little research to write this up, I discovered that "GLH" is available in a color called "silver-black". Here's a link, Ella. Oh, darn. Looks like you can't buy it there any more. The sham-wow is looking tempting, though.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

speaking of mourning

The last few days have been rough for Cougar fans everywhere. The BYU-Utah game on Saturday was ugly. But, we will survive, we will hold our heads high and we will say (as we have said before), "There's always next year". No matter what happens on game day, we are still proud, true-blue Cougar fans. So, on Sunday, Tom bravely (or stupidly--I'm still trying to figure out which) donned his BYU tie, we sang the Cougar Fight Song, loaded up in our BYU license plate-clad car and drove to church where we endured quite a bit of heckling and trash talking (from the bishop, and in his UofU tie, no less--a huge Ute fan and I sustained the guy!). Apparently, we are deep in enemy territory. Our ward is full of red-blooded Ute fans--I had no idea the apostasy ran so rampant around here. I may have to reconsider some of these friendships...My only consolation with it all is the sweet, sweet memory of Beck to Harline with zero on the clock for the game-winning touchdown on the Hill a couple of years ago. So after the slaughter on Saturday, I will say we're all even. And in the spirit of good sportsmanship, I will say congratulations to the Utes. Now go kick some BCS butt!

By the way, I had to have "the talk" with Elleke the other day. You know the one--it's very serious and can take you by surprise. It went something like this:

Me: "I just want you kids to know that if you ever go to the University of Utah, you'll be kicked out of our family."

Elleke: "But mom, what if you pay for us to go there."

Me: "We will never pay for you to attend that school."

Elleke: "OK."

I think it went very well--very clear and concise, just the way they tell you to. As for the other "talk", I'm not sure I'm even close to ready for that one. Frankly, this one concerned me more and I'm glad it's out of the way. Go Cougs!