Friday, November 30, 2007


Two days ago I met my bishop. Well, er, that is, I met who would be my bishop if I happened to be LDS. He and his wife, who live a few streets over, came to our door to welcome us. They were sorry they hadn't been over sooner, to help us unload. They were oozing hospitality. I think we Christians could learn a thing or two from the Mormons. (Not including their actual religious beliefs, mind you).

I've been here for three days and I have to say that Utah is (so far) not too bad. Love you, California, you'll always be the one. Oh it's freezing. Literally. It snowed the first morning we were here and is supposed to dump about six inches tonight. And oh how I am the minority. Which makes me feel uncomfortable and fiercely proud all at once. And then, there is the small fact that my parents are still here so I can't be too homesick yet. But come on, how could you not fall in love with this view:

This is a picture of the Wasatch Mountains taken from my driveway. They are gorgeous. And at night the valley is alive with Christmas lights and it I imagine hard enough it's almost like I live in the Hollywood Hills and I am looking down on Los Angeles, only there are huge mountains jutting out of L.A. instead of, like, an ocean. And, as promised, here is a picture of the house:

Remember that we are renting. No I did not inherit a bajillion dollars so that I could simultaneously own a home in Riverton, Utah and Ramona, California. Please go away interest only financial burden or what I like to call "Next time, maybe, trust your instincts and don't play around with creative financing." Anyway, all that to say that the house is pretty amazing. It's just a long way from the church which, after all, is why we're here.

Okay, folks, there you have it. I NaBloPMo'd my brains out. I blogged during the month of November. I used ellipsis wrong. I started sentences with and, but and because. I started in the south of California and ended in the north of Utah. But I so did it.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Where Is Melody Creek?

So, when we drove into our town on Tuesday night, the street signs were covered in snow. This was a problem since we had no clue where our house was. My husband grabbed the closest thing he could find, a toilet brush, and started throwing it at the street signs, knocking bits of snow off at a time. I laughed so hard my face hurt. If anyone was looking out their window at 8:30 mountain time, they definitely think they have weird new neighbors.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

We're Here

There is so much to tell about my roadtrip but so much house that needs to be unpacked first. I am trying to get Garrett's room finished (mostly) before he arrives with my mom tonight at 9:30. We had tremendous amounts of help from the people in the church who are so excited that we're here. Some of them got here at 9:00 am and just left. Having my dad with us was the biggest blessing. Yesterday he drove the U-Haul for many hours and today he unloaded my moving van and fixed my couch that decided to start breaking, along with countless other things around my new home.

Speaking of the new home. It's a freaking mansion! I will post pictures soon but the thing is pretty amazing. There are nicks and scrapes but for the most part it is ridiculously lovely. Our neighborhood is adorable. Our office (where I am now) is freezing! The heat doesn't go into the basement. Okay. So I really need to go because the boxes just aren't unpacking themselves.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Day Has Come

Today is the day. Turns out that directions from my old house to my new house are incredibly easy. Directions to Riverton:

15 N

215 N

215 turns into 15N (again)

Exit Bangerter (in Riverton)

Right onto 11800

Right onto Janice

Right onto Melody Creek

Possible Stops

1. Barstow

2. Las Vegas

3. Cedar City

4. Nephi

Alternate Stops if I have to go to the bathroom too many times! (probable)


Primm, NV

Littlefield, AZ

Cedar City



If my bladder is awesome! (doubtful)


St George


I'll let you know how the roadtrip was when we get there.

Monday, November 26, 2007


I'm tired. I've packed up my whole house and cleaned it and I'm tired. Nevermind that tomorrow I have to get up at 4:30 and drive for the whole day.

I'm in total denial that I have to say goodbye. Who knows, maybe I'll be so exhausted in the morning that it won't really hit me. How long can one effectively live in denial?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

All Moved Out

It's really awesome when Cox is supposed to turn off your cable and internet on Monday and they turn it off on Saturday. It makes keeping your monthly posting promise difficult. It means you have to blog from your parent's house.

What else is awesome is having an empty house because all of your belongings are in a moving van. Yah.

But we had ample amounts of help to get that moving van loaded. It made me feel loved.

I don't want to unpack it. I don't think I will. I might just become a stuffless nomad. Hmmmm.

Tomorrow is deep cleaning day. I'm, um, not excited.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Latitude 40

Okay. It just got...interesting. I decided to check the weather for the next ten days in northern Utah. You know, cuz I'll live there, in four days. Um, I don't know if you understand that I freeze to near death in Southern California. That's right. Latitude of 32. Do you know the latitude of Salt Lake City? 40! It is eight degrees further from the Equator. Y'all (I'm Southern now) I'm pretty fond of the Equator. I don't really want to move away from it. Just to put that in perspective for you, if I moved eight degrees closer to my tropical friend, Equator, I would be in THE BAHAMAS. It's, um, warm there. My thin blood would be happier there. A lot. Probably. So back to the part where I tell you that I checked the weather. First let me show you the weather in Ramona for the next ten days:

74- sunny
71- mostly cloudy
72- partly cloudy
71- partly cloudy
70- partly cloudy
69- mostly sunny
65- mostly sunny
64- few showers
64- showers
62- partly cloudy

Here is the weather for Riverton, Utah (where my house is)
42- sunny
45- mostly sunny
44- partly cloudy
41- cloudy
36- partly cloudy
41- cloudy
37- snow showers
36- partly cloudy
40- sunny
45- sunny

Those 40-45 degree days are about thirty degrees colder than I like it. Actually, closer to 40 degrees colder than I like it. I like my weather between 75-82. Those days that are in the thirties, well, I don't really even know what that means. It gets that cold at night, in the dead of winter, in Ramona, but I am tucked cozily in my blankets. I do not have to frolic on over to the grocery store, or church, or venture outside with my son who would happily live in the yard if I'd let him. And this snow showers thing I'm seeing. I've heard of snow. I've even, actually seen it. In fact, I used to ski on it. But it stays there, on the mountain. It doesn't come down and effect my life! I'm shaking for two reasons. Reason number one is because I'm scared. Reason number two is because it's 70 degrees here in Ramona. A good five degrees colder than I like it.

Oh, by the way, in Nassau (Bahamas) it's supposed to be between 80-83 for the next ten days. When my dad and Troy glance in the side mirrors of the U-Haul and wonder where the Santa Fe went, I'll be driving it to the airport in plenty of time to make my flight. I won't need much, just a bathing suit and a cabana. Ahhh, that will be the life.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Thanksgiving was just a sweet time for me at my parent's house with my brother, grandparents, and most of my aunts, uncles and cousins. I stuffed myself silly with green bean casserole, yams, turkey, ham, rolls, potatoes, cranberry sauce, olives, pickles, salads, apple pie, pumpkin pie, and trifle (Jon, I did NOT taste the sauteed peas and onions or the beef. What's up with that?) It just felt so special to be able to hang out with my family. Thanksgiving is always one of my very favorite times of the year. It doesn't get much better than football and the smell of turkey filling my mom's home and the people who are the most near and dear to me seated around a huge table. It was determined that the family cannot grow anymore because we won't fit in my parents dining room--in fact, we already spread well into the living room--so I guess it's good that Troy and I are leaving before we add any children to our family. We took the above picture because it's quite a bit like this one...

which was taken on Thanksgiving last year. The only difference, of course, is the length of my hair, which got considerably shorter. And, well, the size of my son, who got considerably larger. Last year the challenge was getting him to stay propped up on his arms and not flop his head back onto the ground. This year the difficult part was keeping him from crawling two feet forward, standing up, and then running out the back door to play with my cousins. Last year he ate breast milk, rice cereal, and a bite or two of mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving. This year he ate ham, potatoes, cranberry sauce, yams, green beans, corn, roll, pink salad, pie, and olives. We tried turkey. We tried turkey with gravy. We tried turkey hidden in things. It repelled out. Apparently, he doesn't much care for turkey. Weird kid.

My grandmother, approaching the end of a nearly two year battle with lung cancer, made the trip. When she was getting ready to leave, I leaned in to the car and hugged her. There's a chance I will see her tomorrow, if she's feeling up to making it to my cousin's birthday party. There's a chance that she will hang on until I visit in February. But there's a chance that it was the last time I will ever hug her. And as the wire of her glasses pressed coolly onto my cheekbone she whispered, "I'm going to miss you when you're gone."

I whispered back, "I'll miss you, too." But, of course, I didn't mean when I'm gone. And it was a very strange sensation, saying, "I love you" as the door closed and knowing that there is a very real possibility that it was the last time I will ever see her. It made my Thanksgiving that much sweeter and it made me that much more thankful.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Lesser Known Things That I Am Thankful For

I am thankful for dirty diapers. We're talking diapers of the giant blowout variety. For in these disgusting wastelands, I am reminded that God gave me my miracle.

I am thankful for the price of gas. When I shell out $50.00 toward this ridiculous necessity, I remember that I have the blessing of a vehicle and legs to drive it.

I am thankful that I am moving. Without the gift of Salt Lake City, I may never have known just how much I want to marry San Diego.

I am thankful for the scale. Without the idea of the scale taunting me, I would easily consume a can of cranberries, a pan of yams, a dish of green bean casserole, a vat of mashed potatoes and an entire pie.

I am thankful for that beer commercial where the two guys are at the opera and their bottles of beer shatter when the soprano hits the high note. You know the one, "First time at the opera, boys?" And the guy shakes the can in their faces? Yah. I've seen it about 100 times and it makes me laugh every...single...time.

I am thankful for math. Without math, I would never have realized the depth of my love affair with language.

I am thankful for infertility (yes, I actually said it) for it made me the most grateful mother on earth. I am thankful that we are experiencing secondary infertility because if God blesses us with another biological child, I will not take my second born for granted. And if He chooses not to bless us with another biological child, I will be molded and grown through the experience.

I am thankful for barbeque potato chips.

I am thankful for the massive amounts of leaves that fall from my trees every autumn because those same leaves kept my house cool during all the summers that I lived here.

I'm thankful for spiders because they eat flies. I hate spiders. I hate flies more.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

This whole moving shenanigan has given me the privilege of spending time with some of my dearest friends. Unfortunately, our lives don't cross often enough. But, when someone declares relocation, the blessing of time is always made. In the past couple of weeks, I have seen several of my closest and oldest friends.

Jenni and I have been friends since high school. We rolled together, in our gang, The LOOPs. If you're curious, LOOPs stood for Last Ones On the Planet. It was spearheaded by, and thus, fairly exclusively limited to, the five core members. In essence, however, it extended to anyone who had not had "the sex." The tribe was concocted during our senior year when one by one by one, we discovered that another friend or acquaintance had thrown her virginity out the metaphorical window. It seemed, at times, that we were literally the last ones on the planet who thought it was worth saving. We are now both happily married and have had different life experiences since graduating from high school but, whenever we get together, I feel a little bit like Samantha and Teensy from Now & Then. Even though I'm no longer the actor and she, well, is.

Jayni is actually my most antique friend (that I am still in contact with). We became friends sometime during the year that I was seven and she was six. No matter how old, beautiful and successful Jayni gets, she will always be that scrawny little seven-year-old in the gigantic cast at my 8th birthday party. And the two of us have the gift of gab, indeed. I think you could put me on Mars for thirty years and then plop me down in Jayni's living room and the two of us would be able to talk for another twenty about the experience. The duo of Jayni and me is one of Troy's favorites. He finds us uproarious. It's good be to be found funny. We were never "best friends" but our steadfast friendship has endured 19 years...and counting.

Kelli was one of my roommates in college. She was one of my bridesmaids. I was one of hers. She now lives in Washington with her hubby but was down for a visit because she is also my token genius friend. Everyone needs one of those, by the way. She is getting her doctorate from UCSD and had to have meetings or something or other on the campus, so she killed two birds with one stone and got together with me while she was here. Kelli is just one of the nicest people I know. For example, in college, during freshman year, my roommate and I were oil and water and it was Kelli's (and Michelle's) room that I slept in when I decided to pretty much move out of my room. Through the huge trial of living with someone who blew her hair dry two feet from my sleeping head, God blessed me with a lifelong friend.

I hated Kristin when I met her. The story is long and involves the pathological liar, but all that really matters is that it took me about two months to realize that Kristin was, indeed, a good apple. One of the best, in fact. It might have had something to do with the beached whale costume. Kristin and I are really quite different. She's talent and, well, I am enthusiasm. She gets lost every time she comes to my house but seems to have mastered the New York subway system, a network of trains and tracks and entrances and exits that boggles my mind. But even though she has a propensity toward misplacing herself, she braved the freeways and came to visit me because she's swell like that.

Cassie/Cassandra moved to Ramona when we were in the 2nd grade. We were insta-best friends for a year. Then we had some kind of elementary fallout and loathed one another until middle school. From then on we were extremely close again, taking production classes together, swimming on the same year-round team and the Varsity high school team together, going on camping trips, etc. At age seven, we pretended to stage plays in her basement. At age 14, we pretended to be famous. At age 18, we pretended that college wouldn't distance us. It did, as college often does, but you can put us in a kitchen, around plates of Caesar salad, and it's like we're those same little kids. We run in different crowds, but then, we kind of always did. Our lives are as different as night as day. She takes a taxi around New York City and flies to Norway for the weekend and I drive my Santa Fe with the baby in the backseat. Still, sitting at her table, laughing and learning about her life, I can't help but catch a glimpse of the teenagers we once were, running down to the basement to finish a project, or the seven-year-olds off to put the finishing touches on their play.

These are a few of my good friends. They are diamonds in the rough. Of course I have others, these are just the ones that I have seen over the past two weeks. Others are in their own cities in their own states with their own lives and I miss them. I once had a picture framed in my room that said, "Dear friends are like antiques. They become more precious as time goes by." I've been friends with Jenni for about eleven years, Jayni for nineteen, Kelli for eight, Kristin for seven, and Cass for one plus thirteen. It's true. They are all so much more lovely to me than the day I met them.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Today is my last Tuesday in California. At this time next week I expect to be somewhere near Vegas on my way to a new life. If I wasn't so busy self medicating with boxes and phone calls, I would be able to feel my heart breaking.

I want to breathe everything in. To remember it all exactly as it is. To savor being Californian. I'm desperately trying to scorch images of sea and sun and remembrance and life onto that place just behind the eyes, the hamlet where nostalgia dwells and my soul only aches a little. I am telling myself that this too shall pass. But in that comfortable adage I discover a new fear. Perhaps, one day, I will have forgotten that this is home. It isn't the house, though I am having a terrible time tearing myself away from my son's first room. It isn't even the things I know and the routine of it all. It is the way that I am inexplicably alive in this space.

Utah is fine. It's a beautiful place to visit. I might have even been able to pull up a chair and stay for awhile, by a fire, with the snow-covered Wasatch Mountains peering through the window. Perhaps I will find solace in the slower pace, peace in the biting cold, and warmth in the welcome. But I will not ever find California. For what has always been under the sole of my shoe now eludes me. My definition of home will evaporate with the breath that I am holding. And I can only wait so long to exhale.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Oh The Places I'd See

We have a map of the world on our wall. Sometimes I look at places like Ushakov Island and wonder how many people live there. Then I think about how much better it is that I am moving to Salt Lake City than, say, Ushakov. I mean, Ushakov has a polar station. And that's it. At least Salt Lake City has grocery stores and Sonic to go with its snow.

But I look at this map and it makes me want to travel. I want to see it all.

To name a few places I want to go:
2. Followed closely by England
3. Australia
4. The remaining 32 states that I have not yet been to
5. Fiji
6. New Zealand
7. Costa Rica
8. France
9. Austria
10. Germany
11. Greece
12. Spain
13. Ireland
14. Venezuela
15. Africa (I'm not sure where just yet)
16. China
17. Brazil
18. The Caribbean
19. Switzerland
20. And more...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Kimmy Gibbler Is Not My Friend

One of my dearest friends traveled down to visit me last night. We laughed about how I used to be engaged to a pathological liar. It's good to get to a point where you can laugh about something like that. I don't think I ever knew, though, that "The Ex Pathological Liar" told her she looked like Kimmy Gibbler. Now, I'm sure that looking like Andrea Barber would be just fine. She's nice looking, as is my friend, not that I'm saying they look anything alike because they don't. I'm just saying is all. But to tell someone she looks like Kimmy freaking Gibbler is just plain mean. If you look like Kimmy Gibbler, you might act like Kimmy Gibbler and, well, quite frankly, no one wants that. And Kristin does neither. Seriously. She neither looks nor acts like The Gibbler. Not that that statement is what made him pathological. There were...other things. Many, many other things. It just made him mean.

All this to say that, Kristin, if you're reading this. You're beautiful. You're gorgeous in a Scandinavian way...or whatever it is you are. And you look nothing like Gibbler.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Upon Leaving My Home

Troy: I think that your dad and I will do the majority of the driving and you'll hop back and forth between the two vehicles.

Me: Really? I kinda thought I'd be driving the Santa Fe and you and my dad would take turns driving the moving van.

Troy: But you'll get annoyed with all the meowing and the panting.

Me: Well, I'm going to start out driving the Santa Fe. That's for sure.

Troy: Ok. Why?

Me: Because, initially there will be a whole lot of tears. We're talking floodgates. No one should have to see that.

Troy: Are you going to get in an accident?

Me: I'll let you know.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Theatre

I visited one of my college roommates today and we went over to the campus for a little while. She needed to pick something up at First Church and I wanted to see if Doc was in his office. He was and so he got to meet Garrett. I'm sure neither of them cared much about meeting the other but it was important to me. I consider that boy my greatest production and my director ought to have met him before we moved. Since it is highly inappropriate for a toddler to actually see a show, I had to make a special trip to introduce the munchkin. Doc had exactly three minutes to chat with me before his rehearsal started. As I walked out of his office I told Garrett that it would have been cool if he could have stood on the stage but they had a rehearsal and we had to go. Doc exclaimed, "Bring him in!"

I know he's a baby. I know it was coincidence. I know I'm being absurd but that kid, grumpy from lack of napping, squealed with delight--pure delight--when I plopped him on that stage. He ran around, he gently touched the tormentor, he stared at the ghost lamp, he ran into the center of the stage, gazed out and started babbling. I'm-not-even-kidding. Doc even said, "He's saying his lines." So, maybe it's in his blood? Maybe? I mean, I did take him to Broadway when he was just a teeny little embryo.

And all of that led me to think about the theatre and all the glorious parts I'd love to have, roles I'd just die to play. Oh what I'd give to be Glinda in Wicked. I want to travel by bubble. I want to flirt and flounce. I can say, "It is good to see me, isn't it? No need to answer, that was rhetorical" like the best of 'em. Oh I could so be Glinda. If God had made me a freakishly high soprano. But he didn't.

Oh what I'd give to be Liesl in The Sound of Music. I want to frolic around a gazebo. I do. I want to say, "Weeeeee!" after Rolf kisses me. I want to wear curtains for clothing. I could so be Liesl...if I were still sixteen going on seventeen.

Oh what I'd give to be Maureen in Rent. I want to ride a motorcycle onto the stage. I want to make the audience moo with me. I want to to sing, "Who said that you have any say in who she says things to at all?" I could so be Maureen in Rent...if I didn't think it would be a serious problem if I made out with a girl on stage.

Oh what I'd give to be Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys. I could be Frankie Valli...well, if I were a man.

Oh what I'd give to be Laurey in Oklahoma. Wait, no, I don't actually like Oklahoma all that much.

Oh what I'd give to be Gilmer in Godspell. Oh yah, I was Gilmer in Godspell. Fun times.

Oh what I'd give to be Olivia in Twelfth Night. I was Maria in Twelfth Night. Maria is, not exactly, Olivia.

Oh what I'd give to be Lady Macbeth. I want to walk around in a lunatic-induced haze wringing my hands. I want to say, "Out, damn'd spot! out, I say!—One; two: why, then 'tis time to do't. —Hell is murky. —Fie, my lord, fie, a soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our pow'r to accompt?—Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?" I could so be Lady Macbeth if...wait a minute. I could so be Lady Macbeth.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Or If My Ashes Scatter On The Wind, I Don't Care

Yesterday, when I woke up, I thought about taking my son to visit my grandmother. Then I remembered that it was urn shopping day. Much as I wanted to see Grandma, I did not want to shop for an urn. Later, my mother informed me that she put Grandma's funeral on her credit card. Neat. It had been a family affair. Mom, Aunt Vicki, Grandpa and Grandma had all piled into the car and gone urn picking.

Grandma was there because she isn't dead.

Dying, yes. But aren't we all? It's true that her death will, in all probability, occur sooner than the rest of ours, she's been battling lung cancer for longer than anyone thought possible. But it still gives me the willies to think about urn shopping.

This prompted a discussion with my husband (who is adamantly opposed to cremation for his own self) about where we would want to be laid to rest. It's a little bit of a pickle, you see, because Troy loves the northwest and I love California. In any case, Troy determined that if I should die young, he would put me in a wall so that I could be easily transported in case he and Garrett moved. He thinks I should be nearby so Garrett can visit me. To this I informed him that he would absolutely need to cremate me. How gross is it to think about moving day otherwise.

Troy: Got all your toys?
Garrett: Check.
Troy: Clothes?
Garrett: Check.
Troy: Mommy's casket?
Garrett: Yep, I saw the movers put her in the van, right by a box marked kitchen.
Troy: Then I think we're good to go. Hop in, sport.

Troy rolled his eyes and said that there are people who specifically move bodies from one place to another. Sounds pricey. And still. If he's going to transport my remains all over the country, I'm goin' urn all the way.

But do NOT keep me on the mantle. No sir. Scatter me over Tahoe or go all crazy kamikaze during the middle of a Broadway show, sprint across the stage waving and flinging my remains and screaming, "Now she's on Broadway!" Or, if my son really needs to pay his respects to my actual self, put me in a wall with a little plaque. But if any of my four loyal readers discovers that my husband put me on the mantle...get a court order to have me removed. I don't want my ashes and dust kicking it in the living room. Ew.

Kind of reminds me of a Rich Mullins song:
Well, if they dressed me like a pauper
Or if they dined me like a prince
If they lay me with my fathers
Or if my ashes scatter on the wind I don't care
But when I leave I want to go out like Elijah

With a whirlwind to fuel my chariot of fire
And when I look back on the stars
Well, It'll be like a candlelight in Central Park
And it won't break my heart to say goodbye

I guess, where my life is concerned, I really don't care. Other than, I'd kinda like to go out like Elijah.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

It Takes A Woman

In trying to set up phone/internet/cable service in Utah I was on the phone with Comcast for over 45 minutes. They kept sending me to different people in different places with different accents. It was special.

First I called someone who must have been in India. It took me over a minute just to get him to understand the letters I was saying as I spelled out the street name. He told me that service was not available in my new area.

So I tried another number. I was on hold for five minutes. He told me that service was available but that I needed to call directly to Riverton.

I was on hold for 10 minutes and I got a guy who asked me if Riverton was in California. Oh how I wish. I informed him that, no, it wasn't and I had just been on hold for 10 minutes waiting for someone who was specifically in Riverton. "Oh, I'm in California, ma'am." Well, yah, me too. But I need a freaking phone number in freezing Utah!

He gave me a direct number, complete with Salt Lake City area code. A lovely, English speaking, Megan set me up with my new phone, new cable, new internet and, for five extra dollars, wireless. Now Troy can work on sermons from any room in the house. (It was also at this point that we realized that wireless works within several hundred feet. So that's how Troy was picking up internet in my grandparent's living room.) She asked me why, in the world, I am moving to Utah? I ask myself that every single day.

Anyway, I have a new number. I told her I wanted the easiest one she had. Email me if you want it. The moral of this story is that I should have just started with a woman from the beginning.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Odds and Ends

My family has returned.

Last night my son acted as though he'd never known I wasn't there.

Today he's been whiny and clingy and...huggie. It makes me wonder if Troy lost my real son in Oregon and brought back a lookalike. My offspring has never been a hugger. If it weren't for the clinging and the whining, I'd be in heaven.

In other news, my husband thinks that I am going to lose friends over my blog about names. But Bethany said, "Amen, Amen, Amen." I think that's a good thing. So, if all my other friends decide that the relationships are over, I'll still have her. In any case, I am reiterating that they are my rules. You can make up your own rules where meaning means nothing, names are spelled with silent sixes and extra j's and no vowels, and girls are named Todd and Vincent. I won't care. I just won't follow your rules. Just like you don't have to follow mine.

We just got a dumpster delivered to our house. We're really, actually, moving. It's not a nightmare I'm going to wake up from. Crap.

Monday, November 12, 2007

What's In a Name?

Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes - The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.
-Elizabeth Barrett Browning

You see, there's a reason I love Elizabeth Barrett Browning. And it's not just because she has the most amazing name in the history of the world. I mean, until she got married, she went through life as Elizabeth Barrett, which is marvelous. I wish my last name was Barrett. Except I would have had to have chosen a different name for my son. Garrett Barrett wouldn't have worked for me. I'm incredibly picky about names. This is supposed to be a post about the brilliant quote above but I need to digress.

My Rules For Naming Children (no, I don't expect you to follow them. They are my rules)

1. A name should not be trendy. This is especially difficult because of the natural ebb and flow of naming. A good bet is to chose a name that has, for the past 10 years or so, steadily been in the top 150 names but is not, currently, in the top 20. (Example: Garrett: In the past 15 year it has ranged from 74-138) *Side note: I LOVE some trendy names. Aidan and Isabella, are among my favorites. However, I did not want my son to be Aidan B so I did not name him that.

2. One of the names should be from the Bible. This is so that, as parents, we honor our faith through the sacred act of bestowing our child's identity. (Example: Garrett John)

3. Especially when naming male children, it is strongly encouraged to honor a family member with one of the child's names. Suggestions: Passing on the father's name or middle name or honoring a family member from the mother's side since she (in most cases) did not keep her last name. (Example: Garrett John-after my father and brother who are both named Jon. Spelled like John in the Bible for bonus points)

4. The name must, absolutely, flow together as first, middle, last. This is why Garrett Barrett would not be acceptable. Other unacceptable names include David Davidson, anything that rhymes internally, and names that end with the same letter as the last name starts with (this is not a hard rule) example: Caleb Brown. If said quickly, the poor boy would sound as though he had been named Kayla.

5. Cutesy first names are inappropriate. Name your child something strong or beautiful. If they choose a cutesy name, so be it. Remember that he may grow up to be a professional. (Example: Joseph. If he chose Joey or Joe that is fine, he can always fall back on Joseph if needed.)

6. Do not give your child strange spellings for his/her name. Why, because people will always spell them wrong. *Sidenote: I think that some people have a problem with our chosen spelling of Garrett. While I certainly do not care when people spell his name incorrectly, we chose two r's and two t's for a reason. Garrett is the traditional spelling of a boy's name. Garett is another option but when pronounced, we clearly say, "G-air-rit," if one listens closely they can hear the two r's so one of them should not be eliminated. While you cannot hear the two t's, a garret (one t) is a small attic. We did not want our son to be named after Jo's hideout in the novel Little Women.

7. Be cautious with gender neutral names. If you have a boy and a girl, and name the girl Taylor, make sure you name the boy Matthew or something equally male. If you have Taylor and Jordan and one is male and the other is female, people will get confused. Likewise, if a name is gender neutral, but is MUCH more popular for one gender do not name your opposite gendered child that name. (Example: Lauren for a boy) You do not want teachers to think your child is trying to pull a fast on one them when they first call roll. This can get tricky given the above mentioned ebb and flow of name.

8. If possible, the meaning should be acceptable to you. This was very important during biblical times. We loved the name Garrett which means "spear ruler" or "to watch" and implies the strength of someone watching over or protecting his land. That, however, was not as important to us as his middle name. Named, as mentioned, for my father, brother, grandfather, great grandfather, etc, John means "God is gracious" and is what Elizabeth and Zechariah are told to name their son after so many years of praying for his conception. God graciously gave them their child. Likewise, he answered our prayers and gave us our own John.

Trust me, there are more. These are just the first few that come to mind.

Do all the mothers out there hate me? Have I just offended absolutely everyone? That was not my intention and I apologize if you are now seething behind your computer screen.

Back to the quote:
How often do I sit around a metaphorical bush, so obviously alive with God, and munch stupidly on my blackberries? How often do I let ordinary miracles rush by me without so much as glancing in their direction? A tiny step taken by my son, a whisper of rustling leaves in the trees, a sunset, are all acts of his perfect design. Sometimes I am too busy hungrily gazing at those blackberries to take off my shoes and accept that I am standing on holy ground. Are you?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Help! I'm Stuck in the Bathroom!

Today at church the guest speaker relayed the following story:

One Saturday afternoon, I decided I was a big boy and could use the bathroom without anyone's help. So I climbed the stairs, closed and locked the door behind me, and for the next few minutes felt very self-sufficient. Then it was time to leave. I couldn't unlock the door. I tried with every ounce of my three-year-old strength, but I couldn't do it. I panicked. I felt again like a very little boy as the thought went through my head, "I might spend the rest of my life in this bathroom." My parents—and likely the neighbors—heard my desperate scream.

"Are you okay?" Mother shouted through the door she couldn't open from the outside. "Did you fall? Have you hit your head?"

"I can't unlock the door!" I yelled. "Get me out of here!"

I wasn't aware of it right then, but Dad raced down the stairs, ran to the garage to find the ladder, hauled it off the hooks, and leaned it against the side of the house just beneath the bedroom window. With adult strength, he pried it open, then climbed into my prison, walked past me, and with that same strength, turned the lock and opened the door.

"Thanks, Dad," I said—and ran out to play.

That's how I thought the Christian life was supposed to work. When I get stuck in a tight place, I should do all I can to free myself. When I can't, I should pray. Then God shows up. He hears my cry—"Get me out of here! I want to play!"—and unlocks the door to the blessings I desire.

Sometimes he does. But now, no longer three years old and approaching sixty, I'm realizing the Christian life doesn't work that way. And I wonder, are any of us content with God? Do we even like him when he doesn't open the door we most want opened—when a marriage doesn't heal, when rebellious kids still rebel, when friends betray, when financial reverses threaten our comfortable way of life, when the prospect of terrorism looms, when health worsens despite much prayer, when loneliness intensifies and depression deepens, when ministries die?

God has climbed through the small window into my dark room. But he doesn't walk by me to turn the lock that I couldn't budge. Instead, he sits down on the bathroom floor and says, "Come sit with me!" He seems to think that climbing into the room to be with me matters more than letting me out to play.

I don't always see it that way. "Get me out of here!" I scream. "If you love me, unlock the door!" Dear friend, the choice is ours. Either we can keep asking him to give us what we think will make us happy—to escape our dark room and run to the playground of blessings—or we can accept his invitation to sit with him, for now, perhaps, in darkness, and to seize the opportunity to know him better and represent him well in this difficult world.

I am ashamed to know that feeling of not liking God. In fact, when I'm not liking God I generally try to pretend that I do. Which is probably much worse because He knows I am pretending. It might be a lot like being in junior high. And being a girl. And finding out that whoever was supposed to be your BFF told another friend that you were ugly and dorky-when in reality you were just slightly awkward. And then you found out that she said it but you hated confrontation so much that you never told her you knew, you just cried alone at night. Except not really like that because God isn't in junior high, he probably doesn't even have a BFF, and he doesn't mind confrontation. Ask the lions. And Goliath. And practically everyone else in the Bible. So all I'm saying is that it's pointless to pretend we're best friends with God when we don't feel terribly friendly.

I wish I could always reason with my heart when God is breaking me, molding me, making me. My head says that it's exactly why I won't let Garrett put his fingers in outlets or run into the street. He thinks the outlets are playgrounds for his digits and the street is the promised land. I know that neither is true. So why do I question my heavenly father when I know that he has my best interest at heart?

Even though my mind tells my heart to worship, to listen, to obey, my heart doesn't always comply. I find myself yelling, "Get me out of here! If you love me, unlock the door! If you're going to break me and mold me and make me, love me enough to give me the desires of my heart! You know them better than anyone! Let me out of this bathroom, I want to go play!"

God sits there, quietly, with his legs crossed and his back up against the tub. I flail and pound on the door and sob. He probably doesn't like it. Sometimes, maybe, it even pulls on his heartstrings a little, like when tears run down Garrett's face because it's dinnertime but he wants another cookie. But God sets his jaw and doesn't waver. When I am tired I crawl up beside him and he tells me that he has something better in store. Something more glorious than I ever could have imagined on my own. Slowly and very deliberately, I am learning the truth of his vision. But it is a decision that I have to make every single minute. Some days I remember to sit beside him before I senselessly try to beat the door down. Some days I bash my head against it for hours. Some days, despite how hard I try, I forget to like the one who made me.

I am not proud of these days, but I rejoice in the knowledge that I worship a forgiving God. He is not a junior high girl, he is the Almighty and the Amen.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Yesterday my mom came over and we packed for maybe six hours straight. There are boxes everywhere but it just doesn't feel like I've made a dent. Troy already had stuff here when we got married. I brought stuff in. People gave us hoards of loot for our wedding. Four years of "stuff incurring" has transpired. We had a baby. He got stuff. It doesn't seem to matter what we sell, what we pitch into the trashcan, what we burn, bury or hide, there's just a whole lot of substance to pack into containers, boxes and bags. She'll be over soon and we'll do it all again. Except, you know, different stuff this time. (Love you, Mom. Could NOT do it without you.)

In other news, does anyone, I repeat, anyone, want to buy my house? Come on, you know you do. Or, if a whole house is just a little too expensive, how about an organ? Actually, you can just have the organ, take it away from me. Toddlers love 'em.

I should probably get a move on (hardy har I crack myself up). There's packing and laundering and stressing to be done.

And, yes, I miss my family. I'm trying not to think about it.

Friday, November 9, 2007

They've Left Me

One could argue that Garrett has always been a part of me. Or, at least, that half of him has always been a part of me. After all, a female is born with all of her eggs. So, never before has he been this far away from me, hovering somewhere over Nevada and on his way to Portland.

My husband's family got the crazy notion that now would be a good time for a visit. Nevermind that we're moving in 18 days. While I could definitely have used my husband this weekend (he's been gone three hours and I've already been on the phone with the guy handling our new health insurance and the new church, asking, answering and fielding questions) I think I'll get more done without the baby. If I put one thing in a box, Garrett pulls two things out. So it's probably a blessing in disguise.

But walking away from them at the airport, telling my toddler that I'd see him in three days, was actually harder than I thought it would be. I seriously almost cried. Seriously. And when I got home there was a message from Daddy and Garrett. At the end the boy babbles something into the machine. I didn't delete it. If I need to hear his voice during the next three days I fully intend to push play.

Have fun Troy and boy. Laugh, play, visit, eat at Izzy's. I'll be here, packing away and dealing with all the odds and ends. It's almost like going on vacation. Except without the fun and the Izzy's.

They better return to me in one piece with no plane crashes to speak of. Because if they don't I'll have to unpack everything. Well, that and the fact that I would be thrown in the loony bin and probably put on suicide watch.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


I've been a little bit of a downer lately. With the exception, maybe, of the boob blog, I've been on my woe-is-me-I-have-to-leave-this-awesome-place-and-I'm-less-than-thrilled soap box. While I still maintain that only the truly insane or the wives of the truly insane would ever pack up and leave this mecca, there are some things I'm looking forward to:

1. The stage at OUR NEW CHURCH. Previously, at MVCC, all plays had to be blocked so that the actors could walk off the stage and exit through doors--there was no way to get "backstage" without first getting "offstage." The very first thing I noticed on our first trip to Salt Lake back in August was the stage. It's nothing glorious or fancy but by gosh there are doors ON THE STAGE that lead to a backstage area. My heart and vision are happy. Very happy.

2. Seasons (sort of). I am not looking forward to learning how to drive in the snow, which everyone tells me I should do in a parking lot. "Hello, fifteen-year-old Lori, didn't think I'd see you again, what are you doing? Learning how to drive in a parking lot. Awesome. Me too." I don't think this time will come complete with my mother white-knuckling the armrest but you never know. And I'm not looking forward to my thin California blood going through the painful-and often freezing-process of thickening up. I am, however, looking forward to a white (keeping my fingers crossed) or at least chilly Christmas. It's true that I don't mind a warm San Diego holiday but I just can't see being upset over hot chocolate and blankets galore. And I think, come April, I will be so sick of the snow that spring, for the first time, will seem like the crispest of miracles.

3. I am looking forward to cultivating new relationships with the congregation, most of whom are so very excited about our arrival. Of course, I will desperately miss the friends and relationships that I have here at MVCC but I am truly starting to look forward to getting to know the people of OUR NEW CHURCH.

4. Wicked August 2009. I heard a rumor. Happy 6th Anniversary to me! (And Troy, of course) What's that? Well, yes, we have seen it twice already. Your point?

5. Being about twenty minutes away from this:

and, well, this:

and this:

To be completely honest, I'm giddy about all the waterfalls and creeks and ponds and trails and beauty within a half hour of my new home. But, besides leaving my fantastic California-and her ocean-behind, I'm more than just a little nervous about this:

It's not that we don't have an LDS temple here in San Diego because oh how we do...but it shakes the core of my being to think about existing as the minority. I've never been the religious minority...unless you count high school. Even then it was only because it wasn't "cool" to be "religious." And to not only not be a part of the majority, but to label myself as a pastor's wife and my boy as the son of the preacherman, well, sometimes I think I should just put a sticker on my back that says, "Lunatic!"

And then, sometimes, I thank God that He's sending me to Utah and not to Saudi Arabia or Lebanon. At least if I'm going to be one among the masses I'll still get to speak English and enjoy not wearing a burqa.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Celery is the New Chocolate

I'm not feeling very bloggy today. Leaves are blowing off the trees out my window at an alarming rate, I am surrounded by tubs and boxes, and my son is a full blown boy, adios babyhood. I should rake the leaves, pack the tubs and watch my son grow up...instead of, you know, discussing mayonnaise.

I used to love mayonnaise. Slather some on a turkey sandwich and my stomach would smile. That is not the case anymore. Early in high school I was at Burger King and realized that you cut the fat in half (IN HALF) on a Whopper if you removed the creamy spread. I started replacing mayonnaise with mustard on everything I possibly could. I still eat potato salad and egg salad and tuna sandwiches (using very little mayo) but I cannot stand to bring out the best foods for anything else.

And when I have to, for the purpose of making my mayo-loving hubby a sandwich, I cringe, hold my breath, and try desperately not to get it on my hands. When a smear appears across my fingers, the gag reflex starts...well, reflexing. I used to love it. L-O-V-E. And now I detest it. All of this was accomplished by the power of my own mind convincing me that I did not need hoards of extra calories, that I could eat two Whoppers for the fat of one (not that I eat two, mind you, cuz I don't), and that the world would be a better place if I stopped eating mayo.

Now, if only I could do this with chocolate.

Celery is the new chocolate. Celery is the new chocolate. Celery is the...yah, it's not working.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Ten on Tuesday

Ten on Tuesday (as suggested by Bethany)

1. So, apparently, I have taken to spelling the word guard totally (as opposed to somewhat) incorrectly. I don't know why. I don't know if maybe it has something to do with the fact that my fingers just fly more quickly when I type it as "gaurd" or what. In any case, if you've noticed and if it's been bothering you, I sincerely apologize. I know how to spell it. I do. I promise.

2. We move in three weeks. Imagine my excitement over the fact that the wee one might have to have surgery somewhere in there. Yay! To make a really long story short, his umbilical hernia is doing something that his pediatrician hasn't seen...ever. It is, on occasion, becoming extremely hard and causing severe vomiting. Special. So tomorrow I can call to try to get an appointment with the surgeon who may or may not see fit to schedule my son for surgery before we move. Prayer regarding this issue would be much appreciated.

3. I finished niece and nephew Christmas shopping today. This is important because Troy is going to Oregon this weekend and needs to take some of them up. This will save me a dern lot of money on shipping.

4. I watched Kids By The Dozen on TLC last night. Insane.

5. We are desperately trying to figure out whether to take Evie, the feral cat who is now not so feral, to Utah with us. Pros: Well there aren't really any actual pros but we've been feeding her for years now and we'd just feel awful if she got cut off from her food source and forced to scavenge again. Plus the fact that I love her. (No, Heather, I do not condone the senseless biting and scratching she performed on your arm and hand. Love the sinner, not the sin.) Cons: Making the trip with a squawking, wild cat. Dealing with a cat who has been removed from her environment. Keeping her in the house while she acclimates. Etc. Etc. Etc.

6. How 'bout them Chargers. Marty is rolling on the floor giggling to himself and throwing back another beer. Way to go AJ. In other completely unrelated news, Brees threw for like a bajillion yards on Sunday. Just thought I'd mention, is all.

7. Still singing "Oh What A Night." Can't get it outta my head. "And now, coming to you live from Salt Lake City, fresh from Southern California, ladies and gentlemen, your pastor's wife..." Here is where you insert me with my curling iron microphone and awesome dance moves, "Oh what a night. Hypnotizing, mesmerizing me, she was everything I dreamed she'd be. What a lady what a night." And then Troy gets fired.

8. Dude. My road isn't a frackin' freeway. Slow down, man! TWENTY-FIVE! Step off your accelerator.

9. I have a "To Do" List. I cross off one thing and add seven in its place. One item reads, "Pack House." I wonder if maybe this should be twenty or thirty items or perhaps be listed as though it were an outline, like so:
1. Pack House
A. Living Room
i. photo albums
ii. decorations
iii. everything else
B. Family Room
i. movies
ii. DVDs
iii. CDs
iv. etc
C. Kitchen
i. oh gosh I don't even want to think about packing up the kitchen

10. Garrett has been awake since number three. It would probably be a good idea to retrieve him from his cage of blankets and dreams.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Ode To My Brother

There was a time I desperately wanted a sister. Not in place of my brother, I just saw pairs of sisters around me and I coveted their bond. Now it is so intensely clear to me--the bigger picture--God knows exactly what He's doing, even when he picks out our siblings. Oh sure, there were times I wanted to throw him out the metaphorical, and sometimes literal, window, times I slugged him with all the might of an older sibling profoundly annoyed, times I wanted powers to wish him away. The kid was a pest. But put us on a vacation together and we were immediate best friends. Pick on one of us and the other became instant defender. Thicker than water, the blood ran in our veins.

He still irritates the life outta me. Yah. The boy is good at everything he does and smarter than his own good. It would be a tough act to follow, so everyday I praise God that I was the firstborn.

I've never lived more than an hour away from my brother, unless you count the 27 months I lived as an only child. Twelve is going to be pushing the limits of what I can bear. We don't see each other that often, he lives his life and I live mine. But when those lives collide in birthday parties or holidays or weekends when he comes to visit, my life is richer. Yes, there was time, in late elementary school, when I longed for a sister, but with that brief, childhood fantasy aside, my brother has always been enough.

Enough to play GI Joes and Ninja Turtles and Ghostbusters on the floor of his room with. Enough not to play Barbies with (he didn't play them right. He gave them funny voices and his life scenarios were not nearly as sophisticated as mine. His never dealt with drug addiction, affairs, and teen pregnancy). Enough for me to be the subject of his first full sentence, "Mommy, sissy hit." Enough to rub his soft brown hair between my fingers when his head only reached my shoulder. Enough to drop Bunny down the hole in the cabin at Tahoe over and over and over. Enough to laugh uproariously in his face when he used to tell me that one day he would be older than me. Enough to run away from him and lock myself in the bathroom when he was finally taller than me and I accidentally punched him in the face. Enough for him to laugh hysterically when, as my mom had long since promised, he realized the tables had finally turned. Enough for obstacle courses, bedroom tents made out of blankets, and joke books. Enough to know that it would be best to put a towel over the oar that stuck out between us in the car so that we wouldn't kill each other on the way to Tahoe. Enough to use for my sadistic tormenting of "Crimson Clown." Enough to probably have been one of my best friends then...even if in secret. Enough to be one of them now in the wide open.

I'm proud of this kid who will always be a kid to me. He'll always have glasses and braces and be that awkward, slightly dorky fourth grader. It doesn't matter that he grew up to have all the looks in the family. Or maybe he'll always be stuck somewhere between four and five. Somewhere when we walked the street of our new town looking for kids our ages. Maybe he'll always be twelve and sweaty on a basketball court and I'll be screaming at a referee about his asinine call that made my brother's team lose. Maybe he'll be graduating from high school and I'll wonder where all the time went. Or maybe, he'll always be the teenager who told me I looked beautiful on my wedding day or the uncle who held his nephew for the first time. Maybe he'll be all of these boys, existing in realms of my memory reserved especially for my favorite people.

I know I will miss him. I know that I desperately want another child because I long for my children to experience the camaraderie that inevitably came from being close in age. I know that the day I move I will be counting the moments until I get to see him again. Do me a favor, don't tell him about this post. If I know my brother at all, it'll go to his head. And he is so intelligent, so talented, so beautiful inside and out, that he doesn't need anymore ego boosts.

I am thankful that I don't have a sister. Rejoicing in the fact that God saw the whole picture when, on December 24, 1983, my little gorilla of a brother came into the world to share a family with me.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Jersey Boys

Today was our last "official" day at church, though I think I will probably be there next week while Troy and Garrett are in Oregon. Some have been asking when our last day in California is. The answer: We plan to leave on November 27.

In other news the husband and I saw Jersey Boys last and it was phenomenal. I agree with my friend, Kristin, that it starts a little slow. Not slow like I was bored outta my mind or anything, just slow like I wished it would pick up tempo. And then this musical number happens and the electricity is riveting and well, you kinda want to get up and dance but you refrain. Yah. It's like that.

And. Okay. So. Maybe my favorite song in all the world right now should not be a song about someone someone...whose name he doesn't even know, but it really just doesn't get better than this (I can't find a better video but man oh man I can't get the beat outta my head. And it's not like I've never heard this song before but in the context of the show...sigh)

I'm going to miss the Civic. I tried to soak in more ambiance than normal last night since I don't know if or when I'll ever be inside of it again. I tried to memorize the shade of the walls. I tried to sink into the fragments of the spotlight. I tried to think, for maybe one last time, what it would be like to perform there. I tried to remain detached, a constant student of the theatre. Instead, I found myself transfixed by Mary's eyes (through my binoculars, of course) during My Eyes Adored You. After all, that's what's it's all about, getting lost.

And, then, hopefully, being discovered.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

100 Things I Love: San Diego Edition

So when I asked for topics to write about, my friend, Joelle, from the "old" days back at PLNU, asked for a list of things I love about San Diego. She suggested putting them in ranking order which I will not be doing because of the sheer volume of lovable things about America Finest City. But, in any case, thanks for the idea, Joelle (missing you tons and remembering all the older days in the caf and the newer days when we lost each other and then found each other and then went to breakfast in Ramona and had the crazy mathless waitress).

100 Things I Love (and will miss) About San Diego (and surrounding areas, like my shower):

1. San Diego Chargers--huge football fan right here *emphatically jumps around wishing her husband was a pro player
2. In & Out. They don't have them in Utah and it is a travesty. Oh how I love you toasted bun.
3. My Mom. See I told you this wasn't in order. No, Mom, I don't love In & Out more than you. Chargers, maybe, In & Out...definitely not. Thanks for being one of my bestest friends. Let's not talk about how much I'll miss you.
4. Salomon Theatre
5. Kaiser Permanente. I know a lot of people hate you. I hate your billing department, it's true. But I love knowing the system. I love the doctors. I love you.
6. Mountain View Community Church
7. Sunsets over the ocean
8. The row of mailboxes when you drive into Ramona
9. Knowing my way around the grocery store
10. The smell of fall in a place without seasons
11. My insurance agent
12. Garrett's room. I love how it was Troy's old room and then it was the lonely place that needed a baby in it desperately and now it is his blue baby boy room.
13. World Famous San Diego Zoo
14. Horton Plaza
15. My students.
16. Gillespie Field where my Dad works. It was cool growing up and having a pilot dad.
17. The stretch of undeveloped land just after the Wild Animal Park on the way into Escondido that would be perfect for a movie.
18. The old house that sits on that stretch of land that would be perfect for a movie.
19. Jack Murphy Stadium. Alright. Fine. Qualcomm.
20. North County Fair
21. La Jolla Shores
22. My Dad. I don't love you less than mom, I just didn't want all the family in one giant order. Thanks for raising me and loving me and teaching me not to leave the lights on in rooms I'm not occupying.
23. Being able to make a day trip to Disneyland.
24. Hotel Del
25. My parents house
26. The pool at Mt. Carmel High School--so many CIF memories
27. My Grandma lives here
28. My other Grandma lives here
29. The dip on Wildcat Canyon. Get's me every time.
30. Beach Camping at Carlsbad or San Elijo
31. My Grandpa lives here
32. My other Grandpa lives here
33. The weather
34. Camping at Pinezanita
35. Sea Port Village
37. The Santee Drive-In Theater
38. San Diego Civic Theatre. I know all the best places to sit. I know how to get the good tickets on ebay. I love you. I'll miss you.
39. The hospital on Zion. One could argue that this should be included with Kaiser but the love is different. Since Garrett was born I now feel my heart swell with joy when I drive by it. So many fantastic memories of my first day with my son.
40. The leg shaving ledge in my bathtub
41. Lamb's Players. Your theatre is so quaint and wonderful and lovely.
42. Being near Hollywood.
43. Nuevo Grill warm chips and Caesar salad or Turkey Jack melt
44. The playground at the elementary school
45. The duck pond at Dos Picos Park
46. The border crossing. Home sweet USA.
47. Parkway Plaza
48. The Greek Ampitheatre at Point Loma
49. Coronado Bridge
50. My brother. The blog about youthful nostalgia is coming. You're my favorite brother and I already miss your laugh.
51. The Doubletree
52. Old Point Loma Lighthouse
53. Shelter Island
54. Point Break Cafe
55. Old Town
56. Balboa Park
57. Del Mar Fair or San Diego County Fair or whatever dumb name they changed it to.
58. Mama Rosa's.
59. My gynecologist. But there's already been a blog dedicated to this obsession.
60. Sea World
61. My aunts live here
62. My uncles live here
63. Sunset Cliffs
64. The baseball field at PLNU
65. Belmont Park
66. My cousins live here
67. So this really isn't in San Diego exactly but I love those "oddly" shaped power plant thingies on the 5. If you live here you know what I'm talking about. I'm 26 years old and I can't drive past them without cracking a smile.
68. San Diego Airport. I love that the terminals are circular and thus one does not have to walk all over the world like they do at most long terminal tunnelish airports.
69. Extraordinary Desserts. I only ate there once but man was it good.
70. Gus's in Point Loma. I love it. I so have to go there in the next three weeks oh my gosh.
71. Ramona Oaks Park
72. San Diego Padres
73. Jamba Juice on Rosecrans. I love Jamba Juice in general and there are Jambas everywhere but the one on Rosecrans has my heart more than any other.
74. The cute town of Coronado
75. Swap Meet...although I haven't taken advantage of this in far too long.
76. Point Loma Summer
77. Being two hours from Medieval Times
78. The view from my office window. So there's really no view, but the neighbor cats play in the yard and the leaves fall and it's peaceful.
79. The stars in the Ramona sky.
80. Warm Christmases. I gotta admit, I'm looking forward to a chilly Christmas but I just don't know anything but a So Cal Christmas and I love 'em.
81. Tom Ham's Lighthouse. Thanks for proposing Troy.
82. Ramona Trick or Treating down Main Street
83. Torrey Pines
84. The view as you fly in to Lindbergh field
85. Forever Fondue
86. La Cocina (Ramona's finest Mexican hole-in-the-wall dining. Should I ever get pregnant again, how will I satisfy the cravings?)
87. Downtown
88. The Living Room (Point Loma)
89. The trail by my parents house.
90. My friends. Anyone who still lives here. Even those of you I don't get to see nearly enough. Just knowing you're here is a joy. When I am there and you are here, I will miss you.
91. Presidio Park
92. Looking at the incredible homes that line Mission Beach
93. The caf at PLNU. So many memories both behind the scenes and eating with dear friends.
94. The spa at the club. So many swim team memories.
95. Ramona High School. I love the pool and the football field and all the other memories I have when I drive by.
96. Miguel's
97. Wild Animal Park
98. Mt. Woodson Golf Course. I don't golf but it's beautiful.
99. The Blue Tattoo. I've never even been in a nightclub but I love the fact that San Diego has one named this. It's just funny to me. It makes me laugh with affection...and kind of shame.
100. The whole darn county. I am in love with you. I want to fill in the Great Salt Lake. I want to wrap a huge blanket around you and put you in my moving van and plop you in the middle of it.

What we have learned is that I have a love affair going on with Point Loma and restaurants. What does that say about me, I wonder.

Friday, November 2, 2007

My Son Took My Bosom

I'd like to take a moment to discuss my breasts. You're probably thinking that this is a completely inappropriate topic given my recent promotion to senior pastor's wife and the fact that until two days ago I was a high school teacher and, well, quite honestly, you'd be right. But, I figure, this is the only time I can talk about my bosom. Troy's official last day at work was yesterday so I am temporarily not a pastor's wife. My official last day at work was Wednesday so I am, likewise, no longer a teacher. Thus, I can mention my chest. For today. After this blog I will go back to being a mature adult who refrains from discussing her boobs with all of the cyberworld, namely, however, my four loyal readers. Don't worry though, I'm keeping it clean for those readers who might happen to share my DNA and not, actually, want to know the the details of my mammae (FYI: I just found that word in the thesaurus and find it glorious).

Okay so. My chest. I wouldn't trade my son for the world so I would especially not trade him for a really great pair of mammae, but what, pray tell, did he do to them? This would make sense if he was the last of nine or something like that. It might make sense if he'd nursed until he was seven. But he is my firstborn and he weaned himself at ten months. Behind clothing it's impossible to tell but slap a bathing suit on me and it's fairly obvious. Stand me in front of a mirror in my birthday suit and there is positively no denying it. I've known it for awhile. I've lamented their sorry state. I've mourned their passing. But yesterday, while I sifted through old pictures, I discovered a shot taken of me on my wedding day. I'm not exactly sure who the culprit behind the camera was but she decided that all the steps of my getting dressed needed to be chronicled. So, there I stood in my crinoline and bra (completely unaware that my picture was being taken, OBVIOUSLY). And let me tell you, the grief caught me off guard. They...were...perfect.

Not that this is any of your business but they're still the same size. They just took on a completely different shape and composition. How does one baby do that, you may wonder. I have reached a conclusion. It had nothing to do with Garrett and everything to do with God. Yes. I came to this realization through scripture:

Matthew 23:12 "For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted." You see, they used to be my favorite asset. They wore clothing well. They wore bathing suits better. I suppose I was a little prideful of them, thankful that the Lord had bestowed them upon me. I don't care for my legs. I hate my hips. I dislike my ears and my forehead. I had three bodily items that I enjoyed. My big, dark eyes (the color is fading to a dull milk chocolaty color), my abs (who knew you could lose all your baby weight and then some and still maintain an inch or two of elasticy skin?), and the aforementioned bosom. I think God used my desire for a child to alter my pride. Okay, so now we've determined that the Lord gaveth and the Lord hath taketh away but, I mean, how? Scientifically speaking, of course.

I am finished here.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Last year Garrett was a lion for Halloween. He was three months old and comatose for the majority of the festivities. We went down Main Street and collected candy from the businesses, one of the perks of holding on to our small town identity, even though we're no longer a small town. After Main Street we headed over to our church's Harvest Festival and Grandpa "helped" Garrett play games. He sat still for pictures and stayed where he was put. He looked like this:

This year Garrett was a dragon for Halloween. He was fifteen months old and anything but comatose. We went down Main Street and collected the jackpot of candy, but I think Garrett would have been happy with just one package of Smarties. Hmmm, Mommy and Daddy are happy with the rest of it. Later, at the Harvest Festival, he thought it was his Halloween goal to wreck all the games. He didn't want to bowl. He wanted to take the pins and run away. He didn't want to shoot hoops, he wanted to take the ball and quickly form an escape plan. He didn't want to race cars down the racetrack, he wanted to play with the cars and climb the racetrack. Luckily, my dad (a.k.a. Garrett's best friend) showed up and they played games together again...just like last year. Garrett looked like this:

And I am left wondering where the year went. Quickly and into oblivion and photographs I assume. He is one of the busiest children I have ever come into contact with, and I babysat constantly. He wears me out chasing him around all day long. We could run a small city on his energy. But at night, when he is falling fast asleep and I recap the day and, occasionally, the year, I relish in the joy of being his mother.