Monday, December 31, 2007


My brother's girlfriend is about to get on a plane and fly back to my mother ship. I am jealous of her in a mighty way.

Oh California, how I miss your 67 degree mornings. But, it's awesome here, too. Tonight, the low is 4. As in F-O-U-R. That's right. Work it, Tundra. Work it.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

these are a few of my favorite things...

Of all my Christmas presents, this one could be my favorite. Yep. That's a blanket sleeper. I've been trying on blanket sleepers for, um, years. I've wriggled my way into girls size 16--too tight in the arms and legs and too short. I've tried on boys size 16--t00 short in the torso. I think I've even tried on husky boys to no avail. So this year, when I made my Christmas list, I searched the Internet for adult blanket sleepers and I found the wonder that was and I rejoiced. My husband thinks I'm silly despite the fact that he purchased the footed negligee himself, though he made my seventeen month-old son give me the desired jammies. My mother and brother's girlfriend, Heather, refuse to admit that they want a pair and, instead, hide their jealousy with smirking and/or eye rolling. My father and brother are quite seriously appalled and think that ridicule is beneficial. But in any case, I was warm tonight while we played a rousing game of Imaginiff. For this pastor's wife, hot cocoa, Imaginiff and adult sized blanket sleepers equal martinis and strip poker. And really, I'm okay with that. I mean, who really wants to play strip poker--especially, um, with her brother and father?

The husband also got me, among other things, a framed picture of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse. He wanted to get me a taste of San Diego. This picture now hangs on the wall in front of my bed. When I wake up I stare at the photo and feel, just for a moment, like I am home. Or, at least, I would, if I weren't blind as bat when I first wake up in the morning. So, once I wipe the drool from my cheek, sit up, and pop in my actual eyes, I gaze upon the joy of that slice of San Diego. If I listened to some seascape CD it would be kind of like having ocean front property. We opened presents tonight with my side of the family and my brother got me a drawing of the very same lighthouse. So not only have we proven that great minds think alike, we have also proven that I like lighthouses, I like the Point Loma Lighthouse, specifically, and now I can pretend to be in San Diego in at least two of my rooms. At least I can snuggle in my fuzzy footed jams while I dream about America's finest city.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas morning

Christmas morning is a funny sort of thing when you have a toddler. Garrett decided that his favorite gift of the day was a candle that arrived via my own stocking. He carried it around as though it was his most prized possession. Don't get me wrong, he loved most of his gifts, he just didn't love them quite as much as he loved my candle.

This year was humorous. He liked to open one present and play with it for fifteen minutes before we finally coaxed him into opening another one. I think that next year we will officially enter the "rip/tear" phase that comes with two-year-oldness.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

christmas letter

The following is our Christmas letter. As one of my six loyal readers, you probably know most of this already but please enjoy my year in review...

Dear Family and Friends,

Merry Christmas! May the joy and peace of this season be upon you. It’s true that there have been times when we have looked back over the course of a year and seen few changes. We assure you that for us, this has not been one of those years. Twelve months ago we were enjoying a typical, warm, San Diego Christmas with our cuddly and immobile infant. This year we are trying to write a Christmas letter from chilly Salt Lake City, but our toddler keeps reaching for the keyboard or demanding more milk or pushing that pretty button that turns off the computer or running away with the Christmas decorations. No, we did not decide to take a snowy holiday vacation this year. We live here. We know what you’re thinking. Who in their sane minds would trade San Diego for Salt Lake City, right?

To make an incredibly long and prayerful journey short, Troy’s father retired from fulltime ministry at OUR OLD CHURCH in April and the elder board encouraged the remaining staff members to explore other ministry options. Through a church consultant, Troy’s resume was sent to several churches. Over the course of several months, interviews, discussions and prayers, Troy eventually accepted the Senior Pastor position at OUR NEW CHURCH in PART OF, Utah. Just after Thanksgiving we packed up our lives and drove the 750 miles to our new home. During the past few years, Troy has really enjoyed preaching and is looking forward to being in the pulpit every Sunday. His new position will be challenging, but the congregation has been so loving and welcoming and Troy looks forward to leading them and being a light in a land that so desperately needs to hear the truth.

Lori profoundly enjoyed teaching drama at Mountain Valley Academy during the past year. She really loved seeing her vision come to fruition during the productions. However, summer came and she was able to spend three months as a stay-at-home mom. The experience of getting to be with Garrett every minute of the day was tremendous and she’s happy to announce that with Troy’s promotion came her own. She is now a fulltime stay-at-home mom. Although, being a Senior Pastor’s wife and partaking in her own ministerial endeavors will certainly take a great deal of time.

Garrett celebrated his first birthday in July and is enjoying every minute of being a toddler. He walks. He runs. He drops the basketball through the hoop. He plays with everything that even resembles a car—complete with engine noises. And one of these days, we’re sure that he will start talking. His current language involves grunting, squealing, babbling and pointing. He understands enough to obey most commands but can’t exactly hold a conversation. We had quite a year with him and all of his capers, including but not limited to, splitting his head open—blood, blood everywhere—and having a whopper of a dirty diaper on an airplane—poop, poop everywhere. Speaking of airplanes, Garrett has become an avid flyer. In his sixteen months of life he has flown seven times, to Oregon twice (to visit Troy’s family), Sacramento once (for a wedding Lori was in), Utah three times (to visit the church and then to move here) and Hawaii.

Yes, in September we were blessed with the opportunity to vacation on Oahu and Kauai with Lori’s parents. We had a wonderful time visiting Pearl Harbor, swimming, snorkeling, sightseeing, ziplining, hiking, kayaking, tubing down the canals of the former Lihue Plantation, and spending time together. Garrett absolutely loved it and, when the ten days were over, no one was quite ready to leave. In fact, if it were an option, we’d still be there, relaxing by the white sand pool and lounging in the tropical sun. The memories are a far cry from our new life in what Lori refers to as “the tundra.” In addition to our trip to Hawaii, we spent a week at Campus by the Sea, Catalina, where Troy was the speaker, and took a beach camping trip.

Beck and Oliver, plus Evie, a somewhat tamed feral cat that we’ve been feeding for a few years, made the move with us. Currently, the cats are living in the basement of our beautiful rental (anyone want to buy a home in Ramona?) and the dog is still deciding whether he’s a fan of the snow. He loves to play in it but he doesn’t seem to be thrilled with the outside temperatures or the amount of time he now spends inside.

We encourage you, as always, to remember that our Savior’s birth is the real reason for this holiday. May the wonder of that first Christmas fill your lives. God Bless!

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Magic and Miracle

Last night I was reading this post over at Rocks In My Dryer. If you've never read Shannon's blog, I encourage you to start, but do it with caution because you'll never turn back. Anyway, reading that wonderful post coupled with watching The Nativity Story with my husband really got me thinking about my own feelings on Christmas. I could never write about my experiences or my thoughts with the grace and poignancy that "Rocks" does but somehow felt the need to discuss, nonetheless.

I've never had a white Christmas before. It's alright with me because Jesus probably didn't either. While snow isn't unheard of in Bethlehem, it's not common, even in the dead of winter. And, in all probability, the Savior was born between May and September, the months during which the great census was taken that brought Joseph and a very pregnant Mary to Bethlehem to begin with. This lack of snow was never a problem, Christmas was, in a word, magic.

I remember Santa Claus. I remember because one Christmas I laid awake for hours with the extreme need to pee. I knew that if I got up I would do so at the precise moment that Santa was leaving me gifts. I also knew that if I saw Santa he would take away all my presents. Where I got this idea that Mr. Claus was a mean-spirited present deliverer I'll never know. But I finally couldn't take it anymore. I flew to the bathroom and back. Santa didn't catch me and I had presents in the morning. I remember the calendar my mom hung in the hallway. Each day a little bear climbed all around that calendar looking for Christmas in every room of his house. On the 25th he finally found it. My brother and I had to take turns moving the bear or else a bloodbath was sure to ensue. I remember that childhood magic because it was almost tangible. It was inside the Christmas decorations. It was in the quiet whisper of the music. It flickered in the flame of each advent candle.

We had Santa. We had stockings and cookies and presents. And we had Jesus. I would stare at my mom's beautiful nativity--the one I would accidentally but carelessly break as a preteen in what stands as the greatest Christmas travesty of my life--and look at each of the pieces, wondering about their role in that most holy of nights. What must those shepherds have thought when the glory of the Lord shone around them? What did Joseph say when the son of God was placed into his arms for the first time? When did the wise men get there? How must Mary have felt as she knelt by the manger?

We still have Santa and stockings and cookies and presents. And, oh, do we have Jesus. It's just that I look at the nativity in a much different way now. I've been to Bethlehem. I've seen the caves that were used to shelter the animals. Not surprisingly, they look a great deal like a tomb. They were dirty. The shepherds, who came to see glory for themselves were, in all probability, filthy. The animals, I'm sure, weren't fresh and clean. Yet this is where the Father sent his Son. From the highest of high to the lowest of low. And I no longer think of Mary as she knelt honorably beside her son. I don't really believe it happened the way we see it in a nativity. I think Mary was the dirtiest of them all. I think she was exhausted. I think she was irritated that there were cattle and sheep in the vicinity, much less the same darn cave as her tiny baby. So, sometimes, when I am setting up my nativity, I want to lay Mary down in the corner. I want her to be overwhelmed by the situation. I want her to cry. I want Joseph to tell her that everything is going to be okay. I want the wise men on the other side of the room because they didn't come right away. It took them longer, like the process by which some of us come to know the Savior that they sought. I want the baby to stare, with wide eyes at his mama, perhaps knowing that he would one day deliver her.

More than snow, which I may have for the first time this year, more than Santa and more than presents, I want to feel the magic and the miracle of that first Christmas. And my breath catches in my throat if I think about what it must have been like for Mary to feel the son of God moving inside of her womb. My own son, fallen and fallible, was miracle enough to overwhelm me. I wonder at that first moment when they locked eyes. Was it as mother and son or as mother and Savior? Did he look more like her or did he personify the Creator of the Universe? Did she swell with pride or did her heart break when she looked upon God's holy and almighty face?

Regardless of how I want to display my nativity, what doesn't change is that born in a barn, the centerpiece of perceived scandal, surrounded by filth, sharing his birthday with shepherds and livestock then and disbelievers and Santa Claus now, cooing softly in a feeding trough was the wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Holiday Cake Party

So, in addition to our Christmas ornament and canister of hot cocoa that we got from two of our neighbors, we have also received a snowman notepad to make "making our list and checking it twice" a little easier, a 2 liter bottle of root beer from our neighbors who were "rootin' for a Merry Christmas" and a box of Holiday Cake Party.

Holiday Cake Party came complete with two Christmas Tree tins, cake mix, frosting mix, paintbrushes and two edible dye pallets. I wasn't sure that allowing a 16 month-old to express his artistic side was the best idea but I'm also not really one to shy away from an adventure.

So we began.

I'm not entirely sure how he knew that fun was about to be had, but boy did he. We, er, that is, I, baked and Garrett attempted several times to fry his little hands on the oven. Then the cakes cooled and I whipped up the frosting. And I figured I could guess on how much water to add to the little packet. This would be the part where I figured wrong and had frosting soup. Never fear, I had a little leftover frosting in my fridge so I added it in. And you thought the Holiday Cake Party had been foiled.

Now, when it came time to decorate, I began by helping my little baker. I held his hand and we dipped the paintbrush in the water. Then we swirled it around the pallet. Then we lightly brushed a little color onto our Christmas tree cake. Dip, swirl, repeat. Dip, swirl, repeat. Garrett was having quite the time, grinning from ear to ear as he watched bright lines appear on the white frosting. I decided that he could try it on his own...

Let's just say that the fine art of being delicate is not something in the boy's repertoire. He took that paintbrush and shoved it artistically into the gut of that poor, unsuspecting tree. Then, he quickly put the brush into the water, like I had showed him, swirled the pallet, and stabbed the tree again. Our water quickly had chunks of chocolate cake floating in it and the tree was beyond even surgical repair.

Quite suddenly, Garrett realized that he could use the paintbrush as a fork. He would stab the cake and then quickly shove the paintbrush into his mouth, gobbling at least two crumbs in the process. He never reached in with his fists, he just kept munching on his precious cake, two crumbs at a time.

In case you need a glimpse of the finished product, I have included a picture below. It is so gorgeous, so beautiful, in fact, that I am sure you will want to book him for your next function. Weddings, birthday parties, retirement parties, Garrett can do it all, as long as you don't mind giant holes ripped in to the middle of your cakes and a little bit of baby saliva. Here is the prototype that he will use to decorate your requests...

But oh how he had fun!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sleepy Creek Circle

It's weird here. Being that the sun rises from the East and all, it stays dark longer in the morning. See, to the East we have these giant mountains and it must take awhile for the sun to peek over the top of them and bathe the valley in good morning cheer. It must be for this reason that my new world seems just a little more sleepy than my old one.

On Saturday we bundled up the boy, stuck him in his red wagon, and went about delivering our neighborly Christmas gifts. We started at the house to the left. Their garage door was open but no one answered, so we left the tin of candy on their step.

We headed to the next door. Success. An open door. A friendly introduction.

We headed to the next house. We were greeted by fully clothed adults, though, their college aged daughter walked by, mortified, in pajamas. After being invited in, we talked for about ten minutes before we decided to get on with our deliveries.

As we approached the fourth house we found that the entire family was still in pajamas. They invited us in anyway. And they were very, very nice.

After leaving house number four, we crossed the street. Kids answered the door. "Thanks, our parents are asleep. Merry Christmas!" By this point we were starting to look at each other suspiciously. Apparently, we didn't get the notice that we moved onto Sleepy Creek Circle.

At house number six we heard a little boy scream, "Dad! There's people at the door and I don't know them!" After a minute of waiting we were about to leave the tin when the door opened. You guessed it. Dad was in pajamas. And he informed us that his wife was still sleeping. Awesome. Merry Christmas.

The door of house number seven opened promptly and the people inside were actually wearing clothes.

House number eight. Kid in pajamas.

Now, I am all for wearing pajamas, I like to put mine on around five in the afternoon, if we're getting technical. I'm all for sleeping in, if your kids will let you. Mine won't. And it's not like I called first and announced that we were coming. But I was starting to question my own sanity. Maybe we tried to do all of it a little too early. I just, well, I don't know. Call me crazy but, I thought that 10:30 in the morning was late enough. Next Christmas I'll wait until noon.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The One Where I Try to be A Homemaker

It has been said that love makes a house a home. I have no idea who it was, actually, who said this, but it's a darn good thing she did. Yes, it had to have been a she. A she who tried desperately to use Windex and paper towels to make a home. A she who watched her toddler come along behind her and undo everything she had just tried to do. A she who finally declared, when her little destroyer grinned, climbed into her lap, and gave her a giant open mouthed kiss, that indeed it is love that makes a house a home.

Today I decided that, since I am officially a homemaker, I would get out a pencil with a new eraser, the Goo Gone, and the Pinesol and try to remove the pencil marks that were left here by a previous tenant. Turns out that the entire door of our guest room was covered in some child's creative memories. I erased. I goo goned. I Pinsoled. And Garrett stood and watched. Occasionally he took his precious chubby hands and rubbed the door. He's such a little helper like that. I turned my back to dig around in the cleaning caddy. Of course I heard the noise. Heard it, in fact, continuing for quite some time as I rummaged around. The problem was that it just didn't register. As I turned around I put an image to the sound. My little tiny offspring was making his own creative memories all over the door that I had just cleaned. I couldn't blame the guy. I mean, I had just been wiggling that bright yellow pencil all over that door. I can't really expect a sixteen-month-old to understand the difference between the eraser side and the lead side. So back to work I went with the eraser and the Goo Gone and the Pinesol to try to remove the pencil marks that were left here by the current tenants.

Later, I decided that the central vac really is a good feature and I needed to conquer it. I could pull the brief lesson my father gave me concerning it's functionality out of the deep recesses of my brain. And even if I couldn't quite remember the exact way he explained it, I could probably figure it out on my own. I'm a fairly intelligent human being. I have a college education. As I slowly started unwinding the tube I could not figure out why my son was shrieking and hiding in the corner and sobbing crocodile tears. I would have understood if I was running the vacuum because he's always been a little apprehensive of the noise it makes. But the thing wasn't even on. Finally I realized that, well, the thing looks like a giant anaconda. Apparently, my son has an irrational fear of snakes.

He tried to use the less than sterile toilet brush to comb his hair.

He spilled a full bowl of doggie water all over the floor. This is an almost daily occurrence. Usually, however, the bowl is near empty when he remembers to dump it out.

I organized his books on his bookcase. He followed along behind me and pulled them off.

I am not calling myself a homemaker ever again (not that I think I have ever before). I am a stay-at-home mom. I have time to clean but the boy uncleans everything. If you come over, my house will probably not be tidy. There will be a truck in the middle of the floor because no matter how many times I put it away, it just seems to materialize at the foot of the stairs. There will be craisins smashed on the high chair tray. There will not be vacuum marks on the carpet and it will not pass the white glove test. My son will probably have stains on his shirt but, generally, he'll be smiling. He doesn't care if there are vacuum marks. He's even fine with a layer of dust. I try. I just don't succeed. I'm busy trying to raise a toddler and it's a good thing that love makes a house a home.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


The neighborhood we moved from was busy. We only knew the names of a few of our neighbors and we did not exchange any kind of Christmas gifts with them. This Utah business is quite different. We live on a street with eight other homes. So far, we've gotten gifts from two of them (a container of hot cocoa from one and a Christmas ornament from the other) and had conversation with four. I thought it would probably be a good idea to get gifts, so I don't look like the resident Scrooge of the cul-de-sac. However, money does not abound in chez de Doozleberry. So I did this...

Christmas tins filled with Hershey kisses, peppermints and Crunch bells. I purchased the tins at Hobby Lobby for approximately 75 cents (they stand about 6 inches tall). Each container is filled with about a dollar's worth of candy. Cheap. Easy. Hopefully acceptable.

In snow news, I bundled the boy up again and we ventured into the frozen abyss of the backyard. Growing out of our eaves is a giant icicle, much too high for me to reach. However, this prompted me to pick up my plump little snow cherub and clomp into the front yard. All the icicles were still too high for me to reach so I chucked a stick at one. Down it fell into the powdery flakes. Now, in my family, the story of me and the "cicles" was told almost as often as the story of me reading a book to my aunt and uncle whilst they took a bath together on a ski trip. They were newlyweds. I was two. Or maybe three. It's not like I knew that bath time could be used for something other than getting clean. Nevertheless the story gets told over and over and over. But anyway, this is not about reading to my naked family members. Which, by the way, I don't remember happening so it must not have. It's a story about the "cicles." Apparently, whenever we went to the snow, I was obsessed with eating icicles. I guess I made my dad bring me repeated frozen water daggers for my happy consumption. And I think what made the story somewhat humorous was the way that I would almost moan the word as I asked for a "cicle, daddy?" I don't recall being young enough to refer to them as cicles, but I do remember loving icicles well into my elementary school years. Garrett doesn't know what a cicle is. Or, at least, he didn't. Until today, that is. But, if we're gonna have to live in what might just be a tundra, we might as well make the best of it. We might as well have snowball fights. We might as well make snow angels. We might as well eat cicles.

Here we have the boy sitting in front of his snow cave (still out there, Dad) sucking on his delicious icicle. (Mom, I had to take his good gloves off for the picture because he couldn't hold it) Oh man did he like it. He liked it so much that when I asked for a lick he turned away possessively. Of course, when the dog started eating it from the other end, Garrett was more than willing to share with him.
On the Christmas front, we have Christmas lights up, they just don't turn on. Our outlets outside aren't working. Today, a maintenance man was over for an hour and couldn't figure out why. He has to come back tomorrow. In the meantime, I have to unorganize our entire garage looking for the one switch that just might fix it. If you know me you know that unorganizing things just isn't my idea of fun. Joy to the world. And tralalalala.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Nursery Is Gone

While I wouldn't be so stupid as to say that it won't happen, I'm not really homesick yet. I have an occasional wave of homenauseousness but so far I haven't had to put my head in the toilet. The weird part, the part that assures me that I am, indeed, a head case in need of therapy, is that the mere thought of one thing in particular makes an automatic lump form in my throat. I miss my son's room terribly. My sister-in-law (who will be temporarily renting our house) asked Troy if she could paint it. Troy said he would have to think about it. That was the last I heard on the subject until Troy informed me that he told her she could paint it but not to tell us. My mom didn't get the memo that it was a big secret and brought it up on the phone. I'm not mad at Troy for telling his sister she could paint it. I'm not mad at my sister-in-law for painting it. I'm certainly not mad at my mom for telling me what I already knew. It's just that for some reason, even with him and all of his stuff moving to Utah, it still felt like his room as long as it was blue. I sometimes feel like the worst mom for making him move. I know he's a toddler. I know he won't remember. I think that almost makes it worse. He won't remember that every Sunday after church he made my dad take him to the playground. He won't remember how he would take himself out in the backyard to play with the dog. He won't remember his blue room. The last few days have been difficult for him. When it's time for me to put him to bed, he clings to me and cries. I want, more than anything, to pull him close and let him sleep with me. I also know that I am not going to undo all of the hard work Troy and I have put in to not having a baby/toddler/six-year-old who sleeps with us. So, though my head isn't in the toilet yet, I have the occasional moment where all I want to do is transport myself back to early November. I want to sit in the glider in my baby's room and rock him. I want to have one more minute with the blue nursery.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Now, If Only I Had A Matching Kermit

Today we got our Christmas tree. We purchased it from outside of a grocery store. I'm trying not to be depressed by that fact. Apparently, Christmas trees aren't a high priority here in the Beehive state. But this isn't a post about how depressed I am at not frequenting a local cut-your-own tree farm. It's not a blog about how we tried to crop the store logo out of the pictures so that we can lie to Garrett and he'll never find out that the year he moved was also the year his mother stooped to an all-time Christmas tree low. It's a post about decorating the store bought pine.

It's a post about hanging the ceremonial first ornament.

Ms. Piggy is her name. Protecting the back of the tree, the one against the wall, is her game. I don't have a clue when Ms. Piggy came into my life. I don't remember a Christmas without her. I do remember the Christmas that she almost left my life forever. She was wrapped up as a white elephant gift for a party my parents were attending. I had given the okay for my parents to give her away, after all, she's the most hideous Christmas ornament ever. She's, um, supposed to be some kind of piggy angel. She has a piece of pipe cleaner shaped like a halo hanging over her hair. She has wings made out of paper and trimmed with glitter sticking out of her head. Yes, her head. Piggy has no body. Just a big ole annoying head. And a snout. And gigantic blue eyes. And a pearl necklace. So anyway, my parents took her as a white elephant gift. Then they brought her home. After the exchange had begun, my dad had second thoughts, the pig had been residing on the back (and probably sometimes the front) of our tree for years. He decided I wasn't ready to part with my pig. I think truthfully, he was maybe not ready to let her go to what would have surely been the trash can. Home she came. And when I got married she moved from my parents house to my own. And when I moved to Utah, Ms. Piggy moved to Utah. I'm not about to get rid of her now. She's practically family. She might always have to stare at the wall but at least she gets to be on the tree. For the last four years, since Troy and I were married, she has been the first ornament hung. Shoved in the corner, about eye level, she smiles, with a bit of her tongue showing under her over sized snout.
Here is my Christmas tree. (It has lights, they just aren't on). No, we do not always have a gate around our slaughtered pine, but this year we have an extremely destructive toddler. Thanks, Aunt Vicki, for letting us move with your fence! I assure you that if I were to increase the size, you would not be able to see Ms. Piggy from this angle.
In order to actually witness the atrocity of Kermit's girlfriend, you would have to press your body up against the wall and peer into the back of the tree. You might even have to move some branches. If you did that, if you wanted, in the worst way, to see what she looked like, this just might be what you would uncover...

Now, I ask you, is she not the most hideous Christmas ornament you have ever, ever, ever seen? But I can't get rid of her. Like I said before, she's practically family. She's like my weird, bodiless, paper winged, huge nosed sister. And you just don't throw away your sister.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

National Football League

I have an obsession with the National Football League and the Chargers, in particular. I'm not even kidding that, where football is concerned, I think I am gender confused. I'm one of those people who used to literally scream at her television screen when a call, whether right or wrong, went against my team. I used to jump up and yell, "Go! Go! Go!" when my running back broke free or my special teams got into a position to run it back. I had to stop yelling when, during the 2006 football season, I had a very small and often sleeping baby. Now I raise my arm silently in the air when something good starts to happen. I'm not sure that very many girls know that a Hines Ward is a person or what an illegal block in the back looks like. Few females understand the difference between a running, quarter, full and half back. I think my husband is thrilled that I am not one of these women. Today, we saw a friend from Ramona who lives out in Salt Lake now and, after she came to our church, we went to lunch. My thoughtful husband asked where we could go and still be able to see the game. Not kidding. I'm that obsessed. I realize that most people aren't.

So, in light of this new information that I have bestowed upon you, I'd like to take a second to discuss how annoyed I am with the New England Patriots. I used to rather like them. In fact, in past years I would never, ever, have cheered for the Steelers to beat them. Because I have a deep and personal loathing directed toward terrible towels. But right now, I am sitting in my family room, running up my utility bill with my gas fireplace, watching the 12-0 Patriots play the Steelers. If my Chargers were 12-0 you can bet I'd want them to have an undefeated season, but every fiber in my body wants the New England Pretty Boys er, I mean Patriots, to lose. I have a thick disgust for Randy Moss and the way he starts laughing in his picture when they show the starting offensive lineup. And, for some reason that has something to do with him dumping his pregnant girlfriend, I have an even deeper disgust for Tom Brady. I also think this might be related to the fact that he knows he is talented and beautiful and fails miserably at pretending that he doesn't know he is talented and beautiful. So, Big Ben, please figure out a way to get some more points on the board. I can't handle the Patriots being undefeated.

I also can't handle people who are fans of teams because they are good. If you stick with a team even when they stink, more power to you. Heaven knows I was a Charger fan back in the 1-15 season. But if you jump on a fanwagon just because a team is somehow stacked, just know that you make me kind of ill. That's all.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


By a show of hands, who has a super Wal-Mart in town? For those of you who do not, be glad. Be very, very glad. Rejoice in the absence of such a place. I have lived my whole life without a Wal-Mart Supercenter. And now I have one. And it is sad indeed. I have only lived here a mere ten and a half days and I have already learned several rules about the superstore.

Rule #1: Visiting the Wal-Mart Supercenter is a two hour project. At least. It takes an hour to walk from one end to the other, another hour if you are actually trying to accomplish some sort of shopping.

Rule #2: Wal-Mart Supercenter swallows you. I first noticed this phenomenon when my mom and I went shopping last week. We left a sleeping Garrett with his daddy. I informed my husband that I would be home shortly after the boy woke up. Several hours later, Wal-Mart finally released me from its death grip and I was able to return home. By the way, it was nearing dinnertime when I finally entered my house. This phenomenon was further explored today when my husband decided to go Christmas shopping. He just called and informed me that he still had a few more stops. Where had he been since he left hours ago? Yes. That's right. Super Wal-Mart.

Rule #3: Sure, you can feel bad for all the Mom and Pop shops out there. Sure, it's really sad that Wal-Mart is putting them all out of business. Yes, indeed, Wal-Mart just might be the store of the anti-Christ but when you can walk into a building and buy boxes of cereal for under two dollars and a kitty condo and several of your husband's Christmas presents and bananas, why wouldn't you? Exactly.

Rule #4: You can't go into a Wal-Mart Supercenter without buying something. I dare you to try. This is where the possession of such a store becomes not only a problem but a giant financial burden. I suppose there is a sliver lining, however. If I spend too much money and lose my house, I could probably move my husband, menagerie of animals, and very loud toddler into the building and no one would know we were even there. And it's got everything I think we could ever need, and then some.

Oh Wal-Mart Supercenter, what have you done to my life?

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Silent Stalker

Alright, I have concluded that I have an irrational fear of the snow. Don't worry, this doesn't really effect my life. It's much like the way I have an irrational fear of changing the clocks (boo for it getting dark at 4:45) and Wendy's hamburgers (a burger is just not supposed to be square!) But here's the thing about snow, it is eerily silent. It doesn't bother me when I'm out watching my son play in it. It doesn't bother me when I look outside during the afternoon and see it falling. It scares the crud outta me when it's dark and I open the door to let my dog in and he's covered in it. And I know it's going to take some getting used to. I lived 26 years in a land where snow just does not come down so it's not like I'm expecting to see it when I turn the doorknob. Tonight, though, I actually felt that initial panic of, "Oh sweet chicken, what has my dog gotten in to?" This feeling was quickly replaced by, "Oh my gosh, it's snowing and I had no clue that was happening and why didn't I get the memo and maybe Mother Nature should ask me first and how is it so disturbingly stealth?" I just, I feel all unsettled inside. You know on those suspense films where you see the SWAT team surrounding a house and the guys are running up to the windows with their guns but they aren't making any noise and then all the sudden BAM they kick in the door and all pandemonium breaks loose? (Dad, is that really how it's done?) Well. Snow is just like that. Except it doesn't carry a gun. And it rarely, actually, kicks down your door. It clandestinely covers your dog so that you momentarily think some white mutt has hidden your precious retriever. And, quite frankly, I don't know which is worse. It's been hours since my dog entered the house covered in secretive flakes. I'm afraid to look outside. My entire yard has probably been baptised with that which shall henceforth remain unnamed. You want me to look, don't you. Well, alright, I will. I'll face my fear.

OH MY GOSH! It's everywhere! Seriously. I feel so twisty and unsettled inside. Southern California, how I miss you and your lack of surreptitious weather.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The House

I have a gas fireplace here in this mansion. It might be a problem. I might have an enormous heating bill since I run it for many hours a day. I might miss being warm in Ramona. I might use the word might way too much. I might not care.

Let me tell you about how I live in a five level house. That's one, two, three, four, FIVE. You walk in on the third level. If you go upstairs you will find Garrett's room, playroom, a bathroom and the guest room on the fourth level. If you go up four more stairs you will find the master bedroom, very large master bath, and master closet that is a dream come true. If you walk in the front door and do not choose to go up the stairs you will find the living room and kitchen. If you go down the four more stairs you would be on the second level, which is the family room and another bathroom. If you go down a flight of stairs you would be in the basement, where the office is. Plus another bathroom. Plus some storage rooms. It's insane. We could have, I don't know, eleven kids and live comfortably. Hey...wait a I get it.

By the way, if you want to hide in my house and murder me and my family, I just gave you a pretty good description of where to conceal yourself. I wouldn't try it though. We just installed a million dollar security system. In addition, if you bump into any of our strategically placed trip wires, you will be slaughtered by daggers and/or poisoned arrows. Also, we have hired a dozen ninjas to sleep in our closets. So, don't plan to murder me. I'm just saying, is all.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Prognosis: Surgery

Today my little tyke saw the pediatric surgeon at University of Utah. He came highly recommended by both his pediatrician (missing you like crazy, Kaiser) and the pediatric surgeon in San Diego. He was wonderful and the boy's surgery is scheduled for January. It should be a straightforward, outpatient procedure with minimal recovery. His umbilical hernia has, in fact, become incarcerated on two occasions. Apparently, the ER doctor that night was smoking morphene and steri-strips when he said that the fiery ash caused Garrett's repeated ralphing. So, my tiny little tiger will go under the knife in a little over a month. They offered to do it on December 26.

Garrett: What did you get for Christmas, Little Jimmy?
Little Jimmy: Yah, well, I got a Wii.
Garrett: But we're toddlers.
Little Jimmy: Yah. Santa is awesome. What did you get?
Garrett: Surgery.

I didn't want to be the mom who said, "Merry Christmas! Now they're going to slice you open." Plus, I declined since my family is coming to visit the next day. I didn't want Garrett to be doped up for their trip. Does electing to postpone surgery for a couple weeks make me a bad mother? Vote yes or no in the comment section.

Monday, December 3, 2007

So glad I NaBloPoMo'd

Okay, so there were about 6300 NaBloPoMo bloggers and 62 random prizes, I believe. You can see that my odds of winning were extremely low. Nevertheless:

50. Debbie [blog] will send one random NaBlo blogger a $20 Starbucks gift card.
WINNER: Livin' in a Fishbowl

That's right. Yours truly. Miss Livin' in a Fishbowl herself. And I didn't win something crazy like a box of cigarettes or a can of creamed corn (which, by the way, I hope weren't actual prizes). There were some that I wouldn't have been too thrilled to win but Starbucks just ain't one of 'em. I'm not a coffee drinker but you certainly don't have to be to throw back a cup of cocoa or a Passion Fruit Tea. So, thanks, Debbie, for your gift of Starbucks. It seems highly appropriate given my recent move to the tundra.

Saturday, December 1, 2007


We had a giant snowstorm today. My dad built Garrett a snow cave and pulled him around on the saucer that the church bought for him. The dog rolled around in the white wonder. We watched it fall and turn everything into a nice shade of clean. I realized that I am in love with the snow. I also realized that I like more in a "hey you're fun to visit and have hot cocoa and read a book in" kind of way and less in a "yippee! Tomorrow I get to try driving in you. Neat!" kind of way. In addition, I realized that my husband is a crazy person. The guy was out there in shorts. Shorts. As in short pants. Like the kind that you wear in southern California. Yah, those kinds of short pants.