Wednesday, September 30, 2009

apples & onions

in the wake of my husbands unemployment, my blog has become a way to free myself of some of the build up, the residue of feelings, that seem to bottleneck inside my mind.

grace says "depressing", but i beg to differ! the posts have NOT all been depressing. they have ranged from hope to gratitude to anger to just a daily accounting of the in's and out's of our "new normal." (and besides that-it's MY BLOG, I will blog however i darn well want to!)

some of my writing has been earnest, open, raw and very honest.

believe me when i say it could be MORE so.

sometimes it is better to omit, than to commit, my feelings to the printed word.

some days, my life right now is like biting into an onion-hard and stinging and not so tasty.

some days, it is liking biting into a fresh fall apple-sweet off the tree, delicious, fulfilling.

but BOTH kinds of days are real, and happen.

some days i want to kick and scream and tell the person OFF that just told me "well, you JUST need to pray and tell heavenly father that your husband NEEDS a job--THEN it will happen!"

REALLY, did someone just say that? I am so glad, because certainly we HAD NOT thought of that in 2 1/2 months.

Prayer, a new concept. (onion)

THEN, a friend calls and tells me "we are taking you to lunch! we love you, come talk and unburden your heavy heart!" (apple moment)

OR someone else volunteers to make all the "take home crafts" for my daughters birthday party. she INSISTS, and she gives of herself for my family. we feel SO blessed and loved. HOW, I ask, do you EVER pay this type of kindness back? (apple again)

Then i go to the store and want to slam my head into a wall because i am SO SICK of being SO FRUGAL and would REALLY really REALLY love to splurge on just a few small things.
a treat, a snack, a movie, something STUPID and completely unnecessary, ANYTHING. i silently weep in the car on the way home and pretend that my 16 yr. old son (who is pretending NOT to notice) will NOT notice the tears as they roll down my cheeks. (SOOOOOOOOOOO onion-y)

then i get MAD at myself for even worrying about things like that--because we are paying our mortgage, and eating, and have electricity. and those are ALL great (GREAT!) things. so who cares about the "other stuff?" why should it even matter? (sort of an apple and onion mix)

but, here's the thing...i guess we have to take the apples WITH the onions. and it is OK (so OKAY!) to have BOTH kinds of days (and posts).

If it were not this we were going through, it could be something else (and someday it will be something else, some other burden to carry and make it through).

we ALL have a load to carry, at some point, in our lives.

and i have said it before and will say it's not so much about the load--but more about GETTING up each new day and moving forward.

some days, it REALLY really stinks!

and some days, it really really is OK.

i think i will go start working on that praying thing, not to be sarcastic or anything, but that's probably the missing link in kyle's job search.

(POST EDIT: i must add that i KNOW the person that said this--who i know for a fact does NOT read my blog--did NOT mean it to be insensitive or DUMB! people just don't know what to say, so they just say "STUFF". i know this person is a GREAT person, but it was not a great day to hear that comment the day they said it to me!)

Sunday, September 27, 2009


"Birthday Month" has begun at our home.

Eliza Jane leads the pack, followed closely by josh and kyle.

if i could have chosen differently, i would've.

this is when the good Lord sent them. (although I had nothing to do with when my husband came, quite honestly).

Eliza Jane came bellowing into this world at 10:30 am

on Sept. 28, 1999.

Red hair, and lungs like no other.

If you do the math right (and hopefully I have)

that makes her "10".

Our home would be a quiet place without Miss Lizzie.

She adds spice to every layer of our life.

Mostly, that is a good thing.

Some days, I want to duct tape her in a closet.

Eliza is a kind hearted soul, she looks out for other people's feelings and is the first one to lend a hand to cheer someone up, or give a hug, or find a band aid.

She is the "kung pao chicken" of our Chinese family menu.

She was the girliest, most lip stick wearing child I had.

She used to wear bright red "lips" (as she called them) EVERYWHERE and anywhere. My favorite was when she wore them to church each week. You could see her lips coming from one block away. The good thing was, I never lost her when we took her out. (well, except for that one time at Costco....)

She did barbies better than the other two girls. She would always take the "Prince" (AKA "ken doll") and point to all the other girl barbies and say (making a "deep" 5 year old "prince" voice) ..."i choose, i choose, i choose...YOU!" and thus the new Princess would be crowned. It seemed to make the Prince very happy.

She is creative and artistic and even though she LOATHES soccer (her words, not mine) she still gives it her best shot week after week.

She HAS TO tell me she loves me three times EVERY night when she goes to bed... I am certain someday I will miss that very much. (maybe she will still call me when she's 30??)

She is a little helper and loves to "lead" other kids younger than her around. And help them, and give them guideance. She is actually quite good at it. (leading and guiding)

She would make a FABULOUS teacher or nurse--she has a tender, caring, teaching streak that runs about a mile wide.

There is NO truer friend!! She will stick to you, and up for you, and love you, and be true to you if you are her pal like no other. I think that is a GREAT quality to have.

She is especially close to her daddy. And when no one else can reason with her or put up with her antics, that's when he steps in. She adores the man, and I adore that she does. He can make her feel like her very own "Ken chosen Princess" time after time. And after all, every girl needs a daddy who loves them.

Lizzie, today it's your birthday!

Happy Birthday to you!

lots of love!

(we love you) ....your energy! your attitude! your spunk!

(we love you) ....your sass! your laughter! your sizzle!

(we love you) ...for being JUST WHO YOU ARE!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Last night Olivia announced that when she grows up she would like to be a "veterinarian-ist".
WHAT? ...a doggie orthodontist? who has heard of such a thing!
We ridiculed her, and we poked fun, and we teased.
Well, after announcing to the world on Facebook the desires of my baby girls heart, an old BYU chum (who is in fact an ACTUAL orthodontist by trade) told me that it was in all actuality something that IS done.
good heavens, WHO KNEW?
While attending USC ortho. school, he had a professor who DID apply braces to the teeth of show dogs.
To give them a more winning smile.
OK! SERIOUSLY, who knew?
The picture this has conjured in my mind all day has sent me into giggling fits at the most inopportune times.
Olivia, hold fast to the dream girlfriend--you have choosen well. I hear orthodontists make fabulous money.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009




PLUS THIS (In the wrong spot)

= (equals)

One Big Hole all the way through Kyle's middle finger.

(Literally...through the*middle*of*the*finger!)

We like to live on the edge here at our house.

ESPECIALLY now, when we have no

Health Insurance.

Can we say kyle really "screwed up" with the screw gun today?

my favorite part is how he tells me...

he knows how i feel about blood and holes in body parts. (i feel faint just typing this post people!)

the call goes something like this...

"hey honey, do you know how bad it hurts to put a screw through your finger? Especially when you can feel it bounce off of your bone and then come out the other side?"

me: "um, nope! don't know...will never know, and never WANT TO know!" panicking slightly, thinking about irrational things like, oh say, BLOOD POISENING, infections and what not.

him: "this is why i never tell you these things!"

me: "well you ALWAYS tell me, and i always worry! Get over it!"

*in his defense--the man has had very few "accidents" with screw guns, or any other tools, in all his years of using them.

certainly though, there is a first time for everything.'s to "enjoying the first time!"

kinda screwy, huh?

Monday, September 21, 2009

on autumn baking, why i wanted my son to be a nerd!, and WHO the *&@#$ invented confetti?

I am a fool for baking. I love to try new things and I love the smells of breads, soups (not baking actually) and goodies warming up my senses and kitchen on autumn and winter days.
In the summer I do not cook, it is against the rules to heat up the kitchen--we have "summer menu's" and "winter menus"--if you EVER want a good meal, come to my house in the fall or winter. (otherwise you may be eating cold cereal).
Once again this weekend, my home was filled with loud (bomb building and firecracker setting off) teenage boys. It is a well known fact that teenagers eat a lot. Apparently none of these boys have a mother who bakes cupcakes? or they know I am a sucker for a compliment.
After the last sprinkle was in place and the cupcakes were laid out all "PRETT*I*LY" on my cake platter, the boys came along with phrases like, "WOW! those sure look pretty!" and "I wonder how they taste?"
Hint taken, the boys were told to eat the cupcakes. In less time than it takes a piranha to chow down on a school of fish, these boys had finished off 24 mini cupcakes with gusto! I've got to hand it to them, the noises they made sounded like something from the movie "What About Bob?" You know the scene when Bob is eating homemade dinner on the porch..."OHHHHHHHHHH! Mrs. N, these are SOOOOOOOO good." "YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!"
well, you get the picture, right? It is often used as one of our "overkill" jokes here at home. (meaning WE sit around the kitchen table re-enacting that scene at meal times.)
I see more cupcakes, and baked goods in my son's friends future!
Next item of business....
"Lettuce Head" to the dance together--how my son was answered for Homecoming. by the girl HE asked. (his "asking" was an oldie but goodie--a bag of Goldfish crackers with his *J* *O* *S* *H* letters written on 4 of the fish...saying "out of all the fish in the sea, i'm asking you to to dance with me". awwwwwwwwwwwww, cute!
--the "awwww" was me, not part of the asking!)
Next item of business...
Apparently 2 weeks after Homecoming is ANOTHER dance at the High School.
The Halloween "MONSTER MASH". (girls choice this time).
Josh was asked last night to the dance by loud ringing of the doorbell and banging on the door at 10:14 PM--do these people know he has smallish sibblings that like to sleep at that hour? not to mention his old mother?
(i had picture/camera malfunctions and will get the picture posted soon)...
The "asking" consisted of my front steps being laden with a poster board filled with mashed up potatoes, about 365 bags of glitter confetti (which has now somehow been tracked into every crevice of my home...I will be vacuuming it up for weeks to come. What sadistic fool invented the stuff??) a "Monster" energy drink, and a sign begging the boy to come.
I have paused to consider the fact that I would be very much OK with a nerdy, pimply, ugly son right now that does not even look at girls for the next, OH! 24 years--but alas! that is not to be.
I think girls like him...and it's not just me and his sisters anymore.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

follow up on being prepared....

just one small story as a follow up to the "prepared" post.

kyle has a friend who works in Human Resources (he is a "head hiring guy) at the church office building.
they have mostly had a "hiring freeze" for a while now.
but one day a few weeks ago, they posted a job for a PART TIME custodian.

the posting hit the computer at night when friend "R" was leaving work, by the NEXT morning when he returned, there were over 300 postings for that job. (PART TIME JANITOR! 300 postings!)

there were resumes from attorneys, doctors, accountants, businessmen, etc. etc.

there were people with degrees coming out the ying yang, there were people with as much (or more) education as one could wish for.

they were people desperate to find work, to support their loved ones.

this is what kyle is competing with. this is how it is out there.

kyle has had one interview for a "mediocre" job so far (pay cut, not really what he "WANTS" to do...but a job nonetheless!)

the interviewer told him he had been narrowed from OVER 200 applicants for the position.

he somehow made the cut to the "TOP TEN" for an interview.

he did not get the job, but again...this is what is going on out there for the unemployed.

i am not writing this to be depressing, because we are HONESTLY not depressed (stressed, worried, BUT HOPEFUL still most days!).

i am writing this so that you may again THINK about my question:


POST EDIT: i also want to add, i am not trying to be a fear monger (is that one word or two? LOL) but i just wanted to type out some of my very own personal thoughts on this subject. and since it is *MY* blog, i can do whatever i want! right?

i think if we ARE prepared, then when/if something like this should happen (or a death, divorce, illness or one of the many other things that can change our life in an instant) we will be less fearful. not WITHOUT fear, but LESS fearful in how we have to deal with whatever comes our way.

i might add that we were *NOT* prepared in all of the areas NEARLY as well as we should have been.

and for THAT reason, it has made me pause and reconsider so many things about my very own life. and i (personally) think that to take inventory of ones own life, and make the necessary changes, is NEVER a bad thing. i am grateful in many ways for the lessons that this "life experience" is teaching me. (don't get me wrong--i wish it would end, oh! like YESTERDAY!) but if we can choose to learn, and it IS a choice, how we respond to challenges, i think when all is said and done we come out (for the most part) in better shape.

the end.

(grace says i must quit posting "depressing things" so i will show some photo's of our weekend in a future post!)

Friday, September 18, 2009

how prepared are YOU?

all of this talk of unemployment (oh wait! that's ME doing all the talking.) leads me to this post.

i find that we (especially me) live a world where i often wonder about our "need to" (needs) and "want to". (wants)

as i have blogged about previously, being in this situation (without work) begs the question...


i belong to a church that consistently "preaches" preparedness. they encourage monetary savings, food storage, and living with the least amount of debt possible. ("good debt" which could be incurred while pursuing an education, in the purchase of a home and possibly a car. they claim all other debt is "not good.")

depending on the season of my life, i have been more prepared in some areas and less in others according to those guidelines.

but as we have worked our way forward through this latest challenge in our lives, i have often paused to ask myself that question. (the one about being prepared.)

because it is something we ALL should be thinking about.

did you know that the national "average", the length of time one can expect to be unemployed right now in our country is a year.

did you read that right? a year?

YES! you did.

certainly people are finding employment sooner that that, or taking LONGER than that. but according to "statistics" that is the length of time it is taking to find gainful employement again.

Utah, at the moment is slightly less than average on statistics, but regardless, those are frightening numbers.

so, again my question. how prepared are you?

*how much debt do you have?

*how much savings do you have? (we are encouraged to have on hand 6 months worth of our take home income, i know for some that is not possible--and for some that is EASY!)

*how much food storage do you have? what could you live on if you had to?

*how much frivolous spending do you do? do you REALLY need that thing you just bought?

*how long could YOU live without a job?

these are just questions that have been brought to the forefront of my mind, and MY LIFE, right now. (obviously)

i certainly know that when my husband DOES get a new job, it will really make me rethink my saving and spending habits.

it will make me think about, and reconsider, what is REALLY important...really really important.

it has been a good lesson for us, to think about these things.

because, it can happen to ANYONE! ANYWHERE!
no matter how safe you think your job is!

i know people (including ourselves) who have thought they were "safe" and were not. people that were accountants, business men, lawyers and even doctors. it is a crazy, uncertain time we live in right now.

just some food for thought today....

how prepared ARE YOU?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


...for good news, even in trying times.

...for rain.

...for friendship, that strengthens.

...for the lifting of my burdens, by people surrounding me, in a million, gazillion small and wonderful ways.

...for my ears to hear my son play the piano.

...for my eyes to watch my daughter run a race, try her hardest with something new.

...for books to read, brought by people dear to my heart who keep restocking and restocking my supply.

...for prayers answered. and prayers NOT answered.

...for hope.

...for sails that blow in. (must see a previous post on my ramblings about "sails" and the movie "Castaway".)

...for love.

...for tomatoes. for how can one eat a grilled cheese sandwich without them?

...for faith.

...for a Heavenly Father that loves me, and mine.

tonight, I am grateful.

Monday, September 14, 2009

a strange thing happened today...

While I was out running my errands today, I drove past Great Harvest Bread Company. My windows were down and I was enjoying the very first "fall like" day of the season. (THAT is not the strange thing!) A fall day that was a bit overcast, cool and wonderful. While passing Great Harvest, I got a WHIFF of baking bread and my heart went pitter patter. OH! how I love Great Harvest Bread (who doesn't?). ESPECIALLY when it is fresh out of the oven. They have honey whole wheat, farmhouse white, Cinnaburst (the BEST!), and chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. (to name a few) How can anything that tastes this good actually be good for you? I mean, really? COME ON!

I sighed and thought, "Well, when you have no steady income, Great Harvest is NOT in the budget! So, keep driving woman!" (yes, i do actually talk to myself in the car when i'm me a nutter!)

I longed for it though, one good slice of warm bread.

With my errands done, I came home, and what to my wondering eyes should appear? Nope, not 8 tiny reindeer! BUT, HOLY CRAP! Someone left Great Harvest on my warm and delicious loaf of Cinnaburst bread! I was in heaven. I was certain that someone could read my mind. (and I wondered what else I had been thinking about today?) I had NO CLUE who to call and thank for this moment of deliciousness! So thank you mystery bread giver, they say that "bread is"....something? What is it?? Good? Edible?

POST EDIT: the "deliverer" has been identified....THANK YOU!
I asked if she could read my mind when she called, and the answer was unclear. BUT she DID say if someone IS reading my mind, than next time I should aim higher than a loaf of bread!

Good Point!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

it's coming...

...don't let it fool you.
even though summer temperatures are holding on with a vengeance this year during the day, the nights are getting cooler.
The air has changed.

If you don't believe me, look out your window and you can see it. You can feel it.

The light is different.
It is now infused with amber, dripping with honey. gone are the glaring blue skies of summertime, that beckoned us to the pool.
It has been replaced with a hazy subdued sky, opaque, more gentle somehow.

There is no season I love more than Autumn.
(except for maybe spring.)

But glorious autumn with its crackling, crisp leaves crunching under my feet.
The scents of pumpkin spice and apples, baking, the aromas holding hands, mingling and mixing, blending and combining, together, in my kitchen.
The smell of fires burning leaves, or keeping us warm on a chilly night.

The frosty breath of nighttime left on the window panes, hinting of cooler days ahead.
Cheering for "the team" and football lights on Friday nights.
The looming promise of Halloween, and dressing up, and then, being Thankful.
Filling our plates to over-flowing, our hearts brimming at the blessings we enjoy.

Cooler mornings, sweatshirt evenings.
The muted hues of leaves and grass and flowers, mixed together with shocking, unexpected oranges, reds, and yellows begging to be photographed, or plucked from the earth to brighten my kitchen.

It's coming, and I, for one, am glad.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Potty Talk...

because sometimes i have the sense of humor of a 14 year old boy...
...and i just cannot resist.

the other day when Bompie was in the bathroom, going potty, I ran buy and
banged on the closed door as hard as I could (YES! in a pathetic attempt to shock her,
surprise her, and scare her to death.)

She yelled at me, "Mom, you just scared the POOP out of me!"

I yelled back at her, "Well, it's a good thing you were sitting on the toilet then!"

giggle giggle tee hee hee.

hey, I warned you ...

"Potty Talk!"

i am pretty sure she will NOT want this story retold at her wedding luncheon.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

turn, turn, turn

it is unexpected. for me, sometimes.
that even while in the midst of turmoil,
the days keep turning.
going by.
my breath keeps on coming, in and out.
the seasons changing. summer flows into fall.
nights begin to chill, colors become richer.
the children keep growing.
taller, older, becoming more of who they already are.
and we keep moving.
and going. ever forward.
time marches, refusing to stand still.


my focus lately seems to be on "surviving", and it weighs
heavily on my mind most days.
as i pay my bills.
as i sort through my food storage.
as i wonder about our future and what each new day will bring.


as i sat with my mother and sisters yesterday,
while my father lay on a table.
an operating table.
in the hands of capable (we hoped) surgeons.
making idle chatter, our eyes ever watchful on the clock,
waiting for news.
how had it gone?
as i hugged my mother good bye, thinking about the burden
on HER shoulders. for HER to carry HIM.
the weeks that lay ahead. weeks of healing.
the hope that even after the DR. said "all is well"...
it would be.
the hope that my fathers body would be strong.
to heal, and mend, and regain strength.

then my life turned again.

a new chapter.
this time my eldest. the one that came into this world
weighing just shy of 9 pounds. the one who completed a circle in my life. a circle that started with heartache and sadness, then left me brimming to overflowing, with a sense of joy and being whole.


a text. from him. to me.
he wanted to ask "her" to Homecoming (a dance? a girl? my SON?) he had to hurry (there were others lining up to ask)
a girl? my son? (holy COW!) then it was done, and now it was his turn to wait for an answer from HER.
it came as a yes! (a girl and my son, i am happy for them)

and i realized that in the midst of it ALL, the worry, or pain, or fear, or difficulties, that life carries on. Blessed, wonderful life! Chock FULL of good things (even WHEN, especially when, there is "bad".) And we carry on with it. for no matter what we are going through, the fact is, we keep going.
forward. moving with the current. changing daily.

i am holding on for the ride.
waiting to see what happens next.


Thursday, September 3, 2009


...that would be the number of texts Josh sent/received last month.

Him: "well, it's not as many of SOME people."

Me: "well, it is certainly MORE than others!"

thank goodness for unlimited texting.

possibly he's trying to hit a friends all time record of near 10,000 in a single month?

if so, he is just about 1/2 way there!

go Josh go!