Monday, August 25, 2014


I was drowning last week.  I've been drowning for a while, actually.  It's incredibly hard to articulate, especially being surrounded by so much modern convenience, plenty and loving family.  So I haven't, just tried to muddle forward.  It's like walking through oatmeal, and I can't explain what I'm trying to do.

But mommies know.  So I call my mom.  Or she calls me.  And last Tuesday she listened while I tried to talk.  Gave encouragement the way a mom knows how to do.  And then called me back an hour later and told me she'd booked a flight for THAT NIGHT and would be staying with me for the rest of the week.


I can't explain how close I came to really losing it, and how she helped.  But I will say my head feels above the water today. I feel like I can make it to tomorrow, which is more hope than I've had in a while.  So there's that.

When mom was here, she told me about a painting that she'd seen in the Louvre that had stuck with her.  She described in such a way that I had to look it up and see what she was talking about.

It was Scene from a Deluge by Anne Louis Girodet-Trioson and it WILL give you nightmares. So read on at your own risk.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

at the midnight hour... more more.

Friday night, kids are in bed, jammies on, when the husband gets one of those calls. And the poor guy has to suit back up and go for the umpteenth time this week and help the masses.   So I text Jane. She's married to my brother who was also called as a bishop last year, and  she's my go-to when it all gets a bit much. 


And in the meantime, I'll blog. A few of the promised before and after pics of the TEN FREAKING YEARS. 

At the Halloween orchestra concert I conducted. 

The night we got all officially engaged. 

Engagement shots. 

Just before Brasil got totally humiliated at the World Cup a coupla weeks ago. 

At an 80s party this February... I think. 

Last week. 

I used to get my hairs did. And bought clothing that looked good on me.  Now, I unashamedly care not for beans. And my main motivation in the clothing I buy is how much of this will keep me covered while I'm dragging one child through the store while another is on my hip, yanking at the neckline, chasing the third who is two aisles ahead of me, screaming for cupcakes and the potty. 

Like I said, it's a good life. But completely unplanned. 24 year old me would be totally weirded out. 


SO.  Yesterday afternoon I was feeding Thing 3 and waiting for the husband to come home from work when a nice teenage girl showed up.  It's cool, I knew her.  She just stood there at the door smiling at me and I was like... "soooo..... what can I do for you?" and she was like "Your husband is surprising you.  I'm watching the kids tonight."  

A night out??  I don't have to set up the sitter??  Niiiiice.  And then, in walks the husband with a dozen roses and chocolate.  It has not been the greatest week so I figured it was a "Hey, let's do something nice for you so you stop stomping around the house like an annoyed T-Rex" surprise, but it was actually a "Hey, we met 10 years ago today!" surprise.


TEN.  FREAKING.  YEARS.  I mean, I know the big wedding one is coming in January but that's still soooo far away.  Like 5 months.  Because yes, I got married that flipping fast.  But... dang.

And instead of being all goopy and dreamy about 10 years together, my mind is reeling from the fact that I am now 10 years older than when I was single.  DUDE.  What would 10-years-ago say about where I am today?  I mean, if I think about it, Jared seems about spot on.  He's got a fancy corporate jorb and he's a bishop and wears button-up shirts to work and Dropkick Murphys tee shirts when he's not at church.  That sounds about right.  But me??  I did NOT picture any of this.  I'm not saying I'm hating it, but I also don't feel like I made a conscious effort to become this half-crazed mother of three.  I feel like it just kinda happened.  I got married.  Then I had a kid.  Then... then... then... this happened. This is freaking me out. 

As I was panicking on the couch today, I decided to take a selfie of me to compare to whatever picture I could find of me 10 years ago.  As I was snapping it, it realized behind me was a closet with crap spilling out of it and a photobomb by the Dude, who has been belting out the lyrics to Schoolhouse Rock's Electricity and TROGDOR THE BURNINATOR all day.

Yeah.  That sounds about right.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

the one where we get to stare at my face

I should probably know how this happened and details and all that, but I have no clue - there's a YouTube channel up of a gazzillion vids from our live shows in GA!

Our singer is AFREAKINGMAZING and you should totally check out all the videos where she sings and melts me into a puddle on the floor with her gorgeousness, but since this is my blog, I wanted to share this juicy tidbit - that I WROTE! (and then played.  I'm the one with the fiddle - you know, the one an entire foot taller than the rest of the band)

I know what you're thinking.  Why on earth did the sound guys have a UHaul parked behind the stage for the entire weekend, thus turning every pic and video into a UHaul commercial?  Me too.


inspired by my newsfeed this morning

My grandfather had a poem written up somewhere, and I memorized it.  Probably incorrectly, but this was the jist that my brain held onto:

I have often thought that I could be better
if I was a bold and brisk go-getter,
instead of a slinking placid sheep
with an unscrupulous urge to oversleep.
But the world needs fellows like me, I'll bet
else who would the go-getters go and get?

It's like someone wrote it for me, right?  Anyway, it fits with my daily WHAT THE HUH?? today.

Who are the people who feel the need to go up to a waiter/ manager and complain that someone else is breastfeeding?  I mean, who ARE they?  And as you should all be aware, I am NOT a breastfeeding advocate.  It was one of the worst things I've ever survived (and no, it wasn't because it hurt - it was that fun disorder it gives me) and when lactivists come my way, I run the opposite direction.  When I hear all the data about how I'm doing horrible things to my kids by giving them formula, I show them my kid's test scores from school and their clean bills of health.  Breastfeeding is great, but the alternative isn't the demon it is made out to be.

(that's the harshest I'll ever rant about it.  if you can call that a rant.)

But if they want to do it, it's not a big deal.  If I see someone do it, I just think about how hard it is to mother no matter what our choices.  Even if they aren't doing the best job of covering up, I just look a different way.  Partly because when I did it, it was before all those awesome hooter-hiders came out and covering a nursing baby who is clawing at the blanket you are trying to keep that cover on WHILE fighting a mad suicidal monster inside of you is AWFUL.  More power to anyone who can manage to do it.

But really, who has the energy to go up to someone and complain about it and insist they stop? Who are these people?  I mean it - I'm not demonizing the people who get offended either.  We are all children of our Father in Heaven and I try not to demonize any of us because we all have our own invisible baggage we are carrying.  But with all that internal juggling, who has the time to go pointing fingers at anyone else?  Maybe they could teach me something about time-management.  Maybe if I organized my schedule better, I'd have more time to set aside for judging others.

And that goes for people who have the time/energy to complain to flight attendants/employees about other people.  I have limited time on this earth.  I'm not going to spend it demanding other people not go about annoying me.  (heaven knows there are enough things people could complain about ME - I'm trying to keep my glass house in one piece).

But then I think of that poem - and there ARE times when someone should stand up about things.  Things that are dangerous, hateful, whatever.  The world has been made a better place by people better than me who don't make a habit of minding their own beeswax.  It has its place, it really does.  The world needs whistle-blowers, abolitionists, suffragettes, etc.

So I guess what I'm saying is I'm glad there are people out there who aren't like me.

But take it down a notch, people.  There are worse things than someone breastfeeding in a Starbux.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

r u three?

Summer officially started Monday.  2 weeks ago school was out and we left immediately for the south and my yearly gig with the BlarneyGirls at the Blairsville Scottish Festival.  A marvelous time was had by all and then we headed home just to have the band meet me up here and play two shows in Wisconsin.

This is terribly boring, but it explains while Monday morning, the house was suddenly empty of all the guests and it was just the kids and I, staring blankly at each other.  The day did not begin well.  I know many moms who wail about the summer and how they can't stand the craziness of the kids and how they can't wait to send them back to school and I always thought they were just grumpy pants people.

Until Monday.

At one point I was marching through the house hollering that summer was cancelled.  I won't give specifics, but things were not going well.

The cruddy thing is, last summer was AMAZING.  I had two kids old enough to have some serious fun with and the baby was still very much a baby who was content with sitting in his carseat on excursions.  I was so happy all the time I couldn't stand it - you may remember my infrequent LIFE IS SO GRAND posts.

But now I have 2 kids who are still open to fun, and one kid whose life's ambition is to run into traffic.  And to burst the eardrums of EVERYONE EVERYWHERE.  I love this 1 year old but if we both make it to September I'm going to ... I can't think of it yet, but I'm going to do something drastic and wonderful for myself.  It's a big IF.

Did I pop onto Blogger just to moan and groan to y'all?  No.  Well okay, a little.  But I'm also on here because I CAN.  See, a few years ago my laptop died and I decided I didn't want a replacement because I didn't want that big of a distraction around.  I wanted to be in the moment with the kids, you know?  Besides, if I need something I have my handy dandy iPhone.  Except the iPhone is also really slow and typing is a pain and I can't ever really comment on anything.  Anywhere.  We have a big awesome computer (a few actually) but the one with all the awesomeness is the big one in the living room that also acts as our TV and is shared with the whole family, so getting access is not simple.  Which has been fine - a little isolating, but fine.

Until Monday morning when I was convinced we were all going to kill each other and the thought came into my head that I needed a diversion.  HARDCORE.  A diversion that allows me to read blogs and comment and get out of the madness for a few minutes.  TO ACTUALLY BLOG AGAIN.  So I've convinced the husband's tablet thingy to accept me and that's how right now I'm am connecting with you and ignoring the fact that Thing 3 smells like a barn and is trying to dissect the vacuum.

So hello!  Have a nice day!  I exist!  I look like a crazy person!  I'm not going to come up with a witty finish because the Dude is trying to convince me that he should have cotton candy for lunch tomorrow and I'm so tired I'm actually considering it!  Bye!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

yo wazzup pinterest

Welcome to another edition of Stuff I Found on Pinterest That Ended Up Being Awesomesauce!  This time I've even added a coupla phone pics of the end product to show what they look like in the real world.  Or at least in the Reva barely-passable world.  But they still worked, so booya!

I love cilantro but I never end up using all of it.  I hate HATE throwing away wilted cilantro.  It's seriously depressing.  So I went searching for solutions and found a nice recipe for a cilantro-lime pesto with directions to freeze it for later.  I froze it in an ice cube tray (I only had star shaped) and defrosted a few the next time we had fish tacos and it was super yummy.  Plus it made me feel 14 kinds of cool so that's nice.

We made a sugar scrub in my MOPS group and it was the simplest ingredient list ever - so I had to make my own when it was all gone.  2 ingredients - lavender scented baby oil and sugar.  It was super exfoliating and my legs appreciated the whole 28 seconds it took to mix it all up.

I've mentioned before that I make my own laundry detergent, but I was never comfortable making dishwashing detergent with Borax.  I found a recipe without it AND directions for making them into individual tabs.  So far it's worked out great, it took less than 5 minutes to make them and again, I get the added bonus of feeling cool about myself.

Moms love pictures of their kids and grandkids.  With my mom breaking her leg this winter, I thought that she'd like some wearable pictures for Mother's Day while she laid on the couch.  I found lots of tutorials that involved clear stones and Mod Podge and a lot of other things I could totally see myself screwing up, but then I found this tutorial that used Epiphany Crafts adhesive bubbles with charms to match.  I went to Walmart to get the supplies to make the bracelet and ordered the Epiphany stuff on Amazon - with the usual result of me being overly proud of myself.

A few other things of awesome note:

Ken Jennings Junior Genius guide books are super great and WonderGirl approved.  We're digging the geography one lately.

Three great FHE lessons we've used were this one for Lehi's Dreamthis one for the Plan of Salvation and this one on testimonies.

Lastly, I used this diy body wrap a little while after having Thing 3 and it helped my body feel a little more like myself.  I didn't notice losing inches off my waist (maybe a centimeter or two, just water weight), but it tightened up my skin and that felt heavenly, post-baby.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Letter to my daughter #3

I love you.  That being said, I have some sad reality to share.

There are people who will not like you.  And it's going to hurt.

I can tell you not to take it personally, but it's really hard not to.  The thing is to just accept that it will hurt and move on.

The most important advice I can give you on this is this:


You can't control what judgement people make.  You CAN control how you feel, how you react.  You can control you.  You are not other people's words or opinions.  No matter what is ever said or done, nothing can take away the fact that first and foremost, you are a daughter of God.  He loves you beyond measure, and that is the opinion that counts.

That being said, here are a few things I have found that help pick me up and get me going in the right direction:

Call someone who loves you (you are very blessed to have a long list) and tell them straight out "I am having a rough day and I need a pick-me-up."  I do that to Gamma all the time, and I will also gladly do it for you too.

Do something nice for someone else.  Nothing works better to get rid of negative energy than by replacing it with some positive.

Shut the windows, turn the music up and dance.  DANCE.

Crowd your brain with good thoughts and good memories.  There is something about the negative things people say - it's like they take up twice the size of any of the compliments we receive.  So you need to have a flood of happy memories ready to go.  So in the in-between times, your job it to make as many happy memories and good friends as you can.  They save you in the lean times.

So when you get hurt - especially if it's on purpose - remember this:

Be smart.  Be intelligent.  Go out there and do something amazing.

Monday, May 19, 2014

floor show

Both my mom and the awesome Elizbeth-the-cellist (that's how I refer to her in casual conversation) have wonked up one knee each so I really need to step up my blogging game to entertain them. 

But in reality, it's just gonna be the usual quantity over quality, which is kinda my wheelhouse.   So here's a super tame pic of what happens when Thing 3 is in a room for longer than 30 seconds. 

This here is why blogging is sparse. But if you wanna come follow this mini-Godzilla around my house, I could come up with some epic posts... hey mom, Elizabeth - any requests??  Anything for my favorite gimps!  :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


You guys - something is happening.  Years of having tiny children who go spastic every time I try to talk to another adult has given me an aversion to people.  I was the ultimate extrovert but I'm tipping wwaaaayyyyy to the introvert side.  Who ever saw that coming??

Think about it - it's Pavlovian.  Every time I stop in public and talk to another person, my kids start flopping all over the ground or running out a door so I'm distracted and I say whatever is on the front of my brain without thinking (which is a dangerous zone)  and then I feel awful afterwards because a) the kids did something completely mortifying or b) I said something completely mortifying.  So now when the phone rings or a person looks at me to talk, I literally get sick to my stomach.  

I hate social stuff.  I only want to talk to my mom, my kids, the dude I married and a small assortment of college friends and family members.  I'm TURNING INTO MY HUSBAND.  

I even get a little nauseous when people who aren't those people text me and expect texts in return.

I just got called to the nursery at church and I am SO FREAKING EXCITED about it.  I thought I'd hate it but I love it.  I've been in the presidency of 3 other organizations in less than 4 years and all I want is to be locked up in a room with toddlers who I don't have to make small talk with.  And if they freak out at the dumb stuff I say, they'll just roll around on the floor and scream.  And THAT is something I can handle.

And then coming up with a witty ending to blog posts is just... dang.  I'm freaking out.  No joke.  


Thursday, April 10, 2014

peasant bread for idiots

We interrupt this scattered blog that in 13 years has gone from an angsty college girl to a I HAVE KIDS LOOK AT THEM ALL THE TIMES blog - with a recipe.

I know, I know, I am the LAST person on earth who should be giving out any advice about food.  But if you think about it, if there is one recipe out there that even I can do, it has to be foolproof.  I am awful at cooking and eating everyday food - most of my few successful food thingys are party appetizers.  You can't live on appetizers (I've tried).  But I can do bread!  Not healthy bread, but yummy nonetheless.  So when I saw this recipe on Pinterest for peasant bread that was supposedly supersuper easy, I had to try it.  The blogger goes into such detail it almost overwhelmed me, but she was thorough enough that I have become an expert at it.  That whole artisan bread in 5 minutes thing seems nice, but it still feels like a lot of prep to me.  Yes, I'm that lazy.  But this is no-knead, done in 2 and half hours from start to finish.  And it's so flipping good.

But not healthy.

If you want to learn how to make it all fancy-like, go check out Alexandra Cooks where she goes into every detail possible and has way more appetizing photos.  This is how a super lazy person does it. With a coupla iPhone pictures because yes, I'M THAT LAZY.

1. Lightly mix 2 teaspoons active-dry yeast, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 2 cups of warm water in a bowl.  Set your timer for 5 minutes  because there is nothing more annoying that finding a bowl of hyper yeast that you forgot about an hour ago.

2. After 5 minutes,  add 2 teaspoons salt and 4 cups of flour.  What kind of flour?  Who the heck knows.  I use the white stuff I find at Aldi.  That's how I roll.

3.  Stir up the everything till it's all blended in one unattractive blob.  Put it in your oven and turn it on for 350 - for ONE MINUTE ONLY (I recommend the timer too).  This just gets the oven nice and slightly warm enough to help the bread rise faster.

4.  Let it rise for at least an hour.  2 at the most.

5. Get a 3 quart pyrex bowl ( or a few small ones, I don't care) and SLATHER the inside with butter.  Coat it nice and thick.  I use margarine because I'm not a butter snob.  I'm actually butter illiterate and I'm cool with that.

6. Get the risen dough out, deflate it a bit by poking it for a sec (the professionals say "punch it down" but that has always seemed weird to me.), then scoop it out with a big spoon and plop it in the buttered bowl(s).  This is what it'll look like:

7.  Let that rise for about 30 minutes.  It'll look like this:

8. Take a small amount of kosher salt and sprinkle it over the top.  Not a thick layer, just enough to add some flavor to the top since the sides are gonna be SO BUTTERIFFIC.

9.  Put it in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, then down to 375 for another 15 or so.  It'll look like this:

10. Flip the bowl over and plop it out onto a cutting board.  If you did you buttering job right, it'll slip out perfectly.  THERE IS NOT SUCH THING AS TOO MUCH BUTTER/MARGARINE.  It'll have the most awesome buttery crust on it:

11.  Slice and eat.

It is so good with fondue, actually.  And the next day grilled sandwiches are divine.  I like to butter one side and fry it up in a pan for a toast-y breakfast the next day too.

If you try it, you gotta tell me how it went.  WonderGirl begs for me to make this all the time - which makes me happy, since the other thing she begs is for mac and cheese out of the box instead of my homemade stuff (which is one of the few things I know how to make from scratch, sob).  Anywho, back to the I HAVE CHILDREN LOOKITLOOKITLOOTKIT tomorrow.