Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday's Fabulous Five and Stuff

Rohan has been saying some funny things lately. Had to get them down. Indulge me this moment of Mommy Blogging:

A little preface... I have an extreme aversion to most scents on my hands. I can't stand to have my hands smell like food in any form... except maybe lemons, limes and cilantro. That's about it. There are certain soaps that I can not use because I can't stand the way they smell on my hands. Wendy's restaurant has one such soap. I digress. The point is, I think that I passed this quirk on to my son.

Rohan had gone with his best pal, Keller, to McDonald's to play and have a happy meal. They had a grand time involving non-stop running. Upon his return home, he came to me extremely upset because his hands "smehwd yucky". I think it was whatever disinfectant they use on the McDonald's playland that he was smelling. It was a rather weird aroma. We proceeded to wash his hands really well. He ran off happily.

In a few minutes, he came back crying that they still "smehwd yucky". I wasn't sure what to do. I could tell that this was the kind of scent that would just have to come off with time. But, to help him feel better, I said, "How 'bout we put on some lotion to help the smell?" He agreed, excitedly and we then rubbed his hands down with lotion, and he sniffed them, smiled at me and turned to run back to his movie-watching with Keller. As I was putting away the lotion I heard the exurberant voice of my darling child (who is SO easy to love) say, "Kewwa, smehw my hands! Day smehw wike oshen!" (cute because it sounded just like "ocean")

One more... a conversation between Rohan and I the other day:

R- Hey Mom? Have you eatda whoppa?

M- Yes.

R- Did it burn yo hand?

M- *laughs* No....

R- Was it evil?

M- *laughs again, harder* No...... do you mean a whopper, like the little chocolate balls?

R- Yeah....

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1- I love my children and the funny things they say.

2- I painted yesterday from about noon until about 9:30pm over at our duplex. It feels good to get that little job closer to completion, (no, it's not done yet!) and to get the walls whipped into shaped.

3- I'm going to go see Twilight again tonight. I'm hoping I'll like it better the second time I see it. I've heard that from some people, that it's better the second time. Either way, I get to hang out with some awesome ladies, so that will be super fun!

4- Rohan and I went to the fire station today and had a tour. I thought it was fasinating! I think we need to go for a tour for a date. I loved asking lots of questions. Did you know that the industry standard fire truck holds 1000 gallons of water? And they pull the water from the hydrant and into the truck which pumps it into the hose and sprays it? I didn't that before, but now I do. Thanks for arranging the tour, Maria! I wanna slide down the pole now.

5- Dustin was home all week again. (working, but coming home each night!) It's a beautiful thing! Life is FABULOUS!!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Yeah, Write... Chapter 3

Welcome to Chapter 3 of our game. Excellent job, Ginny! Next week, we will hear from Polly with the following prompts...

...put your hands in your pockets...

and

...I thought I knew the meaning of the word relief, but...

If you're just joining us, please go here for an explanation. And to get caught up, click here for chapter 1 and chapter 2.



Chapter 3

Despite his encouraging and pleasing reaction, the first step was definitely the easiest. I laboriously worked to put one foot in front of the other as I battled the dichotomous truths before me. Was turning back the right thing to do? I had tried without success to run away, and although going back was proving to be almost as difficult, I was at least able to get my body to respond to the commands from my brain. Each step brought me closer to the threat and security of his presence and I tried to get my mind around the awful truth he had revealed. Where we would go from here? Things would, obviously, never be the same, and yet, I was intrigued at the possibilities that lay ahead. I always believed, at least at some level, that we make this world our own heaven or hell, and with each step I was trying to convince myself that there was a heaven to be found in all of this. As I continued to watch my leaden feet, my shoulders curled in exhaustion and grief, arms hanging limp, swaying like an ape's with the physics of my lumber, I realized that I was muttering aloud in conversation with myself as I contemplated the consequences of going back. I didn't really have the energy to care. It's not like there was anyone around to hear me.

Suddenly I snapped out of the magnetic trance that had been pulling me somewhat reluctantly toward him. Why wasn't there anyone around? Why hadn't even one of the hundreds of cars that had passed us on the highway stopped? Or even slowed down? It was almost as if no one had even seen the smoking car or either one of us looking pathetic and helpless as we sat on the loosening gravel of the shoulder of the road. In the mere seconds it took to have all of those thoughts run through my head, I heard a voice that so clearly sounded like my mother's. It wasn't an actual voice, but one in my mind, and it was perfectly clear as it shouted to my subconscious, "Get out, NOW!

It's amazing the motivation that comes upon hearing your mother's voice yelling at you, real or not. My once curled, sagging shoulders rolled back as my spine straightened. My head whipped up with a determination I never knew I had. As my eyes leveled off from the dramatic motion, I realized I stood just feet in front of him. Our eyes met, and yet didn't. He seemed to be staring through me rather than at me and I could feel that almost magnetic force trying to pull me in again, only I was aware of it this time. An ominous feeling of fear swept over my body and a wave of cold moved through my every limb. My stiff, clammy fingers moved up to my cheek where I could now feel the outline of the two black marks. His gaze didn't abate in the slightest. I turned my emancipated body around as if to catch sight of what it was he was looking at, and I ran. I ran with more energy and determination than I had ever remembered feeling. I thought I heard him yell something, but I couldn't be sure for the blood pounding in my ears. I crossed the same road for the third time now and practically flew over the playground's gravel that had once proved my captor. I was getting close to the apartments now and knew I couldn't stop until I was safely behind one of those doors. What I would do next, I didn't know. I couldn't think about that now. All I could afford to do in this moment was keep my feet moving as fast as possible. I feared if I slowed down he might be able to extend his controlling influence over me again.

Finally my feet moved from the uneven softness of the grassy lawn to the concrete of the breezeway between apartment doors. I quickly looked at the four doors within sight as my brain scrambled to decide which to pound on first. Did it really matter? Why was I even taking the time to be selective? After seconds that felt like minutes, I saw the clear, clean lines of a brass three centered perfectly on a door. It almost looked as though it was glowing, begging me to select that door. I am sure I felt this way because three has always been my favorite number, but something about that door called to me. And so I lunged for the door, pounding with the side of my fist. I yelled pleadingly, "Please, open the door, please!"

My clenched fist tightened as I continued to pound and plead, and I could feel my fingernails digging into my palm. I was about to give up and try another door when the hairs on my neck stood on end as I got that eerie feeling of being watched. I continued to pound while I quickly sent my gaze in both directions to calm my adrenaline-filled senses. I first looked toward the direction of the car. I couldn't see the car around the corner of the building, but I also couldn't see him, which caused me to let go of my bated breath. However, the feeling of being watched persisted as I flipped my head around my other shoulder, my hair whipping me in the face with the action. When my hair fell away from my eyes I noticed the open door to apartment number four directly behind me. In the doorway stood a very large silhouette of a man. My arm froze, still raised at a right angle, my hand pulsing in pain from the incessant pounding. Instead of feeling relieved to finally see an actual person, I felt a different sense of terror in my new situation. What I saw behind the silhouette was too horrific to be real and the smell emanating from that open door was nearly powerful enough to bring me to my knees.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

From The Jar... #31

One time Kaci mentioned that she wanted to SEE the Jar. Kaci... consider yourself obliged! There's my little Jar that I pull from every Wednesday. Isn't it preshy?

I have to confess. I dug around in the Jar for a while until I found one I actually wanted to write about. I'm giving myself a break though. Seven years, remember? And the Jar says...


What brings you the most peace and why?


I'd have to say writing. And I'd also have to say, I've never really thought about why so I don't know. I used to write in a journal when I was young. Young, like grade school through early high school. Whenever I look back through them I realize I almost never wrote when I was happy. Only when I was sad or upset or angry. I always felt better after I wrote, though and that's what's important, I guess.

When I graduated from high school, my sister Sarah gave me a little notebook with blank, unlined pages. By that time, I had stopped writing in a journal. I moved out of my parent's house 5 days after I graduated and this little book came with me. I don't really remember what happened, but suddenly I started writing poetry. This little book is the home for all my college heartbreak and pain. And a few joys. But mostly my pain.
Front cover. I love the weight and feel of this book. And I love that it has me poured into it's pages.

This is the "Title Page". Which reminds me. I've been wanting to change the name of my blog and I've been having a hard time with what to change it to. I think I've just been inspired.

A poem that I actually wrote while still in high school, but it was on some dumb piece of paper and I wanted to throw it away. So I put it in the book.

I said I never really thought about the why, but that's not entirely true. I just found this that I wrote on May 6, 1997.

~~~~~

I don't have to think so much when I write. I feel weight lifted each time I look at a full page of my swirling script. If I had known such release came with the pen and page, I would be in a different place today.

So, I write more. With no direction. Just as my life right now. Just feeling my heart break over and over with every dial tone or goodbye. I didn't want this. I didn't want any of this. Why did I allow it?

~~~~~


I've just now been thinking that maybe writing allowed me to vent things I don't say. In my thirty year history, I haven't vented out loud very much. I had a tendency to keep the deeper thoughts hidden. I didn't want people to see what was in my heart or that I have needs or pain or anger. And writing has allowed that. I could just write it and not have to have anyone hear it. It was out though, and that felt good. Now I have my blog and I've found that I like writing when I'm happy too. Or pensive, or moody or silly. I just love writing and it's no longer dependent on my mood. Writing definitely brings me the most peace, more than anything on this wide earth, and I am grateful to God for granting me this outlet for soothing my heart.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"It Goes On" accompanied by Procrastination

I thought and thought about yesterday's Manic Monday. The word was snow. Snow? Honestly? Haven't we seen quite enough snow? Could we pick a word like flower or green or tulip? Or perhaps 'degrees'? Then I could enumerate the many wonders of 75 [degrees] and my acute anxiousness for a LACK of snow. I suppose I could have written all of this yesterday, but I just couldn't manage it.

But you know what I found out? Life goes on. Even when I don't do a blog post. Amazing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Procrastination is something that drifts in and out of my life. It's like mold spores that float along in the air, lighting upon my to do list and spoiling it. That is, the to do list in my mind... I don't keep a hard copy. Perhaps that's my problem. Alas, that's a thought for another day.

I hold the shame of my moldy list like a hand of poker. My face is straight. I give nothing away, most days. There are occasions like today where I just want to throw my cards down, reckless and liberated. Calling my own bluff and betting anyway. I might lose, but I have a wild hair and decide that it doesn't matter. Win or lose, I'm laying it down. Showing my crappy hand.

At the very end of October, I told someone I would do something for them. It was not really a big deal. Transcribing some CDs. Doesn't sound hard. I was even getting paid for my efforts. I did the first one in November. It was slower than it seemed it should be and I didn't like it. Five CDs to go and they sat on my computer. November passed. December. January. Nearly February now and this man is wondering if I'm ever going to get them done. And so am I.

Last night, I stayed up late typing my little brains out. One more CD done. I'm in a groove now, but why did it take me 3 months to get in my groove? I am not sure where I'm going with this... I do know that my angst over moldy spore damage could be the death of me. It turns my shoulders to cables and my stomach to rocks.

For a long time now, I've been wondering what it is that procrastination does for me. What part of me actually needs it? How I can let it go? I don't know that I have any answers. Some days are better than others and I try to look at what's different on those better days. Nike and President Kimball come to mind. Just. Do. It. Yep. Sounds so easy and it is on some days. But on those not-better-than-others days, my heart is like an internal battleground and my body that should "just do it" is the POW. I get stuck. I'm the girl with concrete shoes and I can't find the chisel.

Regardless, I keep trying. Even as I type that last sentence, I hear Yoda in my head. "Do or do not. There is no try." Sorry Yoda. You can go back to the Dagobah System and live in your swamp. If there is no try then I'm screwed. I'd go for "Do Not" every time. I like trying. Try is mine and I'm keepin' it!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday's Fabulous Five

Oh man. Life is fabulous and I love that I get to really look at what is great in my life every Friday. Some days I have to look harder than other days, but there's so much to find!!!

1- Dustin has been home all week!! (working everyday, but coming HOME at 5:00 just like the good old days!) It's amazing. My dinner making ambitions have shot through the roof this week. I feel like a domestic goddess again! (or something)

2- Remember how I won an iPod? Well, it actually arrived yesterday and let me tell you how much fun I'm having with my new toy! I got so much done today simply because I got to walk around jamming to music as I did everything! If I had the ambition to and the toothpicks to hold my eyes open, I could listen to music for 27 hours straight and not hear the same song twice... and we're just getting started, baby!!!

3- My incredible friend is getting baptized tonight! I'm so happy for him and for his wife and his sister. Congrats, Jazzy. You 'da MAN!!!

4- My two bedrooms that we're remodling have shelves in the closets and the doors will be hung tomorrow. I found a really good deal on carpet, pad AND installation. AWESOME.

5- Chiropractors rule. Especially my chiropractor. He hurts me, but I love him and I can hardly wait to go get hurt again on Monday.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Yeah, Write... Amendment to Rules

Our little game is getting very interesting! I'm fairly excited about it. Ginny brought to my attention that she hasn't gotten any prompts for her writing. I realized that I left that out of the rules and that's part of what makes it so fun! So, please note the amendment to the rules as follows: I will pick two random phrases or things that you must use in your chapter. I will pick them and post them when I post the story. For next week, Ginny, your prompts are....

...and we make this world our own heaven or hell...

and

... the smell was nearly powerful enough to bring me to my knees...

Happy writing!!!

Yeah, Write...

As a reminder, this is a writing project that I started a couple weeks ago. I wrote a story using prompts from my readers and ended it with an abrupt cliffhanger. In the comment section, it was decided to let it be a bit of a game. Maria took my story and wrote the next "chapter". It is posted below and it's AWESOME! Well done, Maria! Next week we will hear from Ginny. And the following week, our contributor will be Polly. If anyone else is interested in playing, please let me know and I will assign you a week to write.

The rules: Pick up the story where it was left off and write where you think it would go. Thursdays are the day I'll post the chapters. Email me your chapter by Wednesday. You only get one week as we want to keep the story flowing and keep "our readers" interested! I will play editor in this, here, game. Don't get your feeling hurt if I edit something. I'll only do it for flow, not content. I'll try to approve any edits if there's time enough before posting, but I will say that as this is my blog, I'll reserve the right to have the final say. Additionally, you agree to grant me copyrights if you agree to play the game.

To be brought up to speed on the first chapter of the story, click here.



Chapter 2

My vision was blurred and I brushed my arm across my face. The coarseness of my jacket scratched at my raw cheeks. My tears were flowing freely and were physically causing pain because it was so cold outside. I did not know where I was going, I thought in the direction of the apartments. I was just running, running away from him. I stumbled onto a road, managed to cross it quickly, and felt my feet bog down in gravel. I looked around briefly at the playground I had found and then crumbled onto the rocks. My body shook with the sobs I had stifled in my hasty escape. How could this be? Was this real? It was truth so painful, so awful, I could not bear it.

My world crashed around me as I listened again in my mind to his confession. The pain in my jaw flared as I gritted my teeth at the sting of my most recent memory. The physical pain was nothing compared to my internal suffering. I wanted to run to the apartments now just thirty yards away. I willed myself to run, but my body would not go. I could not pick myself up. My desperation, or perhaps something even stronger, held me there. As I tried to breathe deeply to calm myself, I turned back toward the car and saw him emerge, looking at me. I was hit with a wave of nausea and I tried to turned away. I felt like my center of balance was shifting under my very body. It was vertigo with an intensity I had never experienced before. I was spinning out of control. I collapsed with sheer emotional exhaustion onto the gravel and laid my head on the cold stones. The coolness was comforting now and I closed my eyes. A memory flickered.


What was her name? Why did I want to remember her name? There was a little white mouse in my fifth grade classroom. When she first arrived, she would cower in the corner of her cage, afraid of the noise and the greedy fingers pressing through the bars of her sanctuary trying frantically just to touch the soft white fur. She would pile up her bedding into a sort of hill and try to bury herself from sight, only her bright pink nose periodically poking through, giving her away. As she adjusted to the sounds and smells of the classroom, she gradually eased her way back out. She warily tolerated our interest, but usually just ignored us. I used to chuckle with some melancholy pleasure at her running wheel. I found it sadly humorous that she would spend so much energy, running in a circle, going nowhere. She would hop off the wheel, clearly pleased with her activity and I used to pity her, because she was not going anywhere. She was still stuck, she was still caged. Looking back, perhaps it was myself I pitied because here was an animal every bit as caged, as frightened, and as stuck spinning as I was. And still, her name would not come to me.


I was pulled back to the present and the vertigo eased. I sat up slowly, glancing again to the car. I was on the playground and he was still watching me. His shoulders were drooped in despair and his expression was pure agony. Had I caused that? Was I now causing him pain? How could I bear to cause him pain? What about him held me here? I had wanted to run away and now I knew that I could not. Is that why I was drawn to him? Is that why I was pulled with some deeply rooted magnetic reaction to others with confidence, with direction… because I was devoid of that trait and I was searching for some way to glean it from others? I should have been aware of the pattern I was creating for my life. I had always gravitated towards confidence that was as fragile as my own skittish nature. Friends and boyfriends had often betrayed me and left my life in shambles. Somehow I managed to extricate myself from the wreckage of those relationships, only to find another new and equally damaging one. But he seemed different. He seemed to pull me further from my own center and further into his with ease. And now, how could I possibly pull away from him. This wreckage was different. I had not cowered in the corner enough. I had allowed his fingers to close around my meager consciousness, my delicate self-awareness. I had allowed his scent to become too familiar. I had enjoyed the warmth of his body and the intensity of his gaze. I had reveled in the knowledge that he talked with me, not to me. He was mysterious and I was boring, and yet he still wanted to be with me. And now, I was inextricably linked to him. I knew a secret so dark, so intriguing and yet equally revolting, and instead of being repulsed, I actually felt I was a part of it. But how could that be?

I did not know how it could be, it simply was. As soon as I accepted that I was as bound to him as he was to me, I stood up, not with confidence yet, but with resignation. I turned back toward the car and took the first step in his direction. His face lit in a way I had never yet seen.


Come back next Thursday to see where Ginny will take us!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

From The Jar... #30

And the Jar says...


How do you feel about death? Tell about your philosophy of after-life.


Hmmm.... not the easiest pick to be starting at midnight, but I'm going for it.


{WARNING: Macabre content in this post. Read at your own risk. I considered editing parts, but this is for me. I want to remember this.}


I believe that after this life we have the opportunity to be reunited with loved ones. I believe I will carry with me everything I've learned in this life and that I will have the opportunity to continue growing and learning. I believe in resurrection and eternal families.

I am not afraid of death. The dying part could be another story, but we'll cross that bridge when it comes. That being said, I am terribly afraid of death around me. I have always had a terrible fear of cemeteries. As an adult, I'm more or less over that one, but as a child I would hide my face if we even drove by a cemetery. I was terribly disturbed by them and I don't know why.

Dead bodies hold a very deep rooted fear for me. I remember being at a funeral when I was about 14 years old. It was for my sister's then-boyfriend's brother, Roman, who was killed in an avalanche. I watched person after person go to his casket and hold his hand, stroke his face, or touch him in some manner. I was absolutely mortified. I didn't understand it and, frankly, I still don't.

My grandma passed away almost three years ago. We tried to get there in time to say goodbye, but she passed just before we arrived. The grief in the room was tangible, and I watched my mom and dad go and kiss her and touch her face and stroke her hair while they cried. I stood against the wall with my arms folded. My mom said to me, "Do you want to hold her hand or anything? She's still warm...?" I felt like my eyes bulged at the suggestion. I shook my head vehemently and stayed put. In a few minutes I walked over to her thinking maybe I could do it. I even reached my hand out, but in the end, all I could do was look and cry.

For a long time after that, I couldn't even walk past that room without wishing I could run. I love my grandma so dearly and I was deeply and mortally terrified all the same. When I would go in the room, I would avoid even looking at the side of the bed where she laid. But I could feel it. I don't know what I feel, but I feel something. Even now, when I sit on her bed (which belongs to someone else now) I think about her laying there so still.

It isn't just people. I remember when our great dog, Fergus, died and my little sister sat there petting him long after. I did reach out and touch his shoulder and I recoiled as if burned. I couldn't stand the emptiness. I was terrified.

Not exactly a ray of sunshine either, was it? I am being nice though and that's all I promised. This was an interesting subject to explore for me. It brought to mind many things that I'll mull over. I don't think I'll post them, but I'm glad I got to look at this fear of mine.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tue Pose a Question

I've been really diggin' my pet peeves lately. Or should I say, they've been diggin' me? I've been really irritated with a lot of little simple things. And so, as I often do, I wondered....

What are your pet peeves, my lovelies? Since I am so utterly and completely narcissistic on my blog I think I'll expound on a few of mine.

#1
When one has to travel some distance out of town... let's say it's to a place that is south of where they live, and they're talking about it with me or someone else, it bothers me way more than it should when they say, "We're going UP to such and such place". Why does that bother me? Because in my brain, if you are going up to a city, it should be a city that is NORTH of where you currently are. Or conversely, if someone says, "I'm headed down to Canada." they better be living at the North Pole.

Say it with me... Up = North. Down = South. If I was going to Salt Lake and I lived anywhere in Idaho I would say, "I'm going to head DOWN to Salt Lake City." That's the official way things are done in Clancy's world.

#2
Carrying groceries in from the car. I don't like it. On the rarest of occasions Dustin is around to help me carry them in, but mostly not so. My kids are getting bigger now and are much more able to carry than they used to be... especially Mac. Pretty soon I'm just going to say, "Kids, you want to eat any of this food we just bought? OK, you have to carry it all in the house." That will be a beautiful day and we'll have cupboards that are stocked better than they are currently.

#3 The never ending war waged on mated socks by the washer and dryer. Where oh where does that ONE little sock go? Why must the dryer or washer eat it? And what do I do with that one irritating sock? Save it? Toss it? It is so disturbing.

#4 I have a talking caller ID phone. This is not the pet peeve. The pet peeve occurs when one who is used to a phone that talks is in her basement and the phone rings on the non-talking phone. It is annoying. I can almost hear it from upstairs. Almost.

#5 January. I am looking forward to February 1st.


Well, I'm just a bundle of light and joy this week, aren't I? Sorry about that. I'm just ready for some sunshine and the lack of visible breath when I'm out in it. I'll be nicer tomorrow. Promise.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Manic Monday: Office

As if in a dream, she floated along, pretending like she was doing all the things she was supposed to be doing. Sleep-deprived by her own volition, her brain felt like it was in a bubble, floating away with the slightest breeze, or worse, threatening to pop with the slightest touch. Where was her husband? At his travel-sized office, bored out of his mind, playing solitaire and occasionally actually having something to do. She wanted him home all day every day, but the bills have to be paid. 'Life doesn't always give us what we want, thank goodness.' She heard that thought drift through her mind and watched it like it was far away, not her mind at all.

Sometimes it seemed like the only thing that kept her one with her body was the ache in her neck. The pain was her lifeline. The pain that shifted from a small seed, easily ignored, to a gigantic, impossible weed that could only be uprooted with great force, kept her here in her body, or so it felt. She knew that she should look at what that pain was, at what her body was telling her by planting that seed, but she didn't want to. She had looked before. Dug with her trowel, turned the dirt, cried at her pain, forgiven, loved, healed and thought she pulled the weed out. But the weed had dropped seeds. Seeds that waited patiently to grow with her own neglect of her garden. Of herself.

She wondered idly if other people realize that their pain is a signal? If they know that their body is trying to tell them about an emotional hurt? Do they realize that they can let it go with some digging and some love?

She decided she didn't really care right now. The rest of the world can live without her people-pleasing heart for a time. She knew she'd care again, but at that moment she and her apathy were having an intense reunion as she bathed herself in distraction and wondered, again, why such times come to call.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Casting By...

What I want to know is, who told Pearce Brosnan he could sing? I just watched Mamma Mia! tonight. Fun show, but dude! Was anyone else a little teeny bit anxious for his dignity? I will admit, there is something charming about a guy that doesn't sound that great just BELTING it out! I admire that. A lot. But don't you think, maybe, they could've picked a guy that didn't sound like he was singing with marbles in his mouth? I'm just sayin....

Yeah, Write...

So, here's the deal for those of you who didn't read last week's comments. We are playing a little community writing project with my story from last week. My friend Maria is going to write a "chapter" after my little cliffhanger I left. Then next week my friend Ginny is going to take a chapter. This is all for fun and I want to make it clear that anyone who wants to participate can and should speak up in the comment box if you want to. There is no pressure to participate, but I think it would be fun if lots of you got involved. So, if you so choose, make your comment now. I'll make the assignments for each week and we'll see where our story leads us. :) Sound good?

And... I am still writing my own version of the story. Some of you requested that and I wanted to let you know that it is actually happening. I spent a long time writing yesterday. I'm not sure when I'll publish it but it is in the works.

Hopefully I'll have Maria's chapter up today. :)

And keep the prompts coming. I think it would be fun if the writer has to use at least one or two of them. What do you think?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

From The Jar... #29

And the Jar says....

Where were you, and what were you doing the day the Berlin Wall came down?

Ummmm.... I have no idea. OK, I have a little bit of an idea. I know I was in school and some teacher turned on the T.V. I didn't really even know what the Berlin wall was. I just remember watching youngish people grabbing parts of this colorful wall and everyone was amazed and talked about it for weeks. I've always been a very informed girl.

I looked it up on Wikipedia and apparently it was on November 9, 1989. So, 1989 would put me in sixth grade. There you have it.

LAME. Let's pull another one and see if we can shave some time off of my SEVEN YEARS! (did I mention I'll be 37?)

Wow. The Jar has indigestion and is throwing up all the junky stuff today. The Jar says, again...

Tell about a frustrating experience you've had on a wash day, with the machine, what was the outcome od the clothes.

That was a nicely worded sentence, don't you think? The "od" was copied exactly from my slip of paper, as was the lack of question mark. Whoever wrote these questions was not a grammar buff. I often sheild you from the awful grammar in the Jar by editing or restructuring the sentence (since I'm an editing FREAK!), but I decided to leave that one as I didn't want to think about how to reword it's retardedness.

So anyway... back to frustrations on "wash day". Firstly, I don't have "wash day". By now you've surely realized that I'm not that organized. Wash day is whenever I feel like it. And my machine has always ran swimmingly. (no pun intended) So no frustrations with the machine, but I have had frustrations with my husband and "wash day" (which, incidentally, is whenever he happens to think about it, or when he's out of underwear cuz I haven't felt like it).

He's so sweet. I love him so much... and... my dear hubby is not "into" fabric softener sheets. You know the ones where if you don't put them in then your underwear are sizzling and popping with all the static electricity that covers them? Yeah. That's a frustration to me. He used to not be "into" sorting colors either. We've had some lovely darkened underwear and socks, shirts and hand towels. Frustration? Why yes!

But, for the most part, these frustrations are a thing of the past. Dustin almost always puts only darks or lights in (not both), and he often (instead of never) uses dryer sheets. But when he does use those sheets he has to be a budget conscious guy and cut them in half. That's fine except when I'm being a budget conscious girl at the point of sale and I grab the cheapest off-brand dryer sheets on the shelf. You need a whole one of those babies. Trust me.

I actually do have my own frustrating laundry experiences, but that's more to do with me than the machine. The outcome of the clothes is not very good. Here is the problem: I do a fairly decent job of keeping up on my laundry. I like to put laundry in my washer and get it all nice and washed. I don't even mind changing it to the dryer. Where I fall short is when it comes out of the dryer. I always sort it into piles or (if they're all there) baskets... Dustin, me, Mac, Ella, Rohan and towels. Then it sits in those piles or baskets (if I'm lucky) for a long time. I, currently, have a HUGE laundry room. HUGE! It allows for widespread pileage of laundry. Me and folding... we don't get along so good. That's my frustration.

I did have one goofy thing... the clothes were fine. It was the cell phone that wasn't. I sent Dustin's two-day old phone through a complete wash, spin, rinse, spin cycle. It was a tiny little thing and I, apparently, didn't check pockets that time. (I always try to) After I freaked out and cried for a minute, I took it apart, dried everything I could and let it all sit in pieces for 24 hours. Amazingly, it worked perfectly! Then Dustin proceeded to loose it two months later...

I will say that my dryer has been making a rather strange and shockingly loud noise lately. I don't think that's such a good thing. Lucky for me I have TWO vacant apartments. And luckier still... BOTH have a dryer in them. I might just go rob one since I would only be robbing from myself... AND... since their both not being used right now, I get a choice! What a lucky girl!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

End Zone

Everyone close your eyes. No wait. Open them, read this paragraph, and then close your eyes. Now, just picture me catching a football, running some yardage and scoring a sweet touchdown for my team. Now, imagine me dancin' in that end zone! (For those of you who have seen me dance, I'm sorry for that visual. For the rest of you, imagine me as a good dancer, please! Or at least a funny dancer. I guess that first group has that funny dancing image covered.) Ok, now close your eyes. But still read the rest after you get a nice (or dorky) visual.

For reals, I'm not playin' football... although I did play flag football in November with my pal LarLar and a lot of her big friends. I even earned myself a taunt cuz I kept snatching flags or rushing the QB. They called me SoccerMom and told the other team to watch out cuz SoccerMom is goin' home after this and makin' some Rice-A-Roni! But that's another story.

I'm just doing a little dance of joy right now because I FREAKIN' WON!!!!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Manic Monday: Cell

Back when I was pregnant with my oldest son, Mac, I worked on computers all day in a small shop that printed T-shirts. I signed up for a weekly email that gave me an update on what was going on with the little one who was growing in my belly. Each week that email came and told me wonderful things... week 6, your baby's heart is now beating and blood circulation is evident....week 8, your baby is the size of a cherry and the cells that will become either testes or ovaries arrive... week 10, your baby will have verifiable fingers and toes... week 14, your baby even has fingerprints... week 19, permanent teeth buds are forming... and at week 23, his or her fingernails are now completely formed.

Week after week these emails came and I read, awestruck, in front of my computer. So many things could potentially go wrong, yet such a small percentage of all pregnancies do. What a wonder we, as women, are capable of. What a miracle!

As I sat there reading about which cell was dividing at which time and what organ began working properly at what week and how the tiny human-being inside me could now see the difference between light and dark with it's freshly opened eyes I couldn't help but wonder how anyone who had ever been pregnant could possibly not believe in a grand design. In short, how could one not believe in God and participate in that, the miracle of life?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday's Fabulous Five

Friday!!!!

1- I love Friday's the most, and today happens to be Friday! Sweet!!! (Dustin's home!)
2- Dustin gave me a gift card to Down East Outfitters and I got two pairs of pants and three shirts and I only spent $13.08 extra (above the gift card)! AND the pants are freakin' sweet! Love them! I ranted about fashion the other day, and I've thought about it alot since then. What I realized is that I haven't had a favorite pair of pants in a long time. You know the ones... where you feel like you look cute in them and they are really comfy? The ones you want to wear everyday and sometimes do? Ya... those kind. My last pair of favorite jeans I got at a yard sale for about a quarter. They were American Eagle jeans and I loved them, but they've now got a big hole in the knee and the bottom cuff at my heel has worn away. It's those kind of jeans that fly in the face of everything I wrote last Tuesday. I FEEL cute in them so it doesn't matter whether they are fashionable or not. And, yesterday I might have just found a new pair! Big Stars! Oh so comfy, and I feel oh so cute. (if they don't look so cute, don't tell me. I like the illusion...) It's all rather fabulous!
3-;Tomorrow is a warehouse sale for Modbe. I don't know you've heard of Modbe, but I bought several of their shirts a few years ago and I've worn one of those several almost every day for these few years. Time for some new ones, don't ya think? So, I'm going to see if I can score some sweet deals on the shirts I might wear for the next few years. (Rohan was a baby when I bought the last ones... 3 years ago!) If anyone wants to come and play with me tomorrow, let me know!
4- We've been remodling our basement for several months now (very slowly, mind you) and the two bedrooms now have finished sheetrock! We just need to paint and hang doors and do trim and get carpet. (that sounds like a lot when I put it that way!) But. The end is near. My children will soon have lovely new bedrooms complete with walls. I'm embarrassed to say that Mac and Ella have been sleeping in sleeping bags in Rohan's room. I won't tell you that it's been since the end of August.
5- Did I mention I have new pants! Yep. I did. Our sick house is not so sick anymore and I'm so grateful! And I washed all my dishes, put them away and scrubbed the sink today. And I gave Dustin a haircut in record time... about 30 minutes... and I didn't even cry at the end. AND it looks pretty good! K, this is turning into more than five, but oh well.
6- Bonus round... my dad replaced (I purchased) our thermostat from the old mercury kind to a digital gas-saving kind and then dad went home (last night). I was setting the cycles for time and temp and got all done. Big deal, right? I thought it was awesome until I realized that the furnace wouldn't shut off. It just kept blowing and blowing. I switched the thermostat's temperature... like an override, but that didn't work. I flipped the switch on the side from "heat" to "off" and that didn't work either. I called my dad. He told me that the only thing it could be was the wires were put in the wrong places, which wasn't likely as the diagram said, Yellow wire into Yellow slot, Green wire into green slot, but our house is really old and we had a yellow and a red wire. So, yellow with yellow, right? But, that was the only other option so I took the thing apart, crossed the wires and tried again. No deal. Furnace was still blowing madly and it was now 87 degrees in my house. So, I talked to my dad again and, rather that have no furnace all night or have the furnace be on all night, we decided I should put the old thermostat back on. Dad coached me on how to put it on and.... I DID IT!!! I felt so handy. ;)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Yeah, Write....

Remember the other week when I asked for writing prompts... and then I said I'd write the next Thursday? Well, the next Thursday was Christmas and I neglected this blog over the holidays. Then the next Thursday was New Years Day and I was still on vacation, for the most part. So. It's Thursday again and I'm doing it, so help me!

Well... since there were five prompts, I've decided I can squeeze them all into one post. Sorry Ginny... I decided randomly to pick all of you even though you were the one that won in the ACTUAL RANDOM number draw! ;)



The smog was thick in this part of the valley. So thick that you could taste it on the back of your tongue, acrid and bitter. My nose twitched as I tried to breath through it, a sneeze threatening to burst out. I held it back. With how aloof he was acting, I didn't dare make a noise.

I looked at him dubiously as he lifted the smoking hood. This was not good. One time in high school I did take shop class, but despite that fact, neither of us knew very much about engines and we were helplessly stranded, that was clear. The highway was crowded with cars, and there were apartments just 100 yards away. I was wondering why no one was stopping or why we weren't walking to a phone, but I wasn't about to ask.

To be honest, he scared me. A lot. Yes, I had been "with" him for more than a year, but I never could anticipate him, and he was getting worse. The last few weeks had brought, at first, brooding. I often watched him with his furrowed brow, and I wondered where his mind was. It was like he was looking through me through some severe memory. He had also started sleeping more and more in the day, but when he was awake, his brooding gradually turned into seething... like a pot of water just before it boils.

It wasn't even eleven and he'd already flipped out twice today. The first one was when he realized he'd forgotten his cell phone. He swore and clenched his teeth, and as he fumed I watched the wiry muscles up and down his arms twitching. I flinched in reaction. I don't know if it was my flinch or the fact that his cell phone was sitting on his nightstand, but he lost it. He bellowed something that seemed like another language and swung his fist, ripping the rear view mirror off the windshield. It flew across the car, hitting my face, and clattered to the floor. Holding my jaw and leaning my forehead against the window, I wished I could ball up some of those snowflakes that were falling outside and cool the throbbing I felt under my sweaty hand. He didn't even notice me crying. The second explosion was less severe, but the look in his eyes made me sure I was going to loose the cold lasagna that I had eaten for breakfast.

A horn on the freeway brought me back to the hissing engine in front of me. My jaw still ached and it was getting harder to move. I was just starting to wonder if it was broken when he shifted his weight and grunted. He stood up and looked at me for what seemed like the first time that day and, as he did, his eyes flicked toward my jaw and a look of horror crossed his face for a brief second, almost too fast to notice. Clearing his throat, he turned away and started pacing, kicking an empty applesauce cup out into the rush of cars.

As I watched him I wondered why he wasn't trying to get some help. Though my heart was pumping like a galloping horse, I finally worked up the courage to say something.

"So, ummmm... what's your plan?" I ventured timidly.

He stopped and glanced first at me and then at the nearby apartments. His eyes looked tight, strained and almost vexed. He didn't say anything. He simply turned around and walked around the car and dropped out of sight. I followed, my breath coming in little puffs as I walked around the car. He was sitting on the ground, staring at nothing.

Irritated and worried, I opened the door and climbed back in the car. I'd never seen him act so distraught. Enraged, yes. Exasperated, yes. Distraught and even confused, no. His confidence was one of the things that drew me to him and kept me here, despite his unpredictability. He felt like a shield between me and the life I second-guessed my way through. He always knew what to do.

My apprehension was getting the better of me as I sat back in my seat. We're totally freezing, but he acted like he had no desire to leave! I didn't get it. It seemed like he was praying that no one would stop or desperately trying to figure out a way to stay away from the apartments and anyone that might emerge from them. I couldn't understand what the problem was. So we were broken down!? Big deal! Let's pick an apartment, knock on a door and use the phone!

Pain flared in my jaw again as I realized I was grinding my teeth. With him safely outside the car, I reached for the rear view mirror to see if there was any visible marks on my face and, seeing the mirror gone, remembered it was on the floor somewhere. After a minute of groping, I found it, held it up to my face. The cold air seared my lungs as I gasped and dropped the mirror. 'That couldn't be right!' I thought wildly.

Gently, I brought my hand up where the mirror had hit me. I couldn't feel much since my hands were getting numb from the cold. But I could feel a lump. There wasn't anything to feel aside from that. Nothing told my fingers about the weird mark I saw there, a half inch across, solid black in the center and gradated into my pink skin at the edges. It was creepy, and I didn't understand how a mirror could leave a mark like that.

When I had seen the mark, I had dropped the mirror so fast I was not sure it was real. Fingers trembling slightly, I picked it back up and turned it over, my face becoming visible once again. Sure enough, the black mark was there, but the first time I looked I had only seen one, and then there were two. I felt panic rise in my chest. I was breathing fast and felt a little dizzy. 'Could I have just missed the second one, or did it show up just now?' I thought to myself. My mind was spinning and I realized I needed to be out of that small car.

I turned to open the door and I screamed as his face loomed in the window. I didn't know how long he had been watching me, but his eyes scrutinized my face, and as he saw the black marks, his face crumpled and he began to cry quietly. I climbed out of the car slowly, unsure of how to react. I had never seen a hint of vulnerability in him before, and here he was crying.

He turned his red rimmed eyes toward me and grabbed me gently by the shoulders. "There's something I should tell you" he whispered.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What Can I Say!?

Three posts in one day?! Amazing.

No, really I'm just a sucker for a good Mortgage Company and a giveaway. My new pal, Elena, sent me to this company's site. They're giving away a free iPod! I want an iPod, but I also love a good Mortgage Company. I haven't had personal contact with them, but I have perused their website and I must say, I'm impressed. Options are good. If you're looking for a mortgage, you might want to check them out. They seem like a really cool and laid back group with integrity. So. Check it out, if you wish! :)

Just For the Record...

I went to bed before 11:00 pm last night. I was so excited and wondered why I don't do that more often...

From The Jar... #28

Dude. I've only done 27 of these babies and I'm pretty sure the Jar holds 365 (or did when I started). I hope your in for it for the long haul cuz if I do these every week, correct me if I'm wrong, I'll be doing Wednesday Jar posts for seven years! Holy crap! I thought it was three for some reason. I'll be thirty-seven years old when I finish them! Mac will be fifteen, Ella will be thirteen and Rohan will be ten! Long haul indeed. I hope I'm in it for the long haul! Do you think I'll really have enough stuff to blog about for seven years, I mean aside from on Wednesdays? AHHHH!! I have to stop thinking about this now. It's hurting my brain. (did I mention SEVEN years? Dustin will be forty-two!!!!!!!!)

And the Jar says...


Did you go camping? Tell about experiences doing it.


Did I go camping? Ha! We were campers to the max! Well, maybe not the max... but we did it alot. I LOVED camping! I still love it, in fact, but I've found out that camping as a mom makes you a little more tired and grouchy than camping as a kid did.

We had this big tent... remember there were five of us kids. My dad called it "The Tent of Many Poles" and there were always swear words heard while trying to get this particular tent up. There were two main sets of poles that held up the very tall roof of this tent. These sets of poles would always come apart as you were trying to get it all looped in the right places. Finally, after several years of this silliness, my genius parents bought bungee cord and bungeed them all together. The swear words decreased significantly when this idea was brought to pass.

My mom was the coolest camper-mom ever. She had (still has, I think) a book called Roughing It Easy wherein you could read about numerous ways to camp, build fires, cook in non-traditional ways, food, recipes and a zillion other things to do with camping. This book had all these great cooking ideas... eggs cooked in a brown paper sack over the campfire, ash cakes (dough thrown on the ashes and cooked on them), a tin foil cookstove heated by the sun or the fire or something... details are vauge on some things, but the memory is clear about how cool my mom was and how fun it was to try all these neat things.

As soon as we arrived at our campsite, my dad would send us out in search of "Red". If you don't know what "Red" is when you're camping, I'll tell you. Red occurs on a pine tree when part or all of it has died and the needles are all crispy and have turned red instead of green. It's the best firestarter ever. It was always the coolest to go hunting for Red. I remember seeing huge trees where the top was covered in Red and I would wish so bad that I could get to it and bring it to my dad. I always hoped to find the big cache and be the "Red" hero for the trip. To this day, when I drive through a canyon, I find myself seeking out Red. The best Red is always at the top of those huge, unreachable trees. *Sigh*

My mom would make all sorts of awesome food. We kids would play non-stop. My memories of camping hold some of the most imaginative times of my childhood. My brothers and sisters and I would explore, pretend, laugh and sing. We were Red Sonja and Kalidor with our swords which were large sticks. We were hikers who got "lost" and would call for help. We would play in creeks with sticks, leaves, and rocks. We kids, camping above Flaming Gorge, UT. This happens to be the very trip we played Red Sonja on.

My dad would sometimes bring his guitar and we'd sing around the campfire. Camping was elation in a bottle, or in a forest or desert as the case may be. My heart was always sad when it was time to leave and I always had a raging headache on the drive home. Still get that headache, in fact. Weird.

I always remember the phenomenon of campsite arrival. You get there and it doesn't look any different from the rest of the landscape, but as you pitch your tent, park your car, get all the coolers out all over the place, and set up camp the space begins to take shape and significance. It becomes familiar. It becomes home for those few days. I always marvel at this. I always look back at the site as we're leaving and remember just a day or two or three before when it all looked so foreign to me. As I'd watch it shrink out of sight I felt like I left a piece of my heart there in the forest because, for those few days, that was my home and I loved it.

Big Cottonwood Canyon, Hoop Lake, Flaming Gorge, Bear Lake area, Dillon Colorado, The Uintah Mountains, City of Rocks, Canyonlands, Moab, Lake Powell, Yellowstone, the Teton area and so many other sites that were before my awareness of our destination. I have been to some great places. It sounds cheesy, but my favorite place could be any of them, as long as I was with my family.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tue Pose a Question

Am I alone? No. I know I'm not alone, but for the last little while I've had a problem and I'm wondering if I'm alone in my problem... all by myself, standing in the wilderness with the wind blowing dust in my eyes, starving and thirsty. That was called melodrama, just now. My problem is really not such a big deal and it only plagues me occasionally. Like when I get dressed every morning.

Problem: I don't know what's cute anymore. My fashion sense has turned into a man and is lost in a car and refuses to stop and ask for directions. It's true that my fashion sense never has been sharpened like one of those GPS ladies. You know the one. "Make. A. Right. Turn. In. Three. Hundred. Yards." If I had that lady, she was telling me I passed the street... "You. Went. Too. Far. Make. A. U-Turn."

I have always been fairly laid back about fashion. Not too cutting edge. Simple and relaxed for the most part. Comfort is a large contributing factor, but I like to look like I care too. I don't know... I feel like I'm talking to a Doctor. Which reminds me... you should read my friend Larrie's blog. She's hilarious and I like tangents.

Anyway... this problem seems to have been coming for a year or so. Right now it's flaring up and it's rather debilitating. There is a little problem within the problem that I rarely want to spend any money on clothes. Hmmm...

I have new earrings though. I like them alot. Dustin gave me them for Christmas after he read my blog post. It's the "these" in the post in case you are wondering. I told you I like tangents. I am especially tangenty tonight and I think it's because I have headphones on. I stole Mac's MP3 player and I'm being pulled in every direction in this post as I sing along to Jack Johnson's Sing-alongs and Lullaby's from the Curious George soundtrack. Such a great bunch of songs.

Yes. Problem. Back on task. So... I was just wondering for my Tuesday question if anyone else feels this way. Is anyone else fashionally lost? Do you think it's because I turned thirty in August? I don't know.

I wish I had a spare allotment of cash each month and I could take my sister-in-law, Tricia, shopping with me. She's a chic, fashionista kind of girl... she's also a size 1 or 2 and wears tiny shoes... a size 6, I'm guessing. All shoes look cute when they're a size 6, don't you think?

Anyway. Enough rambling. This problem is only a big deal when I'm feeling vain, which is more than it should be, to be sure. I have lots of clothes that are perfectly fine. I am blessed and I'll stop my whining right now!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Manic Monday: Sale

The word sale brings many random thoughts...

Random thought#1
I do love a good sale. I don't go shopping much, but it seems that whenever Old Navy has their clearance items at an additional 50% off the clearance price, I just happen to walk through their too-loud-and-obnoxious-music doors. I can't tell you how many good deals I've gotten during those sales. $3 shorts, $4 pants, $2 shirts... I always stock up for my kids for the next season (summer clothes on sale in fall or winter...etc.). I love spending $40 and getting ten or fifteen items of clothing!

Random thought #2
I'm looking forward to the purchase I just made at Mag's Etsy shop. She's got her goods for sale and I bought myself a very merry un-birthday present!!!

Random thought #3
I hate it when adorable foreign college students come knocking at my door in the summertime and give me their sales-pitch and try to get me to buy really "awesome" educational books for my kids... just $40 for one book or $400 for the whole sh'bang!!! Ugh. I hate saying no, but I sure do... every time. The last girl was from Estonia and I thought she was adorable. She was pretty and I thought I should hook her up with my little brother. She sold herself a whole lot better than she sold the books!

End of random sale thoughts. Whatever other random thoughts I had are now gone. That's all I've got for today and I keep not posting thinking something insightful or witty will come to me, but I'm letting that go. This is my post for this day.

The end.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Friday Freebie

Here's some lovely pictures of Christ... the first one is my favorite. I love to see pictures of Jesus when he's smiling because that's how I like to think of him. Joyous! Check it out...

David Bowman: has had a passion for art ever since he could pick up a pencil. He loves creating images of the Savior that inspire and uplift. Along with his Christian fine art, David has also written and illustrated a series of scripture storybooks for children titled "Who's Your Hero". Check out his website at www.bowman-art.com to see more of his precious art.
"Innocence"
The Savior tells us we need to become as little children to inherit the kingdom of God. I've often wondered what it is about little children Jesus loves most, and I think its their innocence. They are clean slates, seeing the world and others through untarnished eyes. Their hearts are pure, without the baggage of cynicism and self-doubt. In this piece, I've tried to imagine how a child would act upon meeting the Master for the first time. Without reservation or inhibition, I think he would simply want to play with Him. He would be at complete ease, allowing his pure little heart to soak in the love and laughter of His pure, infinite heart. Its no wonder Christ delights in these little ones and sets them up to be our examples.
"Security"
One of the greatest human needs is a sense of security. In all aspects of life, we naturally gravitate towards anything that makes us feel safe. In this piece, I wanted to convey a sense of complete peace and calm like only the Savior can provide. It's a security that allows us to rest assured, without fear or worry, when we put ourselves trustingly in His arms. Little children have that inherent kind of trust in their parents, so it's fitting that the man and girl who modeled for "Security" are actually father and daughter. They generated
the exact feel I was looking for.
"My Child"
This piece conveys an intimate, up-close-and-personal feeling of the Savior's love. Notice how all the lines draw your attention and point towards Jesus' face in the center. I chose the name "My Child" because the only thing that could compare (even remotely) to Christ's compassion for us is the love of a parent for his/her child. This image is also intended to put things in perspective. Above all, we are God's children first. He allows us the privilege of experiencing parenthood for ourselves and we are entrusted to be the mothers and fathers of His children here on earth.

Friday's Fabulous Five

This is the First Fabulous Friday of 2009 and it's off to a less than fabulous start! I had a horrible dream this morning wherein I was crying and crying and Dustin woke me up telling me 'It's ok!' because I was whimpering and crying while saying, "My heart! My heart hurts, my heart..." More on that later, perhaps. Ella woke us up at about 5am saying that she threw up on the floor. Mac has a fever and an incredibly sore throat and won't even eat, and Rohan has a mild fever!!! It's a party at Clancy's house! Anyone want to come over?

Despite all that, there is so much fabulousness I can hardly stand it...

1- Dustin is home for the eleventh day in a row, and we still have the weekend! :) YAY! I love it! Monday will be brutal for me... school for my kids and Dustin at work again, but that's ok! I LOVE having my husband around. Especially after his long working out of town months!
2- We had a wonderful Christmas and New Year's. I love being with family more than I love anything on this green (or white) earth.
3- We have plugs, lights, sheetrock and the first two coats of mud on my kid's room. It's so sad to me that they haven't had beds for as long as they have, but soon, their rooms will be done and they will sleep in a sqishy bed once more!
4- My wonderful Grandma Carol gave me and all of her grandchildren a gift a few days ago. Bless her. I have been missing her an extra-lot, and she reached out and said hello. It's absolutely amazing how someone can bless your life long after they leave this earth.
5- Ella is the nicest little sick person a mom could ever hope for. (not that a mom hopes for sick kids, but when they come, life's a little easier if they aren't whining all the time!) She's so sweet. She hardly complains and is happy to just lay on the couch, be sick, and watch a movie. Love that kid.