Friday, August 31, 2007
Well, last week while Bria was at school and the baby was sleeping, Chloe asked if she could watch a movie. I said she could and she brought me "The Princess Bride." She asked what it was called, and then wanted to know if it was about a Princess who gets married. "Sort of, " I told her, "Do you want to watch it?"
Yes she did. So I put it on, and then went out to paint furniture in the garage. (Yes....I think I need an intervention. I've been painting every piece of furniture in our house!)
Well, while I was painting, the door to the garage kept opening about every 2 minutes with updates on the movie.
"Where did fawn boy go?"
"Mom! Is the guy climbing the rope a bad guy?"
"They're fighting with their swords now!"
"Does the guy in bed ever get better?" (I thought she was asking about Westley, but she was actually asking about Fred Savage's character.)
"That big guy is funny, huh!"
"Why are they choking?"
"What is that big ugly thing that bit fawn boy?"
"He's doing guide my sword now, Mom!"
"Why is she marrying the king? I thought Westley was gonna come get her! Where is Westley, Mom? Isn't he gonna come?"
"Westley came now!!!"
"Why does Westley say gently to her?"
I don't know when I've ever seen her more excited or more full of questions about any particular movie. It was a Friday when she first watched it, so Bria was allowed to watch when she got home from school and Chloe could not wait for Bria to see it too. She gave Bria running commentary the entire time and was personally offended that Bria wasn't doing cartwheels and jumping jacks over how wonderful this movie is.
Needless to say, Chloe has watched it just about every day since and goes around the house quoting her favorite parts of the movie. Today, she even made a dagger out of her legos, wrapped it up in a doll blanket, set in on her dresser and came to get me.
"Mommy! Lay down on my bed and you be Westley...you say, 'There's a shortage of perfect brents in the world.' Say that, okay Mommy? "
And then she unwrapped her lego dagger.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
So, here goes....
1. Where did you meet your husband?
At BYU (Brigham Young University). To be more specific, in the HFAC (Harris Fine Arts Center) at "the slab." If you are a Cougar and spent very much time in the HFAC you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you don't, let me 'splain: On the main floor there is kind of a common area and at the bottom of both staircases, there was a marble slab surrounded by tables and benches. The one at the far end was the slab for the theater crowd, and the one closest to the front doors was where the music nerds hung out.
Not only is that where we met, but we pretty much had our entire relationship there. Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but we did study and eat lunch and talk there pretty much daily for a really long time.
This is the best picture I can find in my scrapbooks of the slab. Me and a couple friends (hi, Annie!) sitting there.
2. What was the first thing you said to your husband?
Am I really expected to remember?
The funny thing, is we met at the slab twice. The first time was the week before I entered the MTC to go on my mission. I was carrying some balloons that had been given to me by the girls at the MOA (Museum of Art) where I worked. I ran into a friend who had graduated the year before and wasn't aware of my mission call, so I was explaining it to him. Joel was sitting at the slab studying and overheard my conversation. As soon as he heard me say I would be serving my mission in Romania, he turned around and told me that he had recently returned from his mission there. I asked him a few questions about it, but did nothing normal, like find out his name. So, I just always remembered the guy at the slab who had curly hair, glasses and a trumpet case. I heard of Elder Neves a lot on my mission (he was infamous for getting beaten up by gypsies!) but never really connected that he was the slab guy.
So, the next time I met Joel at the slab was about 20 months later. I had just gotten home from my mission. I was at the slab with a couple other former Romanian missionaries because we were going to sing colinde (Christmas Carols) for International Week and we needed to rehearse. We were still waiting for one or two people when Joel came up the stairs. I was kind of off to the side talking to a music friend for a second. Joel saw his buddies from the mish, and they began a lively conversation in Romanian. After my friend left, I joined in. Joel looked at me like I had three heads and said, "cine esti?" (who are you?) My answer, because I was so used to introducing myself that way in Romanian, was "Sora Preston!" He then told me that he had heard of me and we had a nice little conversation, sometime during which we both realized our prior meeting almost 2 years before. "You're the one with the balloons!" The curly hair, glasses and the trumpet case are what alerted me.
And I have no idea if that answers the question at hand, but there you go.
Picture of us on graduation day. Sculpture is outside of the HFAC near the MOA. We got engaged a couple weeks later.
Where was your first date?
Okay, so Joel and I had been talking a lot at the slab, but we didn't really see each other anywhere else. I mean, as music majors, the slab was pretty much it. No classes together or anything, though. But, he kept not asking me out even though I knew he wanted to and I knew I wanted him to. After 3 months, I finally invited him over to my house on a Sunday evening for sarmale. My dad was serving in a BYU bishopric at Deseret Towers (Do all of you non-Cougars hate me yet?) and 4 of the kids in his ward had been called to Romania! So we had invited them over to eat sarmale and to look at my pictures and ask questions and all that. Since only one of them was a sister, I thought it would be cool if Joel came to give an elder's perspective. And, also, I just wanted to spend time with him.
So, apparently, he had a meeting with his Stake President that day and he asked Joel if he was dating anyone. He said no. So he asked them if there was anyone he was interested in dating. He said me. So, his Stake President told him to eat lunch with me every day and committed him to ask me to the fireside that very night. So, I got a phone call asking me if I wanted to go to the fireside with him after the sarmale party.
We had to give my brother a ride down to campus, and he also came to Joel's house with us to eat ice cream after the fireside. Joel's brother also showed up to do laundry. So our little brothers crashed our first date. Funny.
Where was your first kiss?
Our first kiss was in the driveway of my house.
I could leave it at that, or I could also tell you he was trying to break up with me at the same time. (Joel broke up with me 4 times before we finally got married.)
Needless to say, I was a tiny bit confused.
Scrapbook page of the summer before we got married...this is the summer we dated and broke up a lot.
Pretty short, by the world's standards. Pretty normal, I'd guess, by LDS standards.
We flirted for 3 months, dated for about 14 months and were engaged for 2.
Where did you get engaged?
In Joel's living room. He had picked me up with the idea of doing some elaborate treasure hunt, but he was so nervous, he scrapped it. Then he took me to a nice restaurant, fully intending to do it there, but chickened out. So, then we go back to his house.
I remember just sitting there watching him pace back and forth. Not saying anything. For a really long time. I knew he had the ring, I just wasn't sure if he had it with him or was planning to do it right then. Finally, he got down on one knee and proposed to me. I said yes.
Oh, and I did a cartwheel.
Our engagement picture. My brother carved the J+L in that tree for us up at Sundance. We've gone up to see it on our anniversary a couple of times.
Where were you married?
In the Jordan River Temple. I had wanted to get married in that temple since I was in high school. One nice thing about it was that since it wasn't the most popular spot to get married since the Mt. Timpanogos temple had been built, we were one of only about 4 weddings there that day, and we got married in June!
How was the reception?
Beautiful. Did it in my parents backyard. Joel's brothers catered it for us. Lots of people came. We stood in line forever. I was dying of hunger by the time we were done greeting everyone. My colors were red and white. My mom worked really hard.
The wedding party in my backyard just before the reception officially started. We had a ring ceremony first, since so many of our family couldn't come to the temple.
How was the honeymoon?
We went to Lake Tahoe for several days, then drove up to San Francisco for a day. Very fun. We love San Francisco! Lake Tahoe is lots of fun, too. We miniature golfed, hiked, swam, ate great food, took a cruise around the Lake and lots of other fun stuff.
Just please forgive my 1999 scrapping. Thanks.
Now to tag others: I want to hear from Hilary, Andrea and Ashley. And anyone else who feels like it.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Here we go:
What has been your greatest accomplishment?
The first thing that popped into my head was having my children. Except, I don't think of them so much as an accomplishment as I do a work in progress. I have not finished raising them yet, but I do hope that one day they will be my greatest accomplishment. Aside from that, I think serving a mission has been my greatest thing to have completed. I never wanted to go. Scared me to death to think about going to a strange place and talking to strangers about the Gospel unsolicited. But, it has been one of the best things I have ever done in my life. Not only did it increase my testimony, help me peel my "shy shell" off, and give me some wonderful life experience, I think it has helped me to be a better mother now, to the children who will someday be my greatest accomplishment.
Name one book that has had a profound impact on your thinking.
This is really hard. I feel like most of the books I read expand my horizons and experience enough to have impact on my thinking. That said, I'm going to say "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. Because I just love the themes of learning to see past appearances and discover who a person really is. Atticus Finch is my hero as a parent and as a human being. I long to be able to be so astute as to be able to discern a person's true character, no matter what they look like, act like or what rumors are circulating about them.
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
I consider reading to be that. Just because I am usually doing it when I have many other things I could and should be doing. Blogging falls into that category for me, too. I used to have a lot of candy and sweets on hand, hidden from the kids, but since I've been off sugar for over a month now (go me!) that is no longer a guilty pleasure...and if it were, it would have to be even more guiltily enjoyed than it has in the past.
What need does blogging fulfill in your life?
I love to write. I used to keep journals upon journals. I probably have thousands of pages of documentation of my life. But once I became a mom, it became much harder to write with pen and paper, so one day I discovered blogging. A couple weeks later I had started my own. I am so much more inclined to write when I can just sit down at the computer and type. The fact that I know people are reading helps me to really think about all that stuff I learned in English and creative writing classes once upon a time. And I do love the feedback...it's pretty fun to get comments. But mostly, it just fulfills my need to write....I'd still do it even if nobody commented. (And nobody did a few years ago when I first started.)
What is one thing people can appreciate about you?
I honestly hate these sorts of questions. I don't like having to focus on myself and come up with all these great things. Don't get me wrong, I recognize my talents, but many of them I think aren't the type of thing to be appreciated in a friend. I'm a pretty creative person and tend to have a ton of right brained pursuits, but lots of people do. So, I think the one thing people can appreciate about me goes back to the fact that I don't like focusing on myself. I am an excellent listener and friend. Which is probably another reason I like blogging...it gives me a forum to talk about myself without feeling embarrassed that I am overtaking conversation. Less personal. In real life, I am the quiet one. The one who listens and offers advice. And mostly, I don't mind.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
But who am I trying to kid? When have I ever been able to keep to any sort of organization longer than a couple of days? My entire life has been a series of messes punctuated by manic bursts of schedule-making and re-arranging the clutter.
Keeping to any sort of self-inflicted planned agenda is my biggest trial in life. Sure, I could arrive at my classes in college and keep that all sorted out because I had things like grades hanging over my head to motivate me to be there. No, I mean the kind of schedule that many of you moms out there are able to somehow keep to. Like, you know you clean out the fridge every third Tuesday and you somehow manage to get up at the same time each morning and you actually follow a regimented schedule. I try this for a few days and get so frustrated and angry with it that I have to throw it all out the window.
Instead I am a compulsive list-maker. My husband makes fun of me because he finds lists that say things like: Make the bed, clean the desk, pay the bills. Such mundane, daily chores may seem completely obvious to everyone else in the world, but if it's not on my list, I won't do it. I won't remember the task even exists. Seriously. I have the uncanny ability to go sit down at the computer with every intention of emailing person x about issue y and getting up an hour later having done nothing productive, and especially not actually completing what I set out to do.
You know who else has this problem? Bria, that's who. So, she and I together trying to get ready for school in the morning often doesn't work very well. I have to ask her to get dressed, put on her glasses, brush her teeth, choose her breakfast, get her violin out, and put her shoes on so many times each morning that I begin to sound like a broken record. Then she says, "okay!!!!" in the sassiest voice she can muster, goes to do a task and comes back ten minutes later having done nothing productive, and especially not actually completing what she set out to do.
Needless to say, my perfect morning schedule has not been so perfect. Bria left to school today in a horrible mood because she hated the way I did her hair, which was exactly the way she asked for it to be done. Her violin practicing was less than focused, and rife with complaining. I was running around trying to get kids breakfasted, make sure homework was signed off, get lunch made for Bria and change 3 poopy diapers within 10 minutes.
All I can say is this: At least violin has been done every single morning so far this school year. At least I'm feeding my children breakfast. At least I love them.
And, although I'm far from perfect, at least I'm trying.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
"Mommy! Bria just went pee in Sophie's toybox! I saw her! I saw her get up and go in Sophie's room so I looked to see what she was doing and she went pee in her toybox! Really Mommy, she did!!!!"
I didn't believe her. I checked on Bria, she was sound asleep in her own bed. Chloe convinced me to go see if there was "wetness" on the toybox. I humored her and snuck into the baby's room where I didn't find any inexplicable moisture, then told Chloe she must have been imagining things and sent her back to bed.
Fast forward a couple days to this past Saturday. I had been noticing a strong urine smell in the baby's room, which is fairly normal when you're dealing with a 12 month old. But, even after taking out the diaper pail and searching everywhere a stray diaper may have been hiding, the smell still lurked.
Finally I decided to just clean out all the toys. It needed to be done anyway. There is a basket of baby toys in Sophie's closet which I dumped out and sorted and found everything to smell fine. As fine as toys smell, anyway. So, I turned to the toybox which is at the foot of her crib. It holds all the baby dolls and their accessories. As soon as I opened the lid I knew I had found the source of the stench.
Everything in there was damp. All of the dolly dresses, blankets and the dolls themselves (the soft ones anyway) went straight into the washing machine. There was even a teacup at the bottom of the box that was full of urine. I couldn't believe what I was finding and I was wondering how on earth it had gotten there. Chloe's revelation from a few nights before had been totally forgotten and I was completely stymied.
Even as I put all of the dolly dishes and other things into the dishwasher to sterilize them, wiped out the toybox and sprayed it with Lysol, I had no idea on earth where all the pee could have come from. It wasn't until later that night after all the kids were in bed and I was cleaning up the kitchen that it hit me.
Bria. Oh my gosh, Bria did it.
You see, Bria sleepwalks to the bathroom almost every night. She has never actually peed somewhere besides the bathroom since she was 3 years old. And that was only one time...because she turned the wrong way when she came out of her bedroom and ended up in my room, where she peed on the floor next to my bed.
Sophie's room is directly across from the bathroom. The toybox is the first thing you see as you walk in her door. Evidently, Bria turned the wrong way, lifted the lid of the toybox as if it were the commode and went potty. On all the dolls. Totally asleep the entire time.
Next time Chloe tells me an incredible story such as this, I think I will give her the benefit of the doubt.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
We started out by taking a cab to Lincoln Center and browsing the Metropolitan Opera Shop.
After we were done there we walked across the street to the Manhattan temple. While we were waiting to cross a car (totally purposely) splashed us and the man next to us as it drove by. We were soaked from head to toe...great way to start a temple session, huh?
After we were done at the temple we walked around a bit and found a mexican restaurant to eat in. Ate some yummy enchiladas and then braved the rain again to go to the Natural History Museum.
When we were done there we walked through Central Park and on to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. So cool. I wished we had more time in both places as they are so huge. You need almost 3 days to see everything in one building!
After the art museum we went back down to Times Square where we got some tickets for the show Curtains, starring David Hyde Pearce (Frasier guy). Ate at the Hard Rock Cafe there, browsed in some shops and then headed for the theater. Really enjoyed the play, lots of fun.
Went home and packed up a bit and we left the next morning.
One of my favorite things about the city is that there are mostly taxi cabs on the streets. I just love seeing all of those yellow cars.
Mom taking a picture of the Natural History Museum.
The (gigantic) Natural History Museum.
A walk through Central Park.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. (By the way, all my artistic close crops of buildings are just because I only keep the 50 mm lens on since it's easier to carry around. Not the greatest for shots of huge buildings...but they turn out okay.)
Mom at the Mexican restaurant.
I had to make a decision recently that let down a friend. But, the decision I made was the best thing for my family, and really the only decision I could make under the circumstances.
I'm having a hard time with it. It really bothers me to know that I've disappointed her, but I know I made the right decision. I mean, the right decision is pretty disappointing to me, too, but what can I do? So, even though she's very upset with me, I don't know what to do other than apologize profusely which I've done now several times.
I want to know how not to be affected by this. I know you can't make everybody happy all of the time. I know that my family is first. I know that ultimately, this isn't my problem. If she were in the same situation, I would hope that she would make the same decision I made and not feel like she has to worry about me being upset about it.
And the thing is, I don't really care that she's mad at me. I care that I've hurt her feelings somehow. I can deal with anger, but I just hate knowing that I let someone down.
Anyway, I'd love advice. (Sorry for being so cryptic, I promise it's nothing too serious.)
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
After that we went down to Pier 83 and got on a boat for our three hour tour around the entire island of Manhattan. Loved it. Went under 20 bridges. And, apparently, that's not very many considering New York City has exactly 2027 bridges.
After the cruise we took the (now working) subway down to Greenwich village, ate some Pizza and went to the Orpheum theater to see Stomp. Great show. We even met one of the performers in the subway station while waiting for the train back to midtown.
Here are all of the pictures (mostly from our boat tour). Enjoy!
View from the top of the Empire State Building. You're looking north into Central Park and uptown.
Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty.
The Brooklyn Bridge. And, yes, I think I really like photographing bridges.
Brooklyn Bridge with the Manhattan (financial district, I think) skyline.
Brooklyn Bridge in the background, Manhattan bridge in the foregound. I love how you can still see Lady Liberty on the horizon.
View of the Empire State Building from the boat.
Yet another bridge. We were told it is actually an aquaduct, but I don't think it's in use anymore. Anyway, I thought it was pretty.
The (HUGE) George Washington Bridge.
The little red lighthouse underneath the George Washington Bridge.
Perhaps you've read the children's book, "The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge." It was fun to see the two in real life.
That's all for now. I'll have the rest up a little later!
Monday, August 20, 2007
Although we arrived on Tuesday, we were nearly 4 hours later than we had planned, so we just went to our hotel and crashed after eating some gyros bought at a street vendor around midnight.
We slept through a doozy of a storm which shut down the subway system entirely, jam packed the buses and taxis and even caused a tornado in Brooklyn! So, we stayed close to our hotel on Wednesday and went to the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art), after a ginormous breakfast at a health food cafe that Pavarotti has frequented. Then we walked down to the theater district for a matinee of Wicked. After the show, we ate at TGIFridays and then just walked around looking at the city for a bit. We ended up back at the hotel early and ordered a pay per view movie and went to bed.
And here are some illustrative pictures:
View from the Museum of Modern Art, the stair step style building is Trump Tower.
Radio City Music Hall....just a couple streets down from our hotel.
Walking the streets of Manhattan, on the way to the theater district:
Mom outside the Gershwin theater where Wicked is showing. Totally rocked, in case you didn't know.
Rockefeller Center, very close to our hotel. I'd love to see it at Christmastime, wouldn't you?
Walking down Broadway:
And that's all for now. I might even post again before this night is over, so keep an eye out.
Friday, August 17, 2007
One thing about being married to a teacher: I got awfully used to having him around during the summer, helping me with housework and the kids, keeping me company and fixing and painting things for me and all that stuff. And then, he's gone. All day.
And then there's my own stuff. I am the vocal coach for the High School musical this fall (Fiddler on the Roof) so I've been trying to do everything to be prepared for that. Met with the director yesterday. September is going to be challenging for me, and I don't even know if I have students at the University yet.
I start Saturdays in St. George again this weekend, and have several lessons here in town too.
I've been taking lots of photos for people, and have another shoot tomorrow.
I've been practicing my song for an important performance I have coming up. But now I have some sort of head cold that includes a lost voice. So that stopped me in my tracks for a bit.
I've been trying to keep my home organized and the kids on top of things. For the first day of school, which has historically been a bit of a farce for us, we actually did pretty well. Bria only got up a half hour late and she still managed to get ready, eat breakfast and practice her violin without being tardy at school. She didn't even cry going into class, which is another first.
So, in case you're wondering, no, I haven't even hardly looked at my NYC pictures yet. I uploaded them and that's as far as I've come. If you would like to see some pictures and hear a bit about our trip, head over to my mom's blog to tide you over until mine are posted. She's got about 5 entries dedicated to the trip already.
I really hope to get to it this weekend.
But don't hold your breath.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Manhattan was wonderful. My wonderful mother and I had a wonderful time seeing and doing wonderful things. I will post pictures soon.
And now it's back to the crazy life the school year brings. I am working on my schedule now and am feeling a tad overwhelmed. Hopefully I'll get it all figured out so that I don't actually need to be shipped off to the funny farm.
I'm just glad I could get a lot of vacation time in this summer, so I'm ready for the insanity.
Monday, August 06, 2007
Friday, August 03, 2007
It is 1pm, Friday, August 3.
Already today, Sophia has:
- Pulled every dishtowel out of the drawer and distributed them over the entire house.
- Taken the pots and pans out of the cupboard three different times.
- Written with crayon on the wall.
- Unfolded all of my newly folded laundry.
- Found a half drunk bottle of water and spilled it on the carpet in an attempt to drink it.
- Gotten into the game cupboard, pulled out several board games and nearly choked on a gamepiece.
- Drawn on herself with a pen.
- Taken the lid of the garbage and proceeded to rummage around till she found an empty macaroni and cheese box to carry around.
- Thrown her entire breakfast on the floor without eating any of it.
- Broken my sunglasses.
- Driven her older sisters nuts during movie time by pushing all the buttons on the TV.
- Climbed on several different pieces of furniture, and fallen off a couple.
- Taken toothbrushes, makeup and toothpaste out of my bathroom drawer, never to be found again.
- Taken her diaper off (this is a new trick) during her naptime, and then pooped on her blanket.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Drove for a while. I mention this because I read Harry Potter the entire time and was about 200 pages into it by the time we arrived in Tahoe. Of course, once we got into windy territory I had to stop for fear of throwing up. I also didn't read as fast as I normally do because every time I gasped or squealed or said omigosh! I had to tell Joel what was going on. I ended up re-reading entire chapters out loud to him. (He doesn't read the books, but enjoys the movies. Don't worry, he wanted to know...I wasn't spoiling anything for him.)
Arrived in Tahoe. Met all the Neves family for the big luau. There were Hawaiian family members there that Joel hadn't seen for 20 years or more, and a few that he had never even met before. So you can imagine I was feeling a bit lost.
Ate our yummy kalua pig and rice and lau lau and poi (not so yummy) and whatever else you eat at a luau. Joel was forced to eat a mussel. I wouldn't touch that stuff, even though one of our nephews was running around with crabs trying to scare me into eating it.
Walked down to the beach. Joel played football in the freezing cold hypothermia inducing water with his uncles and brothers and cousins and nephews while I sat in the blessed sun reading Harry Potter. (Funny sidenote: I saw at least 4 other people reading it on the beach. Must have been a national phenomenon.)
After a couple hours we went back up to the campground and had the rest of the luau: The show. Joel's uncles have a band and they played Hawaiian music while several family members took turns doing the hula. (Photo of 3 of the Uncles and a cousin playing in the band)
Sometime near the end of the show, Joel's Uncle Paul asked everyone with Hawaiian blood (not me!) to come up and he taught them all a hula. He even used Joel as his special helper. So. Dang. Hilarious. Hawaiian or not, Joel was not blessed with the hula gene.
Stiff as a board, he was. If you ever come visit us, make sure to ask Joel to demonstrate the hula dance he learned, and I guarantee you will laugh harder than you have ever laughed in your life. And if you don't, there's something wrong with you.
After the show, we finished the luau: More food. After our bellies were nice and full we went to the lodge where we were crashing for the night with Joel's brothers and their families. Talked till way too late. Well, Joel talked. I read.
Finished Harry Potter by the time I arrived in Elko, Nevada the next day.
I told you I was insane.