Overstuffed: February 2009 Overstuffed

Friday, February 27, 2009

Things I might have posted about if I actually had the time
(or the motivation)

I feel like I've been in (and continue to be in) some sort of winter hibernation. I just don't have a ton of motivation lately, at least not for the day in, day out stuff like dishes and laundry and vacuuming. Getting up early has gone out the window since we all got sick. Besides, I feel like I'm still not 100% well yet. This bug has been persistent, that's for sure.

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It's 11:00 am and Sophia is still asleep. Chloe is too, but that's just normal (I've been trying to get that one up since 9:00). Sophie actually woke up at 6:00 am, and I brought her to bed with me because she'd just had a nightmare or something. She cuddled up with me (not normal) and fell back to sleep (not really normal...she's a morning girl). She developed a cough the other night, and I'm just so sick of us being sick. But, I guess I'm glad she's sleeping anyway.

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Joel and I went to the local symphony concert last night. It's always nice to have a little date for free (he's the assistant conductor, so we don't have to pay admission unless we bring our kids, and why would we want to do that?). There is always a reception afterwards at some lovely place in town for orchestra personnel and special guests. Last night it was a house that I will never get to own and was downright envious of. There were some Chinese dignitaries there that have come before (the music director of the orchestra is from China) and one of the women was going on and on about how much more beautiful I've become (I'm guessing it was the weight loss). It was kind of funny. And embarrassing.

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Last night just before we left to the concert, Sophia spilled a whole can of salt in her room. Spilled is probably not the right word...I think it's more like she poured it out. Purposely. But no worries, she ran out and got me and told me she was going to clean it up with her toy lawn mower. Then she tried her toy vacuum. Then the phone rang, and it never did get cleaned up by the real vacuum. Then we got home at nearly 11:00 pm, and who vacuums at that hour, in a room with a sleeping baby? Gonna have to get to that this morning for sure. I hope salt doesn't eat through carpets.

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This morning I didn't even turn on my computer till 10:30, because I felt like I need to change my habits. Instead, I practiced conducting choir music, since I will be conducting our entire choir rehearsal this Wednesday night as the director will be out of town. I'm a fine musician, a good singer and a great vocal teacher, but I'm not super comfortable with conducting. Partly because of my shy personality and partly because I married a person who was probably born with a baton in his hand, and I feel very amateur next to him. Because I am amateur next to him. But, it's fine. Gotta practice though. Perhaps I'll even suck up my pride and have the Maestro give me a lesson or two before Wednesday.

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I have really been feeling lately that I need to get out of my shell and serve others more. So I have been trying to look for ways I can serve people. It isn't easy, though. While I have found a few things to do, and have definitely made my own day by doing them, I think that developing a life where you don't focus too much on yourself and your own busy schedule is difficult. But rewarding. I'll keep trying.

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Joel had a phone interview yesterday with a University that is far away from here. I am trying not to count chickens before they hatch, after last year's experiences. But I am excited for new experiences, and for Joel's career to finally start doing what he wants it to do.

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I really need spring to come. I need out of my hibernation.

NOW.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Meet the Charmings

You know how every little girl dreams of being a princess and marrying Prince Charming?

Well, if you can't be a princess, be a singer (or a violin virtuoso or something). And if you can't marry Prince Charming, marry a conductor. Then the two of you can at least have a reason to look like Prince and Princess Charming every once in a while.

I had a friend take these photos after the concert tonight. Said friend is not a photographer, and even my big ole' camera can't do magic when it's on auto. But, it's as good as it gets, and I promised pictures, so here they are, even though I look really weird in the first one. Not sure what I'm doing with my face there, but at least you can see my fabulous gown. I'm thinking my red carpet poses need lots of work.



The concert went pretty well. I am not going to subject you to the whole thing (the soprano has small solos throughout) because it is kind of long. I will share the Benedictus with you. It is a trio of the three soloists (soprano, tenor, bass) and then the choir comes in at the very end.
Just click on play and enjoy!



Benedictus - Lara Neves, Larry Johnson, Alex Byers

Monday, February 23, 2009

I should have walked the red carpet, but since I didn't...

Franz Schubert pretty much owns my life right now. At least every spare moment. The spare moments that usually go to blogging.

I just watched the Oscars. And my new gown would have been awesome on the red carpet...modest, even. It's really too bad they didn't invite me.

I'll be wearing it at the Heritage Center Tuesday evening. That's tomorrow, folks. 7:00 pm, free admission and everything. Come, and bring me flowers. Or don't bring me flowers, but come hear me sing Schubert.

It'll be fun.

Besides, Mandy had to postpone her coupon class, so I know you're all free.

And for those of you that can't come because you aren't privileged enough to live in my town, I'll post pictures soon. Then you can see the gown, (which is totally the most important part of being a singer...wearing princess dresses) and pretend you can hear me singing. I don't know if they're recording the concert or not. I'll see.

And then perhaps I'll think of something wonderful to blog about on Wednesday.

Until then.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Knock Knock!

Sophia has started telling Knock Knock jokes and it is the cutest thing in my world right now.

Here's how it goes.

Sophie: Knot, Knot!

Me: Who's there?

Sophie: (looks around the room for inspiration) Daddy!

Me: Daddy who?

Sophie: Daddy WHOooooooooo? Knot, Knot!

Me: Who's there?

Sophie: (inspired by the movie playing on the TV screen) 'Chantet!

Me: Enchanted, who?

Sophie: 'Chantet WHOoooooooo?

And so on.

My favorite is that she did it last night after she was in her bed with the door shut and Chloe came out to go to the bathroom. She could hear Chloe, so she started in on the Knock Knock jokes. Joel and I were just cracking up to listen to her go on and on with them.

Her speech is definitely improving, but she hasn't had the therapist come in over a month because the therapist's baby was up in Primary Children's with RSV for several weeks. She'll finally be coming again next week, and we've got to start working. She made a big jump when we started speech therapy, but we've become complacent and I'm realizing there is still a lot I don't understand.

But, she can tell jokes, so that's something!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Running on empty

Chloe was distraught this afternoon because Bria didn't think she was funny.

Bria's explanation?

"I already laughed too much today and I don't have anymore laughs left inside of me."

I think we all feel that way at some time or another, whether it's laughs or, in my case, energy.

Here's to a more energetic and laughter-filled day tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Opposites attract: It's a good thing.

I'm afraid my post last night perhaps shed Joel in a negative light that I did not intend at all. It was mostly tongue in cheek, even though he really does everything I said he did. He mostly quizzes me to bug me and I mostly just get a kick out of it--he is obviously in the right profession--and I really do appreciate the way he balances me out.

Joel is organized and perfectionistic where I am disorganized and laid back. Where he is detail oriented I am blissfully unaware. He manages to stay calm when I am overwhelmed to the point of freaking out. Whenever something is lost, which is the thing that freaks me out the most, he always calmly says, "Oh, it's somewhere. We'll find it." (Which actually annoys me to no end, but I do appreciate his ability to not join in on my panic attack.) Joel knows how much he can handle and isn't afraid to say no. I seem to think I can do everything asked of me in less than an hour and wouldn't think of saying that I couldn't do something. Joel is very goal-oriented, where I am usually just trying to make it through the next ten minutes.

Not that he doesn't have his faults. He does. The cool thing is, that I usually balance him out, too. I am practical and logical where he, well, isn't. Where he is too rigid, I am relaxed. While he cries over spilled milk, I laugh at it.

Today was one of those days when I really needed his balance so that I didn't need to be committed to the insane asylum. You know the kind of days where Murphy's Law takes effect and doesn't seem to let up much? That was today.

Just two of the many things that had me in full freak-out mode:

Even though I was at the bank the second it opened to deposit the checks that were needed to cover the student loan payment, it had already come out before I got to the front of the line. And we had four overdraft charges, because they took the student loan payment out first. I was freaking out (of course), because we can't afford four overdraft charges and besides, we had the money to cover everything, we just couldn't deposit it on a federal holiday.

If I had been the one to call the bank, I would have started out all anxious and upset and ended up yelling at the person. Instead, after Joel came home from work, I asked him to call the bank because he doesn't get frustrated and raise his voice in these situations. He reasonably explained to the person on the other line what had happened and he was able to get all the money put back into our account and I could stop hyperventilating.

Or so I thought.

On the way to Bria's violin lesson, I noticed that a truck was following me. It seemed odd, but I figured he was just so happening to go exactly the same way I was--right to the violin teacher's neighborhood. But then, as I was ushering Bria out of the van, a teenage boy knocked on my window, and I noticed it was the same truck that had been following me. At first I was a little nervous, but I still rolled down my window, and he told me that I had a flat tire. (What a nice young man!)

Indeed I did have a flat tire. And it was getting flatter by the second. I was sent into freak out mode again and I called Joel to find out what I should do. (I can't think straight in these situations. Let's hope we never have a house fire.) He calmly told me to just drive to the closest gas station and fill it up with air, and try to figure out what was causing the leak. You'd think that I was the illogical one in this situation, but I don't deal well with car issues, mostly because that usually means lots of money coming out of our bank account. Besides, I've always had a dad and a bunch of brothers to deal with that stuff. And now I have a husband.

I've never actually filled a tire with air before, but I managed just fine. And then I found that there was a nail in the tire. Joel told me to just drive home and he'd pick up Bria from violin and take it to get fixed. Seriously, if he had been unavailable, I would have been calling my mom who lives hours away to come save me, because if it came down to having to actually change the tire I might have fainted. (Okay, so I probably would have figured something out eventually, but I'm glad I didn't have to.)

So, there you have it. Even though Joel sometimes drives me nuts while I am practicing, he is one of the best things in my life. Strike that. The best thing in my life. And it really is fun to do concerts together, not many couples can share something like that and I love it.

But mostly I just love him.

(How's that for a late Valentine's Day tribute?)

The Maestro as Taskmaster
(would you call that The Taskmaestro?)

Being married to a fellow musician (who has two more degrees than you do), isn't always as wonderful as it might sound. For instance, I particularly dislike Joel's need to test my knowledge of the subject when we are driving in the car listening to the classical music station. I will often mention I like a certain piece and ask him what it is, because I know he knows them all. But do you think he ever gives me a straight answer? Nope. Not once has he ever done that. Instead, he puts me through a series of questions: Which period is it from? Romantic? Good! Do you think it's early Romantic or late Romantic? Is it Italian, French, German, Russian or American? Well, which German composers were late Romantic? Who do you think composed it? And so on and so forth.

I don't know and I don't feel like figuring it out! That's why I asked YOU, Dr. Honey!

But he'll never tell me. Not until I first answer at least the period and nationality correctly. Sometimes I am in the mood to play his games, but usually only if it's opera. And if it is opera, I generally know what I'm listening to anyway, so I don't have to ask him. I just can't win, can I?

However, there are other things that are far worse than being forced to do listening tests while driving to the grocery store. Right now we are collaborating on a concert that is coming up on February 24. It's the Schubert Mass in G and I am the soprano soloist, along with tenor and baritone soloists accompanied by choir and orchestra. It will be wonderful, but sometimes I really don't like the fact that I have to live with the conductor.

I think that every soprano should have the opportunity to practice and make plenty of mistakes while not in the presence of her conductor. Or in the presence of anyone, for that matter. Learning a piece for the first time should be a completely private endeavor.

Well, I don't generally get that luxury. I have a hard time finding good chunks of time to practice until after the children are asleep, so Joel is usually and unfortunately home during the time I do find to practice. While I am laboring away at the piano, he just sits at the computer or pretends to read the newspaper or something but he is really listening to me sing.

I know this, because after a while he just can't take it anymore and he'll start barking out things like "You're missing that interval--it should be a tritone." or "Make sure you're counting!" or "The tempo actually goes much faster than you're singing it there."

Finally, just sitting there making comments isn't enough for him, so he gets up and joins me at the piano. And then he completely takes over my practice time.

Now, my ADD self doesn't usually have the focus to practice in a very organized manner, or for very long. Joel is the complete opposite of ADD, so if he usurps my practicing, I am suddenly the most organized and rigorous practicer in the world. At least, that's what it feels like to me. He staged a practice coup last night, and we practiced together for nearly two hours. He drilled me until my poor voice could no longer handle singing the Benedictus "just one more time" and I was begging for mercy and water and sleep and one week of vocal rest.

But, on the upside, I know the darn piece so much better now. I can sing it nearly perfectly after the Nazi practice session, so I suppose I'm grateful I live with The Maestro after all.

Just as long as he doesn't start giving me a test about it.

Oh wait, he already did.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Valentine's Day meme for President's Day

Yes. I'm late to the game. I'm aware.

I saw it on lots of blogs this weekend, and even though I've answered one or two of the questions in another meme, most of them are fresh. And I am fresh out of interesting things to write.

All you meme-haters out there can just stop reading now, and I won't even care. But this is a good one, or I wouldn't have done it in the first place.

Okay, so I probably would have, but I still think it's one of the better memes out there.

1. Where did you and your husband meet?

We met at BYU, in the HFAC at The Slab. Totally normal place for two music majors to meet each other. We actually had two first meetings--one right before I left on my mission, and another right after I came home--and both of them were right there at The Slab.

2. How long before you kissed?

We met for the second first time in December of 1997 and our first kiss took place on Mother's Day of 1998. Joel is a notoriously slow mover, but we had only really been "dating" since early March.

3. Who kissed who first?

Joel kissed me first. I am not that kind of girl. But I will admit that I was getting pretty impatient.

4. How long from the time you met until you were engaged?

If we're going to go from the first first meeting, which we probably shouldn't, it was 3 years and a couple months. If we go from the second first meeting it was a year and a half.

5. How did he propose?

He took me out to eat at Bombay House in Provo, and then we went back to his house. I guess he had devised some elaborate treasure hunt involving key places in our dating (he was almost an hour late picking me up for this date), but ran out of time (or nerve) so instead he ended up pacing his living room while I watched him. He was still wearing his coat, where he had stashed the ring, and he finally gathered up the courage and got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Obviously, I said yes, and then I did a cartwheel.

6. Did he pick out the ring or did you?

Technically, neither of us did. I wear my grandmother's wedding ring. It's a Tiffany platinum with a line of 6 small diamonds across. Very simple, circa 1944 (my favorite decade) and exactly what I would have chosen myself. He picked out two thin white gold bands that I wear on either side of the diamond ring. Not only was it just what I wanted, it didn't send us into horrible debt, either. Because we had school to do that for us.

7. Do you still like the ring?

Love it! And I'm even more thrilled that I can actually wear it again since losing weight. I never did get it resized after I had Sophie and I couldn't put it back on. But I can now! If I ever got a nicer diamond or different setting or whatever, I don't know if I'd wear it on my left hand. But I can't say how I'll feel when that day ever comes, as it is not in the forseeable future, anyway.

8. Where was your wedding and reception?

We were married in the Jordan River Temple and the reception was in my parents' backyard in Orem. Perfectly lovely reception on a perfectly lovely June day.

9. How many bridesmaids did you have, and who was your maid of honor?

I did not have bridesmaids at all, and my Matron of Honor was my best friend, Bonnie. Even though I'd never think of her as matronly, that's what you call it since she was married before me.

10. What color were your bridesmaid dresses?

Bonnie wore a red dress at my request. I didn't really care what it looked like (as long as it wasn't horrid or anything!) and I wasn't into any fancy pants dresses for a backyard reception, anyway. So she chose a simple red dress that I'm sure she was able to wear to church the next day with no raised eyebrows.

11. What was your bouquet made of?

Red Roses, Stargazer lilies, little purple flowers and ivy hanging down. It was fake. It still is fake. I had a simple bouquet made of real flowers that I used to throw at the reception.

12. Who gave you away?

Not applicable for a temple wedding.

13. Did you cry during your wedding?

A little bit. Mostly I was just absolutely relieved that Joel even showed up and said yes over the altar.

14. What style was your dress?

Simple. Empire waist with beaded lace at the top and chiffon skirt and small train. I was annoyed because the alterations were not perfect. I actually fit better into the size smaller, but it was already sold so I had to take the bigger one and have it altered, and it really wasn't a great job, and there was not time to fix it.

Here's a picture from an earlier post (too lazy to re-upload and I can't find the scan on my computer and I'm definitely too lazy to re-scan).

15. Was your wedding kiss sweet or sexy?

Sweet, since we were in the temple, after all.

16. Who caught your bouquet?

Joel's niece, Stefanie. She was maybe 12 or 13 at the time and she's not married yet! :)

17. What flavor was your cake?

We had 3 tiers on the cake with 4 satellite cakes, and they were all a different flavor. Something to please everyone. I'm pretty sure the lower tier had chocolate, and that's what we cut into when we cut the cake. The satellites were served first to guests: white, yellow, red velvet and Devil's food, I think. I really have no idea, though!

18. Did you smash the cake onto each other's faces or feed it to each other nicely?

We were reasonably nice, but Joel did feed me a super huge piece. It's a good thing my mouth is so big, or it probably would have been all over my dress.

19. What was "your song" that you danced to at your wedding?

We didn't dance at our wedding, but "our song" was playing on the wedding video the whole time. It's Con Te Partiro by Andrea Bocelli.

20. What did you serve your guests to eat?

Joel's brothers did all our food, mostly Dave. It was sandwiches and fruit if I remember right. I don't even think I got to eat any of it.

21. What did your friends do to decorate your car?

First of all, friends had no part in the decorating. It was all our brothers. My brothers did some whipped cream and that sort of thing. I don't think I can write about what Joel's brothers did. I will say that we found birth control items all over the interior of our car for months after we got married. I will also say that my mom was horrified.

22. What was your favorite wedding gift?

Maybe a set of white mixing bowls from Williams Sonoma. My uncle gave us a pretty nice TV, and we actually have used it up until this past weekend when it was finally relegated to the garage.

23. What was the worst wedding gift you got?

I don't know. We did get a few things that were very obviously regifts. Like a salsa bowl shaped like a chili pepper. As far as what we got the most of? Pizza cutters. I think we got around 8 of them.

24. Where did you go on your honeymoon?

We spent nearly a week in Lake Tahoe/San Francisco. We miniature golfed, spent time on the lake, shopped, ate at great restaurants, or holed up in the condo watching rented videos.

25. Looking back, is there anything you would have changed about your wedding?

I probably would have registered for gifts. I was adamantly against it at the time, I'm not even really sure why. I think I just didn't want to appear greedy. But it sure would have saved a lot of hassle.

I would have also convinced my mother more vigorously that black was a perfectly acceptable color for a wedding. I wanted black, white and red but I ended up with red, white and purple. However, she was just overcoming a very difficult illness at the time of my wedding and it wasn't really worth it to me. (About a month before I got married I had a fiance recovering from major surgery and a mother in the hospital. Thank goodness for Bonnie and all her help or I might have landed myself in the hospital along with them!)

Really, though? Once the day came, none of it really mattered. I didn't notice the flowers or the centerpieces or the tablecloths or the cake or anything. The only thing that was important was that I was getting married to the man I wanted to spend forever with.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

L is for Love

Sharla did a love list (since it's February and all) of things that start with the first letter of her name. I decided that it looked like fun and am taking her challenge, even though L seems like a tougher letter to me than S. I suppose the trick is to find ways to incorporate everything you love in creative ways for your letter. Anyway, without further ado....

...Things I love that start with L:

Little ones And not just any little ones, either. My little ones. I'm sure yours are cute and all, but mine are cuter. Really. They are such the joy of my life, even while they are breaking dozens of eggs or putting toothpaste in my hairbrush.

Love This is code for "Joel" just so you know. What a blessing and a balance he is to me. He's a pretty awesome husband. Oh, and I love him. A lot.

Liberty I love America. Nothing more to say about that.

Literature & Libraries I love nothing more than to hunker down at night with a good book. I've been neglecting this particular love in recent times, so I am glad that I visited the library and got a few new selections to love, even if I don't have a ton of time to actually read. (And, also a lot of my reading time is spent reading blogs.)

La Boheme, Le Nozze di Figaro & Lakme I adore opera. Puccini is my favorite opera composer, closely followed by Mozart. Nothing better than sitting down to listen to some great tragedy, or better yet to actually see one in person. However, I can't say that I truly love Wagner (although Joel does).

Language Did you know that I minored in linguistics in college? Language and all of its rules and exceptions and similarities is fascinating. I speak Romanian fluently and have studied German, Italian, Latin and French. Though French barely counts because I don't know that I remember any of it at all. One of my favorite things about having little ones is watching their language develop. It really intrigues me.

Lenses Love me some photography. There is nothing better than clicking that shutter and knowing you captured a moment you never want to forget. Especially when it's my kids.

Larynx It's my favorite part of my body. I love to sing, and my larynx really helps me to do it well. In fact, I couldn't do it at all without my larynx. Yep, I love using my larynx.

Laughter I come from a family where laughter was prominent. I love to laugh, and usually have no problem laughing at myself, especially when I walk out of Hard Rock Cafe in Phoenix and fall flat on my face in the sidewalk in front of millions of people and rip my favorite pants. No point being upset when you can laugh.

Laundry Just wait a minute here...how did that get on this list? Let me think about it a second. Nope. I don't love laundry. Sorry to disappoint.

Learning I always love to learn something new. Be it a new skill, a new word, or an interesting fact for my gee whiz collection. I really miss being in school and hope to go back for a Master's Degree someday.

Letters As cool as email is, there is just something about receiving a real live letter in the mail. I got a couple last week and they seriously made my day. So, if you really want to make me happy, send me a card! Even better, send me a present!

Light Nothing worse than dreary, dark, gloomy January. Nothing better than a warm, sunny, bright spring/summer/fall day. I love the sunshine!

Lilies Specifically of the stargazer variety. My favorite flower. Even though I'm not a fan of receiving flowers (what a waste of money!) I do like to look at stargazer lilies. I guess, technically, I like to gaze at them. With stars in my eyes.

Links I love blogging.

Lipstick Can't live without it. I have a ton of it. I used to wear a shade called "Classic Red" that was red as red can be. I could do that because my hair is so dark. Now that I'm a mom, I feel a little out there when I wear bright red, so I've toned it down and currently wear a shade called "Live Wire."

the Lord I definitely love the Lord, and am glad I can include Him in my list. I really don't know who or what I'd be without the Gospel in my life and I am thankful every day for parents who raised me to know and love God. (Also, I love my parents, but I can't figure out how to make them start with L.)

Lists Really. I do. I am a compulsive list maker. My lists often include silly things like "Eat Breakfast" and "Make my Bed." Because if it's not on the list it will never get done, no matter how much Joel makes fun of me for it. I need my lists to function. I also love my list of things that I love that start with L.

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Speaking of things I LOVE, I love Target. Want to win a $30.00 gift card to Target? Go here, and find out how. You only have till tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sugar and spice and everything nice...

Just a bit of recent Chloe sweetness:


This one scanned all funky, so here's a translation since it's hard to read:

I Love You daddy You mack me fel Joy Can You Mak ries for Dinnr Ple's i beg You and Dont for Gite that i Love You You are the Best daddy in the world. I fele bad for you Becaus You are sieck.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tattletale


Having two older sisters, Sophia already has tattling down to an art at age 2 1/2. Luckily, she's young enough that it isn't annoying yet, and is in fact rather adorable.

It usually starts with a scream and a cry somewhere in the house. Then I hear the pitter-patter of little feet running to find me. Then I see a very indignant face. Then I hear her say, "Bia hit-a-ME!" or "Fwoe pinsch-a-ME!" or "Bia kick-a-ME!" or "Fwoe (makes mean sound accompanied by dirty look) ME!"

The "ME!" is always said as dramatically as possible and always makes me snicker to myself.

Sometimes she even tells on her daddy. Like the other day when I went to get her up from her nap and started to exchange her diaper for underwear, she said, "Daddy take-a mah pannies off-a ME!"

Apparently she wasn't so excited about having to wear a diaper for her nap, and Daddy was in big trouble for having the audacity to make her.

I never thought that she would tell on me, though. I'm the one she tattles to, after all. Boy, was I ever wrong.

The other day I was in my bedroom folding laundry and she had something she definitely shouldn't have. That something was my lipstick and of course is a totally forbidden item. Anyway, I took it from her and put it away. Of course she was mad at me and threw a little tantrum. And then she looked at me and said, "I teh you, Mommy!" and ran out of the room.

Right into the kitchen where she found Joel and indeed told on me.

"Mommy take-a mah litstit ME!"

And that was the moment that I decided her tattletaling wasn't quite so adorable anymore.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Portrait of the (somewhat dorky looking) seamstress wearing her apron

Friday was a big day for me.

Among other things, I did my taxes and I made my very first apron.

My friend Paige started it. She is always posting these great aprons that she either makes or receives in the mail in apron swaps. Finally I couldn't take it anymore and decided I was just going to have to join in on the apronny fun. So, I went to Walmart (I have mentioned that I don't have anywhere else to go, right?) and found an apron pattern that looked both cute and not-too-difficult-for-a-first-timer. Then it sat around on my craft desk for a few weeks.

Then I bought some fabric. Which also sat around on my craft desk. But only for a few days.

Friday night, I thought I'd just cut it out. Then I figured what the heck? I'll start sewing a bit. And then three hours later I was all finished. And I am now the owner of a really fabulous apron.

What do you think? (Since I took this picture, I figured out that I should tighten the neck straps a bit more and it looks better that way. I am too lazy to take another picture. Deal with it.)



The pocket is my favorite part. The button came out of my big bag o' buttons. Always nice when one works with a project so perfectly, isn't it?


Anyway, I knew I'd be hooked. So, I'll be making more. Just need to go fabric shopping...

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Silly

This was one of my favorite pictures from last Sunday's retro shoot, but I couldn't think of an eighties song to go with it.

Sophie stole Bria's glasses right off Bria's face and wore them herself. Hopefully, it's not an omen of things to come, but considering her geneology, it probably is.

Friday, February 06, 2009

More than tired. Exhausted.

I'm afraid Joel probably has pneumonia. He has promised that he'll finally see a doctor today. In the meanwhile, I'm thankful I have a nebulizer in the house and have been making him do some breathing treatments. (ETA: He doesn't have pneumonia, thank goodness. Just very severe bronchitis.) The girls have been sick and home from school, too. I have still had to teach a million lessons (the University gave me yet another student the other day--a month into the semester!) and try to keep some semblance of order, and I fear I'm starting to get the darn sickness myself. Either that, or PMS. Or just plain exhaustion.

Today is supposedly my "Frugal Friday" post, but I think I'm going to have to skip this week.

Instead, I'll link you up with my friend Carolyn and her cool new blog about building tablescapes. She is an expert at it. I never even knew what a tablescape was until I met her! I've seen a few birthday tables she's done for her kids and a couple other holiday tables in real life and they are all amazing! And, she does it all so cheaply (hey! Maybe this can be Frugal Friday after all!). Anyway, she just started this blog, and she would like to attract a following, so she is giving away a $30.00 Target gift card. The best part about it is that if you win, I win, too! So make sure to go over there and don't forget to tell her that I referred you. And then refer all your friends. And then go look at her gorgeous tablescapes.

Makes me want to go out and figure out something really cool for Valentine's Day. Instead of the heart paper plates and cups I just bought at the dollar store for our V-Day breakfast.

Go check it out now!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

You can find a friend anywhere
(even the post office)

One morning last week I went to the post office to mail off some job applications for Joel (let's all cross our fingers for him). I had Chloe and Sophie with me, and although the line was short, it wasn't winning any awards for speed. Sophie was wearing a pair of her Princess shoes, since that is her footwear of choice these days, and sometimes arguing with her just isn't worth it.

Just ahead of us in line was another mom with two little girls of her own that looked just about exactly Chloe's and Sophie's ages. The mom noticed Sophia's shoes, and pointed out her own two-year old's brightly colored flip-flops, worn on the wrong feet and with socks. In January. We laughed about their headstrong, shoe-loving personalities and struck up a conversation. Turns out the older girl really was Chloe's age, and she had two older daughters that were right around Bria's age.

Meanwhile, the girls were starting to get over their shyness (at first they were just staring each other down, very interested, but too scared to say a word) and conversating with one another about the alphabet song. Then my newfound friend got called up in line and was gone before I could think about asking her for her phone number. Once she left, I regretted that I hadn't.

Turns out she must have felt the same way, because while I was buckling Sophia into her carseat, she showed up at my car and handed me a piece of paper with her phone number on it. I gave her my own information and we talked a bit more. We live on opposite sides of town, but we do hope to get together soon to head to McDonald's for a play date. Nobody was happier about this new development than Chloe, who was already crying that she had made a new friend and didn't even know her name.

I have always felt that I struggle making new friends, but the older I get, and the more I realize that everyone else feels the same way, it has become much easier. I never would have thought in a million years that I'd be the type to strike up a conversation while waiting in line at the post office, much less make a friend.

I'm glad I've changed.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

How I know I married a musician: Part 3


Joel was watching a football game while simultaneously studying some music. This wasn't just any football game, either--it was The Super Bowl. I wasn't paying a lot of attention to the TV so at some point during the game I asked him what the score was and Joel said:

It's the viola part for the Tchaikovsky piece.

part 1
part 2

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Not so deep thoughts on the day after Groundhog Day


I don't know if Punxatawny Phil saw his shadow or not, but I definitely saw mine. And I wasn't even scared. Therefore, according to me, spring is on its way. And I am pretty sure I hold way more weight than old Phil.

I got my hair cut yesterday. It was much needed, but I really think I hate it. I asked her to just trim it and keep the exact cut I already had. I'm not a hairdresser, but I really didn't feel that was asking too much. Instead she did some weird layers and she thinned it out so much I question whether or not I have much hair left. And I had quite a lot to begin with. It's also very roundish. Can you tell on my shadow? I don't like my hair to look so round...I feel somewhat like a bubble head. Sigh. Why is it impossible to have a great haircut twice in a row?

After my haircut, I bought some awesome fabric (found an amazing little fabric shop in town with all the great fabric designers: Amy Butler, Michael Miller, Heather Bailey and more) and I'm going to make myself an adorable apron. Then I'm going to be addicted and make more.

I'm sure I'll look fabulous in my new apron when I finish, but I'm really not sure about this darn haircut.

I am sure that it's time to get Sophia a haircut of her own. I always kind of dread the first haircut, but it must be done. I'm wondering if I should have them do bangs for her.

Joel was home sick with the flu all day yesterday. It remains to be seen if he'll be well enough to go to work today. I felt sorry for the poor man, having to wake up before 6 am to call a substitute. I also felt sorry for the poor substitute, being rudely awakened at 5:45 am. But not as sorry as I felt for Joel.

I got a surprising amount done around the house yesterday, despite the hubby's being home. Most of it was due to slave driving my two older daughters as their punishment for fighting like cats and dogs for most of Sunday.

I still need to vacuum, however. Sometime today.

Just not now, because we're all heading over to Denny's right about now to get our free breakfasts. Did you know? Denny's is serving America free breakfast today from 6:00 am until 2:00 pm. So what are you waiting for? I'll see you there!

There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but nobody ever said anything about breakfast!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Retro

My camera and I have renewed our relationship. Yesterday, my wish was granted and I found a wonderful reason to pick it up (and even set up the backdrop and everything) after Stake Conference.

As soon as we got home from church, the girls went to take off their Sunday clothes just like they always do, but this time I heard them in their bedroom giggling about the outfits they were putting on. Then I heard them getting Sophia dressed, too.

And when they came out I knew I would be taking lots and lots of pictures of them. After all, I did have three little Cyndi Laupers standing in front of me. Wouldn't you take pictures, too?

So, let's turn on our 80's tunage, (in other words, I'll tell you what song to sing, and you can sing it) and look at the lots and lots of pictures of my three little punk rockers. And I do mean lots and lots.

Jump by Van Halen

(Go ahead! Jump!)





Vogue
by Madonna (okay, okay...so it was released in 1990, but that's practically the 80's and you all know it).
(Come on, Vogue!)




We are Family by Sister Sledge
(I've got all my sisters with me!)

Goody Two Shoes by Adam Ant (This picture is also an homage to my very favorite header ever.)

(We don't follow fashion, that would be a joke.)

Lost in Your Eyes by Debbie Gibson (you know you loved it.)
(It's like being lost in heaven.)



Finally, we'll end this with a bang and listen to Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by none other than Cyndi Lauper herself. (Are you singing?)
(That's all they really want.) Fun indeed was had. Most especially by my camera.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

My camera misses me

Still no new pictures to show this week. I haven't picked up my camera at all, I've been so busy. Plus, I've only been reading in my spare time the last few days. And, yesterday I went to see a movie with a friend, which was a much needed outing. We all need to just put away our lives every once in a while and go have fun with a girlfriend.

So, this week's photo is my favorite from a photo session I did almost two weeks ago. I always do newborn sessions at the baby's house, and they had these way cool retro chairs, so I had to do something with them or I wouldn't have forgiven myself.

I'll try to pick up my lonely camera sometime this week. I'd really like to, after all.