Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Yesterday was my brother, Michael's, birthday. And he's the best. And I love him. Even though I forgot to send a card. Or call him yesterday. Or wish him happy birthday when I talked to him ten minutes ago.

So I'll say it now, and I'll say it real loud:

Happy Birthday Michael! I love you!

(I hope that didn't wake anyone. It's quiet time around here.)

Update - 7:14 PM:

What's that? Michael's birthday is today? Not yesterday? Don't be ridiculous! I'd never mis-remember my brother's birthday! Never! You stop with those lies!

Bed Head

Perhaps it was the unspeakable outrage of the rat hair, and the fear that she'll have to face similar public humiliation next Halloween. Or maybe our patience has finally paid off. Whatever it was, something's got the follicles on Grace's head all a-twitter.

As evidence, I submit the following:

Stunning, isn't it? Here's a shot from another angle.

And from the front:

Do you think it's time for me to buy the child a hair brush? Maybe for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ten for Tuesday

1. Coach has been out of town all weekend. In Orlando. ORLANDO! When he left on last Thursday the weather here was gorgeous: sunny and breezy. By Friday we were up to 72 degrees. I used the air conditioner in the van, and called Coach to say "neener." Who needs Florida, with all those crowds and roller coasters? I'd rather stay right here in Buffalo, thank you very much. Except then on Saturday I had to turn the heat on again. On Sunday I turned on the fireplace too. And by Monday we had snow on the ground. It had melted by afternoon -- much to Sam's disappointment. (The new rule, "No Snow Angels Before School," was not a popular one.) I told him not to worry, there will be plenty of chances to play in the snow over the next six months. And then I died a little bit inside.

2. Since Coach was out of town, I hosted a little girls' night on Friday. We ate yummy food and made gorgeous jewelry and it was awesome. I should have taken pictures of everyone's creations, but that would have required some kind of forethought and preparation (like charging the camera). Perhaps my friends can take photos and post them on their blogs (hint hint), but until then, here's mine.

[The camera's still not charged, so pretend there's a picture here. Lovely, isn't it?]

3. I'm totally on a jewelry kick. I got a new bead catalog the other day, and have probably spent a total of 3 or 4 hours perusing it since. (Mostly while trying to get Grace to fall asleep. Someone's gotta train that girl to settle down without a fistful of my hair, cause this is getting old. Preference will be given to long-haired applicants.) When the last bead catalog came a few months ago, Coach saw me reading it intently and said, "I'm so glad you have a Dell Catalog of your own." (Although, to tell you the truth, I'm not sure a Dell Catolog will attract Coach's interest anymore, not since the arrival of the ipod touch. He's the one who thought up Apple's "funnest ipod ever" slogan, not that he's getting credit from Apple or anything.)

4. Have I mentioned I love thrift store shopping? I stopped in a Salvation Army the other day to find more goblets to hold my beads, and came out with a lot more than stemware. Probably my best find was a pair of tiny tap shoes that fit Grace perfectly. I put them on her in the store and let her down to try them out. That little girl was beside herself with glee: Shiny! Pretty! Noisy! Shoes! She ran laps around the store. And you know what else, turns out if you want to keep track of a mischievous toddler who likes to run away and hide in the racks of clothes, putting a pair of tap shoes on her is a good way to go. Of course I bought them. Probably the best $1.50 I ever spent. Now I just have to find a dance studio that accepts 20-month-olds.

5. I also bought a dusty old doll cradle that I'm going to pretty up and fill with dolls (hand-me-downs from one of Coach's supervisors, whose daughters have outgrown them) and dolly clothes for a certain little girl for Christmas.

6. The hand-me-downs also included a powerwheels car, which is going to be another big hit on Christmas morning (once we buy a new battery for it). The trouble is, this model is only a one-seater, and both children have expressed interest in it. Extreme interest. I hope no one gets run over while "taking turns."

7. Remember last week, when it was election day? I voted. I mean, I'm pretty sure I voted. The apparatus was a little confusing. And there was no place to write in my candidate of choice. So I just went ahead and voted for that one guy, and pulled the lever. I'd already decided I wasn't going to submit a vote for any local offices, just the president. I'd put quite a bit of time into researching, and could not find sufficient information to make an informed decision on the local races. So I took my friend Amber's suggestion, and instead of voting randomly I DIDN'T VOTE AT ALL (except for that one guy). It felt like a defiantly patriotic gesture, until I realized (when we discussed the process at dinner) that I'm the dumbest (non)voter in America. Does not voting still (not) count when you don't know how to work one of those voting machines thingies? Why couldn't we use one of those straightforward paper ballots, you know, like they use in Florida?

8. Sam summoned me to this room the other day, shrieking "Mom, these sunglasses fall off my head when I dance. And I need to dance." Thinking I could suggest some less acrobatic maneuvers, I asked what kind of dance he was doing. I was then informed that it was a private dance, and I was not permitted to watch. But I was permitted to listen to excessive complaints about those pesky sunglasses, and their inability to stay on Sam's head.

9. Grace is a TV junkie. If she is left to her own devices for even the briefest moment, she will click on the power switch on the TV, and then bring me the remote. She grunts and squeals to direct my channel flipping until we land on one of her favorites: Dora, The Backyardigans, Little Einsteins, Yo Gabba Gabba, Wonder Pets, Sesame Street, Wow Wow Wubbsy, Tellie Tubbies, Diego. (She's not very picky, actually. Except about having the TV on.)

10. I have a headache around my eyeball. Does that ever happen to you? It's not pleasant.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

For the Record

Today is Carolioness's birthday.* She's still as sweet as ever.

I love you, Carolioness! Happy birthday!

*And I didn't even miss it yet.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Taffy for Tuesday

I'm dedicating today's Ten for Tuesday to my cousin, Taffy. I hope that this break from longstanding (ahem) tradition does not alarm anyone. I'll go back to talking about myself tomorrow. (Or, honestly, probably next week or the week after.) But today is Taffy's birthday. And she's so great I could write Ten for Tuesdays about her for the rest of her/my life and never be done telling you about her. So clear your schedules, folks. Here goes.

1. So,Taffy is my cousin, but she's not your average, ordinary every day cousin. She's a double cousin, and so, genetically she's really more my sister than anything else. I know what you're thinking. I have four sisters already. Isn't it getting greedy to claim more? Maybe. But take a look at these, and then we'll talk.Can you even tell which one of these lovely ladies has different parents?

Do I need to point out the resemblance?

2. So, yeah. There are some alarming physical similarities. But I think what really trips people up is how much we act like sisters when we're together. Taffy roomed with my sister, Peanut, their freshman year of college in the building where I happened to be a resident assistant. That year was one of the best of my life, due in no small part to the hilarious adventures we had together. We ate together, we played together, we sometimes even napped together (to disastrous consequences).

It's no small wonder that other people were confused about the specifics of our family relations. People would often ask, "Which one's your sister again?" I can't say I always got it right. More than once I mistakenly referred to "my sister, Taffy," only to be met with a puzzled look and a question, "I thought she was your cousin."

"Oh yeah, she is." My mistake.

3. These days, we just settle for the term "fake sister." And as far as fake sisters go, she's a keeper. For one, she's an awesome cook. And she makes a kick-a apple pie.

4. And that's just one of the many reasons that, as Amy B. said, "It's always a Party when [Taffy's] around."

5. Here's another one:
I don't remember why we donned the cat costumes, or what purpose we had prowling around BYU campus in them. But hoo boy, we sure had fun.

6. Silly as she can be, however, Taffy is as kind and compassionate as they come. I remember a handful of sister/cousin squabbles throughout the years, but whatever the source of the trouble (usually yours truly), Taffy was the peacemaker. Even when we were very young. She found a way to make us laugh until the injustices no longer seemed so important. Eventually, she even made a joke about being the peacemaker, when in the midst of a playful argument she'd declare defiantly, "I'm the peacemaker!" Cracked me up every time.

7. And while we're on the topic of cracking me up, another childhood memory comes to mind. When our families would get together, us girls would always stay up way too late telling stories. Taffy's performances were always wildly creative, and long after we were supposed to be asleep, her stories would have us giggling uproariously. Eventually, some parent or other would come in and tell us to knock it off (perhaps threatening to turn off the light). We'd try to blame Taffy, but she was always good at pretending to be asleep.

8. I think she still has that child-like sense of fun, even though she's all grown up with kids of her own. Here she is proving that with her impersonation of a Roman fountain. Impressive work for a mother of (at the time) two.

9. Now Taffy's a mom of five, and you wouldn't believe how well she's got it together.

Her kids are just what you'd expect -- cute, clever, spunky, and just oozing with talent. And Taffy is their number 1 fan (OK, tied with Tee). She she coordinates their dozens of activities, throws enchanting parties with creative cakes she makes herself, and still manages to squeeze in educational outings, crafting, and political activism. On top of all that, she's put many hours into finishing her degree by independent study -- no small feat, even with easy courses. But Taffy's not one to take the easy way through things. Instead of picking electives like Shoelace Tying or Walking for Leisure, she opted to learn Hebrew to help her better understand the scriptures.

In all of this, I know it's important to her to be a good example to her kids, but I wonder if Taffy realizes what a good example she is to the rest of us.

10. Especially to me.

And there's noting fake about that. I love you Taffy. Happy Birthday!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Halloween 2008

Here's a little snapshot of our Halloween night.  It was a pretty awesome night, all things considered.

Oh, and if you're wondering about that soundtrack, the song is Night on Bald Mountain.  FYI.