Friday, August 27, 2010

The Melting Away House or Wistful

Rose read the Never Never Land post.
Now she is homesick for those homes.
Me, too.
Well, I am more than homesick, I am wistful.
I am yearning for those first two homes we owned.
Did I mention that each of them was brand spanking new?
And that each was a tract house in a neighborhood full of houses just like them?
And that I didn't care?
The spanking newness offset the cliche of matching houses.
Any money we put into those two homes was all for beautifying.
My charming home.
Now I live in a charming home.
And my charming home has a sleeping toilet--
on the floor of my bedroom.
And a hole in the ceiling of my kitchen.
And a hole in the ceiling of my living room.
And a handyman husband who is still trying diagnose the leaks...

My charming home is made of  approximately the same material as corrugated cardboard.
Imagine cardboard in rain.
And humidity.
Yes, it is melting away.
Like cotton candy in the sweaty fist of a toddler.

Charm be damned.

My next house will be brand new.
A modern loft in the city.
And I will always have fresh flowers.
And I will be less grumpy.
And Doug and I will always hold hands.*

*if you have not yet looked at the post Never Never Land, go there now.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Why I Never or Minivan Pride

I may have had a quest to not become cliche. 
But I never did say I would never drive a minivan.
I never had minivan pride.
Picture this.  In blue.  Which did not make it more attractive.
As evidenced by my first minivan.
A Plymouth Voyager with faux wood paneling.
Like the Griswold family vehicle.*
But a minivan.
That was old.
That we bought with cash.
When we didn't have much cash. 

 After the Voyager, I spent years in a Landcruiser.
Ten years to be exact.
And $837,689.23 in gasoline.
She was perfect for Alaska.  But not so great for Atlanta.
Years of dragging around the
truck type family vehicle
helped me realize that I never again wanted to drag around a
truck type family vehicle.
I wanted this:
The luxury of the Odyssey.  I'm serious.
Now I spend much of my ordinary day with my fanny plastered in the
ergonomic seat,
smoothly navigating traffic,
with my sunroof open,
and my dog.
And I feel lucky.

I like my office with a view.
And I know that my identity does not come from what I drive.
It comes from within.

And from cute shoes.

* Vacation with Chevy Chase--remember?
Just for fun, waste some time watching Swagger Wagon videos.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Never, Never Land

Doug and I were idealistic when we were newly married.
We swore we would never live in a ranch house.
The first home we owned.  Built just for us.

And certainly never, never a split level.
The second home we owned.  Customized just for us. 

We would always live in the city, either in a modern loft,
or charming cottage.
We would always have fresh flowers on the table. 
We would always hold hands.

But that was before we knew about choosing good schools.
And budgets.
And sometimes feeling grumpy.

Anne Tyler, in her novel Saint Maybe, wrote:
"When did you become ordinary?"
When I first read this line, which a mother said to her adult daughter, I was full of fear.
What if I became ordinary?

But now I know, being ordinary is not a curse.
Trying too hard to avoid being cliche,
and possibly missing your happiness,
that's the real curse.

Take it from the happy girl who was never, never going to get married
while attending Brigham Young University.
And who lives in the 'burbs.
And who drives a mini-van.
Life on a suburban cul-de-sac
When were you caught in never, never land?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Summer Essay

There's that essay you write when you go back to school:
"What I did This Summer."
Here is my essay.
Of sorts.

 One perfect morning, we ignored this:

Because overlooking this:

We decided to hike below this:

We climbed down this:

Through this:

Over this:

Under this:

And in this:

It was his idea:

But I went along:

And for our efforts, we got this:

And this:

Was it worth it?
What do you think?
Share your summer essay with me.
Talk to me.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Stella's Life Lessons

Smile at everyone.
Look them in the eye.
Be enthusiastic.
Be genuine.
Be playful.
Be interested.
See the best in people.
Believe in others.
Open your arms wide.
Expect the world to love you.
And it will.

Monday, August 9, 2010

School day blues

Staying occupied during the school day:
Trudy sits by the window just waiting for the kids to come home.
(have you ever seen such a large nose on a dog?  That was my thought when I met her)

Jenny takes care of a little exterminating.
 (photo courtesy of Olivia)
She looks pretty innocent for a murderer.

I know, supermom has a cockroach.
I have now officially withdrawn my supermom application.

(and I swiped Melissa's thoughts)

Friday, August 6, 2010


The first day of the school year often brings
new routines.
It's kind of like the first day of the year brings
new resolutions.
On the first day of school, I believe I can reinvent myself.
Like suddenly I will become the person I think I should be.

This week I turned over a new leaf.
I am in the running for supermom.

I remembered to take pictures of my children on the first day.
 Teenagers are not as enthusiastic about this.

I made a breakfast casserole before the annual
back to school bash
(I usually slink in empty-handed--because I have four kids).
In fact, I even made an extra casserole for dinner.
No more frozen burritos for this lucky family. 

After the brunch, I came home and read
(instead of getting sucked into the computer or TV).

Day two and I was still at the top of the polls.
Note the healthy and delicious after-school snack:


day two and a half, and all I can think about is sleeping in.
And maybe watching some Project Runway.
And eating chocolate.

I know I can't keep playing the supermom game.
Can I withdraw my entry?

Be careful when reinventing yourself.
Who you think you should be is maybe not
who you want to be.