Friday, July 31, 2009

Please, please don't tell anyone...

The other day one of my children (who shall remain nameless) accidentally broke a lamp and immediately cried out "I'm sorry!  It was an accident!  Please, please don't tell anyone!"  For her this experience felt utterly humiliating. I kissed away her tears, assured her I wasn't in the slightest bit upset and that it was seriously no big deal.  Then we cleaned it up together.  End of story.  And I started thinking... about the times in my life when I've felt embarrassed or *gasp* maybe even humiliated.  I started thinking about one time in particular...

To really get this story you'll need a little history.  Back in the early days of college  I met a boy, Jon.  We became friends.  Friends with potential.  He left to serve an LDS mission overseas and broke my heart when he decided to stop writing.  His feelings for me were a distraction from serving the Lord.  I understood..but holy cow!  Ouch!  Here's  the tricky part.  His family lived close to me and over time I fell in love with them.  During the two years he was away, these relationships grew and I really, truly loved them with all my heart.  Although I'll never regret that, it was a mistake.  Never love the family more that the boy.  It spells disaster.  So then the boy returned and after a while we became engaged.  During our engagement he met a girl he decided he liked better and our engagement ended.  Painfully.  Humiliatingly.  Because, you see, I lost him but I also lost his family.  They married rather quickly and I felt totally and completely expendable.  Replaced.  Many dark days followed and then, like it always does, life went on.
Ok, so here's the Seinfeld worthy part.  About a year later I was trying on some clothes in a dressing room.  Three girls came in and took the dressing rooms beside me.  I heard them talking and suddenly realized who they were.  It was Jon's sister,  replacement wife Martha, who was now expecting, and one of my friends from work who knew my drama but apparently had made friends with Martha and was now bad mouthing me as if she didn't know me.  Traitor.  They were laughing about a time when I cut Jon's hair and accidentally shaved a bald spot into the side of his head.  Granted, the story was pretty funny.  And considering how badly our relationship ended, I'm kinda glad I gave him that bald spot.  Wished it'd been bigger.  But that aside, in the moment, I felt like dying.  I sat in the dressing room for about an hour after they left.  Dying.  And then, like it always does, life went on.

That was then.  If it had happened now? I can tell you it would have end differently.  I think I would have laughed.  Maybe sauntered out and said hello.  Taken a bow and let the full impact of the situation sink in.

So I've decided I like getting older.  Time changes things and takes the edge off.  I don't get embarrassed much these days.  I just laugh and remember that life goes on.  I wipe away any tears, tell myself it's seriously no big deal, clean up the mess and move on.  End of story.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

grandma's by design

I must have been about seven when I first started visiting the Jones.  They lived in a mobile home park a few blocks from my house and had this adorable little pug dog that wiped his nose on me every time I visited.  For whatever reason, I just couldn't get enough of them.  I must have visited  every other day for two years at least.
My point?  I'm in the habit of adopting grandparents. Young and old.. we just need each other.  My husband's grandma's sister and her friend live about an hour away and we love spending an evening with them every few months. 
 They are gracious, lovely women and our kids adore them.
Come to think of it, so do we!  So thanks Grandma Dawny and Grandma Betty.  We love you and can't wait to see you again.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cheese. Glorious Cheese

 Lest you get the wrong idea, the picture above is not a result of my own lack of self control.
She is the culprit!  Lauren is lovely.  And stealthy and small.  For a good six months I routinely found the cheese nicely wrapped up in the fridge just how I left it.  Minus a few small bites.
And now I find this.  I find this about twenty times a day.  Tyler is small but he is not stealthy. 
He's focused and doesn't realize I'm documenting his crime.
Ok, now he's totally busted.  Do you see the challenge in his eyes?  He's busted but doesn't really care.
And even though he knows he's not supposed to be here?  Hey, if I don't stop him..he keeps right on truckin.  Who needs stealth when you've got determination?
And here he is holding the glorious prize.  I think the little guy's drooling.  I better get him some cheese.  

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Salt Crystals

They turned out kind of pretty, don't you think?  It was Sarah's idea.
So I gave them the salt, jars and string and turned em loose.
After they finished their own..
they made one for every neighbor kid within a ten mile radius.   And then some.
Despite having to clean twenty salt encrusted canning jars that sat evaporating on my patio for six weeks, they really did turn out kind of pretty.  Don't you think?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Getty

One of the many things I love about this guy is his love for the fine arts.  A Saturday alone together exploring the Getty was completely his idea.  Did I mention we were alone.. .as in totally and completely with out children, diaperbags, strollers, sippy cups..etc, etc..?  Now please don't get the wrong idea, and for heaven's sake don't scold!  I'm all about exposing the kids to art, theatre, and literature.  But considering we very nearly got kicked out of the public library this week trying to enjoy that literature part, I wasn't exactly torn up about leaving them home.
I realize I focused on the wall here instead of Brent but I wanted to post this picture anyway. I"m sorry, but I just gotta say it.  My husband is...I'm at a loss for words actually.  I don't want to embarrass the guy, but he really is absolutely incredible.  Enough said.
Beautiful gardens..

and more beautiful gardens.
Ever try taking a picture of an enormous, exceedingly white building on top of a hill in full sun?  Well, I hadn't either.  So much light was reflected that most of my pictures looked completely over exposed.  Live and learn I guess.  And if you ever visit the Geddy take my advice and wear sunglasses!  I've never been so thankful for them in all my life!
The water features and architecture were stunning.  In fact, think I enjoyed these almost more than the exhibits.
So there you go.  Come to L.A.  Visit the Getty.  Wear sunglasses and leave the kids at home.   Oh, and come visit me while you're at it (Yes, I mean you Cheri)!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Eye of the Storm

I just love this picture.  In my mind, this is Tyler’s perspective in life.  Chaos all around and he’s this little ocean of calm.  We’ve gone to this fountain enough that he knows what to expect.

Here we have the cautious approach.

And the nervous anticipation..

wait for it.....

OH yeah.

And again...

and yet again...

and ohhh baby, one more time.

And now he’s made it to the center of the fountain.  The eye of the storm.  A place of peace and tranquility..if only for a moment.  Seems like I should make some deep, profound analogy here.  You know, about life, love, world peace..something like that.  Instead I’m going to go make some kettle corn.  It’s peaceful..and um, tranquil and really, really good.  I’ll stop now.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Silk Floss Tree

While scrounging around some berry bushes yesterday, (attempting to pick what had already been picked) we came across this gorgeous tree. 

The ground was covered in what looked like cottonwood “fluff” and upon further investigation, we discovered the tree was full giant snowballs! 

Seriously, do those not look like giant snowballs?  So, of course, we had to get our hands on one and take it apart. They looked so soft, and heaven help me, I can’t resist anything soft!

But the really good one’s were also really high.  No problem!  We’ll just climb it.

Except that every branch looked exactly like this.  This tree was the size of a mature oak and every single branch was covered in wicked thorns.  Not the annoying little rose bush variety. I’m talking about the one inch puncture wound kind!  So, of course, we didn’t climb.  Rather, we looked around on the ground until we figured out the cycle of it’s seed pod.  Yeah, I know, I’m a nerd.  Can’t help it.  I like to think of it as a  gift.  Instead of boring you with more details, I’ll just say it was truly fascinating!  So even though the berries were a flop, we had a great time discovering the Silk Floss Tree.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

stop growing!!

This girl...this girl turned four last week.  I hardly know what to say about it.  I watch my children growing and savor every second.  Their childhood is the most glorious treasure I can imagine and the days pass too quickly!  Despite my repeated requests to stop growing, they just keep on doing it.  

Last night at dinner Lauren looked at me and said with her best British accent, " Excuse me Miss, you forgot to get me my spoooooon."  I laughed so suddenly that I actually choked on my dinner.  She is spontaneous, quirky, and lovely in the extreme.  Happy Birthday little monkey.  Everything is better when your around.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Playin Hookie

After some hard core persuasion on my part...
 * Niki - "hey Honey, I got free tickets.  Wanna go?"
 * Brent - "free tickets?  Oh yeah!  I'm in."
I convinced Brent to take the day off and come with us to the Huntington  Botanical Gardens in San Marino.  Aside from four exhausted, sweaty, and seriously cranky kids, we had a fabulous time.  The gardens are 150 acres and I think we walked about half of that.  
We walked through the Desert Garden first.  I had no idea there were so many varieties of cacti.  Or cactie...or um cactuses.  Anyway..there were hundreds and hundreds of them and they were so beautiful!

A lotus flower.  According to a really nice lady who worked there, they only bloom in the high heat of summer, and OH BABY was it hot today!  I'd never seen a lotus blossom before.  They're huge, like the size of Tyler's headand so very, very pretty!
Bonsai tree.  Lovin it!
This bridge is just a small part of the Japanese Garden.  This garden was by far my favorite.   I'd tell you why, but well.. I don't really know how to explain it.  It was very emotional for me.  Beauty makes me cry quite often actually.  Can't help it.  It's the way I'm made.  Here's the garden in a nut shell.  It was beautiful in a perfectly balanced kind of way.  The lines and textures of each feature were simple and clean and... subtle.  I get chills just thinking about it! I loved it.  If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend playing hookie for the day and spending it here.