Friday, May 28, 2010

This message has been...

brought to you by the Mental Health and How to Keep It Association of Katy, Texas.

Yesterday was yesterday.

It started at 8:30 a.m. with me getting data service activated on my new phone! And how great is that! (Well, my day never starts at 8:30 a.m. More like 5:30 or 6:00.) But then it didn't work. And when I realized that it wasn't working I started bawling.

Now I'm not a baby any longer, and I've learned a few things. One of the things I've learned is that if you start crying over something as trivial as your phone not having Internet at 8:30 a.m. you need to take a mental health day. And a nap.

So I dried my tears, decided that everything on deck for yesterday was immediately cleared off, and took a two-hour nap.

I felt marginally better when I woke up so I drove to the high school and picked up my Little Prince who had exempted some of his final exams and was therefore dismissed early from school. We went out to lunch and while we were at lunch my bff D called and we decided we'd meet at my house and then decide what fun thing we were going to do next.

(We decided that D would go with me while I went ahead and did one of my Relief Society jobs that I had previously cleared off the deck - visiting a lady in the hospital recovering from some heavy-duty problems - and we went and we had a fun time and hopefully brought some cheer and relief to that good woman.)

Anyway, we had a great afternoon and lots of good girl talk, and when I got home I discovered that pretty much the whole world had fallen apart while I was gone. I spent the next several hours fixing up the world and went to bed at a reasonable hour.

It was kind of a hectic day that started out pretty much sucking and ended up okay. I don't feel guilty for not saving everyone from their problems. I do what I can, and that is going to have to be enough. (I don't feel guilty. I don't. Do I feel guilty? No, I do not.)

My wonderful Mr. Dub and my tech-savvy Little Prince fixed my phone for me. Now it beeps every time I get an email. I need to figure out how to stop that because it is annoying.

I'm happy today. I've got a full line-up of things to do and people to see today. And that's okay. I'm adjusting. You know what ol' Darwin always said, right? If you don't adapt, you die.

Or something like that. Have a great day, everybody!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Taylor is being transferred from the mission office this week to a new area where he will serve as district leader. He'll be in Halmstad.

I've never heard of Halmstad. Have you?

It's on the western side of Sweden, close to Denmark. On the map you can see Helsingborg and Malmö, which are also in his district. You can also see where Halmstad is in relation to the town of Gävle where he started out.

I run into people once in a while who go to Malmö on business. Sometimes it feels like a very small world.

Missionaries can call home on Mother's Day and Christmas Day. I had a long talk with Taylor on Mother's Day and it was so cool. At one point, he wanted me to hold on so they could say the prayer for dinner (they are 8 hours ahead of us) and I could hear one of the missionaries praying in Swedish.

All I can say is that it doesn't sound like a real language. Taylor was telling me that the Book of Mormon was translated into "Old Swedish" and so it's very hard for some of the people to understand it. (I'm imagining that it's like reading the Bible in Ye Olde English.) But not to worry because the Church is busy working on a translation in "New Swedish". He mentioned this a few times, before I finally asked him how long ago the Swedish people switched from Old to New Swedish. He said "It happened in 2008".

That is some kind of hard language that native people forget it in two years!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

It's my life

This is my new life:
  • Answer the phone
  • Deal with whatever it is
  • Answer the phone
  • Deal with it
  • Wonder "What am I supposed to be learning in this experience?"
  • Answer the phone
  • Deal
  • Remember that I've left some vital thing undone
  • Let the machine answer the phone
  • Write down the vital thing in hopes that I won't forget it again
  • Answer the phone
  • Lose the scrap of paper with the vital thing written on it
  • Deal
  • Search for the 1000 lost scraps of paper containing vital information and reminders of things left undone
  • Vow to become more organized, thrifty, and mature
  • Realize that one of the lessons I'm learning is to use my free will on purpose, more purposefully
  • Wonder what in the world we are going to have for dinner
  • Go to bed knowing that it will all happen again tomorrow

Did you notice that BLOG is not on the list of my new life?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Studying light

One thing that I've only lately noticed about photos that I consider to be really awesome is that the source of light is natural daylight, but not glaring sunlight. (I remember as a kid being made to stand, staring into the sun, and being expected to keep my eyes open and my face natural and smiling for the picture, and I remember how awful and uncomfortable it was.) More like diffuse sunlight. As I've looked through the shots on my camera, I've also realized that I like the shots taken in the late afternoon when the sun is shining at an angle on the subject.

I took this pic of my dear little Buttercup a couple of weeks ago. I think the light looks good - we were outside, and she was sitting in the shade of a tree. The colors aren't washed out, there aren't any weird shadows, and she isn't squinting into the sunshine. I'm still learning how to use my camera but I'm happy with the picture, and I learned a little bit about lighting.

I think becoming a good photographer is like becoming a good anything else - it will take practice, study, feedback, analysis, and more practice. I have no illusions that I'll become a world-famous photographer but I want to learn to take great shots of my family and friends and other things I like. I'm tired of looking at my photos and thinking that they're mostly garbage, and as I've studied them, I've realized that one of the major problems with lots of them is the lighting. So I think I'll try taking more pics in the next few weeks with different kinds of light: lamplight, fluorescent light, direct sunlight, natural light on overcast days, etc. and see what I can come up with. The thought of learning and experimenting with this gives me a little thrill. It also gives me something to blog about.

And that makes me happy.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Oh Bother!

Do you ever just want to check out of your life for a few hours? Or a whole day?

Things have been oh so super crazy around here that I've just wanted to scream. And cry. And maybe throw a big ol' hissy fit or two. And then cry a little more.

Combine the following:
  • end-of-school-year insanity (TAKS tests for both kids. AP tests/studying/etc for the big one. Benchmark testing for the little one. Concerts. Fund-raisers. Getting those grades up before report cards go in. Piano recitals.)
  • a new Church calling that is not only overwhelming (and hard, and sometimes sad) but also a little bit frustrating (the lady crying in sacrament meeting like a big bawling booby? Yes, that was me. Why do you ask?)
  • a nasty summer cold (complete with cough, fluid-filled ears, secondary throat infection, and sinus infection. So of course, no sleep and try not to swallow. Ever. For any reason.).

I'm sick. I'm tired. I'm in a lot of pain. I went to the doctor and she said, "Take these antibiotics and decongestants. Drink lots of fluid. REST." and I swore that is what I was going to do today. And then of course it hasn't turned out that way at all.

Oh Bother, Fiddlesticks, and Tartar Sauce!

And now I'm done with my public whine. It's so boring, I know. Tomorrow we'll be back to our regularly scheduled line-up of hilarity and wit!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A long, long time ago

in the city where the West begins, a little baby boy was born. He grew up to become Mr. Wonderful.

Happy Birthday, Ty!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

He has the right instincts

For Mother's Day my Little Prince brought me gifts:

A box of chocolate truffles and two big bottles of Diet Coke and Diet Dr. Pepper.

This young man understands his mama.

Happy Mother's Day to all you fabulous mamas out there. May you always be understood and appreciated!

Saturday, May 8, 2010


and Double Drat.

I've caught a summer cold. It blows.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Guilty Pleasures

aka Trash TV.

Do you watch this show? I do. Not religiously or anything, and I've never recorded it to watch later. But if it's on and I'm up in the middle of the night anyway, it's my go-to show when the only other thing to watch is Paid Programming. It's a little like rubbernecking the car accident on the side of the road. The hissy fits, the ongoing drama with her mother, the Guncles. Oh my goodness - good stuff.

My bff D watches it too. (Sorry for outing you on my blog, D.) We don't talk about it very often because, well, what if someone overheard that conversation?

I read that Tori and Dean are renewing their wedding vows. Which makes me think there might be some truth to all the gossip about there being trouble in that Hollywood paradise.

Tori and Dean kind of deserve each other, but the rumors make me sorry for little Liam and Stella.

Please don't ever ask me in public what's happening on the show. Because I'll have to lie and say that I've never seen it, Babe.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Can you tell...

...when you are in the presence of greatness?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Oh Captain! My Captain!

Our fearful trip is done!

Buttercup had a very long day yesterday - she had two long car trips and had pretty much had it by the time she got to Grammie's and Captain's house.

She crashed into Mr. Dub's arms and fell promptly asleep. For about 10 minutes. I love how she squints a little and furrows her brow when she's really asleep - like she's concentrating so hard at it.

She's so fun. And so funny. She was growling like a bear at me today, and when she realized I thought it was funny she kept doing it over and over again. Then she'd look at me very expectantly, waiting for me to laugh.

What a lovey!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Nothing says "Love Ya!" like...

...cold, hard cash.

But that's not what we're giving our friend John at his surprise fiftieth birthday party today. Instead he's getting a fancy-dancy new pillow with this coolio pillowcase I made that's imprinted with hundreds of lovely bills.

This is a super fun and very easy pattern. You can find it here.