Saturday, April 26, 2008

My Little Graduate!

Yesterday was a very momentous day for my family. After starting college more than 24 years ago, my mother finally graduated with her Bachelors of Science degree. Well, she may have taken a good 22 years or so off in between there- but this has been a goal of hers for a very long time, and I am very proud of her. It has been hard on her what with trying to balance work and motherhood along with her schooling, but she kept pushing forward and did very well.

We woke up rather early yesterday so that we could get to the Fieldhouse in time to find a parking spot and a seat. I figured that since there were 1200 people graduating from the Education College, we should find a different place to park so that we wouldn't drive around in circles forever. We decided to go over to our old apartment complex that is just a block away from the fieldhouse since they never required permits. That turned out to be a pretty good plan, but was entirely unneeded. We were a little frustrated when we walked by the half-empty parking lot. Anyway, we got inside the building and quickly located my family as my father was standing in his chair and waving his program at us. My sisters were all there along with my Wallace grandparents and my Uncle Jay. My lovely sisters kept Emma entertained and Sara slept the whole time, so Ross, Jay and I all had a good time mocking the speeches (which were all very concise and well written- we are just jerks that early in the morning!) the unfortunate last names (Burden, Dickman, Westovermanson), the long and sometimes ridiculous titles of the dissertation written by the new doctorates (The Effects of Videos and Animated Games in the Different Stages of Development of Young Children and Schooling Using Video Animatronics- no joke!) and the fact that there were 3 graduated named Amanda Jones (Some Kinda Wonderful!). We also broke the rule of no applause until after all the graduate's names had been read. My mom got A LOT of applause from her little fan-club. She worked WAY too hard to not get some kind of individualized public acknowledgement. They all did- that is a silly rule and judging by the amount of applause some of the other graduates received, we were not the only ones to feel that way. My grandma and I even laughed as we looked at each other and both had tears running down our faces. I know where my emotional side came from!

After the ceremony we had to walk up a very long and steep pathway to get to a nice little clearing where we could enjoy some light refreshments and take pictures. Emma had fallen asleep at this point, so I got to carry her all the way up the hill with heels on. Of course, she woke up the minute we got to our destination- stinker! Oh well, I got some incline cardio and some arm toning when I didn't think I would have any time at all to work out that day! :)

After we enjoyed some conversation, took some pictures, and ate some really good brownies, the whole gang (except for Jay who had to take Lara to physical therapy) came all the way out to our house where we had a little graduation party for my mom. I had spent ALL DAY on Thursday getting things ready for it. I felt like a domestic goddess as I made cookies, cake, rice crispy treats, 3 pounds of taco meat, spanish rice, a cheese and cracker platter, a vegetable tray, and a jello mold (that didn't work out too well). I also had all the taco salad toppings, some soda and sparkling cider, and some of my Grandma Wallace's apple juice (because my mom can't drink carbonation). It was the first time I have ever prepared for something like that all by myself and I was a little worried about it. I think it went pretty well, especially considering that I had to get everything ready the night before because of the early start we had to make on Friday, and the fact that I had to make dinner for Carrie and Nate who came over on Thursday night to see our house. It was a crazy day. I love my mom, and I really am very proud of her and her accomplishment- this was NOT an easy journey for her. We are praying now for her to find a good position for next year. I keep telling her to apply for the school down the street from us, but she doesn't love me enough (or maybe it is the hour long round trip she doesn't love).

Speaking of people we love and are praying for- Ross's dad had surgery on his blind eye yesterday and everything went well as far as we know. The surgery was kind of a surprise to us. Grant called Ross late on Thursday night and told him he was going in to surgery the next day and was waiting for Clay to come over and give him a blessing. This was the first we had heard about it. Ross was kind of nervous the whole day about it, and we were both relieved to hear that everything went well. We are praying that he will heal quickly and that he won't be in pain any longer.

Tonight capped off our weekend pretty well with a great date-night! We started out by getting a nice lunch at the Olive Garden for 98 cents after using a gift card I got from doing surveys. We then went and looked through my favorite store (Barnes and Noble) for an hour, and I ended up getting 3 books for 2.38 after using another gift card from Mypoints. After that we took Emma up to run around on the grass field in front of the Provo temple while Ross and I flirted and kissed and other such nonsense- it was fun! We then dropped the kiddies off with my mom and dad and went to see Leatherheads with the free passes we got from my OB's office when their secretary was rude to me ( It was very enjoyable. I want to see it again- George never dissappoints though! It was a pretty good date for the bargain price of $3.46.

I "love" Craigslist!!!

Hello all, today I have decided to grace the internet with my presence to give you all a little bit of advice and tell a kind of funny story that may have already happened to some of you but I am sure you will all get a laugh out of another great Craigslist story. So let me begin by disclaimering this post by saying that if you are reading this you understand and probably know a lot about how Amanda and I think and our opinions on different things, if this offends anyone we are not really sorry because you don't have to read it nor agree with the way we think. Now on with the story; So it all happened April 1st 2008, this day will always be one for the memory books for us because it was the last day we spent living in an apartment and paying someone else rent for a dwelling, it will also always be remembered as the first time we used the internet site Craigslist to find a cleaning lady to clean the apartment we were vacating. The night before we had finished moving all of our things into Amanda's parents garage because we couldn't move into our house as scheduled, that’s a whole other story, anyway, we had to be out by the 1st so I hired a cleaning lady to come clean the apartment after we had moved everything out, the place was basically clean, it just needed a good scrub down before the final walkthrough with our landlord. I called a few companies in the yellow pages but they all charged more than we wanted to pay and they all needed 3 days notice, so I resorted to the internet and Craigslist of all places, it seemed a good idea at the time. I found an add for a college girl that was willing to do the job for cheap because she was just looking for some extra cash because she was getting married and needed money for the ring, anyways, I called her up and set it up the night before, I thought everything would be fine and stopped worrying, the next morning came and she had texted me and said she was sorry but her baby was sick and wouldn't be able to do the job that day. I was stuck in a bind and so again resorted to Craigslist. This time I needed someone fast, I found a lady in Lehi, UT that was willing to come and do it that morning, her rates were reasonable but she was an elderly lady and didn't usually leave Lehi for any jobs, I told her I was willing to pay her more and she agreed to come, the only other thing she asked about on the phone was if my wife was going to be there, I told her no, and that she was taking care of our baby and that was the reason we even were hiring someone to come clean. She agreed to come anyway, and I didn't know why having Amanda be there was so important to her until she showed up, and the first thing she asked was if my wife was there. I said no but I wasn't going to be there much if she felt uncomfortable cleaning an empty apartment without someone there. That was the farthest thing from her mind why she asked where Amanda was. She then proceeded to give me her business card, or I should say small strip of paper with scriptures written on it in a badly scrawled handwriting of a 74 year old woman. At the top it read, Brides of Christ LLC. At that point I just put it in my pocket; she looked disgusted and said that I was very foolish to cast the words of God aside so lightly. I was taken aback at this and said, excuse me! She then proceeded to tell me that her company is a charity and all the work she does is in the service of God, but not any church. I said well that’s great that you are so devoted. She then started to quote/misquote scriptures to me about how Christ should be the most important thing in our lives, and that doing anything that is not about his work is the devil's work. At this point I felt uncomfortable being in the apartment with the woman so I told her I needed to run some errands but would be back about 12 because I needed the apartment cleaned by then because the landlord was coming for the walkthrough, she acted as though she didn't hear me and just kept talking about how serving Christ was all that we should be doing. So I left for about 2 hours and came back at 11:30 just to finish up any last minute details before the walkthrough, well when I arrived back at the apartment I found that she had cleaned a few areas but apparently she has pretty bad eyesight due to age I am sure, because most of the apartment was still unclean, the one thing that was clean was all of the areas that Amanda had taped pictures of Christ and small scriptures on doors of cabinets around the house. The woman had taken them all down and piled them in a neat pile next to the trash bag she had, When I arrived she continued to tell me how graven images are of the devil and that any church that worships images is of the devil, and I told her I didn't worship these images but simply had them up as reminders and beautiful artwork of my savior in my home. She then told me how all churches are the devils churches and that the only true form of worship was to read the Lord's words in the Bible, and didn't hesitate to mention that the Bible is the only true book of God's words and that everything else is an abomination, and that all the priesthood that people claim to have is of the devil, very typical anti-Mormon rhetoric. Anyway, after hearing her ranting and being so personally offended by it also watching her not clean the apartment, I tried to tell her I didn't think I needed her to clean anything else, mostly in an effort to get her to leave, I also had Emma with me and she was crying because of all the craziness the lady was saying, the woman kept following Emma around saying how pretty she was and that she was going to have it the hardest because of all the devils influence she was going to be subjected to, I agreed to this and then she said that it was going to come mostly from her family, At this point I noticed the woman began to talk very quickly saying more anti-Mormon stuff and insulting me and the priesthood. As she spoke her tongue darted in out much like a serpent and her eyes were more gray and sunken into her head, and she began to smile as though she thought I was beginning to believe what she was saying, at this point politeness went out the window, a dirty window she still hadn't cleaned I might add. I began to feel cold, the kind of cold I hadn't felt since my mission when I was in a home of a crazy JW minister who just kept telling me and my comp. how we were so wrong for believing the way we believed, she also spoke in the same manner with her facial expressions and serpent like tongue, and smile. I finally stopped trying to be polite to this old lady and began asking her very direct questions about why she thought this way, I was tired of being attacked and had a surge of energy come to me when I started telling her exactly what I believed and began using the Bible bashing techniques I learned on the mission with this woman, it was apparent she was very anti-Mormon and was very blunt in her attack on not only Mormons but all religions. I asked her what religion was right then and how did she know she was doing the right thing. As they all don't, she didn't have a real answer for this, she just said according to the books she had read and the people she had talked to and the testimonies of some other anti-Mormon preaching pastor she had listened to she was doing what God wanted. I then asked her how she came to find all of this supposed truth. and she started to misquote scripture and started to say she couldn't remember who said it or in what book she read it but that all these things she heard were true about how bad the Mormons were and all the witchcraft that they do in the temple, some of the more graphic stuff she was saying I won't write here but, if you look for anti-Mormon stuff anywhere, you will find what she was talking about. I then asked here what her family thought about what she believed, she said that her whole family including the polygamist portion of which she was a part for 12 years :-), all have cut off all communication with her and she has lost all of her friends but she is sure that it is because they just don't want to accept the true way of believing like her but rather follow Satan. I couldn't believe how strong of a hold Satan's grasp was on this woman and I couldn't do anything besides stand there and feel sorry for her, but at the same time want to completely rebuke her because I was certain she had brought something evil into my soon to be vacated apartment. I finally told her thank you for coming on such short notice but that I really couldn't pay her more than what I thought she had earned, which if you go by her hourly rate I only paid her for 2.5 hours and she was there more than 3. I felt like she did a horrible job and wasted most of the time trying to tell me how I was following Satan. Well to make this even longer story short, mainly because I get a bad feeling even repeating the events of what happened, let me just say you'll definitely find some interesting people online, Thanks again to Craigslist for helping me find one really lost cleaning lady.
p.s. to those of you who are Craigslist devotees, to each their own, but I personally will not be seeking out any services from this website again.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

2 Going On 20

Lately I have had to start being really careful about not calling Ross by his name when Emma is around because she has started calling him Ross instead of Daddy. This really bothers Ross- a lot! In an effort to change this bad habit of Emma's I have tried to not use his name when she is around. We thought it was working pretty well until Ross left for work this morning. As we were saying our goodbyes after family prayer Emma lifted up her head (she was on her way back to sleep) and said "Bye Honey!"

Monday, April 21, 2008


I was in my jammies (aka Ross's shirt and some flannel pants- he hates when he pulls his clothes out of the closet and they smell like my VS lotion- I call it marking my territory!) when I noticed that I am out of pants that fit me (Sara was especially explosive today). I was debating whether or not to throw in another load of laundry before going to bed when I decided to follow in Triana's footsteps and try on a pair of my old jeans and see if they fit. They do- just barely though. I still feel pretty good about it though. They are pre-Sara jeans. My pre-Emma jeans are still in a nice little pile in my closet beckoning me to lose enough weight to wear them again, but I fear that I may not be able to. At least they are a good motivation.

I know I still have a long way to go- but this was a nice milestone to hit!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My Blessing Dress

When I was blessed, my Grandma Wallace bought me a cute little pink dress to wear on my special day. It was simple and sweet and perfect. My mom showed it to me whenever she would have my little sisters wear it and I always thought it was the cutest of all the baby clothes- I am sure I was a little biassed, but those are my memories. When it came time to bless Emma, I decided that I wanted her to wear my pink dress. Ross was against this at first because his mom is a wonderful seamstress and has made beautiful long and flowy dresses for the other granddaughters. After I explained my reasons he succumbed to my wishes, but only after making me promise to let our next girl have a dress made by his mom. Sara got a gorgeous new dress from Grandma Goodman for her blessing day, and it was perfect for her- I LOVED it. I decided to have Sara wear my dress for her Easter dress. I didn't even pull it out until that morning. Imagine my dissappointment when I did pull it out and found that it was already too small for her. I was heart broken. Well, this morning as I was getting Emma ready for church, I had a snippet of a conversation with my mom from two years ago run through my head. I remembered her telling me that I was lucky that Emma was so small at 3 months (we had to wait to bless her because Ross was gone until then) because she had to hem the skirt of the dress up quite a bit when I was blessed because I was too small for it. After having this random thought run through my head, I ran to pull the dress out again and found that it did indeed have about 2 1/2 inches hemmed up on it. I quickly let out the hem, and Sara got to wear my dress to church today. I am really glad that she got to wear it. It seems like such a silly little thing, but it does mean a lot to me. It is funny how simple things like a pink dress can have so much meaning tied up in them.

Ross was nice enough to take some cute pictures of her in it while I caught up on my blogs (most of which haven't been updated in a while- ahem, ahem!). I love that both my girls have these striking blue eyes. I always hated having less than brilliant eyes- so I am glad that my girls both fished out some pretty ones from the gene pool. Sara started laughing this week. Ross has come the closest to getting it captured in a picture.

Our New Ward

We went to our new ward for the first time today, and we really liked it despite the fact that we had to drive half an hour, and it went from 3:00 to 6:00- not the best time for a family with two kids- not the best time for a ward whose population is more than 60% children under the age of 6. It was a very noisy sacrament meeting. It will only be that way for another 2 weeks. After that, we get a brand new building that is just down the street from us. Anyway, like I said- the ward is really great. Everyone was so welcoming and we seem to fit right in.

That was a huge relief to us, because ever since we got married, we have been kind of outsiders in all of our wards. The worst was the one we just moved out of. That ward was one of those 'Newly Wed or Nearly Dead' wards. We were neither and were kind of ostracized as a result of it. The ward was actually a pretty tight knit one and they were very supportive of each other if you could just break into one of the cliques. I never found my way in. In fact, I was pretty disliked. For what, I don't know- but I heard a lot of negative comments about myself and my family through the grapevine, mostly from some of the girls who baby sat for me during that time I had to work for a while. Here is a good lesson for those of you who must gossip. Make sure that you find out the name of the person you are telling your little tale to, just to make sure that the person you are talking to is not the subject of the juicy little tid-bit you heard from a disgruntled lady at the last mommy meeting thing. Also, choose wisely where you choose to complain in a church building. You never know who is standing outside the mother's lounge door waiting to get in, or who is right around the corner. If they hear you, as I did on a few occasions, it may hurt their feelings beyond reconcilable repair, and it will also make you look like a giant hypocrite when you put on a smile and try to engage them in friendly conversation.

I am hoping that the friendliness we encountered today is as genuine as it seemed. This is not a transitional stage for us. We could very well be here for a while, and we want to finally feel like we belong somewhere.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Home Sweet Home

This is our new home!!! For Christmas my Grandpa Wallace got my mom's old piano restored for us. It has been really great to have it in our new house. There are a lot of memories tied up in the old girl, and I am really glad that I get to fill it with more. I have already increased my limited repetuare of hymns to include "Let the Holy Spirit Guide". Emma loves to rock out on it as well.
Here is our fireplace. We are hoping to get a natural wood finish mantle over it in the next year or so. It looks kind of small and awkward right now.

Here is my kitchen. We still need to get some stools for the breakfast bar.

Here is Ross just after taking his daily dose of exfuse. I think that his religious consumption of it is what allowed him to avoid the cold that the rest of us got.

We have a half bath, a mud room and a garage on the rest of the level- but those are not too exciting. So yeah- that is our first level. Tomorrow I will try and get some pictured up of our second level. I would put them now, but blogger is being a pain right now and it took me an hour to get these up.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Next Stage of the Terrible Twos

Emma has been choosing her own outfits for the last couple of months. It usually isn't a big deal- I give her a choice of two outfits that I like. Every now and then she has to prove her independance by choosing the top from one outfit and the bottoms from the other, or by wearing a pair of tights that don't really match. Tuesday was a very different story indeed. She found her Halloween costume from last year in a box I hadn't talen to the basement yet and she REFUSED to wear anything else. I was just sick enough (I am feeling much better now though!) to let her. Pick your battles right? I can't believe I already have a child in the "I Dressed Myself" stage- I am so old!

It's Animany, Totally Insaney, Animaniacs!

Do any of you remember Buttons and Mindy from Animaniacs? Emma is Mindy today.

Emma, pick up your books.
But why?
Because you made a mess and we need to get it cleaned up.
But why?
Because we like our house to stay neat and clean, and because we don't want the books to get hurt.
But why?
Because we like the books and we can't read them if they get ruined.
But why?

Add another 5 But why?s to that conversation, and you will know pretty much our entire dialogue for today. It is a little annoying and a little vute- but mostly just annoying.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I did something today that I am totally and completely ashamed of! in the midst of a horrible migraine, Emma was screaming about really nothing at all and it was really getting on my nerves. I was offering her anything that I thought would calm her down and stop her incessant shrieking. Nothing was working- I am not even sure why she was crying. I doubt she even knew- she has just been so tired and cranky today. I offered to let her play the piano and she shouted "NO!" and then actually hit me in the face. That was the very last straw for this camel's back, and, without even thinking, I struck her back. After that horrible knee-jerk reaction, I sent her up to her room, not because I was angry with her, but because I did not want her to see me totally break down. After I got control of myself in the kitchen, I dried my tears and went to make ammends with Emma. A nice dip in a bubble filled tub did the trick, and I think I am completely forgiven. . . from her at least. Forgiving myself is a completely different matter indeed.

Now, I have spanked Emma in the past, but it is very rare for me to use that type of discipline. It usually only comes into play when she endangers herself or others (ie: running out into the street). What I am ashamed of today is that I struck Emma not out of a desire to teach her, or even to stop bad behavior. I struck her because I was angry. That is something that I swore to myself long ago that I would NEVER do.

When I was growing up, my father was not at all adverse to this type of behavior- in fact it seemed to be his bread and butter of parenting. Meeting with some very real and difficult obstacles in his life left him a very tired and determined man. The latter made him always try to make the best of situations, usually adding humor to every misfortune that came along. This is something that I really admire in him and hope to foster in myself. The former, however, made his temper red-hot and the fuse to it extremely short. The smallest thing would set him off, and his recourse to these explosions usually resulted in some kind of physical. . . dare I say it? . . . abuse. Now don't get me wrong- it was never anything terribly serious. We got the belt and we got smacked around quite a bit, but we were never really seriously physically hurt aside from some ugly bruising every now and then. It wasn't necessarily the severity of these scuffles that worried us, it was the fact that we could never tell what was going to cause such an outburst. It was also very frustrating when we were punished for things that really couldn't be helped. Case in point: My dad loves to tell this funny and embarrassing story of when I was about 8 years old. I was outside in our backyard playing when he woke up from a nap and started watching me out the window without my knowing it. As he was watching, he saw me go to the farthest corner of our yard, pull down my pants and do my business there in the yard. He laughs and laughs now as he tells acquanitances of my laziness. Well- he has happily repressed my reasoning for such actions. A few weeks before this incident, he woke up when I flushed the toilet. When I opened the bathroom door, I met a Very disgruntled man who took his anger of waking up prematurely out on my back side. After that I tried to find ways of solving this problem. At first I just held it in and admonished my sisters to do the same. When this resulted in Caulene wetting her pants one day, my dad punished me (go figure) for not getting her to the toilet in time. After that we worked out a plan where we would go, but not flush. Then, when I heard my dad wake up, I would run in and flush it before he saw it. That worked marvelously well until I missed one day. After being punished for that (I should have known better, I was eight years old!) I decided the only way to avoid punishment was to do it all outside where I couldn't possibly bother him.

This is just one instance of what I see as rather unnecessary and unfair behavior from my childhood. I think it affected me more than my sisters not only because I was a little bit older at the time, but because I was more often than not held up as an example to them (the perks being the oldest!) No, that is not all in my head either. Heather actually took the blame for me once when my parents found some drawing I had done on the wall. When I asked her later why she had done it, she told me, "Dad always spanks you harder than me." However, those are not the only reasons. It took me a long time to get a good relationship with my father due to this early behavior on his part. I was afraid of him. Sure, I behaved when he was around- but it wasn't out of love, or even out of learning correct actions. It was out of fear. It also led to lying. My sisters and I would lie a lot to get out of being hit.

I am shocked and ashamed that I hit Emma today. Until then I never thought that it could be so easy to hurt someone you love so much. It never made sense to me- why not just NOT hit them? Why not find some other way to get your point across if you really love that person. I never understood how my dad could do those things to me and then tuck me in to bed later and tell me he loved me. Thes two sides of him seemed so incompatible that I stopped believing the one I really wanted to be true. That loving side of him was completely pushed aside by the one who hurt me. I NEVER wanted to be that way with my children. I NEVER want Emma or Sara to question how much I deeply and truly love them. I NEVER thought that I would be capable of hitting them. I am! How horrible! I feel dirty and sad and ashamed. Anyway, I know it is probably weird and a bit inappropriate to share such a personal experience in this manner, but this is in a very real way my journal, and this part of my history is something that I very rarely share with anyone- including Ross. I never thought it was necessary- it doesn't matter anymore right? Wrong! I think that in order to make sure what happened in the kitchen NEVER happens again in my home, I need to remember acutely just what it was that helped me make that decision. I am sorry if this made anyone uncomfortable. Writing it all out has, howevever calmed me down and deepened my conviction. I will put up a nice light and fluffy post later today.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Death and Taxes

For my Uncle Allen's birthday this year, the government has decided to give us a new bedroom set (my poor bed has been without a headboard on it for much too long now), and some bookcases. Unfortunately Sara did not come when I wanted her to, so we don't get any money for her, (by the way- I LOVE that tax deduction onsie you made Jessica! So cute! I want one!) so I won't be able to get all the window treatments we wanted. We are just waiting for the generous check to show up so we can go shopping! OK- so really most of it is paying down debt- but we are playing with some of it.


I was wrong. Spring is not here- just a bunch of stupid snow. Don't get me wrong- I love a nice blanket of snow on a cold winter's day- I just think it should stick to winter and not be so selfish as to take over all the other seasons as well. I suppose it is helping with that whole drought issue, but who really needs water anyway?

Monday, April 14, 2008

A House Full of Sickies

We are all sick here at the Goodman home. I guess that is not terribly surprising considering how messed up our schedules have been. It is really hard to stick with bedtimes when we are all in one room. Emma did not want to sleep unless everyone else was sleeping- and to be honest, I can't really blame her. Anyway, lack of sleep coupled with the drastic changes in the barometric pressure (spring might actually be here now!) has left us all with varying degrees of head colds. Ross is a little stuffy, and Sara has a nice little snore going on along with a constant dribble from her cute little nose. Unfortunately, Emma and I got the worst of it. The poor girl is just miserable (although she was a lot more active today than she has been for the last few days, so maybe she is on the down-slope now). Her nose is constantly running, and is now all red and chapped from having it wiped by her 'Mean Mommy!' (she actually yelled that at me today- it would have hurt my feelings if she hadn't been so cute and pathetic at the time). She has had a hard time breathing and just seems a little out of it. I have been battling some migrains (the bane of my existence!) and have a scratchy throat, runny nose, and some major sinus congestion. Somehow, even with all of us being at less than 100%, the house is really starting to come together. The boxes are all unpacked and we are almost done figuring out where to put it all. We still need to hang pictures and purchase a few items of furniture, and I have a monster mountain of laundry to do (we had to get a different connection for our dryer, so I wasn't able to start until today) but hopefully it will all be done by this weekend for when my grandparents maybe/hopefully come out to see us. Unless someone in my family decides to make the dreaded half hour drive out here before then, they will most likely be our very first guests! I will put up some pictures once I am happy with it all.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

We are Officially Homeowners!!

We are in!!! We are happy- so completely happy. We are also extremely tired. Moving is no fun!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Austin's Cool Book Quiz

Book that changed my life (not religious): The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis I know, I know, that is more than one book. If I had to choose one book in the series it would probably be Prince Caspian.

Book that changed my life (religious, non-scripture): The Biography of Joseph Smith as Told by His Mother by Lucy Mack Smith

Book that I can read over and over: Wow- there are a lot of these. I think I have read Emma and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin both about 10 times. I have also read The Giver, The Little Prince and The Bird's Christmas Carol at least once a year for about 7 years now.

The funniest book I've ever read: The Complete Collection of Calvin and Hobbes- that counts as a book right?

The saddest book I've ever read: Ooh- that is a toss up between Charly by Jack Weyland or Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows by J.K. Rowlings. I cried all through the last half of Charly, but I probably broke down in tears at least 5 times while reading the last Harry Potter. Now that I am thinking about the whole burying Dobby scene again though, I think that one will take the cake- or funeral potatoes at least.

The scariest book: Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer OK- it might not actually be that scary, but I am reading it right now, and there is a certain scene that keeps playing out in my mind and it is quite unsettling.

Best Textbook I've read: The Northern Wind by various authors. It is an anthology and workbook for poetry.

Best Biography read: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin- that guy is hilarious!

The Worst Book: I don't know- there have been some doozies! Probably one of the Babysitters Clubs or perhaps a Nancy Drew.

A book I'm embarrassed to love: The Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I am not necessarily embarrassed that I like these books- it is more that I am embarrassed by just HOW MUCH I like these books. They are so simplistic, but I just love them! I don't know if it is because I think Laura and I would be best friends if we met, or if it because they are true (non-fiction is always really intriguing to me), or maybe because my mom and I used to read them together a lot when I was little and they have some good memories tied up in them, but I really do love them!

My Favorite Book: This is a really hard question! The answer to it is always changing. I think right now it would be either Emma by Jane Austin, Jane Eyre by Emily Bronte, or The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I am all about the classics right now I guess.

My Favorite Children's Book: The Velveteen Rabbit

My favorite short story: A Rose For Emily by William Faulkner. Creepy- but fantastic!

My Favorite author: Again- this is hard. Jane Austin, Hemingway, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, C.S. Lewis, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, the list could go on and on. I think right now Theodore Geisel is my favorite- Emma and I have been bonding every night to some of his greats.

My favorite poet: John Donne

My favorite poem: Farewell: a Valediction Forbidding Mourning This is the GREATEST love poem ever!

My favorite genre: As enamored as I am with the classics, I would have to say that my favorite is children's literature. Mostly youth based novels. I am collecting all of the Newberry awards and medals, and most of those are really enjoyable for me.

What writers would I like to read that I never have: I still haven't tackled Proust. At some point, I am going to wander down Swans Way and see what all the fuss is about. I would also love to read Austin Beckstrom's trilogy and screenplay:)

Book I'd love to see made into a movie: The Twilight Series, although I hear rumors that something of the sort is already underway. A String in the Harp would be a fun one as well as The Giver and its companion reads.

Book I'd recommend to you (besides everything else listed): Whenever someone asks this question, I lend out my copy of The Bird's Christmas Carol by Kate Wiggins. It is a family tradition from my Grandma Wallace, and it is surpisingly unknown.

OK all you fellow bibliophiles, what are yours?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Here's to You Jessica! :)

I am to post 16 things about myself. This basically means I will pretty much just post what I was going to anyway, but I will break it all up into a little check list.

1. I had icecream and cookies for breakfast today- it was fantastic!
2. My two beautiful daughters have spent the past week sleeping on the floor of various family member's rooms. They have still both slept soundly in this fashion until about 5:00 am. Now, they also don't really get to sleep until after midnight, but I still think they are doing pretty good for having to sleep on the floor.
3. I thoroughly enjoyed conference this last weekend, especially the very last two talks. M. Russell Ballard made me feel much better about all of my mommy anxiety- apparently I am not the only one who feels that way, or he would not have felt inspired to give that message. Unfortunately, Ross missed the part that was directed to him, so that will be the first message I use for FHE. The final message from President Monson was classic- lighthearted and genuine with a touch of humor. It was also during this talk that I got the confirmation of his new office that I have been waiting for. Don't get me wrong- I KNEW he was a prophet before, I never questioned it. I have just been looking for that moment where I would stop seeing him as President Hinckley's counselor rather than the Prophet. It came to me as he was bearing his beautiful testimony near the end off his message, and the little label thing popped up as he was testifying that said:
Thomas S. Monson
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
For some reason the Spirit chose that moment to resonate in my mind the reality of that sacred mantle President Monson has taken upon him. Also- I thought it was pretty cool that he had each separate group of members stand and sustain him. It would have been AMAZING to have been in attendance at that session!!
4. Ross is getting ready to go and fight with our old landlords about the nice little bill they sent us yesterday (we were hoping it was our deposit). Shortly after we moved in, Ross was getting out of the shower and grabbed a towel off the top of the toilet. He pulled it so quickly that it knocked off the lid and it hit the floor and shattered after breaking a piece off the lower portion leaving a jagged edge. It still worked OK (if you call having to flush 5 times to get everything down OK (what is the point of a low flow toilet if it needs multiple flushes- that isn't conserving any water!!) but that is how it was beore the lid fiasco) but we wanted it replaced due to the jagged edge being a danger to our adventurous little toddler. We told them that we would be happy to pay for the replacement as we were the ones to break it, but that it really ought to have been replaced before we moved in. They said it was fine, they were not going to replace it. Well, in our bill today, they are charging us with buying a new toilet for the apartment we just moved out of! There is NO WAY I am going to pay for the new tennant to enjoy a new toilet when the landlords thought that it was perfectly suitable for us to continue using the old crappy and broken toilet. Like I said, we would have gladly replaced it ourselves right after it happened- but not now. It was their decision to wait for the repair- and we no longer live there. Anyway, Ross is gonna go throw a fit, and will hopefully come back with some of our deposit money for me to use on new curtains.
5. I am craving a Slurpee, or a jamba juice, or a snow cone, or something icy and fruity.
6. I am in love with Edward Cullen!! I am a little upset with him right now, but I am confident that I will see him again soon if I just read fast enough! It is KILLING me to fight the urge to read the last page of New Moon to see if he and Bella are there together. How could they not be though. . .
7. My best friend's sister just got engaged!! Congratulations Julie!!
8. Emma is still sleeping right now. I am a little worried that she may be sick, but Ross thinks she is just growing and needing more rest.
9. I HATE that there is snow on the ground right now. What the crap kind of Spring is this?
10. Ross and I closed on our house yesterday and will be moving in on Friday! It is way the heck out in Eagle Mountain- a good 20 minute drive off the freeway, but we LOVE the house and are very happy with our decision. For a little less than we would have had to spend on a 2 room town home in Orem, we got a 2600 sqare foot, 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath home with a master suite that makes me want to cry it is so beautiful! It is brand new, which means everything in it (including appliances) are all under the builder warranty. It is one of the last homes that the builder had to sell before they can get out to their new project, so we got it for a lot less than they were originally selling it for. This has been a horribly long process with a lot of frustrating delays, but it will all be worth it come Friday!
11. We have learned an important lesson through this whole process. When dealing in things of such an important nature like a house, NEVER go through a guy who has a sign on his wall that says Rookie of the Year, and NEVER use the 'friends' that they reccommend. Chances are, they are very inexperienced and will most likely make promises that they are not able to keep nor authorized to make!
12. When Ross gets home from work (and landlord chewing out) we are going on a curtain shopping spree!! We are also looking for a cheap couch or futon to go in our new entertainment room.
13. I am still in my pajamas and my breath is really gross due to my cookie and ice cream breakfast.
14. I am making Ross take me to the BYU ballroom concert this weekend, and I am SO excited about it. I don't think he is nearly as enthusiastic, but I am OK with that. The last time I got to enjoy a dance conert was when I had to go to one for the FA 100 credit almost 3 years ago. Ross was supposed to go with me, but bailed out on me, and I ended up taking Jessica. Anway, it is high time Ross indulged me in something I enjoy- especially since he dragged me to a March Madness party a couple weeks ago with all of his work friends. That was not the best date night ever!
15. Sara has had a vorratious appetite the last few days. After waking up, she usually feeds for about an hour straight. After that she gives me about 45 minutes to drink a lot of water and scarf something down before she is ready to go at it again. This has been really exhausting for me, but I think it is helping me along with that goal of mine to fit into my jeans in August.
16. I feel very blessed right now. Things are finally working out for us after about 4 years of almost constant bad luck. We feel very fortunate. I guess we just had to wait for the Lord's timing instead of trying to rush things along on our own.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

There's No Immunization For Tags I Guess :)

By the request of Heather Anderson, I will now record the 5th sentence of the 123rd page of the book closest to me in proximity.

I purposely lumped myself in with the youngsters, trying to make it clear that I preferred Jacob.

Yes, that is right- Stephanie Meyer and I have finally been introduced, and I am throughly enjoying Twilight despite my initial skepticism. Thanks, Caulene, for letting me borrow it (as well as your room and bed and mini fridge full of Dr. Pepper and fudge stripe cookies- you are the BEST sister!)

Resolution Review

As the first quarter of the year is now finished, I thought this would be a good time to review the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year and see what progress has been made and which areas I need to focus on for the next few months. This will be a pretty boring post and is really for my benefit, so sorry for those of you who came here looking for brilliant entertainment. I will, however, end this post with the most recent Emma Episode of cuteness since those never get old, even if she does! Does any one know how to keep my little girl little?

My orignal goals can be seen at for those of you who are curious.

My physical goal of losing 30 pounds after my pregnancy has already been met (yay me!!) but I still don't fit into my favorite jeans very well, so my revised goal is to fit into them by my birthday. To do this, I have decided to forego the gym membership and get a bike since there are some cool biking and walking trails near our new place.

Attending the temple has been rough for Ross and me due to lack of babysitters with lengthy amounts of time to spare. We have gone at least once a month this year to do temple work, and we try to drive up there at least weekly with Emma to talk about our goals as a family. We are going to try and find some trustworthy young women in our new ward to help us make our real goal a reality. As for the Old Testament- I am almost through Genesis- not a great start, I know. I have however read the Book of Mormon twice already this year for the President Hinckley tribute, and I have memorized the Proclamation on the Family for my Family Relations course in sunday school. Not that those are good excuses to not meet my orginal goal, but they are the things that took the time that would normally have been spent on the Old Testament.

Ross and I have decided that paying for a semester of school is not really in our budget this year, so instead I am replacing that goal with learning at least one hymn every month on the piano. I have read the informational books, and have really enjoyed learning more about Ross's industry. In January I read The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino, in February I read The Automatic Millionaire by David Baugh, and in March I read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Individuals by Stephen Covey. I think in April I will either read The Five Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me (thanks Brian and Sophia!) or one of Ross's Marketing text books.

Ross and I have been VERY good at keeping our date nights. Sometimes they are rather short, and more often than not they involve driving around and talking for the limited time we have, but I have really enjoyed our time together.

The FHE goal has not been kept as consistently as I was hoping for, but it has improved a great deal and is likely to get MUCH better after we are really done with this whole moving fiasco.

Our debt has not decreased- infact it has increased- a GREAT deal- like by about 200 times. We do, however, now own a house though, so I think it all evens out! :) Our consumer debt should still all be gone by December at the latest, but not as soon as I wanted. I am THRILLED about our home though! We are not quite in it yet because, well, the whole process takes much longer than we anticipated. Right now we are tansients living in my parent's house because our contract ended on the 1st at our apartment. We should be in the house by Tuesday! The extra cash I have brought in has mostly gone towards our dates, and we both think that is a good place for it. This means our going out budget is all going towards paying down debt.

Emma is progressing well with her alphabet, but the potty training thing has lapsed a little bit with the new baby. She is still telling us when she needs to go and knows what to do, but Ross and I have not stayed on top of it as much as we should have. We will start fresh in the new house, and we are pretty sure that it will come back pretty fast. Emma does NOT like diapers and has been begging me to let her wear panties. Sara is doing GREAT! She is healthy and full of smiles, and, best of all, she SLEEPS!!! She sleeps in her crib for at least 5 hours every night- sometimes more! We LOVE it!

Our family is doing well and are we are grateful for all of our blessings. Emma is sweet and smart and extremely independant. Sara is such a wonderful addition to our family. I am healthy and rested and my postpartum depression is almost gone! Ross is doing VERY well with work, and was even rated in the top four AFLAC agents in Utah for a couple of weeks in March. Does anybody need any supplemental insurance? :) He has also signed up as a distributor for a new health drink called Exfuse. I know, I know- MLM crap right? WRONG!! We really like this new drink and have noticed a HUGE difference when we take it. It has all 7 of the big superfruits that are popular in the other juices (Noni, Xango, Mona Vie, Sibu etc.) without any artificial additives, and it tastes good. I am NOT selling it (although if any of you are interested. . .) we are just really enjoying the nice little boost it gives us, and Ross is excited to be so high up in the new company (it hasn't even officially opened yet). We are hoping that it will be a nice little secondary income that can go towards paying down debt this year, and then towards an investment account as soon as the debt is payed down.

Now for my latest Emma story. Yesterday we took Emma up to the Provo temple to walk around the grounds. We were by the fountain closest to the doors when Emma decided to make a run for it! She ran towards the doors just as a group was coming out and had pushed the automatic wheelchair opening button thing. Ross caught her just as she was about to dart in, and she started SCREAMING!! She was yelling, "Wanna see Geegee. Geegee in tempo, wanna see Geegee!" The group coming out was laughing so hard. I am glad that was the reaction, as they could have been upset for her lack of reverence. How do you discipline a child for throwing a fit about wanting to see Jesus? I was also very happy to see that she understands what I mean when I tell her that the temple is the house of the Lord. I think she is taking it a little too literally right now- but it is a good starting place I think.