Monday, January 23, 2012

Tuesday To Do

I love to do lists.  There is something really motivating about crossing stuff off!  I have so much to do in the next few days that I feel like I just might explode!  (Some of this stuff will be done by my minions kids.)  * updates at the end

To Do:
Make a list
Run (maybe) no!
Clean Shower
Quick bathroom wipe down
Consider going out to the base for "resilient training?"
Dust mop Upstairs
Vacuum Rugs
Clean out my closet
Vacuum stairs
Vacuum basement
Think about giving the dog a bath (I thought about it and decided not to)
Find the sign and the staple gun
Practice Violin
Go to the Store
Violin Lessons
Return movies
Charge Camera
Chicken Tacos in the crockpot
Stay off the computer!

I was sitting in bed at 8:30pm, writing this list.  My list got bigger and bigger, and I started to feel nervous, so I jumped up and (quick!) cleaned out my closet, plugged in the camera, moved the laundry along, and found the movies that I need to return!  I think I can sleep now...

* It snowed last night.  Which was not on my list!  Seriously!  So you can just add, start Hannah's car, scrape snow, shovel sidewalk (twice) to that list.  What really stinks is that I just got both my car and Nathan's car washed yesterday...  It's okay.  I decided not to run and not to go out to the base.  That leaves me more time to vacuum...  Have a great day!

* It is lunch time and our house is so clean!  I am going to put the chicken in the crockpot now, and get ready to go to the store.  I can't forget to get dog food...

* Last update - it's 10pm and I am tired.  I have another list for tomorrow, but I think I'll stick to pen and paper.  It's amazing all the things I can do in a day when I really have to!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Writing (and other goals) Update

It is time to write about writing.  I am really enjoying my 34 minutes of writing daily as part of my Round of Words in 80 days, but weekend writing just isn't happening.  We had a super long 4 day weekend last week and I was feeling guilty for not keeping up with the writing, but I've decided that's just the way it is.  I can't write on the weekends. I'm just writing for me, so I get to decide!  I've been playing around with writing some little scenes.  Kind of silly and frustrating and fun.

Last weekend when I wasn't writing, I found a video series on Yahoo called the Failure Club.  I didn't even know there were videos made by yahoo, but this one was really interesting.  In the show, there is a group of adults working toward crazy goals (jumping horses, stand up comedy, writing a famous Christmas song, etc.)  Things they always wanted to do, but just didn't really have time for or didn't really think that they could do.

All year they will be working to do something really crazy and fail and learn along the way.  I think the point of the show is that we often tell ourselves we can't do things because we might fail, when instead we should try to do hard things - that failing isn't the worst thing that could happen - the worst thing is doing nothing at all...

I've only seen a couple of episodes, but it is fascinating, and it made me think about this crazy writing thing I'm trying to do.  I love writing.  I want to be a writer, but I just don't know how, and I am scared to really try.  It is a crazy goal that may not be realistic, but it still worth doing.  Even if I fail.  Just one day at a time!


I am cooking more real food.  I have been planning more meals each week, and finding quick things to fix on days that are busy.  Guess what?  Cooking dinner doesn't seem so terrible.  I can definitely say that I am cooking at least 3 good dinners a week.  I think I can even move my goal up to 5 real dinners a week, now.  Something great about fixing real dinners, is that we do a better job of cleaning up the kitchen on the nights that I cook.  I'm not sure why, but if I pick up pizza, we just don't follow through with our dinner jobs.  But if I fix dinner, then, by golly, someone else had better be washing the dishes and wiping the table!  On the menu for this week is grilled chicken sandwiches, chicken tacos, lasagna, homemade pizza, nacho noche, and ribs.  Everything served with broccoli, because I accidentally bought a gargantuan bag of broccoli at Sam's Club.  What was I thinking!

In running news, last week was cold.  Really cold.  I only ran 3 times.  And all 3 times I was a little worried about frost bite.  Hannah and I went on Monday when my car said that the temperature was 11 degrees.  I'm not sure what the wind chill factor was, but it was really too cold to be out there.  It should be warmer this week, but I'm not sure if I'll have time to run... 

I think I can cross off most of my Organizing goals.  I took a large load of stuff from the basement to Goodwill this week.  It felt good to just let it go.  That was a really cold day.  I didn't have my gloves on while we were unloading the car, and my fingers were aching by the time I hopped back up behind the wheel.  It was like 2 degrees out there and the wind was just brutal!  The basement storage room still needs more work, but it looks a lot better.  I am really glad that I worked on Nathan's shop earlier in the month while the weather was nice!

And my violin practicing goal was not on my original list, but we had our recital on Friday, and I did just fine.  I did not get lost and I didn't run out of the room crying. Yay me!  Being about 30 years older than all the other students is only a little embarrassing!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Sydney has a little problem.

She faints sometimes.

She has fainted twice at school this year.  Once in her woodshop class and once off the risers in her choir class.  She has also had several almost passing out episodes, and has passed out other times in the last few years.

Yesterday, Sydney, Hannah and I were shopping at the mall.  She tried on a couple of cute skirts and some jeans, and as I was checking out, Sydney disappeared.

I started out of the store while Hannah went to go find Sydney.  I thought maybe she was just looking at the clothes, but Hannah found her in the back of the shop near the changing rooms, laying down.

She had no color in her face.  She is pale anyway, but she really had no color, except for her freckles.  Her skin felt cold, and she was sweaty.  It was an actual cold sweat.

She didn't think she passed out, but was not sure.  I had her lay down with her knees up, and she rested for a while.

When she felt better, we walked to the food court and bought two different strawberry smoothies to taste-test.

The Strawberry-Julius was the winner.

The problem is, I don't know what to do.  When she first passed out at school this year, I took her to the doctor and they ran a full EKG and did a simple neuro exam.  They also ran a blood test.  Everything checked out fine.  They recommended more protein in her diet.  I told her she should stop wearing her corset!

I'm a little worried, because it is still happening...  On the other hand, when you google 13 year old girl and fainting, it turns out it is a rather common thing.  So maybe I shouldn't worry...

I don't know.  Sydney is not a weak little girl.  She is not afraid of anything.  She is strong and fast and full of energy.

Should I ask for a more thorough physical?  Any thoughts?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Busy Weekend

On Friday, Hannah had a gig.  Her friends were playing at the Dahl Emerging Artists Program, and they asked her to "open" for them.  I just found a short video of her on a local news station.  You can't actually hear her play, but she looks so cute playing the Manta Ray Uke, made by Nathan.

I wasn't able to go watch Hannah's big performance because we had 4 little 5th graders learning how to do the Hoe Down Throwdown for the elementary school talent show over here at our house.  (so cute)  But Hannah came home just dancing around and happy about it.  She was invited to come back and bring her dad, too.

here's the link again:

I wish I could just put the video here.  Do you know how to do that?

Later on Friday Night we hosted a Seminary Party.  There were about 15 kids from church over here eating pizza, watching a movie and playing games.  The big hit of the night was PIT, and when things got a little out of hand (read LOUD),  I found some sparklers that were left over from the 4th of July and they had a great time with those!

On Saturday, John had his first wrestling match.

I felt entirely out of my element and just about to cry all day.  I really wish Nathan had been there to help John.  It was definitely a dad world.  But John wrestled hard and did a great job.

Here is a video of John's last match:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mustache, Ukulele, Writing Update #3

Nathan has been working on growing a mustache the last few months.

Hannah's tried out a few mustache styles, herself.

A sliced peach mustache?

Emily has taken the art of mustache to a whole new level.


Even Grandpa B. tried it out!

I am trying NOT to grow a mustache.  I hope.  But I think my un-mustache may be chapped.  I went running today and it was cold and windy.  I wore a little muffler around my neck and chin and nose, but it would get too hot and sweaty, and then I'd move it down.  And then the sweat on my face would kind of freeze and now my upper lip area is sore and red.  Hmmm.  

The mustache is just a little bit of deployment fun. 

Nathan has had another project to keep him out of trouble.

Building Ukuleles.

He has built two himself, and helped build another two.

He has had a little workshop in his room.  Do you see that crazy contraption back there behind the uke?  It is used to form the sides of the ukulele, and I had to mail it to Nathan.  It is full of cranks and turning parts and an electric pad and plug.  I was pretty sure I was going to be picked up as the unibomber after I mailed it!

Aren't they beautiful?

Nathan learned how to build these while we were in Hawaii.  I think he's pretty amazing.  
And so is his mustache!


Also amazing, is the 34 minutes of writing that I'm doing daily as part of the ROW in 80 days...  I am enjoying using my time more deliberately each day with writing as a part of that.  I have been writing and thinking about teen parenthood.  Partly because I'm writing about it, and partly because it has been a weird year with Hannah being the same age that I was. 

Sometimes when I am cheering her on at her latest big event, I think about the me that was 17 and I worry about her (me).   When I was 17, I really didn't worry. I felt all grown up.  I felt like I could do anything, and though I had messed up, everything would still be just fine.  

But looking back as the mom-of-a-17-year-old, I can see all the many ways in which things could have gone wrong.  So many what ifs, that I get a little catch in my throat just thinking about it!  

Hannah, Sydney, Emily and John.  Dec. 2011

And then I look at the family we are and I wonder if it is unlucky to say, Wow!  Look at us now!

It's time to start writing about something else.  Tomorrow.  I'm just not sure what....

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Writing Update #2

I have 3 things I need to do each day for 30 minutes each.
Practicing my violin

The running happens just after the kids get dropped off at school.  It is easy, and I have a running partner, so I can't just not go.  The other stuff should just fall in to place when I get home, but it is more complicated...

Last year, Emily started playing the violin, and I did, too.  I love it.  Except for the practicing part.  Or maybe it's the not practicing part.  I hate showing up to a lesson without having practiced the week before.  There is no way to cheat and pretend to have practiced 6 times when you've only picked up the violin twice in the last week.

I'm really good at making Emily practice.  It's harder to make myself.  But once I start, I love it, and have a hard time stopping, often practicing more than an hour (i'm sure I can use more than an hour of practice each day...)

So every day I made my to do list.
...other good stuff...

and each day I was able to cross off

Did I mention I love To Do lists?

Go me!  But in my mind I would have this little fight:  "I need to practice, but if I practice now, I won't have time to write." So I would sit and write and have to cram my practice time into the after-bedtime hour.  Or I might say:  "I must practice now, I'll write later" and then I'd have to write late at night...

I'm not sure why I can't seem to do both in the morning.  According to my To Do list, it should work.

As I was writing about myself as a teen parent; something I rarely talk about, but something that I think I should talk about sometimes; I have thought of some things that I haven't thought of in a long time.

Here is one little story:
We had a one car (a sweet '77 Toyota Corolla), and Nathan worked evenings at a gas station.  Usually he took the car, but for some reason I had the car one night.  I packed up baby Hannah, and we picked up Nathan from work.  I must have been having a diaper emergency because we went to Walmart at 2am to buy diapers.   Why didn't I use the car and go to Walmart earlier? I don't know, but I think it was because this was still early in our marriage and I thought shopping was something so fun to do that I wanted to share it with Nathan!

We bought our diapers and headed up to the check-out stand.  There were a couple of check out ladies there talking, and they oooo'd and awwwe'd over our little baby as we were paying.

Just as we were about to leave, someone ran past our check out stand, and grabbed our diapers, and ran out of the store!

Crazy!  Who steals diapers?  But things get crazier - Nathan ran out of the store after the guy, and I ran after Nathan with baby Hannah in my arms.  Nathan caught up to the guy in the parking lot and got our diapers back, and we went home.  The end.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder what we were thinking?  How dangerous!  That guy could have been on a diaper stealing crime spree - he could have been really dangerous!  I wonder why we didn't just yell, and let Walmart give us some new diapers.  I also wonder what Nathan said to the guy when he caught up to him?

It is so strange that I'm not actually sure if it happened.  I'm honestly not sure if it's real.  I think it happened, but it seems so crazy, that I'm wondering if it was a dream.  I haven't had a chance to ask Nathan if he remembers it.


Update about other Goals for the month - I think I'll just update these on Sunday from now on:

I ran 5 days this week. We did stairs one day, and I ran 3.5 miles one day.  Not really a long run, but it's a start!

We even cooked this weekend!
Sunday = Dinner with the Mac Family.  They made the most amazing Bacon Wrapped Venison Tenderloin.  I made salad and deviled eggs and dessert.  Yay for good friends!
Saturday = breakfast for dinner:  waffles, sausage, eggs, smoothies.
Friday = homemade pizza:  I went out for dinner for our anniversary with a friend whose anniversary happened this week, too.  But I left everything for Sydney to make pizza on Friday.  It turned out so good that we had it again on Saturday for lunch.
Thursday = nachos.  My favorite!
Easy meals.  I'm not sure why it always seems too hard to do...  I need to make up a list for this next week...

I did a good job in Nathan's shop - it wasn't as bad as I thought.  Need to start in on the scary basement storage room tomorrow...

Friday, January 06, 2012

I love Nate!

1992 Climbing Half Dome
AF Ball 2010

A letter to Nathan on our Anniversary

18 things I love about you:

 1 - I love your brown eyes.  
 2 - You are a great dad!
 3 - I love how steady you are.
 4 - I love the way you love to sing.
 5 - You are a great kisser!
 6 - You are a careful builder of many things - furniture, ukuleles, a home, a family
 7 - I love how you can just close your eyes and go to sleep.  So easy!
 8 - You love to try new things.  And then you are good at them.  I love that!
 9 - You make me feel pretty!
10 - You don't know how to waste time.
11 - You still like to ride a motorcycle!
12 - Your smile makes me smile.
13 - I love talking to you.  You ask good questions and care about my answers.
14 - Do you know that you are very strong!
15 - You are a great dancer.  
16 - I like the way you can make me blush!
17 - I love cooking for you.  You don't seem to notice that I'm not good at it!
18 - Sometimes you have to go away, but you always come home!

I love you Mr. B.  Come home soon!


PS.  Here is my favorite deployment poem.  Another little anniversary love note.

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in 

my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

- e.e.cummings

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

ROW 80 (and other goals)Update #1

I thought I signed up to do the Round of Words in 80 Days challenge, but maybe I didn't.  I'm not sure.  I couldn't find myself in the list of blogs, so I signed up again.

Rapid Life. Slow Writing.  That's me.

And the challenge started yesterday.  Yay!

My goal for the next 80 days is to write for 34+ minutes a day.  That's all.  Easy.  Just write with out distractions.  I'm just starting this thing.  And so far so good.  As part of the 80 day challenge I will be blogging updates each Wednesday and Sunday.

I decided to start by writing a little sort of journal about me.  On Sunday we were visiting with some friends and one of the teenagers asked everyone how they met and how they proposed, etc.  Everyone else had such sweet stories, while I just kind of sat there.  I always feel a little uncomfortable talking about falling in love with Nathan because we were so young.  Our favorite joke:  How did you propose? answer:  You're WhAT???  isn't so funny when you are talking to teenage girls from church, you know?  (in my best mom voice, "I may have been a pregnant teenager by your age, but you, young lady, are not allowed to....blah blah blah")

Especially since our daughter Hannah (a super amazing and wonderful Senior in High School) is now the same age as I was when we got married... (happy anniversary to me on Friday!  la la la!  18 years!)  But it's no fun to have nothing to say for yourself at a party.  And it is good for the kids to know that their parents love each other, right?  So I wrote a little about Nathan's mullet and all that other good stuff (mexican wedding suit for prom?)  (kissing in the hallway at mom and dad's house -sorry mom -  while playing hide and seek with little Erin!)

I'm not really sure what this update thing is supposed to be about.  Do I just say GO ME?  Or what?  Did I write too much?  My plan for the next 77 days is:  After I write all I can think of about the joys of teen-parenthood then I think I will just find some writing prompts and work on those for a while.  34 minutes a day.


I set 3 other goals for January:  Cooking, Running, and Organizing.  It's kind of early to update, but here ye be: (I'm wondering if that's a South Dakota regional saying, here ye be, instead of here you are, or here goes...  I have heard 2 different people say that recently.  So weird.)

Food - cooking 3 actual meals a week that don't include frozen chicken nuggets or a packet of fake cheese.  
Do I really have to update this?  already?  I need a couple more days for this one.  I did fix pulled pork sandwiches on Tuesday.  Yum!  But Monday was McDonald's.  Monday was rough.  A certain someone who is old enough to know better (name with held for the protection of the guilty) threw up in my car.  Not on any of the 2 heavy duty plastic carpet protectors, or on the wimpier removable carpet carpet protectors, but between and under and around them.  Oh the wailing and gnashing of teeth...

And then after I cleaned up all that nastiness that and applied generous amounts of vinegar and baking soda, and changed clothes,  I had to drive with Hannah to a little town about an hour away (we took a different car. smelled better.)  And back.  And Hannah said she needed MickyD's after that long drive.  So I went with it!  I did not have a Hot Fudge Sundae like I wanted though.  That's good, right?

Dinner tonight = Spicy Honey Chicken with rice and veggies.  And I mean it.

Running - 3 days down, 3 days running.
Monday = 3.1 miles in 36 minutes with an average of about 12 minute miles. major hills. blech.
Tuesday = 3.25 miles in about 34 minutes with an average of about 10:50 minute miles. worse hills but better run.
Wednesday = 3.01 miles with my running buddy.  12 min. miles.  slow running, but good talking!
tomorrow I'm planning to do the stairs at the track.
Total this week:  9 miles
Total this year: 9 miles

Organizing - work on 4 areas
Christmas Items are all packed up and put away.  Nicely.  Woohoo!

Nathan's shop is swept out and all odd tools are set out on the work bench.  I need to vacuum it and bring down more tools from the other garage.  Why do the tools migrate?  I would love to go through his shelves and organize everything, but he may not really appreciate that... So I'll stick to vacuuming up all the dead flies and dust, and returning all the wayward tools to the shop.  My plan is to finish that up this week while we have nice weather and then attack the scary basement storage area next week.