Thursday, March 31, 2011

30 Posts: Day 16

Day 16 - A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel.

I would love to do the land and sea trip to Alaska. You take a cruise ship to Alaska, disembark for some time on land to explore that way, and then return home via cruise ship.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

30 Posts: Day 15

Day 15 - A picture of something that gets on your nerves.

I'm not going to name names... or post an actual picture on this one. Suffice it to say that I'm having some troubles with a supervisor at work and that person is REALLY getting on my nerves lately. Poor Aaron. He has to listen to me vent and rant and rage over it every night. He's very patient about it, however; and several times he's come up with excellent suggestions for dealing with it. (Proving he was actually listening, not just providing a sounding board. ;) )

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

30 Posts: Day 14

Day 14 - A picture of something you're afraid of.

I actually did a similar post a couple of years ago, so I figured I'd just repeat it. :)

My Strangest Fear (3/13/2009)

I got tagged on this one and thought it could be fun...

I actually have two strange fears. The first is that I'm afraid my car will catch fire while I'm putting gas in it. I'm especially afraid that it will catch fire with my kids all strapped into their carseats in the back. I try my hardest not to ever get gas if my kids are in the car. If I do have to fill up when they're with me, I rehearse in my mind the fastest way to get them all unbuckled and out of the car in an emergency.

I know, I know, it's weird! I told you it was. In my defense though, my brother's car actually did catch fire when he was fueling up. It burned up completely in a matter of minutes!

The second strange fear is... I'm scared of vampires. Isn't that ridiculous? I even remember when it started. I read a book in 4th grade that was about vampires and it scared me to death. For a couple of years - yes, years - I slept with a shaker of garlic powder and a fork under my pillow! This is only because my mom wouldn't allow me to keep actual garlic or a stake under my pillow.

These days, three of my favorite series are the Twilight, House of Night, and Queen Betsy books. All about vampires of course. And I read them and enjoy them immensely. And then I put them down and forget about them.

Until I have to leave for work in the morning. And it's still dark. And there's no one else awake and moving around on my street. And the little voice in my head starts reminding me that not all vampires are nice like the Cullens... and just maybe... And then I hurry to the car and turn up the radio so that I can pretend I'm not a 4th grader at heart!

There, now I shared and you've been tagged. What's your strangest fear?

Monday, March 28, 2011

30 Posts: Day 13

Day 13 - A picture of your favorite band or artist.

I have to narrow it down to one? It all depends on my mood and the circumstances. Sometime I like Broadway hits. Sometimes I like piano solos. Sometimes I enjoy bluegrass, or country, or contemporary Christian, or top 40. So hard to narrow it down!

I believe I've already confessed my secret love of Donny Osmond ( I also have a deep and abiding affection for some of the bands of my junior high and high school days. Guns 'n' Roses, Jon Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, and Metallica come to mind. And of course, lately I love all the songs from the Glee soundtracks.

But I guess I'll pick the one I find myself pulling up on my mp3 player the most often. They're fun, bouncy, energetic, have great harmonies, and are almost completely unheard of as far as I can tell. That's right, it's Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband. I don't know if they're even still together, because I got my CD years ago. But I still enjoy it. :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

30 Posts: Day 12

Day 12: A picture of something you love.

This is my Grandma and Grandpa (my mom's parents) recently and on their wedding day. I adore my Grandma and Grandpa. I've been lucky to always have them as a big part of my life. For most of my growing-up years, we lived right next door to them. It was a 2 minute walk across the field to go to Grandma's house. I got to spend the night there frequently - which was a treat because Grandma and Grandpa let me stay up late and watch M.A.S.H. with them. And in the morning Grandma would make me a breakfast shake - with ice cream and Shaklee vitamin powder. Since I didn't develop my pathological dislike for all supplements until later in life, this was quite a treat!

We used to go to Sunday dinner at Grandma's house every week. I always looked forward to that. And the best times of the year were Reunion - where we went camping with Grandma and Grandpa (and assorted other relatives) for a week, and Thanksgiving - when all of the kids and grandkids got together. Early on we had to start having Thanksgiving dinner at the church because we couldn't all fit in anyone's house. And that was before we started adding spouses and great-grandkids to the mix!
Once I went to college, Grandma and Grandpa were always sure to come say goodbye as I was getting ready to go back to school (after a visit home). I so clearly remember my Grandpa telling me every time, "Don't drive to fast. Even if those other drivers are going fast, you don't have to. 50 is plenty fast enough." Since the speed limit was 55 minimum and 65 in many places, I didn't stick to 50 m.p.h., and I got back to Logan much faster than Grandma and Grandpa thought I should. I would call home and let Mom & Dad know I'd arrived safely, and then Mom would wait another hour or two before calling Grandma to let her know.
I'm so glad we decided to go to Vernal for Rylen's blessing so that we could have my Grandma and Grandpa there for it!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

30 Posts: Day 11

Day 11: A picture of something you hate.
I hate those commercials from Christian Children's Fund! They're so heart-breakingly sad (and so long). They make me feel bad because I don't feel like there's enough that I can do to help. And they make my kids cry. Seriously, I have to change the channel if these commercials come on because my kids start to cry. Same goes for those animal abuse commercials with Sarah McLachlan in the background. :(

Friday, March 25, 2011

30 Posts: Day 10

Day 10 - A picture of what you'd like to do when you retire.

Assuming we ever get to retire - which is never certain the way things are going these days - I want to have a little RV so Aaron and I can road trip and travel around seeing the country and visiting all the grandkids I assume we will have at that point. :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

30 Posts: Day 9

Day 09 - A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most.

I'm going to have to go with Aaron on this one. We've been married for 10 years now, so we've gone through a lot together. Just the top things that come to mind that he's gotten me through are a miscarriage, pregnancy and birth of 4 kids, worries about Preston when they thought he might have cystic fibrosis, several ER visits for the kids, swine flu for the whole family, and just the host of everyday troubles that accompany life in our busy family!
The kids like to sing "I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home" but there are a lot of nights that they're not the only ones who feel like it's time to jump for joy when we hear the key in the door. :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

30 Posts: Day 7

Day 07 - A picture of your most treasured item.

My beloved Kindle. I love this little e-Reader. It's the best gift I've ever gotten.

I'd kind of looked at it on Amazon and thought it might be nice to have, but hadn't really planned on getting one. It was out of my price range, and I didn't REALLY need it. It was just kind of a fun little gadget.

But I'd mentioned to Aaron that I'd like to have one eventually, and he decided to get one for me. He cashed in some vacation days to get the extra $$ and bought it for my birthday. What fun! I immediately downloaded a couple of books on it, but then didn't really read them. They were books I was really excited to read, so I was saving them. I packed the Kindle in my hospital bag and figured I would read those books in the hospital after the baby was born. After all, this was mid-October. The baby was due in late November, but I was already on bed rest for pre-term labor and blood pressure issues. I figured I would be having that baby any day now!

As the days crawled by with no baby, I gave up on my plan of "saving" the books for the hospital. I needed something to do while stuck home on bed rest! So I pulled the Kindle out of the hospital bag and started reading. I quickly devoured the couple of books I had downloaded and needed more. Happily, I discovered that there are LOTS of free books available for Kindle. It's actually a great way to discover new authors that I would have never known about otherwise.

I currently have 134 books on my Kindle, and room for plenty more. I bought a new purse, specifically so it was the right size to hold my Kindle, and now I can take it everywhere I go. On the bus. To the doctor's office. Waiting for a meeting to start at work. I've got my Kindle and I can whip it out and read a few pages while I'm waiting. Makes delays a LOT more bearable!

And it's so light and easy to use! I can hold it one-handed in the middle of the night while nursing the baby. I flip to the next page with a little touch of my thumb - no need to fumble around to turn the page.

Okay, I realize this sounds like a huge advertisement for Kindle now. I should disclose that I have not been paid by Amazon for this review - though if they want to send a few dollars my way I'll totally take it!

Monday, March 21, 2011

30 Posts: Day 6

Day 06 - A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day.

What a hard choice! In general, I'm pretty happy with my life and I don't feel the need to trade places with anyone. But if it's only for a day, that could be fun.

I thought of Lea Michelle - wouldn't it be incredible to be able to sing like she does? But then it might be very crushing to return to my real life without that awesome voice.

So then I thought of Jen Lancaster. If you haven't read her books (Bitter is the New Black, Pretty in Plaid, and several others) or checked out her blog ( you really should. Hilarious! I would love to be able to write like her and take everyday things and turn them into something so fun to read. But then I thought about all her problem pets - she has a bunch of rescue dogs and cats in poor health that take a lot of taking care of. I don't want to deal with all of that on my day away from being me.

And then I thought of it. The perfect person to be for a day...

That's right, I'm picking Oprah. It could be all kinds of fun to be that powerful for a day. As Oprah I would make some book club picks for my favorite authors so that many others would read them too (and none of those depressing books that the real Oprah picks).

I would finally learn the truth about that whole Oprah/Gayle/Steadman situation.

I might go through the show lineup of the new OWN network and get rid of shows I don't like. I actually don't know any of the shows that are currently showing, but I'm sure there must be some I wouldn't like.

And finally, I would make a VERY generous monetary donation to a deserving family (I won't say who that family would be, but as a hint... S_ _ _ _ _S). And probably give them a new car. I really need a new car... ;)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

30 Posts: Day 5

Day 5: A picture of your night.

Ugh. Bedtime. The most hated part of the day. The crying. The screaming. The temper tantrums. And the kids have a hard time with it, too!

Seriously, we have a really hard time with bedtime at our house. Haley is a dream. She goes into bed when told and is generally sound asleep within 10 minutes. But Preston and Brekken push it as far as they can manage. No sooner do we leave the room than they're jumping (quite literally) out of bed. I'm usually not even at the other end of the hallway before I hear the tell-tale thumps of them leaping off the beds in some kind of game they feel compelled to play every night.

So then it's back down the hall to put them back into bed. Repeat ad infinitum.

Or they're coming out for "one more hug" or to get "just one drink" or because "Brekken is hitting me" or "Preston is biting me." And again, it's back down the hall to put them into bed. It's usually at least an hour with many threats and much anger before they finally lay still and go to sleep. So frustrating!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

30 Posts: Day 4

Day 4: A picture of a favorite memory.

My two best friends growing up were Holly and Mandy. Happily, we all lived pretty close to each other, so it was easy to spend a lot of time together. We went on walks every day. Long, long walks for hours just talking and having fun.
One of our favorite things to do on our walks was to walk to the corner store (that now that I think of it was really quite a ways away!) and buy a carton of ice cream. We would use the microwave to soften it up a little and make it easier to eat, get three plastic spoons and head out. Then we'd walk home and eat the ice cream on the way. Warm, cold, rain, shine, snow... it didn't matter. Good times. :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

30 Posts: Day 3

Day 3: A picture of the cast of your favorite TV show.

I LOVE this show! It makes me laugh out loud every time. It's just so fun to watch. It's a sad Thursday for me if something interferes and I don't get to watch it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

30 Posts: Day 2

Day 2: A picture of the person you have been close to the longest.

Well, I've very literally been closest to her the longest, because it's my mom! I've known her for a good, long time. ;)

I love spending time with my mom. When she came out to help us while I was on bed rest and after Rylen was born, it was so fun to get to spend that much time with her! Definitely a compensation for the misery of bed rest.

We don't talk very often. Both of us hate to talk on the phone, so neither of us ever picks up the phone to call. Luckily we have facebook and blogs to let us keep in touch. :)

Love you, Mom!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

30 Posts in 30 Days: Day 1

A friend challenged me to do this list of posts - it's 30 posts that you're supposed to write over the next 30 days, each with a specific subject. I enjoyed reading hers, so I'll give it a shot!

Day 1: A picture of yourself with 15 facts about you

  1. I don't even know why I bother to pretend that I'll actually do 30 posts in 30 days. I don't have a chance to blog every day! I'll get the 30 posts done eventually, but I'm sure it will take more than 30 days. :)
  2. The basics: I'm 36 and have a husband and 4 kids.
  3. My 10th anniversary is coming up on Saturday.
  4. I met Aaron in college, but we never dated until we both moved to Colorado a few years later.
  5. I went to college in Logan, UT and would still live there if I'd been able to find a job there after college.
  6. I have a Masters degree in Instructional Design & Technology.
  7. No one ever knows what that is or what I do for a living. :)
  8. I'm afraid of the dark, spiders, and vampires.
  9. I love reality TV shows, but not the trashy ones. (Top Chef, yes! Jersey Shore, no.)
  10. I love to blog stalk - there are several blogs I read regularly of people I've never even met in real life.
  11. Some of my best friends are people I've never met in person or met only once in person. I have a group of friends I made online when we were all pregnant in 2003 - 8 years later and we're still in touch and I consider them some of my besties.
  12. I adore my parents. I never went through that phase as a teenager where you don't like/are embarrassed by your parents.
  13. I wish I had time to cook more. I love to cook and come up with or try new dishes, but rarely have the time/energy to do as much as I would like.
  14. I love pizza and could seriously eat it 4 or 5 times a week if I had my way.
  15. I talk in my sleep. Not just mumbled words here and there, but entire conversations. I have had conversations with Aaron that go on for a long time and I never even knew it. Most notably a long conversation during a college road trip that was apparently a great conversation, but which I slept through and remember nothing. At one point on our last road trip he asked, "Are you asleep or are you actually talking to me?" I told him I was awake (and I was!) but wouldn't I have answered the same thing if I was actually talking in my sleep? I don't know... I never remember those conversations.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Date Night!

We've been trying to plan a night out with our friends Rich and Cara for a couple of months now. Both of us have large families and a lot going on, so it takes quite a while to find a night that works for both of us! When we finally did have a night pinned down a few weeks back, Rylen got sick and we had to reschedule. But we managed to reschedule and actually made it through the day without any crises arising. :)

My kids were thrilled as always that Sarah was coming to babysit. It's nice that my kids adore our usual babysitter so much - we never have to worry about clingy, sad goodbyes as we try to get out the door. In fact, it's more like they are pushing us out the door so that they can have more time with their beloved Sarah!

Aaron and I were running a little late as we headed out the door, but figured we could make up the time on the drive... until we got stuck behind a S-L-O-W tractor on a 2-lane road. And then there was the train that we had to wait for. So we were about 20 minutes late to meet our friends, but they generously forgave us.

We went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant and then headed to a movie. Cara & Rich had generously brought movie snacks, which Cara smuggled in under her coat. It made a lovely "baby" bump. LOL

We saw The Adjustment Bureau, which I didn't know much about, but sounded interesting. As it turned out, it was fantastic! Exciting, interesting plot twists, a great romance... it was a lot of fun. I always think a mark of a good movie is when you keep talking about it afterwards, and Aaron and I discussed it all the way home. If you get a chance to see it, you should definitely do it!

It was so nice to have a night out and have a chance to spend time with friends. It seems like we so rarely get a chance to just hang out and be with grown-up friends... I forget between times how much I really enjoy it! It will probably be another 6 months before we manage to coordinate another night out, but it's worth it. :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tara D Shields: Ward Employment Specialist

The title was inspired by a book Haley was reading yesterday - Junie B. Jones: First Grader. And like Junie B., I'm feeling both excited and apprehensive about this new opportunity.

I've certainly done my share of job searching! Since I finished grad school 13 years ago, I've had 8 jobs. I've been laid off 4 times, but never been out of work for too long. I've actually helped friends with resumes and job searching and the like several times and always enjoyed that. I take credit for Aaron's current job, since I'm the one who found the ad and encouraged him to apply. So since I've done this sort of thing before and enjoyed it, I'm looking forward to getting more and better tools to help people look for employment.

But there's also a bit of nervousness... what if someone REALLY needs a job and I can't help them find one? Here I am being billed as a "specialist" - it's right there in the name of the calling. It sort of implies that I'll know what I'm doing and be able to help. I've referred people to the ward employment specialist before, confidently telling them that the WES would be able to help. After all, that's the job!

And since I haven't had any training and orientation to the calling yet, I'm a bit nervous about the time committments. My time is already pretty full! All I know about that is that it involves Tuesday nights... which are already a busy day of the week. I drive to work on Tuesdays so that I can go pick up Haley from daycare early and then hurry over to Sounds of Joy choir practice (for the kids) and hang out there for an hour with the 3 boys while Haley is in her practice. (Preston has his practice before I arrive - Michelle takes the boys to that rehersal.) So then to add WES duties could make things a little crazy.

I guess we'll see how it all works once I know more. While I can't feel really happy that Aaron's work hours have been cut again, I can feel glad that they were cut on Tuesday afternoons, so he'll be there to help with these things!

On a total side note... after I was set apart yesterday, the Bishop commented, "You have nice hair." I laughed a little and said thanks, but I think we (Brother Hagen, Aaron, and I) must have been looking at him a little oddly because he explained more. "Well, you know, I lay my hands on a lot of heads. So I notice when someone has nice-feeling hair." LOL

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Brave Man

Aaron did something today that I have not yet dared to do. He ventured out on a Target trip (and a big, restocking kind of trip, not a quick grab and go kind of trip) with all three of the boys. It was going okay, apparently, until Rylen suddenly decided to have a meltdown in the middle of the aisle. The only way to soothe him was to hold him. So there's Aaron, holding the baby in one arm, pushing the loaded cart with the other hand, and still keeping track of the other two boys - who were playing some sort of silly, let's-slap-each-other game all through the store.

He managed to finish the shopping and headed for checkout. Where he was confronted with the question of how to hang on to the baby, keep track of the older boys, and somehow unload the cart.

Proving that there are still nice people in the world, someone came to the rescue. A man had seen Aaron back in the aisle when Rylen decided that it was time to be held. And now he was coincidentally in a check-out line when Aaron was checking out. He left his wife to unload their cart and came over to Aaron's line, where he was kind enough to unload the cart onto the conveyor belt for Aaron. He even hung around as the groceries were rung up and reloaded things into the cart.

How awesome is that? I'm so grateful that there are good people out there willing to jump in and help. I need to remember to look for moments to help others like that. I'm afraid if I had been in this man's situation, I would have just watched. I would have felt bad for the poor man, but it probably wouldn't have occurred to me to jump in and do something about it. But look how much his kindness has made my day better - and I wasn't even there! I hope I can remember this incident and use it as encouragement to jump in and help when I can.

As a side note... as Aaron and I were finishing up our conversation, he commented that from now on he would go to King Soopers, because they unload the cart for you. Huge *facepalm* moment! Why on Earth didn't we just place a delivery order with King Soopers in the first place so NO ONE had to drag all the boys to the store? D'oh!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Trichotillomania: or Why I Have Eyebrows Like a Rapper

Trichotillomania - noun, a compulsion to pull out one's hair

Okay, so it's not like I have an official diagnosis or anything, but I definitately pull out my hair. A lot. And I can't seem to stop myself.

One of the reasons that I keep my hair pulled back in a ponytail or bun most of the time is that if it's down and reachable, I start combing my fingers through it and pulling out any hairs that are loose. Or have a split end. Or just feel different than the other hairs. {Oh, that one has a weird texture. It's got to go.} I do it without even thinking about it. I just find myself doing it.

In the last few months, this strange quirk has me obsessing over my eyebrows, too. Not to have a perfectly plucked and groomed arch like a cover model - no, that would be too normal. Instead, I find myself stroking my eyebrows, feeling for that one hair that's a little too long. Or curls funny. Or sticks out. And I have to pull it.

But then I find another one that's bothering me, too. And I have to pull it.

I didn't think much about it until I looked a little closer in the mirror one day and realized I had a lovely bald patch in one eyebrow. And the other had a couple of spots that were a bit - shall we say - thinned out. Seriously, it looked like I'd been shaving lines through my eyebrows like Vanilla Ice {does that reference date me or what?} or or Soulja Boy. I've never before been grateful for my light blonde, barely visible eyebrows. But once I saw the bald patches, I was pretty happy that my eyebrows are not all that noticeable! LOL

So since then, I've been trying to stop myself from plucking obsessively at my eyebrows. And the bald patches are mostly filling in again. But if you see me, don't stare at the eyebrows. :D

So surely I'm not the only one with a strange habit... what's yours?