Friday, October 31, 2008

Our family of spooks

Elora the Widow Maker

Larissa the Gypsy

Connor skipped out on Halloween this year...still spooky, nonetheless.

And a house full of teenagers

, for sure.

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Skeleton in the closet

Every year during the week of Halloween I am reminded of an event that has always haunted me to the core of my being. Throughout the rest of the year the memory is a mere nuisance - a recollection that can be stuffed into my subconscious mind. But today however, I'm feeling a little brave. After you read this - breathe a long sigh of relief that this never happened to you. If it did happen to you - I'll be shocked - but I will be happy to have found my kindred spirit. We can be BFF's.

For those of you who don't know this part of my past - enjoy. I expect to be mocked. It's okay - I'm bracing myself. I can take it. I'm willing to get this over with so that I can lock it back up into the past where it belongs.

I should mention too - that as far as embarrassing stories go - this is at the top of my list - but doesn't even scratch the surface of the mortifying event that
Jennifer H. endured. (Go read her story - your self esteem will be boosted and you will sing HALLELUJAH that this didn't happen to you).

At the end of this post you will see why I am especially spooked this year.

But first - take a minute to enjoy this gem from the 80's.

The event happened exactly 22 years ago, during the week of Halloween, while I was a sophomore in High School.

I was taking Driver's Ed at Hillcrest High. We were on the range at the school practicing stops, turns, and parallel parking. We all drove around in the school's driver's ed cars - hideous Dodge Darts (I actually don't remember what kind of cars they were - I just remember they looked like they withstood years of abuse from young students learning how to drive). However, that year the school purchased a brand spanking new Pontiac Grand Am. It was beautiful to behold and we all fought for a turn driving it.

It was my turn to drive it.

It is important to note that I had previously been driving the ugly Dodge Dart. I parked the car and ran over to the Grand Am for my 'turn' driving it.

Oh, how I wish I could turn back time.

I hopped into the Grand Am. I'm sure I was beyond myself with excitement to be able to drive it. I enjoyed a nice leisurely drive on the range for a few minutes. I knew I would have to give up the Grand Am in a few minutes to the next student and I just didn't want to let go.

The driver's ed instructor told me to pull into a parking space in front of a light pole, stop, and then back out of the parking place. BTW - I was alone in the car. The instructor stood on top of a tower and barked his orders at us.

I thought this task was a piece of cake. Easy cheesy.

Here is where it gets a little fuzzy in my mind. Chen and Bean - you probably remember the 'incident' better than anybody - please feel free to correct me if I have purposefully left out overlooked glaring facts. Be nice.

I pulled into the parking place. At the end of the parking place was a light pole. I realized I was going a little too fast and knew I would have to push on the brake pedal or I would end up hitting the light pole. I quickly pushed the brake - hard - and realized TO MY HORROR - that I confused the gas pedal and the brake. I pushed the gas pedal and drove the car INTO THE LIGHT POLE.

Okay. Breathe. I'm getting a little worked up reliving this horrible event.

I don't remember the details that followed. I just remember the eyes. EYES! Eyes belonging to my fellow students - staring at me as I sobbed. I sobbed uncontrollably as the realization of what I did became clear. I mangled the front end of the brand new Grand Am. Then, in a flash, my mommy was there. Thank goodness for loving and wonderful mommies.

I spent the rest of the year trying to downplay the incident. Luckily I had wonderful friends who laughed at me rather than shunning me for life. By the end of the year - it was mostly forgotten - until the yearbook came out and on the center page was a lovely color photo of the mangled wreck.

I looked for my yearbooks and unfortunately I think they are buried in the dungeon basement. No worries - I think I've supplied you with enough arsenal to launch a pretty healthy attack of scorn and mockery at me.

Why am I bringing this up? My charming, handsome, and adorable son is taking driver's ed right now. Shudder.

Connor - I forgive you if you slam into a light pole.

To everyone else - please share your most awful, embarrassing skeletons in your closet.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Catching up!

{I have tried to format this post and align the pictures with no luck. I'm accepting and releasing.}

My blogging has been a little sporadic lately and I need to catch up on some of our family’s events. This might be lengthy – I’ll throw in a smattering of blackmail pictures of my children and husband so you aren’t too incredibly bored. Blackmail pictures always seem to make me smile

In September, the girls and I went to CATS. As a background story - when Larissa was 4 years old, and I was newly married to her father – she would always want to make ‘kiddie’ houses in her bedroom out of blankets. After a while, it donned on me that she was actually making ‘kitty’ houses. Ahhh! The lights came on for me. I soon realized that this cute little girl was CRAZY about cats and I wanted to take her to the Broadway production of CATS. I had seen it before and loved it!! So, CATS finally came to Salt Lake and I was able to take my pretty ladies.

Another exciting event in our household is this -

After 4 years – Elora finally had her braces taken off! And there was much rejoicing in the land….

Connor made his high school’s swim team! Some days he has swim practice twice a day – he is very dedicated. We went shopping for Speedo’s last week. I asked him if I could see and he said “no”. His first meet in October 23 and he won’t be able to hide from me and my camera for too long.

I am the young women’s coach in my ward and we have been playing volleyball.

Here are my superstars:

Todd, Connor, and I dropped off Elora and Larissa at their mom’s house last weekend and we headed up to Yellowstone. It was cold and it snowed!! It was a wonderful weekend. Of course, I’ve never had a bad weekend up there.

By Sunday morning – we hadn’t seen a single animal.

Just as we were about to turn around and head back to the motel – we saw this jaywalking critter.

After seeing the coyote, we were encouraged and ventured further into Yellowstone. A little bit later we happened upon a herd of Buffalo.
The motherload
I think this guy was ticked that I was invading his personal bubble.
They are huge creatures

We even saw elk - so beautiful.

This bozo was a little special. He was looking for the bathrooms and kept looking in the wrong direction.

And I've saved the best for last!

I finally met my first blogging friend.

I had dinner with Jody! We went to Mi Ranchitos in Sandy. She and her husband are a lot of fun. Go check out her blog here.

Would love to meet anyone else who lives in the area, btw!!

And.....drum roll, please....

I won Lisa's Chocolate giveaway!! Woot!!

I got a phone call from three bored kids on Friday who said, "Mom - a package was just dropped off and we think it's the CHOCOLATE!"

I made them take pictures and send them to me at work.

Yeah baby!

I actually took this picture today. A lot of the chocolate has been eaten! It surely wouldn't last long in this house!

Life is good!

THANK YOU LISA LOO!! You are such a sweet gal. Her daughter just had hip surgery last Friday. I can only imagine what she's been going through. Go visit her blog here and send her some good wishes.

Well, that's all I got! Have a great Monday tomorrow.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

So gross...

A house full of teenagers is never dull - and mine is certainly no exception! Just now, I witnessed something so heinous, so truly disgusting, I had to post about it.

My daughter, who will unfortunately remain nameless, was enjoying chips and salsa. As she made it to the end of the salsa container, I watched her as she eyed the last few tablespoons of the salsa juice left in the bottom.

Now - to preface, it wasn't the kind of salsa that is pictured here - it was the fresh tomato chunk kind of salsa. So all that was left was the juicy debris at the bottom.

I saw her drink the salsa juice.

I know it seems as though I'm picking on my kids lately - but I'll have you know that there are many many funny things they do that I just shake my head at. I show an incredible amount of restraint by NOT posting the volumes of shenanigans that occur in my house on a daily basis.


Now I just have to know - would you drink the last few tablespoons of salsa? Do you have strange food fetishes?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Embarrassing brothers

Growing up, I was sandwiched between two brothers. One was five years older and the other was five years younger. Now that I'm in my older and wiser (cough!) years, I can say that I have the greatest brothers in the world. But back when I was in high school - they were horrifyingly embarrassing and were especially ruthless when a guy showed up at my door to take me on a date. Oh, I dreaded those times like a fiery, burning pit in my soul.

Okay - to be fair, it was mostly my older brother Ken. But, younger brother Brian, I have not yet forgiven you of the air freshener incident that caused the minor fire in the brand new car for which I have taken the blame all of these years.

But getting to the point.

My sweet daughter Elora had an experience this weekend that she will not likely forget due to the embarrassing antics of her brother.

The story goes like this:

Elora: Hey Larissa, take a picture of me wearing the hat that "L" gave me
Larissa: Why?
Elora: So I can send it to him. He wanted me to send him a picture of me.

The photo was taken. The photo was sent to "L".

Hours later, Elora had a better look at the picture, and shrieked at the top of her lungs....

*The above photo is posted by permission. Elora's authorization and release are on permanent file in the family archives.

I'm so sorry Elora.

Brothers aren't always embarrassing - it's just that they usually are when we don't want them to be. (deep thought, I know).

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

News Challenged

My dear husband sensing that I'm a wee bit obsessed challenged me to not watch or listen to the news for an entire week.

An entire week!! (Not a typo).

Normally, when I'm not grounded, I like to watch the news while getting dressed and ready for work. Toggling between channels 5 and 13 provides the visual stimuli needed to start the day.

Then, in an obstacle course worthy of American Gladiators - I flip off the tv and run down the stairs, while I simultaneously grab my purse, pet my cats, and yell at to Connor that I'm out in the car. I feel a little thrill when I finally turn the key in the ignition and I hear the soothing sounds of my beloved news station - KSL 1160.

Lunchtime news gives me an added jolt through my work day and I unwind with KSL again on my drive home.

Is this behavior a little abnormal or do you feel as addicted as I do? With the economy and the presidential elections and the OJ Simpson trial - are you drawn to the radio and the tv like I am?

I'm not sure I'll survive the week - I'll let you know. But looking on the bright side - I did find a music station that plays 80's music during my lunch hour.

Duran Duran just may keep me sane!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Autumn in the air

I love this time of year. Here are some of my favorite things.
The smells of cinnamon and spices.
General Conference. I loved President Monson's talk during the Sunday
morning session. The choir sang my favorite song -
"I Know that My Redeemer Lives."
Mmmm. Pumpkin Pie. Mmm.

The changing of the leaves.

My Nancy Drew game that comes out each October.

Black cats.

The first hint of snow (from this morning).

But there are two things I'm definitely NOT looking forward to...
SNOW! I'm not ready for this!


Are you ready???
Have you started your shopping?

Thursday, October 2, 2008


<--- This is me today.

Can you believe I called in sick to work? I haven't even been there a month yet. It's killing me.

I feel awful!! I've slept all morning and haven't even felt well enough to play the Nancy Drew game that showed up on my porch yesterday.

It occurred to me yesterday that I haven't had the flu or a cold for about a year because I haven't worked for the past year. Working in an office is like the daycare syndrome. When one person gets it - we all get it.

So this weekend, I'm stocking up on all things anti-sickness - hand sanitizer, vitamins etc etc.

What do you do to fight off evil germs?