Saturday, May 30, 2009

:::flatlining:::

there are two factors that have contributed to my lack of posting lately --

1) i've grown tired of trying to write in the voice. you may know what i'm talking about. the voice is that deep, insightful, reflective, witty, original tone that i feel i have to use in my blogging. i'm not sure if i ever successfully assumed the voice, but i'm constantly worried about doing so. each time that i've sat down to blog in the past few weeks i've felt incredibily burdened by reaching this expectation, so, for the most part, i just haven't blogged. today i've decided to ignore the pull of the voice and just start writing my little blog entries again. i hope it works.

2) 0ne of the buttons popped off of my camera on memorial day. i bought a replacement button on ebay yesterday, and i hope that it not only arrives shortly, but that it snaps right into place and works perfectly.

in the past i've felt hesitant about constantly documenting my life, but now that i don't have a the luxury of a fully-functioning camera, i've found that i really miss taking photos of things that interest me, make me smile, make me scratch my head, etc. i took a four block walk to a mexican restaurant tonight and i felt heart pains almost every other step because i was missing out on so many picture-taking opportunities.

right now it may seem weird that as i walk around i take so many pictures of trees, ivy, brick sidewalks, row houses, flowers, light posts, and on and on, but someday i won't be living this life anymore and it will make me happy to look back at these pictures and see the little things that had caught my eye. if i have children, i know they will appreciate it as well as i would have loved to see photos like this of my own mother's life.

3) i hate, hate, hate my computer set up. it requires that i type on my laptop and crane my head to the left to look at the monitor. it makes my neck hurt, it occasionally gives me a headache, and sometimes i just don't want to deal with it.


in spite of all of this, i still feel the pull of blogging and feel sad that i've been avoiding it for so long. therefore, i hereby resolve that --

1) i will blog without letting the voice hinder me.

2) i will make my blog a place of me. each post will be like adding another brushstroke to a canvas, and as the pictures is made i won't try to anticipate what the final product will be. instead, i'll go with the flow of each brushstroke.

3) i will recommit to documenting my life in a fashion that makes me happy.

4) i will not be afraid to take cues, ideas, and inspiration from the things around me.

5) while i'm waiting for my camera button to arrive, i'll try to find some old pictures to liven things up a bit. maybe this will include a few self-portraits that the voice didn't want to see the light of day...

6) the computer...oh, this darn computer. there's not much i can do about it now since i have other savings goals that i'm working toward that i feel are a bit more important at this time. i think i need to turn this over as a constant matter of prayer, and not just a matter of woeful wishing. when i think of all the little things that i'd like to print out for my visiting teachees but can't (cards, tags for gifts, reminder cards for appointments, quotes, letters, handouts) it makes me sad. there may be a way around this problem and i'm just not seeing it yet.


i hope this works. a good and thorough blog makes me so happy because it means that i'm actively caring about my life, and that means that i'm in a good place mentally.

Monday, May 25, 2009

:::night lights:::


shorty and i walked over to good stuff eatery saturday night for shakes -- d-lechable leche and milky way malt. then we moseyed on over to the capitol and watched fireflies and foreign tourits.




Saturday, May 23, 2009

:::fhe with shorty:::

on a certain monday night a few weeks ago, i'd been chatting with my friend christina (shorty), when i told her that i had to go upstairs. she asked why, and i explained that it was time for fhe. at first she thought i had said f-a-g, which was funny, really funny. she tentatively asked, 'fags?' not so much.

so, yes, i do fhe on my own...anyhow, she asked me what fhe was all about, so i explained the principle (time for families to have positive bonding experiences and receive gospel instruction) and the details (opening prayer, hymn, lesson, treat). and then she told me that she'd be upstairs in a half and hour, and asked me to send her the song so that she could practice.

oh...ok.

so that's how our monday night fhe tradition began. granted, with my traveling, her traveling, my illnesses, etc., we've only managed to pull off two fhe's, but i'm rededicated to the cause now.


so here's how it goes. we start with a prayer, then move on to the song...


that we sing together. it's awesome.

then we have a lesson...


this week we watched President Monson's address 'Be of Good Cheer.'

and then we have the treat...


oh boy, i'm about to do something really mean to you...

{this guy flipped over in transit}

take a look, friends. delicious cupcakes courtesy of red velvet cupcakes in chinatown. i hereby declare this to be cupcake summer, and by golly, we're going to make our way through each and every fine cupcakery in this city.

this week we enjoyed...

key lime -- key lime cake with white chocolate buttercream frosting

devil's food - chocolate buttermilk cake with bittersweet chocolate ganache

summertime -- lemon cake with coconut frosting

southern belle -- red velvet cake with whipped cream cheese frosting

we split them all in half and enjoyed every last crumb. and that is how we do fhe in these parts. if you're in the area, stop on by. my door is always open...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

:::texas 2009 -- favorite memories:::

1. getting to know the new kid on the block.



2. being in a family.

3. seeing corn double its size in under a week.




4. giving buddy his 'omus pime'.



5. talking about things unrelated to work.

6. making problems all better. i printed this picture off for scott, and ten minutes later he came back to me bawling his eyes out because the terror, er, molly, had nearly ripped it in half.


so i printed out two new pictures. problem solved, no more tears.



7. seeing the kids be lulled to sleep in their car seats.


8. being able to talk to my mom in person again.

9. taking multiple self-portraits.




10. spoiling.



11. kissing boo-boos, real and imagined.



13. hearing scott call my sister 'muther'.

video


14. watching my sister adeptly do sophie's hair in the morning. the traditions of 'lean forward!', tight pony tails, and mandatory ribbons continue.



15. finding that i could still rock a baby to sleep, carrying sleeping kids in from the car.



11. becoming a stage mom during sophie's play, being agressive about photos.



13. the fact that the kids were always so excited to talk to me, tell me things, share things with me.

14. getting snacks and drinks for them. i love feeding children.



15. playing. scott came up to me at random points and yelled, 'scottie attack!', then would tickle me for a few seconds before yelling, 'auntie bekah attack!', and run away expecting quick reciprocation.

16. being loved so much.


and that's the end of texas.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

:::texas 2009 -- shopping:::

since moving to a city and being disconnected from suburban sprawl, i've been chomping at the bit to spend quality time inside some big box stores. my mission on this trip was to stockpile things that i can't readily buy here in dc. i came armed with my tax refund and an extra suitcase.

it was thrilling to be in suburbia again because i knew i could find anything i wanted. isn't that strange? people are always saying that they want to live in cities because cities have everything. cities do offer many things, but suburbia wins hands down when it comes to items for everyday living.


target


target was a must do for this trip. wait, let me rephrase that, super target was a must do for this trip. as soon as i passed through those automatic doors and saw groceries on my right hand, clothes on my left hand, and home good down the middle, my soul was at ease. you never know how much you've missed home until you cross that friendly threshold again.


look at all those checkout stations! truly, don't take your super target for granted.

sarah, sophie and i all had a fun time throwing things in my cart that i thought i would need over the course of the next year. among other things, i ended up with 5 pairs of shoes and the cutest purse for only $5 in their amazing purse clearance aisle.

in the shoes aisle i put on the hot little numbers below and asked sophia if she thought i should buy them. her resounding reply was, 'yes!', but i decided they weren't the most practical shoes for someone who commutes on foot.

after i put them down and moved on to look at more shoes, i looked back and saw sophie carefully putting her feet into the shoes. it made my heart melt. i'm sure the main appeal was that they were bright pink, but it made me feel special that she wanted to try on the same shoes that her auntie had.


dollar store

there was a very good dollar store next to this super target where i found a lot of cute gift bags in vibrant pastels, rolls of clear cellophane, and some other items. i thought these flip flops were cute, but they didn't have my size.


in the end, i bought more than a few roles of cellophane. in order to make it all fit in my extra suitcase, i had to unroll all the tubes, then carefully fold it. i should be good for the next little while now...



target, uno mas

the night we dropped my mom at the airport we stopped by a newer super target on the way back to the house. everyone, including this shopping averse blogger, knows that no two target clearance aisles are the same, so all the super targets in your surrounding area must be regularly searched (the same rule applies to tj maxx and marshalls).


i thought that another joyous super target foray warranted a self-portrait.


look at these adorable umbrellas, just look at them. i purchased the light green one with blue polka dots on the top row. i also left with another pair of shoes that i will wear at my firm's big anniversary party next year (i told you i meant business), and...some other stuff. ha! it's all a blur now.


i'm not sure if this is a target wide thing now, but this store had the most delicious mango smoothies. i love things like this, little fun treats you know about at your favorite destinations, little inexpensive pick-me-ups to liven the monotony of life. suburbia, i'm telling you. it's where it's at.


flagship neiman marcus

the day we were in dallas, we drove by the flagship neiman marcus. i had no idea the first store was in texas. we didn't go in to shop, but i did get this fantastic, top-secret chocolate chip cookie recipe from a nice old lady outside...



home goods

i've saved the best two store for last. i have heard many marvelous things about home goods, so when we drove past it one day, i demanded that we go back later. my sister, mom, and i went one night without the kids, and i was absolutely floored by how amazing this store is. it's owned by tj maxx, and is an entire store filled with wonderful, well, home goods.


do you understand how fantastic this is?! instead of rifling through a few disorganized aisles at the back of the store, it's a full-sized retail space of furniture, linens, dinnerware, lamps, stationery, vases, oh my, i can't breathe.

when we walked in the door my eyes were darting in a million different directions. so much to buy, so little space in my suitcase. i seriously thought about buying one of these perfectly hued yellow furniture pieces and shipping it back to dc, but common sense mom prevailed.


and they had the most beautiful rugs! look how nicely organized they are, instead of rolled up and dumped in the middle of an aisle, as per usual.


and these lamps...i had one in my cart, i was going to ship it back, but the Spirit whispered, 'not now, dear, not now.'



hobby lobby

and now...hobby lobby. we went to two different stores. the first time my sister dropped me off and went to a primary activity. when she came back more than an hour later i hadn't even been through half of the store yet. the second i stayed for much longer and still had to speed walk through the last half. they just have everything that you could ever want. beyond the standard crafting fair, which they have loads and loads of, they have the best home decor items.


look at these monograms. how adorable are they? i bought one that is a square black frame with a ribbon hanging, and the inside is a piece of glass with my initial painted on it. too cute for words.


i discovered a deep love for houndstooth on this trip, so i had to buy the green houndstooth takeout container near the middle. sadly, i left it in texas...


i also walked out with one of these monogrammed candles for myself and my sister, and a cart p-a-c-k-e-d with other wonderful finds, mostly spools and spools of half-price ribbon. it's almost a good thing i don't live near a hobby lobby, as i would sink entire paychecks there at a time. as we were walking through one of the aisles i told my mom, 'i would have so many hobbies if i lived near a hobby lobby.' annual visits are probably for the better.


shopping shouldn't make me this happy, but on this occasion it did. we had some lovely shopping days in texas and i wish i could do this every year. the big shop is just a wonderful experience.

Friday, May 15, 2009

:::out of another valley:::

i'm finally out of my most recent funk, my latest rut. positive posting and happy retellings coming your way tomorrow.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

:::pocket:::

1. for the first day(s) that you're around her, she will. not. smile at you. you will either get a perturbed glare, or a stone cold, spine chilling, i'm-watching-you-don't-mess-with-me, stare.



{hours later, and the glare has only just begun to soften}


2. mama had a rough start in life with her breathing, so she has to have regular breathing treatments and an inhaler. it's such a part of her daily life that she doesn't fight it. i had to give her the inhaler one day and i was afraid that she was going to freak out, but as soon as she saw it she sat still, i put it over her nose and mouth, pumped it, and she started taking deep breaths to inhale the medicine. it's so sad. someone that little shouldn't know how to take medicine so efficiently.

{sarah giving her a breathing treatment as mama sits patiently}

3. she will feed herself at every meal. you will not interfere with her. she will have the same, exact meal that everyone else is eating.


she will throw her plate on the floor at breakfast. she will start screaming bloody murder. you will spend 10 minutes trying to figure our what's wrong, until you finally realize that she saw you putting extra syrup on her brother's pancakes without giving her any. you will give her more syrup. she will stop crying.


4. she is very good at feeding herself. she uses a spoon and fork as well as her older brother (she had moved on to using her hands in the pudding picture above).

5. sometimes after taking a nap, she gets this awesome, puffy hair do.


6. she has to be near her mother, or be being held by her mother, almost every waking minute of the day. it's taxing for all involved, but especially for the mother.

{again, she may have spaghetti on her forehead, but you will not interfere with her}

7. she doesn't have any security items that she has to have with her at all times. wait, i forgot about the mother! ha, ha!

8. she's tiny, tiny, tiny. so small, so doll like. they call her little polly pocket.

9. she doesn't fuss during diaper changes, as she prefers to be clean. after she is done eating, she lifts up her hands for you to come and wipe them off. when the kids were in the shower one night she almost jumped out of my arms because she was so eager to be in there.


10. she snores just a little bit because of her breathing problems.

11. she has curly hair, and we think it's going to stay that way.


12. she didn't like me until my second-to-last day there. at that point she not only acknowledged my presence, but i was actually a suitable stand-in for the mother on a few occasions (but only for five minutes).

13. my last night there, she let me put her hair in a bun. it was so cute it almost broke my heart.


14. she is constantly taking off her shoes.

15. unless she is having a fit, she is almost completely silent. she isn't a babbling baby.

16. she has the cutest diaper bootie.


17. she is the third grandchild, the second niece, the one that pushed the envelope past a tiny little brood into the realms of Family with a capital 'F'. she drive us all to distraction. she makes you want to cry, run away, give up, hide in a closet, pull out your hair...oh, mama. i love her so. she is so adorable. we can't wait (we think) until she grows up.