Friday, February 29, 2008

Sickness Sucks!

For some reason on Wednesday night, I got sick. Let me tell you, I hate being sick---big time. It's a weird illness of some sort where now I just feel all jelly-legged (that's an actual condition in my house) and weak. I am back at work today but I told my boss not to expect great things from me-I get woozy and "feel pale"(also an actual condition at my house) if I stand up for extended periods of time. By the way, no I'm not preggers. Anyway, I haven't really been thinking anything deep or interesting this week other than I hate being sick. To me it's like the most horrendous thing ever. I have to actually ask people to do things for me and feel all weak and helpless. However, I am on the mend and fully intend to take advantage of this by making the kids clean their rooms and maybe even the bathrooms (they feel really sorry for me if I cough and hack and look pitiful). Maybe I can even get Mike to do the dishes since Kiersten has decided that she doesn't want to do that anymore. That was an interesting discussion when we told her no dishes=no allowance.

By the way, here's your reminder to go to the Scout Auction on Saturday. I think it's 5-7. It's always a good time and it's for a good cause. See you there.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Little Boys and Heavenly Father

Strange title but something I was thinking this weekend. On Saturday, Jared and I had an "at home" day, which means that there's nothing really important that needed to get done and we didn't have to go out. I was changing the sheets on Kiersten's bed when I hear Jared call Mommy, I answer what and then hear little feet tearing down the hallway. Then I hear (from the back of the house this time) Mommy!, I answer a little louder, Son, I'm in here. Little feet go tearing past Kiersten's room again. This is repeated several times with him running up and down the hall calling for me and I'm answering but he's so interested in running back and forth he doesn't stop to look in Kiersten's room. I sat there on Kiersten's bed wondering how many times he was going to run back and forth rather than slow down and really look for me. It ended up being 4 times back and forth. But anyway, as I sat there watching my son run and hearing him sound like a heard of stampeding elephants, I wondered what Heavenly Father must feel like sometimes. We call and call and call, and He may be answering us but we don't take the time to be quiet and listen and actually LOOK.

Last night, the Primary Presidency had a baptismal preview for all the kids turning 8 this year. Needless to say, it was like herding cats trying to get the kids to be still and quiet but it was accomplished (somewhat). I think it has finally struck Jared that he's going to be baptized this year. We talked about it on the way home, he's a little nervous because "everybody will be looking at me"-he is SO my child. But he's also excited. He's a special boy, it's interesting to watch him and hear what he thinks. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it sad and sometimes it really makes me think about how special the spirits that are being sent to Earth now really are.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Can you keep a secret?

Did you guys actually think I would spill something secret on the internet where all the world could see? This is the title of a book I just finished reading earlier in the week. It's total chick lit fluff but cute and an enjoyable read (except for that pesky f word that kept popping up). The basic storyline is this---our heroine Emma is coming back from a work trip and sits next to a lovely man. Well, Emma's not the best of flyers and has a tad to drink. When the plane hits some pretty rough turbulence, she thinks they're all going to die and she begins telling the guy in the seat next to her ALL of her secrets. What she doesn't know about him is that he's the owner of the company she works for and he's coming for a visit. It's pretty routine from there on out, girl falls for boy and vice versa, secrets come out and yada yada yada.

Anyway, it got me to thinking about my secrets, I don't have that many actually. Would I tell someone my secrets if I thought I was dying? Nope, they go with me to the grave because you never know. Emma at the beginning of the book writes a list about her secrets telling them to the reader. I think I'll do the same, so here are some of my more innocuous secrets:

1. I sing in the car-loudly and badly-when I'm by myself.
2. I dance like a maniac at home when no one is watching. I've been caught a few times but it's usually by the kids as I do flying ballet leaps past their doors (just being silly you understand).
3. I'm glad I'm not having anymore kids. Don't know if that would count as a secret but there it is.
4. I'm really quite silly although a lot of people think I'm too serious.
5. I have "trust issues".

That's it, the others are too personal but I hold them near and dear to my heart. It was also brought up in the book that Jack-the hero of our little story-wouldn't tell his little secrets to Emma. So the question is---do you have someone that knows all of your secrets? Are you a secret keeper? Do you know someone else's secrets?

Y'all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A fun post for today

Hey! It's Wednesday! Noticed that a few of my last blog entries have been sort of heavy-I've been in a deep thinking mood for the last little bit. But anyway, I filched this from Cindy's blog (love it, love it, love it!), feel free to steal it for yourself and have a lovely day!

1. Is it cute when guys kiss you on the forehead? Love it when Mike does it. No one else gets that close. 2 ft of personal space is a big deal with me.

2. A big poofy dress or short party dress? LBD all the way. Poofy makes me look 12 and I can't stand it.

3. What would you do if you received a long love letter? Save it. I have the first letter Mike ever wrote to me in my makeup bag. It's torn and not in very good condition but I still have it.

4. Group dates or single dates? Either or, doesn't matter to me.

5. Do you hate it when guys act differently around their friends? Drives me absolutely crazy.

6. Are diamonds a girl's best friend? Rather have my regular friends but sparklies are always nice. Don't like diamonds though, they seem "cold".

7. Is you hair up or down today? Got it cut on Monday so no ponytails ever again!

8. Do you straighten your hair? No. I have crazy straight hair anyway.

9. Favorite mascara? Don't use it. Blessed with lovely lashes mascara free

10. Do you get your nails done? What nails? I'm a nervous biter.

11. Small or large purses? Hopefully no bag. I hate having to keep up with the dumb thing. The only reason I carry a small purse now is to keep the badge for work in it.

12. In your purse, what are your must haves? Chapstick and my emergency lipgloss. Again, don't carry one around if I can help it.

13. Jeans or sweats? Jeans if I'm going out. Sweats at home just hanging out.

14. Do you wear clothes/jewelry/shoes that are uncomfortable? NO! Can't stand to be uncomfortable.

15. Do you text message a lot? I don't even know how, so no.

16. What would you do if you got pregnant? Uh....Pray?

17. What's your favorite color? A lovely cranberry red.

18. Heels or flats? Flats, I tend to teeter in heels.

19. Did you ever cry during a romantic movie? Not usually. I'm not a crier.

20. Would you ever leave the house without makeup on? Do it all the time on Saturdays. No biggie. Just as long as I have taken a shower and my hair is presentable I'm not worried about it.

21. Wal-Mart or Target? Target is my friend. Wal-Mart turns me into something better left unsaid.

22. Do you wear collared shirts? Not usually.

23. Do you think lip gloss is the best? Mike will not kiss my if there is anything other than chapstick on my lips. I do like my emergency lipgloss but I always get a perturbed look from him if I put it on.

24. Do you like preppy guys? Jeans and a button down shirt (untucked) and glasses. Love it. Holy hotness! Note to self---buy Mike more button down shirts. How did I marry a redneck? Love that man!

25. Do you own any big sunglasses? No, they make me look like a bug.

26. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? About 1/2 an hour or so if I'm only getting myself ready. Nagging the others to get out of bed, get dressed, breakfast, etc.. about an hour.

27. Do you like to wear band-aids? Try not to if I can help it.

28. Do you like skater guys? Used to when I was younger. Now they just look silly with the twitch.

29. Do you often wish there was something you could change? I wish we could have do-overs.

30. Gold or silver? Either or. I don't wear much jewelry.

31. Do you like to receive flowers? Love it (hint hint)

32. Do you like surfer guys? Not my favorite.

33. Do you dress up for the holidays? Nope, not usually.

34. Do you like to wear dresses? Absolutely not. Hate them. It's all I can do to wear them on church on Sunday.

35. On a scale of 1-10, how much do guys confuse you? In general not so much. Mike in particular---5.

36. In the last 48 hours, have you hung out with a guy? Jared and I watched Animal Planet last night and then hung out with Mike for a bit. I work for a guy so at home, at work- they're all over the place.

37. Would you date a guy shorter than you? No. I'm pretty short already. He would have to be a dwarf.

38. Do you like to hold hands? Love it but Mike walks faster than me so I feel like I'm being dragged all over the place until I ask him what's the hurry.

39. What is the youngest you would date? Been there done that, not a good thing.

40. What is the oldest you would date? Probably wouldn't. I'm shy and somewhat of a homebody. Maybe early 40's?

41. What do you notice when you first meet a guy? Hands. Big/little, rough/soft, nice firm handshake v. spaghetti hands.

42. Is it hot when guys sweat? Sometimes.

43. What is the best feature in a guy? His sense of humor. If you can make me laugh it's a good thing.

44. Do you like making eye contact? Depends on who it is. Sometimes it can be scary.

45. There was no 45?

46. Would you kill for chocolate? With peanut butter? Yes.

47. Did you ever spend all night/all day getting pretty for a guy? When I was a teenager, probably. Now, not so much although sometimes I will put a little extra effort in the whole routine if we're going out by ourselves.

48. On a scale of 1-10, how fun is shopping? It's not the most horrible thing ever but it's not as much fun as reading a good book. About a 6.

49. Do you freak out if you miss your favorite show? Nope. With the writers strike just over, they're still only showing reruns. No new shows for me until April. Now I have a DVR and I can record them, woohoo!

50. Do you yell a lot? Hate to say it but yes. Sometimes I feel that the kids are ignoring me and that irritates me.

51. Do you wear sweatpants/pajamas to school/work? Heck no. Dress code and even if we didn't have one that's just not right.

52. Have you ever dressed unlike yourself to impress a guy? I am what I am, just me. That would make me feel like a dork.

53. Do you write a lot of mushy love poems? Nope. That's why Mike saves anything I write for him. I'm not a mushy type person.

54. What makeup could you not live without? Powder and eyeliner.

55. Do you fall in love easily? No. I thought sometimes I was in love, but it wasn't it. I think being in love means that you can see yourself old and droopy with that person and you still love them as much as when they were young and hot.

56. Do you have cramps? We have a love/hate relationship. They love me, I hate them. Short answer-yes.

57. Do you think you have the bestest friends ever? Yep. Crystal-Tom Cruise has big teeth! Steph-I miss you! And the girls in the "trouble corner" in RS-you guys are so Funny! Maybe we gave somebody something to talk about this week.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Personal Rwanda

Tonight as I watched the news, they had a story on the genocide in Rwanda that happened years ago. Tribes fought against each other, pitting neighbor against neighbor and killing a huge number of people. I remember reading the accounts of the atrocities that occurred during that time and crying for the children that lost parents, the parents that lost children and whole families that were wiped off the planet. The story tonight was not one of vengence, but of forgiveness. Two of the people interviewed were named Emmanuel, one a killer, one a victim. Emmanuel the killer had killed Emmanuel the victim's family members. After a period of time, Emmanuel the killer asked his victims' families for forgiveness that they forgave him. There are courts all over the country where this happens on a weekly basis---forgiveness.

Now, I did not watch the news tonight expecting to hear a gospel message, but I did. It reminds me of a talk that I heard on Sunday in church about forgiveness and I remember thinking-I need to do better. A point was made during that talk that it is sometimes harder to forgive our family members than to forgive friends or even complete strangers. I often wondered why but I think I have my reason. Our families know us. They know us better than anyone and they know what can hurt us the deepest. Sometimes, in fits of anger or malice or thoughtlessness, they say or do something that digs at us to our soul. A stranger could be easily forgiven with a "well, they didn't know any better", but our family is different.

I'm not a great forgiver, far from it. I could hold a grudge for a while. Lately though, I have found that sometimes I need to be forgiven by the people that I need to forgive. It's hard, I'm working on it. Tonight it was brought home to me that the people I need to forgive have not done anything major-like kill my family. I'm holding a grudge and harboring bad feelings and those feelings aren't hurting anybody but me.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Everyday Acts of Rebellion

Our book club discussed Veil of Roses on Tuesday. I highly suggest this book to anyone and everyone. The title of today's blog is what the main character, Tami, photographs while she is here in America to get married and hopefully stay. What I love about this book is how the author can take something as simple as going to buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks into something wonderful and typically American. As I was reading the book again before Tuesday, I was struck yet again by how lucky we are to live in a country where we can vote, read what we want to, speak out against our leader, pretty much anything we want to do, without fear of recrimination from our government.

I was watching the news last night and NBC is doing a series of special reports-last night it was from Congo about the plight of women there during the civil war that's going on in that country. Apparently Congo has one of the highest rates of rape in the world and there are women are being raped by soldiers, left for dead, so badly abused that some die. After they recover and are taught a useful skill, they can't even go back to their villages because they are ostracized by their husbands and families. Today, I was reading an article on the internet about a Saudi Arabian woman that's been accused of "witchcraft" and is in danger of losing her life. Women in Saudi Arabia can't drive, be seen without a male relative in public or even leave the country without a male relative's permission.

As women in this country, we are free to speak in public, walk down the street in whatever clothes we want, pursue whatever career we want, run for President if we want, worship whatever God we choose. We don't have to worry about police watching us on the street, torturing us or taking us away from our families. As we were talking in book club Tuesday, people complain about how "bad" we have it. We don't have it bad. We're incredibly blessed and we need to remember that fact. Here, I can be who and what I want to be and so can every other woman or girl that lives here, no matter what.

Monday, February 11, 2008

If Wishes Were Fishes...

I've been trying all day to remember the rest of that saying, but the only "wish" saying I can remember is the one that goes "wish in one hand and spit in the other and see which one fills up faster", or something like that. "I wish" is a favorite saying at my house. It varies from "Honey, I wish I had a new truck" to "Mom, I wish I didn't have to do the dishes" to "Mommy, I wish I had a puppy". (No comments about that Alona!) Here are some of my wishes that don't get aired nearly as much as the above.

-I wish for world peace. Really! I know it's hokey and it's something I ask for every Christmas. I haven't gotten it yet, so I'll just keep on asking.

-I wish that kids didn't get sick. Not ear infection, cough and cold stuff. I'm talking seriously debilitating and deadly stuff.

-I wish I could take a few classes at USC, just to learn something new. Like some more history classes or learning to speak Russian.

-I wish book publishers would hurry up with the books I want to read. Summer is looking really good but it just is SOOO long from now! I'm going to be so broke from June all the way through September.

-I wish I could find the "right" pair of black shoes. Everything is too high, too pointy, too expensive.

-I wish I was more anxiously engaged in something good. I'm trying but I'm lazy at the core level.

-I wish Kiersten would just wash the dishes. She says we gave her that chore because we hate washing dishes. How right she is.

-I wish Mike's parents lived closer. Better yet, the Star Trek teleporter was a functioning piece of equipment, we could just hop over when we wanted to.

-I wish every woman could have a husband as wonderful as mine. Even though sometimes I get angry with him, he's a good man.

One last one,

I wish health, happiness and love to all who read my words. What are some of y'all's wishes?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thank you Breta!!!

February is the month of "lurve" as Celion Dion says. It's also the birth month of Mike's mom, Breta. Most of you don't know her because she's been out west in the frozen tundra for most of her life now. Let me tell you about her a little bit. She's the daughter of Alfred and Betty Branham, only girl with four brothers. When she was in high school, she was a cheerleader and she could throw a plastic football over the stands and run to the end zone faster than the person with the football. She eventually married Mike's dad (Steven) and had three kids (Mike, Shauna and Amy).

Let me tell you what I love about her. She squeals like a girl when she's excited. It's so much fun to hear that when we're talking to her. She passed her smile down to Mike and now to Jared. Everytime I see the boys smile I see her. She's stronger than she thinks she is. She raised a wonderful man to take care of me and our kids. She has an infectious laugh. She thinks my kids are great and is always ready for a "kid story". She takes time to listen to the kids and when Jared told her "it's not boring but do we have to do it EVERY Sunday?" took it in stride as a 7 year old who doesn't like to talk on the phone. She doesn't pick on me about the "no crying allowed" things. She has long, tear filled talks with Mike and it makes him love her more. I always know that they've had a good long talk if Mike's eyes are red and puffy. She's a "feeling" person. She is a wonderful person and I couldn't have a better mother in law.

So, happy birthmonth Mama C! Thank you for all of the above, but most of all, thanks for being you. By the way, if you happen to read this, you can cry if you want to-I did.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I finally figured it out!!!!!

I've been trying to figure out how to post pictures but for some reason they just wouldn't post (probably me getting impatient and saying FINE! ) These pics were taken during the Christmas holidays after I got my new camera.

I love this one of Kiersten! This is just how she looks when she's laughing at something and being silly.

This one of Jared is my favorite of him. He's such a cool guy on his bike. You can just barely tell that he's missing his front teeth.

Over here are a few of my favorite women. My daughter, mom and grandma. It was weird that we're all wearing pretty much the same colors, we didn't plan it that way. Kiersten is wearing one of my t-shirts b/c she didn't have anything to wear on Christmas Day and was starting to get fussy. I just tossed it to her and said "here, try that" and it has apparently been appropriated by her.

Here's my sweetie. It's hard to believe that this is Christmas Eve and he's in short sleeves. But, that's what you get when you marry a goofy guy from Montana. He's playing in the yard with the kids. It's the ever present Swails Heating & Cooling hat.

Weekend musings and a bit of news

This weekend was jam packed for our little family. Mike and Jared went "Scouting for Food" on Saturday morning. Jared just loves being with the YM and helping out. He was paired up with Kevyns Luthy (what a cool kid) and loved running back and forth between the houses and the car. We then went over to mom's house to watch Pres. Hinckley's funeral. I laughed, cried, and was overwhelmed by many feelings of love for that great man. It's just a wonderful thing that after the leader of the church dies, the church doesn't fall apart, everything keeps going on just as before and the work moves forward. I actually got out of the house with my BFF Crystal (crazy girl). We saw 27 Dresses and went to dinner. 27 Dresses is a cute movie and it's always a fun time to hang out with Crystal. We still have our disagreements about which Mr. Darcy is hotter-Colin Firth for her, Matthew Macfayden for me. Since it's my blog, Matthew wins. However, we do agree on the subject of David Beckham. Then there's the age old dispute about Tom Cruise v. Brad Pitt. Don't get us started on those two.

Sunday was fast and testimony meeting-what a great service! It was the first time that I can remember that there were people left on the stand and the Bishop has to get up and cut the meeting off because it was already running over (as usual). I heard Sister Register bear her sweet testimony in Relief Society and she said that she is weak physically. But oh, how strong she is spiritually. I want to be like her when I grow up. She never complains about her illness, but endures. It sets an example for me as to what that saying "endure to the end" truly means. Again, we go to mom's on Sunday evening for family dinner plus some. This Sunday the Luthy's came over, Valerie is a hoot! If you haven't gotten to know her, she is a strong woman and funny as all get out.

I received a call from my brother yesterday after their ultrasound and was informed that they were having a boy! This is a wonderful thing! I told Jared and you've never seen a happier kid. He's surrounded by girl cousins on both sides so he's glad to finally be getting a boy cousin. He jumped up and down and did a little booty shake if I'm not mistaken.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, February 1, 2008


Well, it's the end of the week and my goal for the whole blogging every other day thing is shot. Thinking the other day as I raced around town trying to get Kiersten where she needed to go, it seemed that time was a lot slower when I was young. Now that I'm older and have more going on it seems that everything just flies past. I feel like I do when I'm on a carousel-you see blurred faces in the crowd and you just want the darn thing to slow down so you can look at each face. I hate that feeling, it makes me feel like I'm missing something and I just hate to miss anything!

I remember summers as a kid, my brother and I would split most of the summer between our grandparents, running in a field (that was a big thing for me, my g-parents had cows and that was somewhat frightening), fishing in a pond or lake, going to work with my granddad who was an electrician and vacationing all over the place. It seemed as I moved to teenagerhood not being able to wait until school started because then "I wouldn't be stuck in the house all day long".

As the children were born, time moved even faster, yesterday Kiersten was just a baby and now she's almost 12. Time just moves too fast for me. I want to say to whoever's got the stopwatch- hey wait! I wanted to spend a little more time there! Times like the kids' first steps, watching them play together, the times when it was just Mike and I (little did I know that I would cherish those days!), vacations when we were so rushed to show western cousins everything in the South or see everything in Montana, time with my grandparents who have passed away-I didn't appreciate them as much as I should have.

I hear Kiersten and Jared tell me all the time "MOM, it's taking FOREVER!!!" This is just to cook dinner or get to Wal-Mart. I think to myself, honeys, you just don't know that one day you'll want things to take forever!

By the way---thanks all y'all for the comments. I do read all of y'alls blogs (hey, I'm Southern, we even write like this!), sometimes I just don't have a chance to to comment. I love blogging and seeing what you guys are thinking about.