05 July 2015


JJ:  If you could have chosen to grow up in any country in the world, what country would you have wanted to live in?
Mack:  Wait.  Does Niger have freedom of jobs?
At the dinner table, Pinkleberry was telling a very long and involved story...
Pink:.....And then the teacher said she wished everyone was like me.....I'm not bragging.
Hubba:  You don't have a problem with bragging, but X....
X:  That's right.  I'm better at bragging than all the rest of you.  I'm the best at bragging.

04 July 2015

Facebook Fast

Tomorrow is Fast Sunday in our church--first Sunday of the month we go without food and water for 24 hours.  It's a time of intense prayer and we donate at least the amount of money that we would have spent on food for the poor and needy.

I'm narrowing my fast topic down to one of two things.  I haven't made up my mind yet.

For the past few weeks I have also been considering stepping away from facebook.  Again.  Because I really love it.  I love all the articles and posts and keeping with people and chatting.  I especially love when people comment on something I've said.  It's a GREAT place to throw out a question and get a fabulous sampling of answers.

But today it's clear to me.  I    need   to    step   away.

Yes, I spend way too much time on facebook.  It's a total time suck.  But the reason I have to leave (again) is because of the 4th of July.  Independence day has ruined facebook for me.

Today my facebook feed was filled--TO BURSTING--with photos of people attending parades (or putting on their own), flag-raising ceremonies (many of them home grown), family and friend parties with lots of yummy red-white-and-blue food, children re-enacting scenes from American history, fun at swimming pools and with water balloons and sprinklers, readings from the Declaration of Independence, music... And the fireworks are still hours away!

It made me feel so bad.  In my dreams, I would like to be the kind of mom to do those fun things.  In reality I'm the mom who saw someone post a photo last night of their toddler with a glow stick and I suddenly thought....Glow Sticks!  So I went out first thing this morning to a picked-over dollar store that luckily still had some in stock and bought a few.  That's me.

Our fourth of July was filled with no tradition, no real fun (except the game of Clue everyone else is playing right now), and sadly no expectation of tradition or fun.  

Yes, today reading facebook has just made me feel bad about myself.  I think I would like to do some activities.  But the Hubba hates 4th of July crowds so we pretty much can't go to anything pre-planned or open to the public.  And I am just not the kind of creative woman who is going to whip up some crowd-pleasing 4th celebrations for here at home.  So we basically do nothing.

Plus, I really do have this one friend.  She is the one who is doing a new craft with her kids every day.  Like awesome crafts, too.  And if it's not crafts she's working on some kitchen concoction with them and celebrating things like World Burrito Day.

I just can't take it.  I really can't.  I know you're not supposed to compare.  And since I can't seem to help myself, the next best thing is to just put my blinders on and stop seeing the intricate day to day activities of other mothers.  Pretend like those people don't exist and pretend like everyone is like me.

03 July 2015

Am I Shy?

I've never really thought of myself as shy before.  There is a lot about "shy" that is just not me.

But I was reading "Finding Jake" a few weeks ago.  I blogged about it.  The book is about a stay-at-home dad raising two kids.  When his son is a senior in high school he is involved in a high school shooting.  The book goes back and forth between the present time and how the dad deals with it, and the past where the dad analyzes his son's childhood up until that point.

One of the themes of the book is shyness.  Jake is a very quiet boy who is quite happy to keep to himself.  He doesn't enjoy play dates when he is little, etc...  His mother and his teachers continually say over the years that Jake is shy.  And every time they say that, the dad kind of erupts with "He's not shy!"

Then there's this one scene where the dad is taking Jake to a bus stop when he's like in 3rd grade and Jake's little sister runs off and and starts playing jump rope with some other girls who are at the stop.  She just completely inserts herself into the fun with her friends.  There's a group of boys playing basketball, but Jake shows no interest in going to play with them.  His dad encourages him to go play with the boys, but Jake absolutely refuses.  Meanwhile the dad is standing next to a group of mothers also waiting for the bus.  He feels awkward.  Like he should jump into the conversation but he doesn't know how and he's worried the women don't want him to.  The bus comes and as he's walking home alone he realizes that in that whole mob of people he and his son only spoke to each other.

I totally related to that scene.  I mean, I FELT that scene big time.  The dad concludes that maybe he and his son are BOTH shy.  Which made me ask myself the question, Am I shy?  And when you ask yourself a question you might only get one or two answers.  So I also asked the question on facebook and so far I've gotten nine answers.  Most of the answers are emphatic No's.  One was "it depends".  And one was not much before kids, and no after kids.

When I look at these people who know me--some well, some not so well; some have known me for decades, others for a year or less; some knew me better as a teen or a young adult or an experienced mother--I'm trying to see me through their perspective.

Here are reasons why I think they think I am not shy:

1.  In high school I was involved in lots of things--presidents of clubs, plays, sports

2.  I had a reasonably large group of friends

3.  I have never been afraid of performing or public speaking.  I really REALLY enjoy being in front of crowds--the bigger the better.

4.  I get animated and loud when I speak

5.  I have no problem whatsoever sharing intimate details of my life with total strangers.  That's why the Hubba calls me an emotional exhibitionist.

6.  Um, my blog.

7.  I TALK A LOT.  So much so that it embarrasses me but I can't seem to control the verbal vomit that just won't stop.  Especially if it's a great conversation.

8.  I talk a lot about myself.  The way I feel I connect with people is that when they tell me something, I come up with something similar about myself that kind of bonds us together.  I really don't ask very many questions of other people.

But I wonder if people know these other things about me.  These things make me think that maybe I am shy.

1.  I dread walking into a group gathering by myself.  I may be excited to be at a party or a function or a meeting or relief society, but the actual act of walking in to a huge room full of people--I hate it.  Most of the time when that happens, I sit or stand by myself and resign myself to the fact that I will be utterly alone during the entire function.  The only thing worse than being utterly alone is if and when someone does come up to me and then I feel even MORE awkward and wish they would have just left me in my solitary bubble because that was actually less uncomfortable.  I'm the kind of person who enters a big room and wants to pick the seat in the corner with no seats next to it as far back as possible so I can just hang out there and watch without having to interact.

2.  While I love large groups, sometimes one on conversations with people I don't know well are very hard for me.  For instance, on Sunday I saw an acquaintance of mine whom I hadn't seen for a while.  I asked her how things were going for her.  I thought she had been gone for one reason, but it turns out she was gone for another reason.  At one point she said "I've missed talking to you."  And I actually blurted out, "But we never talk."  I honestly didn't know why she would miss me because as far as I knew we didn't even really talk.   Awkward.  Anyway, the point is little chit chat like that makes me nervous and I don't do it well.

3.  For several years I walked to the school across the street to pick up kindergarteners.  Every time I get there, there are groups of moms and dads talking and I stand there by myself talking to no one while I wait.  I always wondered how these people even know each other since I don't know any of them.  How did they all get to be friends?

4.  There are plenty of times in my life when in order to get something that I want, I have to be assertive.  And when I weigh the balance of being assertive v. getting what I want, I decide that getting what I want isn't really that important and I can do without.

5.  Sometimes when I go about my daily life, I get the feeling that people are watching me and I want to be invisible and not have anyone see me or look at me or notice me.

6.  I feel so guilty about this one.  When I am with my children and talking to adults in situations that are uncomfortable for me, I purposefully draw attention to the kid so that the pressure and awkwardness is off of me.

7.  Meeting new people is just really hard.  Whether it's my kids friends or at church or whatever, I just never know what to say.

02 July 2015

You don't know what you've got 'till it's gone.

I actually hate that saying.  I especially hate the idea in the context of romance and love songs.  Cliche makes me want to vomit.  Yet, in this case, it's totally a propos.

After 5 (I think) years of not having any cooling in our house, we finally fixed the air conditioner.  "Fix" is probably too strong of a word for what was actually done to it, but we figured out the problem and now it's not a problem anymore.  So we've had AC now for like three days.

As I've been enjoying the feeling of being comfortable in my own house, I am remembering how it felt to me when we first bought this house.  I mean, the first four or so years of home ownership which were also the first four years of living in air conditioning.

The only thing I really remember about it is that I was always inching the thermostat lower and lower.  It was just too hot.  I tried to keep the thermostat up around 78 degrees to save money and resources the way you are supposed to do.  But I could never keep it there!

One time I was talking to a good friend about that phenomenon and she told me that when she feels like the inside of her house is not cool enough, she goes outside on her southern-facing deck for a few minutes and then comes back inside.

Isn't that funny how that simple story has stuck with me for 7 years or more?

Today my thermostat is set at 78.  And there are places in the house that are warmer than others.  But overall, 78 degrees feels remarkably cool.  Sometimes downright chilly now.  And in fact yesterday we had a small blip with the workingness of our AC and the inside temperature temporarily rose again up to 85 which was STILL noticeably cooler than it's been in 4 or 5 summers.

It's just interesting how uncomfortably warm 78 always seemed to me before and that it doesn't feel that way now.  The only thing that has changed is perspective.  Like the way my friend's house felt warm after being inside it all day, but when she stepped out into something hotter, it made her appreciate how cool her house actually was.

30 June 2015

Non-selfie Selfies

I had to update my headshots for applications to do shoots with the Church.  And as luck would have it, today was a good face day.  (I won't really say the same for my hair.)  So Baboo ran out and took these photos of me in the backyard.  I like them.


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