Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I know. I've just got so much to say lately. I'm still thinking about how my life has changed in the last ten years--or rather, what I've learned in the last ten years. Some of the things I've learned are so cool that I should be featured on Oprah to share them with the world--except that I am boycotting Ophrah, because she's retarded. So here is my top ten list. It's kinda like David Letterman's top 10 list, except that my top ten things are not necessarily funny, and they are not necessarily the top ten.

#10. If you always wear make-up, everyone will notice when you don't. If you go frequently without make-up, nobody will notice and nobody will care.

#9. I'm much cooler when I refrain from gossiping.

#8. Kissing is not really scary. It's only a little bit scary.

#7. What it means to truly be a good friend.

#6. Heavenly Father really is a God of miracles.

#5. A hen is just a female chicken. A rooster is a male chicken.

#4. It's difficult to understand and appreciate the Atonement until we see the need to repent.

#3. It's not "play it by year, " it's "play it by ear."

#2. How male horses' privates' work. Fascinating.

#1. (Chels taught me this and it has changed my life) It's totally possible to convince people you are beautiful. ( I'm not kidding. Brian is totally convinced. ) It all comes back to the fact that confidence really is everything.

Wait. I guess this is the top 11 list because I've got one more super big one.

#11. If you want someone (like your husband or wife, for example) to feel that you are the most beautiful, wonderful, talented, amazing, fun, interesting, sexy person in the whole world, all you have to do is show that person that THAT is how you feel about THEM.
So according to Ames, I never told her that I was pregnant. I still think I did, but who knows? Anyway, here you go, Ames. This is me in all of my 6-month, no mascara beauty. At first I was going to make myself beautiful for all of you, but then this little voice inside of me said, "So, Ann--Why don't you put your money where your mouth is?" So here I am without make-up for all of the world to see. I seriously don't think any of you--excluding those that have lived with me--have ever seen me without mascara. So there you go. I've got no more secrets! I'm free! Well, I've got two secrets, but none of you will ever know them. I'm the least private person you know, but there are still things I just can't bear to tell. Anyway, I've also told many of you what happened to my left leg whenI was prego with Camp and has continued to darken and get worse ( I think) with every pregnancy. I've got some serious vericose veins going on--so bad, in fact, that I have had more than a couple people ask me what happened to my leg. Bummer. I was so excited to never get stretch marks on my belly, but i'm not sure which is worse--swollen old lady legs that everyone sees or a stretched tummy that only Brian sees (when he's lucky). I'm not sure. Maybe I'll start wearing halter tops to divert attention from my legs. We'll see.

you're seeing it all

bearing it all
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Monday, June 25, 2007

I can't believe that it has been ten years since I graduated from high school. My own high school graduation has been on my mind lately for a lot of reasons--Partly because I had several young women graduate this year; partly because my mom brought to my attention how common it is for kids to cheat in school, and that a majority of the Valedictorians of my sisters' graduating years were cheaters; and partly because I got something in the mail telling me that my 10 year class reunion was being planned. Crazy.

So what has ten years done for me? Well, a lot. I feel like I am a different person in many ways. Here is one way:

I have finally started gaining confidence. Although throughout my life I have been blessed to know and feel like Heavenly Father thinks I'm super cool, I wasn't comfortable with myself for most of my youth. I remember being a little girl and thinking that I was different from the other girls (probably because they had hair and I didn't). I remember that as I got older I was always obsessed with the fact that I wasn't as pretty as so many of the girls around me. I remember that when I was with my family and my closest cousins or friends, I was fun enough, but when I entered a situation or environment with which I was not familiar, my personality was sucked right out of me and I had nothing to offer. I was always pretty smart, but for most of my years, being smart was not cool. And neither was being honest. I remember wanting to be rich like so many of my friends. I remember wishing I was more adventurous, more talented...Oh, man, I could go on forever. BUT the point is: NOW I know that I am cool.

I am finally comfortable with myself. I can go to the store without mascara. Heck, I can even go DAYS without mascara. (No one but those other unfortunate souls with short, totally blond eyelashes can understand this freedom.) I can wear a swimsuit and even get my hair wet. I can participate in conversation with people I don't know. I can respect and enjoy people who are different from me. I can laugh and be laughed at. I can recognize my weaknesses and appreciate my strengths. I can run a marathon. I can help a struggling boy get on a mission. I can say sorry. I can try new foods. I can admit my insecurities. I can perform in a talent show. I can do ten pull-ups. I can go a whole day without yelling. Woops! Thinking about my coolness is leading me to be a little deceitful. Those last three things were complete lies. The most important thing, though, that has contributed to my being comfortable with myself, is having a husband and almost three kids who love and appreciate me, and living in a place where I can't escape the opportunity to serve.

Monday, June 18, 2007

This one's for you, Babe.

I love Brian because he has a genuine desire to make me happy. He is the kind of husband that serioulsy wants me to have whatever it is that I want. He NEVER gets mad at me for spending money. (Lucky for him, there are no stores to shop at here in Florence, and I'm pretty controlled in my spending anyway. ) He's the kind of husband that will take me shopping for my birthday, and he never gets impatient. He's the kind of husband who opens my car door when we go on dates and he opens all other doors for me all of the time. He's the kind of husband who will drop me off at the church doors because it is raining and he knows I'll be ticked to have my hair rained on. (I do wonder, though, if this service is a reflection of the fact that he is so overjoyed at my having actually done my hair.) He's the kind of husband who hates it when I take out the garbage or clean my own car because he feels like that should be his job. He's the kind of husband who is always willing to stay home with the kids so that I can enjoy a girs' night, or book club or whatever.

I love Brian because he is what every Eagle scout should be. He is constantly happy to serve others and is constantly doing so. His service can get so out of control that I have seriously had day dreams about standing at the pulpit and announcing that from that point on, Brian will only be available for service on the days that I approve. Brian is always prepared for every situation. He has a tool kit, a rope, a first aid kid, etc. just about everywhere he goes and he uses them often--usually to help other people. He can whip up some kind of lever to get us into our car when we have locked the keys inside, he can sew buttons on a shirt, he can tie a different knot for whatever situation you can think of, he can serioulsy do anything. He is super strong and he is curteous (sp?), kind, brave, and all of those other qualities listed in the scout motto--well, maybe he's still got some work in the thrifty and reverent departments... But man, he is amazing.

I love Brian because he is the kind of dad that our kids absolutely worship. Like my dad, he plays with our kids and genuinely loves to be with them. They both squeal and rush to greet him every time he walks in the door. He has been taking Camp to Fathers and Sons outings since Camp was a baby. He lets the kids work along side him.

I love Brian because he is a super hard worker. He loves to work and he works quickly. He has no sympathy for people who are unmotivated, bored, or sit around for long periods of time watching TV or playing video games. He always has a project going.

I love Brian because he is smart. I went into our marriage thinking that I was the smarter partner because I had always gotten better grades than he and I graduated from college. However, I've come to recognize that not only does he kick my trash at Jeopardy, but he has common sense that I can never even hope for. And he has a higher IQ than I have.

I love Brian because he does so well at protecting and providing for our family.

I love Brian because he has a powerful testimony of the gospel and of the atonement, and he has no fear of sharing the gospel with others.

I know...his greatness is intimidating. I have a hard time contributing anything to our marriage. The only thing that saves me is that I recognize his greatness, I keep a pretty clean house, and I make a mean lasagna.
OK, so it's one day late, but let me tell you some of the wonderful things about my dad and my husband.

I love my dad because he took very seriously the responsibility of teaching me the gospel. I feel lucky to say that I did not learn the gospel from seminary or church leaders. I learned it from my parents. I remember my dad teaching us during FHE and relating experiences he had had while growing up. I still remember some of the stories he told because they have helped me to live the gospel more fully. I saw my parents reading the scriptures constantly. It seems like my dad fell asleep reading his scriptures (or a BYU sports magazine) nearly every night. My parents' example taught me that a person really can LOVE to read the scriptures.

I love my dad because he taught me the importance of having integrity.

I love my dad because he played with me and with my siblings when we were kids. He had races with us up and down the sidewalk, he rolled us up in blankets like burritos, he played sports with my brothers, he tickled us, he tried to eat us. He really enjoyed us.

I love my dad because I can't remember a time when he was in a bad mood. That's not to say that I (and my siblings) didn't ever fight with him or become furious with him or disagree with him, but in general, he was in a good mood.

I love my dad because he has never been the slightest bit materialistic and he taught me to be grateful.

I love my dad because I have always felt is love for me.

Happy Fathers' Day!

Wow. These are the moments a mother lives for.... Ya, OK, so it was staged. Still, they were already sitting on the step eating popsicles. All I did was tell Camp to put his arm around Jane. He thought to kiss her himself. So it was still a beautiful moment.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

So today is Fathers' Day. I love Fathers' Day just like I love every holiday. Holidays provide a good reason to eat more thant usual and buy cards and have fun as a family. Today was one of those days.

I've been really looking forward to doing a Fathers' Day blog and sharing with you all of the wonderful things about my husband and father. However, I find that it is the end of the day and I still have not done it and Brian is looking forward to a different kind of attention. Not the kind where I write mushy things about my love for him and post it on the internet--if you know what I mean. So, if you are interested in knowing all of the reasons that my dad and husband are the best in the whole world, you'll have to wait until tomorrow. I will write all of my mushy feelings then.

I hope you all had a good day...

Monday, June 11, 2007

This blogging thing has already done something good for me. It has motivated and reminded me to take more pictures. I know that anyone visiting this site will care a whole lot more about pics of my kids than about what I have to say--so it is of little consequence that I never have anything good to say.

Yesterday was a good day. Sundays are almost always good days--a day when we have a big nap, followed by a big dinner--a day when Brian is home. What could be better? But yesterday was especially good because it followed a really crappy day. On Saturday, I was a crappy mother and a crappy wife, so I had a crappy day. My uncle (and bishop) counseled us that saying words like "crap" show a lack of style, but man, my family was sustained on the word "crap, " so it's going to take some work for me not to say it.

Anyway, I had the baptism of one of my young women to go to in the afternoon, and Brian wasn't home to help me, so the whole experience was not a delightful one. Camp had a birthday party to go to. I went with him for a couple hours, but the party was still going when I had to leave to go make the cookies that the Elders had asked me right before the party to make for the baptism. So I left Camp at the party and made as many cookies as 40 minutes would afford me. I had put Jane down for a nap when I got home so I just grabbed her out of bed and threw her in the car to go pick up Camp and head to the baptism. When I got to April's house to pick up Camp, he had wet his pants and soaked his shoes. Luckily, April had a spare pair of his shorts to put on him, but we were out of luck in the shoe department. So I showed up LATE to the baptism (at which I had been asked to say the opening prayer) and I had two raggedy-looking kids with no shoes on. They had someone else give the opening prayer while I fought with Camp to stay in his seat and be quiet. You may be thinking, "Ann, all that doesn't make you a crappy wife and a crappy mother." But, you see, I have skillfully neglected to tell you about the way I reacted and dealt with all of these scenarios. Saturday was a terrible, horrible, no good, very crappy day. I feel your pain, Alexander.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Blogging? I feel the same way that Camp felt yesterday when I was trying to help him go potty. We were unable to efficiently get his "potty" untangled from his shirt and pants quickly enough and he ended up spraying a good part of the bathroom. What was his reaction to this? He said, "Oh brudder. Oh brudder." I kinda feel the same way about blogging. I feel so hesitant for some reason to enter mainstream society and do all of these wierd modern things. Getting a cell phone was hard enough for me. I only consented because I was pregnant and my doctor is an hour away, and Brian said I needed to have one. The only part of modern communication that I really feel comfortable with is email because it's been around so long....

Anyway, I never thought I would be blogging. But Lila made a good point. It's an easy way for family to keep track of me. (Assuming they care to.) I feel bad about not writing in my journal more often, so maybe I can save this thing to a disk or something and have it forever. OOh, that would be splendid.

So what do you say in these things? I don't really have anything to say right now.