Sunday, January 25, 2009

Let's be honest.

I remember being in fifth grade and sitting in a circle with Mrs. Mills and my classmates. Mrs. Mills asked us to go around the circle and say what it was that each of us hated. I remember that on her turn, Mrs. Mills said that she hated being lied to. I remember thinking, Yeah. I hate that, too. I'm a pretty honest person. I mean, aside from the little lie I told in December, I generallly do my best to be honest with people. I mention this because several of you have commented at some point or another that you appreciate my honesty. I really do try to be honest, so I appreciate the compliment very much. But if you really want me to be honest, let me disclose that I edit the things that I write and the pictures I display on my blog just like anybody does. I want to say the things and show the pictures that you will like. That's not to say that the things I write are not true, or the pictures not real--it's just that there is a whole lot more that is also true that you have not seen on my blog. You don't see, for example, the pictures where my hair is not done or I look fat, etc. Heck, just a little earlier I was filming Danin, trying to get her to say 'Mommy' and 'Daddy' on camera, and as I was doing it, I noticed that in the background you could see clothes all over the floor of my bathroom. See, that kind of stuff tends to not make it onto my blog. And a while ago, I had a really cute picture of one of the kids on the toilet, but I decided not to post the picture when I noticed you could see urine on the baseboard. Sick! Forget that picture! I know how we all are--clicking on all of the pictures on everybody's blog to get a closer look at everything. We're all the same. So should be given to those of you who really are honest on your blogs.

The truth is I really don't have anything interesting to share right now, so I'm rambling. Some of your husbands might find the following a bit intersting, though: A couple months ago I agreed to attend a shooting class with Brian. It involved several hours of hand gun information at the beginning and then some actual target shooting at the end. Brian had arranged for me to use a gun that had been loaded with less gun powder--so as not to produce as strong a "kick" as guns normally do. Now, I haven't shot a gun since I was probably 13 or so at girls' camp, mind you, but I put 12 guys (and two girls) to shame that day. And even though I was very slow, I'm not sure Brian has ever been more proud of me (or more turned on) than he was that day. So on Friday night, we went shooting again as part of our date night. We were interested to see how I would do with guns that hadn't been "downloaded" amd the answer was clear: awesome. Here is what my last 34 (of 46) shots looked like.
Who would have known that I had a talent hiding under a bushel all along? Oh, and by the way--I am hereby officially declaring my blog a place to declare the correct lyrics to songs we have mis-sung for too long. Will you share with all of us what lyrics you learned, Rach? (You better believe I didn't know the right ones either.) And Dad, did you ever find the correct lyrics you were looking for? For now, I will start us out: In that True Blue song by Madonna, the real words are not "your love makes me lighten up." They are "your heart fits me like a glove." And you are not allowed to say that you already knew that.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Welp. Part of my suffering is over. The 6'x10' rug has sold out. And guess what? Even though I would love to have had that rug, I'm still doing alright.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I need support!

So I was rolling along doing fabulously at not spending money--until I got the Ballard Designs catalog in the mail. I swear I get panick attacks when I see something amazing on a really good sale that I cannot take part in. I mean, how am I supposed to stand idly by while Ballard is selling this clock for 160 bucks--less than half of the normal price (and have I mentioned that my favorite decorating color is red? And this sucker is almost 4 feet in diameter!)

And this 6'x9'real wool rug is on sale for $120--an even a smaller fraction of the normal price?

And it gets even worse! is taking an additional 15% off everything until tomorrow!
SERIOUSLY--I need someone to talk me through this. A gigantic red clock that would look awesome anywhere is lame, right? And who needs a real wool rug that matches all the new greens in my house, anyway? And who am I kidding? Chances are, in a few months, people won't even be using clocks or rugs anymore....Yeah, that's right...
I should have just the right amount of self control to get through this because I did withstand a temptation that I was faced with on Sunday. But I just don't know if I can do it! Please help me!

On a mother load...What? Did someone just say that it is supposed to be on another note? Ahhhhhh! Well then, on another note--guess who's been on time three weeks in a row for church? We're talking IN the building, SITTING DOWN before the clock strikes ten. I know. Pretty amazing.
And Camp is in charge of family night tonight, and earlier today he told me that the lesson is going to be on private parts. Yikes! This should be interesting..
Man, I REALLY NEED that clock and rug...

Friday, January 16, 2009

For all intensive purposes

I've always believed myself to be an adept communicator. I've never had a problem expressing what I'm feeling or explaining myself or getting a point across. Granted, this may be because there is never a shortage of words when I am communicating (I fear I am becoming one of those people whose trap is never shut), but whatever the case, I feel confident in my ability to have others understand me. Unfortunately, the same is often not true when I am trying to understand what is being communicated to me. Although it may have something to do with my hearing, I fear it mostly has to do with my lack of common sense. These misunderstandings fall into two categories: situations when the person talking to me is being sarcastic or trying to imply something and I totally fail to recognize it, and situations when I do not understand or hear correctly the actual words spoken to me. Thankfully, I know there are others of you out there who are as slow to catch on to sarcasm and implications as I am, but do any of you still have a hard time understanding what words are being spoken? (Here I am touting what a good communicator I am and I have this feeling that none of you know what the heck I'm talking about.)
Let me illustrate. Have you guys all played Mad Gab? It's that game where there are silly phrases written on cards and one team at a time has to keep repeating the phrases until they are able to figure out the real phrases being represented. For example, a card might read Way tame hen hit, and the team has to figure out that the phrase being represented is Wait a minute. Understand?
Well for me, it is like I have been playing this game my entire life, except backwards. It's like someone is saying to me "Wait a minute," and I am like "What? What do you mean, 'Way tame hen hit?'" I'm not kidding! It happens ALL THE TIME, and it is so humiliating. Remember that Hands to Heaven song? (Tonight I need your sweet caress, hold me in the darkness...) Well, despite the fact that I had been listening to and singing that song for most of my life, it had never occurred to me that perhaps the lyrics tonight you call my rest lush nest, you believe my sadness didn't make a lick of sense. It wasn't until Brian and I were dating and we were driving back to his house while this song was on the radio and he sang, tonight you calm my restlessness; you relieve my sadness, that I thought, but of course! And then there was the time in college when I was sitting around the kitchen table with my roommates trying to coordinate something, and I said, "Well, we'll just play it by year." And my roommate asked, "Did you just say 'play it by year'?" And I said, "Yeah." And she said, "It's play it by ear!" Are you kidding me? I had spent like twenty years saying 'play it by year' and nobody had ever enlightened me? So anyway, this is the sort of thing that happens to me all the time.
Well the other day, I was reading Brooke's blog and she was saying, "For all intents and purposes..." and I started chuckling to myself thinking, how fabulous that my Florence best friend has the same disorder I have! She doesn't realize that it is supposed to be for all intensive purposes. Hehehe..he......he....he....Wait a minute! Oh, crap, not again! Later on, Brian confirmed what I had feared--it's not for all intensive purposes. Please forgive me for doubting you, Brooke. I should have known better.

I've never posted this fabulous picture taken at Laura's wedding. It's the picture that Sarah put in the center of the quilt she made me for Christmas. I love it!

And here's a few more just for entertainment and history's sake.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thanks, Mom

Leave it to my mom to know that She Will Be Loved is by Maroon 5 and not Five For Fighting. You know you're a bit out of touch when your mom knows more about current music than you do. I know what you're thinking. "Ummm, Ann--that song came out like five years ago." Well, whatever. Five years ago is about as close as I can keep up.

And just to make this post a little longer, I'll document something Camp said the other day: "Where the hell is the playdoh?"
To which I questioned, "What did you say?"
"I said, 'Where is the playdoh?'
"No. That's not what you said."
"I said, 'Where the hell is the playdoh."
"Camp, I know Daddy says that word, but it's not a good word. It's not a word that we should say."

You always know a family is white trash when their five-year-old swears. Dang it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

She Will Be Loved

So I was clipping along on the treadmill at the gym today--at a pretty good pace, I might add, and I started feeling like I was going to lose control. No, no, no. I didn't wet my pants--although that wouldn't have been the first time. It was one of those times when I was listening to my music--this time it was She Will Be Loved by Five For Fighting (is that right?)--and I couldn't fight the power of the music one moment longer. My mouth flew open and I realized that I was belting out the song for all the gym to hear. Did I want to die? NO! I felt more alive than I ever have before! It felt so good, in fact, that despite the fact that so many people starting laughing, I continued to sing until the end of the song. When the song was over and I was getting off the treadmill, the old guy next to me said, "Thank you." I'm still not sure if he was thanking me for the song or the fact that I was finally getting off the treadmill, but whatever. It was worth it.

P.S. Ok, Ok. So I exaggerated the truth a bit. Actually, the true part was that I WAS on the treadmill at the gym today, and I WAS listening to She Will Be Loved, and I did WANT to start belting out the song. Can you imagine what that would really be like? Wouldn't it be amazing? I'll tell you what. If I am ever diagnosed with some illness which only gives me a finite number of days to live, you better believe I'm going to be belting out songs at the gym on one of those last days, and it IS going to be amazing.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

You know what I hate? Urine. All over my bathroom. It's almost more than I can handle.
You know what movie is one of my new favorites? Pursuit of Happiness.
You know all that stuff I said about how much I had progressed last year with not losing my temper? Well tonight after I had dropped off Camp's friend, Camp and I got into it (I can't believe I ever let this happen with a five-year-old!) and I really yelled, "CAAAAMMMMP," and as I heard my voice echoing down the street, I realized that all of the windows of the van were down. Hmm. That's nice. Now all the people in that culdesac think I'm a wacko. I would have thought the same thing. Anyway...can we say REgression?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Little More To Say

Before Christmas fades into the past too much I wanted to say a couple more things about it. Every year I take my Christmas stuff down on New Year's Day. And if you know how much I love Christmas, you can probably guess what a hard day this day could potentially be for me. The only thing that gets me through the mourning process that would otherwise accompany putting all the Christmas stuff away is the joy of reorganizing, rearranging furniture again, and putting up any new decor stuff that I (hopefully) got. Right after Christmas, Brian finished a second book shelf to match the one he built me for my birthday, so I was in need of a new family room arrangement to accomodate my new bookshelves and the table I got for my birthday. Yeah, baby. I LOVE rearranging furniture. I have loved it since I was a little girl on Prince Lane. My room was small back then--with two twin beds, a dresser and a small shelf--so you wouldn't think there would be many rearranging possibilities, but I rearranged alright. Oh, yes I did. And I continue to do so. So anyway, this is how the room looks now. You may notice the red berry wreath and boughs that I've left up. I just love the red so much. I figure it is still appropriate for the remaining winter season. Plus, Brooke said I could leave it up all year, so I may just do that. After all, green is the second most dominant color in the room (aside from brown, of course)and red IS the compliment to green. So anyway...

And I'm sure many of you have seen this shelf in the Pottery Barn catalog for two hundred bones (as my younger, cooler siblings would say.)

Lucky for me, Brian can build it for free with scrap wood and I can paint it red (it looks a lot pinker in the pics than it really is.) I don't have the hooks for it yet, but I'll be getting them ...sometime after February 24th. I love shelves with hooks because they are so functional. Some day I am going to have these kinds of shelves in the kids' bathroom. That way I won't have to worry about the kids not haning their towels up nicely on the towel bars. Wouldn't that be excellent?

And lastly, my sister made me this fabulous quilt. I love it. It goes well with the colors in my room and I can't wait to frame it. (Sarah sewed a dowell loop onto the back of it, but I would rather mat and frame it.) I love the variety it adds.

So I survived the "big Christmas take-down" just fine.

Aaannndd, that's not all I have to say. I also have to say that my kids are very talented artists. See?

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Whole New Year! (kinda like the Aladdin song)

Man, 2008 was such a cool year. Have you ever had a year go by where you felt like nothing important was accomplished that year? Well, I'm pleased to report that 2008 was not one of those years. I accomplished some very cool things. Well, two actually. And actually, I didn't really accomplish anything in the sense that I mastered it or even completed it--but I progressed, and that's enough to make me feel like the year was not wasted. Raise your hand if you want to know how I have become cooler...Ok. I'll tell you. First, I have become a better mom because I have become significantly better at controlling my temper. I have not been yelling and screaming, violently throwing Camp into his room, getting in arguments, etc. nearly as much. I have learned to take deep breaths, close my eyes, keep my voice down, etc., and it feels so good to feel like I have control of myself at times. (Don't let me mislead you. I still mess up a lot, but again, the key word is progression.) I think I mentioned in a previous post that I never recognized my weaknesses and imperfections like I do now that I've got kids.
And this leads to the second way that I have become cooler: I have strengthened my relationship with Christ. I have never felt gratitude and need for His atonement as much as I have in the last couple years as I've watched myself screw up with my kids and husband on a daily basis. I am constantly asking for forgiveness and help doing better and I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to be forgiven and try again to do better--all because of the atonement of Jesus Christ. As I have prayed for help and forgiveness, I have felt the Savior's unconditional love and hope in my improvement. Also, I have prayed really hard this year to know how to become closer to and really know Christ and the answer I have gotten has most often been: learn to love others the way Christ does. Why haven't I really put this principle into action before? Why didn't I trust what I have been taught so many times-that serving others really does bring happiness? Why did I not practice what the Savior himself has taught: Lovest thou me?...Feed my sheep. I don't know. But lucky for me, the Savior will never give up on me and I'm sure he is so excited that I am finally listening. During this Christmas season especially, I prayed that Heavenly Father would give me opportunities to show others Christ's love, and would you believe it? It ended up being ME who felt the Savior's love when I did so! Who would've known? (Don't answer that.) And every time I did something for someone else, I felt Heavenly Father telling me--THIS is who Christ is. THIS is what it feels like to know him. Man, what a powerful lesson! And guess what? I used to only feel like I was praying to Heavenly Father--In my mind I could see him listening to me pray--but now I can "see" the Savior there as well. Oh, man. I am so grateful! So, so cool! I know I need to study the life and teachings of the Savior, too, so I will add that to my efforts this year. So anyway...good year.

This year I am going to continue to work on my self control, but I am going to expand my efforts a little. I remember that when I was teaching the Young Women a few years ago, I came across a quote by one of the general authorities (I'll try to find it so that I'm not one of those lame mormons that is always passing on fake quotes or stories that they are sure so-and-so said) that said something to the effect of: any time we practice self control--emphasis on any time--we strengthen our ability to overcome temptations thrown at us by Satan. Isn't that amazing?! So anytime I keep my mouth shut instead of arguing, or any time I keep my mouth shut instead of downing a blizzzard, for that matter--I increase my power over Satan. INcredible. So this year I am going to continue to try and control my temper, my apetite, and my spending.

I've mentioned before that Brian and I are pretty good at not spending money we don't have--although we did get a loan for my minivan--but we are both fairly terrible at saving money. I used to have to save a good part of the money I made during the summers to pay my tuition at BYU, but that being the exception, I have never in my life saved up for something. Isn't that pathetic? Obviously I have bought things, but that's just the problem. Every time I get a little extra money, I spend it like it is going to fly out of my pocket if I don't. And I don't spend it wisely. I don't carefully consider what I will really enjoy long term and what will really be worth it in the long run. I just spend. Consequently (and because Brian does the same thing) we have about $350 in savings. Yeah, that's gonna save us when Brian runs out of work. SOOOO, I am going to start using self control in my spending. Every time I am tempted to buy something, I am going to have a little team meeting with myself where I say, "Ann, walk away. You don't need it. Walk Away. YOU CAN DO IT!" Specifically, I have committed myself to not spending a dime on anything unnecessary (that means clothes, accessories, home decor, etc.) until February 24th--my anniversary. You always have to get a present on special occasions.) It may sound like a lame goal, but I'm being realistic and starting small. Also, I am committing myself to not making any large purchases unless I have actually put money aside for it for atleast four months. So there you go. Can you even imagine how much self control I will be building up if I am able to master myself with my spending and my temper? I'll be like, "What's up NOW, Satan?!" So wish me luck. one final motivator for me, I am offering any of you who leave a comment a dollar for any and every time I spend money on myself before February 24th. If it happens, I'll get your address so that I can send you your buck. It will be on the honor system and you'll just have to take my word for it that I have a lot of honor. Happy New Year.