Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Who's the wild man now?!

I just finished watching Rudy. Man. I hate to say it, but watching Rudy elicits the same emotions in me as sitting through a really good testimony meeting. You know what I mean? My heart gets caught up in my throat and I'm flooded with memories and self evaluation and lessons learned throughout my life. Wanna hear a story?
When I was a freshman at Cimarron, I went out for the track team. I had always been a decent runner. And although I'd never been the fastest, I had always been able to at least hold my own up there toward the front of the pack in elementary and middle school races. I had enjoyed the competition at that level --you just put on your tennis shoes for P.E. and ran. There were no grueling practices or zone/state titles on the line. There were no coaches bearing down on you. It was all just for fun. So I was a little disillusioned by the experience I had going into track in high school. Being a freshman made things scary enough, but being new to that side of town all together made things even scarier. And I wasn't just a new freshman from the other side of town, I was a new freshman with no teeth from the other side of town. Oh yes. It was during this lovely time in my life that I had had my two lateral incisors (is that right--the ones right next to your front teeth?)pulled and braces put on just my bottom teeth and my two lone front teeth. Oh, my heavens. It was horrible. Every time I mustered the courage to talk to someone, they just stared at my teeth the entire time my mouth was open. And I didn't have even a hint of a tan, and I didn't wear boxers and a tank top to practice. I just felt lonely and totally out of place. I remember praying my way through the initial practices and tryouts--hoping things would become more enjoyable once the real competition started. Nope. I was so dang nervous at track meets that I couldn't even breath regularly.
I did pretty well, though--for a freshman, anyway...I remember this one time when I asked Mr. Walker if he would take me out of the mile and only put me in the 800. He agreed reluctantly, but told me that if I didn't run the 800 faster than I ever had, he would put me in the 2 mile. Well, I ran, I tell ya. And as I rounded the last corner of the track toward the straight-away, I could hear my mom screaming from the crowd, "You got her, Ann! You got her!" It hadn't occurred to me that I might be able to pass the senior girl just ahead of me. Those words infused power into my legs, though, and I passed her, finishing in second place overall--first place for Cimarron. I remember coach being so excited for me and asking me why I hadn't always run like that. Looking back, I wish I had. And I wish I could tell you that from that day on, I ran harder and gave it my all, but I didn't. In fact, I ended up quitting right before our zone tournament. I was too tired and too afraid. And I never ran another season. Sad, huh? Pathetic is more like it.
When I decided to run the St. George Marathon three years ago, I did it in large part to redeem myself from having been a quitter in high school. I wanted to do something--for once in my life--that was hard--and hang in there 'till the end.
Brian runs the St. George Marathon this Saturday and I am so proud of him. And like I said a few posts back--Brian is not a runner. No, he is running the marathon because he is the kind of person who has always pushed himself to do things that are hard for him. Brian's high school sports history is quite different from mine. His is a much better story. He was just like Rudy. As a little fat kid, he went out for football, wrestling, and track his freshman year--and then again his sophomore year, and then again his junior year, and finally, his senior year. And you know what? Finally, his senior year, he contributed to a winning season for each of those sports. What is so amazing to me, though, is that he hung in there and kept working and pushing himself for all of those other years when he wasn't very good. I remember that while we were dating, I would find little pieces of paper in his jacket pockets that said things like run five miles, or do fifty push-ups, or whatever, and he would pull one out regularly and do what was written. It impressed me then and it still impresses me. I want to be that kind of person.
Right now, Brian is asleep in his work cloths on the floor beside my chair. He was super tired after having worked straight through the night twice this week. But come Saturday, he is going to do great, because he is amazing. And I am going to love cheering for him.

Oh! You know what the best part of Rudy is? The part at the very end where the black guy watches Rudy sack the quarter back and then claps hard three times before turning away...I'm about to bear my testimony just thinking about it, I swear...

Saturday, September 26, 2009


I am witnessing a miracle. It is now 8:45 a.m. and all three of my kids are still asleep. Shhhhhhh....

Sunday, September 20, 2009


On Saturday, I enjoyed a much needed date. No, not with Brian (we went out on Friday). With Camp. I know I've said it before, but I've got to say it again. Taking my kids out one-on-one does so much for our relationship. I really do see them through clearer, better eyes. Camp chose to go to Subway again--I guess it will be a tradition--and he requested to sit at the picnic tables outside. He is so funny. The kid talks non-stop. And he ate a whole foot-long. I finished way before him so I got to sit there and watch him just totally enjoying himself. And I did my best to not tell him to hurry. The poor kid probably hears hurry up about twenty times a day. Oh, man--the regrets of a mother. But he wanted to go to Fred Meyer to show me the key chains he likes. After checking those out, we spent another hour, atleast, scoping out the Halloween isles and then the toy section. Isn't it funny how kids could seriously spend ten hours examining and commenting on each and every toy? And finally, after I had lovingly dragged Camp away from the toy isles and he had spent at least a good twenty five minutes in the bathroom, we went to look for some new sneakers. (Hmmm....I love that word--sneakers) See, this is the thing. Camp is over-the-top picky when it comes to his shoes. He has worn his Crocs for almost the entirety of his last three years, so trying to get him used to anything else has been a bit of a nightmare. It's always the same thing. He puts on the shoes; he writhes around in torture, screaming; he says they are itching his toes or that there are weird bumps, and we finally pull the shoes off in an effort to stop the madness. (This reminds me....When I was a teenager, I didn't care how in the heck a pair of shoes felt on my feet--minus my track shoes--as long as they were cute. And even worse, I would buy a pair of cute shoes in my normal size or smaller that were WAY TOO TIGHT on my feet before I would go up a size. Going up a size would just be a painful reminder that I was tall with big feet and that I would never be dainty and feminine. Oh, and that reminds me--my mom told me that she had a roommate in college who was in denial about her appropriate bra size. So despite desperately needing a size 40 DD, she wore an A. For her, getting a larger bra meant accepting her weight problems and it was just more than she could handle. I totally get it because of my shoe thing. )This time, though, things went considerably better. Although Camp still managed to find some kind of defect with the first five pairs he tried on, he at least voiced his protest rationally and allowed me to offer additional alternatives. And you know what? We finally found a pair he liked. Not only did he agree to wear them, but he said they felt good. It only helped that I told him that they were athletic shoes made especially for running. Already he is convinced that they do, in fact, make him run faster and jump higher. We broke them in with a few laps around the neighborhood. Anyway, I'm delighted.
And can you beleive it? My camera battery was dead for Jane's first day of preschool! But trust me. She looked stinkin' darling, marching on in there with a big ol' smile on her face. And she LOVED it--just like I knew she would. Have I ever mentioned what an angel Jane is in primary? She gave her first talk today and Brian didn't even have to dictate to her what to say the whole time. The last time Camp was asked to give a talk, however, he refused to say anything at all, so while I proceeded to give his talk for him, he decided his contribution would be stomping on my feet. Perfect. Speaking of Camp and violence and church, the visitors in back of us in sacrament meeting today looked on in horror as Camp jabbed a colored pencil into my arm--breaking the skin--and then whined during the sacrament prayer, and kicked me. I'm sure you'll agree, however, that the worst part of those moments is not what the kid is doing, but the judgment you feel from those around you. You just know that everyone is watching intently to see how you will appropriately handle the situation--or at least that's how you feel. And you know what? I didn't know what in the heck to do. I've started a new thing, though, that if my kids aren't able to be reverent in church, they have to spend a good long time in their rooms, practicing, when we get home. (And I'm not talking the number of minutes equal to his/her age. I'm talking an hour and a half or more...Well,excluding Danin. She gets off easy. ) And I wish the bad behavior had ended there, but later Camp's primary teacher mentioned to Brian that Camp needs to work on being more reverent there, too. Oh, man. I felt so disappointed. But I fully acknowledge I need help--like the divine intervention type--so my prayers will in part be directed at seeking guidance for how to better help and motivate Camp to be well-behaved at church. And I need to find a way to help him actually enjoy church, too. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Oh, and one more thing! Brooke's coming to visit! Oh, man, I can't wait. I have to hurry and find some way to make my house look cute for her. I think I'll paint my bedroom...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My boy is in kindergarten. Crazy. Yesterday I went with him for orientation and I found myself talking funny because my heart was in my throat--not because I am sad to be sending him away for three hours every day, but because I am super excited for him and just to see him gaining independence. So fun.

Janey Mac Darling's preschool orientation is tomorrow night. She doesn't start school until next Tuesday, but let me tell you--that girl is going to love it and I am going to love watching her love it.

Danin? Well she'll just be chillin' at home with me. Oh, speaking of Danin--I need to document that the other night, I saw her open the scriptures and say, "And it came a pass..." over and over. No joke. Isn't that hysterical? What's even more funny is that then a couple nights later she did it again but this time she added, "Jane, you're not listening!" She seriously copies everything she hears. And yesterday while I was braving the isles of the grocery store with all three kids, we passed another cart with a little girl in it and Danin said to me, "That girl picking her boogers!" Man, I love her. (See her first ponies?)

Brian continues to run. Two Saturdays ago he did his eighteen miler. We got a babysitter and I was able to run with him for a while (a while meaning the first six and a half miles or so--). Now THAT is true romance-- running with your lover, listening to music--well, trying to listen to music, anyway. I was listening to MJ's greatest hits but I didn't know how to work the dang i phone thing I had borrowed and the songs kept shuffling. Ahhhh!!!! But anyway, I remember noticing the smells in the air as we ran and thinking that they reminded me of my Airwick scented oils and being so delighted by the fact that Airwick had gotten the Ocean Breeze (or whatever) right on the money. So funny. Anyway, Brian's marathon is October 3rd so we will all be flying to Vegas AGAIN for a week. I'm seriously excited to cheer for him and make signs and stuff and let him know how proud I am. I'm a really good cheerer (not to be confused with cheerleader). I'm serious. It's probably one of my greatest talents. Definitely bigger than reupholstering. Oh, man, guys. I am in so far over my head. After I had gotten all 9,476 staples out and I was actually working with the new fabric, I realized that I am like a first grade level sewer trying to tackle a senior project. There are parts of the chair that look alright, and then others that just look down right awful. The seat cushion looks especially bad. I tried to redesign it a bit and add piping to the top and bottom seams, and I just did not to a good job. All hope is not lost however, because I have ordered some cool turned feet off of ebay, which will finish it out a little and my seamstress mother-in-law will be coming to visit next month and I'm sure she can help me save the seat cushion. I'm not going to show you any pictures of the chair's current state right now because it would ruin the impact of the final reveal, but here are pictures of the fabrics.

Oh, and do any of you locals know of anyone who might be looking for a new formal-type couch? I'm looking to sell mine (and a coffee table too) because I'm converting my front sitting room that always stays clean (but where no one ever sits) into an actual functioning room. Right now it's just a waste of square footage and a waste of furniture.