Monday, September 29, 2008

Music Memory Monday

OK Jori, I am in. You will be the next Mama Kat with your workshop Wednesday and your Memory Monday, but here goes...
Winter of 1988/89: I am a city girl hanging out in Boston with a crowd of friends. We are all in college, so we spend most nights at the clubs, in the city. I know right, not home studying or at the library or even at one of the like 2,000 museums in Boston.No we were cool, so we were at the clubs. Anyhow, at the time I thought we were so chic. Well, we had really big hair and really high heels. I was probably at least 5 foot seven back then with the added poof of the hair and the stiletto heels. Be that as it was we danced until closing time every night. Imagine how my feet felt the next day. I was dating a guy that had a great apartment close to Boston University in Brighton. He owned this little chicken wing place that delivered to all the universities so he worked well into the night. He would always meet us for after hours parties where there was more music and dancing. Often times, he would come back to his apartment to find me hosting an after hours party there. What can I say, I have not changed much. I have always kind of lived by the mi casa es su casa philosophy. One night 'my girls' and I got this crazy idea to decorate the entry way wall in his place with a bunch of lipstick kisses. So in true 80s fashion we all took out our Loreal '382 Mica' lipstick, gooped up or lips as much as we could and kissed every possible spot on that wall to create what we thought was an incredible 'modern art' masterpiece. Pete loved it, his roommates, not so much. Anyhow, that night we listened to this song over and over again. My girls and I took the train home and sang it the whole way back to our place. Oh, and I still have a tube of Loreal Mica on hand at all times. If you ever need some quick decorating fixes I would be happy to come over and plant one on a wall or two!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Primary Program

Okay, so I thought I posted this Sunday night...
Today is our ward primary program and until I have grandchildren, this will be the last one in which I am craning my neck to see the face of one of 'our kids'. Because Millie just left primary two weeks ago they asked her to give a talk as part of the program. You know, one of the little five line talks they have a few of the kids do during the program. After the program Keen came over to tell me that he always loves the primary programs, but this was the first time he ever felt during one of those little talks the way he does when he hears an adult speaker give a particularly spiritual talk. Way to go Milfred! Anyhow, I got to thinking about the whole, this is our last primary program thing, and this fact makes me feel older than any birthday I have ever had. Isn't that funny! My mom always calls on my birthdays and asks on those big ones, thirty, forty..."Do you feel old?". I never really have felt old on either of those days, you know, too busy to even consider it. But I remember when I turned thirty my mom told me that my turning thirty really made her feel old. I guess that is how it is for me. My being forty doesn't make me old, but having four kids that are all youth sure does.
Doug and I laughed while we were on our trip up to St George about how nice it was to be away for a few days. As we talked about the luxuries of being alone together we came around to the fact that in just 6 years we will be alone for the long haul. Really! Because of our blended 'status' our four kids are too close in age to really be possible, with out twins in there. Anyhow, right now we have 4 kids between 12 years and 15 years of age. The two youngest in grade seven. Yup, you do the math and that means in 6 years (crossed fingers, crossed fingers), we will have one just home from a mission and three others at school. That means 4 kids at the in college at one time. Gulp. NOW do you know why I am such a freak about the grades our kids get. When Doug and I were first married I realized we need college scholarships or Doug and I will be on the streets! And thank goodness I am now a big 'Go to the Y' mom. Because a few years back I was a Boston College girl all the way. That is the difference between a 4 grand a year and forty grand a year. Anyhow, college still seems a long way away for my kids, even though I know for Joey it is right around the bend. Our Bishop spoke to us today at the end of the primary program about raising our kids and giving it all we have! I think Doug and I are doing our best. There is always room for improvement though and I am resolved to do a little better each day. I know some people see Doug and I as crazy. We skip things like The Phantom of the Opera to watch Bret play pee wee basketball. Or Doug will drive all night to ensure he can get the kids to an event at home. Or getting out of bed to make breakfast and lunches for four kids who are perfectly capable of pouring a bowl of cereal, and praying with each of them before they head out the door each day. Or getting up at 4am, driving to Utah for an event and turning around to get back for a game by 4pm. This may seem foolish to some, but to Doug and me, it is parenthood.You know, what we signed up for when we had the little munchkins. Parenting doesn't happen conveniently. We have such limited time with our young ones and the rest of our lives to do things for ourselves.It is not that Doug and I don't steal away for date night or to get out and do some things together. We do. And when the kids leave I am going to miss them more than you could ever know, but in 6 years you can expect to find Doug and me...sleeping in, vacationing places without kid friendly activities, eating dinner late, seeing movies we actually like, watching TV without parent lock on (okay, maybe we will never take that off), taking day trips of our choosing,listening to REAL music, decorating the house with furniture that grownups can appreciate and maybe even having something NICE, staying over night instead of rushing home to be back for the next event...and the list goes on and on!

Scroll down, turn off my music and press play to watch this wonderful video produced by the Catholic church

Friday, September 26, 2008

Honor Choir

Jenna and her pal Hannah were chosen to be in our school district's honor choir for Middle school aged girls. It is called the Director's Choice Choir. Her choir teacher let me know she was going to give Jenna the nod and praised Jenna for her hard work and outstanding effort. Today Jenna raced into my room a fter school to tell me her good news and I could tell she was just so happy!Hooray for Jenna! Years ago when Doug and I were first married I was in the primary presidency and Jenna would just sing her heart out during singing time. Doug and I decided to put her in voice lessons with a young gal in the stake and Jenna has never stopped singing. From talent shows to the choir in our ward, to the Stake youth music production, she just sings all the time! I am glad this worked out for her and that her teacher recognized her in this way! She has been talking to me a lot lately about drama too... and we did have Jenna and Millie in dance classes for two years... I actually convinced Doug to let me put Jenna in two classes one semester. Maybe we have created a triple threat!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Give a man a camera...

So, while we were on our trip, Doug says, "hey how come we never get to take any pictures of you?" Well, we all know Mom is usually the one behind he camera and hey, I would rather take a photo than be in it most of the time. ANYHOW, Doug takes my camera and here are a few of his shots.

So I take it back and to get him back for the headless, "Oh I love your body" guy shot, I took a few of my own! Hey, what's sauce for the goose...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The trip

We finally got out of town at about 4:30 Friday and drove up to St. George with out any event. This after Doug and I totally disagreed about Joey's ability to take care of himself and stay home alone. We actually had a bet that Joe would end up at Moody's by 11 pm. Doug won that bet by the way, and Joe stayed the entire weekend at the house. He enjoyed himself immensely, cooked up a a storm and watched TV well into the night. Not to worry, we had all sorts of watchful neighbors in case he ran into any problems, including Uncle Tom across the street and John and Di next the usual Moodys, Ellsworths and Fonbuenas. How lucky we are to live in this great neighborhood!

The entire ride was filled with Doug and I laughing and talking, with out any interruptions. What? What is that like you may ask yourself. Well, I will tell you it is heavenly. No one asking for food or rides or sleepovers or help with projects or merit badges. Doug only got a handful of calls, work and bishopric type, that he was able to get through quickly. HEAVEN I tell you! When we got to the inn we checked into our room and I immediately set out to find my entry in the room's 2002 guest journal. There it was all sweet and newlyweddish! I added and entry for 2008 in the new journal and got a little nostalgic over how quickly these past 6 years have gone.

We set out to find dinner and ended up eating at the worst place in all of St George, but it was okay because the company was great and Doug can make anything tolerable. We sat next to a huge group of very rowdy couples. One of the men kept clapping after every comment at the table was made so it was like a constant applause on one side. One the other side we had a double date going on. One couple was surely responsible for fixing the other couple up. Well the girl half of the couple that was on the first date was cute as can be, but she had a laugh that was more annoying than the laugh of Fran Dresher from the Nanny. Really. The guy who was with the 'normal' date kept just looking at his friend and nodding his head as if to say"Dude, I am so sorry". The other guy kept looking at his date, the horrible laugher, in disbelief. It was so funny that Doug and I amused ourselves watching them through out dinner. The poor guy on the blind date saw us sizing up the situation and looked at us as if to say, "Help me, please".

By the time we finished dinner we were ready to come back to the inn and soak in our car/tub. No joke the hot tub in the room is built right into an old model T. After hot tubbing the night away we snuggled up in the comfy bed and drifted off to sleep.

Saturday morning the smell of bacon cooking woke us from our slumber. That's right, no alarm clock, no kids screaming, no dog barking, the smell of bacon! We lounged around and sat on the inns porch and talked and read. An hour or so later found us eating a yummy breakfast in the inn's dining room. After that we took our time getting ready and headed out to the St. George Visitors' center. We took a tour and viewed the Joseph Smith movie which had us both crying even though we have both seen it before. Yes Doug is a crier when it comes to church movies, although he will deny it. We walked around the temple grounds and took a few photos. The Temple grounds were very dry and did not look the way I remembered but I guess they just re seeded. Since our reservation for dinner was early we headed out to the outlets to do a little shopping and finally came back to the inn to get ready for dinner.

We always try to eat at the Painted Pony if we are up in St. George with out kids. So we have been there twice including Saturday. It was exquisite. Delicious food and the best atmosphere. And, of course, excellent company. We had time to run back to our room before we headed out to Tuacahn for Les Miserables. Also wonderful. The theme of love and forgiveness permeates the entire show. The weather was perfect and the performers were excellent.

We got back to our room late and stayed up half the night talking about the show and each character.

Sunday we woke again to the delicious smells of breakfast cooking . And it was a joy to have Doug in bed with me until 9 am on a Sunday. We ate and got ready for church with out anyone needing help locating shoes or ties or hair clips! Again, HEAVEN. WE ended up heading out after 11:30 to find a ward to visit, but found that like Vegas, the meetings are generally, at 9, 11 and 1. So we took a long drive and talked some more. We ended up in a friendly little ward and , yup, it was HEAVENLY to have Doug sit with me. Now I can not even remember the last time that happened! After church we changed and headed back to Vegas.

Believe it or not, on the way home, even after all that heavenly alone time, we both admitted we missed the kids and are glad that in two weeks our next weekend getaway will include all six of us as we make our way up to General Conference in SLC.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Millie's Birthday

I can not believe I let Millie's Birthday go by with out so much as a measly post on my blog . The pitfalls of being a September baby when Mumma is a teacher. Well It is finally here! My little Mills is in Young Women at church. No more primary for me. All 4 kids are officially youth! Now every Wednesday all 6 of us are together at the church doing our thing. Poor Millie has spent so many Wednesdays with other families that I think she will be in shock to see so much of the rest of us!

So the poor little thing had a rather anti climatic birthday. I had Open house at school and Doug had some Bishopric thing so I ended up taking Millie to Qdoba and we split a salad and some Queso Nachos. Anyhow, the peanut had a two cakes. One that we made at home and one that we got when we celebrated her birthday at the Olive Garden on Monday night.

I love this little girl so much. She is a joy. Full of passion and sparkle. She is kind and can always make others feel good about themselves. At school all of the 'less fortunate' kids adore her because she always has a smile and a big hello for those that the others tease. She is always a friend and a partner to the one who does not get chosen. I love that about her.

Here are some facts about the birthday girl.

1. She has the best memory of anyone I know.

2. She plays the violin.

3. She is a straight A kind of kid.

4. She is a good friend.

5. She has a fierce temper. :-0

6. She can cook better than most adults.

7. She loves her dog.

8. She sings very well, but does not like to do so.

9. She is an avid reader.

10. She is a great babysitter

Also, Melissa has many many nicknames...ready... here they are

Millie, Mil, Lil, Lillie, Lillio, Lillie Lou, Peanut, Milfer, Mildy, Milzie, Mildew, Mildred, Dred, Fred, Freddy, Milicent, Malil, Maloulou

Seriously, and the list goes on.

So call her what you want, but say happy birthday to the best girl around!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Adventures of the weekend

1. I am now the president of the Legacy Lacrosse club. Go Longhorns! How on earth did this happen. I am like, 5 feet tall and I am now using the Sarah Palin pit bull thing as my theme. Who woulda thunk it?

2. Dinner at 'Chef Peck's' with Bruce and Glory (aka Gloria). The food was so incredible mere words cannot describe it. Bruce and Gloria are the two dearest people in the world. Bruce is the smartest and best speaker in the world and Glory is the nicest person I have ever known. I think she probably never thinks anything mean. Anyhow, they are good to be with and they like to eat which makes them great dinner company. Doug and Bruce however played with the candles leaving me to believe they are perfectly suited to spend time with Joey and Wes.

3. Totally missed Joey's ACT on Saturday morning. All me. Thank goodness he can go next month. Who does these things? Forgetting about ACTs and stuff. I mean it is only college right? DUH! Me.
4. I played Gahlinda with a Gah... in our Relief Society retreat. I am a marginally capable actress but get tons of 'roles' due to my ability to project my lie. I've been able to quiet the entire middle school cafeteria with out a microphone. I am not kidding. It is one of my few talents.
5. I was asked to speak on Sunday (at 8:00 Saturday night). Mind you we had that dinner Saturday night so that left me Sunday morning before church to write the talk. A full 20 minute deal too. Again, I am a marginally capable speaker, but am often called at the last minute because I do not fear public speaking. Really. I could have spoken at Lady Di's funeral and been okay with it.
6. I heard some of the best speakers at our retreat, including a gal that is friends with my good friend GLO PAT aka Gloria...a different Gloria than the aforementioned Glory. I so wish I had it all together like GLO PAT and her friends. I swear if I could be like GLO PAT for just one day of my life...I don't know I guess I would die because I would be so wonderful that I would just have nothing left to do. Did I mention Glo Pat baked me 7 loaves of bread Sunday for my classes. I know, right, she is like the queen of my life! Will there ever be a time in my life that some friend of mine thinks I am the queen of her life? Doubtful.

7. SCORE...I got a hot pink Kenneth Cole jacket at TJ MAXX for $5:00. Jealous much. It is too cute and I lucked out. Look at the original price!

Friday, September 12, 2008


So, Doug and I are coming up on our anniversary. To celebrate we are combining Doug's birthday and our 6th anniversary with a trip to St George. We go to the same Bed and Breakfast every year in to celebrate. This was the only free weekend we have had or will have for months. It is not really free either since it is the first weekend of fall ball and although the schedules are not yet out, I bet both boys will have 2 games. You know you are a 'way to into sports mom' when getting out of town conflicts with a lacrosse game and you seriously consider not going on the trip. Really. I am going to have some major issues when the kids move out. Anyhow, Doug is a peach and he booked the room we had the week after we were married. We will go see Les Mis at Tuacahn, eat at the Painted Pony and just RELAX. I can not wait!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Doug's Birthday

Me: You know what I love about the song "Happy Birthday to You"?

Doug: No, what?

Me: That is has been sung to you 3 more times than it has been sung to me!

Doug turned 43 the other day. Not too much of a party around here though. He only wanted a dinner of barbecued ribs and some chocolate chip cookies. He also wanted to watch the football game uninterrupted, so he set his phone on his armour and went out to the family room to watch . He is such an uncomplicated person. Because we have 4 thousand, oh no, I mean 4 children, we can't get out of town til the end of the month to celebrate. I rented him a Harley and we will go stay in our favorite b and b in St George for the weekend, maybe go to Tuacahn and just relax.
I know lots of gals write the things they love about their husbands using the age of their husband as the number of things, but truly, my list is too long. I am a lucky, lucky person to have Doug as my eternal mate. He is kind, funny, thoughtful, and just an all around good guy. The thing I most admire in him is his integrity. He always does what is right no matter the consequences.
Let me tell you about how I met Doug; my Bishop set me up with him. Can you get a better endorsement? Oh, and my Bishop was not just my Bishop either, he was/is the husband one of my closest friends so he knew whoever I married would be apart of his day to day life. Along those same lines days before Doug an I were married I was to go to the temple for the first time. I had my interview with the Stake President who also happens to be a great friend and the husband of another of my closest friends. Anyhow, I was talking with him during my interview and he said, you know, I feel like you pulled a needle out of a haystack with Doug. He is a great man and a true friend of mine. I feel like I can always just be myself with him.

Here is what I find interesting about Doug, he feels as at home with a room full of bikers as he does with a group of surgeons. Think about that for a minute. Some of you may be thinking, so what, who doesn't? But I believe very few possess that quality. Doug does. He thinks no more of himself than he does of any man. I love that about him.
Doug is a tremendous husband, always allowing me to be who I am. He never criticizes or finds fault in my many started yet unfinished projects. He doesn't nag me about my forgetfulness and my lack of follow through. He accepts me. When I ask him why he doesn't get cross with me, he just says, I can't love just part of you. He is fun to be around and laughs when I try to be funny. He is not overly romantic, which is GOOD because I hate sappy, but he has been known to play the piano for me and bring me flowers for no reason at all. He spoils me with gifts on mothers' day, my birthday and our anniversary even though I usually forget about such occasions. When I can't sleep at night he stays awake until I doze off, which is a bigger deal to me than he will ever know. He will eat anything I cook and if I don't feel like cooking, he will bring home take out. He is the BEST listener and if you know me at all, you know I am a big talker, so being 'my listener' is not an easy task.
As far as being a dad, if you know Doug, you know this is his greatest strength. He is a father like no other. Never misses an event, never forgets a promise, and is never too busy to talk to any of our kids, or their friends for that matter. We are regularly visited by the young men in our ward and many boys tell our boys that Doug is the best guy they know. He takes every opportunity to teach our boys how to be men, how to be honest and hardworking and how to be fair. Another something told to me by the Stake President was that when he asked the young men preparing for missions from our ward who influenced them they commonly replied Doug. Doug is the same with our girls. Maybe a little bit softer when it comes to disciplining them, but all in all the same good and true father. I hope our girls marry men like Doug and I hope our boys become men like Doug. Covenant keepers who honor the priesthood they hold. Men who have a sense of humor yet a seriousness of purpose. Men who are not afraid to stand for what is right even if they stand alone.
Did I mention too, I love his smile, the way his eyes get all squinty. I love that he walks like a bear and I always feel safe if he is around. And his salt and pepper hair. How could I write about Doug and not mention the hair! It is getting more salty every day! :-)
So I believe I have gone well past 43 things , but I don't care and I could go on and on about the guy I am blessed to call my husband. I hope all of you who read this feel the same way about your mate!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


JM: Stand up and fight with me, we are Americans!

SP: But here's a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion; I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sister Hazel

Listen to the acoustic version of All For You on my music player. You will love it. It reminds me of when I first started dating Doug... so I love it. Smiles. C


Images from Camp 2008