Wednesday, March 31, 2010


What goes around comes around. We had a tragedy this morning. Trevor called me during 2nd period (just now) to tell me he had some very bad news. He was leaving to go to my Mom's to drop the baby off, and he saw a little gray kitty on the side of the road. He had to look. And yes--it was our little Titus.
He'd been hit by a car. Just like that, he's gone.

You may remember my entry about Titus last year. He's the world's most annoying cat. He meows all the time, in the middle of the night. He won't leave Tarzan alone and the two of them fight all the time--loud yowling fights in the middle of the night sometimes. He's not very smart--impossible to train. Sometimes I joked that I wouldn't care if he got hit by a car.

But then he started to grow on me. He stopped meowing so much. He and Tarzan were doing a little better, sometimes laying on the same bed at the same time. And best of all--he loves my baby. He will let her grab him and pet him and wrestle him. He doesn't leave when she comes near like Tarzan does--he goes right up to her and rubs against her. He never scratches. He's such a nice, good kitty, even if he IS a little dumb. I even did a page about it both my 2009 scrapbook and my Afton's 1st Year scrapbook.

So I started crying in the middle of 2nd period. Trevor picked him up and brought him home, and put him in a box. When I get home today we will bury him in the backyard. Poor Afton. I don't know if she's old enough to notice if he's gone. But he was her little friend.

The only one who will be happy, I think, is Tarzan. Though I wouldn't be surprised if he spends several weeks looking for his old enemy. Maybe he'll be like us, and realize how much we loved him only after he's gone.

Poor Titus. We will miss you, kitty.

But no. We are NOT getting another cat.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What I've Been Thinkin' Lately

I have been feeling the need to update my blog lately, but can't think of anything to write. It's caused me to wonder--do I really think so little about things that I can't write about them? I mean, what do I THINK about? Anyway, whatever. So here's a list of just--stuff.

  1. I started teaching my new quarter of kids yesterday. One of the best things about my subject is that I teach every single 7th grader in the school--for only ten weeks, and then they are gone. I wonder what its like to have the SAME kids for an entire school year? What do you do when you get total stinkers? Not that I can't handle the stinkers, but I suppose it would be harder to handle them for that long. Wow.
  2. Speaking of school, I had an interesting experience last quarter. I have a huge two-week activity where the kids are put into groups of 5. You know how working with groups is--there's always that one kid that doesn't do anything. Well, my 7th period was full of those kids. So--I put them all in the SAME GROUP. All the slackers together. And you know what? They totally rose to the occasion. I was so proud of those boys. They worked hard. They HAD to. And they did a great job!
  3. Here's something momentous--for two days now, I am eating right AND exercising--AT THE SAME TIME. Whenever I try to lose weight, for some reason I can never do both. Hope it works. I forgot, actually, how much I enjoy working out--well, when it's over anyway. You feel so good!
  4. I found out when I went to the gym yesterday (for the first time since July) that my pass at Gold's Gym allows me FREE DAYCARE. What the crap? Are you serious? And she doesn't have to be older than 2? Why did I think that? Do you mean to say I could have been going to the gym ALL THIS TIME???? I'm SO kicking my butt this summer!
  5. I am still addicted to the Sims. I can't play it very often or for very long, but I've had the Sims 2 for two years now and I am still addicted. When will it end? When? It's constantly crashing, takes up GIGS and GIGS of space (since I have a million downloads for it) and every now and then I have to re-install it because it won't load. It's a pain. Why do I put up with it? Why?
  6. It's DEAR right now. That means Drop Everything and Read. My kids in 1st period are all reading. Some of them are sleeping. Some of them are staring listlessly at their books counting the minutes until the 10 minute bell rings. (They have 6 left) I am supposed to be setting an example by reading too. But I never read during DEAR. I don't have prep this semester--I teach 7 periods a day. I don't have time to read! But somehow I did have time today. So--I'm updating my blog. What a great example, huh?
  7. I went to the D.I. on Friday. I finally admitted to myself that my clothes don't fit and I'm sick of it and I need SOMETHING to wear. But I refuse to go buy a ton of clothes in my new size when I really do not want to be this size. So I bought six shirts at the DI for 14 bucks. And you know what? They are CUTE. And I feel a lot better. And somehow, this motivated me to start eating right and getting healthy. Yay DI!
  8. I need to buck up. When Afton was born, Trevor was unemployed and always there. We do everything 50/50. But now he's in school and working, and I'm so used to having him do the other half of the work. I need to stop that. He needs more time to study. I might just have to give up the Sims or something. But its ok--she's the cutest thing ever so its not that big of a sacrifice, right?
  9. Afton gives kisses. I love it.
  10. I can't think of a tenth thing. But who in the right mind makes a list of NINE things? No one ever makes a nine-point list. It just doesn't make sense. So there's the tenth thing--I like ten. Not nine.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Afton is ONE!!

My baby is growing up too fast! It's amazing how it goes by so fast, and yet, life BEFORE her seems like AGES ago. I can hardly remember what it was like. How on earth did I exist day to day and not MISS her?

So yesterday we had a big party for her at my house. She was the center of attention and she was lovin' it. She got lots of presents, and was so excited about her new toys! We got her this little book called, "That's Not My Mermaid!" and she LOVES IT. She keeps licking it, actually, which is, apparently, the highest compliment she can give it. She turns the pages and listens to you read it and touches the "feely" parts of the book and she just laughs. So cute.

Her Auntie Andrea made her a "smash cake" in her cake decorating class. It was cute I hated to let her have at it. But it turns out, Afton was quite the lady. She just picked at it. She DID manage to get frosting all over her face, but it took a bit of time to get there. She was so careful! We gave her another piece of it today, and after sampling it awhile, she totally tossed it on the floor.

She also opened lots of presents, and then afterwards walked around with the BOXES and totally ignored the presents. Typical. Here's a picture of her that I just happened to snap right as she was stepping on the cat's tail. He didn't mind much--the cat is TOTALLY enamored of her. And here's another one of her playing with the lego blocks Andrea gave her. Isn't that dress cute? Seven bucks at Kid to Kid. Wahoo! And, of course, I made that ribbon to match.

We managed to take a couple of family photos at the birthday party too. It was so fun to give her a special day like that. I just love my little baby! The rest of these were taken today while Trevor was home with her. Then our battery ran out and we can't find the cord, so there goes that.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Tribute to Strong Women

Today I was driving past the Sandy Expo Center, and I saw a sign for the Home Show which is starting in two days. It made me think of my awesome sister Cindy, who is busily preparing to have a booth there. And then I thought about what an incredible person she is. And then I thought about my other sisters, and what incredible people they are. And I thought, "Man, I'm so lucky to have such amazing sisters."

My poor dear mother had five daughters in seven years. NOT on purpose I can promise you. And I'm sure it must have been so difficult for her when we were all small. But we sure are reaping the benefits now. I can't imagine what it must be like to NOT have a sister to call and ask random questions. Each of my sisters has an expertise in something, and if I need something, I'm sure that ONE of them will know.

My sisters are STRONG. No matter what they are up against, they find a way to conquer it. Cindy is starting a business--and everything is planned down to the last detail. She has spent her life doing things for free just out of the goodness of her heart. If you need something, she is THERE. She will drop everything--things that sometimes are a real stretch for her to drop--just to help you out. She's brilliant. Anything she tries, she can do. She was always the peacemaker in the family. The one that took me on "sister dates" when I was little, taking me to antique stores or driving down the Avenues just to look at architecture. She is an absolute expert at thinking outside of the box, and can tackle any problem and solve it with a completely unorthodox and brilliant solution. When I have a question, she's the first one I call. She's my human Google. She calls my baby a "mop-headed wildebeast" and she's totally dead on. I don't know what I would do without her. I watch what she is doing with this business--how she finds a way to make BIG things happen--and I'm just utterly amazed. One day she thought, "Hey, we should make a big playground in West Jordan." And then SHE DID IT. She and Jen teamed up and made the Wild West Jordan playground happen. Who DOES that? She knows how to make an idea a reality, and when she does it, she does it big.

Jen is the oldest. I think that she had the most influence on me to attend college. She just WENT. Even though mom's a beautician/housewife, and Dad is a carpenter, and money was always tight--she didn't let that stop her. She taught me that anyone can go to college if they want to. She went to BYU and got her education. She went on a mission, she married in the temple. She set a pattern that I instictively followed. She now works for a congressman and has the really amazing important job that she earned with volunteer hours, a talent for writing, and sheer brilliance. I am totally in awe of what she can acheive. And yet--she is so NORMAL. Sometimes I am so shocked when she googles over my baby or offers to babysit. She's not all snooty and self-important. She's just doing what she knows is right. I know for a fact that if she hadn't been there, my own life wouldn't have been the same. I wouldn't have known what I could achieve, if I hadn't seen her do it first. She is the ultimate oldest sister--she set an example worth of emulation, and yet never shoved it down your throat. She just DID IT.

Aundi is the third sister. I don't even know how to express what I feel about her. She is the one who doesn't look back. She doesn't wish and waste her life away. She is grateful for everything she has. She takes what she has, and she LOVES IT. And because she loves it, it loves her back. She has a wonderful life. Although sometimes her body is weak and betrays her, sometimes I think she is the strongest of us all. And she can talk your ear off. I'm not kidding. She says things with such conviction that you KNOW she is absolutely right. When I was a kid I used to repeat everything she said as gospel truth. Eh, who am I kidding? I STILL DO. She is so beautiful. She helps me with my ballroom team at school, and she loves every second of it. Aundi is the one who taught me about style, doing your hair, dressing up cute, and how to move. I watched her dance, and wondered if I could ever be as good. I never was, but I sure tried! And she sure helped me. I used to watch her get ready in the morning, and I'd wish I could be as pretty as her. And she's still just a stylin' now as she was then. Only--she's not pretentious like a lot of stylish people can be. She is a genuinely happy person. She doesn't brag. She is just HAPPY.

And then, of course, there's Nicki. Only 13 months separate us. We were not so close as kids, but things changed a lot when we grew up. Nicki was that sister that watched over me--winced at every dumb thing I said (which was A LOT) and silently cheered for every victory. She was SO COOL. Everyone thought she was cool. She's so smart, but she has the biggest heart. She feels things very keenly, and cares very deeply for the people she loves. She is absolutely gorgeous. The only one who got Mom's eyes, the lucky thing. She's the most educated, with a very difficult degree and an awesome job. But she isn't absorbed by these things. She knows what is important. She was there for me whenever I needed her when my baby was born. She'd had her third only 18 hours after me, and when I had a question, she was there--guiding me like she always has.

Of course--none of these amazing sisters of mine would be so amazing without one heck of a Mom. I think what I love most about my Mom is that she isn't afraid to be different, to do things different. She had a good father, but he was of that disposition that never says "I love you. I'm proud of you." Instead of carrying on that tradition, she broke it. She stepped away and said, "Not for my kids." We heard it every day. But she wasn't some gushy "you're so perfect" mom either. She'd tell you bluntly to your face what's wrong with you. Not in a mean way--but she knew she had to tell you or no one else would. She didn't sugar coat it or make us think we were all perfect and entitled. She loved us--and she DIDN'T TAKE ANY CRAP. I LOVE that. I like to think I've inherited a little of it. My mother is a strong woman. She taught all of us to be strong. It's ok to be different. It's ok to step outside the comfort zone. It's ok to speak your mind. Its ok to argue your case--but do so respectfully or you're DONE. She is always there to help me when I need it. It must have been so hard for her--living here in Utah away from her family, with no mother or sister to help her with her small children. She hasn't forgotten. And when I or my sisters need her--SHE'S THERE.

I feel bad not to mention my Dad--whom I love just as dearly. But this post is for the strong women of my family who have helped shape who I am. I've never really told any of my sisters how I feel about them--funny that its so much easier to do it this way! Anyway, as the youngest of five, with four such incredible sisters before me, it's hard to measure up. But somehow, we are never competitive with each other. We are genuinely happy for the good things, and we sorrow for the bad things. How could anyone fail with such amazing examples? How lucky I am to be the youngest--to have four sisters go through the world first and show me how it's done. I thank my Heavenly Father for them, and for my wonderful mother!

This family picture was taken around 1988. Yikes!

Monday, March 1, 2010

More Scrapbook Stuff

So I've been trying to think of what to update my blog with and can't think of anything. So I guess I'll put in a scrapbooking update! I got my 2009 yearbook printed! Hooray! It's so exciting when you get your book back. It's all bound and glossy and beautiful! I was late getting it finished, since I have really been far more interested in Afton's book. Cannot WAIT to finish that one! It's going to be done right on time, I think, and I'll publish it this month after her 1 year birthday! So, here are some shots from the book I just published. I have sacrified the 12x12 size to get a nice 8 1/2 x 11 bound book which is much easier to store and carry and it's TOTALLY been worth it. Hooray for Cherishbound!

And here is a couple of pages from Afton's book. Oh it's gonna be so fun to see it all printed! This is the BEST PART of digital scrapbooking!

Whenever I try to look up ideas for digital scrapbooking, I'm so annoyed. I mean, every example is the same--a huge 12x12 page with ONE photo, lots of blank space, and a MILLION little doo-dads to dress it up. How is that practical? How long are these books people make where they only scrapbook one photo on every page? Where's the journaling--just as important as the picture itself? I feel a little alone in the way I do it but, oh well. That just makes me practical I guess.