Friday, December 19, 2008

Why My Resolve To Live Here Dwindles to Nothing in the Winter

Reasons I Hate Utah Right Now:
  1. It's snowing again.
  2. I'm going to miss an author signing because I have to attend a certain party that I tried to get out of orginially.
  3. Driving in the snow.
  4. Everybody smears everything with mayonaise. Or cooks with it. Or layers it over salad. Or puts it in the stupid jello.
  5. The ugly, dirty, wet, disgusting, never melting snow.
  6. Snow bibs. Snow boots. Snow Gloves. Snow Hats. Snow Coats. All wet and muddy and all over my house.
  7. Skiiers. (They like the blinking snow.)
  8. Having to mail things to family and go to the post office in the snow.
  9. Did I mention these Utah people put mayonaise in the jello. In the jello! Like jello isn't bad enough on its own. And Fry Sause - sold prebottled because even the ketchup has to have maynaise in it!

Okay, I might feel better now. Or not. Where's the chocolate?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bearable Snow

If it has to snow...I'm sure it's not hard to imagine what my favorite sight is. Well, my favorite minus any little smiling red-nosed monster faces, that is.

Friday, December 12, 2008


This is the plaque I made for my grandpa the Christmas before he died. I cut all the letters out myself with Scott's scroll saw, then decorated them. I forgot to take a picture, but then had another chance when I went out for his funeral in the Spring. My grandfather was not LDS, and never very good with relationships, so I wanted to give him a message as he neared the end of his life. The top picture is of his 2 daughters, the middle picture is my mother's 5 biological children. (Because this grandpa wasn't good with being a grandpa he didn't ever really know my half siblings.) The bottom picture is of my 4 kids - his only biological grandchildren so far. I really have no idea what he thought of it, but I can hope he at least thought about it a litte.

Friday, December 5, 2008

And This One From Jen

It's that time of day again. The time when we don't know what to do with ourselves until Daddy gets home. So I'm doing another tag post.

My 8 favorite TV shows
1. nope
2. seriously
3. I don't watch TV
4. I do rent Bones when the whole season comes out. But I don't watch it during the season.
5. What a waste of time!
6. On very very rare occasions when I don't have a book or something and Scott isn't home I'll switch on late night TV and the only thing are our 3ish channels is Scrubs reruns and I'll watch that for 30 minutes then wonder why
7. The TV will NOT tell me where and when I will be.
8. And I won't have cable channeling crap into my house.

8 Things I did yesterday
1. got help learning how to use my phone
2. found a babysitter for the work Christmas party
3. went to enrichment for a little while
4. found an important person on facebook
5. forced Jadyn to finish her homework despite all the times she lied to me about it
6. thought about doing Christmas cards - still thinking about that
7. searched for leapster games on Amazon
8. managed to NOT throw up and finally fall asleep after midnight

8 favorite places to eat
1. Lim's Cafe in Redding, CA
2. Round Table Pizza
3. Cafe Rio/Costa Vida
4. Olive Garden
5. Red Lobster
6. Tucanos
7. Los Hermanos
8. Bangkok Grill

8 things I am looking forward to
1. giving everyone their Christmas gifts
2. finishing my degree
3. not being pregnant
4. writing again
5. Saturdays
6. online orders arriving in the mail
7. getting the Christmas tree decorated (the kids broke the lights and I had to get new ones)
8. the dishes being done

8 things on my wish list
1. music actually on my mp3 phone
2. a bigger house
3. I'll go with that losing weight sentiment too
4. a new oven
5. I'll also agree with abolishing computer games (is warcraft the online one that Brent keeps trying to get Scott to play? If so -- DIE COMPUTER DIE!!)
6. a haircut I like
7. lasik
8. a trip anywhere for any amount of time with just my huband

Christmas Tag

I don't know if I'm the Julie that Courtney tagged, but I thought this one was fun so I'm doing it.

1. Do you like Hot Chocolate or Egg Nog? I like both, but I can drink much more hot chocolate. Egg Nog tastes like bubblegum to me.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just put them under the tree? Santa is a whole fat subject for me. Santa never came to my house as a kid. Now don't go feeling sad...I don't feel that my Christmases were any less magical. My dad hated the commercialization of religious holidays (there was no Easter Bunny either) so there was no effort to have us believe in Santa. We got stockings and tons of gifts, but we knew it was from our parents. In fact, I think it was more magical knowing the gifts were from my parents - with all the thought, effort, and expense they went to. I looked on Santa believers with an amused tolerance/contempt. Most Christmas movies were just silly.

This became an issue when Jadyn arrived and I realized Scott grew up the exact opposite. Now no one can say that I've never compromised in this marriage! Here's the agreement we reached. Santa fills the stockings and leaves one unwrapped present. I have dutifully filled my obligation - though I am admittedly not very good at it. I have a tendency to forget and put homemade things in the stockings, or the memorable year when I thought the kids too young to realize that Santa left the stuffed dinosaurs that Mommy sewed. Funny thing: they knew I made them but still had no trouble with the fact that Santa delivered them. Go figure.

I have friends who will die on the Santa hill and argue that he's just the spirit of Christmas and not a lie. Bull Crap!!! (I say that as politely and respectfully as possible (: ) People. We are all lying our butts off. I'll be relieved when I don't have to keep up this charade. And I'm worried about when Jadyn figures it out. I never went through that and don't know what to expect or how to empathize. I can't imagine the disillusionment and betrayal to know your parents have been lying to you your whole life.

Conversely, I enjoy messing with their heads. For example, I tell them Santa has dwarves, not elves. I mean come on - they are short, have beards, and like to make things. Classic dwarves. So it has all been slightly entertaining. We'll just have to see how it all turns out.

3. Colored or white lights on tree/house? White lights all the way. There is something so pure and beautiful to me about white lights. I remember the enchantment I felt when I first saw white icicle lights on a home when I was a kid. I've never wanted anything but white lights on my tree (that twinkle!) and white icicles on my house (one the rare year we actually put any up).

4. Do you hang mistletoe? I have and I will whenever I run across kids selling it. That doesn't happen every year. I do grow weary of it by the end of December because my husband never lets up! (Maybe I should just put it somewhere with less traffic...)

5. When do you put up your decorations? Usually right after Thanksgiving. I love fall and Thanksgiving, and even though I love Christmas too, I don't like to rush through anything. Occasionally things happen later. It depends some on how pregnant I am in any given year. But ideally, right after Thanksgiving.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? I love turkey and mashed potatoes and stuffing all covered in gravy. But I usually make ham and scalloped potatoes for Christmas. I also like to mix things up, so we'll see. But it wouldn't be the holidays without rolls, apple yam yummies (a traditional dish from my dad's side), and pie, and crab dip.

7. What is your favorite holiday memory from your childhood? Just being together. We often had "visitors" of the older children and it was often the only time we saw them. I also loved digging in our stockings, slowly to make it last, first thing while the house was still mostly dark and we were all in our pajamas. When I think of Christmas from my childhood I feel peace. (Which is interesting considering that I have 8 brothers and sisters!)

8. Do you open a gift on Christmas eve? Yes. Like everyone else (apparently) we open new pajamas on Christmas Eve. Scott and I started this though neither of us did it as children. Growing up we would open the presents from visiting relatives while they were there, so that often meant Christmas Eve opening. That's not been an issue here with us so far from family.

9. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? One tradition we have is that everyone gets a new ornament each year, hopefully one that represents a major event or a certain stage/age. Scott and I even do this for each other. So our tree is covered with meaningful memory filled ornaments. I label each one with the year and we put them up one at a time and remember the year and what we were doing. I have a special Kim Anderson kissing couple that I found for our first Christmas as a married couple, and that is always put up first. One reason I've done this is so that when my kids leave home they will already have 18 or so ornaments of their own to take, along with all the memories. We often just sit and admire our tree and talk about the ornaments and how long we've had some of them. I love our Christmas tree.

10. Snow! Love it or dread it? I like the first few storms. I like watching it and reveling in the fact that I'm inside and warm. If I have to go out my attitude changes. As the winter progresses my attitude stays fixed in the angry/sulking mode. I hate when the snow sticks around for weeks and gets all dirty and crispy. I hate shoveling it. I hate dressing the kids up (which takes hours) only to have them freeze themselves and cry to come in 15 minutes later. By February or March all I can think when it snows again is that some large bird pooped all over the town and we have to clean it up.

11. Do you remember your favorite gift? Some of my favorites from childhood: a huge stuffed snow tiger carrying a baby in her mouth, a dollhouse my parents put together from a kit and my mom painted every piece with her left hand because she had just shattered her wrist, a box of furniture and people for said dollhouse from my grandma, my cabbage patch when I was 5, strawberry shortcake and angelfood cake baby dolls that breathed out scented air when you squeezed them, my toolbox and eastwing hammer when I was older and made it clear to my father that he shouldn't be getting tools for just his sons.

As an adult: the gravy boat that my husband shopped years for to find the right one that would go with my dishes set, the hand carved gnomes my husband made (and sliced himself up good for), oh I could keep going...I have a very thoughtful husband.

12. What is the most important thing about the holidays for you? Family. Especially things like time off work so we are all together. Christmas music. But I must admit I love giving gifts. Love it. Wish I was a millionaire and could buy gifts for everyone all time.

13. What is your favorite hoilday dessert? Pumpkin pie is essential. After that, chocolate.

14. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Probably the ornament thing. But I also love Christmas morning and watching the kids open one present at a time. (We don't allow the mayhem of greed.) I also love reading the Christmas story on Christmas Eve by candlelight.

15. What tops your tree? A star made from shells that I found for our first year together. I still love it and would die inside if it ever broke.

16. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? I much prefer giving. I love giving. I think there is only one person I'm really comfortable getting things from and that is Scott. Maybe my Mom too.

17. What is your favorite Christmas song? I like/tolerate the secular Christmas songs. I LOVE religious Christmas songs. My favorites, the ones I sing non-stop are: What Child is This, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Away in the manager (both melodies), Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Oh Come Let Us Adore Him, and so on

18. Candy canes? No thankyou. They are pretty and I put them on the tree sometimes. If I have to eat one it better some flavor other than peppermint.

19. Do you feel Christmas is too commercialized? Yes. The focus needs to more on the Savior and less on Santa. More on gratitude and less on getting.

20. Favorite Christmas movie? I remember Frosty and Rudolph and Home Alone fondly from childhood. I appreciate It's a Wonderful Life. Christmas movies aren't so much a part of our celebrating. Probably cuz they weren't for me as a kid. We got a holiday pack from Costco this year so maybe I'll watch some of the classics for the first time.

21. Can you ice skate? Not really. I've enjoyed the few times I went, but it was scary. I also always seem to be pregnant and unable to participate. Oh well.

I would love it if any of my lazy friends would do this tag. I'm interested in different traditions and opinions!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's That Time Again

My husband told me this morning that it was that time of year again. "What time," I innocently inquired. Time to do the dishes.

How well he knows me.