Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Sex Talk

Now, I was just complaining to my friend Rick here that I’ve been running out material lately to blog about. My last entry felt forced. Lacking in….genuine Amieness.

In all honesty though, the problem isn’t that I’ve run out of material…it’s that I’ve run out of SAFE material. You see, people of Helena, I depend on you. I depend on you to say stupid things, wear out dated clothing and participate in activates that would make even Jeff Foxworthy’s “you know you’re a redneck when….” list look civilized. But you refuse to play your part lately and my poor blog is sufferings for it! Hang your head in shame!

I say “safe” material because chances of you coming across my blog and realizing that YOU are the medieval peasant being put to death by my guillotine of sarcasm are slim to none. Therefore no blood no foal!

My family however produces an unhealthy amount of blogable material (myself included!). JUICY blogable material. Material that would make even the most benevolent milkmaid clap her dirty hands together in sadistic delight to see the beheading!

Not all of my family members posses what is referred to as a “sense of humor” though. Even though it would be better for us all to have a good healthy laugh at ourselves, inevitably, feelings get hurt and the normal once a year contact via Christmas card is maliciously held back!

If there’s ONE person I can count on to make the walk of shame, face the guillotine and live to tell the tale though, it’s my father. All hail Barney Zauss for his charitable sacrifice!

So my dad and my step mom came to visit for Thanksgiving this past weekend and, like most conversation always does under his roof, they inexorably either drift towards all things spiritual, or all things sex related. Seeing as how it was my husband’s and my 6th year anniversary… you can only guess where this conversation floated.

Six years ago my husband and I knew nothing about sex. We married each other as virgins and even though it was a hot topic of conversation in my house growing up, I was still somewhat shielded by knowing glances and “we’ll tell you when you’re older” speeches. So, naturally, we were shocked and appalled when my dad and Carolyn gave us a very….descriptive….visual….sex book as a wedding present. They weren’t the only ones to make such an offering, but theirs was by far the most graphic. Like, what were you thinking?? kind of graphic.

Matt thought it would be a good idea to put it on their table in their guest room as bedside reading material. Instead he settled for bringing it up in this particular conversation.

“I couldn’t believe you would give us such a book!” he said, eyes wide with scandal. “…well, I could, but it was still a bit of a shock!”

“I really don’t remember,” my dad said in defense “but I’m sure it can’t be THAT bad.”

“oh yea? You wanna see it?!” As he sprints off the couch into our bedroom and returns half a second later, book with worn pages in hand. You can tell we never use it.

My dad flips it open to some random page in the middle and slams it shut, his face burning cherry red.

“That’s what I thought!” I said, joining the rolling laughter.

We have a good hoot about it but instead of changing the subject my dad proceeds to tell me some of his and Carolyn’s best sex blooper stories. And by “tell” I mean he opened his mouth and said “I remember when…” and I knew I had already heard too much! He was never inappropriate, very discreet and humorous but there are just some things that a daughter with a vivid imagination like mine should never be prevailed upon with. Even now, I physically claw at my forehead trying to remove these unwanted images of my parents from my head!!

I forgive you though dad. I guess I was finally old enough to know and we asked for it by breaking that book out. I’m not so sure Matt will be as pardoning though seeing as how later that night when normal 6th year anniversary activities were SUPPOSED to commence, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I Just Wanna Sit By You

I’ve come to the conclusion this week that it’s impossible to read in public. Even though it’s a perfectly acceptable pastime, you can’t read with other people around. It’s impossible! It’s like people see what you are doing and know you can’t physically talk to them AND read at the same time but because you are out in public they disregard it and ramble on to you anyway!
The problem is that I like to read. I like to read a lot, but I also like being out amongst people. So where does that leave me? If I wanted to read uninterrupted as much as my heart desired I’d have to hide out like Osama. Now that man gets quality reading time, guaranteed! But I like being out where people are. I’m not the antisocial type. I like participating in conversation and activities. But there are sometimes I wish I could just be apart of things while doing my OWN thing. …like read! I just wanna sit by you, don't talk to me! Socially, this seems to be unacceptable.

Case in point, last night:
I walk into the restaurant and am happy to find that the 5 o’clock traffic wasn’t as bad as I predicted and I arrived with about 15 minutes to spare. I happen to bring a book for such an occasion. One I’ve already read so that I can be in no danger of getting angry at the fact that I won’t be able to REALLY get into it with such a small amount of additional time. I pull up an extra chair in the back and snuggle down for a few minutes.

…bad idea.

Not the reading to stay occupied idea….the sitting in public and reading idea. Because even tho this is the only place in the restaurant for a waitress to actually HAVE a place to sit, it is also a side room that people are constantly coming in and out of. Cheifs, dishwashers, bussers, servers, managers. It seems everyone has to come back into this room for one reason or another. ….and what do they do each time they come in despite my book in hand? They open up their mouthes and talk.

Person number one. Maryann, a fellow server:

“…..hey amie, whacha readn?”

I look up politely, even tho what I WANT to do it not answer and just keep reading.

“Hey, oh just a book from the twilight series.”

“huh, whats it about?”

I go into a full yet brief explanation of the storyline. She seems relatively disinterested but is happy to have someone’s eye contact for a moment because a manager just got on her case about proper uniform and she obviously wanted to get her frustration off her chest. She rants to me for a minute and leaves.

I look back down and my eyes scan the words to see where I left off. 2 paragraphs later in walks my manager.

“Hey amie. Whacha readn?”

“Just a book I picked up.”

“oh.”

I wait for a minute to see if he’ll ask any more questions but he seems to be on a mission for something. Phew! Back to my book.

“Whats it about? Hey you can clock on early if you are bored.”

Obviously, I spoke too soon.

“Actually think I’m just gonna read for a little while. But thank you.”

“ok”

He leaves and I’m glad at least that he didn’t peruse his first question any further. I resituate and get settle back into my book again, happy to be having this precious spare time to read. 10 seconds later…Chief Jake walks in.

“Hey Amie, whacha readn?”

Mental sigh. “a book”

without looking up. Does everyone really need me to state the obvious here?

“oh yea? Whats it about?”

“Vampires.”

“Really? I never pegged you for a vampire girl. I pictured you more as a ….well, I don’t really know, but not vampires.”

I laugh but don’t answer and burry myself back in the pages. He goes on and on about what kind of book guy HE is and I look up kindly, but internally annoyed, adding the occasional “oh”s and “wow that’s interesting” when needed to be civil. I don’t interject too much in the hopes that he won’t stay long if he's gonna need my undivided attention. He doesn’t.

I’m not much more than a page past where I originally started when I hear footsteps approaching behind me again. I’m about to give up, close the book and take my manager up on his offer to clock in early. Ahhhh, but it’s just Benjamin. Benjamin is our extremely quiet dishwasher. Quiet as in deaf mute kinda quiet. He never says more than a head nod. Not to us servers anyway. I’m interrupted by his entrance for a moment but am relieved to find it’s finally someone who won’t ask for small talk. But to my complete astonishment he says “hello Amie” and asks me how my thanksgiving was. I put my book down to see if I've confused him for someone else as he continues to rattle off conversation in my direction.

Of course! Of course now of ALL times our silent dishwasher would pick NOW to come out of his shell and talk my ear off! I can see that it's almost painful for him to speak out loud but he does it anyway! I should have been irritated but I was just too bewildered to see that he was actually talking! He winds down after about 10 minutes and moves out of the room to go clock on for his shift.

I try to get back into my book but I can’t. The damage has already been done and the wheels have started to turn in my head. I’m feeling more than frustration at this point, I’m feeling…. confused. I flip my book over just to make sure there isn’t some sign on the cover that says “TALK TO ME WHILE I READ” feeling that there must be something there to make even our antisocial Benjamin all the sudden feel like he needed to speak to me while I try and read this book! …Nope, no such sign.

So why do people do this!?? I don’t understand! It’s like children who leave you alone for a solid hour but the second the telephone rings they are right up in your face with world problems that demand your sudden attention like “mommy I’m hungry!”

Am I the only person on the planet who hasn’t mastered the skill of carrying on a conversation and reading at the same time? Doesn’t it bother anybody else? It’s hard to believe that something so encouraged and vital to the intelligence of our society could be so….interrupted! It’s maddening!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Review

The time has finally come. I took the night off work. I purchased my tickets in advance and made arrangements with all my girlfriends.

We bunched together in the first middle rows in excited chatter.

We saw.

And when the lights came back on, I was...satisfied. I wasn't in LOVE with the movie (as I knew I wouldn't be. I mean, what can really compare to the imagination to start with right?) but I liked it. I had my qualms of course. The scenes were too different from the book. The filming was too "low budget." Alice was too tall. Edward wasn't glittery enough in the sunlight and there's just no way that he would have been able to kiss her like that. ....not that I'm complaining. But all in all I enjoyed seeing these actors do their best to portray what Stephanie spelled out so meticulously in an overabundance of pages. It was a hard movie to embark on from the beginning just for that reason alone.

I'm hoping that the second and third films will reap the benefits of it's predecessor and have a big enough budget to improve on the special effects. I thoroughly enjoyed the casting though. Bella especially I thought was perfect for the part. As for Edward...*sigh. I think the authoress Shannon Hale summed it up best in her dedication to Collin Ferth:

"You're a really great guy, but I'm married, so lets just be friends."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Done!

Last night I finally finished the last book of the Twilight series. Well, I shouldn't say FINALLY because it's not like it took me long to read it. 2600 pages in about 2 weeks. Thats the fastest I've ever read anything! But now that the final page has turned and the last word is read, even tho I'm thrilled with how everything turned out, I'm so sad that it's over!

I feel weird waking up this morning with no book to take with me to the gym. No book to read at nap time. No book to read at night after work while everyone is asleep! I've never felt empty like this after reading a book series. Like I just lost a good friend. I think it's mostly because it was such a long series that took up so much of my extra time. Everyday seems longer now that I have nothing to look forward to during those quiet hours to myself. ...Time for a new book! Any recommendations? What are your favorite books? I'm gonna need a good rebound book after something like Twilight!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Twilight Series

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So I'm about 100 pages or so into the second book of the Twilight series, a series of books I'm enjoying more than I care to admit. If you haven't read these book yet, I'm giving you fair warning to stop reading right now because I'm sure I'll say too much.

Let me just preface this little rant by explaining tho that when I read books I REALLY get into them. Reading to me is like why people go to bars to get drunk. For me it provides an exceptional escape from reality, without the damaging effects to my liver. I can surface from Count of Monte Cristo, for example, and feel like I just spent the last few hours roaming the streets of France, Italy or the Isles of the Mediterranean. But much the same as an alcoholic, it can become unhealthy. My house going to a mess, my hair undone, my family getting frustrated which is why I have to keep it under control with my "reading times." Matt and the boys have to go to bed at an ungodly early hour to get their beauty sleep so that means if I'm not at work, which is seldom, I have a couple hours of pure uninterrupted vacation time! But when I say I "get into my books" it's more than just the settings I feel have changed around me, but I also tend to close my books feeling a little how the characters feel too. So, needless to say, at this certain place and time in my New Moon book....I'm PISSED! There I was reading in the late hours of the night when I suddenly slammed the book shut becoming instantly uninterested in reading any further! Let me back up...

So he leaves her right? Bearable, I can take that. I mean, how many more books was I really able to sit through where she lose her breath at his every touch? It was getting a bit repetitive and I knew he'd have to say goodbye at least once to shake things up a bit. I wasn't completely put off, yet. But I WAS curious to see when he would be resurfacing again... so I cheated. Quickly skimming through pages to see if I could spy his name anywhere. I didn't want to read ahead, I just wanted to see that his name eventually would come back again...soon. I flip 50 pages...nope. 100 pages...nada. 200 pages??!...nothing! 400 pages! 400 pages I had to flip until I saw his name somewhere again! That only leaves about 200 pages left for Stephanie to redeem herself! So OF COURSE I slammed the book shut, not wanting to depress myself anymore. Not really because he was gone, but because I knew Bella would be so depressed (and I told you that I normally feel how my characters feel). I didn't want to be depressed! I wanted to be exciting, curious and nervous as she was most of the time in his presence!

I know I'm going to have to pick it back up again sometime tonight but I will be very interested to see how Miss Mayer plans to keep my interest with 400 pages of no Edward. And not even no Edward, but no vampires at all! Umpf! I'm sure I'll get over it, so please don't try to comfort me by giving anything away in your comments. Just tell me I should keep reading.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Kids Say The Darndest Things

So my youngest son Sammy graduated to big boy pants last week and is fully potty trained! WOOO WHOOO! If you're a parent, you'll understand what an amazing feat this is. It's strange not to change diapers anymore. Weird. Like we've moved onto a new chapter in life. Who knows how long it will stay that way but we are enjoying it while it lasts.

The interesting thing about potty training boys though is that once they get there, it's like they've discovered they have a we we for the first time...and they want every one to know about it! So they start doing things like exposing themselves in public and peeing outdoors. Yes, its a lovely new life we are embarking on.

Anyway, so this morning we are getting ready for church and Matt is getting the kids ready. When he goes to get Sam, he finds him sitting on the floor in his room butt naked focusing intently on his pee pee. Then, when he notices Dad is standing by him he looks up and says

"Look at my pee pee dad.... it's awesome!"

I just about died.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Back to the Basics

So after sitting down with Matt to take a look at our finances this month I couldn’t help but feel a little frustrated, as I’m sure everyone is. After months of hearing all this talk about the economy, I finally feel like it’s trickled down far enough to actually effect us on a larger scale and it’s a little scary! Don’t get me wrong, we are still able to make ends meet but it’s not without a little rearranging and adjusting to say the least. We are just starting to make a lot of the changes most families across America are. Eating out less, making repairs instead of buying new, Matt also forbids me to carry my Costco card around. Haha. All this scaling down and cutting back really reminds me of the good ol’ days when I was a kid, growing up poor.
Do you know what I mean when I say poor? I don’t mean no food in the house kinda poor. That’s more in the category of destitute I would say. I mean paycheck-to-paycheck kinda poor. I mean buy most your clothes at the thrift store kinda poor (which I consider more of a hobby rather than a circumstance). Happy cause at least you have each other kinda poor.

Let me put it to you this way. If your first car was more than 10 years old then, you know what I mean. If you don’t feel at home at the dinner table until someone brings out a bag of plain white bread and a tub of butter as a side dish, then you know what I mean. If your reward for raking leaves was never money but permission to jump in them after, then you know what I mean. If you ever got hand peeled carrots in your lunch as a kid instead of a HoHo, then you know what I mean.
But being poor isn’t necessarily bad. I’d even go as far to say that it has its good sides. I mean perfect case in point with the carrots versus HoHos! Most of the bare essential foods in the supermarket these days are healthier than any of the other supped up, over processed, more expensive foods. Besides that, it builds character and imagination! I mean, how many rich kids do you know that have ever played the game “wilderness” or “shipwrecked” in their own backyard? How many rich kids do you know that even play in their backyard? The world is too saturated with technology these days that entice kids to be indoors.

I use the term “poor” quite loosely, as you can see, because there really are families and individuals out there suffering from true poverty. In truth, a lot of the things I had growing up were way less than some…but much more than others.
IF I were venting to my father over dinner about all the cutbacks Matt and I have had to make, this would be the part where he stops eating and starts to slowly shake his fork at me across the dinner table with a pensive look on his face. Then after a minute or two he’d say something like, “…have you ever stopped to think that maybe it’s a blessing in disguise?” and then go right back to eating like he hadn’t just crashed my pity party. Then of course it makes me think….like it always does. It IS a blessing after all. Its a way for us to get back to the basics of life. It makes me want to yell to myself, “don’t you remember? We can do this! YOU know how!”

When I don’t have the money to buy my kids new toys or I have to find cheaper substitutes when shopping for meals, in all honesty, it makes a part of me smile! Smile because it makes me remember how much fun we had making a game out of these challenges. Then, I start to teach my kids like my parents taught me and we find it’s one eternal round. It makes me feel like if I can help my family survive on a smaller budget… I am smart! Which is a statement that ironically makes me feel stupid when I say it out loud cause it’s so simple! Simple yet true.

In my church (which most of my readers belong to) we do this thing called fasting where you go without food for a certain period of time. We do this for many reasons but one is so that our bodies become subject to our spirit. In doing so, we have the chance to reevaluate where we are spiritually and how we can improve. Maybe in abstaining from most luxuries in life, we give ourselves a better opportunity to evaluate the kind of people we’ve become. We give ourselves a fighting chance to reintroduce the child within. That same creative, happy child. Full of energy and life (cause we eat the hand peeled carrots!!!)
So in honor of all this economic turmoil I propose everyone take a moment to share their favorite story about being poor. And I don’t mean sob stories that are gonna make us want to take you in like a starving stray puppy. I mean character shaping stories or stories you can laugh at that wouldn’t have happened had your uncle been Daddy Warbucks. A memory, a lesson learned, an old game, whatever!

In the mean time, feel free to send any donations to the Post Family Fund. A nonprofit organization. We accept birthday money, Christmas money, and buy you’re your kids a HoHo money. Have your credit cards ready and call this toll free number: 1-800- 763-6557. That’s 1-800-POFOLKS.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Computer Down

Be back soon....or as soon as ebay can send us our new power chord.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

One Year Later...


I know I probably should start off with some sort of an apology for not posting something in so long but, after much thought, I’ve decided that since it’s MY blog… I don’t have to.

On September 30th of last year, I posted a ‘Work Horror Stories’ article about my first couple days as a server. In honor of my year mark at this restaurant, I thought I’d spend another post having a few more laughs at my job. Things have chanced quite a bit of course, I’m a well seasoned server now and I’m proud to announce that that fateful day, so long ago, was the first and last time I ever spilt a drink (or food for that matter) on anyone. …knock on wood. My job title has even expanded a bit to include assistant manager a few nights a week, which basically just puts me into different scenarios to laugh at myself.

But as one who has come so far, I thought it only fair that I get to use this year mark post to turn the tables a little bit and make fun of some of the crazy people who come into our restaurant. And believe me...there are many.

I think the funniest part about my job now is that I have developed this keen ability to see people in two ways within the first 10 seconds of meeting them. Yes, in the first 10 seconds, I can tell you what the nice version of themselves would look like as well as the evil version. Normally halfway through the evening one of those sides prevails. It’s mostly dependant on things out of my control like how long it took the hostess to seat them or how long it takes the kitchen staff to cook their food. It's either a fun or horrific little game seeing if they enjoy their meal peacefully or if I spend most my time at their table side trying to figure out how they comb their hair so the horns don’t show.

I have to admit though, for the most part people are great and normal. But who wants to talk about that? I think one of my most favorite parts of serving is when people crack annoying jokes at my tables. They think they are soooo funny and original when in reality I’ve heard most of them about a thousand times. Like this one for instance…

Amie: “How is everything going over here?”

Guest: “Oh! Your manager just stopped by! We told them the food was great, but the service was horrible! Ba hahaha!”

Amie: “haha, oh you’re funny!” – as I walk out of earshot- “can I borrow your spoon? I’m gonna go cut my heart out in the back.”

Or, when I put on my assistant manager hat, one of my duties is to wander the floor and approach tables that have already gotten their food and check to see how everything is. Of course every once in a while I get a table where some are still eating and others obviously have been locked in a cellar for the past few days without food or water and finished their meals in 2 minutes flat. But since a few of them are still enjoying their food like normal human beings, I have to ask

“How is everything this evening?”

To which the Somalia people cut in, showing me their empty plate...

“Ooooh, it was horrible!!”

“haha, I can see that.” As I pick up a near by napkin “hold on, you have a little something on your face...oh, nothing but a little overzealous sarcasm. Let me wipe that smirk off your face. You’re good.”

People never fail to surprise me though. Just when I think I’ve seen it all, all the sudden I’ve seen too much! Like secret lovers fondling each other in corner booths or the newly 21 year old puking her third Italian margarita up in the bathroom. Tsk tsk! No no sweetheart, those are big girl drinks. Old men that seem to hold their liquor well, appearing coherent enough….until they stand up. “Do you offer curbside assistance?” as he leans uncomfortably into my bubble space. I even had one man get hauled out by police officers for drunk driving right as he was in the middle of ordering his first Bud Light. I probably wouldn’t have even picked up on his intoxication either if he hadn’t half belched the request. Amazing how all my fun stories stem from booze. I wouldn’t encourage it, but it sure makes for entertaining nights!

Yes, its been a long good year and to the people of Helena, I would like to give a big thank you. Thank you to the rednecks who come in their cut off shirts and John Deer hats. I did what you said and used that 50 cent tip to buy me something “reeeal purdy.” (not a joke) Thank you to the high-class folk who come in to stuff their high-class faces. Who over tip just so they can feel better about acting like pompous a**holes. Thank you to the children who mash up their macaroni and “feed it to the monster under the table.” Thank you to the horney teenage boys who draw me “interesting” pictures and leave me their phone numbers despite the obvious ring on my finger. I think I hear your mommy calling. And lastly…Thank you to the 90 year old man, who the other night, put his year pass to the strip club in place of his Visa to pay the bill on accident. Your wife will forgive you...someday.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Superpowers


This morning I was watching a Good Morning America special on Stan Lee, the comic creator who is the genius behind well known titles such as Spiderman, Ironman, and the Incredible Hulk. During the interview the lady turns to him and says “what kind of mind creates these comics? What is your inspiration?” and I said to myself “are you kidding??? The man MUST have a two year old!!" I mean think about it…a character that swings from anything and everything? A character who flies so fast, no one can keep up with him? A character who can’t control his temper and turns into a beast??? Oh yeah, I think I got a couple of those at home. Anyway, I decided I’m going to make my first million developing a comic strip based off my boys. It’s brilliant! I have an endless amount of material! Then it got me thinking…if I were to assign superhero abilities to my family, what would they be? I've decided that Jake would get invisibility because they boy has a nack for disappearing. Take for instance the story Matt related to me a few days ago:

He was in Walmart with Jake looking through the clothes. Jake, of course, was walking around going in and out of the middle of all the clothes racks, hiding. (humm…sound familiar mom?) Anyway, long story short, Matt loses Jake, spends 10 minutes looking for him then finally goes to the front to report a missing child. Apparently when you do this, Walmart transforms into Ft Knocks. No joke. They shut the whole place down, no one goes in or out, and every employee who isn’t on a register reports to the front so they can do a full sweep of the floor. They found him within 3 minutes, lost in the home decor. I was very impressed by this story and thankful that Walmart had such a plan in the event that my son would inevitably wander off. Besides that Jake is amazing at playing hide and go seek. You can be looking right where he is hiding and he won’t move a muscle or say a word!

For Sam, I’d have to say super speed. Like Dash. Have you seen this little guy when its time to go to bed? It’s a miracle how this boy escapes down the stairs so fast without breaking a limb! That, and if you are in public and he gets that mischievous look in his eye, you'd better just put a hand on him to be safe.

I asked Matt what he thought his superpower should be and he said the Incredible Hulk. Before I started working I would have never believed this but lets just say that you never want to be around this man after hes been trapped in the house with the Invisible Man and Speedy Ganzalas for more than 8 hours. Any little thing can set him off after that. Luckily my shifts aren’t usually more than 6 hours so I hardly see that side, but I could see how it could happen.

As for myself I couldn’t really think of anything except Matt is always saying I have super strength cause he’ll come home and all the furniture is rearranged. I always tell him it’s cause I just had a sudden urge for change and couldn’t wait til he got home. Plus if we are ever wrestling and I can manage to lock my legs around his midsection, it's over!

It’s kinda fun to think about. If you could give yourself a superpower (one that goes with your personality not just one you’d like to have) what would it be?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

R.I.P. Fern


It is no secret in my family that I am notorious for my black thumbs. I can't make WEEDS grow, and that's a fact! Of course they would spring up here and there unassisted, but if I were to try and nourish weeds or help them along in any way they would surely wither away and die. I'm like my own weed killer then I guess. ....so sad.

Sad, but true that I have spent a small fortune on house plants and gardens which all end the exact same way. In a watery grave. Watery cause my neglect and negligence to them inevitably leads to my flooding them in a last desperate attempt to bring them back to life. Which of course, never works.

It's not that I don't know how to properly care for them but......well....it IS that I don't know how to properly care for them. But you can hardly blame me, coming from a long line of forest green thumbs! I mean, after about the 6th generation, isn't this kind of stuff supposed to come to me like intuition? In my blood? Second nature? Apparently not.

I finally decided on this last trip to Home Depot that I would swallow my pride and ask for some assistance in choosing my newest house plants and directions on how to care for them. Course as I'm wandering the isles of the small jungle that is the garden section of Home Depot, I swear I can actually hear the plants and seeds whispering amongst themselves..."Oh my gosh! It's HER again! Quick everyone! Go limp and turn brown! Maybe She'll just leave us alone!"

*Sigh* If only they would give me a second chance! ....or a third....or fifth....whose counting really?

I felt them slightly perk up the more I listened to the lady go on and on about proper plant care. Half of them actually turned green again as I tried hard to pay attention. In short I walked out with two palm tree type looking plants that apparently take very little care. Small sunshine and water every few weeks or so. We'll see how it goes. Even I can't botch this up too badly.

The Begonias gave a small salute to these brave souls in my cart who were (for all they could tell) attempting a suicide mission. I still felt a silent glare from the ferns when I pass by their section. Apparently they are a close nit family and did not take kindly to the passing of their latest relative who spent a small time on my kitchen cabinet. I tried to lie and whisper it was a quick and painless death, but it wasn't. It was slow and agonizing. He might have stood a chance if my 2 year old didn't find so much pleasure in plucking his little tiny leaves from his fragile stems. ....They'll never forgive me for that.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Gift Of Pregnancy


I’ve been thinking a lot about surrogate pregnancy. There are two types of surrogate pregnancy out there. The first is traditional surrogacy which is where the father donates the sperm by artificial insemination (of course) and you donate the egg. The second is gestational surrogacy where the intended parents (the couple receiving the baby in the end) donate both the egg and the sperm creating an embryo which is then transferred to you. I, of course, am interested in only the second. The only way I would be able to carry a baby for 9 months and then give it away would be if none of it was a part of me, genetically. I feel this way that I would be able to stay mentally detached from the baby because I wouldn’t consider it mine. I would just be helping someone else’s baby get started in life.

My main concern is if I’m just being na├»ve. How hard would it really be to carry a baby for 9 months and then give it away, even if it wasn’t mine? Would I get more attached than I think? I mean, of course I feel like I would care for the child and love it but I still think that if it weren’t MY egg or Matt’s sperm, I would never feel like it was mine enough to have problems letting it go. Especially if it were going to a family I love and trust.

It’s a difficult thing to predict. Every woman carries babies differently and deals with changes in their body and hormones differently so even though hearing stories from other mothers helps, it still would be a completely different experience for me. The only way to see how I would deal with it would be to go through it myself! But what if it ends up being the hardest and worst thing I’ve ever done?

On the other hand, I have two major reasons for even considering this whole thing. The first is of course, the joy I would feel of being able to help another couple who isn’t able to have children have, a child of their own! One of their own flesh and blood, with their eyes and their nose and their personality. I can scarcely think of any gift that would be more valued and appreciated than that. MY children are the light of my life. They bring wonder and excitement and adventure. If you ever wanted an occupation where every day is different and every day you are challenged in new ways, then parenthood is the job for you!

I don’t mean to break this precious feeling and turn into the materialistic weasel of the bunch by giving you the second reason, but surrogate pregnancy pays A LOT.

Considering my two top motivations combined……I really don’t see how this could be a bad thing! I mean, getting paid big bucks to let someone else have the sleepless nights and dirty diapers? Letting someone else watch a cute serine face turn from calm and quiet to green and uncomfortable which leads to a large amount of upchucking that inevitably somehow gets into your mouth? Letting someone else get up at 6 am to find the kitchen floor covered in sugar because an early riser was bored? Let someone else clean up the bathroom everyday because actually peeing IN the toilet just isn’t as much fun? Oh yeah, I think I’m game.

Anyway, I’m not taking this decision lightly. I’ve been thinking about it for over a year now and I’m sure it will be a couple more years full of research before I make my decision but in the mean time I would be interested in what my family and friends think of all this. What are your personal opinions about surrogate pregnancy? Do you know anyone who has done it? What have you heard? Just curious about the feedback.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Eating Healthy

At the beginging of this year Matt and I joined a gym here in town. Mostly because my jeans were starting to notice that I didn't like running in negative degree weather. Anyway, any time I get more into working out, I start to get more into nutrition as well. Mostly because when I'm done with a good work out, my body naturally craves more healthy foods like fresh fruit and veggies. I mean, the last thing you want to do after a 5 mile run is down a quarter pounder with cheese and an oreo shake. Well....maybe Matt might. haha. But how men lose weight and stay fit in comparison to women is a blog for another day!

On our latest trip to Utah, my friend Shari briefly told me about a new eating program she's on. It had to do with counting calories. Basically it's about burning more calories than you eat if you're looking for weight loss. I'd seen and heard of other people doing this type of thing but was never really interested. Mostly because the people I knew never looked any different but Shari looked great! I thought I'd give it a whirl when I got home. (I say "when I got home" because I'm a major muncher on road trips and after seeing that my newly purchased bag of candy contained an absurd amount of calories...weeeellll.... I thought I'd make it one last hurah!)

I got home and found an online website called sparkpeople.com that helps me keep track of my calorie intake on a daily basis. It's nice cause not everything I eat has a nutritional guide on the back, but I can look it up quick and easy with this site. All in all, I'm supposed to be eating between 1200 to 1500 calories a day to help me reach and maintain my fitness goals.

Heres how week one went:

Day one:

STARVING! The problem here was that all day I ate within my range of calories, but I was eating too much of empty calories. Needless to say, I regrouped that night and went grocery shopping the next day.

Day two:

Much better. Not nearly as hungry but suddenly noticing that this...

wasn't tasting nearly as good as this...

mmmmmm,that quarter pounder I was just bagging on! The entire day it was very hard to ignore temptation.

Day three:

Seriously starting to consider that if people who are lean and fit have to eat like THIS then where is the joy in life?! I'VE ONLY GOT ONE LIFE TO LIVE PEOPLE SO I'M GONNA EAT SOME CHEESECAKE! ...and I did. (I actually won a contest at work that night and the prize was a piece of cheesecake and you just can't turn it down when you've worked to hard to earn it! I did share it with 5 other people though).

Day four:

Decided that if I was going to survive this thing I was going to need at least one sweet treat a day to fend off the cravings. And I could do that. The plan says nothing about not eating sweets. You can eat whatever you want! It's just that typically one piece chocolate cake could contain as many calories as I would get from two healthy, well balanced meals so I just had to be careful. So I went in search of a low calorie sweet. And I fooooound...

....FUDGESICLES!!! The sugar free ones only have 80 calories in them and there are TWO in one serving!!! ...Too bad they tasted like frozen cardboard. :( I settled later on Real Fruit Popsicles. They do just the trick!

Day five and six were good and day seven was a fast sunday and since I chose to skip breakfast and lunch, I could eat whatever I wanted for dinner cause I hadn't used any of my calories yet for the day. After a nice healthy dinner and a big scoop of cookies and cream ice cream later on the couch, I never thought I'd look forward this much to fast sundays.

In the end what I found is that I like this plan! I don't want to call it a diet cause I don't believe in diets really. I believe in lifestyle changes. I believe in eating healthier forever, not just for 6-8 weeks. I find that it makes me really pay attention to what I put in my body. I never realized how unhealthy some of the things I was eating were, especially at Macaroni Grill. I mean, most of those dishes have all my calorie intake for a whole day in one meal! No joke! It's horrifying that Americans eat out so often! It's horrific that IIIIII ate out so often!

I also found that I am a grazer. I love everything about food. The sight, the smell, the taste, the texture, so naturally I like to eat it all the time. But I found that I was basically eating when I wasn't hungry. Most of the time I just wanted a good taste in my mouth and didn't recognize it. I chew a lot more gum now these days to keep from doing that.

The nice thing is that the healthier foods taste better to me now. They say when you make a change like this your body goes through a sort of detox. And now all the natural foods have so much more flavor to me, which is a relief cause I was really having second thoughts about how much I wanted to keep my goals! Seriously.

Anyway, I'm picking up all sorts of tips from people nowadays on healthier ways to cook things or better foods to eat so if you have any recipes you'd like to share or tricks you've learned along the way, like Shari's no calorie "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" or Jamie's Broccoli Brownies (which I still want the recipe for), I'd love to hear them!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lady's Night Out!


Last week some of my girlfriends and I got together to celebrate my birthday a little early cause I would be going out of town on the actual day. We called it Fabulous Shoe Night where we wore our most fabulous shoes out to the Macaroni Grill and ate just about every desert on the menu. haha. It was sooooo much fun!

So much fun that I decided to do it again while I'm in Utah! So, for those of you who will be joining us for conference weekend in the promise land, you MUST come! Even though my birthday is April 3rd, Matt and I will just be getting there that night and we already have plans to go straight to Matt and Shari's house to spend the night, play games and just unwind from being stuck in the car all day.

So the plan is that on Friday, April 4th, we are all going to meet at the dollar theater (AKA: movies 8) in Provo, Ut to see the movie 27 Dresses at 7:05pm. I have been wanting to see this movie for a long time and I hope not a whole lot of you have already seen it! Also, please wear a pair of your most favorite fabulous shoes! It's going to be tons of fun and I couldn't think of any other way I'd rather celebrate than to hang with some of my most favorite ladies!

ps- If you don't know how to get there, just hop on the 15 and exit University Parkway and head east. The theater is past the mall, down the hill on the the left. You can see a map at this website:

http://www.mapquest.com/maps/movies+8:%5B1-99%5D+W+University+Pkwy+Provo+UT+84604/#a/search/l::[1-99]+W+University+Pkwy:Provo:UT:84604:US:40.2561:-111.6595:street:Utah+County/m::15:40.261985:-111.665916:0::/so:Movies+8:::d::25:::::/e

You have to zoom out a little to see a better map. Also, no presents please! Just come! Please RSVP in the comments if you are planning on it!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I Want My Life To Be Like Disneyland.

Sometimes I feel a little funny exposing myself while relating experiences I have during therapy sessions but this one was just too good to pass up! My step mom calls them "Ah Ha! moments" when you realize something you never realized before.
My mind keeps turning it over and over in my head and I'm having so much fun with it I thought I'd share it. So here is my Ah Ha! moment from my last therapy session. Today Dr. Bean told me that I want my life to be more like Disneyland when in reality... life is more like a National Park. I just started laughing cause the first images I got in my head were this....



(which is a picture of some people I don't know at an ugly national park... who I would not like to vacation with.)


Versus this....




....Which would you rather choose?!





But after stopping to think for a moment what he really meant by a national park, which would look more like this...




all at once the horrific truth of it all sunk into me! I couldn't get over it! It was the perfect analogy!

Sometimes I DO want my life to be like Disneyland. Who wouldn't? It's easy to be attracted to the bight lights and loud music! And I think it's okay for it to be that way sometimes but for the most part life is more....mature, for a lack of a better word. Filled with deeper beauties that may not be as exciting but are filled more with a peace and serenity that you can't find... even at the top of Space Mountain. I'll admit that sometimes I feel young and reckless and I do stupid things that make me feel good for an hour or two but they are never lasting. In the back of my mind I know they won't last. The rides can never go on forever and even if it did, what started out as an exhilarating rush of adrenaline slowly would turn to nausea and the employment of a barf bag.

Long lasting peace and happiness comes from a different kind of atmosphere. It may not be as exhilarating all the time, but I certainly wouldn't define National Parks as boring. Maybe for a 3 year old it would be, but that's what I mean about maturity. Growing and learning to appreciate beauty in simpler forms like watching your son ride a bike for the first time or eating a delicious Marsala Chicken Ravioli (which is my favorite dish at The Macaroni Grill). It's about taking time not only to see the beauty and wonder in things around you, but to appreciate them as well.

Today I would like to share some of the things we all notice and appreciate in our own "National Parks." Mine is going to be playing catch with Matt in the front yard yesterday while the kids took at nap. I was surprisingly warm which made for perfect weather and basking in the sun while tossing the ball around was the perfect way to enjoy it.

Your turn.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What Were We Thinking???

I was feeling a little nastalgic this evening and decided to take a look at some of our very first blogs. See, this is why I love blogs. It's like an online photo album! But what started out as feelings of warmth and remembrance soon turned to horror that at one point and time we posted these pictures on the World Wide Web. Oh man, these are so much worse than those old kindergarten pictures you find where you hair is in a high side pony with your bangs in a wave, an oversized t-shirt thats knoted to one side and sandles with socks! ....much worse!


I'm so surprised that some child protection agency didn't come track us down for this. Granted they are IBC Rootbeer bottles, but still!


This one I am totally busting out the night Jake brings home his frist Prom date. Quote from She's The Man: "Remember ladies....chew like you have a secret!"


What I want to know is on what day did I get up in the morning and decide that my hair would look best this color? It's bright freaking yellow! I had some better ones to display the horror of it all but I couldn't find them.


Heres the next fashion disaster. Oh yes ladies and gentlemen, those are Pajamas. Pajamas with FEET!


....I have no words for this picture.


I'm hoping that this was taken at like 3am.... and that for Matt's sake that he was drunk.


Welcome back KID ROCK!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Immature Side of Me




Ok, so today I was walking around Sportsman's Warehouse to load up on fishing supplies (since it is now that time of year where we waste good money to participate in a sport we always fail at. Seriously! I have never caught a fish in my life, yet every year we invest money onto it. It makes no sense!) and at the check out stand there is a big bucket of assorted Old Fashioned Candies. Among them was this flavor. Now you look at that word in red and tell me how YOU might pronounce that. I am obviously still in the third grade because I started busting out laughing! Even if it is pronounced as a word that is not at all associated with the dairyare, why would you even want to come close like that with a name for candy? I thought it was too funny to pass up so I bought it just for the sake of blogging it. I must admit though, I'm still a little afraid to eat it.

Oh and by the way, our day of fishing ended just like all others in the past. Matt getting frustrated that nothing was biting and no fish. Jake also accidentally dropped his pole off the side of the dock, thus losing it forever. I might as well have just taken $14 and tossed it into the lake! Somewhere down there is a fish swimming around with a Rolex because of all the money that gets dropped into that place. .....and a collection of Spriderman Fishing poles mounted in his trophy room which he shows off to is buddies whenever they come over.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fear of Water

I love the water. I mean, looooove water. I love to swim in it, play in it, swing off rope swings into it, skii on it, kayak on it…you name it, I love it. I think I enjoy water sports more than any other activity, as long as there are other people involved. If I’m by myself though… you can forget it!

Like the other day, I was at the gym swimming laps in the pool. When I got in the water there were two other people. Half way through my workout however, they had finished theirs and got out. I made it through 2 more laps after they left before my imagination got the better of me and sharks were lurking in the deep end and members of the Italian Mofia were entering to make sure amie was “swimmen with da fishes.”

Another example: last summer Matt dared me to swim out to a buoy out at Black Sandy Lake while we were camping. It was about 150 yards out but I was completely confident in my ability to make the swim, no problems there, but about halfway through it I could have sworn the underwater growth that was tickling my legs were little arms reaching up to drag me down and pull me under! My pride in finishing the swim was the only thing to keep me going!

I tell ya what! It’s so juvenile these things I think up and what’s worse to admit is that they really freak me out enough for me to get out of the water! You’d think that as a full grown woman, I could at least keep my wits about me enough to make it work but being alone in water... I just can’t handle it. Which I find strange because I love water SO much! It’s like when most normal people see this...





I see this...



I guess I’m just looking for some solace here. Please tell me you have some sort of fear or phobia that makes you feel this way too! Tell me that you still get up on chairs when you see spiders or can’t be in the same room with snakes! SOMETHING! ANYTHING to make me feel normal!