Carrots

One day, when I was being particularly dramatic, my dad said something about how I should calm down and stop acting like Anne Shirley. I paused my melodramatic performance, looked up at him with glistening eyes, and asked if he really thought I was like Anne. He gave me a pointed look, something that said you’re-on-the-ground-sobbing-about-something-nonsensical and walked away. I suppose I should have felt embarrassed or offended, but I was overcome with a sense of giddy happiness. Me, like Anne Shirley? What a wonderful thought!

I often gaze out over the horizon like this. Obviously.
I had read Anne of Green Gables in Jr. High, but it wasn’t until my best friend and I watched all 3 Anne of Green Gables movies in one day that I truly began to love that mischievous redhead. Tenery and I even decided right then that we were bosom friends, just like Anne and Diana, and destined to love each other forever, even if I accidentally got her drunk and her mother forbid us from ever seeing one another again and even if she married roly-poly Fred Wright and I spent my evening reading poetry by candlelight after a long day of teaching. (Oddly enough, Tenery is now married [although her husband is awesome and non-roly-poly] and I still spend my nights reading in bed whenever I get the chance.) 
We often go to parties in puffed sleeves.
I liked Anne. I liked that she was spunky, I liked that she stood up for herself. She followed her heart, and she was a bookworm, like me. All I knew was that I thought Anne was great. And so was that handsome Gilbert Blythe.
Let’s be honest–who doesn’t want a Gilbert Blythe? He’s smart, funny, and knows how to pull off a Newsie hat. 
I don’t really know what’s going on here…
But it’s adorable.
And who doesn’t want to fall in love with their best friend? In terms of fictional characters, Gilbert is at the top of my list, up there with Mr. Knightley, Darcy, Atticus Finch, and Edward Cullen. (Joke.) 
When we first watched the movies, Tenery told me Gilbert dies, and I spent half the movie in agony, trying not to fall in love with that charming young man who was only going to die on me. But it turns out Tenery enjoys lying to people’s faces to get them all riled up, so I got to see Gil win over Anne in the end. Sigh…I could go on and on about how wonderful this whole story is and how I think I was Anne in another life, but I’ll save you the trouble and end this ridiculous post now.
If you need me, I’ll be quoting Tennyson while floating down a river, waiting for my Gilbert Blythe to come and rescue me. 
Anytime now, Gil.
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Good-for-Nothing, Dirty-Rotten, Pants-Stealing Great-Great-Grandfather

Remember in the book-slash-movie Holes where Stanley Yelnats IV’s family blames all of their problems on a curse brought on them by Stanley’s good-for-nothing, dirty-rotten, pig-stealing great-great-grandfather? I feel like I can relate, although I tend to think that my good-for-nothing, dirty-rotten, pants-stealing great-great grandfather is actually kind of awesome. 

In a talk from 1989 by President Eyring, he recounts the following story:

One ingenious boy acted on the discontent he felt when he was denied a new pair of pants from the Orderville factory because his were not worn out yet. He secretly gathered the docked lambs’ tails from the spring crop. He sheared the wool from them and stored it in sacks. Then, when he was sent with a load of wool to sell in Nephi, he took his sacks along and exchanged them for a pair of store pants. He created a sensation when he wore the new-style pants to the next dance.
The president of the order asked him what he had done. The boy gave an honest answer. So they called him into a meeting and told him to bring the pants. They commended him for his initiative, pointed out that the pants really belonged to the order, and took them. But they told him this: the pants would be taken apart, used as a pattern, and henceforth Orderville pants would have the new store-bought style. And he would get the first pair.
That did not quite end the pants rebellion. Orders for new pants soon swamped the tailoring department. When the orders were denied because pants weren’t yet worn out, boys began slipping into the shed where the grinding wheel was housed. Soon, pants began to wear out quickly. The elders gave in, sent a load of wool out to trade for cloth, and the new-style pants were produced for everyone.
Yes, that “ingenious boy” was my who-knows-how-many-greats grandfather. But what many people, including my American Literature professor who brought it up in class today, fail to realize, is that poor John Henry Carling was a lanky teenager who simply could not find a pair of pants that fit him. What was a young man to do–walk around with his ankles showing all day? I actually admire him for being so daring, and although he may have been reprimanded in front of the entire church a hundred years after The Great Pants Rebellion, I’m pretty darn proud to have a good-for-nothing, dirty-rotten, pants-stealing great-great-grandfather.

There and Back Again

I like to write hyperbolically.

I like taking insignificant events in my life, such as trips to Frozen Yogurt or Ritz Bitz, and turning it into an epic adventure, portraying my own personal odyssey through mountains and valleys to discover a pile of gold in the form of cheese in between tiny crackers. Throw in some high-falutin’ mumbo jumob and we’re in business.

I have a few theories why I continue to portray my life in such an exaggerated light:

  1. I am a chronic liar. I find great joy in saying blatantly untrue things and trying to pass them off as fact. Like that Psych episode. Where the fries quatro quesos dos fritos is a real thing. And believe me–it’s a real thing. A delicious real thing. 
  2. I have an overactive imagination and/or am crazy. Where most people see as a molehill, I see a mountain. Where they see windmills, I see a giant. Where they see a vending machine, a see a shrine to my favorite snack.
  3. My life is incredibly boring and I have to find some way to spice it up.
  4. My life is incredibly incredible and I’m simply trying to find a way for others to get as excited about it as I am.

Porch Swing

From the first day we moved into our house on Cullumber Street, my mother insisted she simply would not be happy until we had a porch swing. Our new house was perfect for a porch swing–a large  covered concrete slab in front of newly-shuttered windows, right behind the hibiscus bush. And so when my dad put one in a month later, the porch swing became not only a permanent fixture of our home, but it took a permanent place in our lives.

It became the backdrop to informal family pictures on Easter, Christmas, Mother’s Day, and the first day of school. It became yet one more solid surface I could plant myself on to read for a few hours. It became the hub for late-night talks with friends, a place for secrets to be shared and kept. It was our front-row seat to nature as we watched monsoons blow down the street during late summer months, or how we gazed in awe the night of the perpetual lightning storm. Or each spring as our favorite hummingbird built their annual nest in up high between the roof and the chainlinks of the swing. So much happened on that swing, it became an extension of our home and family.

I still remember the day my mom called me in a hysterical frenzy. At first, I imagined the worst. Was my dad ok? My sisters? Had a neighbor finally gotten so tired of my dumb yappy dog they decided to shut him up forever? (Although, let’s be honest–I really wouldn’t blame them. It’s not like I haven’t even had the thought cross my mind.) No, but a couple of pre-adolescent giggling girls had broken the porch swing. I was relieved that nothing truly tragic had happened, but only for a moment. That swing meant so much to my family and that little family of baby birds. What would become of us now?

Luckily, the swing was an easy fix, and it was up and swinging (pun intended) in no time at all–still able to serve as a significant setting for our family to grow up. (Proof of growth below.)

Easter 2009

Christmas 2009

Graduation

Haley Graduation 2012

No comment.

Christmas Sunday 2012
Christmas Day 2012
Yes, those socks are for reals.

Day of Rest

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God…

For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

The Sabbath is something I feel like we take relatively seriously in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I mean, I’m not sure how many other churches go to church for 3 hours every Sunday, not including additional meetings like Ward Council appointments with the bishop and ward prayer and home teaching or the ward and stake choir practices I always seem to be guilted into. But no matter what, there is one Sunday activity that I try to participate in every week.

Sunday naps.

Every Sunday from noon to 3, I can be found in my bed, dozing blissfully. This time may vary depending on home teachers or what meeting I have, but no one, and I repeat, NO ONE will take my Sunday naps away from me. I’ve even been known to turn away a home teacher a time or two, because you really want to know if there’s anything you can do for me?

Let me have my dang Sunday nap.

Green Eggs and Ham

I’ve never considered myself a picky eater. I was usually perfectly content to eat whatever delicious food my mother put in front of me and not complain about the things I didn’t love. If she served sloppy joes, I would usually crinkle my nose, but eat it anyway. If a glass of milk was put in front of me, I would offer it to my sister and get myself some water. And luckily my mom only made meatloaf that one time, or else I might have actually said something. I don’t know what it is about sloppy joes, milk, or meatloaf that I didn’t like, but they were small potatoes in comparison to the food I really disliked.

Eggs.

I do know what it is about eggs. They’re oddly greasy. They are rubbery. And they just taste like…eggs. I don’t know how to describe it, but…I get kind of grossed out just thinking about it.

And so this morning, when I went to a Green-Eggs-and-Ham breakfast to celebrate Dr. Suess’s birthday, I was surprised when I found the only thing they were serving was scrambled eggs. (I’m not sure why I was surprised. I probably shouldn’t have been.)

After we read Dr. Suess’s classic, my friend and I narrating as the hesitant mustached creature and Sam-I-Am respectively, I decided to take my own advice and Try them! Try them! And you may like them, I say!

So I scooped up a plate of green eggs and ham. I put a bite on my fork. And like the hesitant mustached creature, I tried green eggs and ham, willing to change my life perspective with that first bite.

No luck. I still hate them.

Pando

Tonight, I went to a show for some friends’ band. They are amazing and everyone in the world should love them like I do. If you’re interested (and you should be) you can hear my favorite song of theirs here. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

It had been a while since I’d been to show like that. One where you’re so close to the sound you can’t tell the difference between the beat of the drum and the beat of your heart. Where the lights in your eyes make it hard to see the singer, but the music is all around you, so who needs to see, anyway? It was the kind of place where everyone was crammed shoulder-to-shoulder, but you’re surrounded by people you know and love, so it’s ok if you’re just a little too close for comfort. And where you know all the words because you’ve heard your friends play these songs so many times you could probably play them yourself. And even though everyone else is just figuring out how cool they are, you’ve always known your friends were the very best. You feel like a proud mother watching her boys perform, and you couldn’t be prouder.