Showing posts from 2007

I'm officially an old biddy now

Thanks to Nemesis I am now watching Masterpiece Theater on Sunday nights. To accompany my TV viewing I either eat low-fat ice cream or air-popped popcorn. Sometimes I work on counted cross stitch. Then I make sure I take my fiber pills before going to bed.


A few days ago I was going to post about stressed out I was feeling, but then I made some decisions and I don't feel so stressed anymore. First of all, I got an offer to teach at a second school. However, this school is about an hour away (more with traffic) and the class conflicted with one I had already agreed to teach. I thought my first class wasn't going to happen, because it only had two students when I left on vacation. Then I looked again and started to panic, because there were six students. I was feeling really freaked out about starting at a new school, driving that far two nights a week, and screwing over my first employer. So I told the second school that I couldn't do it. And I felt a lot better. I haven't even felt guilty about the fact that they start next Wednesday. Saying "no" appropriately is a great way to reduce stress. I also finished and turned in my graduate school applications. I did three of them; for a while I was considering doing m

Today's Christmas Memories

We had another good Christmas this year. Last night we got together with some friends and had a nice dinner and program. It was a lot of fun, although I'm continually amazed by how much angst and drama a group of preschool girls can create for themselves. Thankfully our kids were both really tired and went to sleep easily last night. And neither is apparently big enough to be too excited about Christmas because they slept in until nearly eight this morning. We got up and opened presents; the kids ate cookies from their stockings for breakfast and we watched Little Dude's new Signing Time video. We already opened some presents in Utah with family, and they got some more fun things today: several books, a puzzle and new clothes for Little Dude, Candy Land and some Play Doh for S-Boogie. Mr. Fob got me a year-long membership to Curves, which was exactly what I wanted. It was a very generous present, especially since I just got him an alarm clock and an iTunes gift card. We spent

2 Days of Christmas Memories

Another of my family's most treasured Christmas traditions was making and delivering cookies on Christmas Eve. My mom said she started it because she needed some way to get through the day without the kids going crazy. We would bake and decorate cookies in the morning and then spend the evening delivering them to friends. I've done that every year since leaving home, either with roommates or with Mr. Fob and our little family. I love baking and it's so fun to visit with everyone. This year S-Boogie helped cut out and decorate gingerbread cookies, and then I also made some little popcorn "clusters" (they were supposed to be balls, but it didn't really work out so well). I also tried a recipe for jam thumbprint cookies, but that didn't work out at all. First of all, it only made two dozen instead of four. Then I tried putting lemon curd in the second batch and it melted all over the place. So a few people got jam cookies, but most didn't. Oh well. This y

3 Days of Christmas Memories

Tonight we went to a live Nativity pageant at a nearby church. It's a lot of fun and the kids liked seeing the real donkey and sheep in the real stable. I was impressed by the amount of work that the members of this church had put into their play, and I also had the thought "well, of course, they want us to join their church." I know that missionary work was part of their goal, but I realized that behind that was a sincere joy in their belief. They really believe in Christ and want to share that with others. Of course I thought of my mission and of the joy I felt in sharing with others. Not just my testimony and not just with the expectation that they would join the church, but simple joy in our ability to get to know each other and learn more about life from that experience. It's hard to explain the kinds of relationships you have with people as a missionary because they are so different from anything else you experience later in life. Anyways, I thought I'd shar

4 Days of Christmas Memories

I read another blog post today bemoaning those "cheesy Christmas letters that everyone sends to brag about how perfect their family is". I felt a little defensive because our annual Christmas letter has become a treasured family tradition for Mr. Fob and I. And, while we do tend to highlight the good things, we really don't send it out to brag. We've been having a little trouble with getting this year's letter written and sent out on time, partly because we don't have a decent picture and partly because we're trying to find the best way to talk about what's been happening with us this year. I like to be honest about ourselves, but I also feel like we don't have to tell everyone every gory detail of our lives. Christmas is a time of peace and optimism, so I think our letters should reflect that. We started the tradition with our very first Christmas, even though we had only been married for a month. The idea was planted in a Sunday School lesson abo

5 Days of Christmas Memories

The one hard and fast rule in my house for Christmas morning was that you could not wake up Mom and Dad. They didn't care how early we got up, but we had to wait for them to get themselves up and ready before we could open presents. The wait was always excruciating. "Santa" usually left out one of our bigger gifts all assembled and ready to play with. Plus we got a special treat in our stockings: mini boxes of sugar cereal. The only day of the year when Fruit Loops and chocolate coins were an acceptable breakfast. When it was time to open presents, we would go around in a circle and take turns. I like doing that because it prolongs the process and you can watch what everyone else got. How do you do presents in your house? I just remembered that there was a year when I was in college that my parents managed to get up and dressed before any of the rest of us did. You know everyone is getting older when the parents actually have to drag the kids out of bed to open presents!

6 Days of Christmas Memories

I guess we could call this post "Christmas Music Part 2". Last night at the party we were discussing what the worst Christmas songs ever were. No one brought up this one . My sister actually once had to do a tap dance routine to this song, complete with a felt hippo face safety pinned to her shiny red leotard (I think she was about 5 or 6). Speaking of dance, another family tradition we had was attending a performance of The Nutcracker each year. My mom also used to make new dresses for my sister and I each year for Christmas, so the performance was a good opportunity to show off our new clothes. When I was thirteen I got to wear pantyhose and high heels for the first time. That was exciting for a few months afterward, but then I figured out how uncomfortable true beauty is and gave up that habit. I wore white pumps with frilly ankle socks to my eighth grade graduation--I'm just a fashion rebel like that.

7 Days of Christmas Memories

I'm writing this post very late at night because we were up in Ogden at a Christmas party with friends. Growing up I mostly remember celebrating Christmas with my immediate family. We lived far away from my grandparents and other relatives, so we never celebrated holidays with them. Since Mr. Fob and I have gotten married we've discovered the world of entertaining. We love having parties and attending parties with friends. My mom's family has also started an annual Christmas party that's quite a lot of fun and I'm grateful we were able to be in Utah this year for it. I don't know how much longer this partying of ours can last though, because kids make things difficult. At least tonight there was an extra bedroom S-Boogie could crash in, but I think we're going to have to start getting a babysitter for parties. Or maybe we should just move into a bigger home next year and start inviting people over to our place. That's a tradition I can certainly support.

8 Days of Christmas Memories

Christmas music is a very important part of most people's feelings about the season. The interesting thing to me is how much the type of music varies from family to family. Growing up, I mainly remember two records that we listened to every year: Willie Nelson's Pretty Paper and another by some group of singers whose name I can't remember. That album had cool stuff on it like "What Are You Doin' New Year's Eve?", "Be a Santa", and "Do You Hear What I Hear?"; some day I want to dig out my parents' old record collection and figure out what it was. We also had (and still do have) the big Reader's Digest Christmas Songbook, and the rule was that you couldn't start playing that until after Thanksgiving. I sometimes wonder what our children will remember as far as Christmas music goes, because we've started a tradition of buying a new CD each year. We have a varied collection that includes CDs from Elvis, Mariah Carey, Celine

9 Days of Christmas Memories

One of the fun things about visiting my parent's house was the opportunity to see all of my mom's nativity sets. She's a big fan of "Jesus is the reason for the season" and has collected sets for years. This is a set I made for her when I was ten years old. I remember that for years during high school I was deeply embarrassed when she would show it off to people. All I could see were the imperfections (like the cardboard sheep with one leg). The funny thing is, seeing it for the first time in at least six or seven years, I was impressed with how well it was made. Heck, I was 10 and I came up with it all by myself. I guess I must be growing up after all. This is the set I bought for my mom when I was in Spain. Truthfully I'm a little jealous, since I didn't buy one for myself. But I have a cool set from Hawaii and hopefully some day I'll get back to Spain and can buy myself a new one. I also need to buy some turron --I've never been able to find any

10 Days of Christmas Memories

The other day a friend and I were talking about Christmas and she remarked "I've always thought of Christmas as a women's holiday, since it's about birth." She does have a point; although I think parenting is and should be an equal-opportunity responsibility, pregnancy and childbirth are still exclusively women's work. Last Sunday in my sister-in-law's ward I had the opportunity to listen to a fascinating talk on the spiritual symbolism of birth. The woman giving the talk works as a doula and she drew many interesting parallels between birth and gospel principles. For example, she talks about Christ's statement in Gethsemane as being similar to the transition statement ("I can't go on") that many women make during labor when they are needing extra support for the final push. I also liked the fact that she mentioned that she always felt that we did Mary a disservice by viewing the birth of Christ as something clean and sanitized. Mary is a

11 Days of Christmas Memories

I already posted last year about my feelings about Santa. He just wasn't a big deal in my house growing up, and I don't remember ever thinking of him as an actual, real being. One year, however, my sister and I got a note from Santa. I'm pretty sure I was seven that year, so my sister would have been six. We had asked for My Little Ponies that year, but instead we got a nice note from Santa explaining that so many children had asked for Ponies that we would need to wait until January 25th to get ours. So we played with our other presents and waited patiently. Then, on January 25th, we got our Ponies. I remember now being puzzled by the note because I was pretty sure that Santa wasn't real, but I hadn't really figured out that my parents left the presents. And I'm pretty sure that at that point in my life I didn't recognize my mother's handwriting. I wish I had saved that note because I sure would like to look at it now.

12 Days of Christmas Memories

One tradition my family started at some point during my childhood was a tree decorating party. We didn't invite anyone else but ourselves, but always had fun food that my mom didn't normally buy. She'd even break out the punch bowl and we'd make some punch. We're not exactly a fancy cheese sort of family; our traditional foods lean towards chips and salsa and Lil' Smokies with barbecue sauce. Yum. Last night my parents had our party and the kids got to help decorate the tree. Actually, Little Dude worked on seeing if he could eat more Lil' Smokies than my dad, and S-Boogie helped decorate the tree. It was a lot of fun. I haven't had Christmas at my home for a while and it's fun to do some of the old traditions, even if none of my siblings were here. Also, I love our Christmas tree. I like the fancier trees with matching ornaments and a theme, but I'll admit that I still think my family's is the best. We have ornaments that are over thirty ye

Vacation of the Absurd

This is Little Dude in his "cage". We're glad we didn't have to bring our playpen with us, but the free crib from the motel was quite interesting. I kept wanting to sing our favorite Stephen Marley song: "Let me out, let me out, I'm an angry lion". On Sunday we were getting ready for church and I was trying to find my tights. S-Boogie had gotten herself ready earlier and was wearing a pair of tights that were too big. I assumed she had borrowed them from her older cousin so I thought I'd just let it go. Then I looked in the suitcase and realized that she had put on my tights. It was hard to convince her to switch because I couldn't wear hers. We ran into a tumbleweed that blew across the road in southern Utah. It was as wide as the front of our car and stuck in the grill. We got it off by pulling off on an exit and braking quickly. Then we ran over it and got it stuck to the bottom of the car. It finally managed to get completely free when we we

T Minus 24

I think I write a post before every trip about how stressful it is to pack and get everyone ready to go. We're leaving tomorrow after S-Boogie gets home from school and will drive part of the way before stopping for the night. The main thing I'm stressed about is that we finally got the movie Volver from the library and if we don't watch it tonight we'll have to wait another four months. Of course, we could also just rent it and watch it with my parents. They might like it. I'm also a little nervous to take Little Dude on a trip because he's been acting very difficult this week. It's like he's got some kind of toddler PMS or something. Yesterday and the day before he cried hysterically every time I tried to put him in his bed for a nap. I'm scared to try again today, but neither of us can get through the day without a nap for him. Plus he's done the tantrum over the carseat, breakfast tantrum involving throwing bananas, the tantrum over mommy go

My Happy Place

About four years ago, when S-Boogie was a tiny baby, I typed some parenting concern into Google looking for advice. One of the search results was a thread on a message board that catered to other LDS moms. I was immediately hooked; I'd never used message boards before, but as a new mom I loved the interaction with other moms. However, after a year or so of spending time on the board I started to grow disillusioned. I never really felt like I fit in, and I often felt like my comments were ignored or dismissed. At the same time, several of my friends started blogs and I happened to stumble onto Dooce. This seemed like something even better than a message board--I could write whatever I want and people would actually listen to me. I hoped that blogging would help me improve my writing skills and emotional awareness and that it would be a way for me to preserve a bit of my life history somewhere. Now, more than two years and five hundred posts later, I'm still happy with blogging.

When It Rains, It Pours

Sorry, I couldn't resist using this title even if it's cheesy. I was going to post last night about how the more than twenty-four hours' worth of pouring rain was getting me down. Then we were awakened at 4 this morning by a kindly neighbor calling to tell us that the apartment next door was flooding. We checked our front door and there was a puddle of water making its way through our coat closet and our laundry room. We threw some towels on it and went back to bed, where I slept fitfully through dreams of water rushing through my home and ruining all my stuff. Thankfully we only had that small amount of seepage. Our carpet just beyond the linoleum in the entryway is a bit damp. Someone was supposed to bring us a dehumidifier this evening, but I think they were too busy cleaning up the two neighboring apartments that got totally flooded. Or maybe trying to sandbag the lake that has sprouted up beside the playground right outside our back windows. I'm glad we were spared

Reading Roundup: November 2007

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt I'd always assumed this book was from the nineteenth century until I checked it out and realized that it was written in the 1970s. I also realized after reading it that I probably would have loved it when I was ten. Instead I read it in about an hour and wasn't all that impressed. It was an intriguing premise, but the book felt like it could have done so much more with the idea. She Got Up Off the Couch (And Other Heroic Acts from Mooreland, Indiana) by Haven Kimmel I really liked A Girl Named Zippy because it was so ordinary, not like so many recent "problem memoirs" that seem to try and outdo each other with how horrific the authors' lives were. Even though Kimmel here reveals more about her family than I expected based on the first book, I still found this to be a very positive book. I loved the fact that she can look back on her childhood and still see things with a child's eyes. She presents the world in the way she s

Thanksgiving Menu

This is over a week late, but at least you can use these for next year. Or make some of them now for dinner; they're all great. Turkey Breast : I bought a small turkey breast (5 pounds) and tried the Alton Brown method of brining and starting it at a high temperature. I cut the brine recipe in half and soaked it in a large tupperware container in the fridge for a few hours in the morning. It also didn't get very brown due to the fact that after 20 minutes the pan broke. But it still turned out very tasty and juicy. I think the best thing that helped was using a meat thermometer. The turkey was at the right temperature much earlier than I had expected. Stuffing : This year I used Trader Joe's stuffing mix. It was pretty good, but a little dry for my taste. It also made a lot, which was fun for leftovers. Rolls: I used this recipe and they were very buttery and tasty. I made one batch as crescents and another as cloverleaf pullaparts in muffin tins. They baked faster than

5 Things

I've probably done stuff like this before, but I figured I'd jump on the bandwagon since three of my friends have done it. Five things I Was Doing Ten Years Ago 1. Getting ready for finals. Hating myself for taking dumb classes like Psych 101 or History 122 just because they sounded "fun". 2. Working for the Youth and Family Programs office. At this point in the year I think we would have been gearing up to get ready for EFY registration by phone. 3. Going to College Bowl practice a lot. 4. Finding a Christmas present for the boy I wasn't really waiting for (we didn't really date), but was writing on his mission. I don't remember what I sent him, but I must have sent him something. 5. I honestly don't remember anything else from this time in my life. It was my second year at BYU and nothing much happened that year that was too memorable. Oh, one of my roommates that I had also roomed with freshman year was engaged. Uh, yeah, that's all I remembe

Still here

As usual, I have a bunch of great ideas for posts and no time to get them written down. One of these days I'll get my Thanksgiving recipes up here. I even took pictures of the food. This week and next week are really busy. Tonight my class had an exam, and next week we have a final that I spent several hours putting together today. Last night I had book group; every one read Persepolis and enjoyed it a lot. We had a great discussion (and good food) and I got home late. Then tomorrow night I have Enrichment. Plus tomorrow we're getting new blinds installed and Little Dude has a check up at the doctor. And so on. Lots of things to do during the next week or so. I'm especially feeling pressure because we're planning on leaving on a road trip next weekend. So I might not be blogging much for the next little while. Updates: I decided to buy S-Boogie Candyland for Christmas. It was a semi-impulsive decision precipitated by the fact that Target had the game on sale for $7.99

Another Reason I Hate Football (And Public Drunkenness)

Tonight we went out to take my sister to the train station. I thought of staying home, but I felt like I needed a break since I had spent all day sitting on the couch. Mr. Fob was grateful that I came to help navigate around the yucky traffic, and I was glad I had not been home when we got back to our apartment and discovered this . Stupid football. Stupid alcohol. Stupid college students. Stupid rivalry. PS--We have double pane windows so there is no glass in our apartment and no cold air coming in. We talked to the university police and hopefully we'll get it fixed by housing on Monday. I'm also going to talk to the housing office about some sort of fence around our patio, because I'm tired of things getting stolen and people throwing trash on our porch.

Black Friday Indeed

This morning my sister and I took the kids over to see the canal locks. It was a lovely morning and we saw a lot of birds and boats. Little Dude fell asleep in the car on the way home. As I was walking down the steps to our apartment I miscalculated and missed the last one. Unfortunately I was holding a still-sleeping Little Dude and couldn't catch myself. My left ankle folded up and then I landed on it. After four hours in the emergency room (why do I always end up there?) I came home with an air cast and a prescription for ibuprofen. Thankfully it's just a sprain and thankfully Little Dude didn't get hurt when I fell down. And thankfully my sister is here visiting so she could hang out with the kids while Mr. Fob and I were in the ER watching Law and Order on the TV. I just feel bad that we weren't able to out and have fun this afternoon like we had planned. At least we have enough Thanksgiving leftovers to make it through the next few days. It's too bad I can

Thanksgiving Day

I'm thankful that dinner turned out beautifully and everything tasted great. It was even ready on time and we only had one semi-major mishap. I tried the Alton Brown recipe for turkey from the Food Network and stuck the turkey in the oven to start at 500 degrees. After 20 minutes smoke started filling the house. It turned out that the old Pyrex pan I was using to cook it in split right down the middle. The grease was spilling out and burning all over the oven. We got the turkey in a new pan and cleared the air and the rest of the dinner went well. It could have been a lot worse. I'm thankful my sister came to visit. We love having her come and she's already been a lot of fun. Plus she brought Williams Sonoma peppermint hot chocolate and a fun Thai martial arts movie that we watched tonight. And she cleaned up the kitchen this evening. I'm thankful to live in a beautiful city with so many opportunities to see nature right by our house. After our meal we drove over to a

More Shameless Bragging

So, what could possibly make my week better than a quick getaway to a bed and breakfast? Could it be the pumpkin swirl cheesecake I made this afternoon that didn't even crack? Those were both pretty cool, but then tonight was even better. Some one mentioned World Market the other day, and I realized that I pass that store on my way to work. Tonight I was a little early, so I thought I'd run in and check it out. After stepping into the store I realized that I need to come back when I had more than 20 minutes and actual money in my bank account. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I would have preferred a few more Spanish items, but the tuna in olive oil and olives stuffed with anchovies look pretty awesome. Like I said, the budget hasn't been very great lately so I tried not to buy anything. Until I saw the digestive cookies. Cadbury dark chocolate digestives. I ate four in the car on the way to teach my class. I need to drive a different way to work or else I am in s

2 Days of Thankfulness

When I asked Mr. Fob last week if I should plan something for our anniversary, he told me that he was planning a surprise. I figured we'd just be going out to dinner or something. After we drove up to the ferry terminal I really started to wonder how late we were going to be staying out. It turns out that we didn't come home until 9 this morning. We had a lovely overnight stay here in a suite that was almost as big as our apartment, but had the added bonus of no children and a jacuzzi tub for two. It was perfect. Mr. Fob packed some frozen Thai food from Trader Joe's for dinner and we had a lovely breakfast this morning in our room (this inn puts it in the fridge for you the night before so you can warm it up and eat it when you want). We were rushed this morning because we had to get back early for our babysitter, so we didn't get to see much of the island or anything, but it was still a fabulous getaway. I guess today I am thankful for surprises.

3 Days of Thankfulness

Today I am thankful for six years of marriage. Happy anniversary to us! Make video montages at

4 Days of Thankfulness

This morning we had our first parent-teacher conference with S-Boogie's preschool teachers. I will admit to being a little nervous--it's hard as a parent to not feel judged when your children are being evaluated. It turned out to be a very positive experience. I'm grateful that she is in such a quality program that focuses on what preschool should be: learning social and cognitive skills and not just rote learning. They use a "core curriculum" with four major focus areas (social, cognitive, motor, and language) that are broken into smaller, specific goals. S-Boogie's teachers first praised her for her adaptability, her friendliness, her enthusiasm for writing and drawing, and her great motor skills. Then we set goals for her to work on. We actually don't have any motor skills goals because she is doing well in all areas there. In the social area we are going to work on her ability to manage her emotions (instead of bursting into tearful drama over every di

5 Days of Thankfulness

Today I'm glad that I had the opportunity to serve a mission (sorry for the picture--I don't have a better scanner than this). I'm grateful for the gospel learning and growth that happened during that time. I'm very grateful for the fact that my mission stretched me in so many ways and helped learn how to truly love others. I'm still trying to learn how to do that, but it was a good start. I also love the fact that while on my mission I met the wonderful man who is know my husband. I feel a little funny putting up a picture of us as missionaries. I had no idea at the time that we would come home and fall in love with each other. We served together in the same district for eight months, so about half of my entire time in Spain. I knew many elders who were rude, lazy, mean, vulgar, and various other forms of ugly. Mr. Fob was a caring, compassionate missionary who lead humbly and honestly. I was impressed by his lack of pretension and his willingness and enthusiasm f

6 Days of Thankfulness

Today I am thankful for rain. I love how everything here is so green and how the air always feels nice on my skin, even in the winter. This morning we went for a walk while it was raining, and the smell of rain mixed with coffee, cigarettes, warm pastry, and car fumes always reminds me of Madrid (it rains a lot there in the winter too). I've also realized that I like how the rain breaks up the monotony of clear weather and refreshes the earth. Rainy days can be a good time to stay inside, play with toys, and bake gingersnaps. One of my favorite songs is the following: Dark cloud is coming Headed straight for your heart Might get just a little bit crazy, baby Might try to tear us apart When the storm blows over Only the true love remains If we're ever gonna see a rainbow We have to stand a little rain Everybody wants love to be easy But it's never been that way Each love starts out with blue skies Sometimes those blue skies turn grey When the storm blows over Only the strong

7 Days of Thankfulness

Tonight we went to a spaghetti dinner over at the community center for family housing. I mostly signed up to go because it meant free food without having to cook (we did have to donate some canned goods for entrance), but I was glad tonight for the chance to spend some time with friends and to be a part of the community. My long-time readers will remember the great trauma we had with moving here last summer. I was a little reluctant to move back into campus housing after several years of living on our own, but after several months of fruitless long-distance apartment shopping and with only days left before homelessness I was happy to get a spot here. And I've really enjoyed this last year. I like our community, both the members of our ward and those who are not. I love the fact that my children have so many friends close by and many opportunities to play with them. I like our apartment too; it's a bit dark and cave-like, but it's still a comfortable home. We're getting

8 Days of Thankfulness

Today I am grateful for Dr. Seuss. He's pretty much the best children's book author ever. I remember one time as a kid on our way to the beach my mom pointed out his house and thought it was amazing. When I was four or five we all got Dr. Seuss books from the Santa at the Christmas party at my dad's work. For several years afterwards one of our favorite games was " oobleck ", in which the floor became oobleck and we had to jump on furniture, toys, or books to escape. My mom hated it. Dr. Seuss also wrote the most amazing ABC book ever. I had it memorized as a kid and have read it to both of mine. The interesting thing is, they have both loved it and through it have come to love the alphabet. S-Boogie called her letters " cees " for a long time, and Little Dude has recently started pointing out letters and saying " eee ". It's also one of the few alphabet books to recognize that in the English language the letter X most commonly appears wit

Holiday Plans

Mr. Fob and I spent our first Thanksgiving in our hotel room at the Park City Best Western. We got married on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and spent a few days in Park City for our honeymoon. We'd planned to go out to eat for our meal, but the first snow of the season arrived on Wednesday night. We dug the car out and started driving, but only managed to make it as far as Alberstons. At least we found microwavable turkey dinners and some sort of "pumpkin cream" from the deli (it was nasty). Our second Thanksgiving was hosted at our house, with my sister and my brother and his wife. They were two hours late because she had just had a baby a few days before the holiday. I was newly pregnant with S-Boogie so they were the first ones we told. The third year we went down to Saint George to spend time with Mr. Fob's extended family. It was a fun trip, but our first time travelling with a baby. We didn't bring enough clothes to deal with the copious spitup, and we for

9 Days of Thankfulness

Tonight I am grateful for sleep. I've always had trouble getting to sleep, but once I'm there it's hard to get me back out of bed. Nothing makes me happier than snuggling up underneath warm blankets in my cozy pajamas. I'm also grateful that my children have both learned to sleep all night in their own beds. Little Dude usually goes to bed quite easily these days and he still takes a nice nap during the middle of the day. I think that small children sleep so much as a defense mechanism--if I didn't get that nap time break during the day we'd both be sick of each other by dinnertime. Tonight I'm exhausted; time to log off and go to bed!

10 Days of Thankfulness

The summer before my freshman year of high school I decided to try out for the drill team. Even though I was pretty much a nerd, I secretly envied the drill team girls. My tryout experience was pretty much like something out of Beverly Hills 90210. For some reason I decided to try out for "banners"--the girls who marched in front with the metal signs spelling out my high school's name. There weren't very many spots, so this was the most competitive section of the drill team, but I didn't realize that before I got involved. I lasted for only two days in the tryouts; the other girls laughed at me, wouldn't give me a practice banner, and basically made my life miserable. I went home, cried, and decided that I was just a nerd and that was never going to change. Thankfully I soon found a way to use my nerd cred. I'm not even sure how I heard about the Knowledge Bowl team, but it was a perfect fit. I loved Jeopardy! and the only physical skills I needed were fa