Monday, October 29, 2007

Our Children

I recently finished reading Helen of Troy by Margaret George.

I found this amazing nugget of truth regarding children and feel like it captures the amazement and wonder of raising children.

In this excerpt Helen is talking about reconnecting with the daughter she abandoned for Paris, Hermione. She says:

She was not like me. One's child never is. But until your child has grown to maturity, you cannot believe it. Your children are a part of you forever, from the moment of their birth, therefore you imagine you are part of them as well. But they are entirely apart, seeking their own secrets and bearing their own disappointments. If they choose to reveal them to you, you among mothers are fortunate.

I hope, when they are older, I am among the fortunate.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


At 2:20am this morning my Grandpa, Robert 'Bob' Walker, passed away.

Many of you know that 'Pa Bob' (that's what the boys call him) has struggled with his health over the last two months. I've blogged about it a lot on this site. We thought he had reached a major positive turning point when he was able to come home this past Tuesday.

His body just wasn't ready for the move from the hospital and on Thursday my Grandma called 9-1-1 and he was readmitted to the ICU. My Mom and Aunt Patti flew up on Friday to be with my Grandma. The Doctor was cautiously optimistic that he would, again, turn things around. They even took out the ventilator they had put him on.

This morning my Grandma received a call from the hospital saying that they needed to intubate him again, but that he was refusing. This was his wish and my Grandma relayed that to them. The nurse then suggested that she come down to the hospital. She woke my Mom and Patti up and they joined her at the hospital.

My Grandpa was awake and very coherent. He and my Grandma shared their quiet goodbyes. He said 'Things are taken care of Joyce". She said, "Yes they are Bob. You know that. We've been through everything." He nodded. He told Mom and Patti that he loved them and that he loves his family. He asked Patti to say a prayer. After the prayer he slowed his breathing, closed his eyes, shuddered, and was gone.

My Mom said that it was very peaceful and about as good as you could want a passing to be.

I absolutely adore my Grandparents. My Grandpa has been like a 2nd Father to me - coming to events in my life, teaching me lessons about love and spirit, and showing me love at every moment. I cannot even say how much I will miss him or how my heart feels with this loss.

Yet at the same time I am so glad he is done with the fight and done with the pain.

We will be going to Utah sometime this week for the funeral on Saturday - and it will be great to have time with my family to celebrate my Grandpa.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


I was so excited about my new blogskin - only to realize (after being told) that there is no comment section!

I am working to figure out how to add it - so please be patient! I know you all have lots to say - all three of you who read this!

Friday, October 26, 2007

But vanity, not love, has been my folly!

It's the end of a long day at the end of a lengthy week.

To relax I decided to catch up on some blog reading. One random site I found had a Jane Austen Quiz.

How fun! Though it made me realize that it is time to pick up a complete Jane Austen collection and get cracking. I am reading Pride & Prejudice again, but it has been a long time since I read any of the others.

Still - it was fun to do this! I was surprised that I am Elizabeth, though I am tremendously attractive!

:: L I Z Z Y ::

You are Elizabeth Bennet of Pride & Prejudice! You are intelligent, witty, and tremendously attractive. You have a good head on your shoulders, and oftentimes find yourself the lone beacon of reason in a sea of silliness. You take great pleasure in many things. You are proficient in nearly all of them, though you will never own it. Lest you seem too perfect, you have a tendency toward prejudgement that serves you very ill indeed.

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Quiz here!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Duck, duck...


It would seem that I have been tagged by Lizalicious! Well, more than seem - I have!

I feel lucky - don't you all feel lucky that you get to read these. Stayed tuned until the end to see who I felt like tagging!!

Rules (cause we love rules):
1. The player (c'est moi) lists 6 facts/habits about themselves - try to find 6 you haven't already posted about!

2. At the end of the post, the player tags 6 people and posts their names, and then goes to their blog and leaves them a comment, letting them know they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog for the rules.

~ Six ~
It drives me absolutely bonkers when cupboards and drawers are left open. If we were robbed, I would probably close all the yanked open cupboards before actually itemizing the missing goods.

~ Five ~
For about three months in Junior High I wore fake glasses at home. I wanted to 'look smart'
and thought this must be the way to do it. Plus I looked good in them. Still to this day I'll grab
a pair of glasses just to see how much sexier I look with them - even if they kill my eyes.

~ Four ~
Every single time I do my make-up (which isn't that often any more) I find myself staring at myself in the mirror, pausing for a moment, and then breaking out with model moves or facial expressions. This isn't as a joke because some part of me still thinks I could be the next Julia Roberts.

~ Three ~
I have a dream journal. It's almost 16 years old. I haven't written in it for a while, but my dreams are so vivid that I always woke up with them still playing out, and figured it was a good way to get them out of my mind (or keep them in, depending on the dream!). There is some pretty interesting stuff in there - including some things that have come true!

~ Two ~
Shellina is my evil twin. She's not real but she's who I blame all my craziness and bad behavior on.

~ One ~
One of my pet peeves is mispronunciation. To be fair it isn't that others pronounce a word poorly but rather that I believe that they are pronouncing it wrong. We have a dictionary in our car because I will argue with my spouse about how something is said. I'm always right.

Don't you feel enlightened now? I do - and it was me I was writing about!

Now it's your turn - anyone who reads this is welcome to do it (comment and tell me so I know to check it out) but I specifically tag the following lucky people:

My wonderful, but often poorly pronouncing, hubby Eric.
Terina, the person I've known longer than my dream journal.
My non-evil twin, Michelle.
Ali because she looks smart with or without glasses.
Because Melissa probably does those facial expressions too - I've seen the pics!

Have fun!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Music Memory Monday #4

Oh my, oh my. Even the first few notes of this song just makes my heart start to got pitter patter. Wow. Honestly I haven't thought about this memory for three years - in fact almost exactly three years ago.

Let me start with then, three years ago. I attended the funeral for someone I had known almost my entire life. And yet someone that I really never knew. Taylor John Marshall died in October 2004. His parents and mine have been friends since, well really since I can remember.

Standing there at his funeral, listening to his friends remember the person they knew, made me realize that we are different people to everyone we know. This isn't bad or good, this is just the way that perspective works. My memory of Taylor, before he passed, was mixed with emotion. For a while he had been selfish, snobby, rude, and obnoxious. I had, at one point in my life, an amazingly large crush on him - one that would simmer just below the surface for several years (sometimes not as under the surface as I thought). His contempt for my crush was at times very obvious, which sometimes fueled my desire and at other times fueled my low teenage esteem.

I found myself fading in and out during the funeral. Reverting to memories, many of them, that I had with Taylor. Suddenly I realized that there was a moment in time where Taylor was defined in my mind forever. The years and experiences that came after jaded this memory, but in its original state this moment with him was, the best.

In 1992 I was an eighth-grader. I have yet to met someone who LOVED their Junior High year experience - especially a girl. Junior High is awkward, and emotional, and hormonal. At this particular time my crush was not under the surface. In fact, after having moved away for a few years, my three years in Junior High were spent with lots of thought headed towards Taylor. Before I moved we were inseparable - but at an age where boys & girls were buddies. So now being unnoticed by him made him even more desirable.

He, on the other hand, seemed more distant the more I tried to get noticed. It was a bitter cycle.

So in 1992, at the end of my Junior High career I attended the 8th Grade Dance. This celebration of our triumph through hormones, sexist math teachers, and uncomfortable gym classes, was looked forward to by most everyone - me especially.

All night I hoped Taylor would dance with me. I'm embarrassed now to think how much I pined, but I did. Each slow song came and went...songs like:

"If You Asked Me To" ~ Celine Dion
"Tears in Heaven" - Eric Clapton (only Junior High students could obliviously dance to this song)
"Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" ~ George Michael & Elton John

And nothing. No glances or anything from him.

Finally, at the end of the night, he started to make his way to my side of the room. Even now it is like magic in my mind. The song started, and I knew what it was. I hoped, no, PRAYED he was headed my way.

We didn't really say anything during the dance, but he did thank me at the end. I think I was on cloud nine not only the whole night, but also through that whole summer. Probably would have been forever if I did not realize that High School also had hormones, sexist math teachers, and uncomfortable gym classes.

This songs holds Taylor - the one I always want to remember. The one who saved the best for last. This is the memory of him I choose for last.

Music Memory Monday #4

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Favorite things

Some love raindrops on roses and whiskers on kitten, bright colored sashes and warm woolen mittens...

Me on the other hand...well, I have lots of favorites and no doubt will post more on here as the blog progresses.

However, as I sat down to read my book today, Helen of Troy, I found myself smiling at my bookmark. Technically it isn't even a bookmark but rather a magnetic page clip made by Re-Mark.

The re-marks that I own are the ladybug design page clips. Aren't they adorable?!?!

I bought these about a year ago, put them away during the move and found them recently. Being one to easily loose bookmarks these have really helped - not to mention that they are so cute that I spend almost as much time looking at them that I do reading (ok, that is a major exaggeration but they are that cute)

The company's website is getting a make-over, so this is all you get once you get there...but how fun are all of these!

Assuming you'd want one, which would you get?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Out of control...

Do you ever just have those days when things feel completely out of control?

Like you are spinning around and around, even though your feel are firmly planted on the ground?

Or like you're falling and no one knows it but you, and cannot pick you up even if they wanted to?

That is how this moment feels to me right now. There are things - one big thing called money - in my life that feel so out of control.

We are living with my parents.

We are in debt. (I am so embarassed to admit this, but it is SO much of my feelings right now)

We are living on much less than I expected at this point.

All of these things are changeable, I know that.

Yet for this moment, it just all feels out of control.

Monday, October 15, 2007

An absolute first!

For the very first time in my life I have...


I can hardly believe it.

I've worked on them before but I have never completed one without help or without quitting 1/2 way through!


Sunday, October 14, 2007

SS: First job & Worst Job

#80 - First Job, Worst Job, Dream Job

Let's hear em! What was your first job, and what was your worst job, and any others you care to tell about. How about your dream job? Give us your "realistic" dream job, that which you are pursuing and hope to attain, and your total fantasy dream job, which may not even exist, but would be perfect for you.

This is from the fantastic team over at Sunday Scribblings. Figured it was a fun post to blog about and give me a chance to reminisce.

It is hard to remember what my very first job was. I started working before I can even remember - doing odd jobs for extra spending money. I worked in my Mom's school organizing cabinets, grading papers, and updating bulletin boards. I loved doing that as I earned money and got some extra time with my Mom.

Those are the same reasons that I loved my first 'official' paying job. This was working with my Dad doing reception work. I got to have time traveling with my Dad (even though it was early in the morning) and then during lunch. My Dad is an incredibly hard worker and was almost always awake and gone before we were awake, and then home late. Of course I loved being a receptionist. Within weeks I had learned vendors voices and they were always thrilled when I knew who they were before they said their names. This is the first experience I had in the work world where I started to understand how interpersonal relationships work, how to make a customer happy, and how to feel pride in what I do. A lot of this came from the job, but a lot of it also came from the expectations my Dad had of me in letting me work at the same company.

From that point I've had a myriad of other jobs, including (in no particular order):

~ customer service for a dry cleaner
~ a teacher of geriatric aerobics
~ days-long and weeks-long stints at Macy's and Mervyns (retail clothing is NOT my thing).
~ a hostess, then cashier, then server for Pinnacle Peak (yes, I LOVED cutting off ties!).
My best friend and my boyfriend also worked there at various times.
~ Special Sales and Ordering for the U of U Health Sciences Bookstore
~ a hostess for a Denny-esque restaurant
~ a student advisor, manager, teacher-trainer, Marketing & Academic Manager,
and Area Director at Kaplan
~ SAHM to a precocious three year-old and an obstinate two year-old
~ a Client Account Manager for an employment agency
~ a Client Education Coordinator for People Helping People

Really, it is quite hard to tell you what the worst job is. There are bits and pieces of mediocrity and embarassment at each job. The jobs I am drawn to and that I love the most are those that involve counseling people (be it careers, education, life), team construction and management, and overall business management. For those reasons, plus the chance to travel, I especially loved my job as Area Director for Kaplan. However that job came with high stress, unbelievable amounts of time at work, and a dramatic feeling of loss when I quit to become at SAHM.

Working for PHP was the last job that I did before staying home full-time. I had stopped working for Kaplan and needed a little bit of a break. The actual job at PHP was fulfilling but not challenging. The hardest part for me there was that I really couldn't commit myself - and stuggeled with feeling like I shortchanged both the job and my boys. That was harder than I can even express or want to remember.

In the future I know I'll be back at work. Every once and a while I get itchy to get out of the house and back in the workplace. Being a SAHM has challenged me more than I expected and more than I have encountered any where else. With every job there is a steep learning curve, but with being a SAHM your job duties, and therefore your learning curve, change JUST as you think you are getting the hang of it.

My personal job right now is to find contentment being 'just a mom', to provide them with a fun and educational home environment, and to take advantage of the time I have to do this. Not everyone has (or wants) this luxury.

When I do go back to work I'm not sure what I'll do. I loved the corporate world - but only until I got introduced to the non-profit. It will be hard to see what I feel compelled to do. It will be lots of fun, however, to interview and prove to employers that just because I off-ramped. Being a SAHM has given me incredible experience and education that I'm not sure I could learn anywhere else.

And now, I hear my bosses calling me!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Living your truth...

My nap-time treat is to walk on the treadmill and watch Oprah. I take a book with me in case Oprah is boring or at least for commercials.

Today's show was about transgender parents. A few weeks ago she did a show on young adults and teens who are transgender.

If you are unfamiliar with the term transgender here is the definition from the APA. This definition is not always accepted but I feel the best about posting it over some others I found:

Transgender is an umbrella term used to describe people whose gender identity (sense of themselves as male or female) or gender expression differs from that usually associated with their birth sex. Many transgender people live part-time or full-time as members of the other gender. Broadly speaking, anyone whose identity, appearance, or behavior falls outside of conventional gender norms can be described as transgender. However, not everyone whose appearance or behavior is gender-atypical will identify as a transgender person.

Transgenderism is one of those subjects that is taboo for many people. I'll be honest. I don't know much about it myself. My first encounter with a transgender person was in college. In fact for a couple of years I rudely called her he/she or it. She worked at a restaurant that my friends and I would visit. In fact, we called the restaurant T-Dees, adding the 't' for transgender.

I'm not ashamed of my behavior then. Honestly, I think most people react poorly when they know little about a situation that they feel uncomfortable with.

She tried the entire show to understand what it must be like to live in a body that you don't feel is really yours. One of the women (former man) said, after being asked to explain why she wasn't just gay, 'Sex in in-between your legs, gender is in your head'.

Fascinating stuff! I sure don't understand it all - and I'm really not sure how I feel about it.

Still, what really moved me about the show is that here are these people, who believe something SO firmly about themselves and are willing to risk everything they have and believe in order to be themselves.

One of the things that Oprah said, which I guess is one of her catch phrases, is 'Live your truth'. She told one of the guests that she was so proud of them for living their truth.

It made me think. Am I living my truth? No this doesn't mean I think I'm a man. I don't. But your truth can be a million things.

So much to think about...both about others and myself. Never knew that Oprah could be so eye opening.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Music Memory Monday #3

Oh how I have the spirit of a Gypsy in my body. Recently we went on a small road trip. I love road trips. Love the time you get to spend thinking, the time you get to spend listening to music, the scenery that displays through the window, and the chance you get to experience, even for a moment, a new place.

On our trip this time I experienced a full-circle Music Memory Monday.

I've been road tripping for as long as I can remember. My parents liked to camp and visit family - and growing up where we did meant that we had to travel to do either. I distinctly remember singing this song while traveling in our brown station wagon, Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang! For years, all of mine to be exact, I thought my Mom made up this song.

It wasn't until this recent trip that I realized the song wasn't my Mom's. It came on the CD that I got from the library - and it almost broke my heart when I heard it. The minute it came on both of the boys said 'It's Grandma KK's song!'.

Well it might not be her song, but it will always be her song in my memory. Here now, with no music (but I know you'll know it!), and with pictures of images from our trip, it is:

(Pine Valley Mountain)

I love the mountains, I love the rolling hills.

(Temple Square flowers)

I love the flowers, I love the daffodils.

(Downtown Salt Lake when the lights are low)

I love the fireside, when the lights are low.



Sunday, October 07, 2007

So much to say...

I have SO much to say and SO little time.

We just got home from Utah where I got to spend time with my grandparents. My grandpa has been in the ICU for 39 days...and it was amazing to have some time with him as he is healing.

More to come from all the things I've been thinking, reading about, and feeling.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Music Memory Monday #2

So you know how one of the fantasies of women (and men too I suppose) is to have a song written about you. Well for most of my life I thought the words to the Beatles' song went 'Rochelle ma belle' and not 'Michelle ma belle'. BIG difference.

Well, a few years ago I was listened to another song that I was sure I knew the lyrics to when WHAM, the carpet was pulled out from under me.

Let me start at the beginning. One day back in the late eighties, my Dad, my cousin Leslie, and I were in the car. I honestly cannot remember what spurred on the conversation, but my Dad mentioned the song (by the name I knew it) 'Rochelle ma belle'. Leslie then remarked that there would never be a song with her name. If I remember correctly she was going through a phase (one most of us do) where she wasn't thrilled with the name her parents had given her.

My Dad remarked that there was a song with her name in it! All of a sudden Groovin' by the Young Rascals came on. My Dad told us both to listen...and we sat and concentrated. I can remember this part so vividly. We were both silent (a miracle in itself), waiting and hoping for her name to appear.

And there it was:

"Life could be and me and Leslie"

Every time this song comes on now I still can't believe that it's not 'Leslie' that they say. Though I will admit now how clear the word 'endlessly' is heard...I still want to say Leslie.

This whole incident remains such a magical moment in my mind, that I really am not sure how it happened. How the song came on at the right time or how my Dad remembered that 'endlessly' was part of it or knew to convert it to Leslie so easily.

Nor do I want to probe too deeply because it made my Dad such a rock star in my mind and I don't want to take that away from him.

(PS - this is the only clip I could find with the music. Skip to 0:30 to hear the line I'm referring to)