Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer Vacation

Well, I'm all done working until the baby comes! (There is a slight chance I might work for a week or so right before she comes, but I'm waiting to see how I feel then.) I finished working as a preschool teacher back in April, I was a nanny for a little bit and that finished, and since then I've been working as a school crossing guard. Not that I don't take this job seriously- I do- but being a crossing guard for summer school has been a bit of a joke. Summer school at the elementary school I cross for lasted through the month of June and I think for that entire time I crossed and grand total of (drum roll please...) one child who was actually attending summer school! I crossed some neighbor kids a few times and they always asked me why I was still there. Yesterday I crossed a few older school-age girls and when they asked why I was there I told them it was because of summer school. They told me they were pretty sure nobody in their neighborhood was taking summer school. I told them I was pretty sure they were right. But no complaints. I have enjoyed sitting outdoors in my camping chair in a bright yellow vest in the mornings and reading the Little House books. I also occasionally crossed adults, but usually the adults who came through my area were joggers/ runners and they had sprinted across the street before I had a chance to ask if they needed to cross. No biggie. They are pretty good at watching for cars and not getting hit. So, mostly it has been a very low-key job (great for me and my oh-so-pregnant belly these days). However, there have been at least four (mildly) exciting things have happened while I've been on the job.

1. A bird used the crosswalk. Birds fly over that street all the time, but this bird flew down really close and flew right above the crosswalk. I wish I would have known. I would have held up my little stop sign for it. But it made it across okay.

2. I was tormented by a wasp. The little jerk thought he was real funny teasing me one day when I was trying to put away my little key that turns on and off the flashing school zone lights. All I had to do was turn off the last light and lock the key in its box and then I could go home. I think the wasp knew that. Right as I would finally think it had disappeared somewhere it would show up and buzz around the place where I needed to finish things up. I must have stood there waiting out that wasp for ten minutes. Finally, out of desperation, I said a quick prayer and asked for Heavenly Father's help. After the prayer I felt prompted to throw a rock at the wasp. I'll admit I hesitated a minute to do it. There were some Mexican guys who work at the ranch right next to where the flashing lights are who were just standing there watching me, which made me feel even more dumb. But I decided I'd said my prayer and so I'd better follow through, so I threw a rock at the wasp. I don't think I hit it (I don't really know), but I never saw it again. I finally turned off the flashing lights and locked up the key and went home.

3. A cop came to patrol the area one day. This was great. People speed through my traffic-cone-adorned, school-zone-lights-flashing, me-in-my-yellow-vest-and-stop-sign area all day without a thought that there might actually be a child around that they could hit. (Lucky for them there aren't really any kids around, but they don't know that.) I'm always pretty ashamed of the way people drive through that school zone. But, let's face it, there isn't exactly a whole lot I can do about it. When I was trained, my supervisor told me to not worry about it, but if cars ever sped through really fast, to go ahead and write down their information (license plate number, description of car, description of driver, etc.). Then I could call her with the information and she would pass it on to her supervisor (a cop) who would either write the person a nasty note or show up at their door and give them a little scare. This sounds like a fairly reasonable idea, except I'm still curious as to whether or not she was kidding when she told me this. Have you ever tried to write down that much information about a car that went speeding past you? By the time you think to yourself, "Hey, that car is going way too fast!" there is hardly time to see the license plate number, let alone get something out to write it down on. So mostly I just shook my head at the cars that sped through. But having the cop there was great. I think she pulled over three cars while I was there that day. There were plenty of other people speeding through that she could have pulled over, but you can't exactly make people wait while you go to pull over another car. Anyway, it was rewarding to watch after seeing so many people not take my flashing lights seriously.

4. Somebody totally drove over my traffic cones! This happened today and boy was I wishing that cop had been there to pull the person over. Little jerk. I had to walk out into the middle of the road and set them back up. And now there is a tire mark on one of my beautiful orange cones. How disgraceful.

Since today is the last day of June and summer school is over, I now get to just hang our and do pretty much whatever needs to be done/ whatever I feel like doing until the baby comes. I'm pretty sure this is going to be the least-stressful time for the rest of my life. I'm gonna try and enjoy it.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Thirty One Weeks

I technically (and hopefully) only have nine more weeks of being pregnant. The excitement is setting in. The fear is setting in. And so is the water. I think my body was paying a little bit too much attention during the family night lesson I gave on food storage a couple of weeks ago. It's like my body is storing up enough water to keep me hydrated until the Second Coming. And yet I am still thirsty.

"My fingers are like sausages." This is what I think to myself every time I wash my hands, which I do a lot considering how often I need to use the restroom these days. Also, my shoes don't fit. All I can wear now are flip-flops and the off-brand Crocs I bought for myself last week. I don't look quite as nice at church, but I think Elder Oaks would overlook my flip-flop wearing in Sacrament Meeting if he knew me personally and saw (and smelled) what it is like when I try to wear my regular church shoes.

All of this can only mean one thing: the baby is growing ripe for delivery! Let's just hope she comes out early, healthy, naturally, painlessly, and looking more beautiful than any of the other babies that are born that day. I don't think that's too much to ask.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


I am tired
And there is a small person moving inside me
Which, frankly, feels weird
And I still need to brush my teeth
And change out of these clothes
And read scriptures with my hubby
And say my prayers
And close my eyes
And go to sleep
I'm going to go do that

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Three Guesses

Facial Expressions
Building Big

These are the books I see when I look up.
Can you guess a few interests of my husband?
I'll give you three guesses.
I bet you won't need a fourth.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Three on top,
Two on the sides,
Zero around the ears
And at the bottom of the neck.
This is the way I shear my sheep,
My husband.

I Have Failed Again

I offer up this post as a sacrifice to the writing gods to make up for yesterday's missing post.

So I realized about ten minutes ago when I was cutting Bryan's hair that I forgot to write yesterday. I'm not sure why I thought about it then, but so it goes. In any case, both times now when I have forgotten and realized my failure I have been tempted to quit all together and simply give up on my goal, convinced that I've already proven myself incapable. And that has gotten me thinking about failure.

Failure is such a huge part of this mortal life. I mean, think about all of the failures we experience just in the process of learning to walk! But I'm glad that I didn't quit trying to learn how to walk the first or second or one hundred and twelfth time I fell down. In fact, I'm really, really glad I didn't give up on trying to walk. That's a skill I appreciate having every day of my life. And here's another thing about it: nobody expected me to give up on learning to walk when I was a baby and I kept on tumbling over. They just smiled and helped me up and clapped excitedly when I did get it right.

I wish I would think of other people's failures more in that light instead of jumping into judgments like I often do. I know it's terrible of me, but sometimes I'll see someone attempt a goal and I'll think, "They can't do it," and then somehow I feel a certain sense of self-pride if they do fail after all. I offer up this mean side of myself as an example of what not to do because I think, truly, we ought to look at failure as a building block rather than a reason to quit. So, please, don't be like me (unless you're learning how to walk).

Considering all this, I have decided to get back on the metaphorical horse and keep on going with my goal to write every day. My mother always taught me that "if it's worth doing, it's worth doing good enough." As I've told that to various people over the years I've gotten various reactions. Most of my perfectionist friends were appalled by this notion (and didn't seem to notice that my "good enough" book report posters were earning me the same high grades as their perfectionist ones that they spent far too much time working on and then redoing after they wrote something slightly crooked). I think people misunderstand this idea as meaning that you shouldn't do your best work or try your best. That's not what it means. What it means is that you should do your best and not stress out about every tiny little failure. If it's not going to matter to the teacher that one word is slightly crooked on your poster then leave it and move on with life so you can get to other more important things. Or, put another way, don't print the entire thing off in super duper laser jet color when regular black and white is going to get the job done. I've run away with myself a little, but the point I was trying to make in bringing up this idea of doing things good enough is that we wear ourselves out by expecting perfection from the very imperfect selves that we are. Perfection is our ultimate goal, of course, but let's not kid ourselves into thinking that we're expected to attain it before we die. If we could, there certainly wouldn't be much need for a Savior. (For more thoughts on this I would direct you to Stephen E. Robinson's book Believing Christ.)

And so, I ackowledge my need for a billion second chances as I keep trying to get things right. I hope you'll just smile when I fall down (again and again) and focus on the things I do happen to do right.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's Okay to Be Happy

Sad things happen
And it's okay to cry
And it's okay to wake up the next morning
And cry again
But it's also okay to be happy
Even if something sad has happened

I sometimes find myself thinking
That nobody will take my sadness seriously
And know that I'm sincere
If I smile later
Or laugh and giggle
Or do something silly
But it's their own fault if they think I'm a liar later
Because it's okay to be happy

In fact
When it comes to life
That's kind of the point

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Writing Through My Tears

It's hard to write anything very witty when I'm sad inside. Today was a good day, full of moving furniture out and moving furniture back in as they replaced the carpets in our entire apartment. So most of my physical activity for the day was consumed in preparing for that, waiting, and then putting things back in their place again. But my mind has been on my friend.

I had a dear friend pass away today. His name was Bradley, but mostly I just called him Brad. So did everybody else. I wasn't his best friend. We were close friends, but I'm sure he had a lot of friends closer than me. Brad probably had hundreds of friends.

I first remember meeting Brad when he showed up at auditions for Peter Pan when he was a freshman in high school. I was a junior then. Brad's older sister Kristin was a friend of mine and my older brother, so we were cheering for Brad to do well in auditions. Brad scored a lead role as John and was fantastic at it. I was a lost boy and so was Malcolm, a mutual friend of me and Brad. So, naturally, we became friends.

I know it sounds cheesy to say and if I didn't know Brad I probably wouldn't really believe it, but Brad was one of those people you don't find very often in life. He was never mean to anybody. He was always sweet and nice. If I had been two years younger I would have had a major crush on him, but I was two years older than him and I didn't. Still, there was something addicting to being around Brad. He was just always so genuinely positive. Sure, we'd share in our beefs about life and things going on, but he was just always so much above gossiping and griping about every little thing.

Brad was fun to play with, too. Being with Brad was like being seven years old all the time, not because he was immature, but because he was so pure of heart. He was always so full of laughter and good listening and some of the most fun scheming I've ever known. I always felt comfortable around Brad. I think everybody did. I think that's because Brad felt comfortable around Brad. Gosh, I miss him.

I'm not really sure why, but for some reason today I keep thinking about my senior prom. Brad was my date. It wasn't anything romantic. Like I said before, I never had a crush on Brad and I'm sure he never had a crush on me. I wasn't dating anyone during the time of senior prom and I wanted to go with all of my friends, but nobody had asked me. I didn't mind asking a guy to be my date, but I didn't want to feel awkward all night. So, I asked Brad. I guess he couldn't really say no anyway. After all, he turned out to be one of the only two sophomores that got asked to the junior/ senior prom that year. (As I recall, the other one was his best friend. Lucky Brad. I guess he deserved good things to happen to him though.) Brad and I had a blast that night. We laughed secretly together at the other couples who were really into being romantic. And I think I remember playing hide and seek or something. I don't know. I just remember having a lot of fun.

Brad was diagnosed with cancer a while back. I'm not as good at remembering the details as I should be, but as I recall he went through chemo for a while and got better. That was since I came away to college and I didn't see him much then. I think the last time I remember seeing Brad I was standing on the roof of the old garage at my parents' house, tearing away shingles. Brad came to visit and say hello. I remember looking down at him from the roof. I think I will always remember looking down at him from the roof. Perhaps Brad is looking down on me and his hundreds of other friends and his family now from the garage roof in heaven. That would be so like Brad, to volunteer to help tear off old shingles. Anyway, Brad was doing better for a while. As far as I remember he was doing pretty well when he came to visit me that day when I was on the roof. But for the past while his health had been going downhill. I worried for him and thought about him a lot. I wondered how long he would live, but was ashamed to say so. Then, this morning he passed away.

It sounds cliche, but I know he's in a better place. Not that he didn't want to be here. Brad loved life and everybody in it. I guess that's why I don't worry about him. I'm sure he'll fit in so well in heaven. I just miss him is all. No doubt everybody who ever knew Brad is missing him right now. He deserves to be missed. Brad is worth thinking about all day and missing and crying over. He was so good.

I think, like many, I wish I could have said goodbye. I wish I could have hugged him and laughed with him and watched him be silly one last time. On the other hand, I have no idea how I could have ever said goodbye to Brad. How do say goodbye to a friend who is dying? What do you say? I certainly have no idea. And so things go the way they go. But I think I'll always miss him. And rightly so.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Great Big Roll of My Eyes

They are putting in new carpet tomorrow
Oh joy
It is like tearing apart the apartment
For no reason

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Now that I'm older and wiser
And a day past twenty three
I find that I'm even more indispensable
Than I used to be

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Wonderful Birthday

It's great to be
Twenty three
If you're me

Friday, June 19, 2009

Birthday Eve

'Twis the night before Birthday
And all through the house
Not a person is stirring
And certainly no mouse (eew)
My Birthday stocking is hung
On the door hinge with care
In hopes that some presents
Soon will be there
A Birthday stocking?
You may inquire
A stocking indeed!
But hung over no fire
The parachute stands
At the ready for play
The ice cream is freezing
The cakes have been baked
And perhaps the most magical
Thing here is me
I'll go to bed twenty two
And wake up twenty three

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Birthday Poem

Birthday, birthday
Coming soon
Bring on the parachute
And balloons
Presents arriving
In the mail
The next two days
Are going to sail
Soon there'll be cake
And ice cream too
Happy birthday!
From me to...


I just realized that I forgot to write something yesterday and I even thought about the fact that I needed to write quite a few times yesterday, but I forgot and then I got busy and then I didn't get back until after midnight and my poor little pregnant body was so upset with me that I could barely function well enough to get myself to bed and fall asleep, so this terrible little run-on sentence is just going to have to do for yesterday's piece of writing.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Listening to Memories

When I was alone and lonely
There were boys who tried to win my heart
So often they would play a song for me
They would think they were melting me down
So they could mold me and make me their own
They thought they were hypnotizing me with the words and the tune
Little did they know
That they chose the wrong songs
It's ironic how wrong the songs were
They were the ones in a trance
Thinking I was falling in love with them
For the words they sang and the tunes they played
Only opened my eyes and made me see even more clearly
That they were not the ones who held my heart
They were not him
Him who had gone away
But who I always knew would come back
Him who loved me once and loved me still
And always will
They sang to me of remembering
They thought it would make me remember them
But I remembered him
And now as I consider
All the boys who tried their hand at songs
I smile
The songs play through
A collection
Of words and tunes that remind me always
Of why I love my husband

Monday, June 15, 2009

Shower Sigh

Shower, shower, what a bore
What a bother, what a chore
To wash
And bend
And shave and rinse
To do and done until and since
And then be wet for hours it seems
All in all and all to be clean
It's nice to be clean, but what a bore
What a bother, what a chore

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lazy Haiku

Five syllables here
Seven syllables here now
Five more syllables

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Last Ten Minutes

Today we went to
The farmer's market in town
To sell granola

Clouds stood by to watch
But they didn't bother us
They looked at onesies

The market was slow
The buyers didn't buy much
The day went slowly

So we played Scrabble
I beat Bryan and Jenny
I really creamed them

Jenny left early
She went to be with family
Bryan and I stayed

We packed up at two
Then the rain started to fall
It began to pour

Cue the wild wind
Canopies began to fly
We covered things fast

We had good neighbors
Who helped us hold things down tight
And fold things up fast

Two branches fell down
But our neighbor was okay
We hurried faster

I ran to the car
To and fro I ran with things
Everything was wet

Another branch fell
It was the size of a car
And it fell on top of one

The wind was so mad
It vanquished the burritos
And the hair ribbons

We scrambled inside
And shut the doors of the car
And sighed with relief

Windshield wipers flashed
We cautiously hurried home
And out of that storm

Friday, June 12, 2009

Shop Closed

I'm not ready to write yet.
My creative juice bar has not yet opened shop for the day.
That's a shame, really.
Speaking of which...
I hate the Thanksgiving Point ads
A whole beautiful big place like that
And they can't hire a real marketing person?
I guess that's mean to say.
If I were the marketing person
Hearing someone say that about me would
Make me feel like trash.
Speaking of which...
There's a lot of trash in our apartment right now.
Mostly there's a big pile of empty boxes and things by the door.
Does anyone need an empty shoe box?
I have one.
Actually, I have two, but I think I'm going to use one.
If I don't, you may have it.
That didn't lead me to any other train of thought.
That's how much I'm out of creative juice.
I guess all I have to say is:
Shop closed.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

In Reply to Mom

I'll preface this by directing you first to my mom's post here. Then come back.

I don't think I function well when the house is cluttered. I was going to say that I don't think I function well in chaos, but I'm not sure about that. I think back to when I worked for a catering company and a lot of it seemed pretty chaotic most of the time. I will admit that it threw me for a loop at first--the first banquet I was in charge of could have gone better--but I picked up on things pretty quickly and actually really enjoyed most of my time spent at work there. So I think I do okay in chaos, especially if it's exciting and full of fun people, but clutter is different. Clutter is debilitating.

Sure, I can function with the day-to-day clutter. A lot of times it's probably necessary to have a few things out of their designated place just so I don't go insane opening drawers and cupboards all the time. But here's what I'm trying to get to: I'm most motivated to do things when the house is clean. Ever since the end of last week when I was busy working on things to sell at the farmer's market, the house has been a disaster. There were even buttons strewn all about the living room floor for an entire day until Lisa came over to visit and started picking them up. (God bless sister-in-laws.)

I practically sat around for the first two days of this week, not motivated to do anything except sit at the computer where the mess couldn't get on me. Then, well, I'm not really sure what happened, but yesterday I came home from running errands and found myself sorting through papers. By the end of the night I had completely reorganized our back storage closet (again) and emptied out two big drawers and re-filled them with other things and, in general, played tetris with at least 30% of everything we own.

I was hot and sticky when I was done, but looking at all of our things in their organized and more celestial state made me feel calm. I feel especially accomplished about the rearranging I did yesterday because I wasn't just stuffing things in boxes (except for the fabric) and pushing things under the bed. I was very careful to put things in places that made sense. My goal in organizing our home was to make it so that things would look nice and be able to remain orderly long after we had pulled things out and then put them away again and again. I sorted colored art paper and felt into hanging files. I put the box of gift wrap in the front of the closet since we'll need to get to that box a lot more often than our winter coats or the holiday decorations. I put the small things on the small shelves and the big things on the big shelves. I put the toolbox on a shelf where we have enough room to open it right there on the shelf to get out the tape measure and the screw driver, which is mostly what we do with the toolbox. I tried to make the things in our apartment make sense so that our lives could make more sense.

Because I don't believe that a house is liveable just because things are picked up. I think a house is peaceful when I can think to myself, "Hmm. I think I'll do this or that," and it doesn't require me to pull twelve boxes off of a shelf in order to get to the one box I need. If that is the case, I've talked myself out of doing whatever it is I wanted to do just at the thought of having to take the twelve boxes down. Working around the house shouldn't feel like a constant chore. It should at least be as simple as it can be.

I said I didn't really know what got me started cleaning, but that's not true. Thinking back, now, I realize what it was that got me sorting those papers in the first place. It was the baby. We rearranged the apartment once already--moving the big desk out and replacing it with a crib and other baby furniture--in anticipation of the baby girl who will be joining our family in about three months. There were, however, still a few boxes and other things left in her room which I wanted to try and move to other places in the apartment. I kept thinking to myself that her nap time will likely be the only time I'll be able to work on projects and it would be hard to work on projects if the materials were being stored in the room where she was sleeping. It didn't make sense. So I started by emptying out the one last drawer of random things and ended by declaring her room truly baby-only. Well, it is baby-only enough, at least. She's just going to have to learn to share a room with the ironing board for now.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Getting Ready For Bed Game

My poor husband
He comes home late at night
Tired from working on homework so long
Thinking it's time for bed
Only to find that I've been busy
Tearing the apartment apart
Making a big mess
So I can organize
Instead of brushing my teeth
And getting jammies on
I'm still walking
From room to room
With stuff
And I ask him to bring me things
And to put things up here and over there
He does my bidding
And still manages to brush his teeth
And get his jammies on
And now he sits on the floor waiting for me
It seems to me he's always winning
At the getting ready for bed game

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Playing House

Is only fun when you're in the mood to do the dishes
And pick things up off the floor
Which is hard when you step it up to the next level
And start preparing for a baby doll
Which makes your belly quite large
Which makes it hard to bend over
And pick things up off the floor
Thank heavens for boys
Who are in the mood to do the dishes
And pick things up off the floor

Monday, June 8, 2009

Blanket Stitch

Wind around
Up through
Pull tight
Wind around
Up through
Pull tight
Wind around up
Through pull tight
Wind around up
Through pull tight
Wind around up through
Pull tight
Wind around up through
Pull tight
Wind around up through pull tight
Wind around up through pull tight
Wind around up through pull tight
Windaround upthough pulltight
Windaround upthr
Flowing thread
Winds around
Up through
Pull tight
Wind around up through pull tight
Wind around up through pull tight
Wind around
Up through
Pull tight