Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Letter To My Sister

Dear Becca,

While I appreciate your willingness to give me a heads up on what will happen in upcoming episodes of Downton Abbey, I hope in the future you will be a little more specific.

For instance, if another beloved character dies, will you warn me that at 2:35 in the wee hours of the morning, Jason and I will be sitting on the couch crying - Jason just crying, and me sobbing?

Will you also warn me that the 'goodbye' scene would traumatize me, and have me crying for another 20 minutes after the episode has ended?

If you see Jason and I wearing black, it's because we're joining the family in mourning.

Good grief!

Love always,

Your sister



PS.  Dear world, I love that little girl of ours.

She's adorable - both as a little girl and as a story book picture.



Monday, February 25, 2013

The Best Choice For Me

If you were to ask me if I have any regrets in my life I would name three.

I had a chance to go to Costa Rica; it was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I passed up two seconds before I finalized my plane ticket.
My reason for not going was good, and at the time I felt like I made the better choice so thankfully I don't lose sleep over it.

I do lose sleep over the next regret.
In fact, last week I called my mom and in an exasperated voice I asked her," WHY Mom?  Why am I still so bothered by this?"
I was put in an impossible situation - by someone I thought cared about me.
The realization that he didn't care hit brutally, and in the most unkind way you can imagine.
I could have walked away from the situation.
By simply getting in my car and driving away I would have had the upper hand, but I didn't get in the car.
At the time I felt like I made the right decision by staying, but that choice haunts me - more than I care to admit.

The last regret is that sometime 15 months ago I bought Emily a binky with an elephant attached to it.
Actually, I bought her five binkys with elephants attached.
Emily will be two and still have an elephant dangling from her mouth.
For that matter, she could be three and still have an elephant dangling from time to time.

(I DON'T regret the binky - just the elephant.  She will NOT take a binky unless it has the elephant.)


When I made the decision to have a baby I hoped and prayed that I wouldn't have regrets.
I have always loved kids but I couldn't see myself settling down and becoming a mom.
I had a career and I had a social life that I loved, and I worried that over time I would regret giving those things up.

I have just enough of a social life to keep me grounded and sane - and I still work, but I surprised myself the other day by admitting to my sister that more than anything, I wish that I could just stay home and be a mom and a housewife.

I wanted to be a lawyer and then a judge.
I wanted to travel and spend my life working alongside the people in remote villages in Latin America.
The list of things I wanted to do was long - and even noble.

Just today I told Jason that this week was going to be the week I attempt to make bread - from scratch.
And that is at the top of the list of things I want to accomplish.

I have found my greatest sense of fulfillment in being Emily's mom.

Emily has become my shadow.
She follows me wherever I go, and is always wanting me to hold and snuggle her.
When she's hurt or sad she wants me, and in an unfamiliar environment she clings to me.
I'm in awe of the profound peace I feel in just being Emily's mommy.

The world's path for women is leading far from the role of mommy and housewife.
It's not a path that I would ever criticize.  It's a path I walked and enjoyed for a long time.

But I will never regret that I chose a different path, and I will cherish every day that I have with my sweet girl.






Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Here's My Question

I'm sick.
Again.
I'm so stinking sick of being sick.

My brother has been sick since last summer at 2:00.
(My grandpa used to say that all the time.  You asked him 'when' about anything and his response was always last summer at 2:00.)
My brother is stinking sick of being sick too.

I think stress is the reason we can't recover.
Stress is going to kill us.
It really might.
I'm not going to go into the cause of the stress, but it's ugly.

I'm in bed listening to Jason and Em play the piano downstairs, and I'm thinking about Obama Care.
My sister told me last night that by 2014 small business insurance rates will raise by at least 40%, which will make it pretty much impossible to offer insurance to our employees.

Enter Obama Care.

This is not a political post, and I'm not going to say anything one way or the other, but I do have a question.
You know, for all of you who are much more educated than I am in the way of all things political.

From the way I understand things, with Obama Care someone other than Em's cardiologist will make the ultimate decision of if and when she will get heart surgery.
Someone other than Em's cardiologist will determine if Em is even qualified to have surgery.

I didn't sleep last night, for worrying about this.
My jaw hurts this morning because of how tightly I clenched my teeth.
My mom would tell me not to borrow trouble, but seriously - is it possible that my sweet girl won't get the treatment she needs at some point?

I'm going to go watch Season Two of Downton Abbey.  That should help ease the jaw clenching.

Stupid stress.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

World Views

I've noticed something recently that makes me laugh.
I can almost guarantee that when Jason brings up a topic of conversation, it will be about something he recently read in the news.
He reads a lot of news.
In fact, at this moment while I'm typing this, Jason is reading an article out loud - I'm sure he's reading it to me.
It doesn't matter that I'm not really listening - he's still reading.

If I bring up a topic of conversation, it's most likely about something I read on Facebook, or on a blog, or something I overheard someone say.

Jason talks about facts and percentages.
I tell stories.

At the grocery store the other night our conversation went something like this:

Jason: I read _______ about Apple and Steve Jobs. (I'm sorry Jason, but I don't remember what you told me."

Noelle: Another heart friend passed away.

Jason: Did you know that a gold mine in Tooele County is going to use cyanide ...

Noelle: My friend's daughter is really sick.

Jason: There are a lot of rumors of Apple coming out with a watch.

Noelle: I read a blog today about a little boy who...

You get the idea.

Poor Jason, he probably hates telling me about what he reads.
Tonight he told me of an article he read about a young boy who needed a heart transplant and parents who agreed to donate their son's organs.

"A mom and her daughter went through a long list of people who needed transplants, hoping to choose a good match for their son/brother," Jason told me.

"Are you really sure that's how it happened?" I asked.
"You can't just pick and choose who gets what and when, You have to consider things like blood type and antibodies, and the potential for rejection based on a lot of factors. There is no way those women could just randomly pick someone they wanted to donate the organs to."

Jason went back and read the article again and told me the details that were missing the first time around: mostly that the women worked with an organ donation team, not on their own.

A few minutes later he told me another article about the meteor that recently exploded in Russia.

"It's worth ________ times the amount of gold per ounce." (I can't remember the amount he told me.)

"Why is it worth that much?" I asked.
He didn't know.
"And who would pay for a piece of a meteor?"
He didn't know that either.

I need details to stories - and if someone tells me a story that is missing details that I consider important, I go crazy.

Crazy I tell you.

Here's the last thing I will tell you about what Jason has talked about tonight.

Katy Perry.
She can't do anything right.
She wears something too revealing and she gets in trouble.
She wears something modest and she gets in trouble for dressing like her grandma.

"It's ridiculous," he said.

I agree.
It's ridiculous.

Wait.
Here's really the last thing.
A Russian diplomat was recently found dead in a barrel of cement.

Oh...and "Hollywood is full of a bunch of fad followers." (He just told me I could put that in my blog.)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Emily's Grandpa Has A Farm

(sung to the tune of Old McDonald...)

Actually, Emily's grandpa doesn't have a farm, just a farm feed and supply store.
He wants to have a farm, and if he can ever convince Emily's grandma that she wants a farm too...

(Just between you and me, I'm not sure Emily's grandma will every come around to Grandpa's way of thinking.)

Emily's grandpa has a pretend farm -
E-I-E-I-O.

And on his pretend farm he has rabbits and ducks and baby chicks.
Emily recently discovered the baby chicks.




It's fitting that she's visiting Grandpa's pretend farm wearing her overall skirt don't you think?

If Emily's grandpa ever does have a farm Emily's Uncle Ben is going to insist having a cow or two.
And Emily's Aunt Rachel really wants an elephant.
I hate to disappoint her, so on the chance she doesn't get her elephant I have a back up plan.


Emily's Aunt Amanda had this made for her.
It's cute beyond words, and Emily didn't mind wearing it, for at least 30 seconds.

Dear Aunt Rachel, will this work if you don't get your elephant?

Emily's grandpa will one day have a real farm, and I'm quite certain Emily will love it there.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Will You Be Our Valentine?


My sweet girl's broken heart has forever changed the way I view Valentine's Day.
I've had a lot on my mind this week, and somehow this holiday that puts so much focus on hearts, has left me filled with more gratitude than usual.
Gratitude for a little heart that works so hard to keep my girl here.

I love her - more than I ever imagined would be possible.

I hope your day is filled with love too.

From our hearts to yours ... happy Valentine's Day.



Sunday, February 10, 2013

On A Sunday Night

Tonight I asked Jason to scratch my back.
He found the itchy spot and scratched until it was no longer itchy.
He then started rubbing my back and said, "Consider this the spot free rinse."
I laughed for three minutes straight.

Friday, February 8, 2013

This Is What We Did Today


This afternoon as I was pulling out of work on my way to the bank, I saw a friend carrying a box from the home that had been attached to the building that burned yesterday.
I stopped and rolled down my window to ask her what she was doing.
"The family who lived in the home has nothing left, and we are doing everything possible to help salvage what we can."
(The family is new to the neighborhood and my friend is in their church congregation.)

I asked if I could help and she told me that they were going to try and wash what clothes they could get out of the home.
The inside of the home was black, but the clothes were mostly damaged by all of the water that was sprayed on the home.


I loaded three boxes of clothes into my car and was assaulted with the smell of smoke for the rest of the day.
I called my dad tonight and told him that all I've been able to think about all day was the ruin we found the morning after our cabin burned down.
The images that went through my mind over and over again were of the shovels full of burned debris we loaded again and again into trucks and trailers.
My dad and I both threw our backs out cleaning up that mess, and as I looked at the devastation today my heart ached for our neighbors.

On one of the last days we were cleaning up the remains of our cabin fire, the owner of the neighboring cabin drove down the road on his back hoe tractor and spent the remainder of the afternoon helping us.
I loaded the boxes of clothes into my car this afternoon because it was the least I could do.

Jason suggested we take the clothes to the laundromat and so while Emily snuggled in her daddy's arms Becca and I took our rolls of quarters and headed out.


The clothes were equal parts frozen (due to the fact that we might as well live in an igloo and the clothes were wet) and covered in soot and insulation that had fallen out of the ceiling.
I hope we're forgiven but we made the decision to throw away three outfits.
All of them had once been white but were now black, and were dry clean only.


By the time we had three industrial sized washers filled with clothes, the floor was covered in soot and dirt.

I searched the laundromat for a broom but couldn't find one.
Becca reminded me that someone would sweep the floor at some point and it was okay.
She then brought up what she felt was a more pertinent worry.

"What are we going to put the clothes in?"

I hadn't thought that far ahead.
I had already thrown away the wet black boxes and hangers the clothes had come in on, and had purchased hangers when I had run to the grocery store, but we didn't have laundry baskets.

(PS. I threw the boxes and clothes into a dumpster outside of the laundromat that had a big sign that said 'No dumping.  Fine of $500 if caught.')

After we had started the wash for the second time (the clothes still had an odor after the first wash, and heck, what else are we going to do with our $20 worth of quarters) we ran across the street to Walmart.

We bought laundry baskets, treats for Jason, a toy and two cute dresses for Emily, and a broom and dustpan. 
I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep if I left a mess on the floor of the laundromat.



As we walked out of Walmart I said to Becca, "This has become a rather expensive service project."

(PS. A pet peeve of mine is when people don't put their grocery carts where they belong, and instead leave them in the middle of the parking lot.  But tonight I couldn't find a home for the shopping cart anywhere near where we had parked.  Instead I put it in the parking spot reserved for the Orem City police department.)

((Another pet peeve of mine is when the sign at the laundromat advertises laundry bags that do not exist.))

"I've already broken the law for dumping trash in the dumpster; I might as well go all out," I said to Becca as we got in the car.
Thankfully no one had stolen the clothes when we got back to the laundromat, so while Becca loaded the still wet clothes into the laundry baskets I swept the floor.

"Maybe if they see me cleaning up my mess (there were security cameras) they will go easy on me for the dumpster episode," is what I said.

Oh..and we were out of quarters...which is why we were taking the clothes home to dry them.
Because as it turns out, the last time either Becca or I were in a laundromat was about 16 years ago, and what do you know, prices have gone up.
$3.00 per washer seems like highway robbery, but you know, whatever.

We pulled in the garage, wrote our love letters to Jason, taped them onto the treats we bought (with tape we also bought) and took them into the house.


The first note tells Jason how thankful I am he had the brilliant idea to send me to the laundromat in the first place as it saved my carpet, and you can read the second note.

(Coincidentally, the notes were also written on cards purchased during our Walmart run.)


After all was said and done Becca and I realized that we had washed one outfit that we shouldn't have: a dress that was 100% silk and dry clean only.  
What are people doing with silk dresses anyway?

Becca suggested that perhaps the woman the dress belongs to will forgive me.
I checked every other dang tag in the clothes, just not this one.

As I loaded a load of wet laundry into the dryer tonight I could still smell a faint whiff of smoke.

Sigh.

PPS.  I donated the broom and dust pan to the laundromat.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Take Nothing For Granted

I am rarely able to take a day off of work without feeling guilty about it.
Even more rarely do I take a day off for something other than therapy/doctor/sick days for Em - which means I shouldn't feel guilt ... I know, I know.
Today however, I had an entire day at home.
Guilt free.
When the fire department shuts your business down, it's a day as guilt free as you're going to get.

This is the business next door - right next door - like 30 steps from their parking lot to ours - like some of those trees in the background are on our side of the property line:



The fire was reported sometime early early this morning, and at 5:00 tonight it still wasn't completely out.
We'll most likely have smoke damage - my mom is secretly hoping it's enough smoke damage to have the insurance pay to clean all the carpets in our store.
We know the family who owns this business - we've known them for a long time.
We also know the emotional trauma that comes with losing something you've put your heart and soul into by fire.

Some days are simply better than others.

Look where our girl ended up during her nap - I'm pretty sure she sleep crawls:




Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Milestones


Our girl is 18 months old today.
We've had her 18 months longer than we thought we might.
Oh how we love her!


Friday, February 1, 2013

It's Friday and I'm In Love - With My Hair

I'm going to let you in on a secret.
Maybe three secrets.
Perhaps you should get a pen and paper ready,  to write down what I'm going to tell you.
It could change your life.

Here's the first secret: iTunes.
Do you know about this iTunes?
I don't know where I've been all of my life, but I just discovered iTunes and I'm in love.

Here's the second secret: a t-shirt.
I logged on to Pinterest for my once a month Pinterest browsing, and read that if you wrap your wet hair in a t-shirt rather than a towel, it will be smoother.
It's true.
I've been using a t-shirt now for a week and I'm amazed at the difference in my hair.

Third secret: coconut oil.
Again, thanks to Pinterest, I read that if you put coconut oil in your hair, put it up in a shower cap, and let it sit for 30 minutes before you wash it, you will see remarkable results.
Oh my honk.
My hair has never been softer - and it looks awesome.

Yesterday morning before I changed out of my pajamas I smeared coconut oil in my hair and stuck it in a shower cap.
I turned on my iPad and listened to the soundtrack of St. Elmo's Fire (which I downloaded from iTunes) and painted a second coat on my bedroom wall.
Jason came in as I was dancing to the music and simply said, "Nice shower cap."

I don't have a before and after picture of the hair, but I do have one of the walls/bookshelves:





Next on the bedroom makeover checklist is to hang the TV, and get rid of the bookshelf the TV is on.
But before I do that, I have to find the piece of furniture I want to put in the middle of the bookshelves.
I have an idea of what I want; I just have to find it within my budget.
After that I'm going to start a campaign to convince Jason he wants to help me take the ridiculously heavy dresser to the girl who will paint it for me, but that's after I convince Jason that the dresser will really look better painted.
My work is never done.

Go and try the coconut oil and come back and tell me what you think.

Oh, and tell me something, have you ever even seen St. Elmo's Fire?
I haven't, I just like the music.
Is it worth going to the trouble of finding the movie to watch it?

I'll try to find more life-changing information for you - and if you need help with iTunes, let me know!
I'm sure there are a lot of people like me - not having a clue about the magic of iTunes.
Maybe?

Oh - and if you're in need of something to do, play me in SongPop - it could be a lot of fun!
If it's more of an incentive, it is Emily's favorite game to play.
The minute she hears the game come on, she climbs in my lap and bounces up and down, anxious for things to start.
My username is wam_379621149.
Who comes up with a username like that??

Have a good weekend friends.

My resolution for next week is to blog every single day.
Lucky you!