Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hoping for a miracle

We took a red-eye flight home from Hawaii yesterday. I mention that because it is my excuse for both Matthew and I leaving our iPods on the plane. In our sheer exhaustion we must have forgotten to completely check our surroundings (like good little fliers always do). I made sure to grab my $5 waterbottle, but somehow forgot my invaluable entertainment device. We didn't even think about them missing until late last night. So this morning I spent some quality time with Delta describing our lost goods. She mentioned mulitiple times that if, on the off chance they are found and turned in, Delta/ NW will give us the courtesy of calling and having them returned. Does that sound snotty? She was actually very nice. Anyway, I realize it's a long shot but we're praying for miracles right now.



Two weeks later - still haven't heard back from Delta so thanks to "Anonymous" who gave me the idea of calling my insurance agent. I didn't think they covered stuff like that but it's definitely worth a shot.

Families = Heaven?

These last couple of weeks have been fabulous and slightly exhausting. Last weekend my siblings, parents, and I descended upon Denver to watch the blessed union of my little brother Paul and his adorable wife Breanne. (We are so excited to have her in the family.) While there for the weekend, I got the chance to spend quality time with my siblings, visit my grandmother's grave (I've never met her but the Spirit at her grave was beautiful), and meet and socialize with a large handful of my father's family. Sitting at a table at my brother's wedding reception surrounding by so many old and new loved ones, I was struck with such love for my family, both immediate and extended.

The next day I met Matthew in Seattle where we flew on to Hawaii to spend a week with his family who lives there. More family time and more love was exchanged. As we were sitting in the airport waiting for our flight home Matthew said he got a glimpse of heaven that week. Heaven must be made up of our best family moments - where everyone is happy and loving and having fun. Looking back at the week and the weekend previous to that, I would have to agree!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Perm

I'm thinking of getting a perm. I've read they've come along way since the 80's. Any thoughts?

Monday, December 7, 2009

I Can't Keep it In, I've Gotta Let it Out

Yesterday I had one of those Fast Sundays you love to have. For those who may not be LDS, the first Sunday of each month, is designated as a fast day. You give up food and drink for twenty-four hours, give the money you would have paid for food to the poor, and instead devote your thoughts to drawing closer to God. Oh, and at church, instead of talks given from members of the congregation, the microphone is instead open to anyone who wishes to get up and voice their love of the Savior. I am often amazed at the trust the Bishop has in the members to pass over control like that. Thankfully, in the hundreds of fast and testimony meetings I've attended, the wackiness of testimonies has been kept to a minimum. Normally it is the best meeting of the month. So, with ants in my pants and the Spirit in my heart I jumped out of my seat as soon as I was able to share my love for the knowledge I have of my Savior and his gospel. I felt overwhelmed by the the love I had for everyone there. It was a mixture of joy and peace - I even quoted a famous Cat Stevens song - "Can't Keep it In." I felt so enthusiastic that I had to share it here. So there you have it. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I love it. And I love you, whoever you may be dear reader. Thanks for letting me share my joy with you.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Dance Team

I work with a woman at the high school who's also the coach of the dance team. It's a small squad and the program is nothing like the team I was on in high school, but when I was asked to judge their tryouts, it brought back memories all the same. I felt slightly anxious about the prospect at first considering I was no great dancer in my day, but found I did okay once I got there.
It was fun seeing these cute and nervous girls perform a routine they had barely learned. I totally remember being in that position. Smiling so big hoping it would distract the judges from my less than stellar footwork. I couldn't help but smile back at the girls and love them for putting themselves out there.
The other moment of the evening that brought back a flood of memories was drill down. It's an odd component of the dance team competition that involves doing dancified military maneuvers (right face, left face, parade rest) with precision. If you move the wrong way or twitch at an inopportune time you are out. The last person standing wins. Despite having some trouble knowing my right from my left, drill down was probably my biggest strength as a dance teamer. So seeing these girls doing it that night brought back so many memories. Especially of the infamous dance team who would toot aka fart their way to victory as they startled and grossed the other dancers out. Ah dance team, what a lovely memory.
Any way, that is what I want to share. Thanks Marie for inviting me to be a part of it!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Crazy Girls Giving to Others

I just had to post a picture of my most adorable of girls. Here they are arrayed in all of their funkiness. This was after an evening of delivering cookies and kind notes to people they thought would appreciate their wackiness and baked goods. Because, after all, everyone likes cookies (or at least they should) but who wouldn't like them so much better if they were delivered by these young ladies? I think the answer is clear.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Sara

I realize, it's probably not good form to write a post about yourself on your birthday, but that's okay - I'm not really into the social norm anyway. I wasn't going to actually but I told my father I had curled my hair to celebrate my birthday and he asked that I post a picture. So there I am in all my silly curly glory.

I found a blog through a friend of mine. The blog's writer stays at home with her children and does her hair in fabulous styles every day because, as she says, she needs some glamour in her life. I thought that was completely great so I decided that my birthday was as special occasion as any to do fun things with my mop - so there you have it.

I have gotten over my "Oh my word I'm 30 - what do I have to show for my life" drama. And now I am excited for the next decade of my life. My 30's are going to be great. I just know it.

But today I wanted to celebrate my birthday with yet another list of things I'm grateful for. So here's my list:
  • Solid heavenly help. Seriously, miracles were requested and miracles were delivered.
  • A good body, that while it doesn't get pregnant like it should, does everything else pretty marvelously. I really can't or shouldn't complain.
  • Beautiful drives through mountain passes. I mean really, how much more gorgeous can nature get than when you're surrounded by glorious trees? Can you tell I spent my formative years in Western Oregon?
  • My Gear Up kids. They just may be my favorite people in Wenatchee - along with my cute Young Women. I love them all individually and will miss them when they all graduate or I move, whichever comes first.
  • Opportunities for spiritual, emotional, and intellectual growth. Knowing where I was, where I am, and where I just might end up and being amazed by the changes.
  • The cute woman at the restaurant this morning who overheard it was my birthday and randomly gave me a ginormous cinnamon roll as we were leaving. People really can be so wonderful!
  • The color red. I love wearing it and I love decorating with it.

So I think that's about it. I lead a wonderful life and, like you, wouldn't trade anything I have or don't have for the world. I love you all!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I love Wenatchee and Alex Degrassi

Tonight, Matthew and I went to see Alex Degrassi in concert. The concert was absolutely wonderful! Alex Degrassi is a new age acoustic guitarist - one of Matthew's favorites, who tends to be somewhat experimental in his playing. Really it was amazing. But what I really loved about the concert was this feeling of love I had sitting amongst my fellow Wenatchens. It was fun to sit next to them experiencing this fabulous artist together. Feeling as if we now had a bond because of this night.
I also loved being able to experience it without the struggle of big city traffic, parking, or ticket fees. Now granted, Wenatchee doesn't attract huge headliner acts, but for someone as unsophisticated (and cheap) as me, I don't mind. I just love living in a small enough community where, when acts I love do come to town, I can walk to go see them. There is just something so idyllic about it to me. And that is why I love Wenatchee.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Make a Difference Day


Wenatchee, like many other communities in the United States, participates in the annual "Make a Difference Day." The youth from my church decided they wanted to pump gas for breast cancer. So they made shirts and signs and tried to look their cutest (as you can see in the above pictures) as they approached wary motorists and asked if they could assist in pumping their gas and washing their windshields for donations. One man actually gave them a $50 bill and told the story of his wife who died from breast cancer.
They broke into teams and at the end of 2 hours they made $300+. Not bad I'd say. What was odd was that the group of all girls collected about 75% of the donations irking the other team with the token boy. I told him blond hair girls will always get more donations than boys. It's just the nature of the game. I'm not sure he was really satisfied but such is life. I'm just proud of these cute kids who braved a cold Saturday morning for a cause completely outside themselves.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sudoku - Fun Past Time or All Consuming Addiction?

It's a good thing I firmly believe in moderation in all things. It's an even better thing I don't go into the hard stuff like coffee, alcohol or cigarettes. It's a good thing because I think I just may have an addictive personality - especially when it comes to puzzles. So far over the years I have found myself becoming obsessed with mine sweeper, word twist, spider solitaire, mahjong, bejeweled, hexic, word fill-it-ins, and now sudoku. A little silly don't you think?

I have no cross stitching or quilting project to keep me busy in my free time and I am in between books so I find myself filling spare moments and spare hours with sudoku. Matthew looks at me with a questioning "You're doing ANOTHER one?" look clearly etched on his face. He says he's fascinated by my zeal but I can tell he's worried. I find myself going to bed with numbers and sequences running around in my head. I can't seem to clear it enough to doze off properly.

I think it's finally getting to the same point as all my prior obsessions. The point where I know the only way to clear the addiction is to cut myself off cold turkey for a month or so. Just until I can come back and play objectively once again. When I can complete one puzzle and be done with it instead of doing five or six. Wish me luck.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Random Musings about Pregnancy and My Life Sans Children

I might have mentioned this before, but sometimes I have to keep myself from reading friends' blogs for fear of becoming despondent with my jealousy of their little feet pitter-pattered lives. In those times, I catch Matthew watching me, sometimes out of the corner of his eyes, sometimes openly staring; I think to catch the first signs of my unraveling. Somehow I find it comforting to know he's on guard.

Anyway, this morning is not one of those times. This morning, as I find myself yet again, unpregnant I am filled with gratitude for this time of life. As my sister says, I really do lead a charmed existence. Yesterday I worked and then took off for an hour bike ride in the glorious fall weather. This morning I sat in bed after Matthew left for work and finished a lovely book (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society written all in correspondence style which is probably why I feel so reflective today). I'm hoping to finally get enough motivation to work today but feel no real compulsion to do anything worthwhile. It's actually kind of nice. Nice to have the feeling and even nicer to be able to actualize it. I'm sitting here in my PJs and bed head at 10am with the sun streaming in the window and I am at peace with the world. It's a wonderful feeling.

But that said, just in case anyone is wondering, it's been a solid two and a half years since Matthew and I have officially started "trying" for children. We obviously haven't been successful and for whatever reason right now I don't feel right about furthering infertility treatments. So we wait. I'll be 30 in another month so I wonder how long the Lord is going to have me in this odd sort of holding pattern but for now it's okay. I'm learning and growing and hopefully building the necessary muscles in my calves, thighs, shoulders and bottom to make long rides more enjoyable.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Clue

I am an unwitting master at the game of Clue. You can ask my husband or any of the very few people we've had over to play games. They look at our closet full of games see that one, reminiscent of their childhoods, and want to play. Even when I mention I have won an inordinate amount of rounds they still maintain their desire. If nothing else it enhances their resolve to prove me wrong. Even Matthew's father, who has a complete Clue strategy falls prey to my crazy luck. I don't have any strategy to speak of, but somehow luck favors me in such games. Any other game, like Boggle, Uno, Monopoly, or any other game that involves any skill inexplicably belong to Matthew, but Clue is mine. Anyone want to play?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Victim

Today I join the ranks of credit card fraud victims. I was checking my credit card statement online and noticed a $8,000 charge to some record store based in Denver. Hmmm . . . I know I make no such purchase and I'm pretty sure Matthew would have told me if he had laid out such sums of money. So I called my credit card company and have them on the case. That part of the circumstance is kind of cool, especially in light of my new found Colombo ardor (thank you Netflix online). I imagine some analyst (that's who they said is working on my case) doing the serious investigating only to come up with an airtight case involving a heated confrontation with the culprit where he/she lays out the motive and modus operandi to be followed by a tearful confession.

The part of the circumstance that isn't so cool is knowing I'm vulnerable. Do I distrust the web or my fellow Wenatchens? Who's to blame? I complete a lot of online transactions so I really hope it's not the web, but at the same time, I like feeling safe and secure in the Wenatch and don't really want to give up my trust in my cute town either. I'm hoping I get some sort of information one way or another so I can pick up the pieces of my broken confidence and start rebuilding a stronger more secure heart. (What a pitiable picture)


Few weeks later - I am happy to say the credit card fraud has been expunged from my bill. Not to have to pay $8k for someone else's crime makes me thrilled. Although, almost in the same breath, I am sad to say I didn't get any sense of Colombo-esque justice. When I called my bank to ask what the final verdict was they said they had know idea who it was or how they might have gotten my number. The best advice they can offer is to make sure to watch my monthly statements. It's not remotely satisfying but I guess that's okay. I now have a new card with a new number that is hopefully not as yet known to any potential fraudsters.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sara's First Fall and Other Biking Thoughts

For my birthday and Christmas Matt and his parent's let me buy a road bike (with fancy shoes for the fancy pedals). This is a picture of me in front of my oh so adorable tan apartment building looking sort of enthusiastic to be photographed with my new bike. In all actuality I was really excited and even asked Matthew to take the picture for me, but some how that enthusiasm isn't showing through.

It's been fun to ride around on and feel semi cool in the process. I say semi cool because, over the last year, as I've walked and ridden around town I've noticed an interesting trend. People who walk almost always smile and say hello to passersby. But people who ride generally fall onto a spectrum from casual riders on their cruiser bikes to avid cyclers on their fancy road bikes. The former group generally includes cute old couples and parents with their children. They range in levels of fitness but are really out for a good time. They, like the walkers, almost always say hello.

The other end of the spectrum is then the avid cyclers who can be found wearing the latest in cycling gear - spandex, of course, as well as some cycling jersey, generally of their favorite cycling team. This group almost never says hello. I've had some funny guesses as to why that might be. Could it be they are so intent on being taken seriously that they want to promote a aura of "coolness?" Are they afraid they might be recognized in all of their spandex glory and so take on the 3-year old notion that if I can't see you you can't see me? Are they really that focused on the pavement in front of them so they don't slip and fall? Anyway, I've noticed a trend that where a person falls on the spectrum will generally dictate the likelihood of that person waving and acknowledging others around them.

I must say that I do have some spandex shorts (they are actually under my pants in the picture above) but I don't as of yet have a cycling jersey, which I am okay not to own. It means that I can't be mistaken for an avid cycler and thus fall into the group which doesn't interact with their community. I went for a ride yesterday and felt an odd sense of smugness as I smiled, waved and said hello to my fellow Wenatchens, feeling myself somehow above the spectrum I have heretofore described. I can ride my fancy new bike with my fancy new pedals and not take myself seriously.

Case in point (sorry this is getting kind of long). Today I was stopped at a stop light on my way home from a ride. When the light turned green I started to pedal, but couldn't clip into my pedal quickly enough to maintain my momentum and thus fell over. I have been paranoid about falling ever since getting my bike and now I had done it. I was glad it actually hurt a lot less than I thought it would, though that may be because I simply tipped over instead of falling with any real force. As I lay there trying to get from under the bicycle I noticed one other car at the stop light, who was, I'm sure partially amused and partially concerned for my well being. I got up, waved to let them know I was okay, and walked my bike across the street to where I could try getting back onto my bike. But the whole time, I couldn't help but be completely entertained by my own fall. No bruised ego and thankfully no bruised body, just "silly Sara, well at least you gave someone something to chuckle at."

So there it is, I'm excited for my fancy new bicycle and I'm excited to feel cool while still maintaining both a sense of humor and a sense of community.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Funny Craft Attempt

Two things I've had for a while - These candle sticks my mother bought for me years ago, and a candle making book I bought while I was still living and loving in Portland. Matthew even bought me a bunch of the supplies I needed for Christmas. But with all of that, it wasn't until today that I finally took them out and decided to try my hand at hot wax.
It all started nicely enough. I melted my wax, primed my wick, added what I thought was enough green coloring, and got everything set to make my very own tapered candles. The problems started when I actually started dipping. I couldn't figure out why my candles weren't getting any thicker despite my best efforts. I did a little more research, tried some other tactics but finally gave up on having anything other than unpretty but fully functional candles.
I don't know if you can tell, but they don't look anything like the pretty pictures in my book. But they were funny so I just had to take a picture and show my "I made that" creations. Maybe I should stick with the less tricky version of melting wax and pouring it in a glass. I think I could be successful at that.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Everyone Gets to Play

I have often said that we all have unique abilities and experiences that allow us to help others in ways perfect for them. I might not be able to be all things to all people, but just maybe I am able to offer something to someone that no one else can. This was brought home today when I was out visiting teaching. I visit this wonderful woman I love and adore who is struggling through all the agony that accompanies a divorce. She knows I love her, and although I have my own issues that allow me to sympathize with the pain she is experiencing, I don't and hope to never know what it is like to go through a divorce. But my companion I was assigned has. And today I was privileged to witness one person being able to empathize with another in a very intimate and healing way. It was beautiful to see the Lord's hand in action as He put this special sister in contact with the other to help her through her pain. I wish I could put more eloquently the wonder of what I saw, but whoever is reading this, please know you matter intensely to someone else. No one can be the you, you are meant to be.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sharing Friends

This is My friend Susan, me, and my darling little sister Megan. I say My friend Susan even though she is really Megan's age and was Her friend in high school. Because Megan and I are only a year apart and because I had no friends to speak of in high school, I was sometimes allowed to hang out with Megan and her friends, but only with the strict understanding that they were Her friends and not mine. Sister relationships, you've got to love them. Poor Susan was the subject of many power struggles, mostly Megan's since I, of course, was always the most rational and well behaved of sisters. Now, however, Megan freely invites me to join her and her friends on weekend excursions. Susan can now be My friend as well as Her friend and that is okay with everyone.
Thank heavens for maturity.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Shopping with Older Women

These are three of my adorable babes. This is them all pumped to start our shopping extravaganza in Seattle. In total we spent 6 hours shopping in two malls. I'm sure they could have stayed longer but I was quickly tiring and eager to begin the two+ trek home sooner rather than later. All in all it was a fun day. They really are fabulous young women. It was funny though to realize I have taken on my mother's role when shopping.

When I was younger and I ventured out on shopping excursions with my mother, she would inevitably point out clothing she thought appropriate only to meet with looks of confusion and/or disgust from me. "Really, you think I would look remotely cute in that?" my eyes would say.
I just didn't understand how my mother and I differed so much on what was acceptable attire.
I'm not sure I am any closer to a conclusion but I now know what it is to see that look. I'm only 29 years old - I thought I was still pretty hip - but I guess I have now reached the age that I am no longer in touch with the styles of today's youth. I quickly learned to be afraid of pointing out a pair of seemingly atrocious shoes for fear they would think them the cutest things ever. I also didn't know what to say when they pulled out something and asked for my opinion. I wanted to make some snarky remark about the store's buyer being off their rocker when they did their ordering, but instead resorted to an assortment of smiles and nods.
So there you have it. I now have a renewed respect for my mother and her unrelenting kindness in shopping with me despite receiving "the look" on more than a few occasions.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Friends who visit

I love friends who visit. I love friends who don't, but I love visitors even if they only stay for a couple of hours. I also love friends who give me at least a few days notice (though I even still love you Hilary). This is my darling friend Leslie who was passing through Wenatchee and decided to stop by for a few hours. It was fabulous to be with her and catch up and remember all the wonderful reasons why I love her. So if you're ever remotely in the area, or are curious as to what makes the Wenatchka so great, stop on by. For a few hours or for a night - we have a really comfy air mattress now!!

P.S. I'd post a picture of my cute in-laws who also came to visit but I don't have a good one of all of us (Mother Marler if you're reading this, can you send some of those? Thanks!).

Friday, July 31, 2009

Crafts are Sew Fun

Yeah, I'm that cheesy. I've fallen in love with sewing. Partially for the fun projects I get to do and partially because it's finally given me a hobby to name when people ask, "so what do you like to do." For years I hated that question because I didn't really have any passions to list. Accounting, despite what some might believe is not my passion. I like it, it's a good living, but it's neither my life nor my hobby. Anyway, here are some of the projects I've been working on this summer.
His and Hers Messenger Bags - Matt picked out his own fabric. Mines the one on the left.




I've finally finished the quilt I've been working on for the last several months. Maybe not traditional but I still love it.

Craft Exchange

I love hats - have for several years now. I especially love felt hats but find they are REALLY expensive. So for anyone who makes felt hats such as those found above, I would love to enter into a craft exchange. Anyone game?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Handouts, handouts, handouts

I am the leader of the Mia Maids (14-16 year-old girls). I think I've mentioned that before. I realize I am still fairly new to this and I haven't been that age in a while but can a woman who's first thought when preparing a lesson is not how can I incorporate a super cute handout still be an effective leader? I don't want to cheapen these beautiful young women's experience but handouts just really aren't me. For those of you who have served in young womens or have had young women in your home can you fill me in? Are you a super cute handout girl? Do you love getting them and/or making them? When are they appropriate and when are they just something extra to be thrown in the rubbish bin?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Booren Family Fun

A few weeks ago the ever expanding Booren clan which now includes Asays, Marlers, and Jones met up in Portland at my parent's house for five days of non-stop playtime. We had bounce houses, and pools, and bows and arrows. We had food and treacherous alpine slides. We had the bi-annual pictures, and enough games to satisfy even this die-hard gamester. At one point during one particularly amusing event my dad looked to me and asked if I was going to blog about it. Unfortunately I have forgotten what that event was so I can't recreate it even with my sometimes eccentric imagination, but the thing that most struck me was how old our little family is getting.

I just finished Little Women for the first time ever and found myself remembering how I, like Jo, yearned, when in high school, to keep my family just the way they were. No one else need get married or move out of the house or get real jobs. We could all stay with my parents and play games and tease each other forever. It seemed like a beautiful plan. But when everyone seemed to be getting married despite my fondest wishes I made a new plan - to be sassy and single and rich with my brother Jared. He was going to work in the PR department for Adidas and I was going to work in their accounting department. Together we were going to have crazy fun with our outlandish escapades. But then he got married and FINALLY so did I.

Now there are 18 grandchildren with one on the way and I find myself really enjoying this stage of life - if only the grandbabies could stay just about this age forever. With a few toddlers, a few teenagers, and tons of children in between having fun and taking care of each other. Why can't time move a little more slowly and children stay between the ages of 5 and 15 a little longer? That is the question I ask to the heavens.

Sorry Dad, I know you were hoping for something a little sillier, but unfortunately I seem to be feeling more sentimental. I hope that's okay.

Oh, and I promise to post more pictures from my recent adventures, just as soon as I get them for the other people who take them!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Reader Roll-Call

I realize three posts in one day is a little overwhelming but even so I figured it was time again to find out who is stopping by to check out the blog. I have this neat thing that let's me know where my visitors hail from. So I know where but I don't know who. So even if you've never commented, even if you don't know me, or even if you don't want others to know you read my mind's refuse; leave me a note. If I don't know you, leave a comment introducing yourself and how you found me, especially if you found my site thinking it was going to be something informational about psoriasis. I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of my visitors come in for that. You don't have to say this is your favorite blog you've ever read, or how often you check, just let me know you've at least read it once. Also, if you leave me you're blog address I promise to check in on yours and comment on yours as well.

Marler Family Fun

Last weekend was Marler family time in Eastern Oregon. I really enjoy Matt's family, but like girls camp, (see other post) it takes me a little while to figure out my expectations. It's amazing how, although fully functional and loving, Matt's family is almost completely opposite in their dynamic to my family. My family is loud and big and almost inclusive to a fault. They want so much for everyone to be included that if someone wants to have some alone time they feel a little offended (deny it if you can mother). Matt's family is more low key. If you want to play a game, let's play a game, if you want to read a book, read a book. No one will think less of you. It took me a day or so to not take their easy-goingness as we-don't-care-about-you-ness. Once I got over that I found myself enjoying the simplicity of days relaxing with the Marlers. Playing games, taking naps, helping with dinner. It was a wonderful time which left me loving Matt's family a little more than I did before.

Young Women's Camp

I've been waiting to put up this post until I got the official Camp Photo CD (since I'm awful and never actually pull my camera out of its bag) so I could upload some cute pictures of my even cuter young women but since it's been two weeks I figure now is as good a time as any to write about my week.

I went up a day early to help set up and get everything ready for the girls. So by Tuesday morning I was super excited to see them as they drove up. I had only been in my calling a couple of weeks and was anxious as well because I really didn't know the girls or the leaders with whom I would be spending the next several days. I had constantly heard of the great experience to be had by anyone who graces camp but I am prone to setting my expectations high only to be disappointed by the experience not living up to my heart's desires (i.e. every New Year's Eve for the last 15 years).

I am happy that in this instance my high expectations were met and most definitely exceeded. It started out a little rocky as I tried to find my place amongst the leaders as well as the girls. Did I really have it in me to be perky during the morning and evening sing-alongs? What was the proper protocol at bedtime? How was I to be a leader while also having fun with the girls? These were questions I struggled with all day Tuesday. But once I gave up and gave in to the power that is girl's camp I had so much more fun.

It's like going to Disney World. The first day you try to look cool and try to make yourself believe you're only there for the rides. The mickey mouse ears and goofy shirts are definitely not for you. By day three or four you've given up all pretense of cool and all of a sudden you find yourself reveling in the cheesy attire, the personal fans, and everything else that makes up the Disney World ambiance.

That's how I felt about camp. Once I gave up all semblance of respectability I found myself singing at the top of my lungs and doing all the moves to the camp theme song, putting my hair and everyone else's in pigtails, convincing them it was the thing to do, and crying like a baby at Testimony meeting. It was a beautiful experience and I am so excited to do it again next year!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

That Woman

I have officially become that woman. But before I give too much away, let me first explain.

This weekend Matt had a super exciting estate planning and real estate conference to go to in Spokane. Because it was 1. an opportunity to stay at my favorite hotel - the Davenport, 2. an opportunity to do some shopping at stores I don't normally get to frequent, 3. an opportunity to hang out somewhere other than Wenatchee, and 4. an opportunity to spend time with my husband before I leave next week for Young Women's camp, I opted to come along.

I've been looking at my apparel of late noticing a disturbing trend of endless t-shirts paired with anything from skirts to jeans. I like my t-shirts, especially for tooling around the Wenatch but decided it may be time to reinvest in something a little less casual and a bit more up with the times.

So I came to Spokane with the goal of picking out a few dressier tops for summer. I started at my usual stores but couldn't find anything remotely attractive on me that both sported sleeves and was opaque. I was quickly becoming frustrated at modest shopping when I finally gave in and walked in Nordstrom determined to peer at the sales rack and walk out again when I didn't find anything remotely in my price range.

But that's when I met Kailey, one of Nordstrom's many excellent sales staff. I told her what I was looking for and she directed me to the changing room wherein she proceeded to laden me with a plethora of choices meeting my specifications, many of which, gratefully, were on sale. They were a stretch for my generally conservative/boring clothing fare but I actually came out of the dressing room with a renewed faith in shopping, a love for Kailey and the realization that I've become that woman.

That woman who goes with her husband to conferences and then spends all day in the mall. Matt's grandmother is that woman. This woman can spend days at a time perusing Nordstrom et al. She buys much, wears little, and then ends up giving her granddaughters (comme moi) the rest. I only managed an hour and a half. But even still, I feel a little young to have become that woman. Let's just be thankful Matt doesn't have too many conferences and we don't have enough money to allow for such extravagances.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Potential Purchase

Matthew thinks I'm crazy, and maybe it's just summer fever, but I have this silly notion that instead of having two cars we don't really use, why not sell one and buy this cute little scooter? Our cars are both paid off and Matt says he'd allow me to buy this sweet piece o' ride on top of it but I feel guilty having two cars and a scooter. So, I'm thinking I might sell my car and use the proceeds to buy this it, among other things.

So what I need from you is rational reasons why I should not go through with this hair-brained scheme, because right now I am not thinking clearly. My head is all a buzz with the glory of riding around town on Greta (I've named her already). But first let me give you a few bits of information to keep in mind as you tell me why I shouldn't do this. 1. Currently Matt's car sits at home all day while he goes to work (he walks), and when we do eventually move to a less walking-friendly distance he says he will just ride his bike. 2. There are few times when we both need to be driving a car. 3. He says for the few times a year I leave town without him, as long as I don't get too girly a color he can either take the scooter or ride his bike. I would of course take the car since driving to Portland going max 40 miles/hour would be both deadly and painfully slow. 4. My car is a stick shift and Matt doesn't know/doesn't want to know how to drive it. 5. Wenatchee weather is night and day different than Seattle. It wouldn't be a feasible mode of operation during the winter but during the summer I would be able to drive it 90% of the time. (Thanks Lizzie and Michael for your comments so far!!)

Okay, I think that's it. Go to and be my reason for me since I can't seem to do the job myself.

And thanks.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Ah to be a Teenager Again

In the past few weeks since the weather has improved I have started walking over to the high school for my afternoon tutoring. One of the boys in the group lives close to me and also walks so we have started walking home together. During these trips we talk about whatever is going on in his world. Sometimes we talk about the abundance of fruit available at his father's house. Sometimes we talk about bike riding. And other times we talk about what it's like to be a teenager. Let's remember he is a sophomore and just barely turned 16. During one such conversation he told me about a girl from a neighboring town who he had "dated" for a few weeks before letting it peter out. He commented that this petering had left him once again single. Now that may not seem so strange to you but I was amused to find this 16 year-old boy using the word "single" to describe himself. The phrase "I am single," in my mind, should only be used by people old enough to be married, not by young boys not yet shaving. So after laughing at the absurdity of the situation, I calmly explained that he doesn't need to worry about his relationship status until once he's at least done with high school.

On another note, one of the girls I tutor has a one-year old son and the other kids talk about how they know of other 14-year old girls getting pregnant. I realize this is nothing new, but I've been closed off from the reality of it until now. Which makes me think about my own high school experience. When I was 14, I wanted boys to like me just like any other 14-year old would, but sex was the farthest thing from my mind. I mean egads!!

This thought process leads me to be oh so thankful to be done with that phase of my life and to have struggled through it in a much more sterile environment. I'm thankful that my biggest confrontation in high school was standing against the use of profanity on my senior T-shirt. I'm thankful that the constant pressure to not be single did not wake me up an hour before I already had to get up for seminary just so I could spend thirty minutes on my hair and another thirty minutes on my make up to look just so for school. Thank you extended innocence and thank you Sherwood, Oregon.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Quilting Practice

A few months ago I was bored with little to no work to do. To pass the time I decided to make a baby blanket. They are an easy two or three day activity and I already had the material (look familiar Claudia?). So I finished the top and then anxiously waited for my quilting class at our local quilt store to teach me how to use their fancy-dancy machine. The whole process was way overwhelming but a few days ago I had the chance to go in for a few hours by myself to practice. Thankfully someone at the store helped me remember everything I had already learned and in a couple hours I came out with the following product. Felt on the top and that really cozy, cuddle-friendly micro-fleece on the bottom. I don't know if you can tell that the quilting is a loopy star design. The stars were definitely not made by a professional but I'm still proud of the finished product.
With that in mind I would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize for not being a better friend/sister to everyone who have had babies. I.e. not making/buying something for your sweet newborn. I promise I love you, I just show my love in other ways. Please forgive me.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

What Not to Wear at a Cannibal Convention


This post is definitely for Matt. A girl at church was wearing Juicy Couture glasses we really liked. But of course the label made us think of the sweats which made us return to the age-old question, why would anyone want the word juicy across their tokus. We finally decided why - it's all part of the proper labeling of food as set down by the CFDA (Cannibals Food and Drug Administration). Kind of cheesy and kind of lame? Possibly, but the mental image gave Matt and me a chuckle.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Saddlerock Revisited

Do any of you remember last year when I tried to hike Wenatchee's best known hike aka Saddlerock? Do you remember me telling you how I was going to get into much better shape so as to conquer the "mountain" the next time? After the last time I posted (August 19th, in case you want to go back and refresh yourselves) I talked with all these women and they all mentioned an easier trail. "Oh," they said, "it was steep, you must have gone the wrong way. There is a MUCH easier trail." "Ah great," I thought, "maybe you're not as LAME as you thought." I never knew where this "easier" trail started, but I kept hearing rumors about it.

Yesterday I was at play group where some of the mothers were talking about going up it later that day with the Achievement Day girls (Kevin, that's the girls' equivalent of cub scouts). They asked me if I would come along to help out with the group. I accepted but felt some very real trepidation. What if this easier trail was the evil trail and I really am that LAME?

It turns out my fear was justified. We got to the trail head and all the time I kept expecting them to veer off in some other direction but they kept following the path I had traversed once before. Thankfully though, while it was still steep (we had to take baby side steps to keep ourselves from slipping all the way down) I did much better this time. Why, I'm not quite sure; though I am telling people it's because I am more used to the altitude now. Either way, I have conquered Saddlerock and the the 11 mile bike loop (that was Monday and my tokus is still sore) so I can now officially call myself a Wenatchen.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

New Calling

Just in case my mother is remotely curious, Matt and I have our new callings. Matt is the Elder's Quorum President to all of five elders and I am the First Counselor in the Young Women's Presidency. I'll be honest, it's the calling I was most hoping for, even if I only have three Mia Maids to advise. It was especially nice when the only one attending today seemed genuinely excited to have me as her leader. So here's hoping that in a year or two I'm still as excited about this calling as I am now.

By the way, if anyone has any great advice for me, I would love to have it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Loving on my sisters

I adore my sisters. I especially love when we're all able to get together. I love that we all have strong personalities (that, I believe, comes from my mother) and are all fairly different, but when we get together it's mostly just happiness. Last weekend, we decided to get away to Nichole's friend's aunt's cabin (still with me) on Mount Hood. It was kind of short, just Friday afternoon till Sunday morning, but we scrap booked, slept, made really baggy pajamas, watched movies, took walk(s), cooked, ate way too much sugar and had an overall relaxing few days. I like to think of it as a true mother's day weekend.

My favorite part of the weekend came Saturday mid-morning when we were all busily making our pj's and Megan was urging us with all her might to take a walk with her. Melissa calmly explained that the weekend was meant to do whatever we wanted and she couldn't make us go. Two minutes later though everyone was inexplicably ready to enjoy a lovely sister's walk. I don't know why that's my favorite memory because at first blush it doesn't seem to make for a really heart-warming story. But I do love how the relationships we had as children (sometimes good, sometimes bad) have evolved into relationships with more love, respect, and a whole lot more giggling.

It's true what my mother says about your sisters. You may not love them as children but eventually they will grow up to be your best friends. I love you my dear sweet chicas.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It's a Wonderful Life

Here's to all the random things I find myself grateful for lately.
  • I don't want you to think that I cried all day Mother's Day being without offspring because I didn't at all, but all the same I am thankful it's done. I love the mothers in my life (be they sisters, mothers, or friends) who are amazing examples of the myriad of ways to be a wonderful mother, but I am grateful to be out from under the microscope that with pity oozing from its lens says, "You don't have children? That's okay you don't have children, you're a "mother" all the same." I realize this is all true but I'd rather not be piercingly reminded of it. Is that okay?
  • Okay . . . on a happier note I am thankful for Priesthood Blessings. I don't know how people live without them. Kevin, email me and I'll explain them to you.
  • With the above, I am thankful for a worthy Priesthood holder located in easy living quarters of me. Yep, that's my husband.
  • Small projects that can be completed quickly, thus giving me a sense of accomplishment without the endless hours of toil.
  • The excitement and adventure that comes with a ward split. I got a call the other night asking if I wanted to stay Gospel Doctrine teacher, because that could be arranged but I opted instead for the unknown, except maybe for Primary. I'm really afraid of Primary and will only do it if that's really where God wants me.
  • Although I'd really like to be working today, I'm thankful that I know I won't (my computer crashed on Friday) so I can plan my schedule accordingly. I tell you, the commercials are true - knowledge is power.
  • A much better experience at Gear Up yesterday and last Thursday to remind me just how much I do love these kids.
  • Anticipation. I don't love surprises as much as love anticipation. I loved anticipating my sewing class and now I am loving anticipating my weekend with my sisters (less poor Natalie who's stuck in Virginia) and my mother. It's going to be grr-ate.
  • Waking up at 6:00 and knowing I could get up but choosing to doze in and out until 7:30 instead and not feeling the least bit guilty about it.
  • Having a somewhat steady journal to be able to look to remember the minutia of my life be it the joys or the pains. I don't know why this made it onto the list but I am grateful for it all the same.

Okay, I think that's it. It's been an interesting week for me. Not sure exactly how, but just interesting. So thanks for letting me replay part of it here for you.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother's Day (sort of)

Matt and I were discussing what we should do to celebrate Mother's Day since I have no offspring to call me such names. Don't worry, my psyche is doing well. We decided that doing nothing would be just fine by me. I know I nurture others and "mother" in my own special way, but, honestly, I would just as soon have a fun dinner and call it good.

But today as we walked downtown to get a shake at our local malt shop we passed by this baby boutique going out of business. Everything in the store was 40% to 75% off so Matthew suggested I go in and get some things for our eventual babies. I was pretty hesitant about it afraid it might jinx us but Matt persisted and I went in and got some fun items. My favorite being those super cute little baby girl shoes.

So there you go, Happy Mother's Day to me. Pregnancy pants and some cute shoes for my babies, be they girl or boy. I may not be pregnant, in fact, I might never get pregnant, but on the off chance that I don't, I've got some fun gifts for the next couple of years worth of baby showers. Happy Mother's Day!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Knowledge is Power

Even Quilting Knowledge. Yep, in about an hour I'm going to my very first quilting class and I couldn't be more excited. I've been counting down the days for the last two weeks the way I do when I get a haircut. Matt is flabbergasted by it all but it doesn't dampen my spirits one iota.
The class I am taking is only three hours long as covers the basics of the long-arm sewing machine. This machine takes up most of the space of an 8' x 10' room and is the best thing to happen to machine quilting since the advent of . . . something else really cool, like thread maybe.
Anyway, I have three unfinished projects that I have been absolutely dying to finish but need the class to teach me the tools I need to do it. So it's off to the Attic Window Quilt Shoppe (how do you feel about names like 'Shoppe' instead of 'Shop'?) I go to learn the tricks of the trade so I can feel the breeze of quilting-freedom running through my hair. Hmmm . . . maybe that last phrase was stretching it.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Up with the Sun

I love the sun. I love springtime, and I love longer days. What I'm not so in love with is my internal clock that says, "the sun is awake so Sara should be awake too." Or, "the sun is still asleep so Sara should stay in bed." I've been waking up at 6:00 am for the past week thanks to Mr. Sun peeking out earlier and earlier but it wasn't until today that I finally succumbed. Normally I just tell myself to go back to bed and spend the next hour or so going in and out of consciousness.

But this morning I skipped out of bed and greeted the sun. Which is both good and bad. Good because, think of all the extra stuff I can do with my day when I wake up that much earlier. Bad because, one, I ended up spending the vast majority of the first two hours on facebook (I joined this morning) and two, by 7:30 I was ready already so up and at em I started my dishwasher, which hopefully did not cause too much noise for our upstairs neighbors. Usually I try not to turn on any major appliances until at least 8:00. Did number two make sense?

Anyway, what I'm trying to say, is that I'm not sure how well I like this new awake time.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Life Choices

You may or may not know that I volunteer at the high school tutoring on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Normally I really enjoy it, especially now that the kids know my name (after 7 months of wearing a name tag), but today I got really flustered with the kids. I felt like a babysitter instead of a tutor, a task master instead of a mentor. I was sitting at a table with three kids, only one of which, Martha, was being remotely productive. Sebastian would not work on a single thing no matter how much cajoling I tried, and Estefania went in and out of school focus. At some point I tried telling the kids that their grades really do matter and the more education they get the better their lives will be. Estefania mentioned she can start working and making money now. I tried convincing her that $15/hour is not super great in the grand scheme of things. I got so frustrated, but it wasn't until I got home that I figured out a better way of putting things. I'm now going to type it out so hopefully I will remember enough to be able to go back to them on Tuesday and restate my opinion.

There are a million ways to be a good person and lead a happy life. I've had family and friends who've not gone to college, or not finished and have been perfectly happy with how their lives have turned out. I've had family and friends who've led amazing professional and academic careers who have also been happy. If you don't like school, that's fine. It may NOT be for you. But at least respect yourself enough to think through the decision and be proactive about making it instead of doing nothing and letting the decision be made for you. You can be just about anything you want in this life. Almost nothing is predetermined for you if you have enough gumption to go after what you want. Doing well in school and going to college only opens up more opportunities. But again, if you don't want them, that's fine, but just make sure that the path you're on is the one you want before it's too late or too hard to choose another.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kids say the Funniest Things

Or maybe I should say kids are entertained by the funniest things. This past Saturday I had the chance to accompany my high school kids to Central Washington University to tour the campus and see what life is like down in Ellensburg, WA. It was a nice enough campus. I think we went on two or three different tours. I was a bad influence and walked in the back with two girls who were also fairly indifferent to the knowledge being offered to them. Instead of listening attentively like a good example would, I regaled them of stories from Boston, one of them is obsessed with moving there and was keen on learning everything and anything about her beloved city. They were both equally excited about the strangest words that came out of my mouth like ta tas (can't imagine when I've ever used that term before but I did and they LOVED it), tush and tokus (both yiddish for bum). I have to say I've never before been idolized because of such seemingly innocuous words. But there you have it, Sara's molding of Wenatchee's young minds one tokus at a time.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Airport Manager Needed

Today during lunch Matthew and I were looking through the Wenatchee Classified Ads and came across a job posting for an airport manager for the Cashmere Airport. Now per Wikipedia at the 2000 census Cashmere boasted a population of just under 3,000 so I can only imagine the size and use of their airport. I'm not really sure who they are looking for and what the job would entail. The posting just said:

Part time. Hours and salary to be negotiated. Send letter of interest to . . . . To be received no later than April 15, 2009.

With only a day to respond to the query, Matthew and I sat down and wrote out a simple letter of interest and sent it along. Now, I have no hope of actually securing this job but wouldn't it be so fun to tell people I managed an airport? Even if it only services private planes and crop dusters? Maybe I'd be able to catch a ride some time. Oooh. Doesn't that make you wild with jealousy? No? Well it did to Matt.


Update as of April, 20. No love, they've hired someone else. All my hopes and dreams down the drain. I only pray that my heart will recover.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Washington State Apple Blossom Festival

I was walking over to the high school the other day for tutoring and I saw it - the first signs of the Apple Blossom Festival that everyone keeps talking about. Six plastic patio chairs with a bench made out of cinder blocks and ply wood all tied together by a sturdy looking rope. I had heard that the Festival is a big deal and my RadiSys co-workers made me a fact sheet before I moved noting how early the parade route got scoped by very forward-looking attendees, but I had to see it to believe it. A full two weeks early and already the number of chairs on the side of the road are multiplying exponentially every day.

I finally got around to looking up the Festival online and found a three-page itinerary of events that lasts from April 23rd to May 3rd. That's close to two weeks!! There are three parades, three fairs, a prayer service, a hydroplane regatta, a race, a pie-eating contest not to mention a pie bake-off, and my personal favorite for it's sheer randomness a Bocce Ball Tournament. And the best part about it is not having to find parking because although our apartment is kind of dumpy it IS within walking distance to all the fun. I'm actually getting a little excited now that it's dawning on me just what sort of event this is to be.

So, if you can't find me sometime during those two weeks you know where I'll be. Yep, that's right, getting my face painted. Wahoo for the Wenatch!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Wahoo for Spring

Spring in all of it's 70 degree glory is finally here. The buds on the trees remain dismally absent for the most part but it's sunny and 70. I really can't complain. Especially since it means Matt and I can resume our after-dinner walks. Yesterday we walked to the grocery store and back passing our new favorite street lined with well maintained tudor-esque homes. The sprinklers were going and a group of kids were playing tag football in the street. Everything about the scene cried out idyllic.
We talked about pulling out our baby BBQ, our future, and how wonderful the evening was. It feels nice to be in the sun and warmth and to remember that the earth does continue to revolve, along with our lives, even though we sometimes think that it has gotten stuck somewhere along the way.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Calling Shopping

Have you ever had a calling at church you wished you didn't? Do you ever think about moving just so you can lose your calling? Have you ever dreamed about going into your bishop and negotiating your calling the same way you do your annual raise or when your searching for a car?
"Well, I'd like to stay in this ward, but the Bishop of the third ward promised me assistant scout master (Matt's dream calling not mine). If you can match that offer I can promise to stay, otherwise I'm afraid I'm going to have to move." Or, "I can promise full tithing, double fast offerings and 100% home teaching and visiting teaching if you can promise me the calling of my choice. Otherwise I'm afraid I'm going to have to go somewhere that will. You're choice and, in my opinion a fairly easy one."
Ah, if only.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

I turned on my iPod the other day, to listen to music while I sew, and just hit play. No fussing over one specific artist or podcast. Just play. What started was Air Supply's greatest hits album. Before I could even make it over to my sewing machine I was rocking out, singing every word (because who doesn't know every word to every Air Supply song - they're like the Wilson Phillips that way), and dancing in my private apartment stomp (do you remember those Melissa and Aubrey?). I couldn't help but laugh to myself about how silly it is to rock out to Air Supply (no offense Graham and Russell). How uncool is that? So I started thinking about what other guilty pleasures I have.

I thought about it for a couple of days and could only think of one other -wearing my PJs and bath robe for the better part of the morning instead of getting dressed like real people. Yeah, that's it. I felt so ashamed that those are more or less my only guilty pleasures. I guess I could name some others but they're even more lame than those already mentioned so we'll leave it at those two.

I imagined this great post about the random uncool things I do and could only come up with two. Sorry about that. So what I'm hoping is that you all fess up about what your guilty pleasures are. Come on, I know you have them. Hopefully they're not as dorky as bathrobes until noon.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Reality Check

Do you remember a month or so ago when I wrote about Matt entering the world of writing via two contests? The first one was a nation-wide novel contest sponsored by Amazon. The second was a city-wide short story contest sponsored by some local non-profit. Well, I am pleased to announce that Matt made it through to the quarter-finals in the Amazon contest!!! Honestly I don't think either of us could be more thrilled. Even if he doesn't make it to the semi-finals we are just so excited to have made it this far.
At this stage of the contest, an excerpt of each contestant's novel is posted on amazon for feedback by editors and customers (that's you). We would love if you would take some time and provide some honest feedback to Matthew. You can find his excerpt at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001UG3B72 and everyone else's at www.amazon.com/abna.

As of April 15, Matthew is out of the contest. We got the feedback from the reviewer, and after a few hours of grieving the loss, he was back at writing making sure to incorporate the feedback so as to make his writing that much better. I couldn't be more proud of his resilience and am loving the revised Reality Check. I'll let you know when it's re-completed as I'm sure you are just dying to see the new Matthew and the new work.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Letting in Love

I grew up for the first 14 years of my life in the military. For the next 15 years I kept up the military way of moving every two to four years. As such I am great at meeting new people and making new friends. What I'm not so fabulous at is the depth of these relationships. With the exception of my family and a very small number of key friends I don't open my heart to that many people. And maybe that's a good thing, but this past weekend I found myself opening it to people who should have had access years ago.

A neighbor and friend of mine in college was re-diagnosed with cancer after successfully battling through it once before. This time it turned up in her lungs. Using her as an impetus, her 3 college roommates and 4 of mine descended on her home in North Carolina for a long weekend.

I'll be honest, when the trip was first mentioned I wasn't overly enthusiastic to go. I hadn't talked to most of these women in years and was unsure about the strength of my bond to the group. But with some intense peer pressure I caved, bought my ticket and headed out. I'm not sure how "myself" I allowed myself to be throughout the trip, but somewhere I knew that I wasn't truly letting these women into my heart. I prayed and vented and cried and hugged and somehow in the process of the weekend my heart was changed. No longer did I feel like the outsider trying desperately to fit in but I assumed my position within the group. The position the rest of the women had already given me but I just couldn't accept.

When I left I felt forever altered. These wonderful women will always have a special place in my heart and I promise them personal phone calls when fun things start happening in my tummy. I love you Courtside Chicas!

Aging - Is it Really Necessary?

For the last few years I decided that I had no reason to dread turning 30. In fact I told a few people that I saw no reason to not be 30 now. After all, it's just an age, what's the big deal? A few months ago, somewhere after turning 29, I realized that 30 does bother me after all. But it's not the number so much as the looking that number. For much of my life, thanks to my late birthday I have been the youngest in most groups. Youngest in classes, youngest in relationships. It became part of my identity. And what do the 20's symbolize if not youth? Who wouldn't want to look 25 for the rest of their lives? And not that 30 is old, it's just not 2_. It has been hard coming to terms with looking somewhere past that seeming prime of life. Somehow 30 seems to mark the beginning of the end, and I'm just not sure how comfortable I am with watching my body slowly atrophy.

I thought I was alone in my vain notions until I talked to my dad about his milestone birthday commemorated on March 2. It turns out he is just as unsure about whether he wants to look like a man in his 60's. I was so relieved to know that I wasn't alone in my age insecurities. Because while I wouldn't change my life experiences for the world, and will probably not do too much to unnaturally alter my appearance, growing old seems kind of dreary.

Please tell me how wrong I am.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Little Sparkle in My Life

I love finding things I thought I had misplaced. I no longer say, "oh man, I lost that" because I know it will mostly surely be found, and generally when I least expect it. I find that the harder I look the less likely it will turn up. So I don't worry and let it come to me in its own due time. In fact right after high school I finally had a car that was all mine to drive. This was huge for me, so what did I do, I started "personalizing" it with my stuff - wallet, food, papers. At some point about a third of the way through the summer I realized I had misplaced my driver's license. No big deal - it will turn up. Two months later it still hadn't turned up and I am still driving without a license. It was getting to the point that I needed to get going to college, so I figured it was a good time to acknowledge that it was lost and put some serious effort into finding it. In my search I sheepishly asked my father if he had seen it. He replied in the affirmative and went about heading to his dresser to pull it from its hiding place for the last two months. Supposedly this was to teach me a lesson about leaving such items in full view in my car, and supposedly he was shocked that I hadn't gotten around to asking about it earlier. No doubt a lesson worth learning, but I thought his method a little sketchy.

Fast forward a lot of years to the Sunday before Christmas. I decided that if ever there is a time to wear bling to church it is Christmas Sunday. So, in honor of my mother (who is all about sparkles) I donned my sequined top (don't worry, it is lovely and not at all lounge-act appropriate) and my sparkly earrings. It had snowed that morning and as we were driving to church I realized the back of my earring had fallen off and my earring was missing. I looked in the car but didn't find it. No big deal, I thought. It probably fell off on the way to the car. I'll get it when we get home. Sometime while we were away being good God-fearing people the snow plow came and cleared our parking lot. Sort of. They don't clear it so much as push all the snow to one corner of the lot into a big mound. I hoped that the ring was in there somewhere and that when the hill of snow started to melt it would turn up.

Now fast forward a couple of months to a few days ago. I was walking home from something and I noticed a soda can in the berm and started cursing those darned litterers and wondering if the can was fresh or had become unearthed with the warmer weather. As I leaned in to get a closer look I found my earring!!! It totally made my day and gave me renewed faith in my belief that everything turns up - even keys that have been missing for so long that you end up rekeying your house. Yep, behind my desk at work.

Exhibit A - my sparkle

Exhibit B - The Berm (with aforementioned soda can)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I Love

In honor of the day of love here is a brief list of random things I love.

1. I love my husband. He's the most perfect man for me I possibly could have married. He even loves me when I look like a homeless person.
2. I love watching the snow fall. Even if it doesn't stick it still brings out the small child in me.
3. I love working when I actually feel helpful to my client or co-worker.
4. I am falling in love with the kids I tutor. Even when "tutoring" means learning to make paper stars.
5. I love chicken when it's at its most perfect doneness.
6. I love teaching my Sunday School class. I love my class. They are so wonderful and supportive.
7. I love using my paychecks to pay off student loans. I love watching the balance dwindle, no matter how incrementally.
8. I love lying in bed. I could do it for hours.
9. I love my family! They mean the world to me. From my dear sisters to my entertaining brothers to my adorable nieces and mostly nephews (not because I love them more but just sheer volume). I love my devoted parents and my caring in-laws!!
10. I love my friends. Even though I seem to be somewhat of a social recluse right now, I still love keeping in contact with those I've already gone through all the effort of making.

10.5. I've said it once, I'll say it again. I absolutely love hearing from anyone and everyone. So even if this is your first time on my blog, just stop in and tell me who you are and where you live. I'd love to know you.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Calling All Dreamers

Do you dream? In your sleep I mean. Do you remember your dreams? Do you take stock in your dreams? Do you act on your dreams?

Most of my dreams have to do with going to the bathroom, being with my family, and avoiding those intent on my death. But every now and again I'll have a dream that will stick with me and I generally take them to heart. Early this morning (3 am) I awoke from this dream I had wherein the pregnancy test I took actually came out positive. I was pregnant!! Wahoo!! Matt and I danced around the house shocked and amazed that it was actually positive. I started calling all my friends and family and Matt told everyone at church. I thought telling everyone at church so early was in poor taste but decided not to quibble. I woke up certain that if I took a pregnancy test it would turn out just as positive as my dream. But I decided against it just then because I knew that after taking a positive pregnancy test I would be too excited to go back to sleep and would probably wake Matt in the process. So in the interest of sleep and happiness I decided to go back to bed and take the test at a more reasonable hour.

By seven I was less sure about my dream and I laid in bed for half an hour weighing the pros and cons of the test. I'm not sure I can currently follow the logic of my debate but at 7 am the rationale made perfect sense in my head. I eventually got up the courage to take the test only to have it turn out negatively. At 3am I was so certain that dream was one of those dreams, that I wasn't so much sad as shocked by the outcome.

So what do you think about your dreams? Do you take stock in your dreams? Do you act on your dreams? Am I crazy? This is a question to everyone. So if you've never commented, let this be your opportunity. If you comment regularly, thanks and please continue!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Hold Music

This is a random post to document a random happening. I was listening to a voicemail left by one of the partners I work with at one of my jobs and halfway through the message came hold music. I was put on hold in a voicemail. Now, I know the reason why he did it, but still, it just seems very odd to hear hold music when you should be hearing a request to return a call. Anyway, Definitely a first for me.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Matt's Foray into his Dream Job

Matt's ultimate dream career is to be a successful writer. He's working on at least five books currently with another 5 or so ruminating around in his stellar little head. This week marks his first exposure to the writing world via two contests he's entered. One is being sponsored by Amazon and is looking for a full-fledged novel. The second is being sponsored by a local non-profit writing group and is looking for a 1000-word story. So Matt's thrown his proverbial hat or manuscripts into the ring and now we wait and see what, if any, feedback he gets. The Amazon one, I think, Matt would just be happy to make it past the first cut, seeing how it's his first novel. The second one, I might post sometime since I really like it and it's a lot more blog-post-length friendly than the former.

The Stairway by Matthew Marler

The iron circular stairway spiraled precipitously from the floor to some unseen destination above. For John, it might as well have been a mountain of impossible height. He took the first few steps and was immediately winded and felt pain in his wobbly old knees. He placed one shoe-clad foot on the next step and heaved his wiry 130 pound frame upwards. He decided then he had to take a break and sat down on the steps, breathing heavily.

He needed to get to the top; he needed to be with his life’s great love. He hadn’t made it to the top in a long time, but then, he hadn’t needed to travel so far to be with her. She was in a new place now, a good place he hoped. That awful hole in the ground she had been lowered into only hours before seemed a horrible place to end life. John was sure she could now only be found in their special place at the top of the circular stair.

He rubbed his sweaty, leathery hands on his faded baggy jeans. He noticed his shoes had once again sprung their seams and more duct tape would be required to hold them together. His daughter had been horrified when he had shown up at the funeral wearing such motley attire but for him, it had been a last tribute to a wife who had put up with his eccentricities for nearly fifty-seven years.

Had it been so long? It seemed so short. He struggled to his feet and peered up again, as if looking one more time would give him some clue how far he had to go. He took several more painful stairs, his spine creaking and his lungs protesting. He came to a place where the stairway penetrated the ceiling to reach the floor above and saw his family smiling back. His wife had placed their pictures there as a reminder to all who traveled the stair that here, family was first.

His children had kindly offered to let him live with them –a tribute to his wife’s parental prowess. He had accepted with a smile so they would know he loved them. In fact, he had even packed all his things as a gesture of good faith. But now he had to see his wife.

He tripped on a stair, cruelly banging his knee into one side of the stairway. Life was not easy, it never had been. His wife and he had struggled in every conceivable way. At first it was a struggle with each other, then it was a struggle to find time to be with each other, and now last of all it was a struggle to find life meaningful in her absence. Groaning, and assuredly losing another year of life, he lurched to his feet and soldiered on.

He had been a soldier in the Army and ‘her’ Marine. U-rah! He could nearly hear her commanding him to ‘take the hill’ despite its’ height and difficulty. Left right left, left right left, he marched to the top to plant his flag in the ground –amidst his own life blood if necessary.

And then John was there, in their special place. The sun shined in from the perfect Autumn day through the porthole window in the apse of their sanctum. The light beamed in his face, illuminating the sweat rolling down his face.

Bookcases lined the walls and on them lived the combined knowledge of two people devoted to the betterment of their minds for the benefit of one another. Falling to one knee with a sudden pain in his chest, he grasped out and pulled himself the last little way to their treasure chest. He had to see his wife as only photographs can remind a person of what is lost from memory.

Crawling each agonizing inch, he miraculously found himself at the chest. Now to lift the lid. He had little strength left. His wife’s last words of encouragement rang in his mind and ears, “be strong!” Try as he might though, his body had given its last. With the lid tantalizingly close to open, his fingers slipped and it clanged shut with the heavy sound of failure. He propped himself and put a hand to his heart to try and stop it from beating so impossibly hard. The pain became a roaring in his ears and every muscle in his body clenched violently.

And then there she was, walking up the stairs to this place, their special place, as easily as she had when they first bought the home. John marveled he hadn’t even had to open the chest to find her once more.

“You crazy old codger, you could at least have asked for some help.”
“I had to see you. Just once more before the kids take me away.”
“You’re in luck. I’ve come to get you. We won’t ever be apart again, heaven help you.”
“How is it done?”
“Get up and I’ll show you.”

And then she grabbed John’s smooth, strong hand and lifted him to his full, proud and unbowed height. Once again he felt the vim and vigor he had missed for so long. Once again he could breath, laugh and even felt as if he could run.

John felt her perfect cheek with his finger, tracing it and then her lovely chin.

“I missed you.”
“I wasn’t gone long.”
“Yes you were, far too long.”
“You never had much patience when you had something in that thick head of yours.”
“Nope.”

And then they danced in place in each other’s arms content to let whatever meaning time has in the after-life pass them by while they stayed in one perfect moment. They had escaped time’s grasp, escaped it’s ever inexorable movement towards the conclusion of all life.

They had found the most elusive thing every one in their heart of heart’s desires, peace.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Plea for Commonness

It has recently come to my attention that I feel very strongly about a certain topic. Before I introduce it I would like to apologize to anyone I might offend. I promise I hold no ill will towards anyone. And to those who feel differently, I pray that you will help me to see your point of view. So, is that scary enough of an introduction?

The beef I have, that Matt has helped me to see as abnormal, is my obsession with strange names. And it's more than just the wacky names that celebrities name their children like Rocket Inspektor or Jermajesty or even Tu Morrow (http://www.cracked.com/article_15765_20-most-bizarre-celebrity-baby-names.html) so funny, seriously. No this is more your average weird names (no examples will be given so as to offend everyone too much).

I'm not saying everyone needs to name their child Sara or Matthew, but what's so wrong with a good solid name? There's lots of them out there, without having to come up with your own. What's wrong with a name that let's everyone know they're dealing with a male or a female? What's wrong with a name that everyone knows how to pronounce without having to ask twice because they thought they misheard you? Or a name where the poor child is not constantly having to spell it out for people? "Yes, that's Jermajesty, Majesty with a Jer at the beginning."

I understand that some want to make their child stand out but wouldn't it be better to have them stand out on their own merit and not because they have a unique name? I realize this is a potentially sensitive subject and everyone has their reasoning, so if you've used unusual names (which I define as anything you made up on your own - including bizarre spellings) I would love to non-judgementally hear your thoughts. Hopefully you will be the help I need to get me past my obsession.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Sun Will Come Out Yesterday

Wahoo!! The sun came out yesterday!! It was crazy cold but at least it was sunny. Today's clouds are so much easier to take now that I've finally seen the sun!! Just thought I should share!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

When Wings Fail

Today in church, the speaker (probably in her mid-20's) told of how she moved to Wenatchee from Alaska when she flew out of the proverbial nest. Matt leaned over to me with the visual of a bird that spread it's wings to soar only to get plucked out of the sky by a precisely-aimed rock. Sad. The poor little bird's flight was cut short and so Wenatchee is all she'll ever know of the "outside" world.

Now, despite feeling that ole Wenatchka is where we should be, it's hard sometimes not to feel like we too got robbed of our chance to soar. But instead of wallowing, we're trying our very best to just giggle at images of falling birds.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Book Thief

I joined a book club. I went to the library to ask about them and found out there's something like 200 in Wenatchee. I wasn't cool enough to join the private clubs so I joined the library's. They met this past Wednesday and I went late, on purpose, to sit in the back and figure out if they were cool enough for me. The club was made up of about 7 retiree-age woman with one retiree-age and politically conservative man . I tried to act all vague and discreet but they instantly asked if I was there to join their group, made me a name tag and gave me their next book. So I guess I'm in. The Book we're reading for February is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Has anyone read the book? Any thoughts? I'm kind of excited to start venturing out into more modern literature since I seem to be hopelessly stuck in the 18th and 19th centuries when left to my own devices. In fact they asked if I had any suggestions for books to read in the future and all I could come up with was anything by Thomas Hardy. Is that ultra lame?

On a cooler note, the library buys the books requested for the book club for you to check out. In fact, we went to the library a week ago so Matt could check out a book for research purposes. They didn't have it so he "requested" it, which means they buy it for him and then let him know when it comes in. Pretty slick huh?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Come on Mother Nature, Help a Sister OUT

I realize that in posting this I sound extremely ungrateful. I know that in parts of the country they are dealing with more snow and ice than they can handle . . . but what can I say, I'm a brat. I WANT SNOW. It snowed tons the couple of weeks before Christmas making everyone's holiday travelling a touch treacherous, but it all cleared up a couple of days before I came back and we have neither seen hide nor hare of either the sun or snow ever since. I finally don't have anywhere to stress about going AND I have snow tires! (Sigh) It's been dreadful. Cloudy or super foggy for two weeks straight. I've had enough. If I wanted clouds I could have stayed in Portland. I want snow!! Or if I can't have snow at least give me some sun. That would be okay too.

I've started obsessing over weather.com again. Every day I check it's the same story - the sun will come out in a couple of days. But it never does, it just stays in that horrid two-day limbo land. So you can pray for whatever weather you like but as for me and my house we will pray for snow. And my neighbor. She's praying for snow too. In fact I might join her one of these days to do the snow dance. Whatever it takes.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

We've Been Had

So dear readers, I'm sure you've all been on the edge of your seats waiting until I got up the courage to ask ole Crispy Bacon about his name. Well the opportunity presented itself on Monday when he and his wife invited us over for dinner and games. Halfway through dinner I called him out on it.

Apparently his given name is Christopher but he's gone by Crispy every now and again during his life when there have been too many Chris' to count in a given situation - like work. He said he decided to change it in our ward directory when we was messing around online a few months ago. I told him he had been talked about on my blog which seemed to delight him immensely. But unfortunately he was the only one so excited.

I was happy for him in the sense that his parent's aren't as ruthless as I had once supposed. But at the same time I was more crestfallen. Why? Because I really am that gullible. It's always been a title I thought I was unjustly labeled with but I can no longer dispute it. I've realized that I'm going to be one of those old women who sends my life savings to some seemingly nice young man who promises to take "real good care" of it for me. You know, one of those schemes that only old people seem to fall for. Isn't that so sad? So just remember that when it happens I might be coming to your house to stay. Please don't turn me out. I promise to be tidy.