On a sadder note, my boyfriend has apparently broken up with me. I guess the double rejection yesterday was too much for him. We can't even still be friends. Yesterday he was "stoked" that we would both be working on the Gilbert club, too. Today, I guess, not so much. I wonder what he's going to do about that skate ramp now. Good thing I can come home from a long, hard day's work to my loving husband. Maybe I will get lucky with him. (I like my chances.)
Top one is the finished half. Bottom is what's up for tomorrow. This is how far 15 hours of painting and 4 hours of travel will get you. Not to brag, but I can't get over myself drawing those amazing circles freehand. The yellow one even wraps a corner, folks. Who designed this crap?!
I was awakened from the most beautiful, restful slumber at 5:15 this morning by some heinous 90's hit song on the radio alarm. At that point I was still excited about the prospect of my day . . . as a PROFESSIONAL mural painter! Got up, dressed, and hit the road at 6:15. Around 7:00 a.m., and north of Glendale on I-17 I needed to pee. Could've waited, really, but remembered I was headed for a CONSTRUCTION SITE. Gag at the idea of using a port-o-potty and pull off at McDonalds. Still excited about the prospect of my day . . . and the coupon for a free breakfast value meal in my purse. I enjoyed my McGriddle as I drove, arrived in Carefree at 7:20-ish, and set to work. I eagerly set up my ladder. My very own, brand new ladder. It is beautiful (and if it's not there tomorrow someone is going to die). I pulled the box of chalk out of my purse and realized I forgot my cell phone. No big, I hope. STILL excited about the prospect of my day, I began drawing my planned design on the wall in chalk. The graffiti design (get the hard stuff over first, right?) which has a couple of large (very large) circles in it. I'm standing on the ladder trying to draw one of these circles while descending step by step to get a smooth, proportioned curve. Ridiculous. I missed a step and fell flat on my back, but not before catching myself (kind-of) with my right hand. So, now my wrist is a teeny bit sore and I'm a little less excited about the prospect of my day, but I'm grateful that no one saw me fall. I climbed back up on that big old ladder (carefully) and worked for what felt like a very short time. I listened to the carpet installers laughing and speaking in Spanish in the next room. I wish I had learned more Spanish in school. I know just enough to get the impression that, at least for a moment, they were talking about me, but I can't tell if I should be flattered or offended. I chuckle at the parade of men who, in the course of their respective projects, stop and watch me work. Unfortunately I think they are mostly admiring my graffiti, not my glutes. Oh, to be young and cute again. Back at BYU these men would have found me irresistible. The Spanish speakers usually did, but I digress. I decided to take a break at what I believed to be 11:30. Ran out to the car to grab a snack and check the time -- 1:15!!! I needed to leave by 2:00 to get home to meet my kids after school. I hurried back inside to wrap up what I was working on, set my ladder in a (hopefully) safe location and got out my camera to take a photo for the blog . . . a work in progress type thing. But the batteries were dead. Just my luck. No more exciting prospects for this day. It's not until I'm driving home and the adrenaline-fuelled working rush wears off that I realize my hand REALLY hurts. From when I fell in the morning. Remember?
And here I sit tonight exhausted, with my sprained wrist all wrapped up, wondering what joys tomorrow will bring. And wondering if this is all going to be worth it in the end. Brent and my checkbook say yes. On a positive note, my mural looks fan-freaking-tastic. I'll post pictures tomorrow.
Deeper and deeper. Yesterday as I spoke to the assistant to the owner of the gym again I heard myself saying, "Why don't we do a graffiti style mural in the tween room?" That's what my mouth said. My brain was thinking,"Are white, suburban, MORMON housewives even allowed to paint FAKE graffiti?" Good news! Tom LOVES the concept. I should go with it. Oh, dear. Why do I do this to myself?
For those of you who find yourself with a little time on your hands, sit. Grab a drink. I'll explain. Our very best friends here in AZ all got together for a "Taco Night" at Mitch and Shiela's Friday night. Tammy brought the most delicious chocolate cake ever and in a few moments of reckless abandon Brent told Jamie to spank him and I told everyone to "Suck it". We're not proud of ourselves. After dinner the boys watched the kids so all us girls could go see Nights in Rodanthe. It was good -- typical Nicholas Sparks. I should have seen the tear jerker ending a mile away, but I didn't. I'm sure the book was better. Aren't they always?
Saturday morning Brent let me sleep in til 9:00. I can't remember the last time I did that, but I've been sick all week and it felt really good. He even got the kids all dressed and ready for their primary program practice and dropped them off after taking Sydney to buy a birthday gift for the party to which she had been invited. ALL ON HIS OWN, PEOPLE! Then, THEN, he spent the lion's share of the day CLEANING MY HOUSE! Because I had mentioned earlier in the week that I would appreciate that more than any other gift. Even the scanner, which will wait until Christmas. Ladies, the line to get a piece of THIS man forms behind ME. It was a typical busy Saturday, but he did take me out for dinner at My Big Fat Greek Restaurant. Delicious. He went all-in for the new experience and ate hummus (even though he hates chick-peas) and lamb souvlaki. Oh my yummy!
So, I am older. Here's the wiser part. I'm not stressing about Halloween costumes this year! Sydney wants to be Hannah Montana. Fantastic. A couple months ago I found a long blond wig on sale for $5.00. The rest can come out of her closet. Done. Dylan wants to be a storm trooper. Fantastic. Brent found a Clone Trooper costume at Target on Saturday for $10.00. Close enough. D's thrilled. I'm done. Riley was going to be the difficult one. He couldn't decide. One day a nerd, the next day a wizard. I was losing my mind. Until he found an old, used Wolf Man costume at the ward costume exchange Saturday and fell in love. Fantastic. $0. I'm done.
Most of you know me well enough to know that in my younger, less wise days I totally revolted against prepackaged costumes. I found them so very offensive. I would have spent four times as much money and several days worth of my precious time sewing a Storm Trooper costume for my son -- with a soft-sculpted helmet -- oh, don't even get me started. (My firm resolve to simplify is wavering.) And a silver lame' dress for the little pop princess. With leggings and knee-high boots -- oh dear. And they would have looked stunning. I would have talked Ri into an equally expensive and difficult to construct costume. No way any kid of mine was going to wear a hand-me-down. How ridiculous I was! (No offense to those of you who are making beautiful costumes for your kids. I'm seething with jealousy on the inside.) This year I just don't have the time. And my kids couldn't care less one way or the other. Halloween will come and go as it always has. The kids will have fun. And I'll enjoy it, too.
This morning we were changing out the insulin in Riley's pump as we have done every two days for the past . . . seems like forever. That means, ugh, another "poke" in his belly. He's brave as all get out, but he likes a hand to hold when it's going in. And guess what. Not mine. He'll holler out, "Dylan! I need you." and his little brother immediately drops what he is doing and comes to take his hand. They don't talk while it's happening. They barely acknowledge each other. Except for their little hands gripping so tightly that the knuckles are white. As soon as the insertion is done and Riley's fear subsides, he loosens his grip and Dylan goes back to whatever was going on before. Not a word spoken between the two of them. But I feel the volumes of love expressed in that little action.
I've seen this scene played out literally hundreds of times. Sometimes I'm the one "poking". Other times not. Today as I sat and watched from a distance as Brent carefully prepared the site and the boys clutched hands -- the three of them in their own little huddle -- I was touched. And I have hope.
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 1 C. sour cream (or cream cheese)
- cinnamon and sugar
Mix cake mix and sour cream to form dough. Roll heaping spoonfuls of dough in cinnamon & sugar mixture to coat. Bake at 350* for 12 - 15 minutes. (This dough is very moist/gooey if you use sour cream.) Let cool at least 5 minutes on pan before removing to cooling rack.
Two thoughts: Prayers are answered. So be very careful what you pray for. AND, I may need to double up on my anxiety meds for the next week or so.
Does This Look Like a Good Idea to You? OR Why I Will Not Be Showering For the Remainder of Fall Break
I heard this fantastic idea in the planning stages as I was towelling off after my shower this morning. I'm assuming that you are filling in the blanks here. (See who can jump from the highest step onto the pillows and blankets. Yep.) I hollered out that this should not be happening and went about the business of personal grooming . As if my idle threat to not take them to the emergency room in the event of an injury were some sort of implied permission to continue at their own risk, I was greeted a short while later by the sight of my six year old flying through the air (from the 7th step -- boo yah) and landing on the wood floor just shy of all the padding. But no injury. I love Fall Break. This year we made it to Wednesday morning before my heart momentarily stopped due to a shocking lack of judgement on the part of one of my children. Not bad.
Strawberry Spinach SaladDressing:
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/3 C. sugar
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1/4 C. sliced almonds
8 oz. fresh strawberries
1 med. cucumber
1 small red onion
1 package (6oz) baby spinach
To make dressing, zest lemon to measure 1/2 tsp. zest. Juice lemon to measure 2 Tbsp. juice. Combine all dressing ingredients and whisk to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Ramen Noodle Chicken Salad1 pk. ramen noodles, crushed
3 C. cooked chicken, cubed
1/2 head cabbage, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 C. slivered almonds
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1/4 C. canola oil
dash of sesame oil
1 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. pepper
seasoning packet from ramen noodles
Combine cabbage, onion and chicken in large bowl. Add almonds and ramen noodles. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over salad. Mix well. Serve chilled.
Either one is delicious as a meal on its own (maybe with some yummy french bread) or as a side to something else (a grilled chicken breast?). Usually if I put this much thought into a salad it's all my family is going to get. That's how I roll. And I submit the many pictures of my lovely children on this blog as evidence that it's working for us. Have a nice day. Again.
Frito SaladThis is a recipe I inherited from my great friend, Tammy. It sounds a little weird, but don't knock it 'til you try it. It's delicious.
1 lb. ground beef, browned with a chopped onion and drained
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 C. shredded cheese
4 oz. Fritos
8 oz. Dorothy Lynch salad dressing
Cake Mix Cookies1 box cake mix (I'm using yellow tonight, but Triple Chocolate Chunk is a family favorite)
1/2 C. oil
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350*. Mix all ingredients to form dough. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Let cool 5 min. on the pan before removing to cooling rack. When completely cooled, frost with your favorite frosting. (I'm using vanilla with sprinkles.) Yum!
Riley was all business once he got into character for the Third Grade production of Where the Wild Things Are on Thursday night. It was very, very cute. Ah! I love that sweet little guy!
On a lighter note, I want that suit she wore last night. And were those RED PUMPS she was wearing?! I couldn't tell if they were red or if the red lights were reflecting off of shiny black. Believe me, I rewound and watched again a couple of times to figure it out. Either way, you go Governor Palin! She just sooo doesn't fit the mold of what we have come to expect from women in politics it's a little unsettling. At first. But the look definitely grows on you. Or me. Whatever. She looked fabulous!
A few things struck me about this quote from my baby. First, I admire the "positivity" and exuberance. I can't remember the last time I would have used that particular word to describe the way I felt at 6:30 in the morning. More than that, though, I admire the way he just assumes everyone is talking to him. It was quite obvious that the idea of me caring about anyone else in our home had not crossed his mind. Or if it had, he surely felt like I would also want input from him. He feels secure in his value to our family and he feels . . . well . . . awesome about it. Good for him! I love to start my day with a good chuckle.