Monday, June 30, 2008

A Monday Melange

Melange: (fr) a mixture of often incongruous elements

Element #1: My new digs at the school. With my new responsibilities at school I needed to move offices. Hated that. Big time. Big Mess. Big Headache. Done.

I know it's nothing to you, but it's "office sweet office" to me.
(Lisa Marie & it big and you will see some really cute kids on my bulletin board!)

I think I missed my calling, maybe I should have taught kindergarten.

This is the cool part, Lauralee from writingonthewall, soon to be
made this vinyl lettering for my wall. It is 12' across and we love it!! Lauralee reads my blog and told me about her business. This is so cool!! She is also doing some things for Lauren's reception. I will post pictures of those soon! Go check out her stuff, I love it. Thanks Lauralee!!

Element #2: Before I started working at the high school, I catered. I loved the creativity of coming up with new things and meeting new people. It was a lot of fun, but I gave it up when I got hired by the high school. One of my most requested salads was a tomato salad. I am sure most everyone has their own version, but I thought I would share mine. It is Byron's family's favorite!

2-3 lbs of tomato, on the vine are the most flavorful
1 bunch of fresh Basil
1/2 large Red Onion
8 oz Monterey Jack Cheese
1/2 a bottle of Wish Bone Red Wine Vinegarette
2 tsp. sugar
freshly cracked pepper
Large croutons

Cut the tomatoes into eighths and then cut those wedges in half. You want them chunky.
Chop onions into chunks. Cube cheese. Cut Basil into thin slivers. Sprinkle with sugar (this helps cut the acidity of the tomatoes and dressing) Add a pinch of pepper. Shake dressing and pour over salad. Serve with croutons on the side to add to the salad.

Most people use mozzarella cheese, Monterey jack is a creamy, more flavorful cheese. Trust me, it's good!!!

Element #3: The question of what I am going to wear to the BIG event is still up in the air.
I did order the last black dress in the cocoa color and then both Diane N. and Lolo emailed me this dress:

What do you think? Is it too young? Too full? Remember, I'm squat. (it's kinda low, at least the girls will get some air.)

I bought this at Coldwater Creek to wear to the temple. We got a letter, no one but the bride is supposed to wear fancy. I think this is nice and simple.

Element #4: "My shrink says....Blog!"
"Why do people write confessional blogs? It's a creative outlet. It's a form to vent. It's an exercise in exhibitionism. To mental-health experts, though, it's more than that: a blog is medicine."

A short article in Newsweek touts the benefits of blogging according to a new study. It states that blogging is better than writing in a diary, it fills the need for sympathy, it is high intimacy with low vulnerability. In other words, it's good for us. It fills a need for approval and sympathy without the commitment.

So allow me to be personal here...see Byron? All these hours on the computer ARE worthwhile. Would you rather me blog an hour a day or would you rather pay a shrink for 7 hours a week?

I thought so.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A modern day miracle

As a mother I am always looking for faith promoting moments so that I can teach my children. Like the time Lauren's fuel pump died in the Nevada desert and after a prayer I knew what to do. Or the time Byron was supposed to have a surgery that was risky and the Dr's didn't want to do it. After a blessing another solution was proposed and worked. I never fail to point out the greatness of these modern day miracles.

Today my friends, another miracle happened at our home. Maybe not quite on the scale of the two mentioned and Moses parting the Red Sea, but a miracle nonetheless.

After much sacrifice and hard work...

For the FIRST TIME EVER IN 26 LONG YEARS...............

Byron's and my cars are sitting side by side in the garage.
They are co-habitating, just like us inside.
This may not seem like a big deal to you, but it honestly is the very first time EVER. I am not
known for my clean garage. I realize that most of you probably have your cars sitting blissfully side by side, out of the elements. We don't. Byron is SO happy.

But I'll tell you, there's a bigger miracle coming. Yep.

It will be ME getting into my car using the 8" Byron has left me. That skinny kid had to turn sideways to pass through. (See...we are ALL excited about this) Um, Byron sweetie? How do you expect me to get INTO my car now? Have you seen the size of my butt?
Take a good look sweetie.

Or not.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

And the Mother of the Bride wore...

The worst part of this whole wedding thing has been finding a dress for moi. What do you put on a short, squat, round body that would instantly melt away tonage? I believe I am going to opt for a gunny sack with sparkles. I still have my Bedazzler from the 80's, in all the garage cleanings for the past 20 years it has been spared JUST IN CASE. I'm thinking now is the time to dust it off.

I have ordered no less than nine dresses. Nothing looks good. I hate it when people say that, NOTHING looks good. But trust me, nothing looks good.

Here's a sprinking of what I have found:

NO comment needed.
okay, one comment, Speaking of the 80's.....

Oh yeah, this is so appropriate for an almost 50 year old at her daughter's wedding.

Brought to you by Omar the tent maker, I would feel practically biblical in this. Plus, just love a dress that you can see the shoulder pads.

This would look fabulous with MY hips. After the reception I am already dressed for late night salsa dancing.

A little matronly don't you think?

I could do a little Anna Nicole. Seriously, this was in the Mother of the Bride section!
Think Lauren would like her hootchie mama to come to the reception?

If I were six feet tall this might work. I think at 5'3", it's a little much.

So, I think it is coming down to these two. The black one comes in a cocoa color and a pink. What do you think? What's your vote?

Oh, remember I do love to accessorize....

Monday, June 23, 2008

She's not an insult

Anyone who reads my blog knows my daughter, Rachel. To me, she is beautiful. She has gorgeous dark hair and the darkest brown eyes. Her smile is constant and priceless. She has many talents and has a great future ahead of her, probably better than mine. And, she is retarded and there is nothing wrong with that.

I realize that blogging is supposed to be lighthearted and fun, but sometimes, it can also be a forum for education. 'Retarded' according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is an adjective, a describing word. It means: " slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development or academic progress". Oxford's defines retarded as: less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age. Lastly, Webster's says almost the same wording and then adds this: "People who are born with severe learning disability and with an IQ lower than --- are called mentally retarded. HOWEVER, the word 'retarded' has been abused as an insult."
(Webster's online Dictionary)

I went out shopping today; on four separate occasions I heard others use the word 'retard' as an insult to someone else. "Hey's the blue sweater you were looking for...!" "Hey dude, retards like you ..."

This makes me cringe and want to lash out and totally lay into them verbally. My sweet daughter is NOT your insult. Absolutely no one with a disability of any kind enjoys it or wants it. Given a choice I am sure Rachel would pick "normal", I am sure at almost 25 she would want to be married, maybe with a baby, excitedly planning her sister's wedding. She and others like her didn't choose their disabilities; life happens, genetics happen, accidents happen.

I sometimes think of all the wonderfully perfect spirits inside damaged bodies or brains and I wonder, do they understand other people's unkindness? How hard it must be to have a perfect spirit trapped in a body or mind that doesn't work as it should. Why did it become okay to use a medical condition as a slam, a derogatory term, an insult?

We all struggle as parents to teach our kids and there are SO many things that are truly important to teach them. Is how we talk about others one of the really important things? In my house it is. In a world that is increasingly more casual about the value of human life, I think respect for others is slowly going by the wayside. It is perfectly acceptable in today's world to throw really nasty, demeaning words at others.

There are quite a few people who read my blog that have children with some form of disability, I am sad for them for the dreams that won't come true. I am deliriously happy for them at the same time because of all the wonderful lessons and experiences they and their families will learn from their special children. I am also happy for the knowledge that this isn't all there is in the eternal scheme of things.

Have you heard the word "Special "? (Not the Saturday Night Live inflection of the word, but the REAL word.) It means "set apart and above, with extra recognition." Another definition is "extraordinary, exceptional." What fabulous meanings. My daughter and the hundreds of thousands like her are Extraordinary and Special, they are not your favorite insult.

(This blog is aimed at no one but the insensitive louts I heard today. Some days, most days, I don't care and just think them to be ignorant. But my dander up big time.)

Friday, June 20, 2008


It is 11:30 at night and it is still 95 degrees. I don't remember moving to Arizona. Since my brain is fried from the heat and my Lolo tagged me and I have no brilliant ideas for a blog:

4 things I am looking forward to in the coming year:

1. Lauren and Skyler's wedding
2. A new Seminary class
3. A new season of Project Runway
4. Learning something new everyday

3 Joys in Life:

1. My family
2. Spending time with friends
3. A great book

4 Movies I have watched more than once or twice:
1. The Sound of Music (which I have memorized)
2. Gone with the Wind
3. Steel Magnolias
4. Fiddler on the Roof

3 Fears:

1. Someone I love dying
3. Drowning

4 Favorite Foods:

1. Shrimp
2. French Toast
3. Potatoes made any way
4. Berries

3 Goals I have set for myself:

1. To be a sweet, non-psycho mother in law

2. To get my sewing machine busy this year
3. Be more patient

4 TV Shows I watch:

1. Project Runway

2. Survivor
3. Friends (i know, they're in reruns)

4. Iron Chef!/ Top Chef!

3 Current Obsessions:

1. The Wedding
2. Blogs
3. The Wedding

4 Places that I have visited:

1. Italy
2. The Caribbean

3. Washington D.C.
4. Alaska

3 places I would like to visit:

1. Germany
2. Ireland/England
3. The Holy Land

4 Random facts about me...

1. I drink a 32 oz Diet Pepsi every day, mostly ice. I know, I'm going to rot.
2. I went to Girls' Camp for 24 years. LOVE it.
3. I love to be really tan
4. I once hitchhiked from Wells, Nevada to home in California in a teenie tiny little orange sundress.

In an effort to get to know you better, there are 3 that I tag:

1. Mombabe
2. Linsey in the camper in Utah, formerly of Peru
3. Jen of the Friday Flashbacks

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday Wedding Update

45 Days and counting!

First of all, last week I posted about inserts in wedding invitations and asked for your opinions.
Who knew that this would bring out the OPINIONATED in all of you!! I didn't just get comments, I got novels. After much thought I have decided to...

It was such a fun weekend with Lolo and Skyler home. They are so excited! This is partially what we did...

Went to the florist to pick out flowers. None of these Lillies or the MOB will have to enjoy the play by play from a hospital bed, major allergies to these beauties. Almost killed me to take the picture.

Went to the Tux shop, no we aren't getting brown tuxedos, just threw this is in to make Lauren mad at me.

We showed Skyler Grandma & Grandpa's back yard where the reception will be held. I forgot to take pictures of all the grass. He seemed to like it.

The bridal shower was the ultimate! So elegant and so fun! Check out the desserts, and there were pink & brown dipped strawberries, so yummy!!

See's candy shower favors. Yum.

Skyler got the inquisition from friends and family. He was a great sport!

In amongst all the fun, we managed to sneak in a dental exam. Dr. Dad used the light from Jeff's cell phone. Hi-tech huh? He needs a filling on #19.

SO NOW....
We are in full swing Wedding Mode.... It has taken over our home. We get a delivery a day, seriously.

This is the "Wedding Closet".

In here we have the paper china balls, the plates etc.. the frames, the votive holders, the invitations, and the start of a lot of 7-Up. I can only buy 10 at a time. Bummer.

This is the wedding living room, with 20 cases of Jones Soda stored in it. Also organza, pictures, ribbons adds a lovely ambiance to the room. I'm sure everyone would like to decorate with cardboard like us.

This is the invitation station. Here we are tying bows, adding pictures, addressing inner envelopes, affixing stickers, etc. My friend Vicki and I got through 90 tonight. 1/3 of the way. We were so pooped we had to go get ice cream after. That's what good friends do, they share the work and the calories.

How cute is this? LOVE THEM!! The bride and groom love them too! More bow tying, yippee.

NOT add "we are registered at..." inserts to the invitations.

Coming attractions next week...the BEST of THE BLOGGING SHOWER !