Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Egg Hunt and the Ramen Queen

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . a little neighbor boy coming over to play. I'm glad Daniel likes playing with his big sister, but I think it's good for him to play with someone his own age, too.

. . . an early Easter egg hunt with lots of friends from church.

. . . hearing a little girl at the park squealing with delight when she saw her daddy arrive to join the Easter party.

. . . remembering an aria from Wright's Unfinished Opera di Ramen. During a finals week years ago, a college friend composed several operatic numbers about ramen noodles to demonstrate that anything sounds sophisticated when you sing about it in Italian. I sure wish he'd finished that opera.

. . . finishing everything on yesterday's long list!

And another thing . . .

. . . whenever I come up to my parents' cabin, I always stay up too late and eat way too many sweets. Good times.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Lots To Do

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . listing all the things I need to do in the next 24 hours. It's a long list.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . talking with other women in the ward about what they do for family home evening. I got lots of good ideas.

. . . finding something I lost.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Pixie, A Pirate, and Too Much Mint

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . another unfortunate encounter with some automatic doors that flatly refused to let Daniel open them. He cried the whole time we were in the store, and for most of the drive home.

. . . getting distracted and dumping way, WAY too much peppermint extract into some ice cream I was making. I tried to compensate by adding more of the other ingredients, but the resulting ice cream was still so minty that it literally made me feel sick. I had to throw it all away. Sad.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . making funny faces at Anna in the mirror.

. . . the big kids playing dress up together. Joy was a pixie and Daniel was a pirate (which, incidentally, raises the question why we encourage our children to dress up as murderous thieves with atrocious personal hygiene).

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Daniel and the Doors

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Daniel sobbing because some automatic doors swung open on their own before he could open them himself. I tried to prepare him for that phenomenon before we reached them again on our way out, but he was still just as devastated the second time.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . having lunch with an old friend.

. . . sitting at the table with Joy, eating slabs of homemade bread slathered with Nutella.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Matching the Apostles, Loving the Iranians

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . making a matching game for home evening. I printed pictures of the Prophet and apostles, then printed pictures of things associated with them (e.g. an airplane for President Uchtdorf, a gavel for Elder Oaks because he was a judge on the Utah Supreme Court, etc.). It was fun to read short biographies of the Brethren, and learn so many interesting details about their lives--everything from Elder Holland gaining a testimony of the priesthood to Elder Scott putting a train whistle on his parents' car.

. . . hearing a public radio report about an Israeli graphic designer who inadvertently sparked an small anti-war movement, simply by making a poster of himself with his young daughter holding an Israel flag, and adding the message "Iranians, we will never bomb your country. We love you." He posted it on his Facebook page, and soon thousands of other Israelis were asking him to make similar posters with their pictures. He has since started another Facebook page devoted to the posters and the idea behind them. It's appropriately titled Israel-Loves-Iran. While I don't know how much impact the movement will have on government policy, it brings tears to my eyes to see such poignant reminders that, while politicians may demonize each other's regimes, their citizens can still see each other as brothers and sisters in one big family.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Reckless Abandon is Overrated

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Joy giving me a big hug when I was feeling really down this morning.

. . . Anna eating like a champ during Sunday school. I officially love those baby food pouches that can squirt onto a detachable spoon.

And another thing . . .

. . . For me, “living with reckless abandon” involves staying up until 4:30am reading a book. And as in most cases, such living sounds energizing and liberating in principle, but in reality it becomes less satisfying the more hours you keep at it, and you end up deeply regretting it the next day. I woke up three hours later devoid of any cheer or energy, with the mental reserves of a gnat to cope with the petty quarrellings of my children over who got to turn on their bedroom light switch or press a certain key on the keyboard. It was one of those days when I wished life had a Restart button so I could just skip ahead to tomorrow. I’ve resolved not to read at night anymore unless Phillip is still awake. When he gets ready for bed, the reading session is over.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Burgers and Hugs

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Daniel running over to give me a big hug.

. . . having In-N-Out for lunch with the kids.

. . . Joy sitting on my lap while I tried to teach her to crochet.

. . . snuggling Anna.

. . . eating ice cream with my sweetheart.

. . . reading more of a good book.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Potatoes and a Pesky Bug

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . having some bug infect my computer when I tried to open a seemingly innocuous site. Fortunately I have a tech savvy husband who could fix things.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . getting potatoes planted in the borrowed garden.

. . . seeing my husband delighted when he found out what I'd made for dinner.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ten Cents and Tons of Wheat

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . making a really good and easy dinner in the solar oven. It was corned beef and veggies, of all things.

. . . sitting on the couch talking with my sweetie.

. . . finding an interesting preparedness blog with lots of info about sprouting. I've been wanting to learn more about that (yes, I'm a geek). Maybe I'll start out sprouting wheat in a mason jar.

And another thing . . .

. . . speaking of wheat, I hauled nearly my own weight in wheat in from the car today. The local home storage center sells 25-pound bags of wheat and flour at incredible prices, and since we use lots of both making bread these days I decided to stock up.

. . . Joy was supposed to share ten things at preschool today (they are doing a number unit, and today they were learning about the number 10). This morning we brainstormed things she might take (ten baby spoons, ten blocks, etc), and half as a joke I suggested she take a dime because it’s ten cents. Joy liked that idea, so we got a dime from her coin purse and headed off to school. I talked to her teacher after class, and she said at first everyone was confused because Joy brought just one item, but when she explained that it was ten cents it all became clear.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring Spatters

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . realizing that today is the first day of spring.

. . . Anna voluntarily opening her mouth so I can insert a spoon. Unfortunately, she has also learned to spatter food back out at high velocity if I slip some in when she doesn't want it.

And another thing . . .

. . . Joy asked to help me fold and put laundry away today. Usually that works out fine because Daniel is napping, but today he was awake and felt left out, so he became rambunctious and kept getting in the way. I suppose I could have tried to include him, but I think my brain would have overheated trying to involve two kids in meaningful ways and still actually get the laundry folded.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Shivers, Yawns, and High School

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Anna waking up several times last night.

. . . wishing I had brought a coat when I helped at Joy's preschool, because it was an unusually cold day and even the classroom was chilly.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . reading STM's recent post about her high school principal who inspired his students with his passion for learning and his love for them individually. The post got me thinking about my own high school experience. The administrators loved to tell us we were the “best” high school, but I think it was because they wanted to administer the best school, not because we had done much to earn that praise or because they respected us as students. I certainly never felt like they loved us. By contrast, I had an economics teacher at that school who genuinely respected and liked his students. He expected a lot of us because he believed we were up to the challenge and it would have been a disservice to go easy on us. I hated economics, but I loved that teacher.

. . . finding out that a friend successfully defended his dissertation this morning. For a PhD student, that almost as big a deal as getting married.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Day in the Life of Joy

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . watching the big kids play happily together while Anna looked on with bemused curiosity.

. . . bearing my testimony in Relief Society. It started out as just a comment on the lesson, but it ended up being my witness that God truly helps and directs us when we're trying to serve others.

. . . Joy and Daniel lighting up with excitement when Daddy came buzzing up the street on his motorcycle after a meeting.

. . . explaining to Joy what a journal is, and helping her start one. I forget how we even started talking about it, but I think it's fun that she wants to start one. Her first entry was: "I woke up. I ate breakfast. I got dressed. I went to church." I think she planned to write more than that, but we got distracted then left for Grandma's and came home late.

. . . catching up with Pink Grandma and Aunt Laura over dinner.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rain and Dynamite

This weekend . . .

. . . my not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . realizing that the day I had finally set aside for some serious gardening was also about the only day this month it was supposed to rain. Sigh.

. . . my favorite moments included . . .

. . . hugging my kids.

. . . smooching my husband.

. . . sleeping in on Saturday morning while Phillip watched the kids. Ah . . . sleep . . .

. . . my brother giddily emailing photos of his new Prius. It's fun to see someone you love get excited about something, even if it's just a car.

. . . watching Napolean Dynamite with Phillip and some friends. It was the first time Phillip had seen it, and though he dismisses it as silly fluff, he also laughed a lot and quoted it at least ten times the next day.

. . . reading the first few charming pages of next month's book group book. I would have read far more of it, but when I heard Phillip finish washing dishes it broke the spell, and I realized that I'd better get ready for bed or I'd stay up all night and be utterly useless the next morning.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Lunch and Rolls

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Anna rolling over. I made such a big deal about it that Daniel rolled over, too, to show that he is super talented, as well.

. . . bringing lunch to Phillip's lab, and meeting the other researchers he talks about so often. It was fun to joke around with them, and it's nice to have faces to put with names.

. . . making plans for the borrowed garden.

. . . snuggling on the couch with my sweetheart.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Socks and a Note

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . finding a note on my door this morning, saying, “Please be aware that the constant slamming of your door is very disruptive to your neighbors.” We are trying to teach Daniel to close the door gently, and he usually does, but he is an exuberant boy and sometimes he slams it before we can stop him. I cringe every time he does it, and I’m sorry to learn that the sound bothers our neighbors, too.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . finding some of Joy's old bubble cuff socks in a bag of random baby items. They are the only kind of sock I’ve found that consistently stays on babies, no matter how much they kick or crawl. I haven’t been able to find many in stores lately, so I was really excited to stumble upon these hand-me-down pairs.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Popping Corn and Seeking Daniel

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . spending forever cooking a recipe that produced lackluster results and lots of leftovers.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . playing hide and seek with Daniel. It was the first time he actually hid on his own, rather than just counting or hiding with me while we played with Joy.

. . . cuddling Anna.

. . . making caramel corn for our home evening activity. It's one of Phillip's favorite activities to choose, and I like that the big kids are both old enough to help in some way, even if it's just pushing the Start button on the microwave.

And another thing . . .

. . . I find that I don't like eating a big piece of anything, whether it's chicken or cheesecake. I'd rather eat meat shredded or cubed in something else (e.g. chili, curry sauce, quinoa salad, etc.), instead of sawing bites off a big slab of it. I'd also rather eat a bunch of little cookies than one big one. Not sure why.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Birthdays and Miracles

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . spending time with people I love at church, at a returning missionary's open house, and at a family birthday party.

. . . listening to a recently returned missionary talk about her mission, and the way God can do miraculous things in our lives. Sure, He can move mountains, but do you really need any mountains moved today? I don't. We're more likely to need help quitting smoking, keeping our tempers, feeling hope amidst our trials, or paying tithing and buying groceries when there's only enough money to do one of those things. God can help us with all those challenges, if we give Him the chance.

. . . writing birthday cards for my mom and Sean, who celebrate birthdays this week. It was sweet to take some time to think about the things I love about them.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Warm Walk, Chilly Bonfire

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . discovering that a beach bonfire we attended tonight was a lot chillier than I'd expected. It was still fun, though.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . taking a little walk with my family.

. . . making cookies with Joy.

And another thing . . .

. . . does anyone else think Daylight Savings is pointless, annoying, and should be done away with?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Good, Better, Awful

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . waking up feeling absolutely terrible. The good news is that Phillip agreed to stay home and help. The better news is that I suddenly started feeling better an hour later. The awful news is that my miraculous recovery occurred about twenty minutes too late for Phillip to go on a motorcycle ride with some friends (they were already on the road and he had no way to reach them). He'd been looking forward to that ride for days, and was so disappointed to have missed it for no reason. Man, I wish I had a time machine so I could go back and just tell him to go on that ride.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . hearing the big kids laugh together.

. . . eating See's chocolate.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Grooving and Other Cheesy Stuff

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . dancing around with Anna while we watched ourselves in the mirror and grinned like crazy.

. . . playing with the kids at the park. Joy was a bear, and Daniel climbed around on the big, fake rock (which was a bit unnerving to me, considering his habit of tripping, colliding, or otherwise injuring himself at least once every ten minutes that he's awake).

. . . attending a dance/workout class that Daisy decided to host in the church gym tonight. It was fun to get my groove on, such as it is.

. . . talking with a friend after class. I don't see her very often because our callings and the general craziness of our lives keep our paths from crossing much these days.

And another thing . . .

. . . I made a rather boring casserole the other day, and tonight I added some extra cheese to the leftovers, and they were much improved. Ah, cheese, how do I love thee?

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . making sticker art with Daniel. His muse called for Angel Moroni stickers, some tool stickers, and "lotses samwocks" (lots of shamrocks).

. . . having the missionaries over to dinner.

. . . finally learning the name of a stout beetle I often encounter in and around our apartment. It's called a shield bug, and apparently it's a good thing I always catch-and-release instead of smashing them, because they're also called stink bugs. I guess they're the city cousins of these stink bugs I've seen in the desert countless times.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Garlic Good, Steak Bad

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . cooking a lousy steak. I thought I had finally found a recipe that could help me cook it well, but the result was salty leather. Sigh.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . checking my garlic's progress in the borrowed garden. It's lovely to stroll in a garden in the cool of the day.

. . . copying Anna's facial expressions in the mirror.

. . . giving Joy a hug.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Friends and Shamrocks

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . helping out at Joy's preschool, and reading a bulletin board with quotes from the kids about why they're good friends. One boy said "I'm a good friend because I play with trucks and don't run over people."

. . . decorating shamrocks for home evening so we could put some seasonal decorations on our front door. I cut some green paper shamrocks out of construction paper and we glued them to some fancy paper plates, stuck St. Patrick's Day stickers all over them, then taped them to the inside of our door.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Isaiah and Tiny Socks

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Anna sitting contentedly on my lap so I could hear a lovely Sunday school lesson on the prophecies of Isaiah.

And another thing . . .

. . . I managed to dress Anna in a Sunday dress for the first time this morning. It was Joy’s old dress, and Anna looked adorable in it. Unfortunately, the socks I grabbed on my way out the door turned out to be newborn socks, so they ended up in the diaper bag and Anna went barefoot through most of church. She didn’t seem to mind.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Donuts and Lava

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . searching all through my cupboards for my crochet hooks. I was sure I own at least four, but I couldn't find more than one (until I found all the rest hiding in a little bag--turns out I own about nine, and two are still missing).

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . picking up some donuts as a surprise for my family.

. . . bringing home a spill-resistant pitcher so my increasingly self-reliant daughter can pour her own water.

. . . listening to The Irish Blues on Just wish the guy had managed to record the first half of the song, as well. Still, give a listen. You'll enjoy this one, Vonnie. ;)

And another thing . . .

. . . Joy's theory on the dinosaurs' extinction: "My best guess is that lava got them."


Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . waking up an hour later than usual because Anna slept in and Daddy fixed the big kids breakfast. Thanks, sweetheart.

. . . giving Daniel a good haircut for the first time (good=no glaring mistakes, and no blood drawn).

. . . listening to John William's theme from the movie Superman. It's truly a triumphant piece of music.

. . . going on a lovely date with my sweetheart. I love doing just about anything with him.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Books and Berries

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . bringing some blackberries home from the borrowed garden to share with my family. I tend to think of berries as a summer fruit; who knew they could ripen in winter?

. . . Pink Grandma coming over to play.

. . . giving flowers to a friend. She has watched our kids a lot lately, but she always makes it sound like we're doing her a favor by letting them come play. Bless her.

. . . going to my monthly book group. We spent an hour just talking about books we enjoy. I find that my favorite books are the ones where the writing is very engaging, and the book keeps me thinking long after I finish it. If I still think about it years later, and I enjoyed it enough that I could happily dive in and read it again, it's a winner in my book.

And another thing . . .

. . . Anna's still not that interested in solids, so I've started cheering effusively every time she allows even a microliter of food into her mouth. Perhaps it will encourage her, but either way it makes the whole process more fun for me.

. . . this afternoon I gave Daniel a big hug, then he said something I didn't quite understand. I had him repeat it a few times, then finally figured out that he was saying, "No smash Daniel." I gently kissed him on the cheek and asked, "Was that better?" "Better," he affirmed.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Power of Pretzels

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Joy waking up in the night with an earache. Thank goodness for Advil (and antibiotics once the pharmacy opened this morning).

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Anna smiles, Anna cuddles, Anna noises . . . pretty much everything Anna-related (except Anna coughs--I hope she gets over that soon).

. . . making and eating more pretzel treats with Joy. I tend to think of M&Ms and Hershey Kisses as fake, wannabe chocolate, but for some reason I find these things irresistible. I think it's partly the addition of the pretzel, and partly the fun factor--they look neat, and my daughter and I created them together.

. . . Daniel giving me a kiss goodnight.