Thursday, July 27, 2006


Well, we close on our new house on Monday. I wish I had more than just the books packed. I am lacking in the motivation department. Plus, we are moving about six blocks so I can't seem to justify "packing" everything. Why wrap all my dishes in newspaper and then have to wash them all just to take them on a 5 minute car ride? So I think I will wait until Sunday to really start getting things together. We weren't planning on getting a truck. We were just going to take the seats out of the van. It is big enough for everything but the couch, and we had big plans for that including bungee cord, rope, one of those orange flags and back streets. But it seems all our well-tuned plans are coming to an end...

Ninety-nine percent of the time I don't mind that Luke and I don't have a lot of friends. I have a lot of philosophy surrounding married-life and social-life that are neither here nor there, but we certainly make do without a bustling social scene. Enter Moving Day.

We have no one to help us move. It is just Luke and I hauling and carrying all our furniture, all by ourselves. No family, no friends, no neighbors. Just us. When Luke interviewed for this teaching position, they told him a lot about the "community of teachers." They told him lovely stories about how they all pitched in to help each other out. A whole crew of teachers showed up to move the Junior High principal to her new house. They take care of each other here. Well, here we are one year later, and I have met just one, single solitary colleague of Luke's. She is fantastic. Unfortunately, she and her family are out of town. I once met Luke's principal at the High School...We ran into them at K-Mart. It was all very "Oh, you must be..." And "How nice to..." And then a lot of awkward standing and then a lot of walking away quickly. We have met no friends through church. I have made a whopping total of three women friends who have kids. None of their husbands seem keen on social interaction with us as a couple, and not a one of them volunteered to help carry the damned sofa. I also have no one to watch the kids during this process. I thought I did. It didn't work out. And then we asked one of Luke's students who happened to be working at a store the other day, and she happens to be off this week and she said that she "dug our kids" and would watch them. Later when I talked to her about it, she said it sounded okay, but if she couldn't her friend's sister liked kids and could probably watch them. And as much as I like the idea of relying on this girl's friend's sister whom I have never met to take care of my two children under the age of two, I have much doubt that any of it will work out...

Remember when I said I was not a freak? Maybe I am. I really don't seem to be able to find friends. I really don't seem to be able to keep them. A lot of people I know seem unreliable and, frankly, kind of jumpy by the very idea of a good solid friendship with me. I feel used a lot. And occasionally ,I feel really, really lonely. Like the kind of lonely that makes you want to shed a single tear...An Indian crying about litter kind of cry. But really, when the times in your life come up that you really need someone, and there is no one to be found...that's depressing. My closest friends live in Michigan, Texas, Oklahoma. I do sometimes wonder when I became incapable of making good friends where I am. I am in this sickly time-warp where all the great friends I have, I made a seven years ago. What's a gal to do?

So, none-the-less, we will be rolling up our sleeves starting Monday and we will make it work somehow. It might take us two weeks to move, but we'll make it happen. I thought buying this house was going to be this awesome thing that made me feel all grown-up and successful. But really, the last week has been bittersweet, at the very, very best.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

A Statement on Getting Older

Oh! It is SO embarrassing! Posted by Picasa

I seriously can't believe I just posted this on the internet! Where people with eyes can see it. This is actually how she fixed it in the salon. It is most certainly NOT what I asked for. With big ol' round face, bangs are not a friend. Not a friend at all. But I have found a way to fix it that is a little less...Man-ish and a little less mom-ish and a little more me. But it is still really, really bad.

I have a good friend named Nicole (Hello Nicole!). I like her because she is a lot like me. She came over yesterday and instead of saying, "Oh, it's not so bad! It's really cute!" she said "Wow, it really is short." My favorite part about that is I had previously told Luke that that was exactly what she would say. My main point being, no one need spare their criticism here. As Jill pointed out, I may HAVE a bad haircut, but at least I didn't WANT the bad haircut.

Which brings me to my statement on getting older: I am getting older.

I actually don't care so much about my hair anymore. I am actually glad it is so easy to fix. Only having an inch of it all over makes this an understandable fact. But I see it in so many other aspects of my life, and I feel...Well, old. It doesn't;t help that I spent the last year surrounded by high school students. They frequently reference bands I have never heard of, make jokes from movies I never saw and have the overall annoying habit of making me feel tired and worn-out in their presence. All those little girls with their stupid perky boobs and tummy shirts with streaky hair and fresh faces. I would leave the house feeling okay about myself, go to the school to help with a show and suddenly feel...Well, old. I take pride in leaving the house in a shirt that has not been thrown up on, and they take pride in EVERYTHING. That'll do something to your psyche.

But I wouldn't trade this for that for all the money in Solomon's kingdom. I know they are just a mess of nerves and sweat and smells and self-loathing. And I know all that time they pour into their appearances is never for their own benefit, but to produce an effect on someone else. That effect generally being a mask of self-confidence sprayed on with hair spray and a bottle of Cover Girl base. Thank God for adulthood.

After I had my two babies in a row, I laid in bed one night tracing my fingers over my road map of stretch marks that range from my ribs to my...Well all the way down. And I cried. And my wonderful, wide husband came over and told me a wonderful magical story. He said "Your body is the story of your life. Everyone of these marks shows that you made life. Every scar you hold is interesting. It means you have lived. If your body was the ideal of perfection, you wouldn't have much life in you. These things are beautiful." And while I think he's full of crap, it was a really nice sentiment. And it did make me feel better in general. But I am still unforgiving of my kids for ruining mommy's body. But as with all wounds, time has healed those, too. I feel fine about not wearing a two piece swim suit ever again. Frankly, without the stretch marks that would be a mistake. But I am not a child, not a teenager, not really even a "young adult" anymore. I am a woman. And with age, I have gained some wisdom and perspective about life. My body is my story. I'm proud of it.

Oh, and by the way, just see what happens when I use that "Your body is a story line with Luke the next time he complains about losing his hair.

But physically is the most minimal way in which I am aging. Do you know how many people I graduated from high school with are still living with their parents? Do you know how many of them are still regularly conversing with each other on My Space? Have never left their comfort zone? Are SO afraid of growing up? Have never made a new friend? All went to UCO? It makes me a little sad. But that isn't the half of it. I was chatting with a friend on the phone the other day and she says "We went out to a bar to hear some bands play and then we went to a club to go dancing." She's two years older than me. All I could think was "Do people do that? Have I become so wretched and old that I forgot that people GO OUT and have fun?" Last night for fun, Luke and I read each other Trivial Pursuit cards while I breastfed a baby and my other kid did puzzles in the floor. What a juxtaposition in lifestyle!! The last time I went to a BAR? Okay, I don't even remember the last time I went to a bar. The last time I visited Chicago and COULD have gone bar-hopping, I was pregnant. When did I spiral light years ahead of my friends. People I know and love and would like to have relationships with are living in a way that I can't even comprehend. I have to be home by nine every night because it is bedtime for Helen! But it's not just kids! Luke and I started living like this almost a YEAR before I got pregnant. We just sat around at night with maybe a single glass of wine chatting about politics. When did this happen? When did I start rocking out to Ben Folds? When did I stop smearing on the face paint and shaking my ass at night clubs? When did I trade curse words for poo and doody and frick? When did I buy that minivan? When did I start a savings account and start caring about taxes and the price of a gallon of gas and the environment and Jesus and kids and safety? When did I stop caring about everything else?

Oh that's right. It was when I grew up. When I started taking responsibility for myself. And through that started caring about and taking responsibility for others. And I wouldn't trade it for even a second to go to Cabo for the weekend and act like a fool and drink margarita's. And so...In conclusion, I don't really care about my stupid, bad haircut.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Wanna see it?

If given an outpouring of comments to that effect, I will post a picture of the extremely bad haircut I received today. And I assure is bad.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Some Stories

So, here are just a couple of stories from things going on in the Rush Home, and at the end, a little moral that I have been thinking about a lot these past few days...

Story One: Why I Fall Down A Lot

I fall down a lot. Not in a lovely allegorical way where I fail at things, although that is true. But in the most literal way. See, I am five foot eight (tall for a lady) and I am, let's say, top heavy. I also have incredibly small feet. Like size six. Like I can still buy kid's shoes. And because of this, I picture myself to be a rather large structure balanced precariously on a rather small platform. It is why I am a terrible dancer. And it is why I fall down.

So yesterday, I bit it big time. And alas, I cannot blame it on my feet. It is because I am also unabashedly clumsy. I was carrying a big stack of linens to the bedroom, forgot that we had moved a shelf out of the closet, tripped over it and fell...Hard. The shelf was one of those plastic things that holds underwear and socks...Like those crates you see in dorm rooms with the holes in the sides...Know what I mean? Well, two of my toes managed to get caught IN the holes (why I was walking with my toes apparently splayed so far out this could happen is a mystery) and in trying to disentangle my toes, I twisted my knee. I also broke a toe. I bruised another. I fell ON the shelf as I drug it along with me into the bedroom and commandeered a bruise over 3 inches long on my leg. BUT, I landed on the linens I was carrying. So all that falling, and I actually landed on some pillows! But the problem is, I never would have fallen if I hadn't been carrying them. They blocked my view of the shelf. Ahhh, they were my savior and my demise.
The End.

Story Two: If You Sing Loudly, Someone Will Hear You

For those of you who don't know, our house is in our landlord's back yard. It is like a little guest house with 3 bedrooms and 1500 square feet. We have a patio, but no lawn, and our kitchen window actually opens into the landlord's patio and yard area. Also, for those of you who don't know, I listen to country music. It's a dirty little secret. But I am actually trained in singing it. Take vocal lessons in a small town in Oklahoma, and they will actually teach you how to put that twang in...My high school choir teacher took four years trying to get it back out again. Anyway, I listen to it. And I like it. And I sing along with it...LOUD. Today, I told Luke, "If I'm gonna be barefoot, in the kitchen, I might as well listen to country." And so I was, barefoot, in the kitchen, doing dishes and belting out Patty Loveless with the stereo.
Luke takes the kids outside to play, and I actually turn the radio UP to sing some louder. And I look up out the window and see Earl, my landlord in his backyard. I slowly turn from the sink, pause the stereo and go outside to Luke. "You couldn't hear me could you?" He says, "Yes. Brother has been looking for you." "YOU COULDN'T HEAR ME SINGING COULD YOU?" I ask again. Catching on, Luke says, "No, I couldn't." in that way that totally meant he was lying. Well, I should have sold tickets.
The End.

Story Three: If the Landlord Can Hear You Singing, He Can Also See You In Your Panties

Tonight I took a shower. This is a blissful occurrence for me, because I admittedly do not shower very often. You show me a stay-at-home Mom with 15 minutes to herself everyday, and I will show you all my Unicorns and Rainbows with little pots of Gold at the end. So tonight I took a shower...With Helen. And when I was done, I went downstairs to get dressed. Now my parents are coming to visit tomorrow, so I have been cleaning like mad. And regardless of the fact that I do laundry about twice a week, we will always have about 5 unfinished loads. Kids are messy. So are Husbands. So I stop in the middle of getting dressed (oh, did I mention I am manic about cleaning?) to change the load of laundry that has finished. So I go to the dryer and pull out the clothes and pile them on my bed across the hall. And I am standing folding the laundry listening to the sounds of Luke and the kids above my head. They were all chasing a balloon around the upstairs when I left. And they are all laughing and thumping above me. So I have one of those really wonderful moments when you realize that life is really great and you have great kids and a great spouse and you realize that you are blessed and you REALIZE THAT THE CURTAINS ARE OPEN ABOVE THE WASHER AND DRYER AND THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE IN THE BACKYARD OF YOUR LANDLORD'S HOUSE AND THAT YOU ARE STANDING FOLDING A TOWEL IN YOU LITTLE UNDERPANTS AND THAT SLUTTY CROSBY STILLS AND NASH TANK TOP YOU LIKE TO SLEEP IN!!!!! It was truly a wonderful moment.

The Moral Of My Stories

I have long since outlived my desire to prove much of anything to anybody. Most of you who read this know me fairly well. You know I have always had a pretty easy go of telling people "what I really think." But the truth is, I spent years running scared and burning bridges and destroying relationships because I hated to think that people didn't like me unless I didn't like them first. Now there is truth to the fact that people generally really like me, or REALLY don't. That I have come to terms with. But the other stuff...the impressing people, the witty banter and pressure to BE...I'm just through with it. I just want to LIVE. RIGHT NOW. Like no body's looking. I want to fall down and sing loud and fold clothes in my panties BECAUSE I CAN. Because I love me. And because my husband loves me. And I got friends who love me. And if other people don't love me, well...Why would I want to be friends with that anyway!? I want to live everyday of my life like that day one year ago when Luke and I prayed and said, "Let's Move To Wyoming!" It was this crazy rush. There was a lot of giddy laughing. A lot of "OH MY GOSH! Are we gonna do this?" And we did. And we try to live everyday like that now. Lord, if I didn't do something everyday that would probably make most people think me certifiable then I just wouldn't be me. So my moral? Live life. Make the choices that are right for you (with the help of God and Jesus, of course) and right for the people you love. And if you are happy, you give Happy to others. Misery may love company, but being joyful sure rubs off, too. And embrace your life right now. Stop waiting for life to come to you. Stop waiting to start living it until you are at X point financially or until you are at X point in your career. Live THIS life. Find life in falling down and singing loud and acting like a fool. You get up every morning and put on your clown-suit. It's a way better way to live.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Helen Dancing

Saturday, July 08, 2006

PeaNUT Butter

Yesterday helen went grocery shopping with me at Albertson's. We picked up some peanut butter And the following conversation took place.

"This?" asks Helen.

"That's peanut butter," I reply.

"Penis butter?"

"NO! NO! NO!"

Laughing, "Penis butter!" and then louder in a shouting voice, "PENIS BUTTER!"

"Mommy says NO, Helen. Peanut butter. Just butter. Call it butter. Regular butter." Because at this point we were attracting more than a couple of stares.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Helen gives us a zoological lesson.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


This is a test. I'm trying to get video to post on my site, so I hope it works!

I am not a freak!

Okay, that may be a debatable statement to many of those who know me, but I have many issues of late that make me want to scream this statement from the rooftops. So, here are a few points on which I do not consider myself a freak, and wish people would stop treating me as such:

* I realize that someday I will appreciate my great genes. My Dad is mostly Native American, my mother Scotch-Irish. And so, I will manage to look about 15 until I am 30, and at 30, I will finally look 21 and so on. But I have two kids, and I have been married for nigh on five years and if one more person says something like, "You are TOO young to have kids!!" or accuses me of being a teenage Mom, or looks at me like I am trashy because they THINK I am a teenage mom, I'm going to explode. This situation is NOT being helped by the fact that my dentist has referred me to the Orthodontist for braces. Apparently I am grinding away all my enamel during sleepy-time. Can you imagine!? Like it isn't hard enough to look this young, now I get to wear braces?! And of course I cannot afford the really nice invisaline ones. No, I get regular run-of-the-mill metal braces. I would just like to ask that people who do not know me, stop making assumptions about my age and ability to manage my household. The other day a woman in a gas station asked me if "I was sure I had kids." When I said I had two, she asked how old. And I said, "nine months and twenty-one months." She said, "Oh, they are not that big." As if this discounted the importance of my having kids, or explained HOW it is that I have had them. Because clearly, to her, I am only seventeen years old.

* I am a Christian. But I am not a freak! Why can I not make any Christian friends? Why is it that the friends I have that AREN'T Christians treat me as though I have the plague? I am a Liberal Moderate. I make sure each day that I show love and not judgment. I am incredibly uncomfortable with evangelism and proselytizing. But at the same time, why is it that an Agnostic can shout from the rooftops what they don't believe in, but if I mention Jesus, suddenly I am trying to convert everyone? And why such disdain? I respect a person's right to not believe or to not know what they believe. Why is it that I seem to not garner any respect for believing then? And where are all the other moderates in Wyoming? There's LDS, I know where they are. And there's super-conservative Baptists...They've already kicked me out of their church. But where are the others like me? Luke and I go to the UCC church where we are the ONLY two people under 45. And I like people my parent's age, but I would really like some friends with whom I have something in common.
Here's an example of what I'm talking about in my life right now. I was on a trip to SLC with a friend and a girl she knows. This other girl is a "friend" of mine in the way that we both know some people in common. We start talking about the Mormon church. I know a lot about its history. She starts going on and on about how much she hates church and how Jesus isn't real and how she will never go to church because she doesn't buy into the "myth." Great. But I point out that there is little contention about the actual existence of Jesus. He was a real person, even if you do not believe he was...A spiritual figure. So she says, "Okay, well then I certainly don't believe he was God. I don't believe in God at all. The bible is bullshit. I believe in evolution. I believe we came from monkeys." Again, I calmly reply that no one believes we came from monkeys. This is not even remotely a scientifically accepted form of evolution. To say we came from monkeys is an exaggerated form of Darwinism, and is certainly not jiving with the actual evidence of evolution. I tell her that actually, I believe in evolution. I believe in Creation Evolution. I believe that God gave man and life in general the ability to adapt and live in its environment in order to sustain life. She looks at me dead-on and says...I kid you not..."Then I believe in the big bang." WHAT? WHAT, WHAT, WHAT???? I wanted to shake her. That's just contrary! I JUST WANT NORMAL FRIENDS!!!!!!! And I am a normal person!

* Last night was the Fourth of July. I think most of you know I am not...Overly sentimental about my patriotism. I like America, I'm glad I live here, yada, yada, yada. But last night at the fireworks display, there were people standing and saluting the FIREWORKS while Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" blared proudly from their car speakers. People hanging out of car windows shouting "WOO HOO!! AMERICA!" And of course the people almost setting me and my family of fire while they drink beer and set off fireworks in the parking lot of the fair grounds where we have gathered to watch the spectacle. EVERYONE was drunk. I was glad because it was a family affair and lots of little kids were running around and I thought it was a pretty good idea for everyone to drink and drive. But really, people are CRAZY for American holidays. Give them an excuse to drink and blow things up while waving the American Flag and they are set for life. Seriously...Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, Flag Day, Fourth of July, Columbus Day, President's Day, really, any three-day-weekend. I don't think I am a freak because I do not put this kind of great passion into celebrating my "freedom." But then again, I think a good war protest is a good way to celebrate my freedom. Because I'm a damn, dirty hippie. But, I am not a freak.

I have more on this. I am not a freak because I choose to discipline my kids and not let them act like heathens. I am not a freak because I actually LIKE my husband and am glad when he is at home. I am not a freak because I have a good marriage. I am not a freak because I had two kids and managed to LOSE the baby weight by choosing a healthy life-style of good food and exercise. I am not a freak because we do not have cable TV, and I have not actually WATCHED TV in over a month. Overall, I think I am a fairly well-adjusted adult who makes consciencious decisions about my well-being, the well-being of my family and the well-being of others and my community. But what I am beginning to think is that in this place, in this day and age, that may very well make me a freak. Thoughts anyone?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

You Don't Wear Make-Up to Yellowstone

The Family Posted by Picasa

So we went on a weekend jaunt to Yellowstone. We signed the first contract on a house on Friday, and decided it was time for a break. Buying a house makes me die a little inside. I had no idea how much goes into it...But I digress. We made a last minute reservation to an over-priced lodge in Jackson, threw some stuff in the car and headed north.

We were in Yellowstone from about 11:00 AM until after 9:00 PM. We saw a total of maybe six sites. It's a really big place. It takes almost an hour to get from one place to the next because you keep stopping in between to take pictures of bison and deer that are actually too far away to even show up in a photo. But it is a lot of fun.

It smells like crap most of the time because all those geysers are spewing sulfur in the air, and maybe you go to eat lunch and miss Old Faithful erupting even though you are about 50 yards away. And since you don't want to wait another 94 minutes, you go onto the Norris geysers and realized you just wasted an hour and paid $40 to eat a sandwich. Again, a lot of fun. So you drive around taking pictures of everything and getting out and walking 2 miles to look at what may or may not be something very interesting, and if it IS interesting or beautiful you can guarantee that there is a very stereotypical group of tourists (I'm not saying who, you can draw your own conclusions) taking a pictures of everything and everyone and basically blocking the view anyway. Oh, then there is the part where you really love to hike and consider yourself in pretty good shape, but underestimate how hard it is to climb a mountain carrying 30 pounds of squirming kid on you back and you have a little asthma attack and didn't bring an inhaler and instead have to do Yoga breathing to keep your chest from exploding. And the rest of the time, you are pushing a 40 pound stroller containing 60 pounds of kids. Oh, have I mentioned I have totally ripped biceps now that I have two kids?

So, then, maybe we go to one of the more tourist-y spots and I run into the lady who owned the Day Care I managed in Shawnee and we both pretended to not know the other because, let's face it, we never got along and parted on pretty bad terms (hey, I was 37 weeks pregnant and she was trying to withhold my maternity leave)! It's a small, small world. But again, overall it's fun.

I know I am making this out to seem horrible, but we seriously had a great time. The kids just soaked it all up, and you just can't even imagine the kind of pretty that God managed to shove into such a small space. I felt renewed. Awesome. And we took a lot of pictures. And this is where the title of this post comes in. When you are going to a National Park, and you know you are going to be hiking and walking and sweating and sunscreening and insect-repelling, you DO NOT wear make-up. Unfortunately, this is also the time that your family starts taking a million pictures, and you are smiling in each one with white zinc-oxide chap stick with SPF clinging to your lips and no visible eye lashes, or eye brows for that matter, and you are splotchy and freckley and well, gross. It gives the effect of looking healthy and dead in every photo. So, all those wonderful pictures of our fam at Yellowstone will be cataloged next to "Pictures taken right after I had a Baby" and "Pictures where I have been sleeping" and other situations in which you do not want others to know what you really look like.