Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Despite my intense wrath at the terrorists who caused the ridiculous security measures - two kids, two strollers, and two carry-ons was no easy task - and Leighton's less-than-stellar behavior for the duration of the flight (except, of course, the last 5 minutes), we survived the plane trip.
Let the wedding festivities begin!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I have since cut my hair again, and it no longer looks like that. Maybe soon I'll post of picture of the new 'do.
Monday, April 27, 2009
So it was with anticipation we turned the movie on last week, still not knowing the reason behind the name. Now I have seen the movie, and I have a pretty good guess. I don't think this will ruin the movie for anyone who hasn't seen it, but I think the human heart weighs seven pounds. Is that right? The movie was pretty good. Not one I would buy, and probably not one I would watch again. But one part has kept me thinking long after the movie ended.
There is a scene at the beginning of the movie where Will Smith is on the phone with a meat salesman. It turns out the man is blind, and Will Smith's character is unbelievably cruel to this man on the phone. After he hangs up, he cries and lists several names, and at that point I looked at Andrew and said, "I don't get it." At the end of the movie, without giving too much away, Will's character (I can't remember his name) wanted to give a gift to the blind man and he was testing him on the phone to make sure he was really a good person. That he wouldn't spout off in anger after being treated so horribly.
And that's what got me to thinking. If someone had treated me in the way that blind man was treated, I most certainly would have lost my temper and yelled right back at him. The blind man remained calm and polite in spite of the insults being hurled at him. And after over a week of reflection, I have come to the conclusion that, according to Will Smith's character's standards, I am not a good person. I am far to quick to jump to the defensive. I am rarely understanding of the reasons behind people's actions and am quite self-centered in my view of the world.
Although I didn't LOVE the movie, I am struck with the lesson it taught me. Being a good person doesn't just mean going to church and reading my scriptures and fulfilling my calling and cleaning my house and all the other long list of things I try so diligently to do. It also means being slow to anger with those who treat me offensively. It means being more sympathetic of others' feelings. That is definitely not my strong point. It means treating others as Christ would treat them, even if I don't feel the same compassion toward them that He does.
I know that was probably NOT the main point of the movie. But it's what I took away from it. So I guess I'm recommending it to you, in a way. It made me think about my own way of being. And I guess that's what good movies do.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
1. This is not written to offend. If you are offended, please don't be. And if you still are, then leave me a mean comment. I don't mind.
2. This post is specifically geared toward dog owners. Although I prefer dogs to cats (because I am maniacally allergic to cats), I haven't noticed quite the same fanaticism in cat people.
3. The military, in my experience, seems to have an aggravated situation in the world of dog obsession. There are certainly people outside of that circle whose condition is equally grave, but it seems that a more concentrated population of, ahem, psychotically canine-loving people are in the military.
4. This is not directed to people who have both dogs AND children. (I have many family members who do, and their dogs are a part of their family. Not a replacement for their children, but a valuable and loved household member. That's cool.) This is only aimed at those who feel dog ownership can replace - nay, exceed - parenthood.
6. I am not a dog hater.
This post is the result of much thought on the subject of dog ownership. But one experience in particular has brought my (cynical) thoughts to the surface - and on the internet for all to see. This week I attended an event where several women went around the room introducing ourselves. When it came to my turn, I said my name and then, unsure of what else to say (I was only the third person to speak and it hadn't yet been clearly established how much to reveal about ourselves), I stopped there. The question that followed, for some reason, absolutely rubbed me the wrong way.
"Do you have any pets?"
My immediate thought was, "Why in the heck would that be your first question?" Isn't a more typical question, "Where are you from?" or, even better, "Do you have any children?" But PETS? You have got to be kidding me. I politely answered, "No. But I have two children." The introducing game continued, and when it came to said girl's turn, she said, "I don't have any kids, but I have two [insert breed] dogs, and I treat them like my kids."
That little event got my wheels turning and I've been pondering on the state of humanity ever since. And I have a few things to say.
I understand that dogs can provide good company. The affection one can feel for a pet is strong. Pets are a big responsibility, and in that way they are similar to children. Like plants, pets and children need food, water, and care. And if you go out of town, you have to figure out what to do with them. But there, I feel, is where the similarities stop.
How dare - HOW DARE - you compare you owning an animal to my experience of being a mother? Do you honestly think purchasing a dog even compares in any small way to the experience of physically bringing a human being into this world? Do you really feel that you going to Walmart and buying dog food is in the same realm as nursing a baby, with all the associated emotional and physical toll? If you have never had a child, you couldn't possibly understand the depth of love you feel for one of your own children - a flesh-and-blood creation that you had partnership with God in giving life to.
So please keep all comparisons of having dogs and having children to yourself, until you have children of your own. At which point, you will probably realize how foolish you were to ever think the two were comparable. Thank you.
-Andrew planted many things in our backyard. Raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, tomatoes, and rosemary. We still have a little cilantro leftover that miraculously sprouted, uncared for, in the garden which we have now put in its proper place. And that's just the backyard! In the front we have our herb garden: basil, parsley, mint, chives, and thyme. He's just a little gardener. Now I'm just patiently awaiting my fresh berries' arrival.
-I went on a girls' weekend with Melanie and Marelize. We got a hotel room in Seattle and had an absolute ball acting carefree again. No kids, no responsibilities, just us doing anything our little hearts desired. Apparently our hearts desired the world of retail, because we spent all our time shopping. And I loved it! I fell in love with Anthropologie - my first time going into that paradise - and I am now convinced that I need to get rich so I can decorate my entire house with purchases from that store. Obviously I walked out empty-handed last weekend. But that will not always be the case. It was so nice to get away for 24 hours and just relax.
-Leighton got his first haircut. It was time to get rid of the old man look. It's amazing how early we had to do his - Eva's hair was virgin scissors until the day before she turned 18 months. Little Bubba looks all handsome now, and ready for pictures at the wedding.
There. Now I can stop feeling so guilty of blog-neglect. Pictures and all - aren't you proud of me?
Friday, April 10, 2009
I didn't realize how incredibly hard it would be to find one that I like, now that I have had the perfect one. The binding on it is JUST right for me. It is spiral bound, but the cover goes around the spiral binding, protecting it from bent spiral - one of my greatest pet peeves. The pages' lines are perfectly spaced, and there are floral designs printed on every page, making the inside of the journal as cute as the outside. (Wow, I am realizing how OCD I sound as I type this.) I have looked at Target and Walmart - nothing that compares to my Hobby Lobby one.
Tonight, with a full-journal-and-nowhere-to-write situation fast approaching, I decided to make a special trip to a bookstore. They always have great notebooks, right? After the kids woke up from their nap around 4pm, we were off. As I approached the highway, I debated which store to go to. I have always been a fan of Barnes & Noble. I am rather loyal to that store, in fact. But it is about 30 minutes from my house. The lesser store, Borders, is only about 15 minutes from my house. I went back and forth - risk it with the kids, or play it safe? I decided to play it safe, go to Borders, and then stop at Michaels on the way home in case I didn't find my dream notebook at Borders.
So the journey began.
Eva threw a medium-sized tantrum in the Borders parking lot over the fact that Leighton got to sit in the stroller and she didn't. Mind you, when I bring the double, she will have nothing to do with it - she only wants the stroller when her brother is occupying it. After a drawn-out - and HIGHLY unsuccesful - trip in my least favorite bookstore, we left. ((Should have driven to Barnes and Noble. My loyalty is stronger than ever.) Dear Marelize invited me to go to dinner with her family, and I was excited to eat at a good Mexican restaurant. Michaels was on the way to the restaurant, so we battled the traffic for a few blocks and went in. NOTHING. Not a single notebook in sight, other than those stupid dollar ones that have like 10 pages.
As we pulled out of the parking lot, my children started to unravel before my very eyes. Well, my rearview mirror eyes, as I was driving. It was dinner time. I knew Eva would be fine once she got food in her (she's my daughter, after all), but Leighton is a different story. He's still at the age that his downhill mood is permanently downhill and probably not going back up until he is properly fed, bathed, and put to sleep. Traffic was absolutely horrendous, going about a block every 3 minutes, if that. With Leighton crying in the background, I called Marelize and sadly cancelled my dinner date with her. I stopped at Panda Express (I don't even like that place but it was convenient, and it's Andrew's favorite so it was in memory of him) for dinner. Eva ate rice and chicken in her carseat, using the inside of my drink lid as her plate, all the way home. Leighton got his much-needed bottle, and all was restored in the Webb van.
But as I sit here in quiet, I think, "All that for nothing?" I still don't have a journal. I have several hundred extra calories sitting in my thighs because I was out of the house at dinner time and ate crap food that makes me feel disgusting. And again I say, I STILL DON'T HAVE A JOURNAL. So now I'm looking online. The only problem with that is, I can't see the spacing of the lines to tell if I like the inside. Oh, bother. Back to square one.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
When my house is clean but my kitchen is dirty, I feel like the whole house is dirty. The opposite is also true: When my kitchen is clean but my whole house is dirty, I still feel like my house is clean.
Is this true for you, too? I have found that my kitchen is truly the heart of my home. It is where I spend the most time, during hours that I am awake. It is the place where we are most often together. Even though our dining table is not in there and family meals take place in the dining room (when Andrew is home), the kitchen is still where I find myself almost all day long.
As I have struggled to maintain a clean home and "make [my] sacred home a house of the Lord," (Gary E. Stevenson of the Seventy - wasn't that an awesome talk?), I have found a few stumbling blocks. Mostly, they come in different parts in the kitchen. This week, I am working on one of those: the dishwasher.
I am pretty good at rinsing dishes after they have been used. The dishes don't often pile up in the sink...unless the dishwasher is full of clean dishes. Which is often. I am REALLY good at loading and starting the dishwasher, but I have been known to leave the clean dishes sitting in there for a REALLY long time. Why? I don't know. I suspect it's mostly due to my nature of being a non-finisher. Like putting away clean laundry, I struggle with putting away clean dishes.
There is no reason this should be. It takes all of 5 minutes to put the dishes away, leaving a home for the dirty dishes in the sink. It's really just a mental thing. It's like a chore that looms over me until it becomes this big deal and blocks my productivity by making my kitchen a disaster. It's like the pride cycle in the Book of Mormon, only slightly less destructive and far more frequent in rotation.
So this week, I am trying to unload the dishwasher first thing in the morning, or as soon as it is clean (if I run it in the middle of the day). So far, so good. There are no dishes in my sink. My counters stay cleaner. I feel better about my home as a whole. Now if I could just become a consistent sweeper...
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
After the trip, we unpacked. The next Monday, I cleaned the house. Tuesday, I cleaned the bathroom, where I thought my ring probably was. It wasn't by any of the sinks where I normally set it. It's a pretty thick band, so I didn't think it could have fallen down a drain. The more time passed, the more inwardly worried I got. I tried not to say anything to let on how worried I was getting. I didn't want to admit that it could actually be lost. Yesterday I pulled out the vents in the floors to see if Eva had possibly thrown it down there, but it was nowhere to be found. I was out of places to look and had almost given up on finding it.
And then, a literal miracle happened. Maybe not like sight-to-the-blind caliber of a miracle, but in my book it was just as good. Tonight, just before putting the kids to bed, I was changing into my pajama pants. I keep all my pants folded on a shelf at the top of my closet and just sort of toss whichever one I wore on the top. When I threw my newly washed jeans up there, the pile toppled over and my shorts from yesterday and my old pre-pregnancy jeans, which I NEVER wear, fell into my arms. Rather than folding them up, I just kind of shoved them back up on the shelf.
And then, my ring dropped out of the sky and landed on my closet floor.
There is no other explanation, really. How the ring got in the top of my closet is a complete and utter mystery. If you know me, you know that I own VERY few pairs of pants and rotate them out quite frequently. I don't ever put my ring in my pockets, so I will never know how it got up there, and how it managed to free itself from wherever it was hiding. But I'm certainly glad to have it back on my finger again.
Monday, April 6, 2009
We spent the afternoon outside in the backyard under the shade of our big beach umbrella eating Wheat Thins and blowing bubbles. We ended the day by going with my friend Monique to a nice park not too far away. Eva loved it - she played with one of her favorite friends Roman and wandered to her hearts content on the play equipment. I lounged on a blanket, fed Leighton some cinnamon apple pear puree, ate more KFC, and basked in the end of today's warmth. (I really shouldn't have gotten a family bucket...I'm going to be eating that for a while. My eyes were bigger than my stomach, and the menu didn't have just chicken except in a family size. Oh well.)
I must mention, speaking of idyllic days, that I thought about my time in Nauvoo quite a bit today, as it is April 6th, the anniversary of the organization of the church. (How's that for a run-on sentence for you? I'm too lazy to fix it.) Oh, how that day changed the world. My world.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
That's all, I guess. Thanks for listening.