Friday, July 25, 2014

Pioneer Pride Up in Here

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I woke up this morning and googled Pioneer Day Utah because I really didn't understand if we were celebrating the day Utah became a state, or the day Brigham Young said "This is the place" or the day the pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley. I am 37 years old and I never really got it.

(The answer is C, by the way.)

We went to our ward Pioneer Day breakfast at the park where we celebrated our foreMormons by eating pancakes the young men cooked and playing tug-o-war and three legged races. I think there were more games but my girls ran off into the depths of the park and I couldn't find them for about fifteen minutes and after that I was sweaty and sorta swear-mouthy and so I headed home.

Funny, I complained about walking home from the park, which is--across the street, with a stroller containing a crying baby and two young girls who also complained about riding their little bikes up a slight incline and also that the bottles of orange juice the ward supplied were warm. WE WOULD'VE MADE HORRIBLE PIONEERS.

After that we headed to my sister Page's cabin where we continued to celebrate with BLTs, frozen fruit bars and Cheetos. Oh my gosh, can you imagine walking the plains without Cheetos! That's literally what our ancestors had to do.

Then we went home, watched Honey I Shrunk the Kids, ate Ramen Noodles and had a little photo shoot with our newest pioneer princess, Iris, in a hat and booty combo our friend Cari knit, on a quilt our friend Gretchen made:
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Then we made her sit in a wicker basked that Kmart made:
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During that exercise my neighbor Paula yelled over the fence and asked us if we'd like some string beans from her garden and then hoisted a huge garbage sack over, and that turned into everyone's favorite Pioneer game which is called "Cover the Baby in String Beans."

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Which for some reason reminded me of this outfit I used to wear every Pioneer Day evening when I was first married to Christopher. It was a vintage, red lacy pair of bloomers with a matching red lacy fringe top that I bought in a boutique in Haight and Ashbury which I LOVED and Christopher HATED but somehow became a tradition in our marriage that I'd wear every July 24th...until I couldn't (ahem) fit in it anymore. But anyway, I think my Pioneer sisters would've given me the fist bump for that thing.

Have a nice weekend everyone.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Doggoneit, People Like Me

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I write this down because this is how I am living my life right now:

I wake up every morning, plant my feet on the grass outside my bedroom door, and say to myself, (fully recognizing I sound like Stuart Smalley) :

"I like you. I accept you. I am going to take care of you today."

Then I say it to the earth.

"Earth, I like you. I accept you. I am going to take care of you today."

And then, I systematically go through each child and say the same thing to them. And add,

"Will you help me by taking care of yourself as much as you can?"

(And I would say it to my husband if he were here and not in New Jersey or North Carolina or somewhere. And then I'd ask him to repeat it back to me. THIS IS ROMANCE, EVERYBODY.)

But today I was thinking I could actually add a long list of things I could say this mantra to in my life--even things that aren't living:

"House, I like you. I accept you. I am going to take care of you today."
I won't dwell on the many many many many home improvements I fantasize about on a daily basis.

"Minivan (Dragon's Breath) I like you. I accept you. I am going to take care of you today."
Even though I'd prefer maybe a white van with doors that close by themselves and a DVD player that actually worked...

"iPhone, I like you. I accept you. I am going to take care of you today.
 I won't let you distract me all day long.

"Provo, I like you. I accept you. I am going to take care of you today."
I am NOT going to spend the day wishing I were on vacation somewhere...ANYWHERE...else.

"Food, I like you. I accept you. I am going to take care of you today."
I am going to taste you and notice your texture and not abuse you or restrict you for vanity.

"Blog, I like you. I accept you. I am going to take care of you today."
Which I guess means, I am going to keep you freshly updated, and delete ugly comments.

Anyway, you get the idea.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Chasing the Rain on a Sunday Afternoon in Provo

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A writing exercise:

Sunday was unbearably hot. The air in our house was sticky and heavy, filled with busy flies swirling around our bodies. The children continually broke into choruses of cries caused by siblings and boredom both. The swamp cooler smelled like swamp.

"It must be raining somewhere close to us," I said as I fanned myself with my hands, sprawled on the ottoman barely able to move.

And then it occurred to me that I should put the kids in the car and go chase the rain.

We didn't even bother with shoes, we climbed into the car with anticipation and sweat.

We started at the top of the mountain to get a full view of the entire surface of our valley. The clouds were dripping at the far end of the lake, directly west of us.

We set out on Center Street--passing the craftsmans lining the road, through a quiet downtown with red, white and blue flags flying straight on the buildings and rooftops. Then to the rural part of our town--fields of corn and an occasional snoozy horse or two. And just as we entered the Utah Lake State Park our windshield was hit with drops.

Drop. Drop. Drop.

And then a downpour. Dousing the fisherman on the dock, drowning the boaters in bay, splattering the choppy, gray waves as they roared in the wind.

And then it was over. The storm left us behind on a determined pathway to the east. At the end of the rocky shoreline we exited the car barefooted and liberated. The rocks smelled like rain, minerals and earth. And yellow gnats zipped around our heads.

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My phone beeped. A message from Christopher.

"Come home, it looks like it's about to rain."

And so we turned around and chased it back, passing the sopping horses, the thick corn fields, the empty downtown with the flapping American flags, up towards the craftsmans on Center and home.

Just in time to catch the first drop.

Drop. Drop. Drop.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Dear C. Jane, What's that Returned Missionary Guide for Sisters book?

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Q. I thought I recall you mentioning a book a friend of yours wrote or compiled that was a great read for return missionaries trying to re-adjust to post missionary life.... If so, what is the name of it?  My sister comes home from her mission in two weeks and I wanted to buy it for her.

A. Nicole, you were not dreaming this book really exists. It's called Tell Me About It, Sister: A Guide for Returned Sister Missionaries written by my friend  Andrea Faulkner Williams.
(Sister to your favorite craftster The Alison Show)

This refreshing book is oozing with personality--written in a fun, familiar voice. It covers everything from depression to relationships and wardrobe encouragement. Why wasn't this written when I came home? I had to bumble about making really awful choices.

Hint: unless you're certain you REALLY like him, DON'T MAKE OUT WITH YOUR FORMER DISTRICT LEADER OK? Yikes, learned that one the hard way.
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You can buy them online at Amazon AND the BYU Bookstore! Online here or in-store.
Go get 'em Cougars! Grab some chocolate-covered cinnamon bears while you're at it.

p.s. I was honored to write the forward of the book. Only, after getting my first copy I realized my ending was a little weak. So if you buy this book for the RM Sisters in your lives (and I think you should) before wrapping it up in a little bow will you edit my last line please? Like this:

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Happy Reading!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Dance Love!

Happy Friday! I can't believe I posted 4 times this week! I must be coming back into my body. Does that sound weird? That's how it feels to me.

I wanted to share this video with you, it's DANCE LOVE by the Millennial Youth Pirates featuring Mindy Gledhill and the dancing luger Kate Hansen. WARNING: it's a catchy little number and you might be listening to it all day. Also WARNING: I have a dancing cameo with Mayor Curtis. ANOTHER WARNING: There is a shot where I am NOT dancing because I am trying to control my bladder.

But you'll be happy to know that as I come back into my body I have more bladder control. Oh my gosh why do I share these insights into my life? I guess I have dignity-insensitivity?

Anyway, enjoy: