Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Better than Gingerbread Men

I have this fond memory of my childhood with my mother: She used to make gingerbread men with me when I was really young. I am actually really thankful to have that memory, but when I shared it with my kids this morning, they asked if I had nice memories of them - so here they are:

When Kyle was born I loved (more than anything else up until that point in my life) the 3am feedings. I could sit and look at him and hold him and watch "I Love Lucy" or "Twilight Zone" while he ate. It was the best feeling ever! I loved when he was 2 and learning his alphabet and potty training which led to him saying that he went "Q" in the potty (think about it). I loved watching him when he was 4 play like he was a tank and shoot his fingers at the side of his ears. I love that he is still not embarrassed to kiss me hello or good-bye in front of his friends and he will be seventeen this year.

When Jake was little if he had been at preschool or when he was in elementary school I would always make a big deal saying that he had a new freckle on his nose when I picked him up. I would point at it and kiss it and he would laugh and say "stop mom!" but then once in a while when I'd forget he'd ask "Mom, do I have a new freckle today?" We also played the game "Who is the best mom?" I would ask, "Jake, who is the BEST mom in the world?" and he would respond, "Karen" and I'd start tickling him, so he'd say "No mom, wait stop." I'd stop tickling and he'd say, "Sister Mikesell," and the tickling would begin again. It would go on along those lines until eventually he'd kiss me and say that of course I was the best mom. I love that even though he says I am a big dork, I think that he still thinks I am the best mom.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Seriously So Blessed

I have completely plagerized the title of this post from one of the most entertaining blogs I read.

I did this not because I am trying to be like TAMN but because I am "Seriously So Blessed". Yes, we have been having some difficult times and I do have moments when I just want things to be different, when I wish we had 'disposable income' when I find myself jealous of the 'things' my friends are able to purchase that I can't fathom being able to buy. But really look at this:
Even though the idiot lights keep coming on in my car, I have a car that gets me and my family where we need to go. Even though I can't afford a new computer, we have food on our table every night. Even though I am not rich and famous I have friends and family that love me.

I am seriously so blessed...... and I am so thankful to God for all that He has given me in this life...

Friday, December 4, 2009

I Wish

Today I updated my status on facebook asking for a moment of silence for the motherboard of my seven year old laptop.
While it will still turn on and has stretches of minutes at a time before kicking me off the internet or blinding my eyes with the blue screen of death, said motherboard is dying and by the time I pick it up from Agent Anderson at the Geek Squad, she may be completely dead.
As I am wont to do, I expected immediate funny condolences from friends who would find my recent loss amusing or even slightly sad (I mean, it is a computer not a friend or family member!) After ten minutes of NOTHING, I have taken the status down and replaced it with "I Wish."
Because, I wish - unrealistically, that it would last another four years, that I had been able to keep my job for another four months (because that was how on track we had been to be out of debt!), that I had not suffered from oversharing at the Relief Society party Tuesday night, that I could give my children the Christmas that they want (and deserve), that I could afford to help out some of the people I care about who need it financially, that I could live closer to my dad, that I hadn't driven into the Patrick Henry parking lot yesterday, that I would remember to do all of the things I need to do and then do them, that I wasn't feeling so sad today.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Life is Good

I am brilliant.

Today (like many days) I had something remind me of one of my dearest friends. Unlike those other days that I have let pass without contacting her, I sent her an email (knowing full well that she never checks that address anymore, but that I would be able to send another email expounding on the story when I got home and she’d eventually get the message.) As good fortune, and Katherine’s ability to listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, would have it; she checked her email and at the top of the list of 1700 emails she was about to delete was mine in all caps I HAVE A STORY TO TELL YOU!!

She wrote back and gave me her phone number which allowed me to call her back and share my funny story of the small world in which we live that has brought another girl we knew 17 years ago, close to being (but thankfully not) back in my life. The story of this girl is best left for another time. The goodness of today was in the fact that I was able to reconnect with my dear friend.

Katherine has always been my biggest cheerleader and the person who has taught me that I am better than I always thought I was. She is the person who I have called (on too many occasions) when I needed a friend. I don’t have a lot of close friends, I have a lot of casual friends and acquaintances who I really like, but Katherine is my friend, my dear friend.

Today as we talked, I told her about my fears with this creative writing class I am taking and my fear about sharing my first story with the class – you know how bad it might be, how it might be mocked, how I might really SUCK at it, and how I have for most of my life tended to lead with my insecurity…

Well, for class this Wednesday the teacher sent out four of the stories written by my classmates. We are to read, comment and prepare for the presentation of these four stories this week. I just read the first story – and have to conclude that I am brilliant and have nothing to worry about. I wish I could post it here, but I can’t. I will eventually post my own story, but when I do... and you read it… please know that in comparison with some of the other stories.

I am brilliant.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

School Has Started.... For Me...

Last spring school really got busy and I had a heavy load keeping up with my classes but I finished 14 units with all A's. I even got a letter from the dean or president of Grossmont (whatever he is called) commending me and saying I was on his "list" Doug scolded me for throwing it away, but really, what in the heck would I do with it?

So this was my first week of classes for the fall semester. For the 3rd semester in a row, I dropped History of Rock Music (satisfies humanities requirement). There is no end to the cr*p I have gotten from Doug and now Kyle about this one, but really, I can do it next semester. I substituted an aerobic walking class which now gives me 12.5 units as opposed to 14, and I can take both next semester and have 12.5 as opposed to the 8 I would have taken.

Which brings me to my only night class. Last spring when I met with one of the school counselors to discuss transferring to a 4 year she noticed a not so good grade on one of my old - straight from high school - college classes (what a shock!) The class was listed on my transcript as "Intro to Fiction" I was halfway through that semester and taking "Intro to Literature" which was almost an identical class to the original class, but the counselor was certain that the 4 year wouldn't think it was the same class, so she said I needed to take "Intro to Fiction Writing". Freakin' scary.

I am pretty certain that there are TONS of people who want to write and be recognized for their writing, I am not immune to this desire, in fact, I have a number of "started" stories. But the idea of actually finishing one and putting it "out there" for criticism whether constructive or not is terrifying to me.

Last night was my first "Intro to Fiction Writing" class. The instructor, so far, seems really great and I feel comfortable because I like to think that I am a pretty well-read person so I can sort of "get" a lot of what she is saying. About 3/4 of the way through the class, she divided us up into groups of 4. My group was 3 boys and me..... let's call them Stinky, Sleepy & Twit.

Stinky was seated at the desk in front of me for the whole class and in addition to the obvious social disabilites this poor kid had he was also in some severe gastrointestinal distress. I don't think Sleepy really was you know, sleepy, but he was so quiet and by far the nicest of this male trio. Twit was just that. He brought his bike into the classroom as opposed to locking it on the bike rack three feet from the door, and if he had been sporting big bushy hair, he might have been Gerald Goode's twin. Twit was sporting a mac shirt, you know the one - with the bitten apple on the front. I had already spoken to Stinky and Sleepy, so in an effort at friendly humor I said to him: "I can see you are a P.C." Instead of words, I was met with a humorless smile. YIKES!!

really, this is the most scary of all my classes even math.

We began the "workshopping" exercise and Stinky puts forth what I initially thought of as a really overused, contrived and expected character (no I didn't say that out loud!) During his presentation, Twit was rolling his eyes, sighing and genrally giving off a very negative vibe, so I suggested a different type character. (I'm not really naieve enough to think mine was the better way to go, but I know it was more original) Twit then says "No, I'm really liking Stinky's idea" ooooookay. Each of us continue to give ideas; however, our moderator (scribe), Twit, didn't seem to hear anything I said. Until at one point, having shot down EVERY idea I contributed, I suggest a name for one of the characters (Twit doesn't hear) Sleepy heard me and repeated the name and Twit says to Sleepy "I really like that name you said!" ummm, Sleepy said "Oh, well, she....." Twit's eyes glaze over and he turns away. A few seconds later, as I attempt to give more input... you really just won't believe it... Twit says: "Shhhhhh".

Now, at this point I have a VERY QUICK mental debate over how to handle this situation finally deciding on the following exchange:

Me: "UM, did you just shush me?"
Twit: "oh, uh, what?"
Me: "Just now, did you really just shush me?"
Stinky: "I thought he did too and couldn't believe it!"
Me: "So - you just shushed me? Really?"
Twit: "OH NO! I was just about to say something and I sort of lost it."

Dang right you did - I could snap your scrawny little body between my thumb and forefinger!


Friday, May 22, 2009

Can't wipe the smile off my face....

Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE the Fug Girls? Well, I do. They are brilliant! And they have given me a smile that just won't go away. Never having seen a single episode of "One Tree Hill" I had no idea what a brilliant comedy I was missing! If you are a regular viewer of the show, I am sure that this episode was heart wrenching, but man I am still giggling and really I did need this giggle to help alleviate the pressures of my final papers!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


With some recent startling news, I have spent some time reflecting on myself as a friend to others. I am (of course in my own view) a pretty outgoing person, who has tentative moments when meeting people for the first time. I don't often meet people that I don't like, for the most part it happens after something has rubbed me the wrong way in their demeanor or actions and unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your view of the situation) I can rarely hide my feelings about those people.
The weird thing about me (of course in my own view) is that I am not a big socializer. I'd rather sit at home and watch tv with my kids and husband than go out with the girls, but I have been on a few 'outings' with my girlfriends! I have had exactly 3 friends since my husband and I got married that I have ever really confided things to, but I have lots of women who I really respect and love to be around. Most of the time, I really intend to call these women at one point or another and if I actually get around to doing it, I always enjoy when we spend time together (even though I felt like a tag along I had a great time with Justyn and Heidi when we went shopping for bags a couple of years ago) but that is just it! I can count on one hand the times I have actually called someone that was on my mind up and said, "Hey, let's go get lunch, or yogurt, or window shop or (fill in your own blank here)".
About a month ago, I called one of my friends, Alyssa to let her know that I needed to make a change in our trust and if she hadn't gotten her notary stamp yet to give me a call anytime she needed a notary since I had quite a bit of new free time and I had such a good time with her the last time we went to a meeting together and she said that no, she hadn't gotten her notary stamp and that she'd give me a call and we'd get together with our other friend Erin and have lunch again since it had been I think 6 months since the last lunch. You know.... the usual chat you have. And let me tell you, I love this girl Alyssa, she is smart and sweet and funny and I always wished she had met my brother in law before she met her husband (whole other story there!) For the last 3 weeks she has been on my mind A LOT! I mean I have thought about her at least once or twice a day and 4-5 days in the week and I have really meant to call her because obviously I need to etc....
To say you could have knocked me over with a feather when I got the call on Sunday night that she passed away the night before. Only 4 days after her 38th birthday would be a huge understatement. For the past couple of days I have walked around in a daze really kicking myself in the butt for not having called her when I obviously had been prompted to feeling like a big steaming pile of poo! (can I say that Alyssa would be the first to laugh at that analogy) It wasn't until I spoke to Erin that I started feeling a little better, but you should know (and if you are reading this I do mean you since like 4 people read this) I am so grateful for the pals I have and if any one of you needed me I would be there for you, and I promise if I get the prompting and you are on my mind - I won't be ignoring that one ever again..............