Monday, March 31, 2008

Pillow Talk

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“Honey, I love you.”

“I love you too.”

“Do you really?”




“How much?”

He turns over. “Do we have to do this right now?”

“HONEY. I’m just saying - I really, REALLY love you. I really do.”

“You mean, as opposed to my fake love.”

“I know you love me, but I love you so much that sometimes I think my head might explode. I love you so much that if we weren’t already married I might stalk you. That’s the kind of love I’m talking about. Do you love me like that?”

(Long silence) “Hon, I’m really tired.”

“Clearly, our love is dead.”

“Go to sleep.”

“How can I sleep knowing you’re all cold and dead inside?”


“If I had a stroke, would you put me in a home?”

He fake snores.

I steal back some covers. “Fine. I'll leave you alone. But I can't believe you won’t even say those three little words before we go to sleep.”


“But you didn't really MEAN them."

“Here’s three words for you, and I really, really mean them: YOU’RE A DORK.”

“So romantic.”

“And yet, so true.”

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I'm Still Alive...

Pin It I keep meaning to blog. Funny little things happen and I think about writing about them, but when I sit down to write, I just want to spill sadness all over my blog.

We're busy packing and organizing. I'm spending a lot of time doing what I've done ever since I was little to cope with stress (um, besides eating) - making list upon list upon list of things to do. I keep thinking that if I can get all of the things on the list done, everything will be o.k. The lists don't just contain the obvious things like turning utilities off and forwarding the mail, they contain things like "take pictures of the kids with their friends," "play outside as much as possible on Friday," and "make the last few days special" (something I'm just not sure how to do, in the middle of packing and organizing and cleaning).

Carter is extremely confused about the boxes and the whole concept of the move. I know he's going to be very upset once he realizes this is permanent. I packed a few of his teddy bears, ones that sit up on a high shelf in his room, and he became nearly hysterical, so I've decided to wait until the day before we move to pack up his things. The girls are apprehensive but also a little bit excited. We've promised to visit (a promise I'm taking extremely seriously) and I think that's helping them to feel better about the move.

I've been working very hard to keep a stiff upper lip, to look forward to the good stuff, to try to keep the kids excited and positive. I've tried to be glass half full about it. But last night after my husband and I crawled into bed after packing a few boxes, I just fell apart and cried and cried and cried.

I don't want to make them leave. The weather has been beautiful and they've been playing outside with their friends for hours and hours every afternoon and evening. My daughter and her friends made a "scrapbook" - really just a few blank pieces of paper stapled together. Inside they had written letters to each other about how much they love each other and swearing they will always be "best best best always friends." It breaks my heart a little more each time they get a little sad and write something new inside.

And my heart is selfishly breaking a little for myself as well. I love my friends here. The women I've met here are amazing. Smart, talented, accomplished, kind, friendly, compassionate. Women who are great examples. Women who have children who are great examples. I love this place. I love these people.

I know we'll be fine, once this last week is behind us and we are settled into the very nice new home we've leased, in a nice neighborhood around the corner from a park and a library and the school. When I see that the kids are settling in with friends and family I'll feel better, I know. My husband will start his dream job, and I'll be working entirely from home again - all good stuff. I'll get to be around family and old friends. We'll make new friends in our new neighborhood, and I'm sure in no time at all, we'll love it.

But right now, every night as I cross things off my list, my heart whispers over and over again, "I don't want to leave."

I don't want to leave.

Monday, March 10, 2008

My Husband is a Patient, Patient Man

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“Hon, I think I have narcolepsy.”

“You don’t have narcolepsy.”

“But it says right here on Wikipedia ---“

(muttering) “Oh freakin’ A. Here we go...”

“It says a person with narcolepsy is likely to become drowsy or to fall asleep, often at inappropriate times and places.“

“(silence due to excessive eye rolling)”

“Oh my gosh. That’s SO ME.

“That’s so everybody. That’s called – being an adult with small children.”

“And it says daytime naps may occur without warning and may be physically irresistible... Holy crap. I TOTALLY HAVE NARCOLEPSY.

“You don’t have narcolepsy.”

“But what do you call it when I fall asleep instantaneously after I lie down?”

“Really, really annoying.”

Friday, March 07, 2008


Pin It My husband and I have been talking about money a lot lately - what to pay, who to put off, whether or not power and water are really all that necessary - you know, all of the fun stuff you have to weigh when money gets really tight. It all got kind of overwhelming for a while and we forgot to watch what we were saying in front of the children.

The other night when we were driving home from the grocery store, Sarah asked if we could go to McDonalds. I said something dismissive about not having enough money. I meant that I didn’t have the cash on me, but didn’t think about how it would sound to her.

When we got home, Sarah came and sat down next to me. Her six year old eyes solemn, she said, “Here mom, now you don’t have to worry about money anymore,” and she handed me a plastic bag. Inside were crumpled dollar bills, the ten dollar bill she got from her grandparents for her birthday and assorted quarters and nickels and dimes and pennies.

I gave her a huge hug while I pulled myself together, and then we had a long, reassuring (I hope) talk. Afterward, I went into the hallway and smacked my head against the wall a few times, just to make sure the lesson was well and truly knocked into my head.

And it is. They teach me stuff every single day, ya know?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

For Sale

Pin It We put our house back on the market. We figure we might as well give it one last ditch effort, now that it's spring and the Utah market is starting to actually do something.

Hey! Maybe one of you would like to buy it, do ya think? Yes? Yes?


Oh. Well, I'll show it to you anyway, since any internet stalkers lurking out there won't be able to track us down anyway - what with the whole MOVING thing. (DANG it.)

It's a lovely 4700 square foot home on a quarter acre with five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a lovely hickory and alder kitchen with a travertine backsplash, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances... (Don't I sound JUST like a real estate flyer? It would make sense, since I've been trying to sell this flippin' house for the last YEAR.) (Um, sorry, did that sound bitter? I didn't really mean it to sound bitter. I'm not bitter at all. No siree. Not me.) (Stop looking at me like that.)

The house comes with a really fun backyard with a playset and lots of built-in friends for your children. (See the last few posts if you have any questions about my feelings on that topic.)

The home has beautiful finish work and custom paint (paint the homeowner picked out herself, because she was under the impression she would be LIVING there for the rest of her life and - - - - OOPS, sorry, having a moment there).
So anyway... Nice room.

The family room adjoins the kitchen and has a lovely stacked stone fireplace and alder mantle. I love the fireplace SO MUCH. (ACK, excuse me while I choke on the bile in my throat. Ahem. Sorry, I'm better now.)

There's other cool stuff, like a big playroom with a built-in window seat and a spacious basement for all of your random stuff, but I'll spare you the pictures.


Honestly, it's just a house. A house is a house is a house. And as much as I don't really want to leave,

I'm praying REALLY HARD that it sells. Quickly. Super quickly. Miraculously quickly even. Like, before the bank comes calling. Selling it won't solve our problems, but it would be nice to not completely destroy the property values for the folks who are still gonna live here after we leave.

But if we DO have to give it to the bank instead of selling it, would I be completely out of line to dismantle the fireplace rock by rock and take it with me to Las Vegas, do ya think?

Yeah, I thought so.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Comment Requested

Pin It I want to make a comment box to hang around my neck and take to parties. And after I meet someone new, after we’ve talked and laughed and parted ways, I will request a comment.

If you think about it, a comment box would clear up so many things - Did they like me? Do they want to be friends? Did they think I was boring or dorky or dumb?

After they leave a comment for me, I could send one back to them, getting right to the point (not just dancing around it) - “Oh, me too,” “Yes, I’d love to be friends, I’m so glad you asked,” “I thought you were hilarious, it was so nice to meet you,” “What you said really touched me - I think you are wonderful.”

Then armed with the evidence of mutual good feelings, we'd skip the waiting period, move past the small talk and the pretend reason to call, and dive right into friendship.

Monday, March 03, 2008

I Call This Game Fun-In-A-Box

Pin It There are those days – days you play in the stream and build sandcastles and swing from trees – and then there are those other days. You know, those days where you sit in a box for three hours.

On Sunday morning my husband didn’t feel like going to church. This may or may not have had something to do with the fact that I sort of impulsively sent the link to my blog to my friends in book club, (who are also in my church congregation) on the same day I posted about bankruptcy and foreclosure, and he is now convinced that everyone in the neighborhood KNOWS OUR SHAME). I didn’t feel like wrangling them by myself, so we had a lazy day at home.

Lazy Sundays are nice and relaxing, except when they are long and unending and boring because you are trapped in the house with three restless children and a husband who keeps understandably shooting you dirty looks and rolling his eyes and sighing audibly. I did not feel like entertaining the children, other than pulling out the playdough and occasional tickling, and they were as stir crazy and irritable as I was. We would normally go for a walk or something but we didn’t, because it was cold and snowy – “Too wet to go out, And too cold to play ball. So we sat in the house. We did nothing at all.”

The children eventually decided that if there was NOTHING ELSE TO DO, (groan, sigh, whine) then they might as well use their imaginations, so they descended upon the boxes, which they used to make a secret hideout and then torture the dog. They put him inside, closed the lid, and pushed it around the room for a while, occasionally turning it on its side. The dog would run out confused, like, “HEY, who put me in that box? Abby, did you know someone put me in a box? Huh? Huh? Didya? Didya? Here, let me lick your face for a minute.” And then she’d pick him up and put him right back in again, giggling madly. (You know, my hatred for the dog is well established, but really, I’ll give him this – he puts up with a lot of crap.)

After a bit they hit upon the idea of getting inside themselves, armed with markers. They sat in those boxes for a good three hours, coloring the insides, savoring having permission to actually USE MARKERS without any consequences or time out. Possibly they were a little bit high on marker fumes, but it was a risk I was willing to take, in exchange for the quiet. (Hey, I checked their pupils! They looked fine!)

My three year old wanted me to close the lid, and so I did. His sisters wanted me to close THEIR boxes. And so I did. They sat in those closed boxes for a while. It was great – very quiet and conducive to large amounts of parental internet surfing. I highly recommend packing your children.

This morning, again, they are in their boxes, coloring and behaving rather like civilized schoolchildren in some alternate box oriented universe, so I’m rethinking this whole – we need a three bedroom house thing. Right now I’m leaning toward one bedroom and three very large boxes.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

What I Will Miss

Pin It In the winter, on sunny days, mothers look out the window with determination, and say, "Yes, definitely, go outside," and after a solid half an hour of prep time, finding snowboots and putting on mittens and zipping up jackets, their children head out to play. They build igloos and snow forts and run to the park to sled down the high slope by the baseball diamond. They make snowmen and snow angels until they are too cold to bear it any longer and then they rush into the house with red fingers and noses, to sit by the fire until they are cozy.

In the early spring, they come out, dressed in layers and mittens and gradually casting off clothing throughout the day as they slosh through the waterlogged grass. They dig in the muddy sandbox and poke through the melting piles of slush, discovering toys long hidden under the snow, mixing up magic potions of leaves and early flower buds, and hours later, coming inside with sunburned cheeks, sad because it's starting to snow.

A month later, the flowers start to appear, tulips and crocus and daffodils, and they can’t resist picking them, the first flowers they’ve seen in the yard in months, picking them and bringing them to their mothers. “For you, mom,” they say benevolently, and they wait for a hug and a kiss from a mother who is delighted by the gift (despite her chagrin over the rapidly dwindling supply of unpicked flowers). They play all day long on Saturday, packs of children, pretending to be the Boxcar children or magical fairies, or pirates ("Mom, tell her I don't have to walk the plank!"). They help in the yard, where we plant lavender and penstemon and daisies, and they look at me skeptically as we plant vegetables, not quite sure if they should believe me when I tell them this little pebble of a seed will one day be a cornstalk.

On Saturday, there is soccer, every field and park in town full to the brim with children and their families, children who aren't quite sure if they are running toward the right goal, who lose concentration when they get the ball as they glance up to make sure their parents are watching. On Sunday after church, families are out together, on walks and bike rides around the neighborhood, parents stopping every few feet to talk to people they’ve barely seen all winter as the children urge them forward ("Come ON Dad").

In summer, mothers send their children into the backyard ("Go on, go out and play") and the kids find each other, congregating and planning the morning's mischief as mothers sneak off to check their email, to make a phone call, to read a newspaper, to do the dishes. They play all morning, running through sprinklers and wading pools, discovering neighborhood pets, building dams in the stream at the park, fading over to the shade of porch swings by noon, and disappearing into the house during the hottest part of the day.

They creep back out again in the late afternoon, riding bikes and scooters and trying out skates, knocking on doors to remind their friends that it's time to come outside again. They find a zucchini in the garden and then an onion or maybe a green bean, and vegetables have never been so exciting before. In the evening it’s beautiful out, and we turn on the flood lights, not yet ready for the kids to come in, not quite ready to go in ourselves. The adults congregate in little clumps, talking and gossiping and laughing while the kids race around, squeezing in a few more minutes, a few more minutes ("Hurry before we have to go inside"). I look around at my friends, at my family and stand there thinking, I will always remember this.

In late autumn we pick pumpkins and put the garden to bed and get things ready for winter. We savor the last few warm days before winter comes and spend more time than usual outside, soaking it up, letting them play, letting them enjoy each other’s company. Little arrangements appear on front porches, hay bales and pumpkins and autumn flowers and baskets of apples. We visit pumpkin patches and go on hay rides and run through corn mazes. We plan costumes and on Halloween night, we go around the block and down the street, collecting candy at every door, (except the scary ones with haunted houses, because my kids aren’t quite that brave, at least not quite yet). We hand out eight bags of candy and have to shut off the lights at eight-thirty, because my husband is NOT going back to the store.

The first snow falls, and we are happy, because we made it to November with no snow, and maybe it will be a mild winter, after all (high hopes, quickly dashed). Cabin fever has not yet struck, so we enjoy looking out the window at the huge snowflakes as they come falling softly down, and we drink hot chocolate and put on Christmas music, even though it’s really far too early. We drag out snow boots and mittens and snow pants and a few minutes later, the thin layer of snow in the yard has been obliterated by overly enthusiastic children, who are ready, once again, to make snow angels.

And in Las Vegas, there won't be this, not all of this, but there will be shorts in February and swimming in October and eggs to fry on a piece of tinfoil on the sidewalk in August and it will be different, but it will still be fine - it will be just fine (at least this is what I remind myself when I'm feeling maudlin). Because as it turns out, forts work just as well when you make them with cardboard boxes, popsicles taste even better when it's 114 out, and you can still make perfectly good snow angels in a sandbox.

Life will still be sweet, because there is always sweetness to be found when you look for it, but I will always remember this part of our lives, when we lived for a time in a Norman Rockwell painting.