Thursday, October 11, 2012

Last Night

Last night was one of those nights. 

You know, one of those nights where you go to pick your husband up from work at 5, and you don't feel like driving home because you are tired and have been suffering from PPE (Permanent Pink Eye, the scientific name for any bout of pink eye that lasts much longer than "5-7 days."), so you ask your husband to drive.  He obliges, and your little family scores a distance of 2 feet before he turns to you and says, "How long have you been driving on a flat tire?" 

"What?" you reply back, doubting his suggestion.  "I have not been driving on a flat tire.  I would have felt it."

But alas, he was right.  The rear tire on the passenger side is ridiculously flat.  Feeling perfectly lobotomized, you start to wonder how you did not notice something like that and how long other drivers have been staring at you like you are nutsy.  You wonder, how could I have not felt something like that?

Does it maybe have something to do with the fact that you and your husband have encountered a flat tire approximately TEN times since knowing each other 3 years ago?  It's practically routine around here.  You know, get up, get showered, eat cookie dough, change flat tire, etc.  Very typical.  It's actually how you and your husband met when he changed a flat tire for you, but the frequent reminder of that fateful event has ceased to be romantic ever since the funds used to pay for it will probably prevent your children from receiving higher education.

So your husband starts to change the tire while you sit inside his office with the baby.  Have you ever noticed how changing a tire attracts men from all over to come and watch?  Soon, your husband has several spectators watching him wrestle one stubborn lug nut until it finally comes off.  Then you have a spare on, and you are ready to go get a new tire.

One of the spectators suggests "Tire King" down the street, so off you go to get a new tire and resume your busy evening full of previously scheduled activities, when you can never find "Tire King."  You drive according to instructions, and you don't find it.  You enter it into the GPS on your phone, and you are led to an empty field.  Presumably where you will die.

You finally decide to just start going home and find a place on the way.  But there is this baby screaming in the back, who insists on being fed according to schedule although nothing else is going according to schedule.

So you stop at a gas station.  Your husband goes in to buy a water bottle to mix with the formula for the baby and comes back with an announcement.

"They have Boar's Head in there!" 

"WHAT!?!?!?  Where are we?  Gross!" is your initial reaction until you learn that Boar's Head is a sub sandwich place.  You must have grown up in the boonies to never eat at a fine establishment called Boar's Head.

Your husband convinces you to have dinner at the aforenamed place (you can only type it out so many times without writhing), even though you are convinced it will just be gross, but you go in to pick the sandwiches while he feeds the baby. 

You give your order to a toothless woman named Margie but give your money to another worker because Margie informs you that she isn't allowed to handle the money.  You wait a good 20 minutes for the sandwiches, all the while staking out all of the other goods (Ben & Jerry's!) offered at the gas station in case this is your new home.  Margie seems like a nice enough roommate.

You finally go to the car with the goods and attempt to eat the mess while also feeding your husband his sandwich whilst he is driving.  You wonder to yourself why you ever attempt this as you are pretty sure it is the messiest, most inefficient way of eating. 

You realize that your sandwich is really amazingly good, but your poor husband is eating a sandwich full of mustard and pickles because, being lobotomized, you forgot that he hates those things.  Poor husband.

You also realize that you didn't grab napkins, and you are using diapers to catch the mess on your laps.  (2 points for being clean diapers.)

You finally arrive at a tire place and sit in the waiting room with other people that you can't stop yourself from talking to, even though your husband thinks you are crazy, because by this time it is late evening, and the giddiness is setting in.  You laugh at everything they say and even more at everything you say.  Because let's face it--You are so funny at nighttime. 

You talk to a 13-year old girl who is trying to buy tickets to a Meet and Greet with Justin Bieber.  You debate with her about the merits of Katy Perry (obviously none).  You ask her about if she has any siblings, and she informs you that she has a half brother who is "like 27 . . . almost 30!"

You hastily remind her that 27 is almost 28, not 30.

You need to change your baby, and being lobotomized, you don't have your changing pad with you.  The worker at the tire place overhears you and brings new, clean t-shirts that a tree trimming company had dropped off earlier that day, and you change your baby on them.  Naturally.

The other partiers (fellow patrons of the tire place) get their cars fixed, and it's just your family left.  A smile creeps up on your face.

For you now have control of the remote and Dr. Quinn is on.

You finally get home after 9.  Getting out of the car, you hit your own face and give yourself a fat lip.  PPE and a fat lip to boot. 

You survived with hardly a picture to help the long winded blog post you are going to write about the night.

So you know, it was one of those nights.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Republican Convention and Uncle Markie and Baths and Books and Junesie

Uncle Roger and Aunt Ana came to town for the Republican Convention a couple of weeks ago.  Ana is an elected delegate from Texas and invited me to be her guest for the day.  What a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!  That being said, as excited as I was to go, finding something to wear weighed heavily on my mind.  Isn't it funny how a HUGE important event like hearing the FUTURE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES speak is denied the proper brain time allotment when I have to think about what to wear?  It's not like I'm a fashionista like my sister, Heidi, but I hate not looking the part of whatever I'm supposed to be doing.  Plus, I'm a plan ahead sort of gal, and I like to know all of the details upfront.  I think that every event should come with an outline of what is appropriate dress.  But alas, I had no idea what to wear to this event.  I asked around and got several different answers; however, most were along the lines of "business casual."  Don't even get me started on the phrase "business casual".  It is much too vague.  Men hear the words "business casual" and they know exactly what to wear, but women?  Not quite.  As the great philosopher Dave Barry says, (and I am paraphrasing) "Men can wear the same clothes to work, play golf, attend a funeral, and graduate from college."  The ol' button up shirt with slacks.

Women do not have this luxury.  Women seem to have the requirement of never wearing the exact same thing twice, which takes a lot of work, and yet each newly created look should appear "effortless."  Like somehow a woman is supposed to look like, "oh this old thing?  I didn't even pick it out.  The chirping birds who wake me every morning brought it to me as we all sang about being excited for a new glorious day and opportunity to show the world some love" instead of "I woke up late because my baby was awake from 1 to 3 AM, I haven't washed my hair in four days, the gym is a word that carries a distant and fond memory somewhere in the back of my brain, and this outfit was the only thing that didn't carry a stench."

So I spent a great deal of time wondering what I would want to be wearing if the big television camera passed over my face, thereby getting discovered by an agent and starting my modeling career, ended up never deciding and then was terribly late the next day in an outfit that was all wrong and needed to be ironed.

But I digress.  Anyway, friends, it did not matter.  What a spectacular experience.  I enjoyed many of the speakers, but my favorites were the small business owners who talked about how a more conservative approach to government would be the boost their company needs to expand and grow.  Growing companies hire more people and grows our economy.  I loved hearing these men and women talk about their dreams and the hard work that went into them in order for their goals to be realized.  Inspired me to be a harder worker and bigger risk taker.

It was fun to travel around with the Texas delegates.  Texans know how to have a good time.  We wore big hats and big hair and talked big ideas.  We talked to one man for quite awhile who has been drug free for 26 years and now runs a halfway house to help other addicts get clean too.  We saw Dan Rather and Rick Santorum walked right by us.  I wittily pointed and said, "Rick...Santorum!"  I am sure he was impressed because he might not know his name.

The ride home was killer.  It took 4 hours to get home, and 3 AM is a time I probably haven't seen since Merilee Peterson's 7th grade birthday party.  I wasn't any fun then either.

Pics from the Convention:

Uncle Markie came to visit that same week.  He has been working his tail end off in Manhattan for the past year, and this was the first vacation he has had.  We went to the beach and a Rays game, and he got to see just how fun and limiting it is to have a baby everywhere you go.  We decided to get a babysitter in order to go to the beach, but had a tough time finding one since it was a last minute decision.  Finally, we heard back from a sweet girl in the ward who agreed to watch June, and Mark said, "This beach trip just got a whole lot better."  Haha.  I agree!  I love having June around, but there is nothing quite like trying to constantly shield a very fair baby from the son while feeding her a bottle covered with sand and changing a poopy swimmer diaper on your very own lap to make you realize that maybe everyone would have a better time if baby stayed home.  It was my first time getting a sitter and I was all crazy nervous, but we had a great time.  We all got too much sun and paid for it later, but it was fun anyhow.

 Look how dark Daniel has gotten!

The Rays game was really fun and we beat those darn Yankees, although there were so many Yankees fans there, it was hard to know who the home team was.

Thanks for coming Uncle Mark!

And now, a word about books.  I used to be the hugest reader of all time, but I have not read a book for pleasure in years.  My sister recommended a book, These Is My Words, and I just finished it and highly highly recommend it.  You will laugh and cry and want to be better friends with your husband.

And then the Junemeister.  Bath time has become a favorite time of day in our house.  June loves taking a bath!  She likes to swim around and remember womb time with Mommy.  These is for the grandmas!  (Change the last word and name the movie.)

P.S.  I have been thinking about 9/11 a lot today and can't believe I didn't include a thought in my post about it.  I am truly so grateful for all of those who worked so hard to help others that day and many, many days afterward.  I am grateful for our military that fights for our freedoms and for the freedoms of others.  My thoughts today are with the families who have lost someone either on that day or later because of what happened that day.

Monday, August 20, 2012

We Went Swummin'

A couple of weeks ago, we went to the beach.  There is a great one only about 30 minutes away.  We made a game plan to go to the library to return some books, hit up Chez Walton for a snack or two, and be on our merry way before the rush.

However, being the only people left in the Western Hemisphere without a Netflix account, we were sucked into the library for awhile.  They have movies . . . for free!  More than that, they have old seasons of Family Ties on DVD!  And Dr. Quinn!  I don't know if I have mentioned this before, but I enjoy Dr. Quinn.  However, I enjoy the seasons most BEFORE Dr. Mike and Sully get married.  Because, after that, it's just gross.  Their wedding episode is SO gross and left me traumatized as a child.  Does anyone know the episode I am talking about?  I was going to post it here, but I just watched the clip and it's too gross.  (Search "It's Getting Darker Dr. Quinn".  And btw, Dr. Mike, the 1997 Prom called me and wants its updo back.)

Anyway, so after Daniel and I searched the library up and down for new movies and books, read magazines we usually only get to catch up on at the doctor's office, and commiserated with each other on missing the summer reading program, we finally made it out the door and off to Walmart for just one quick item--treats.

Once we got to Walmart, we somehow picked up beach chairs, a beach umbrella, new sunglasses, and yes, some treats (although it wouldn't be the first time I have entered Walmart with a specific task at hand and have left with everything in the store except said needed item.).  My friends, I have Walmart-itis and Target-itis.  Why can I not just leave those stores with the items on my list?  At least this time, the items were things related to going to the beach.  Sometimes I enter Target needing a birthday card and eyeshadow, and I leave with a new desk organizer.  Pathetic.

Then, we finally made it to the beach.  It was so beautiful and so fun.  It was definitely different going with a baby and trying to keep her constantly shaded.  And, we were next to a group of teenagers that make you worry about the future of our nation.  (Luckily, I also know a ton of teens who make me feel really confident about the future of our nation.)   But besides these challenges, we had a great time and finally got a little sun.

Going to the beach (which is basically the closest I get to being in nature) always makes me ponder the deep mysteries in life.  Like, how in the world is everyone so tan and we are so not?  Or how did that woman in the yellow bikini get her legs to have so much definition?  She must not be following my strict diet of carbs and sugar.  Interesting. 

On the Junefront, our girl is rolling over--from front to back and back to front.  We just never get to see it happen.  We know it does happen, but she must be in stealth mode because she never lets us get much of a glimpse.  It's always the second I turn away from her that she manages to do it.  I spent the good part of an afternoon trying to catch her in the action and to get a video.  My afternoon went like this:

1.  Get out my camera.  June is in starting position:

Looking so chill, right?  Look at that arm position.  She is just chillaxin' and not planning on making a move anytime soon.  So, I go to get something I need in the kitchen (in the form of a cookie), come back, and:

Blast.  And that's seriously how it went the rest of the day. 




You get the idea.  But Heather, you may ask.  Why didn't you just stay put?  Eventually you would have watched her do it.  One simple answer.  Those cookies were really good.

And . . . I had a video but cannot figure out how to post it.  I know, I know, the 1997 Prom called back and wants its limited knowledge on technology back.  If anyone can help me, please send an email.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Best Attraction in Orlando

A week ago, we headed up to Orlando to go to the temple.

June was less than thrilled to be in a car seat for a large part of the day.  I told her, "June we will be in the car for a few hours on Saturday."

And then she said, "Say what?"

And then I told her we were going to Orlando.  She naturally assumed we were going to Disney World.

Then I explained that we were not going to Disney World.

She didn't take that news so well either.

We planned to leave the house at 5:45 a.m., so naturally we were on the road at 7:30.  The road up to Orlando proved to be every child's dream come true.  We passed by exits for Dinosaur World, Busch Gardens, Universal Studios, including this little-known new park, and of course, Disney World.  Did we mention that we would love to have you come visit?  We are pretty boring, but it seems that this area offers a little something to do.  Just a thought.

After all of the exits leading to the various Disney World parks, we found the exit to the temple.

And it was the best attraction of all.

While Daniel was in the temple, June and I did some exploring.  The area was beautiful.

This lake was right behind the temple.  People may complain about the humidity in Florida, but I say it is worth it.  I have never lived in such a beautiful place!

There were some fancy neighborhoods nearby, so we took a gander.

I drove through some really great neighborhoods.  Many of the residents were staring at me like my 2001 front bumper-less Honda didn't belong there.  The icing on the cake was when I couldn't figure out how to get out of one of the beautiful neighborhoods.  There must have been a big party going on because there were cars lined up and down the streets, and I couldn't turn around anywhere.  I finally attempted completing a 384237 point turn and accidentally farmed some person's beautiful lawn.  Take that, One Percent-ers!  (By the way, I wouldn't mind being you one day.)

When Daniel was done, I went to the temple.  It was exactly what I needed.  I left there feeling better than ever about our decision to move to Florida.  Daniel felt the exact same way.  I think it really rejuvenated us, and we are excited to go back.  What a huge blessing temples are.

After we both finished, we went to eat at a Chinese restaurant. 

The son of the owners really took a liking to June.  He sat next to her and watched her our entire meal.  He saw that she had no shoes on, so he took his off too.  When we were leaving, he leaned his head over inside her car seat to give her a kiss, and he knocked his noggin against the car seat handle, causing quite the goose egg on his head.  Love hurts, buddy.

It was a great day.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

We Bought A ZOOOOOO!!!

When we announced our move to Florida, people had mostly the same reaction.

"The humidity down there!"

"The bugs!"

So we came mentally prepared and have not really been surprised by either.  I would actually considerable the humidity a welcome change.  It rains everyday, which gives a reprieve from the worst of it.  And there are bugs, but our complex is sprayed for bugs frequently, and it seems to take care of most of the problem.

But I was not ready for the animals.

We live on a nature preserve, and there are animals everywhere.  If you recall anything about me, I am perhaps the least knowledgeable person about camping, humans under the age of 8, and animals, so I am consider my interaction with these animals my fair turn for the next 25 years.

A pic of our surroundings:

Here are some of the animals we have found around our place:

These little guys are everywhere.  They often crawl across my kitchen window as I do the dishes.  Nothing startling about that.

There are tons of pretty birds here.  This is in our backyard.

This poor guy was on our way to church this week.  I will spare you the pic with the vultures . . .

That huge rat behind our car is a possum.  Daniel called for me to come look, but I couldn't.  Though I am not an animal person, a lot of animals don't bother me.  But possums do.  Daniel said its tail was so huge that it would flap really hard against the concrete with every step.

Yep.  Armadillo.  Right outside our front door.  I thought they were desert animals?  See how much I know?  Maybe I am just thinking "Amarillo", but is that even a desert?  The world holds such mysteries for me.

This was . . . nowhere.  Great dog costume though, right?  This picture is just to represent the alligators all around.  Our bishop told us that when it is mating season (for the alligators), I cannot run along any water's edge because they will KILL ME.  Luckily I have a black belt in alligator combat.  I will just have to make sure I wear it while running.

This guy lives nearby.  Who wants to visit?

The rarest and finest of creatures . .  trying to figure out how to work my camera.

And lastly . . . our Junebug. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I know many of you have been nervous about the fact that I have not updated in awhile, especially following that last dramatic post about my incredibly difficult life.  Not to fear, I have not been eaten by the Anxiety Dragon.  I am just . . . boring.

Before I had a blog, I always thought of fun, witty things I could blog about if I had one.  Now I have one, and I feel like I am the most mundane person on the planet.  I feel like I could write a post of what I do every single day, post it, and then just change the date every week and re-post it.

I do love my boring life.  I'm grateful for some boredom because it means life has slowed down for me a bit.  Sharing a car with Daniel has caused me to say no to a lot of things, and I think that's been good for me.

Anyway, I managed to muster about some important events to write about.  (Now that I've gotten you excited . . . ha.)

First of all, June can lift her head.  (That's right--a "milestones" post.  That's where we are, folks.  Thrilling for all of you.)  But first, a thought about milestones.  I really don't like reading about milestones.  Experts say that we mothers should be aware of them to make sure our babies are progressing, but I would guess that the truth behind milestones is that they were made up by some super competitive mother somewhere to give the rest of us something to worry about.  Or maybe just some person who had never been around a baby before but who stayed up late one March 31st to play an April Fools joke on mothers everywhere and wrote a memo about ridiculous things babies should be doing by certain ages to give us all something else to have heartburn about.  I refuse to play into this trap!  I remember reading that by something like 6 weeks, June should be mimicking all of my faces.  BabyCenter said something like "Stick out your tongue, and your baby will do the same toward you.  Smile, and she will smile.  Quote Tennyson, and she will match you with some Wordsworth.  Give your child her first household chore."

I decided to try out this baby face matching idea with June.  I stuck my tongue at her.  She just looked insulted.

So, even though I try not to take milestones too too seriously, it has been neat to see some things happen that "they" said would.

Like lifting her head.

I make this same face when I exercise.

In other news, we are still moving into our apartment and getting projects done.  Nothing to bring a family together quite like a nice home improvement project, I always say.  We even had fancy equipment to use this time.  About a year ago, I attended an auction at church for our local scouting troop.  There were lots of great things to bid on, but being the bleeding heart I am, I couldn't help but just bid on things no one else wanted.  By the end of the night, I had succeeded in obtaining some precious gems, such as a cage for a pet we still have yet to own, a crazy looking doll that I gave to someone else before the night was over, and a laser level to use when hanging pictures and such.  Well we can now say that money spent that night was not in vain.  Not only did we send some grateful kid to scout camp, but we also had a LASER to help us hang out pictures in this new apartment of ours!

Hot dog.  Daniel is so nice.  I just directed where I wanted things, and he did it.  Though I did sometimes change my mind after the fact, which left me greeted with these faces.

And lastly, some more pictures of June.  She's just too cute not to.

Loving the bumbo chair.  

Following an at-length discussion we had one morning concerning the tax code.  Have you hit that milestone yet?

Definitely right-brained.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

It's just EMOTION taking me OVER. That's it. NBD.

I actually really like the song "Emotion", even the Destiny's Child version, although the music video is an atrocity.

I might know a thing or two about emotions taking over.

I struggle with anxiety.  It stinks, but it's definitely not the worst problem in the world.  I mean, some people have no food.  Some people have no homes.  And some people are Kardashians.

So in the grand scheme of things . . . anxiety is fine.  I have done different things to learn how to cope with it.  I have taken medications.  I have gone to counseling.  I have eaten several bags of mini Cadbury eggs.

My cycle seems to be like this . . . take something on, take something else on, add another thing or two, feel productive, feel great, feel powerful, have a deadline, feel stressed, feel overwhelmed, think about everything that could go wrong, google solutions to every problem known to mankind, self-destruct, and bawl eyes out while watching a Chase Bank commercial where, thanks to a Chase Bank loan, a business was able to hire 20 new people who have been out of work for a long time.

While a missionary, I went through an extremely difficult time with my anxiety.  I even had a visit with the mission doctor.  He was visiting Romania from Germany, so I could only meet with him for a day.  Talking to him, I felt like I was talking to an old friend.  He cried with me as we shared difficult experiences we had both gone through on our missions and in our lives.

He had to leave to go back to Germany that evening, but he emailed me a psychological test to take to evaluate my struggles.  I filled out the bubble sheet and sent it back to him.  He called me very quickly thereafter.  I had scored in the 98th percentile for anxiety.  98%!  An A+, my friends!

We talked about some different options, but in the end, I felt right about just finishing my mission and seeking treatment afterward (I only had two months left.)  My mission was a wonderful experience, and I didn't want to spend the last two months trying out different medications.

Since then, I have tried different things.  I didn't like medication and was on it for just a very short time.  I have had some great counseling experiences.

Anyway, I am just writing this to get it out.  I always am surprised to see how many people relate to this sort of thing and was wondering what other people do to cope with stress and anxiety. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Moving to Bolleywood.

Oh I loathe thee.

In my experience, moving isn't an event.  It's a temporary lifestyle one takes upon herself.  For me, the new lifestyle change is always quick to happen and always SLOW to leave.

It reminds me of the end of many a semester at BYU.  I seemed to move to a new apartment almost every semester at BYU, and combining finals week AND cleaning checks AND moving is a death sentence.  I always found myself wandering around unwashed and sleep deprived, eating meals that consisted of 6 slices of cheese or a handful of pretzels.

Moving to Tampa proved to be no different.  I had to finish major projects for work, take care of a baby, find an apartment long distance (not recommended), deal with utility companies, etc., all the while trying to fuss over Daniel's birthday, graduation, June's baby blessing, Daniel's first Father's day, etc.  Needless to say, not much fussing happened.  I am lucky to be married to a man I call Happy the Clam, who considers simple things like a red box movie and/or takeout Thai food a BIG deal.

Needless to say, I DESPISE moving.  I don't mind change, I just mind work. 

These pictures still make me shudder:

And yes, I realize that second picture does not so much portray moving as much as it shows how messy I let things get WHILE moving.  Equally disturbing.

Some of us helped more than others:

 I kid, I kid.  Actually, Daniel pretty much orchestrated this move by himself.  I was gone a lot during the day, and he packed up our entire apartment and took care of June a lot so I could work.  He is a champ.

The packing was small potatoes compared to the drive ahead of him.  We were very fortunate to have my father-in-law, Mike, help out with the forty (40! just in case you didn't catch it the first time) hour drive.  They broke it up into 3.5 days.  I stayed with my mother-in-law, Kristi, and we were able to watch lots of old Dr. Quinn episodes.  I loved it!  I had a baby just in time, I tell you!  I got to fly instead of make the drive.  Thanks to both Mike and Kristi.  They really helped us out a ton.

Leaving from Las Vegas for Tampa:
                                          With the truck.  Clearly.

                                         Bad to the bone.

Daniel took some cool pictures of the drive I will share another time.

Now we are in a larger apartment in Tampa.  We are so grateful to have more room.  3 people in 500 square feet was a bit crowded. 

Just some tidbits about where we live:

1.  The Lutz/Land O' Lakes area is known as the nudist capital of the world.  This will make for easy packing for all of our guests!  Another reason to come visit!

2.  It rained nonstop the first three days I was here.  As you know, there is a tropical storm out here.  Crazy!

3.  We have taken on a new identity in our new town.  Kind of like the Witness Protection Program. 
As shown on our most recent bill:

Lastly, some cute June shots:

                                          With Uncle Markie and Cousin Carson!

                                          Wearing her favorite shirt--thanks Linz!

The End.