Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Resolution and Some Fun

If you know me very well, you may know my feelings about living in Utah. I like it. Really. I know that sounded like a setup for a wisecrack, but I really have grown to love living here. I moved out here from sunny (foggy, muggy) central California after high school to attend BYU, got married along the way (somewhere between Baker and Barstow) and have been here ever since. Fifteen years ago, my friends.

Before I moved here I was of course, like any self-respecting "non-Utah Mormon" completely and superciliously prejudiced towards Utahns. Believing and passing along Mormon lore and gossip like it was the latest Ensign edition. Next to canon. And being from California certainly didn't help things. Californians, along with New Englanders, are born with a sense of superiority, which just further intensifies the longer you live there. Not that there's anything wrong with that. If there is anyone I haven't so far insulted, hang on, I'm getting there.

Over the past 15 years, I have come to terms with my Utah issues and love being here. I think there are benefits and challenges to living anywhere and we just try to take advantage of the benefits. Our kids' school alone is one reason we would never want to leave. There is nothing to compare to it anywhere in the world and we are so grateful we get to experience it. But that's fuel for another post. There is one thing about Utah that really irritates me. Maybe not irritates as much as makes me a little sad. I was talking to a friend the other day about how she likes going out of state when she's pregnant because they--strangers-- make such a big fuss over her. People offer completely unneeded assistance, hold doors, make special accomodations, etc. How absolutely lovely. Now you all know how I feel about pregnancy. I LOVE it. On me and on others. And here in Utah, you are 92 % of the time within 10 yards of at least 34 pregnant women. And there is a 85 % chance that you yourself are also in the baby way. Which tends to dilute its uniqueness. As well as the assistance and recognition you receive from others. Not necessarily because you need it, but because you deserve respect for carrying out such a special task that means everything to our human race. AND because you are beautiful. Beautiful people should always get special treatment. I think it was Darwin who said that.

And it isn't just the pregnancy thing. I love visiting my parents in California because without a doubt, as soon as I cross the border out of Utah, people will start commenting on me and my family. "Oh, they are so beautiful, are they all yours?" (no one asks that in Utah, see) And when I answer yes.... "FOUR children! How amazing/brilliant/lucky/young you are! And you look so great! How do you manage that, you must be so busy." And I bashfully admit that I don't work, but that I am a full-time mom and I get back... "Good for you. That is the best thing you can be doing!" I mean for real! Strangers are really nice to moms and pregnant women outside of Utah. Supportive, helpful, complimentary, supernice. And my question is, why are we not the same way here? The answer is of course so obvious, because we are just too darn busy with our own mess of kids or grandkids to notice someone else's. But this is a sad sad excuse.

So here is my latest resolution. I am going to take notice of other people with children. I am going to say nice things and be helpful and make them feel great because they deserve to feel like they are doing something really amazing and important, even if most people around them are doing the exact same thing.

Now I know I have just added potential further ammunition to the anti-Utah arsenals some of you may be stockpiling. So be it. We totally deserve it on this one. Just be gentle, is all I ask.

And just for fun, here is my top 5 list of Utah Tall Tales - things that you persist in believing about us:

1. Utahns are 2 years behind in fashion and 9 in hairstyles. I would deny this if I could, but just for the record, whenever I go anywhere out of state, I get complimented on my Utah hair. It seems women of all geographies hunger for a little more volume. Bouffants Without Borders. I think it could do very well. I don't think it is as much as being behind, as willfully setting our foot down. We've found what works for us and we are sticking with it. Would that you could be so bold.

2. We are the land of multi-level marketing. There will be no denial, only a massive effort to pull you down with us. We may start the ideas, but you all go to the parties, too. I know this to be true. My mom's mailbox is always overflowing with invites.

3. We have obnoxious accents. So do you. See, it all depends on your point of view. Oh and by the by, I spent the first eight years of my life here listening for people to call it "American Fawrk" and was bitterly disappointed. Although I did once ask a person who grew up in Lehi which southern state she was from.

4. If you move to Utah, you have 2 years to get a) a full-size SUV and b) a boob job. Uh...well...I...mm...ah... I'm pretty sure this is completely true.

5. Utah Mormons are totally different from non-Utah Mormons. And so deserve your scorn. In my humble experience, the makeup in my wards are generally half and half. Half Utah native/ half not. And adherence to the above "Tall Tales" is no indicator of someone's pedigree. So there.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Fun

Gotta get these up quick for my mom, before Halloween is too far past.

Here's Darth! Could be any little boy behind the storebought (Ebay bought) mask

But the eyes give it away.


Halle is thrilled to be wearing makeup, but manages to remain in character.



Little Pocahontas
Here it is... the big homemade skefuffle. She is a white HORSE, not a pony, for those who may have asked
And very happy to be
Practicing for senior portraits...

I thought Tommy would be nuts about his costume. He loves trains, loves to sing about the "engine driver pulling the lttle throttle", but he kept trying to trade this cap out for his BYU baseball hat. You can imagine how Darron felt about that. So it took awhile to get a smile.

But I finally fell upon the age old ruse "What are you going to get tonight?"
"Candyyyyyy!"

"Are you going to eat lots of candy?"
"YES!!!!!"


Getting set


Let's go!



Much love from us to you!