Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Little of the Kids and A Whole Lot of Nonsense

The week began with Ava's eye appointment. Delilah came along and the girls got to bond over the fascinating world of Daniel Tiger in the waiting room.

Do these kids look like their brains are being stimulated? It's educational tv. I pried the girls away from their grueling mental workout, we saw our ophthalmologist, got the good news that all looks fine and we'll see them in another six months. Too bad I didn't think to get her some new glasses last year when we had reached our out-of-pocket max.

Delilah and I tried out a new donut place that opened up nearby, Beyond Glaze. Yuck. Pretty bad. But Deli says yum.

(With manic eyes and a chocolatey muzzle.)

I've been actively working on NOT being a grouch during the pre-dinner/dinner hour. Some days I did okay. Some days I did really really bad. I have this thing where I can't stand it when my kids ask what's for dinner. Even if they're nice about it and not poised and ready to make gagging noises. Have I mentioned this before? I think I have. Anyway, I don't want it to push me over the edge, but it does, every time. I even practice, silently in my head. ("Stir fry! With mushrooms and peppers and spicy stuff!" she chirps perkily and enthusiastically and not at all huffily and aggressively.)

I bought a cute shirt at Walmart for $9. Then went back the next day and bought another one in a different color. There are three more colors I didn't buy and I'm absolutely regretting it. I'd show a picture but there isn't one on Walmart's website and I'm not wearing it right now and Delilah is asleep and my clothes are in her closet. 

And I cut my hair a bit. I've been wanting to update it for awhile as it's just long and blah these days. Color? Chop? I don't know, I'm just not feeling reckless or that I have the time to deal with redos if it doesn't turn out. But this???

I could do! So I shagged up my hair just a little with some layers and I have to say...I look exactly like Jennifer Garner now. That picture right up there? Me. Look, I'm wearing my favorite dress.

To go with my new hair, I painted my nails the bewitching color of "Mind Your Mittens" by Essie. It's kind of an inky gray/black. They look so fetching as they fly across the keyboard! I bought it last year and I don't use it much because dark colors don't wear well for long. But today? A desire to be cute just flew in the face of reason and dirty dishes!

Delilah is wearing Tart Deco, her go to color. It's all she wears. Not sure why she always picks the same color. Just cause she's precious, I guess.

I think I forgot to say that we saw the last Hobbit a couple weeks ago. Oh. my. gosh. I actually snorted out loud-- in a derisive manner-- in the theater. I don't think I've ever done that in a movie. I think it must be because no one was noticing my eye rolling. Darron was no help at all. He liked it. Hiss. 

Now, if there's one thing you need to know about me, it's that I love chocolate covered cinnamon bears. It's because they are cinnamon bears covered in chocolate and that, my friends, is what's known as perfection. I became hooked many a year ago when I would make alarmingly frequent stops at the candy counter of the campus bookstore during my BYU days, in an attempt to stave off the feelings of insecurity, worry, and homesickness that might otherwise have dragged me to the depths of despair. Healthy coping mechanism? No, but effective, and also we don't judge 19 year olds. So these bears... they're heaven, couldn't be better. But then my husband goes to this candy shop that sells certain of it's candies only during the winter holiday months where he orders our yearly supply of toffee and discovers they have started making chocolate covered cinnamon bears and because he loves me so completely he buys me four! big! bags! La! I'm on my last bag--just had to take a break and go eat one to keep up my strength--and I tell you true, they are they better than BYU. And I'm unnaturally emotionally connected to my BYU candy so that's saying something. They're like the highest level of the third degree, if you know what I mean. It does not get better than these. 

Then of course there was the great excitement of Friday...(see previous post).

Tonight we had a meeting at church for all the kids going to youth camps and I have TWO. Kids going. To youth camps. Crazy things are happening. Of course the year I'm not going to Girls' Camp I finally have a daughter going...ah well. It's probably for the best. I think it will be great for her to be on her ownsome and make her way in a new situation. Oh, but she's just so little!

You know, if I wanted to I could probably go through this post and force some semblance of sense or order into it. But I don't want to. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Something Exciting

Exciting enough to get me out of bed and showered and made up and hair done before I took the kids to school-- trust me, it's a big deal.

A couple months ago, we started hearing rumblings that Shannon Hale would be coming to our kids' school. For what though? Book signing? Lecture? She wanted a tour? WHAT? Finally, through information gleaned from my more reliable children, I figured out that she was going to be speaking to the entire student body. AND that a few of the kids who were fans would get to have a book signed. And then, joy of joys, I got an email last night at 11:00pm that parents could come. Well, those that check their email at 11:00pm. And that's why we should all be addicted to our smart phones. Lesson learned.

Ms. Hale gave a great presentation on success and failure and perseverance and being who you are and writing and creativity and lifelong learning. She was fun, witty, and engaging (and a fan of the Oxford comma), and we all had a great time-- including Delilah who had a great time right up until the snacks ran out. There were so many things she said that would have inspired me as a girl and several that inspired me as me now. She showed a picture of herself in the first grade, when she first started telling people she wanted to be a writer when she grew up. People would smile and encourage and say it was fantastic to have such big dreams. She showed another picture of herself in eighth grade and was still writing whenever she could. But by this age, when she told people she wanted to be a writer, they would talk her down--that's a pretty big dream, maybe she should pick something easier. *Insert Epiphany* At what age does it become okay to stop supporting my kids' dreams? Or ideas and desires? Why do I have to be the voice of reason? Why does being a parent/adult = being a wet blanket? When I see my kids' weaknesses, I'm so afraid that those weaknesses will make them fail in...building a rocket out of paper towel rolls and old plywood and my good scissors, becoming a painter, making cookies all by themselves with no help (a sampling of dreams I've quashed), that I'd rather take away the chance to fail as well as the chance to achieve. Shannon (we've become extremely close during the last paragraph) eventually stopped telling people about her dream and became a little embarrassed about it, but thankfully kept it alive inside of her and worked and worked for years (19!) to achieve the distinction of being a published writer.

She talked unabashedly about loving her own writing. I was surprised to hear her say this, and she was being funny about it, but she meant it. She said she writes about stuff that fascinates her and she works and works at it until it's the best she can do and she loves it (severe paraphrasing). Why did that surprise me? For someone to acknowledge that they like their own creations? Isn't that...arrogant? Wait--everyone pause for a soul search. It is not arrogance to love what you've made. Not just to be proud of your hard work or accomplishments, but to actually like what you've created, to see that you've made something good, to find joy in it, and to tell people so. It's not arrogance--it's divine.

Lots and lots of other good stuff--she spoke for about an hour and was so gracious with her time, answered questions, interacted with the students, was just overall amazing. I'm still in the throes of the moment, so I may be gushing just a bit, but she seemed to be genuine, normal, and confident. I am so glad three of my kids were there, especially Halle. We haven't had a chance to talk about it yet, but I can't wait to see what she heard and what it meant to her. Halle got picked to have a book (books) signed after the assembly, so I had to accompany her, being her photographer and stage mom and all. There are perks. I used Halle's camera so the pictures wouldn't be grainy, but I couldn't do anything about the photographer, so here are your blurry, backlit photos.

Miles of rejection letters

The book that made me fall in love with Shannon Hale

Waiting in line...almost there!

Delilah, what fun, go stand on those X-es!

So I can buy myself six seconds of I-wanna-binky-I-wanna-drink-of-milk free time! She did her darnedest, bless her heart and sparkly pink cowgirl boots.

Princess Academy

Are you sure you want me to to sign your Nook?
I didn't get to chat with Shannon Hale and instantly connect and become bosom friends and we don't have a lunch date scheduled for this afternoon, but I do have a whole new fantasy scenario wherein I give a speech at a school to an appreciative and rapt audience on account of my NYT bestseller status as well as my oratorial skills. And then afterward meet my bosom friend Shannon Hale for lunch where we chat about our mutual awesomeness. It should be getting lots of play in the coming weeks.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Dead Week

Well okay, knowing that I didn't take any pictures this week, are you still with me? Anyone? Just remember, this is for my mom. Actually, she'll probably be more bugged than anyone. I'm sorry, alright? This messed up camera phone thing is really a trial. Actually, now that I think of it, Delilah had a couple selfie sessions (ooh, I hate and despise that word!!!) so I'll tack a couple of those on at the end.

What we did during the 2nd week of Christmas Break:

Kids: Played video games, played briefly in the snow (in order to earn more time to play video games), played more video games.

Me: Vegged for a few days until I felt sick, then worked my butt off for 5 days straight to get Primary ready for the New Year.

Darron: Worked a little, watched football a lot.

Delilah: Had her new Merida book read to her 6 times per day. Everyone would only read it once, except Mom...I did it twice. I love her the most.

No seriously,that's all.

I guess we had our annual New Year's Eve party with some friends and our kids. I still haven't cleaned up the silly string.