Tuesday, April 30, 2013


First of all, Josh came home from school today and showed me this photo:

His filmmaking teacher hung it up in the hall this morning to congratulate him for winning the film festival. He said kids came up to him all day to ask him what the deal was with the sign, lol. Josh is kind of a quiet kid at school, so I think it was a good opportunity for him to come out out of his shell and speak up a little bit. Awesome.

So this morning I had my consultation with the periodontist to discuss my upcoming crown lengthening procedure.  Basically he's going to lower the gum line and bone around that tooth so the dentist can deal with the deep crack in my tooth and put a crown on it. It involves stitches and a six week recovery period before I can have the crown done. Ugh. The doctor was super nice and very experienced I feel like I'm in good hands but I am dreading the procedure like the plague. I have to have the procedure, wait a few weeks, go back to have the stitches removed, wait a few weeks, go back and have it checked, then go in to the regular dentist to have the initial crown work done on that tooth and the other tooth that needs to be crowned, wait a few weeks and then go back to the dentist to have the permanent crowns set. That's five appointments it's going to take me to get this thing taken care of. For someone with serious doctor anxiety, that's a lot.

They can't get me in for a few weeks, so at least I can put it off for a little while. My appointment isn't until later in May. That either gives me more time to avoid it or more time to stress out about it. I'm trying not to think about it.

And in more dental news, Clarissa had to have a cavity filled yesterday. There is always serious mom guilt when your child has to have a cavity filled. I feel like I failed her, which is silly because a cavity can happen to anyone. It wasn't a super big deal but they did have to give her gas and numb it with shots, which I was really anxious about. She did great though. The gas relaxed her enough that she didn't really even react to the shots much. She was fine, I was a nervous wreck, lol. She did fine until I got her home and she accidentally bit her lip, which was still numb. It bled a little bit, not a lot, it wasn't a big deal, but then her lip swelled up huge. The swelling has gone down a bit today but she still has a fat lip. Poor kid. It doesn't seem to hurt though.

In Matthew news, he just finished reading the Hobbit and has decided to go for the whole Lord of the Rings series. That's a big undertaking for a nine year old but he really wanted to give it try and so far he seems to like it! He's our Year of the Books champion for sure. He's putting the rest of us to shame. I get so excited seeing him carry a book around with him everywhere he goes. He has always liked to read but this year he has just really taken off with it. As someone who loves books, it's been really fun for me! I have a list a mile long of books I can't wait to introduce him to.

So that's what's going on with us these days. We're keeping busy and I'm trying not to think too much about my upcoming dental work. Let's hope the next few weeks pass slowly! :)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

We're home!

Wow, what a busy weekend that was!

We picked the boys up from school on Friday afternoon and made the four hour drive to my hometown. We basically got there and went to bed.

Saturday morning I helped my mom get ready for a big family party. The film festival worked out so nicely because it happened to be on the same weekend as my grandma's 90th birthday party, which was basically a big family reunion. My grandparents on my moms side had seven kids and most of those kids also had big families so I have lots of aunts and uncles and cousins. I have close to 40 cousins on that side. Growing up, our family was really close. Almost everyone lived within about a two hour radius, so family parties were frequent and so much fun. I grew up with tons of cousins who were always around for holidays and reunions. I loved it. Some of my best memories of my childhood are with my cousins.

Then we all grew up and got married and spread out around the country and it got a lot harder to keep in touch. A lot of them still live in the area where we grew up but several of them live in different states and family parties are hit and miss. There is still a yearly family reunion in the summer and a party around the holidays, as well as other smaller get togethers during the year but as we have all spread out it's not often that everyone can come. We're not always able to make it to family parties and I don't get to see my cousins as often as I would like.

But yesterday we were able to be there for my grandmas big birthday party and it was pretty well attended by a lot of aunts and uncles and cousins. There were cousins there who I haven't seen in close to 10 years. A lot of us keep in touch on Facebook so I know what a lot of them are up to and I see photos of their kids and things but it was so fun to see everyone in person yesterday and catch up.

I was a bit in and out at the party though because it was at the same time as part of Josh's film festival activities. From 12-4 yesterday they had filmmaking workshops at the public library. This is the library in the town I grew up in and when I was a kid the library was my favorite place in town. I would beg my mom to take me to the library on Saturdays. There's something about that library that just makes me happy. I love being surrounded by books. Anyway, it was really fun to take my own son to that library yesterday. I had a moment yesterday of "Hey! Look at me all grown up taking my child to the place my mom used to take me so often when I was a kid"!

I get ridiculously nostalgic whenever we go back to my hometown and it drives everyone crazy. As I was driving Josh to the library yesterday I was pointing out significant landmarks from my childhood along the way. I thought he was enjoying it and then he said "Mom, is this actually the way to the library or are you just driving me down memory lane?" It WAS, in fact, the way to the library. I can't help it if significant events from my childhood happened along the way. :)

Anyway, I dropped him off and went back to the party and he had a fun time at the workshop. He's at this age where he no longer needs me to accompany him to things. I offered to stay with him and I hung around for a few minutes until I realized that he was the only one with a parent. I'm having a lot of those moments lately where I realize that he doesn't need to be accompanied by his mommy anymore. I don't know how I feel about that. (Actually, sad. Sad is how I feel about that.)

At the workshop they got to practice using real filmmaking equipment. They got to carry around a boom mic and yell "quiet on the set!" and wheel the big camera around. It was kind of fascinating to a techy kid like Josh. I came back at the end and I got a chance to watch a few of the films in the competition. During the workshops they played them all in a room if anyone wanted to wander in and  watch a few. Josh went in and watched his and was excited that people laughed at the appropriate parts. It was fun for him to watch people watch his creation.

We also got a chance to check out the competition a bit. There were some absolutely knock your socks off amazing films that you would never guess were made by kids. Seriously, a couple of them kind of blew my mind. This is the first year that middle school kids have competed. In the past it was just for high school kids and apparently there are some amazing talented high school kids out there.

I originally thought that middle school kids were only going to compete against middle school kids, but that wasn't the case. There was a "best of the junior division" prize that was only for middle schoolers, but their films were still entered with the high school students for all the category prizes. That made me a little nervous. There is generally a pretty big difference in skill and maturity between a 12 year old and a 17 year old and some of those high school films were pretty freaking amazing.

Josh was in the animation category and after I saw some of the live action films I am SO glad he entered an animation. A few of those live action films looked like they were made by professionals. They would have been hard to beat. The animation category was smaller and his skills really are better in animation.

That evening we all gathered in a theater at a middle school and they announced the winners and showed the winning films. It was pretty cool, the films were judged by a local newscaster and a local filmmaker and they provided commentary about each film before it started. They did a good job and gave great comments about each film. I was so nervous for Josh. They got to the animation category and announced Josh as the winner and his face just lit up. He was SO excited! He got to go up there and accept his $300 prize and the judges made several great comments about his film. Then we got to watch it and it was really fun to hear people laughing and clapping at the end. It was so fun for him to see his movie, with his name in the credits, played on a movie screen with an audience. What a great experience for a 12 year old!

He was the only middle schooler entered in his category, which means he beat out high school kids. In fact, he was the only middle schooler to win any award in the festival, besides the junior division prize, which was only for middle schoolers. I could not possibly be more proud of that kid. He rocks.

After the festival we went out to dinner to celebrate and he ate a brownies and ice cream for desert. If you beat out high school kids in a film contest, you can eat anything you want. :)

So between the big family party and the film festival, it was an extremely busy and completely exhausting day, but it was so awesome.

This morning we got up and made the four hour drive back home. It was a super quick trip but it was really fun. I'm so glad that I got to see my extended family and celebrate my grandmas birthday with her, and the film festival was such a great experience for Josh. On the way home he told me that he came up with four more movie ideas and was in the back seat writing them all down. What's next for Josh? I guess we'll have to wait and see! :)

Saturday, April 27, 2013


It's late and I'm exhausted but I just had to give a quick update! Josh won his category in the film festival tonight!!!

I'm so ridiculously proud of that kid, and he's so proud of himself. That film came extremely close to not even being entered in the competition. He's so glad he didn't give up when it seemed like it was going to be too much to finish before the deadline. (And yes, I did give him a "now what did we learn from this?" speech. You know I did. :))

So now I'm going to bed. We have a four hour drive home tomorrow that I'm not looking forward to. I'll post more about our busy weekend when I get home!

Friday, April 26, 2013

On the road

I come to you from the car. Two hours into a four hour car trip to my hometown. Tomorrow is my grandma's 90th birthday party and it's Josh's film festival! Busy day!

So we're currently cruising down the freeway. Josh has control of the car stereo iPod playlist for the next hour. We're listening to Plain White T's Wonder Of The Younger album. Nice.

Updates later on the outcome of the film festival! Keep your fingers crossed!:)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

More dental updates

First of all, I forgot to mention yesterday that Josh made the yearbook staff for next year! Yay! That means he gets to go to yearbook camp this summer, which he's really looking forward to.

Ok, so I went to the dentist this morning. He looked at my teeth and the bite did seem a little off to him so he started filing down the tooth that is hurting and realized that it had a little chip in it and when he started digging in there, the chip popped out. He thinks maybe there was a little piece of broken tooth that was jammed in there weird and that might be what was causing the pain.

That's the tooth that was supposed to have a filling and now needs a crown. He put a temporary filling in it when I had the work done a couple of weeks ago but I'm going back for a crown when I have the other crown done after my dental surgery. So while he was filing it today he filed out the chip and now I have a big gap there where part of tooth is missing that I will have until they do the crown in a few weeks. It's a back molar, so it's fine, it just feels weird.

Anyway, he didn't immediately jump to a root canal, he wants to see if this was the problem first, so I am glad about that. I hope this was the problem because seriously, I'm so over all this dental work. It's seriously stressing me out. I'm tired of being in pain, I'm tired of worrying about it, I'm tired of having to go back in there fifty times, I just want to be done with it. Next week I have the consult with the periodontist and I'm dreading it like the plague.

So there is the update on my teeth. Blah.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Afternoon dental update

I know people are just glued to their computers, waiting for me to share more fascinating stories of the amazing adventures of my dental work. I don't know why I blog these mundane things and I don't know why people read them, but yet, here we both are. United in my dental work. Aww. :)

So I spent all day trying to convince myself to call the dentist. I keep thinking that in five more minutes I'd go call him. Maybe ten. Definitely in a half hour. If not in a half hour then after lunch. Or at least by the close of business. Seriously, I would rather spend the day in pain than call the stupid dentist and just get the pain taken care of. I'm kind of ridiculous.

That went on all day until eventually all the procrastinating was for nothing because this afternoon the dentist called me instead. They called to see if they could move Clarissa's appointment to tomorrow morning, but that doesn't work because she has preschool. So while I had the receptionist on the phone I decided to suck it up and tell her that my tooth was hurting. She thinks there's a slight possibility that the temporary crown I have on the same side of my mouth as the tooth that hurts is just sitting too high and that could be causing the pain. That's possible. In that case they just shave the crown down a bit and that fixes the problem. So now I'm going in tomorrow morning to see if that's the case, and if not I guess I'm making plans for a root canal. Ugh.

The timing is not great because this weekend we're going to the film festival to see if Josh's animation wins a prize, and I'm really looking forward to it. I would very much not like to be in pain or recovering from a root canal this weekend.

So let's cross our fingers that it's just a crown problem and that they can easily fix it. Stay tuned for further adventures of my teeth. How fun for both of us.

Bite me

Uuuuuugh. You know the teeth drama I'm having? I had two teeth worked on recently. One was supposed to be crowned but they couldn't do it because there is a crack in it and now it needs dental surgery to fix it. The other tooth was supposed to be a simple filling but it also has a crack in it and now needs a crown. 

So that second tooth, the one that needed a filling and now needs a crown, HURTS. I tried to ignore it at first because it had just been worked on and the pain wasn't that bad at first but over the past few days it has hurt worse. Last night it hurt so bad I had to take Vicadin to get to sleep. I know exactly what that means. It needs a root canal. The dentist was worried that it might but was hoping that it would be OK with just crown but he said if I started having pain and sensitivity in it it was probably going to need a root canal. It definitely hurts and is sensitive. I need to call the dentist this morning to tell him but I just can't bring myself to do it because I know what he's going to say. 

I want to say a whole bunch of naughty words right about now. You have no idea how much I don't want a root canal in the middle of two crowns and dental surgery. I will easily max out my dental insurance for the year and then some, so it's going to cost me a fortune and I haaaate having dental work done. Hate it. Crap crap crap crap crap. 

So my Monday is not off to the greatest start. My mouth hurts and I'm cranky. Stupid teeth. :(

Saturday, April 20, 2013


So for the past few days my nails have been pink. Like if Barbie painted her nails, this is the color she would use. I'm not a pink person. I never have been. My favorite nail color is grey or taupey grey brown colors, followed by blues and greens and the occasional vampy dark red. Very rarely are they ever pink. I own a lot of pink nail polish and sometimes in the summer I paint my toenails pink, but for some reason pink fingernails don't FEEL like me. Grey nail polish feels like me.

But the other day I was bored with all my regular colors so I decided to be wild and crazy and go for pink. The color is Essie Muchi Muchi. It's very bubblegum pink. And for the past few days, every single time I wash my hands or look down at my nails I almost have a weird moment of "Oh! Pink fingernails!" It feels weird. It feels like last year when I started wearing nail polish after a lifetime of never wearing it and it felt so strange for a while. My hands don't look like my hands.

But this morning I washed my hands and looked at them again and suddenly the pink fingernails don't feel weird. In fact, I think I kind of like it. Maybe I can be a pink fingernail polish person after all.

I decided pink fingernail polish deserved a photo shoot, so here you go. :)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Josh got accepted!

I feel like this is the Josh blog lately! I don't mean for it to be, Josh just keeps doing awesome things lately!

He came home from school today, thrilled to announce that he was accepted into the National Junior Honor Society!! I'm so excited for him I can hardly stand it. He really wanted this and it's so fun to watch him succeed. There is an induction ceremony on May 2nd that I'm really looking forward to.

I'm so proud of that kid. He's just succeeding all over the place lately. It's funny, when you have little kids you think that raising a baby and toddler is the hardest part of parenthood. Potty training and sleep training and all of that is hard and it's exhausting. But I never realized until recently that raising toddlers is a piece of cake compared to raising teenagers. Toddler problems are temporary. They eventually potty train, they eventually sleep through the night, they eventually give up the pacifier, they eventually stop throwing tantrums at the grocery store.

Raising teenagers is SCARY! Their problems are more life altering. Helping them navigate choosing good friends, teaching them work ethic, helping guide them to good academic choices, etc. Those are things that shape their lives and follow them forever. It's hard to know when to step in and when to let them make their own choices. It's hard to watch them fail at things and make mistakes, it's hard to worry about their self esteem and whether they have good friends and how much to shield them from all the crap in the world without making them so naive that the world is shocking to them. It's hard!

Josh turns 13 in a few weeks and we're navigating these waters for the first time. I have no idea how to raise a teenager. This year has been a really interesting one for him. Seventh grade is where you really start to figure out who you are, I think. I've seen a lot of personal growth and change in him this year as he has started to figure out where he fits in to the world and I'm incredibly proud of the choices he's making. I known I joked about my motivational speeches the other day but we really have been talking to him a lot about how the choices he makes now affect the path his life will take later and I think some of that is getting though. I love watching him be brave enough to put himself out there and try new things and succeed at them. I'm excited by the path he's choosing, I see so many good things ahead for him.

The other thing he recently applied for that we're waiting to hear back about is yearbook staff. He really wants to be on the yearbook next year and he's hoping to find out Monday if he gets in. If he does, next year he'll have honor society, yearbook, film club, interntional club, two honors classes and a student task force that he's also signing up for. He also has scouts and church activities. He's going to be a busy kid but he loves it. I'm happy to see him wanting to be a part of school activities and getting involved with different groups. It's a good way to make friends who have similar interests. He likes being busy and he works hard.

So we have Clarissa who is still going through all those toddler milestones, these days she's learning to write her name, learning to read a few simple words and keeping me super busy at home during the day and Josh who is going through all these new big kid milestones that are exciting but scary and taking up a lot of my brainpower lately and then we have Matthew, who is SO easy right now! Nine is a good age. He's old enough to be independent and young enough not to be dealing with teenage issues yet. He's super happy and easy going, that kid deserves a gold star for being so low maintenance, lol. I have to make sure sometimes that he doesn't get lost in the middle, because I'm a middle child too and I know how that tends to happen. He's so happy to go with the flow, he does his homework, reads for hours, plays with friends, he's happy to do whatever everyone else is doing. I'm enjoying this stage now because I know that it's not going to be long before he starts heading into the scary teenage years.

Being a mom is exhausting and even scary at times but it's days like today when Josh ran in the house and couldn't wait to tell me that he made honor society that its all worth it. I'm proud of all three of my great kids and I love watching then grow!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Weird day

I'm having a weird day and it must be blogged.

This morning I had to take Clarissa to the zoo for a preschool field trip. Normally I love the zoo! The zoo is my happy place! But this morning it was 34 degrees outside and windy and I soooo did not want to go to the zoo. But I knew Clarissa would love it, cold or not, so I knew we needed to go.

Here's the problem with me and the zoo, and to tell this story I have to admit a weird secret. The zoo is downtown and I'm scared to drive downtown. I rarely admit this because its ridiculous (you have no idea how many things I don't admit because they're ridiculous), but I'm scared to drive downtown, or on the freeway or anywhere that I'm not super familiar with. Like, so scared that I don't do it unless I absolutely have to and then it's like this big mental thing that I have to build myself up to do.

Which is weird, because that is not an anxiety that I've always had. When I was 19 I moved across the country to New Jersey to be a live in nanny for a year and my favorite thing in the world to do on my days off was to just get in the car and drive. I've gotten lost all over the state of New Jersey. One time I almost didn't get off the freeway in time and almost accidentally drove into New York City. One day I drove to Philladelphia and then turned around and drove home, just to say I did, lol.

But somewhere along the line I developed a driving anxiety. I grew up in a fairly small town where driving was easy, traffic was fairly light and there weren't really any freeways to contend with on a regular basis unless you were traveling out of town for some reason.

Now we live in Boise, which is way bigger than the town I grew up in (although I realize it's still small by big city standards), but we live way out in the suburbs. We live so far out in the suburbs that we barely live in Boise. We rarely go downtown because there's not really a need to. I can drive fine around my house and everything I need is right here.

But the zoo is downtown, which means that I had to really put my brave face on to drive down there. And I know that everyone who reads this and lives in Boise is cracking up, because its really not THAT bad, but I hate it! You have to get on the interstate and deal with the traffic and all the streets downtown are narrow and most of them are one way, which confuses me, and I hate driving to the zoo!

But I did it, we didn't die and we had a fine time at the zoo, even though it was freezing and none of the animals were out so it was kind of like taking a walk through a very cold park. I've had better days at the zoo.

Then it came time to drive home. You can't drive home the way you came because all the streets are one way. That's why I hate driving downtown! So I thought I knew where to turn but because I almost never drive downtown I turned at the wrong spot and then couldn't figure out how to get back and I don't know which streets are one way and you can't tell until you get right up to the intersection so I had to make fast decisions and the streets are narrow and the traffic is crazy and that is why I don't drive downtown!

So I called Shawn in a panic. This is why I love Shawn. I can call him at work in a random hysterical anxiety ridden meltdown and he's super calm, like he gives directions to hysterical people over the phone for a living or something. He should work for 911. Hysterics don't bother him at all.

So I was at an intersection that is like three streets converging at weird angles and they're all one way and impossible to figure out and I was thinking of just giving up and buying a house downtown since clearly I was never going to make it back out to the suburbs again, but Shawn talked me down. He got me home and no one died. Yay me.

So I got home just in time to go back out and meet with my dentist about the disasterous dentist appointment I had last week. Ugh. Driving anxiety and doctor anxiety all in one day.

So here's what happened at the dentist last week. I was supposed to get a crown and a filling. The filling ended up being worse than they though and now needs a crown. The crown ended up being worse than they thought and they couldn't even finish it. So today I had to meet with the dentist so he could show me photos of the whole disaster and make a plan. The tooth he tried to crown has a crack in it all the way down to the bone so the dentist can't crown it. So now I have to go have dental surgery at a periodontist to have some gums moved and bone shaved or something and after that heals for a few weeks I have to go back to the dentist so that the dentist can get down there and do the crown and he'll also crown the other tooth at the same time. Uuuuuugh. That sounds awful, doesn't it?  There are stitches involved. I'm such a baby about things like that. I would very much like not to have dental surgery.

I was just about to say that my teeth can bite me and then that gave me the giggles. So at least there's that.

Then as I was leaving the dentists office I broke a nail getting into the car. Seriously?

So I kind of had a bad day. Driving downtown and impending dental surgery are two things I try to avoid when at all possible. Blah. My whole day can bite me. I'm going to go read a book now.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Conversations with a 12 year old

Josh may not love that I'm posting this, but it made me laugh so I can't help it. Sorry, Josh. You know I love you!

So as a mother I tend to be a bit of a lecturer. (And this surprises all of you because none of you have ever known me to be long winded. Of course.) I don't like to call myself a lecturer, I prefer to think of myself as my kids personal motivational speaker, lol. I've been known to go on for quite some time on multiple occasions on topics such as how they can accomplish their dreams through hard work and dedication. People pay good money to attend seminars by motivational speakers. I provide this service free to my children. You're welcome, kids. My children would probably not call me a motivational speaker. I have a feeling that to them I'm more like the teacher on the Peanuts cartoon. But I digress.

My motivational speeches often follow some sort of life lesson or event that my kids have learned and my speeches often include the phrase "now what can we learn from this?". My kids LOOOVE it when I say that. (No. They in fact, do not. But I'm convinced that someday they will look back on their successful lives and attribute their success to their wise mother who taught them so many life lessons in a series of motivational speeches.)

So a few nights ago Josh was complaining about an upcoming book report and how he had to read the book and then choose a project off a list of approved projects and none of the projects sounded like fun to him. I suggested that maybe he make an animated movie for his project. One of the projects listed was to film a short live action movie based on the book but he didn't want to do a live action movie because of the type of book he has to read.

So I suggested that he go talk to his teacher and ask if he could do an animation instead. He insisted that she would say no because it only listed a live action movie. I thought it was worth asking, the worst she could say was no. We had a discussion about that which turned into a motivational speech about how in life you shouldn't be afraid to speak up and ask for what you want. Maybe you'll get what you want and maybe you won't but it never hurts to ask. Josh didn't really like that speech. I have found that the closer he gets to being a teenager, the less he likes my speeches. Which means that I'd better get them all in before he turns 13 in May, right? :)

Fast forward to this afternoon. He still hadn't come up with an idea for his book report and in desperation finally asked his teacher if he could do an animated movie instead of a live action movie. He was very surprised that her answer was yes.

So he comes home from school and these are the first words out of his mouth, spoken really fast before I could get a word in:

"I talked to my teacher about my book report and she said that I could do an animation instead of a live action movie and what I have learned from this is that it's OK to ask for what you want because sometimes it works and you do get what you want and you were totally right."

I laughed and said "Wow, you REALLY did not want me to say I told you so, did you?" And he said "no, I did not."

Yes, his mother is wise. Slightly obnoxious and entirely too long winded, but wise.

You're welcome, kids.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Josh was in the paper!

It was just the little small town paper, but still, he's pretty excited that his contest winnings made the news! :)

I edited out some information. I don't really know why, since the paper is public, I just don't want the name of the school on my blog.

Anyway, here it is! :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pinewood Derby update

The car came in last place. :) This is the fourth year in a row that our car has come in last place. At this point we find that hilarious, lol.  But his car won Best In Show, which is super adorable. We'll take a pity win, Matthew thought it was awesome, lol.

So once again, the Whites are the reigning last place finishers at the Pinewood Derby. Tune in next year to see if we can make it five in a row. :) 

Dentist woes

So I spent the day at the dentist. Everyone's favorite activity, right? I had to get a crown and a cavity filled. When it was all said and done the tooth that needed a crown ended up having a crack down in the root and he ended up not being able to do the crown and now it needs a whole other procedure that I have to go in and talk to the dentist about next week. It doesn't need a root canal, it needs something else done to it that he didn't want to talk to me about today because I was all spacey on nitrous and not in the mental state to understand it.

Also, the other tooth that was supposed to be a simple filling wasn't so simple and probably needs a crown. Seriously, today was not my day.

So now I'm sitting here in pain. I have a temporary tooth on the failed crown while they decide what to do with it and it hurts. Shawn was awesome and went out and bought me soft food for dinner and now he and Matthew are at the Pinewood Derby.

I hope Matthew's car does well this year. We're kind of ridiculous every year at Pinewood Derby time. I love my husband dearly and he is a brilliant man with a doctorate degree who has so many talents and amazing qualities, but he's not really a builder and neither am I. We're not great when it comes to projects where we have to construct something or work with our hands. We don't have a lot of fancy tools and we have no crafting skills. Give me a computer and I can create something awesome. Give Shawn a math equation or a science project and he's got it covered. But making Pinewood Derby cars is not a talent we possess. So Pinewood Derby car building week is always kind of hilarious around here. We try, and I have to hand it to Shawn. He researches it more every year and he's getting better at helping the kids make their cars but so far we usually manage a solid last place finish every year, lol.

This year they've worked really hard on it and I'm anxious to hear how they do. Matthew is super easy going, I don't think he really cares if he wins or not, but it's like this personal mission for Shawn to win a Pinewood Derby just once. Between the two boys we've been doing this thing for years now. Maybe this year is our year.

OK, so just as I was in the middle of writing this blog post, there was a knock at my door. It was my awesome friend Karen to the rescue. She knew I had dental work today so she brought me a little lime meringue pie! It's soft, so I can totally eat it and she makes the most amazing pies ever. Karen wins a million friend points today. I think she might even win two million. It was almost worth spending the day in the dentist chair just for the pie. When I had my gallbladder out a few years ago Karen brought me homemade chicken noodle soup and rolls for like three days because it was the only thing at sounded good to me that I could eat. Karen rocks. I'm lucky to have such an awesome friend who always knows exactly what I need.

And with that, I'm off to eat pie. :)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Trouble With Spells

I bring you Josh's entry for the film festival. :) It was mailed this morning and we're all breathing a sigh of relief that it's done and off to be judged.

This film festival has been around for a few years but this is the first year that they've had a separate division just for 7th and 8th graders. His video is being judged only against other 7th and 8th graders in the animation category. I like that, because it means that they're comparing apples to apples and he's not up against high school students who have more experience.

I have no idea how many entries the contest gets and how many of them are in the animation category. He has a few friends who are entering but they're doing live action films which will be entered in different categories so we haven't seen any other animations to compare his to. So I have no idea if it has a chance of winning but I'm incredibly of proud of him because he worked extremely hard on it and I think he did a fantastic job!

So with that, I bring you The Trouble With Spells. :)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


I spent the evening with friends and it was just what I needed to de-stress.

Then I came home and Josh had finished the Lego video. There was a point today that I was pretty sure the video wasn't happening. There was just too much to do and not enough time to do it. But when Josh puts his mind to something, he accomplishes it and he worked his butt off to get it done. And seriously, it is awesome. I could not be more proud of that kid. The sound effects and background music that he added to it this afternoon are awesome and the video is really cute and funny.

We're on such a tight deadline to finish it because the contest is actually in my hometown, four hours from here, and they have to have the entrance fee and an actual hard copy DVD of the video by Friday. It's not something he can enter online and we can't be there to enter it in person. So tonight we got it burned to the DVD and filled out the paperwork and tomorrow morning Shawn is taking it to the post office to be next day aired. Seriously, I'm still amazed that Josh pulled it off because that was not an easy project. It was a TON of work in a really short amount of time. At this point, I don't even care if it wins, I'm proud of him just for finishing it.

I'm going to share the video here in a couple of days. I want to make sure that it gets officially entered into the contest before I post it online. It's super cute and I'm excited to share it. The festival is on April 27th, so we're going to make a weekend trip over there so he can participate in the fun activities they're doing.

And now I'm going to bed. It was a satisfying end to a busy day!


Ugh, I'm a little on edge today. I need Calgon to come take me away, lol.

It's nothing big, I'm just so busy with a bunch of different things going on and sometimes I'm easily overwhelmed. Thursday I'm having some dental work done and I didn't agree with the dentist about what was being done and I had to go in this morning and hash it out with him. I've been reminded today of the episode of Seinfeld where the doctor writes "difficult" on Elaine's chart, lol. I think my chart says difficult now.

I don't like being disagreeable. It's hard for me to stand up for myself sometimes. But today I successfully did it. We agreed to a new plan that I feel better about but I have to go in on Thursday and have the work done and I'm nervous about it. I hate dental work anyway and I'm afraid my dentist is irritated with me. You don't want people to be irritated with you when they have sharp instruments in your mouth, lol.

I've also been helping Josh with his Lego animation video for the upcoming film festival. To be honest, I'm afraid he has bitten off more than he can chew in such a short time and we're both a little stressed about it. I agreed to help him and be his assistant, but I'm definitely not going to do the work for him. This is his project and he needs to do it. We spent hours and hours over the weekend filming it (stop motion animation is extremely tedious!) and in the end he wasn't happy with how it turned out so I agreed to help him re-do the whole thing yesterday. I sat behind my camera for hours last night taking pictures of the Lego scene as he controlled the movements. My whole body ached when we were done from sitting hunched over the camera.

The second attempt was more successful but there is still hours or editing to do and I think he's really burned out. I'm a mom and part of me just wants to step in and finish it for him. I know what needs to be done to it. But I'm not going to let him enter a movie he didn't make and he's not going to learn anything if I do it for him. So I'm standing back and letting him decide if he's really going to be able to get it done or not. It's hard for me to stand back and watch him stress out about it. At this point I don't know if it's going to make it into the competition or not. If not he can always keep working on it and enter it next year or enter it in a different competition. The concept is great, Lego animations are just a huge project and I think he underestimated how much time it was going to take. I'm trying to help him but still let him do it himself and that's hard.

So yesterday we worked on it from the time he got home from school until after 10:00 last night while Shawn worked with Matthew on his Pinewood Derby car in the next room. For some reason our kids projects always come in Two's. Whenever one of them has a big project they need help with, the other one has one too. It was a house full of projects last night. The Pinewood Derby car has to be done by Thursday, Josh's video has to be done by Thursday and my dental work is Thursday. I'm kind of dreading Thursday.

So last night I went to bed stressed out about Josh's movie, stressed out about my showdown with the dentist this morning and just generally exhausted because parenting is tiring, and I had super weird dreams all night. Whenever I have a lot on my mind I have crazy dreams. I had a weird dream about my high school boyfriend. At one point I think he was a Lego mini figure...

Tonight I get a bit of a reprieve from dental work and Lego video stress and my two awesome friends are taking me out for a belated birthday dinner. I think a night out with the girls is just what I need!

Monday, April 8, 2013


Ugh, secrets are hard to keep. :)

Last week I got an e-mail from Josh's film teacher letting me know that there was some "mysterious" paperwork at the school that I needed to go fill out and Josh couldn't know anything about it. I assumed that it had something to do with the Zions Bank film competition but they wouldn't tell me anything! I went to the school and the paperwork that needed to be filled out was tax forms (for prize money) and a photo release form from Zions bank. Hmm...it wasn't too hard to figure out what was happening, lol. I finally got out of his principal that they came in second place! They had an assembly planned for this morning though and they wanted it to be a secret until then.

So I have been sitting on this secret since last week. I was DYING to tell Josh because I knew he was waiting on pins and needles for the contest results, but I did good and managed to keep it a secret.

This morning Shawn and I went over to the school and tried to hide ourselves in the bleachers at the assembly, but Josh saw us. He was super confused as to why we were there, lol. There were other school awards being given out so we waited through those and then at the end they had the two representatives from Zions Bank go up there to present the award.

I was sitting on the opposite side of the gym from Josh and I was watching him as she started to talk. As soon as she said that she was from Zions Bank the look on his face was priceless. He knew what was coming and he was SO excited!! I'm such a mom, I got all teary and had to force myself not to cry. I can't help it, I'm so proud of that kid.

They called him and his film partner up to accept their prize winnings and pose with the giant check. Josh actually gets to keep a giant check, by the way! It will be perfect in his film making bedroom! :)

So the school won $500 and Josh and his partner split another $500. Two hundred and fifty dollars is a fortune for a 12 year old! He's really excited!

I'm so proud of him I can hardly stand it. It was fun to see him so excited and so proud of himself. He's an amazing kid.

Here are a few photos!

Saturday, April 6, 2013


I started and finished the book Night Road today. I read the whole 387 page book in pretty much one sitting. It was so good that I couldn't put it down. The last few books I've read were kind of disappointing, but this one really good. Sad though, in case you're thinking of reading it. I'm excited to have crossed another book off my list. But now I have to pick a new book and that's always the hard part!

I'm excited about something else that is in the works today! A few weeks ago Josh's film teacher told him about a teen film festival that is happening at the end of April in the town I grew up in. Josh didn't think he felt prepared to enter it this year but they're having film making workshops during the day and then showing the winning films in the evening and that sounded really fun to him so we're planning take a quick trip over there so that he can participate. They have some fun things going on that he could participate in even if he didn't enter a film and I thought that seeing the winning films would help him prepare to enter next year.

But his teacher has still been encouraging him to enter something and this morning he suddenly decided to just go for it. The submission deadline is this Friday so now he's kind of in a crunch to come up with something, but we brainstormed together this morning and he has come up with a great idea. He's entering the animation category and is doing a five minute Lego animation. He wrote a really funny script and he's now working really hard to put it all together in time to submit. Stop motion animation is extremely time consuming and requires a lot of patience but it's something he loves and he's excited to do it. Oh, and don't worry, I won't make you vote for this one! :)

And speaking of voting, I believe they are announcing the winners of the Zion's Bank video contest on Monday! Lets hope I have something exciting to report! :)


In duck news, nothing is happening. I saw them land in my yard yesterday so I went out to welcome them with bread, but they looked at me like I was a crazy person tossing food at their head (well, in their defense...) and they were having none of it. They eyed me suspiciously and went to sit in the far corner of the yard and tried to pretend they were invisible. Fine. They'll eventually give in to my dazzling charm and yummy bread. Everyone does eventually. :)

So today it's a lazy Saturday around here. Shawn is working and the kids are happily playing together and I don't have any projects that are screaming to be done so that leaves me with some free time, which I think I will use to read. I finished the Elizabeth Berg book yesterday (super lame book, a big disappointment since I usually love Elizabeth Berg) and now I'm reading Night Road by Kristin Hannah. If I finish it this weekend that will make three books in a week. I'm on a roll.

So that's all I have to report. I'm determined to make friends the ducks. I will keep you posted.

Friday, April 5, 2013


Two ducks just landed in my backyard. Spring has officially arrived. Obnoxious updates to follow.

You all know how I am.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A few of my favorite things

Tomorrow is my birthday. I'll be 38. I'm not how I feel about that.

But tonight I am happy, and here is why. This evening I had to to over to the church to teach another nail class to a group of teenage girls. While I was gone Shawn loaded up the kids and took them out to buy me some birthday presents.

When I got home from the nail class, they had straightened up the kitchen and family room and there were three wrapped presents sitting on the counter for me. One from each of the kids. Josh goes to school early in the mornings and we don't always have a lot of extra time in the mornings so he asked if we could open presents tonight. Of course that's fine with me, I'll open presents anytime! :)

Each kid picked out a present for me. Clarissa picked out nail polish and Shawn said she even really picked out the color. It's beautiful and unlike any that I already have! Josh got me a big candy bar (my favorite kind!) and an ITunes gift card. Chocolate and my iPad are two of my favorite things. :) And Matthew got me a bottle of coconut scented lotion.

When I opened the lotion and saw that it was coconut I said "You know why I love this? Because coconut scented lotion smells like summer." Everyone burst out laughing. Apparently this evening when they were standing in the lotion aisle of the store trying to choose a scent, Matthew picked coconut and Shawn said "That's perfect, because when mom opens it she's going to say "you know why I love this? Because coconut scented lotion smells like summer.". And I did. :)

Shawn is the only person in the world who knows that I love coconut scented lotion because it smells like summer. I love the gifts that I got from the kids and even more than the gifts I love that I have people in my life who get me and know the little things that make me happy. I love that there is someone out there who knows me well enough to know that coconut scented lotion makes me happy because it smells like summer. It made me feel really loved, and that's what I appreciated most about my birthday gifts. I love my family. I love that I have a husband who gets me and takes all three kids to the store to pick out my favorite things for my birthday. My husband rocks.

And not only did I get three awesome gifts from the kids tonight, but my gift from Shawn is that he made me an appointment at a fancy salon tomorrow to get a manicure and a pedicure! For as much as I love nail polish I've never actually had them professionally done before and I'm super excited about it! I'm feeling super spoiled on my birthday this year.

And I'm currently sitting here wearing coconut scented lotion. I smell like summer. :)

Monday, April 1, 2013


After all the craziness of the past month-Matthew on track break all month, house projects, new carpet, spring break and all the rest of it-it felt really nice to wake up this morning in a clean and organized house and send everyone back to school and work this morning. It felt very quiet here today with just me and Clarissa!

We had an awesome Easter yesterday. My plan was to get all the projects done so that we could enjoy Easter in a project-free house and we managed to pull it off. It was peaceful and nice here yesterday. We even ate Easter dinner in the newly decorated formal dining room! We never eat in there, so it was quite an event. :) We are absolutely loving the house now that the projects are done. I couldn't be happier with the results. There were a few days there that I didn't think we were going to survive the mess and chaos of the whole project, but we survived and all the work and mess was worth it.

So now that Matthews track break is over, the house projects are over, spending my days trying to get people to vote for Josh's video contest is over (we won't find out the results until next week, by the way) and spring break is over, I'm ready to get back to some things I have neglected.

We're back to reading, which is great. I finished my last book in two days and now I've moved on to another one. I'm starting a book by Elizabeth Berg called Once Upon A Time There Was You, which sounds kind of cheesy but I have liked Elizabeth Berg in the past so I'll give it a try.

One thing that I just discovered is checking out e-books from the public library! I've been vaguely aware that checking out e-books was an option for a while but I had never really looked into how to do it. Now that I have done it I can't believe how dumb I was not to have done it a long time ago! It's the easiest thing ever. If you haven't tried it yet, you definitely should! For our library all you have to do is go to the website, search for the book you want in their e-book section, type in your library card number and it has you select which format you want it in. I clicked on Kindle and it sent me to Amazon to download it to my IPad, just like the books I buy from Amazon. The whole thing took two minutes and now I'm reading a Kindle book that I didn't have to pay $10 for. I'm generally fairly tech savvy and usually not easily impressed by this kind of stuff, but I swear I feel like an 80 year old who just learned how e-mail works. I read books on my iPad all the time, I just didn't realize how easy it is to check them out for free. A whole world just opened up to me now that I don't have to pay for books or keep going back and forth to the library. Awesome.

And on that note, I am now off to read for a bit! :)