Tuesday, March 30, 2010

iBean Inspired

This is a video about a very cool little company my BIL works with. He is currently in a contest, so the more times this video is viewed, the better. Plus, it's kind of a cool thing, this planting and nurturing and putting intention into your dreams in a concrete way.

Please watch the video! Pass it on!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Heather has 5 coupons for $1 off lunchables. She finds that they are on sale for $.99 at her local supermarket...

You may think the answer to this question is "The store will pay Heather $.05 to take 5 lunchables off their hands."

That is, indeed, the correct answer to the above story problem. And it's kind of cool.

But the real riddle is this:

"If Heather gets 5 free lunchables from her local supermarket should she actually let her family eat them????"

I've begun couponing recently to try to save money on our family's grocery budget. I'm still getting the hang of it. I've had more frustrating experiences than positive so far, but I have saved a lot of money already and I have faith that, with practice, I can get good at this.

I've encountered a dilemma, though.

On Tuesday night I came home, having purchased $89 worth of food for only $45. It felt good.

Then I had a startling realization. I had just purchased 5 bags of potato chips, 2 jumbo boxes of poptarts, 4 boxes of sugary cereal and 5 lunchables.

We don't eat this kind of stuff. I mean, we're not complete snobs. I love a good potato chip. Every once in a while. I don't need FIVE BAGS of them in my house.

I always kind of thought that the mostly whole food, unproccessed, non-junk diet our family usually eats was the product of a tight food budget.

Well, either that's completely untrue or somewhere along the way I've learned to prefer it.

Imagine my confusion when this light bulb came on.

Add to this that Jeffrey and I just watched "Food, Inc.", I have been listening to a lot of Michael Pollan on NPR, I've begun buying as much of my produce and meats as possible through local food co-ops and have been researching local farms to find a source for grass-fed beef.

Oh. And I'm researching the effect of food additives on ADHD symptoms in adults and children.

So the real riddle lies in how I will reconcile my desire to save money with my desire to keep my family healthy by feeding them food rather than food-like-substance.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I Am Runner

"Human beings are made up of flesh and blood, and a miracle fiber called courage"
-George Patton

I've begun to do something that terrifies me. I run.

Dare I say it? I'm transforming myself into a runner.

I am a runner.

I don't feel like a runner quite yet. At least not all the time. But I suppose that if writers write and painters paint and builders build and runners run, then I am, indeed, a runner.

I've run about 22 miles since January, 13.4 of those since March 6.

I've come here to somehow mark this place in my journey and acknowledge what a miracle that is for me. I've never considered myself a distance runner. I see JDub, with his wiry body and mental ability to run for long distances, even when it's hard. I know I don't fit that mold.

I am a sprinter by nature. Very dangerous over short distances (or at least I used to be). *grin* I'm a soccer player. I'm happy to run for an hour and a half straight if I'm chasing a soccer ball. But, to just run for an hour and a half. Just to run??? That was never my thing.

And that's so true for me in so many ways. I'm so good at coming out of the starting blocks. I'm good at the short burst of speed, the sprint to the finish.

But real staying power? To stick with something when it gets hard or boring or just to keep my attention focused on one thing long enough to finish it is hard for me.

So, this running, this training for a long, crazy relay race, is terrifying for me. Every time I take the first step out my door for a run. Every time I pack my littles in the car and head for the gym. I'm scared. This is not easy for me.

And that's what makes it good.

Every mile (every footfall, really) feels like a triumph. Each tiny milestone has been so joyful -- being able to run for 15 minutes without stopping to rest, breaking below a 13 minute mile, running every other day for an entire week -- these may seem so small to an experienced runner. They are my daily celebrations.

A few days ago, I was on the treadmill at the gym and I found myself smiling. Smiling!! I was on the latter end of my second mile, listening to Owl City's "Fireflies" and just so happy to be alive, to be running, to be strong and healthy. In that moment I loved myself with everything I had, the world was just as it should be.

Today I left the gym with sweat beading on my forehead. My face was red. My skin was warm and tingly. My head was light and clear.

It was a beautiful thing.

I'm excited to find what this running thing has to teach me. I'm getting the feeling that it will be much like yoga, like childbirth -- the search for the calm in the storm, learning to sink into the moment, to breathe, to calm my mind and feel the earth beneath me and do nothing extra.

I think I'm going to enjoy being a runner.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Coco Says I Need To Post a Picture Of Him

He saw my last post, about Peanut and said "No, meeeeee! Put me on there!"

Here you go!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Little Peanut Loves the Music

And the visualizer too. We have an Appletv and whenever there is music playing, a visualizer comes on the screen with the music. Dancing colors! As the picture above shows, Peanut LOVES it. What the picture doesn't show is that he scooted all the way across the living room (and out of his pants) to get there.

This kid also has some serious rhythm! We were dancing together yesterday afternoon and I stopped moving to find that he was bouncing on my hip, all by himself, right to the beat of the music.

I adore this sweet boy!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, March 12, 2010

I'm Wondering...

Does letting my boys have Mohawks for one school day (not a crazy hair day) make me the fun mom or the irresponsible mom?

We'll be shaving them off before church on Sunday.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Everybody Loves Chuck

I've attempted to write this post on March 11 every year since I started this blog. Hopefully this will be the year that it actually makes it out the gate for you to read.

This is a post about my Daddy. Because today is his birthday.

My dad was born in Los Angeles in the late 1950s. He grew up in California, then moved to our small Utah hometown when he was 15 (white t-shirt, black leather jacket and all). He met my mom that year. He likes to tell the story about seeing her picture before he met her and thinking she was the most beautiful girl he'd ever seen.

He has worked as a diesel mechanic, at the salt plant near the Great Salt Lake, at an auto supply store and at his current job. I have no idea what his job title is now, but the work he does is really cool -- helping to build and keep running efficiently munitions incinerators all over the world.

He's a fixer. And engineer without the degree and the book-learning that gets in the way of the common sense. He's funny and kind and a phenomenal grandpa.

There's a scripture that always reminds me of my dad.

"We love him, because he first loved us." 1 John 4:19

My dad has this amazing quality of effortlessly loving other people and making them feel comfortable. Hence the title. Everybody loves Chuck, because Chuck loves everybody.

His isn't a visiting-teacher-relief-society-president kind of love. The gooey, cheesy, can-i-bring-you-a-casserole kind of love.

It's the pat-you-on-the-back, make-up-funny-names-for-you, tease-you-relentlessly and put-you-at-ease kind of love.

It's also love in action.

A few years ago, I went to my parents' house to have my dad help me fix our car and teach me how to change the oil. He did, of course. But the whole time I was there, he was also helping a young man who lived in his ward. This man's wife was being treated for cancer, he was depressed and struggling quite a bit. So, with his typical, home-spun kindness, my dad took him under his wing. He came over to his garage many times during that period in his life to fix his cars. While I was there, he helped my dad and I with my van. I have a feeling that there was much more mended at that time than engines.

This is typical of my dad. His heart and his garage are very similar places. There's always room for everyone. There's always someone or something there, being mended, being made better. There's always quite a motley assortment of tools (or people) that my dad knows just how to make feel useful, important and worthwhile.

He was a dad who played with me and that is priceless. He helped me with valentine boxes and science projects. He taught me to hit and catch a softball. He flew kites with me. He shares my love of Thoreau and loves me for my march to a different drummer. He marches to the beat of a different drummer too. He and I are kindred spirits. I have lots of poems to write about him, but they never seem to come out right.

Dad, I'm so glad you were born. I'm so glad you're mine. Happy birthday!

{pictures hopefully coming soon, but seriously, it's been yeaaaaars. i have to get this posted.}

Friday, March 05, 2010

My Friday Evening

Gun show. Major muscles!!

Pouty, unhappy, grumbling 9 year old.

Sick, sleepy, cuddly Coco.

Husband working in the dark.

Sweet daughter reading.

Oh and you may have glimpsed my date for later this evening in the picture behind Mashuga. Two whole baskets full...

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

My Husband Is Wonderful

I get a little crazy sometimes. And soul weary. And discouraged.

I'm lucky to have one of the best friends in the world to pull me back. He gives me solid ground to stand on and wings to fly.

I love you, honey.

This song came on the radio today. I'd never heard it before, but it reminds me so much of JDub.

Everybody needs inspiration
Everybody needs a song
A beautiful melody
When the night's are long
Cause there is no guarantee
That this life is easy

Yeah, when my world is falling apart
When there's no light to break up the dark
That's when I, I, I look at you
When the waves are flooding the shore and I
Can't find my way home anymore
That's when I, I, I look at you

When I look at you
I see forgiveness
I see the truth
You love me for who I am
Like the stars hold the moon
Right there where they belong and I know
I'm not alone

Yeah, when my world is falling apart
When there's no light to break up the dark
That's when I, I, I look at you
When the waves are flooding the shore and I
Can't find my way home anymore
That's when I, I, I look at you

You appear just like a dream to me
Just like kaleidoscope colors that
Cover me
All I need
Every breath, that I breathe
Dontcha know?
You're beautiful

Yeah yeah..

When the waves are flooding the shore
And I cant find my way home anymore
Thats when I,
I I look at you
I look at you

Yeah yeah..
Oh oh..
You appear just like a dream to me...