Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sweet and Sour

Amaya came in to wake me up and said, "Momma, you're the best."

I swear I did not train her to say that.

Amaya constantly says "I love you" to me. I know she says it to a few other people too, but I like to think she means it especially much when she says it to me.

After she begged me to open a banana for her, for about 20 minutes of constant nagging. Amaya is the great fruit fake-out queen (oh, it's a title, trust me) and will almost inevitably not eat whatever fruit you willingly give her.

Finally I opened it up. She pulled a chunk off, brought it to her lips, and did not take a bite. Not even a little bite. She put the banana on the counter.

7 time outs later, I'm taking a picture of her miserable self, a hostage at the kitchen table, holding a banana and saying, "I don't WANNA take a bite of banana! I don't Yike it!"

I truly think she believed at that moment that she was having the worst day of her life.

Don't you wish this was your worst day? Being forced to take one bite of a banana?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Guys, I don't come up with these realizations very often, so don't laugh.

I realized today: it's hard to do things sometimes.

And then a little later I realized: it's hard to do hard things.

Then in between bites of my 2nd bowl of carb loaded pasta: it's hard to do hard things for extended periods of time.

Now that is deep.

For example, I did my P90x workout plan faithfully for 5 weeks and ate vegan for 40 days (okay, so I missed 2 days). Then I had a crazy week getting ready to leave for a week, then I leaved for a week, and then I had to recover from leaving for a week. [okay, so I have to insert here, I did not lose a POUND during this 5 weeks of intense workout, so maybe I didn't feel very much motivation to continue. I think I did gain a little arm muscle, which has promptly left me, the cad.]

Now I'm like, "Workout? Um, I can't really think right now. I need to eat a bowl of ice cream to clear my brain."

Part of me would love to see Tony Horton just break down and gain 50 lbs, and the other part of me would think: "Man, that sucks." Because as I said, it's hard to do hard things, for a long time.

That's like, triple hard.

I know people would say, "Well, moderately hard things are easier to keep up," but I'm pretty sure that's not true either. Moderately hard things seem as hard to do for me as hard things. Actually, if it's a moderately hard thing, I think, "Oh well, it's not like that was going to do me much good anyway." I'm way more likely to not do it.

Yes, I know. I have the willpower of a human. The weak kind.

p.s. When I was looking for the picture for this post, I found Tony Horton's BLOG! Weird. And guess what he says: Make a plan, stick to the plan and do it... forever!

I'm pretty sure he's an alien. Evidence? Those cheekbones. And the fact that he can do one arm pushups. And probably because he wrote disdainfully about the foodporn industry.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Just how DO you teach someone what a color is? I'm telling you, if this does turn out to be a thing, years from now I'm sure I'll be blaming all of it on the fact that I'm a working mother. Really.

Jake: "What color is this?"

Amaya: "Turtle!"

Jake: "What color is it?"

Amaya: "TURTLE!"

Jake: "No, what color is this turtle?"

Amaya: "Ummmmm, BLUE!"

Jake: "No... It's Guhhhhhh...."

Amaya: "Guh?"

Jake: "No, Grrrrr..."

Amaya: "Grrrr?"

Jake: "Greeeee...."

Amaya: "Greeee?"

Jake: "Green!"

Amaya: *silence*

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Teacher Revision

Wyatt thought of this ridiculously awful awesome idea.

"Teacher should be forced to leave given a huge pension after 20 years. You teach 20 years, and then you're out made into a goddess, immediately. Done."

Kona jumped in on this evil scheme and said, "Yeah, I get so sick of seeing love the same d@#n teachers every year. They should get new give bonuses to teachers every year."

I said, "You've been here 20 years, huh?"

[cackle, cackle. I love that part.]

"Seriously, Miss. Why don't they just rotate give all the teachers mansions on the beach every year? Bring the Sunset teachers here and send all of you guys to Paris or somewhere else. Give you us some variety, please.

Gotta say, Kona. That is ingenious.

Monday, May 11, 2009


My mom used to think that I would never get married because I was so feminist.
Now I've realized I'm not feminist, I just have a lot of self-faith, which is so different than self-confidence. Really, I'm sexist.
What she should have been worried about is me not having any female friends.
Last week when I watched my brother getting married off, I thought a lot more about sisters.
You probably know I'm not a sisters kind of person. I kind of avoid them, I think. Especially when they come knocking on my door and try to bring me cookies and teach me a lesson.
Usually I think, "The cookies can stay. Unless they have raisins or walnuts." Then I hope that we can quickly get through the part where we sit around and talk. That's probably why they bring cookies, 'cause otherwise I would feel less inclined to let them through the door.
Yes, I realize that this has everything to do with me, and nothing to do with them. I'm a complete idiot around most people. I get nervous, I laugh too much (Ok, so I do that anyway), and I am constantly looking for the next thing to say around people I don't know. My students who read this will probably be surprised when I say that women intimidate me. I mean, you bring a woman into my house, and I say, "AAAAAAHHHHH! Don't eat me!!!!!" and then I run away in fright, warning people all along the way. "There's a WOMAN in there! And she's got COOKIES! Run for your lives!"
Now you're thinking I'm a horrible, terrible person, but really! I'm not!

Okay, I am a horrible, terrible person, but not because of this. It has nothing to do with not liking those girls who come over and ask me about my week and teaching the gospel. It has to do with me rather jumped on by a person on a pogo stick than be in a situation where I have to talk to a female I don't know that well. I've always been insecure around most women, and I don't like the whole do-si-do.
(I also don't like how pretty they are, how nice they are, and how well-organized they are. Give me a sloppy, loud-mouthed guy over a woman.)
Let me clarify that I don't feel like I have to be better than them, and I don't think it's a competition, but I don't want to be the unwilling participant in the competition. Which, let's face it, happens. I'd much prefer to ponder over those dumb things I do, because they're way funnier.
I love the friends I have (and I have mostly female friends these days), and I'm skeptical of the ones I don't. I spend a lot of energy and time into my few friendships and I kind of just avoid new ones altogether. If I meet someone who I click with immediately, great, but otherwise I don't go out of my way.
I never wanted sisters. Really. I wanted older brothers. Loads of them. The kind that beat potential boyfriends up. Now, just try to talk your mother into producing some older brothers.
But actual honest-to-goodness sisters-in-law? Can't really say that. You're sort of stuck. (No pressure, Amanda.)
At least these sisters don't come to me with the baggage of annoying habits, and catfights, and gross boyfriends they thankfully didn't marry. Instead, they have that baggage with some other siblings, and I just get to cackle about it as if it were a funny memory, instead of a real and painful thing.
As sisters go, Jen and Jill are awesome. Jill helped me pick out some clothes for the wedding (which, I have to say, did not happen when I went shopping with my bro), indulged my dessert obsession, and helped me entertain Amaya even though she had plenty of entertaining to do on her own. Jen jumped at every chance to make my stay more comfortable, talked with me late into the night, and made me some yummy breakfasts. Can I say, too, that both of these girls are ridiculously positive? I mean, they were seriously affecting my negative vibe. I was even smiling some of the time I was in Utah.
I really enjoyed their company, and found myself wishing that I could have sisters around more often.
Kegan and my dad told me (am I breaking confidence here?) that Amanda was a little intimidated by me. I told Kegan, "Actually, I'm kind of flattered that she's intimidated," which he thought was mean of me to say. She really had nothing to worry about. I think she had me at "English Major." She's right though. I'm kind of mean.

I did leave cookies at her house. But they were Vegan. Would you run away?

Sunday, May 10, 2009


In an e-mail I got this week from my mother, she said, "I think you are very patient with Amaya. You must not have gotten that from me."

Well, if you had known me when I was a teenager, you would know how false that statement is. And that's all I'll say about that.

Something I do wish I could learn better, from her example, is "getting the job done." My mom is the perfect person to have around if you have something big to do. She just does things, without sitting down to procrastinate first.

Me, I like to dip my feet in, then walk around the lake, then pretend to be awed by the beauty of it, and then leave because it's gotten too cold.

My mom just jumps in and swims. She doesn't really sit and try to figure out if something is too difficult. She just knows she's going to figure it out.
She is SO organized, and she thinks of all the details. She made my brother's itinerary for his honeymoon, and printed out all the information he needed. It was a binder of information, put into those clear acetate sheets. She knows about presentation. I certainly didn't get that part of her.

I was thinking, last night, that we do have another big thing in common. When we want to have fun, we just decide to like things. Even if they're not that good, we're liking it.

And I wasn't always good. So you know what that means.

Happy Mother's Day. I love you, Mom.

P.S. If I get one thing from you, Mom, I'd like your skin. I will be Oh-so-happy.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Kegan's mouth is a heart. Isn't that adorable?
I'll put up more wedding pics in a few days.
Uncle Kim and Aunt Yvonne. They drove 4 hours to be at the wedding, and then drove back right afterwards. They're probably the cutest people on this planet (except the hot guy at the bottom of this stack, and the girl just above). Below you'll see my dad with Uncle Kim and two of his cousins. The cousin on the right is Julie, Dad's childhood BFF. If I haven't told you before, my dad's from Virgin, UT, population 90. About half Spendloves, if you don't count the in-laws.

After my week long trip, I'm pretty sure I can say I'm an expert on Utah. Not "In" Utah, but On.
People from Utah are always apologizing for things. I heard many apologies that sounded like this:
"So you take 5th East-- that's 500 East, actually, we just say 5th. Sorry, it's kind of messed up."
Apparently an amazing genius came to Utah and said, "We shall name all the streets in the 100's, except for some randomly placed streets in between the hundreds in suburby areas, and those shall all be in inconsistent increments of 20's. And we shall start all of the streets from a zero-zero point that no one but a city planner will be able to discern and then count upwards from there, in every direction, naming each street East, West, North, and South. Yet in our addresses and directions, we shall explain the direction of the directions, and then the direction the street is called. Therefore, you shall take East 500 South and stop on the corner of the cross street, West 700 West. Then for good measure, we will throw in a diagonal street of East 200 West. Just so ye do not lose thy way."
Now, I totally understand the genius of this system. I especially understand how every single city in Utah (at least the 6 I've been in) has this system. So not only is there a 300 South in Orem, there is also a 300 South in Provo, Cedar Hills, Draper, Pleasant Grove, Salt Lake City and Spanish Fork.
I asked someone how I was supposed to remember which of the various 100 streets each direction points, and someone said, apologetically, "The mountains are East. Except for those mountains, which are South. And those way way mountains, those are West. Just remember to go South on 100 East, which is in the direction of those mountains, if you are facing the reflection of the mountains in the lake." You just can't get close to those way way mountains, because they will do an about face and become West mountains.
There were some apologies I did not hear, but I think we all understand a silent apology when we hear one.
For example, Super Walmart definitely is apologizing just for existing. I mean, you should totally NOT be able to buy shrink wrapped raw chicken breasts at the same store known for its discount prices. I really think there are a few things that just don't need a rollback.
The "G" on the hill over the valley apologized for not being a "P", because "Pleasant Grove" does not start with G, the last time I checked. I think that after the genius created his road system, he went down unto the valley and said, "We shall name this place 'Grove', which starts with G." Probably halfway through constructing this town the genius's assistant pointed out that Grove may be too generic, and it needed a strong adjective to help it survive.
I hold no ill-will towards Utah for being out of Sriracha sauce at 3 different stores, or for spelling Macy's with an 'e', with no clothes in sight, or for their near 7% sales tax. Or even for hogging all of the frozen yogurt locations in the U.S. or offering Mexican coke on tap. Or even for snowing on the last Sunday in May.
It's important to accept these apologies graciously, and forgive.