Saturday, May 29, 2010

Single Mum: Take 1 of 1

Because I couldn't do my regular long run with my regular running partner today, Rhett and I took off for Alexandria. I've always wanted to explore Old Town and the Mount Vernon Trail runs right through it; why not combine the two?

All went as planned. We drove to a parking lot, ran three miles in, and then ran three miles out. I'm not a fast runner, but let's just say this run took a LOT longer than it would if I was on my own. We stopped to look at water (Potomac River mostly), dogs in the river, boats in the river, and one small trip to a playground. But hey! What did I care? Where did I have to be? Who was waiting for me? That's right: I'm playing a single mom this weekend.

After the run, we headed to Gravelly Point. If you're a Maryland or Virginia resident and you haven't yet been there, GO! And go now. It's awesome. It's a small park just north of National Airport and you can watch the planes take off or land, depending on the wind. We had a great time...after the shock of the first plane wore off. We ate our picnic next to the Potomac and went home exhausted. What a good way to start the day!

During Rhett's nap, I found out I wasn't to be a single mom for much longer: I was getting a polygamist husband and a sister-wife! Sweet; I've always wanted one of each. My friends Rachael and Andy decided to come to visit me (yep, they've definitely got cojones for making this trip). They're expected any minute and I can't wait.

Tomorrow you can see pics of Rhett's new Sunday outfit. It's my favorite so far.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Single Momhood

In my ward we have a lot of young women who are the daughters of single moms (11 of 23 girls). And every time I am forced to be a single mom for a long period of time, I feel for those moms. Who are we kidding; every time my husband comes home after 4 p.m., I feel for those moms. And not just feel for them, this is an intense feeling of "I could never ever do this. Ever." And yet, here I am, facing an entire weekend of being a single mom. (Too bad I'm not British because doesn't "single mum" sound so much cooler? I think so.)

This is the longest I have ever been thrust into single momhood (not liking "single mumhood" though--think I'll keep my US passport). Chuck has to go out of town to attend stake youth conference: Kirtland, Ohio watch out! We both tried to go, but it just wasn't an option with a toddler. And given his calling is on the stake level, and mine is on the ward level, he "wins." We still joke about who has the harder weekend: me at home, alone, with Rhett, or Chuck with 140 youth for three days? Still undecided.

I thought maybe I'd be strong enough to visit my friend Rachael in North Carolina, but can I drive five hours alone? Leaving D.C. on a holiday weekend? I'm just not woman enough to do it. When it can take three hours to go 40 miles, well, let's just say I like my hair on my head, not on the floor of my car, thank-you-very-much.

So now I'm faced with an entire weekend alone. With a two-year-old. As much as I love that little boy, this is my ultimate mom challenge. I did find some fun things going on and things I've wanted to do with Rhett, so that's promising. Here's to hoping I'll survive.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Is This Me or What?

Can't you see this in my house somewhere? I should totally make one, you know, because I just can't spend the $249 Pottery Barn is asking.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Nothing Going On

So you have to settle for one silly picture of the little dude.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Flashback Fridays

As it's getting to be graduation time around here, I thought I'd take a look back at my three graduations.

First, high school. What a joke. Living in Utah, we just don't plan for rain. Because we get none. But still, with big events, I think there should be some sort of back-up plan. Not so with my graduation, however. Midway through the ceremony it started sprinkling. After about 50 of the first 800 graduates' names were read, it started pouring. Then came the announcement, "Screw it. Go get your diplomas in the gym. Oh, and congratulations." (I may have paraphrased a bit.)

So when college graduation came around, I wanted all the pomp and circumstance I could handle. Therefore I dragged my entire family (sis, bro, parents, and two grandparents) to THREE (count them: university convocation, math graduation, and geography graduation) ceremonies. What a waste of time. I have no idea what anyone said. And I'm pretty sure that the readers of my name didn't get it right. Oh well, it looks like it was a beautiful day.

You'd think by the time I got to graduating with my Master's that I'd be done with graduation ceremonies. Turns out I wasn't. Going to a school downtown made me really really want to go downtown for graduation. I mean come on, how many girls from Utah can say that their graduation ceremony took place on the ellipse? Not many. This time I dragged my parents and my roommates. Again with the rain. (This shouldn't surprise people; it rains more here than in Seattle. I'm not lying. Look it up.) After we took advantage of the D.C. backdrop for some photos, we hightailed it to brunch instead, skipping all ceremonies. Finally! I learned something! And it only took me twenty years of school.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thoughts on Aging

Reasons why I am feeling old:

1. The Radio. I don't listen to music on the radio anymore. In the mornings, it's a morning talk show and in the evenings, it's NPR. Sure I run with my iPod, but even then it's mostly podcasts filling my ear. I HATED when my Dad listened to call-in talk shows, but now here I am, enjoying the same thing I used to hate. I do listen to music when I'm making dinner, cleaning during nap times, or in the need for a Broadway sing-a-long. It's just the same music I listened to in the 90s.

2. The iPod. When the Laurels were recently at my house they informed me that I had an ancient iPod, and they laughed hysterically at it. My retort was, "Hey. I know it came from 2003, but what do I care? It still fits my music and it works fine. Why would I upgrade just because Apple wants me to? Not gonna do it." I think the Laurels should be happy that I even have an iPod and that I know how to use it. It's more than I can say about my cell phone.

3. The Hyper. I can't remember the last time I was "hyper." I was taking one of my Young Women home from mutual the other night and she was telling me about a day when she was totally hyper. I was cracking up inside, remembering my own 14-year-old self who was frequently hyper. But this 32 year old? Not so much. Do you remember the last time you were hyper? When do you think we stop being hyper? Personally, I'm not at all sad to see that go. The thought of being hyper now is soooo draining.

4. The Grey Hair. I'm getting it. Awesome, right?

Monday, May 17, 2010

More Sunday Clothes

My awesome cousin Nicole sent me a link to these adorable suspenders. (When you don't have a girl for whom you can make cute dresses and headbands, you settle for ties and suspenders.) I am super pleased with how they turned out and they weren't too terrible to make. But let me issue a warning if you want to try them: be prepared for the long haul on the turning inside-out of the suspenders. I enlisted Chuck to help and we watched an entire movie while we each did one. It was kind of like childbirth, though, in that after I produced such a lovely product, it was worth all the work. And I might even do it a couple of years.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Foodees: A Retropackle

Three years ago, my sister and I created the recipe blog, The Foodees. I'm pretty sure it was Emily's idea, but I was on board immediately. The name was a take on the word foodie (obviously) but with two e's since we're named Emily and Erin. From the beginnings, we wanted it to be a place for us and friends to share our favorite recipes. Three years later it still is.

I find it to be an amazing resource for excellent recipes and have tried nearly half of them (145 of 303). If I try only seven more, I can say that I have tried more than I haven't. Oooh, that might be a new goal. What are some of my favorites? Well, I am currently loving Megan's Broccoli with Bow Ties as well as this Tomato and Chicken Pasta. We make and freeze these Meatballs so that they're always on hand for spaghetti. Becky's Amish Oatmeal Pie was yummy, as was Deanna's Apple Crumb Pie. Daniel's Alfredo Sauce has become a staple in our house. I love this bread of emily's. And Becky's Monkey Bread might be the best thing ever created, but because of how deliciously bad for you it is, we limit it to only at conference time. Finally, these tortillas were so satisfying to make and yummy to eat.

Of course some recipes haven't made our list of things we would try again, but there are so few of those. That's the beauty of the Foodees--it's all good!

Some Foodees statistics: I have posted the most recipes (89), Becky is second with a not-too-shabby 45, and emily comes in third with 37. Entrees make up most of the posts (83 of them). Desserts come in second with 59 posts, and Breads are third with 34 posts.

New posts have certainly dropped off. While this saddens me, of course, I'm not too worked up about it. Definitely not worked up enough to do anything about it. I'll continue to post and hope others do too when it's convenient for them. It's taken me three years to try half of the recipes; maybe in another three years I'll worry about the lack of new posts. And just to confirm my stat-nerdiness, here's a graph showing the frequency of new posts. Notice the upswing in late 2008? That was the contest--pretty awesome, eh?

Anyway, to those of you who are member of our Foodees community, keep up the good work. Post when you find something good and when you have the time. To those of you who aren't, well, take a look. I'm sure you'll find something good for dinner.

P.S. Anyone other than Chuck know the movie reference found in this post's title?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

An Interview with Rhett

I know it's long. I promise I won't feel bad if you don't watch the whole thing, unless your name is Dixie, Jim, or Emily. You guys have to watch all of it. There will be a quiz later.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Mother's Day to Remember

Yep, it was a keeper. We had to get out of the house early to finish the YW fundraiser (selling YW-made corsages to the male persuasion in our ward) but it went off without a hitch. When we got home from church, I let Chuck take Rhett to his parents' house while I lazed around ours. Finally ready to be around others, I joined my boys at the in-laws' home for a man-made dinner later that afternoon. No really, the four men who share my last name in this area (father-in-law, brother-in-law, uncle-in-law, and my own sweet husband) made dinner for the lovely women. It was thoughtful (no red meat and potatoes for most of us) and had all four food groups. Chuck even made this lovely cake his sister posted on the Foodees. During my own quiet time, I got to read the paper, unload the dishwasher, walk the dog, and start a new sewing project (it's a skirt for me--yikes!). After dinner, I got to enjoy my sweet man and some Saturday Night Live. It was a good day to be a mom.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Help Please

Let's suppose you're the Young Women's president in your ward. Let's then suppose that you want to create a little booklet for the graduating seniors in your ward. What would you put in it?

Or, remember back to when you graduated from high school and went to college. What did you wish you knew? What information did you wish you had access to?

You probably correctly surmised that I'd like to put together some things for my graduating seniors (all three of them!). Some things my board already brainstormed are: easy recipes, laundry tips, ideas of free activities, notes from fellow young women in the ward. What can you suggest we add? Many thanks!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Sports I Love and Why

I don't like watching sports. I like playing them even less. Alas, I married a man who loves watching sports. All sports. Yes, he'll even watch golf and poker (no comments on the sport status of poker. It's on ESPN so I'm counting it one for now). However, I must confess, that I, too, have some that I'll watch or follow.

(1) Football. That's easy. It's only once a week. TiVo makes it go fast. Downside is that Chuck's team (the Redskins, for obvious reason) is really bad. But I know most of the rules, so that makes it tolerable for me.

(2) NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. I don't like watching these games, especially the last two minutes when all they do is foul each other on purpose. But I do love picking teams and filling out a bracket! Look at all of those things I can either circle or cross-out! List lovers of the world, UNITE! Oh yeah, uh, Go Utes.

(3) Hockey. I can't stand watching it. It's too fast and they just look sloppy. (I know, I know, they're not. They're incredible athletes and highly skilled. But why does it have to look like they're not?) However, our local team, the Capitals, has the best player in the NHL, Alex Ovechkin. This Russian boy is just adorable. He plays as if he actually enjoys playing. You know, as in, he'd play if he made no dollars per year, nevermind his millions. I like that. Plus he wears outfits like this: aviator sunglasses, black bomber jacket, white pants, furry boots. Furry boots?! Love it.

(4) Golf. And why? One name: Phil Mickelson. Now don't go thinking I'm a fair-weather fan. Nope. Growing up I lived about seven houses away from a girl named Amy. Amy was a couple of years old than I and was a cheerleader (!). My friends and I thought she was soooo cool and soooo beautiful; she was both of these things. She and her mom taught dance classes in their house and we took them. I think I even wore her cheer outfit one year for Halloween. Anyway, that girl named Amy? Yeah, her married name is Amy Mickelson. That's right. The neighborhood girl is now the wife of Phil. Because of this, I feel a kinship to him and always, always root for him. This totally minimizes my "Bacon Number." And now, because you know me, your Bacon Number is thereby minimized too. (Ha.)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Poll Response

Oh my. I don't even know what to say. I'm as speechless as I was when Chuck and I talked about vasectomies yesterday. Here is my response to each of you, since you all made me laugh (in a good way).

Amanda: Hipps: not bad, but definitely not good. Head, on the other hand, definitely bad. Can you imagine if your mom had hyphenated?! "Hi. I'm Mrs. Hipps-Head." Oh boy. But yes, good job on your current last name. It's a keeper (as is Al).

Sister Emily: I don't know if Amanda is related to western-Coloradan Sellers. Amanda, can we get a verdict here please? And yes, Emily, I still say you won the lottery of last names.

Deanna: I think you took a lateral move from your maiden name to married name. I definitely feel for the unpronouncability of it, though. Do you feel your maiden name was in the same camp? Both of my names certainly are.

Cousin Emily: I think I would have become a Robinson just to stick it to the man. What man? I don't know. But Robinson would be another lottery-winner in my book. I would love to have been in the meeting where they finally decided to keep Pugh. I would shake them and say, "What are you thinking?!" Not really, but I would have wanted to do so.

Merry: Best. Name. Ever. Oh my. I was telling Chuck your story and Rhett overheard and kept repeating "Merry Balls." Then, because he calls his babysitter (who is named Mary) "Aunt Mama", it then turned into "Aunt Mama Balls." Not our finest parenting moment, but a dang funny one.

Jessica: Although your current name isn't bad, I would have grieved at the loss of Walker. But c'mon, you HAVE to get some "Whatcha talkin' about, Jess?" Right?

Sarah: I am interested in your feelings about your acquired famous-only-to-Mormons last name.

Meg: You, too, had me laughing. Especially since I have a couple-friend whose last name is Barfuss! However, the maiden name of the wife rhymes with a very, very bad word (let's call it, oh, I don't know, let's say the "F-er-word") and I'm pretty sure Barfuss was a step up in her mind!

Linda: "No matter what?" Wow. You're brave.

Angie: You didn't quite answer the question, lady. So do tell, would you ever consider keeping your own name if fiance's was bad?

Me: Seriously, I'm just astonished at how alone in this I am. That's all. Happy Monday. And a picture just for kicks.