Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Conversations With Strangers

When I was growing up, my grandpa used to embarrass me. I loved him dearly, but he would strike up conversations with strangers, and as a teenager I thought it was mortifying. I still felt that way when I was in college. He taught at BYU, so he could get me a nice discount on my books if I took him with me to the bookstore, but I always had an "Is this worth it?" moment in my head when he would go around asking the other students where they were from and what they're major was.

Now I think it's endearing. And maybe there's something to this conversation-with-strangers thing. I don't think I'll ever be as outgoing as my grandfather, but I had fun talking to a stranger today. I was in a waiting room, about to get my foot x-rayed (another story for another day), when an elderly woman struck up a conversation with me:

Little Old Lady, seeing my crutches and my foot in a boot: Oh, you poor dear! How did you do that?

Me: Running.

Little Old Lady: Were you training for a race?

Me: Yes, a half marathon.

Little Old Lady: My granddaughter runs lots of races. She doesn't do the 26 one, but she does the 13 one.

Me: That's what I was training for. A half marathon is 13 miles.

Little Old Lady: Then you must know my granddaughter! Kim Flenderson?

Me, trying not to smile too broadly: No, I don't think I've met her.

If I could be guaranteed fun conversations like this, I would totally start embarrassing my kids.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Saucy and Bobbo!

A couple of weeks ago we headed to Utah for my sister's wedding. They were married in the Manti temple, which is in the middle of nowhere. They chose this temple because my parents were married there, and, hey, it's beautiful. We stayed in Provo, which is a couple of hours away. I have to admit that I grumbled a bit on the drive there, but eventually we turned a corner, and there was the temple, surrounded by rolling green hills. It was like some of the castles we saw a few years ago in Germany. So worth the drive.

The happy couple, just as they're coming out of the temple.

Thing 3 with my cousin, who we lovingly refer to as "Flocky," although it's been so long that I can't remember why. He's more like a brother than a cousin. He's also the one who took all these pictures. Except this one.

Me and the sibs. We always do this pose when we're together. See the family resemblance? If you know what movie this is from, you get bonus points.

The fam. Can you tell how warm and toasty we are? This was on May 1st and it snowed that day. Seriously.

The bride and bridesmaids. I spent most of the night tugging on the bottom of my dress because it was a little too short for me.

The three Things and their Auntie.

This is the best picture we could get with all the nieces and nephews. Doesn't Thing 3's little 3 year-old cousin on the left look just like him?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thing 3 is still getting his groove on

Last week my sister got married! More pictures from that to come, but until then here are some clips of Thing 3 dancing at the wedding. He danced the whole time the music played. Unfortunately, he was usually in the middle of a crowd, so it was tough to film him (Thanks Flocky for the footage). I wish we had gotten some of the air guitar, but we can't have everything.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Daddy - Daughter Outing

My dad called me last week with a surprise - he was going to some of the first and second round NCAA men's basketball games in San Jose, and wanted to know if I wanted to go with him. Um, yes please!

He is friends with a guy who's on the athletic director's committee for San Jose State, so we got the tickets through him - center court, 16th row. They were incredible seats. We were with my dad's friend, his many sons and sons-in-law, and some guys that my dad's friend lovingly refers to as "my three Jewish friends from Syracuse." We saw four games on Thursday and two on Saturday. We had the best venue of the eight by far: we saw Murray State upset Vandy with a buzzer beater and Washington upset Marquette with another last second shot. Four of the six games were close. I yelled myself sick at the Washington game.

Notes from San Jose:
  • Four games in one day is not too much.
  • No matter how great nachos look, they're not worth $6.50.
  • We went into this fabulous place at the arena called "the clubhouse" to watch Kansas go down against Northern Iowa on T.V. (sometimes it really pays to know people - it was a room for the president of the university and his friends). At one point I looked around, and there were about 100 people crammed into this small area, trying to watch the game. It was then that I noticed that I was the only woman there.
  • You can still be a superfan when you're in your eighties. There was an awesome New Mexico fan in the row in front of us. She was really old, but totally into the game. She kept meticulous stats, and continually informed her husband of things throughout the game ("That's four on him, honey. One more and he's out of there!") There were some fun Montana fans sitting a few rows behind us, and one time we heard one say to another, "Man, those New Mexico cheerleaders are really ugly." Superfan Granny whipped her head around fast and gave them a dirty look. The next time New Mexico scored, she stood up, turned around, and shook her fist at them.
  • You could tell which fans were which whether they were wearing their school colors or not. All Montana fans had cowboy hats. New Mexico fans had a weather-beaten look to them. I can't describe it. Maybe too much sun? Butler fans look just like BYU fans. Polo shirts and jeans, clean cut. Washington fans = holey tee shirts.
  • I'm sorry to say that the Montana fans weren't exaggerating about the New Mexico cheerleaders. They had that fake bump thing going on with their hair, and they had a Tammy Faye Bakker thing going on with their make-up. Sad.
  • There is a little cafe in San Jose called Hobee's that has the best breakfasts ever. We ate there twice.
  • Some people just shouldn't drive. We didn't rent a car, so we just walked everywhere or bummed rides off of people. There were multiple times that weekend that I was afraid for my life.
  • The Murray State band was terrible. Mostly they just played their annoying fight song over and over, which I'd had enough of after the first time. By the end I was plotting ingenious ways to get them to stop. The Butler band was incredible, especially their drummer. I wanted to bring him home and bake him brownies.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Newspaper News

For the last couple of months, Thing 2 has been bringing home issues of the newspaper that he has been publishing in his spare time (aka when he's supposed to be working at school). It's called The Newspaper News. We love The Newspaper News. I had no idea there were so many scams going on in our neighborhood! I scanned a few of my favorite issues for your viewing pleasure. I have my attempts at the translation underneath, but I warn you that my second grade is a little rusty.

A person is getting money for the poor, but she is actually stealing the money, and the old beggar spent it all on one pair of jeans which is mean!

A man is stealing rubies. He is wearing black stripes and white stripes. He has black thin rubber gloves, and he has a big, big bag.

A man in black is robbing old people. He has stolen 9,000 dollars. He has a big brown bag. He has a knight that is double bladed (I'm thinking he means a sword. I'm sure double bladed knights are hard to come by). He has escaped from jail. He has clothes that are black and white.

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Desperate times call for desperate measures

I love playing with my kids. I'm not just saying that - I really do! But in the last few months, Thing 3 has turned into a game junkie. Board games, cards games, whatever. He is constantly trying to get his fix, and he'll play with anyone - he's not picky. He's a good sport, win or lose, although more often than not he wins. He's great at Yahtzee, and he smoked everyone the last time we played Monopoly (with him exclaiming "I love money!" and "I love this game!" the whole time). I play games with him every day, but it never seems to be enough to satisfy him. Unfortunately, I can't play Uno and go fish every waking minute, so in desperation, I taught my four year old how to play 4 card solitare. What does this say about me as a mother?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pioneer Fitness Challenge

This is why I haven't been blogging. Normally I don't have an excuse, but I have had one for the last couple of months. I'm starting a fitness program in my stake: We're celebrating the Mormon pioneers by "exercising" our way from Nauvoo, Illinois to Salt Lake City, Utah, the 1300 miles that the pioneers walked. Every 30 minutes of exercise equals 5 miles on the trail, and if you exercise 150 minutes a week (recommended by the American Heart Association), after 52 weeks you'll hit 1300 miles. My dear friend Diana put together the chart you see above, and my lovely friend Jen helped me with the blog for it: pioneerfitness.blogspot.com (It's a private blog, so let me know if you want to view it and I'll send you an invitation). The challenge is from February 1, 2010 to January 31, 2011. I just wanted to put this out there in case any of you are interested in taking on the challenge. I don't know about you, but I'm always in the need for a little motivation when it comes to exercise!