Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Baptist Influence

While living in this wonderful home of Knoxville Tennessee I have been greatly influenced by my Baptist friends. I use Baptist for all the Protestant churches  really because they are the majority and to tell you the truth, I don't see much of a difference between them all.

The other day when I was getting greatly discouraged in our search for a new rental that would actually accept our pets, out in Utah, (Trust me when I say I've learned that most Mormons must be animal haters) from facebook, I called upon the help of my prayer warriors . It's a Baptist thing. Within 24 hours we had secured the perfect new home. And when I say perfect I mean the house we found included all of our needs and many of our wants. 

I would say my Prayer warriors worked some magic.Even if they weren't all Baptist. My friends are so funny. My Jewish friend sent me a message asking me if I didn't think her prayers would work. I told her to please pray and apologized for inadvertently leaving her out in the first request. So in all fairness I really can't be sure which denomination our miracle can be attributed to, but I do know that we all have a mighty God. 

My awesome brother and sister-in-law helped above and beyond the call of duty and from Utah looked at each possible home and gave us the o.k. or nay over the phone. One house was even accompanied by a live video stream. So, when I explained to my brother how excited we were for our new lease and how awesome his wife had been to help us, I got a little carried away. "David", I said, "I am so excited, I don't know what I did to deserve being blessed so much, but God is so good." David: "Did you just say 'God is good'?" Me: "Yeah, isn't he?" David: "If you're Baptist." "Alice, is there something you need to tell me about your religious affiliation changing while you've been down there in the deep South?"

Still very much a believing Mormon here, but I like to ponder on how the Baptists (and by Baptist I mean Protestants) have deepened my conviction. Bless their hearts. I can't help to have been influenced. They are some of the greatest people I have known. They have got me saying things like "give him grace" or "our God is a mighty God". One that I don't really say but you often hear down here is, "It's a God thing."

I asked LG what Baptists say a lot and he informed me that they like to talk of Jesus. They don't usually add on the Christ. I don't really know why that is. LG says that Baptist often say things like, "Trust in Jesus, Jesus loves me, I love Jesus, What would Jesus do?, Jesus is my guide, and my personal favorite just plain old Jesus."

I found it funny that I found this church sign a day after I started this post.

Although when Mormons refer to Jesus, we usually also include the title Christ with Jesus, I wouldn't say that we love Jesus any more. Baptists truly love their Lord. They often exclaim "lordy, lordy lordy." I don't think that they realize that this very saying takes the Lord's name in vain. I've told several of them this very fact. They were gracious about it. Of course. Protestants are some of the most gracious people I know.

Baptists traditionally eat out on Sunday after church. I remember explaining to one friend that Mormons are very strict about the Sabbath observance and try not to do anything that would require anyone else to work She laughed and said, "Well if you want to debate the principle with my preacher, you would have to come and find him after church at the restaurant with the rest of us."

LG and I were delightfully surprised at how much religion is a part of life here in the South. We have been strengthened and taught by our Protestant friends. I hope they know how much we love them, even if they call us UnChristian or worry that they were never able to "save" us. There is one thing that I know we have in common and that is a great love for our Jesus.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Justin Beiber

Justin Beiber is a big deal in our family. Not because my four daughters drool over him, but because Sophia is quite sensitive on the subject. Her sisters like to tease her about the popstar.

One time Sophia cried for an hour because Abigail said Sophia wanted to marry Justin Beiber.

We try not to talk about the Beiber too often. We all love Sophia and don't want to cause her any additional emotional distress.

When one of my nieces posted this picture on facebook it cracked me up.

I guess this kid (who believe it or not is not actually Justin Beiber) is the son of my brother's new girlfriend. My two teenage nieces found his resemblance a little uncanny.

A while back another friend posted something on facebook that I thought was absolutely hilarious.

Cameron Smithson used to be a full-time Mormon missionary serving in Knoxville, TN. He is from California and we got along just great; we fed him and his missionary companion many meals. He is a really funny guy.

On his facebook he made reference to Hinckley's 6 Be's. Gordon B Hinckley was the President of our church and his counsel to the youth of the church to be grateful, smart, clean, true, humble, and prayerful was quite the phenomenon among church members for a while. Great advice if you ask me.

Now that you have the background, you will be able to laugh we with me at Cameron Smithson's status.

Be grateful.
Be smart.
Be clean.
Be true.
Be humble.
Be prayerful.
Be - ber?

I hope Sophia won't get wind of this post.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Nothing like good friends.

Remember this old post where I once again spewed my big mouth.

Let me refresh your memory:

I listed things that bug me. Like boogers, brussel sprouts, and fake people. I spent a significant amount of time talking about people overly obsessed with exercise. My quote was something like, "Do you think God really cares that much if I ran today?" Let me further explain my position. After reading my post, LG's cousin in law Catherine made a good point. She said that God does want us to take care of our temples, which are our bodies. I just wanted to let her know I agree with her, and I hope I can do a better job of taking care of mine. My previous post was talking about the people who are obsessed, who neglect other really important things in their life because they are more worried about their abs staying hot over anything else.

Now let me explain a little further. My abs were tore to pieces in my first pregnancy. After birthing four children they will never be the same. They used to be pretty nice, but if I ever want them to get back to where they were, I would have to have some kind of surgery. I don't think God would want me to have a surgery because God is the one who created me. He is the one who knew I would gain weight with each pregnancy, that I would lose muscles where I want them to gain others that are required for raising kids (like greater hips and heart). He knew that I would get grey and wrinkly and physically weaker in ways. His resurrection will be a very quick cure all for these infirmities of mortal life. But, my spirit, is up to me. My spirit is what I like to focus on becaus0,e let's face it, it could use all the help that I can give it. And yes, body, mind and spirit are all connected, and some people are really great at focusing on all of these at once, but some of us have a lot of work to do and can only give so much focus. And maybe that focus needs to be more on one than another.

Anyhow, I realize I came across very judgemental in that old post, and I want to apologize. I really am a person who tries to be open minded. I do try to love unconditionally and I think I do a pretty good job. I have a big heart and after your many comments here and on facebook, I realized that I didn't accurately portray my positions. Darn, my writing is still just mediocre. In my defense, I would like to say that I don't hate the people just the habits. Many of which I myself have. I also botched that in the post. I was trying to portray my own hypocrisy.

Two of the other things I mentioned detesting in the previous post were dangly earrings and the overuse of seasonal decorations. It's a good thing I have friends who aren't afraid to call me on my crap and who are also not afraid to be themselves. They also like to tease me. And I love them for it.

Check out two of the pictures that were sent to me after my last post.

I love my friends. They crack me up.

Monday, March 28, 2011

My Food Storage

As many of you know,
Mormons are huge on preparedeness.

We are counseled to have a three month supply of food on hand
in case of emergency.
I love this counsel.
I save a load of money and time on grocery shopping
by heading this counsel.
Not to mention, that in really hard months,
it saves me from worry about what I am going to feed my kids.

I am so excited for the great food storage room in our new place.

And I am so grateful for Stacey,
who came last Wednesday night
and helped me pack up my own personal grocery store.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Prayer of Conversion

Search me God.
Find the source of decay and heal it.
Find my broken heart and make it whole.
Make my brain without lesions.
Cure each sore muscle.
Fill the hole of lonliness.
The thoughts of negativity, pluck from me
and transform them into loveliness.

And when thou art done,
make me a tribute to thee,
a living monument to thy grace
and power and love.

And from me,
others will see beauty
and like I have,
they will stop in place and time
and know that thou art God.
And they will want
to be thy creation too.
And they will search for thee.

And they will know
that all they have to do
is let Thou search through them.
And do thy magic.
They will ask also.
And I will be but one flower
in a world full of breathtaking gardens.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Really Important Stuff My Kids Have Taught Me # 29

Be early if you're a bird,
late if you're a worm.

Advice taken from the nifty little booked entitled
by: Cynthia Copeland Lewis

Friday, March 25, 2011

Scientific Method

Abigail was quoted in the Knoxville Sentinel today. She was dressed like Galileo when talking to the reporter. She was so proud that the way the reporter started his article was Galileo was there. "Oh yeah, he's talking about me," bragged Abigail. The irony of her later quote is what is killing me. I must blog about it. Don't mind me as I ramble on about the whole experience. Sometimes this blog acts as my personal journal and our family historian. If you want the abridged version just read the next paragraph and scroll to the end.

I can only blog about this because Abigail is usually a great student. She always scores in advanced on her T-Caps. She is in all Honors classes. She got straight A's her first quarter of middle school. So you can imagine our dismay when a few days ago, Abigail came home with her report card and there was a big fat F in Science. We were appalled.

My friend Rita said that when she saw Abigail at the school it
 reminded her of how they always depict God in the movies.
It wasn't until I took this picture and added it to my blog
that I realized what she was talking about.
We have come to the conclusion that the grade is the fault of three bad combinations: 1- Our neglect due to the move. 2- Abigail's complacency and 3 - We are pretty sure Abigail will eventually be diagnosed as ADHD.

What most people don't understand about ADHD kids is that a lot of them are extremely bright. There is an ADHD subset that usually gets overlooked. They are the ones that do very well in school because they are so bright.

My husband was a kid like that. He was just recently diagnosed with ADHD as a 35 year old adult. Ritalin has been an eye-opening experience for LG. The first time he took the drug, he said to me, "Oh my gosh Alice, my mind is so clear. It's crazy. Just imagine what I could have done if I had some Ritalin while in law school."

Anyhow, back to the story. Abigail brought home this F. It was horrifying. I immediately e-mailed her teacher and talked to her principal on the phone. I am a little worried how this will effect Abigail's placement at her new school after we move. The timing is awful, but hopefully we can get her new school to understand the extreme abnormality of this grade. The good news is that maybe now we can get her doctor and school to understand our concern for her ADHD.  They wouldn't agree to look into the possibility when she had straight A's, but now they will hopefully be able to see a little window into what we are dealing with on a larger scale.

When LG sat down with Abigail last night to review her individual assignment grades it was no surprise to us that Abigail said that on each low grade she had forgot to either turn it in, complete it, or study. She has science first period and even if she does pay close enough attention to instructions, which she often considers non-essential information, it's gone by the end of the day. She is just not engaged by things that don't require real thinking and she is simultaneously totally overwhelmed by the structure in this class. Her teacher has about ten things going on at once and it's just too much for an ADD brain. Her teacher is great and really makes science come to life, but for an ADD kid, the way that she structures her class is brutal. It's been an awesome on-going science project. Who knew that they actually do science projects in a middle school science class?

Let's see. The Scientific Method at work:

1 Ask a question - Does Abigail have ADHD?
2 Do background research - Abigail is normally a straight A student.
3 Construct a Hypothesis - It would be unlikely that Abigail has ADHD given the facts.
4 Test your hypothesis by doing an experiment - Give Abigail a Science Teacher who assigns 6 projects per nine weeks and does very little to communicate with the parents or make sure that Abigail stays on task. See how she does.
5 Analyze your data and draw a conclusion - Abigail failed science yet still received either A's or B's in all of her more structured classes, therefore she probably does have ADHD or just hates science.
6 Communicate your results - That would be this blog post. Do you think I should e-mail it to the teacher? She would be so proud that real science was actually taking place. She might even use it for future class projects.

So, imagine our surprise when Abigail came home the same day as receiving her F all excited about her Galileo project. She was so excited to not just research Galileo but to dress up like him. She did awesome, huh? She got really creative and insisted on dragging out the Santa costume box. Of course it was at the bottom of the stack of moving boxes, but at her stubborn request we re-shifted the whole room to discover the needed beard and wig. Then she told us not to come to her presentation. I think she was trying to keep us away from her science teacher.

Well imagine our surprise when reading this in the newspaper article this afternoon: (Amongst our first failing grade ever, the irony is just a little too much)
Sixth-grader Abigail Gold donned a white wig and beard as she depicted famed early astronomer Galileo for the Living Space History Museum exhibit.
She and other students selected a person in history who had an impact on the space program, designed posters, dressed in period and gave oral presentations on their historical figures. 
Abigail said Thursday's event shows science and math can be fun.
"I've always wanted to be a scientist," she said. "A lot (of kids) think it's boring, but it's my favorite subject."
When Abigail got done reading aloud about herself in the article, Sophia quickly chimed in:

"Abigail what it really should have said is 'but it's my favorite subject', even if I did fail the last nine weeks."

What I was thinking was that it's a good thing that God gave Abigail such a bright mind because if anyone is ever gonna figure out how to beat ADHD permanently, it's her. She has a love for science that I have rarely seen, even if it's a failing kind of love.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


All of our friends here in the South
are threatening our lives
if we turn into Utah Mormons.

It's got me thinking a lot

And how it's bound to happen.

Or not.

You can take the pioneer out of the hillbilly,
but you can't take the hillbilly out of the pioneer.

(I wish I would have found this photo for my two-fers post.)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Table Talk

I am sure that our family is much like most others.

I am sure of it until we sit down to dinner. My husband and kids are all the entertainment a girl could ask for.

Here was the conversation the other night:

What do you call a man with no arms and no legs hanging on a wall?

LG: What do you call a man with no arms and legs floating in a lake?
Girls: Bob.

LG: What do you call a man with no arms and legs in your mailbox?
Me: Envelope?
LG: Bill

Me: Did you just make that one up?
LG: (with a smirk) "Yeah, good one, huh?"

LG: What do you call a man with no arms and legs on your doorstep?
Me: Matt

LG: Why do you have to take my punchline, huh?

Me: What do you call a man with legs and arms that tells bad jokes?
Girls: Dad!!!

LG: What do you call a man with arms and legs that is not appreciated by his family?
Me: Dad?

Bella: What do you call a woman with arms and legs that tells bad jokes?
That's right they know who is boss.
They also know who cooks dinner.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Moving Sucks

Right idea. For sure.
It's 1 am. I have vowed to post something every day. It only took me 3 minutes to regret that vow. And I haven't stopped regretting it for 3 whole weeks.

I have not written anything for tomorrow, or the next day, or the next. I do have something scheduled for next Saturday and Sunday. Yeah for me. I am so ahead of myself.

So, I have about .8 seconds before I drop dead. I guess I can only hope to hit the publish button before my fingers give up.

Why does moving suck? Do I really need to tell you? I am pretty sure you all know all the reasons. I am sure the moving sucks mode is the same across all other barriers

Callouses and paper cuts from cardboard boxes.
Cleaning. (cleaning normally is good, but packing cleaning is frustrating)
Trying to cook only to realize that you packed that thing away already.
The feeling of your teeth  ripping against each other while tearing off packing tape. after box.
Sore back from lifting.
Being stuck on the phone all day, every day.
Saying goodbye, one place at a time, one person at a time, one memory at a time.

This time I decided to add a great little challenge. Try having only 11 days left to go before you head out across the nation without a new home secured.

It's a doozie.

And I am exhausted.

These are my hands typing very s l o              wwwwwwwwww llllllll yyyyyyyy.

E n t er


Monday, March 21, 2011

Polynesian Pani Popo

I would never attempt to give you a Polynesian recipe because I am not Polynesian. I do love the Polynesian people and culture. I guess my adoration can be traced back to growing up so closely with the Poly's in my hometown of Carlsbad, CA and the neighboring town of Oceanside, CA. My dad was a Bishop of the church there when it took two whole cities to make up one congregation. Now, there are many congregations there. But, my family were so very fortunate to have many Polynesian friends. They became like family to us. To this day, I am drawn to Polynesian people. I feel like I am adopted in to their vast family. As they will be the first to tell you they are all cousins. Samoans, Hawaiians, Tongans, New Zea-landers...all cousins.

When LG and I got married 10 days after deciding, it was once again my Polynesian family who came through. My good friends Kia and Kyla (both originally from Hawaii) and their friend Lisa (who was totally white) decided to throw us a luau. To this day, without fail, every time we attend a wedding reception LG will proclaim that nobody has better food than we did. I think he dreams about the noodles. I didn't get to eat much that evening. Apparently, I was playing hostess as LG was gorging at the spread. Can you say foreshadow? I am not calling my husband fat. I am just saying that if there is one hostess in this family, it is me, so in-laws stop typing shame on you's now.

However, on that evening I got to eat one thing. Well, I actually probably ate at least 8. LG would bring them to me on a plate from time to time. Pani popo. I can't even utter the word without salivating. Years ago when I started blogging I made an online blogging friend who posted the recipe. I have successfully made much pani popo on my own. I guess that means I am really a true cousin now. Out of pure reverence for my friend sharing her polynesian equivalent to The Holy Grail,  I am refraining from giving you the recipe here, but do go over and get it. You will not be disappointed. And at your next Palagi luau, I promise you will receive the most leis.

And just to give you a peek at how easy this recipe is. From the top of my head I can only remember three ingredients that are needed and one is Rhode's rolls.

Pani PoPo

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Power of the Atonement

One thing I have come to understand in the past few years is that we each have addictions.

Some are addicted to alcohol, drugs, or sex. Some to pornography, coffee, tobacco. Many others have the socially acceptable if not revered addictions like exercise, house cleaning, make-up application, shoe collecting, or shopping. Some are hoarders. Some have eating disorders. Some struggle with same sex attraction. Some pedophilia. Others with having children (hello octomom) or stockpiling stocks.

I personally struggle as a co-dependent. I am also addicted to baked goods, and I am not saying that as a joke. Like so many others, in the closet and out, I have an obsession with being loved. I will do anything to be loved including but not limited to letting other people treat me like crap, excessively rescuing and controlling, crying for days when someone reprimands me, and being overly responsible. I am grateful that I am married to the man that I am, who understands my struggle. Many other codependents have to go through many relationships to be satisfied. Many other addictions can be traced back to original codependency; in fact many addicts have to come to terms with their codependency to successfully overcome their other temptations.

Just watch this Pink video for the song Please Don't Leave Me and tell me she doesn't get the need to be loved. Or  how about this one called I Can't Make You Love Me by Bonnie Rait, one of my personal favorites. We sang the song Give Me the Gift of Love by Bette Midler at my Grandma's funeral. I have come to believe that my Grandma understood the excessive need I feel to be loved. My mom has it too. No brainer really. Where do you think I learned it?

Anyhow, it's Sunday. If I post on Sunday, it is going to be something that honors God. This video honors my God. It does a great job of explaining there is one place where we can get the strength to overcome addiction. I know this place to be my friend and Savior Jesus Christ. He strengthens me every day and I am so very grateful.

So, go ahead, say something mean. I am recovered enough I can take it. I no longer need you to love me. I have learned that getting love from one person is plenty satisfying. That person isn't my husband; LG's love is just icing on the cake. Your love for me is like daffodils in bloom, but God's love: God's love is as big as this whole magnificent earth. Actually it's bigger than I understand. I can't measure infinity.

Thank you to my God who frees me from my bondage. Next focus: milkshakes. I am not planning on taking that one too fast.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

Speak up Sophia.

Sophia is our quiet child. She is our low maintenance child. I am always worried that I am not giving her enough attention because to be quite honest, in a crazy house like mine, she is a breathe of fresh air. She is so easy to raise. I would never make the mistake of calling her perfect because nobody is perfect, but as far as being her mom, she is really really easy. She doesn't require much but some food and water. Heck, she is lower maintenance than our dog. She is definitely quieter than our dog. She rarely barks. She noticed her picture and came over to read what I was writing. She says, "I do not bark."

Well, I've blogged before about a big oops with Sophia. These slip ups seem to be happening more regularly. Just the other day I found myself at Walgreen's purchasing lemon heads and chocolate ice-cream to say I was sorry for missing her school program. My husband was having a crisis and his brother stopped in on his way through town to say good-bye before we moved. With all the drama, I totally spaced that I was supposed to go to her day program to make up for the night before when I was at Abigail's school program that took place at the exact same time. I don't know how single moms do it; my hubby and I have to divide and conquer all too often. Well, I cried to Sophia, apologized profusely, promised to watch the video, and cautioned her that she may as well learn now that nobody is perfect and she is gonna be let down. I told her that there was only one person that would never let her down. And she said that she knew that. I said, "Well, who then?" She replied, "Jesus Christ." Very good. I am not totally failing as a parent.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Who You Are

Another poem (kind of) for LG. 
Don't expect any of you to make it all the way through. 
And LG may hope that you don't, as it gives away all his secrets.
Heck, LG may not even make it through this one.
It's a doozie.

Who you are
To me.

You are choice between diet mountain dew or A&W rootbeer.
And an empty bag of BBQ chips.
You are love that is better than ice-cream.
You are sunrise, sunrise,
I can see it in your eyes.

You are kisses all around.
You are always kind.
But never kind enough to yourself.
You are sometimes down.
And sometimes crazy.
But I am the only one that knows that.

You are the guy
with great teeth
and you don't even have to floss.

You are the man
who I love by my side
in the bed,
on the trail,
at the movies.

You are amazing calves
that can still dunk
any day.
And a bad ankle
that keeps you

You are a little boy
I want to hug.

You are let it be
and sunshine on my shoulders.

You are fall leaves,
and rain on the metal eave,
open windows
to let in the sound.
You are the one
who holds me
in a Southern Storm
or watches in awe
the Western lightening
scrawl across the sky.

You are a child of God
who deserves unconditional love.

You are a mighty man
who holds the priesthood of God
and can move mountains.

You are the equivalent of a PHD,
even though you say you aren't
and that you think PHD's are stupid.

You are all tough
and swerve to hit the squirrels
and say you are gonna get rid of
that damn dog
and I catch you 
scratching and loving
the pet
and cuddling with the cat
while simultaneously
trying to shoot the crows
and you are a wonder to me
because I know you can handle
all the heartaches that I can't.
And you can bury the pets
without shedding a tear,
yet you remain gentle.

You are a living paradox.
And you love smelly candles
and massages
yet wear the same old ratty T-shirt
because you don't want to be a
but a truly heterosexual
manly man.
Which you are.
But you love smelly candles.
And fondue.

You are in the wink of an eye
and Mormon Tabernacle choir.
And listening to you
listen to music
is like a spiritual experience.
Listening to you talk to your kids
about music
is like heaven to my soul.

And I haven't even got started
about how sexy it is
when you play the piano
or quote Robert Frost.

You are dirty blonde,
and a toehead,
and mostly bald.
Your stubble up top
makes my hands tremble.

You are a fast typer
and a fast thinker
and fast with your
And that's about all you do fast.
Unless we count when you fidget.

You are a slow kisser.
A slow driver
and a slow reader,
but not to me.
To me,
you read the fastest.

You have perfect timing.
And against all odds
you have learned to be a good gift giver
which means everything.

You are a blinker
and a concentrator
and either do
one or the other.

You are the guy
who reads kids' books
and plays video games
to bond with your kids.
Or they do it
to bond with you.
Not sure which
would be more accurate.

You totally own it
when I catch you laughing
The Wizards of Waverly Place
or Ponyo.
And you are proud of it.
And that makes me proud.
Because you are the best dad.
The best.

You are the maker upper of games
that you like to play
with your buddies
in the front yard.

You are goof-ball
and I am one of the only
privileged ones to know 
that side of you.
And I love it when
you let others
see the part of you
that is fun and carefree.

You are a strong strong spirit
who fights every day.
And loves your God
and your Savior.

You are an amazing
that can explain
the most
things to
a person
of any age

You are the forgetter
of where you left your wallet.
And the loser of
at least 7 weddding bands.
One for every other year
just to keep things

You are the best district leader
to the bold kisser
to the man I married.
And you were so handsome.
And still are.
You are my Matt Damon.

You are the handler of taxes.
And computers
and TV's
and DVD players
and anything
with a cable.

You are hiding
away your change
so you can one day
buy an I-pad,
which you may want 
even more than that newest phone.
You are
the lover of
Even the remote control watch.

You are the disliker
of make-up,
and girls in immodest clothes,
and boys
who like your girls.

You are asleep
by 10 p.m.
and a snorer all night
on your back or side
but never on your stomach
and up at the 
beep of the alarm clock.

Up and at 'em.
It never seizes to amaze me.
Until I hear
the shower running
for at least a 1/2 hour.
Every morning.
And then I realize
why you are happy 
to get up early.
So you can sit in the bathtub
while the water runs
over you
waking you up.

You are the lover
of a hot breakfast
and rarely complain
that you didn't marry
your mom
but instead a woman
who would
only cook for you
in the morning
on your birthday
or on Father's Day
or when we have company.

You are the 
I can do without dessert
kind of person
but bring on 
the wings.

You are the man who is still
waiting for his BBQ grill out back
and his honeymoon
and his Cadillac
and his dreams to come true.
Yet you are usually content.
And worry about giving more to
your family,
then you take for yourself.
And that is such a turn on.
It makes me want to give you
that flat screen T.V.
that you still can only dream about.

You are the misser
of Atari
and your own
Pop A Shot
the days when
things were simpler and
your game boy
was in pristine condition
and you knew where
all the games were
at all times.
Instead of having to look
through the couch cushions for them.

You are the player of
Pretty Pretty Princess.
and completely honest
when you say you don't 
need a son.

You have the patience of Job,
which makes you the best dad.
But it also makes your life hard.
Because I guess God knows you 
can handle hard stuff.

You are a hater of 
sand in your craw.
And mean girls.
And injustice.
And you are
just like me
and always on the side
of the underdog.
You are a perfectionist
even though you won't admit it.

You are an avoider
of things emotional
or overwhelming
or out of your expertise
because you are perfectionist.

You are a jumper off roofs
and you are the man
who could only
stand or lay on his back
for a whole year
of law school,
but you never gave up.
And you still help people
move their furniture
even though you've had a disk
surgically repaired.

You are an appreciator of foods,
and always up for
trying something new
and the hole in the wall spot.
And never order the same thing twice
unless it's
chicken fried steak.
Or that salad
that your age
has forced upon you.

You are always anxious
about change
and you don't like uncertainty.

You are empathetic
and loving
and overly accommodating
to everyone but yourself.

You are a guy
who can lose 50 pounds
in two months
when you put your mind to it.

You are the kid
who thinks that there
is always something
better on the other side.

Your weakness does not define you
as neither does your strength.
What defines you
is you.
And I want you to know
that more than anything
this me
wants that you
to see you
as I see you.

You are self conscience
and self deprecating
and I want you to see
who you are
to me
who you are to Him

so you can
see who you really are.

Because who you are
is so much better
than who you know.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Did you know that the toothbrush was invented in Tennessee?
Yes it was. I know it seems odd after all those Tennessee teeth jokes. 
"How do I know this", you ask?
If it was invented anywhere else it would have been named the teeth-brush.

For the past several years I have been having a reoccurring dream that all my teeth are falling out. Or sometimes I have a bunch of junk stuck in my teeth and I am trying to in·con·spic·u·ous-ly (yes, I had to look that one up in the dictionary) rid my mouth of the sticky gum-like substance without anyone noticing. Of course in my dreams everyone is always looking at me and I can't do anything inconspicuously. (Wow, I got the word all by myself the second time around.)

Well, my curiosity got the better of me. I finally googled the meaning of my dream. And, oh my goodness, it's spot on. 

My dreams have been trying to tell me that:

1- I have anxiety about my appearance.
2- I fear rejection, especially regarding my sex appeal and femininity.
3- I am worried about making a fool of myself.
4- I have a sense of powerlessness.
5- I have malnutrition and a poor diet.
6- I have a family member or close friend who is very sick or near death.
7- I am putting my faith and trust in what man thinks instead of God.
8- I am lying according to the Chinese.

For me, all of the above are true, except for the lying. Unless we count lying to myself, which I try not to do, but I believe we are all guilty of it.

I wonder if when I quit residing in this great state of Tennessee if my nightmare will finally go away. And I think the answer may be yes. Why, you ask?

Well, it's a simple answer really:

For the first time in 8 years I am going to have dental insurance.

I am so totally lucky that I have only lost one tooth while living here, and even for that one a permanent cap fixed me right up, but, oh how I felt old. I have worried ever since about having to get dentures. I think I have done well since only having one casualty while residing in the land of famous hillbilly teeth. I wonder if my new dentist will be able to do anything with this mouthful of plaque? I really don't want to look like this photo for the rest of my life. 

Oh yeah, that's not me. 

Tennessee may have some ugly teeth, but usually the women with the ugly teeth don't also have a 5 o'clock shadow. And I am really not lyin' when I say that it's true that there are a lot of people here with some jacked up teeth. You'd think that I would at least be able to overcome #1 and #2 for the simple fact that I still have a full set.

I think you all should google your reoccurring dream and blog about it. I will do a post linking to you all with your story and we will see if Freud knew what he was talking about. Whose in?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tennessee Bridge

Please excuse my boo-hooing. This is going to be a very sentimental post.

I'm already crying and I haven't even started writing yet. I'm a mess.

When my father in law e-mailed this photo, he had appropriately named it "looking west".
 Maybe I should also get him to send me the other side entitled "looking east"
 as I am sure there will always be a part of me that will do both.
In 2003, LG and I, with our three little daughters crossed over this bridge for the first time as a family. The girls were so young: 4,2, and newborn. We had come across the country for law-school and Grandma Gold's empty house was a perfect place for us to crash while we house hunted (an hour and a half away) in Knoxville. It was two doors down from my in-laws, which is about a mile beyond this bridge. We didn't know it at the time, but we started a tradition. It had been a long trip, where we learned all sorts of car sanity games. We challenged Abigail to a Tennessee Bridge off. She must suck in all the air support she could and holler "Tennessee Bridge" as we drove over. She should not stop hollering until we safely reached the side closer to grammy's house.

Well, here we are, almost eight years later. LG's employment is going to drag us back to where we came from. We can't complain. It's a great job. We love Utah and we know it's what God wants us to do, but it is very emotional...especially for a big sap like me.

My mother in law just posted a picture of the bridge on facebook and said they are closing it down. They have built a bigger and better bridge off  to the other side. All I can do is cry. And reminisce. And scream, "Nothing can be bigger or better."

So many trips and holler contests are flying through my brain. Abigail is 4, then 5 then 11, ever increasing in volume and intensity. Sophia was 2 and couldn't quite pronounce the words, but still hollered right along with her sister and now she quite possible has some of the best breathe control. Bella was probably just crying that first trip across, but her volume was likely as loud as it is today, even though the words now come out loud and clear: TENNESSEEEEE BRRRIIIIIIIDDDDDDGGGGE. 

Sometimes the girls were in soccer uniforms or church dresses. Sometimes the car was loaded down with winter gear and Christmas presents. Or food that we didn't want to go bad in our fridge at home. Sometimes we had a cat with us and a dog. But never both the cat or the dog. Thank goodness. Sometimes they were in bathing suits and we may have even had the occasional birthday suit in there. I can smell the homemade loaves of bread that Faye sent home with us and the Thanksgiving leftovers. I am blinded by the black of most of the nights when we were headed back home while I calculated which caffeinated soda I would purchase at the corner gas station just beyond the bridge. The kids would already be falling asleep and wouldn't even notice the bridge.

LG and I got really good at driving across that bridge super slow while the kids' faces turned bright red and finally gave in to the need for oxygen. A parent has to do what they have to do for the occasional win. We would have to remind ourselves not to slow down if it was at night and the girls weren't paying attention. The girls have now turned their attention to teaching baby Caroline the tradition.

I am not sure how many times LG told me of his trips to the little market close to the bridge while we drove by. "I always got my gas there when I was a teenager." "Dad and I used to stop there for worms when we would go fishing." "We used to drive our bikes down here when we were kids", to which I would reply, "Are you kidding me? This highway is frightening." The response would always follow, "Yeah Alice, I've told you a million times, we would take the back-roads; they are so much safer." I would laugh inside because I don't think that there are really any safe back-roads in the whole state of Tennessee; I have personally puked while trying them out in the car. That's when I started driving everywhere so I could avoid car sickness.

But back to the bridge. They are tearing it down. They are tearing down a piece of our family. And I can't stop crying, but I guess it is kind of fitting since we have to move forward. We can't stay here forever.But even if we aren't going to be Tennessee residents and even if we aren't going to get to visit grammy and papa as often, we now know that at least a piece of each of our hearts will forever be floating down the great Holston River. I think I can hear it as it faintly rolls along to the tune of Tenneeesssssseeeee Briiiddddgee.

wah wah wah.