Thursday, February 26, 2009

I won!

After weeks of prodding my teenage son into getting a haircut, he finally said to me the other day, “Mom, I think if I got a haircut to get some of the hair off my forehead, maybe I wouldn’t get so many zits there.”

Score one for me!

This is how I win battles at my house. I make suggestions.

“You know, Austin, if you hair was shorter the sunlight could reach you scalp better and help your psoriasis.”

“You know, Austin, maybe your forehead wouldn’t break out so much if your hair was a little shorter.”

Now I don’t know how true either of those statements are but it worked a lot better than the “Cut your hair or you don’t get to go to Disneyland” threat (Yes! I really did say that). He knows I would never follow through.

I figure, if I plant enough suggestions he will eventually think something is his idea. On the haircut front, this has worked exactly twice. Until I figured this out it took a mix of bribery and the “You’ll do it because I tell you to do it” line.

I took a before and after picture and he looked at me like I was about to board the crazy train but I had to document my win. When I told him this, he rolled his eyes and I could tell he was mentally waving goodbye as I rode off on the crazy train. The conversation that followed went something like this:

“Mom. It was my idea.”

“That’s what you think. I won.”

“No. You didn’t. It was my idea.”

“Whatever. I still won.”

“Mom! You’re weird!”

He can think I am weird all he wants. I won! And I have the pictures to prove it. I admit the after looks like he is in the military but give it a couple of weeks and it will look like the before.


On Monday I had the opportunity to take my Grandma Nielson and Aunt Sandra to the LDS Temple in Draper. This is my second time visiting the temple and normally we would have to park at one of the churches in Draper, watch a short video, then take a bus up to the temple. Instead when I told the gentlemen at our designated church that my Grandma has a hard time walking long distances he sent up straight up to the temple. Once there were able to park close enough that it was a short walk for Grandma to where they have wheelchairs. From that point on I pushed her around the temple in a wheelchair

At first she was reluctant to use the wheelchair - said they make her feel old. But we convinced her it would be a good thing and I believe in the end she was glad she had one - even parking at the temple there was a lot of walking. Fortunately, being the klutz that I am, I didn’t run her into anything!

Seriously, I was a bit worried about running my poor Grandmother into walls, doorways, and furniture. The last time I pushed someone in a wheelchair was at the airport when my Grandma and her sister Luella came back from a trip to Georgia. I was pushing Aunt Lu and I think I ran her into everything. However, at the temple I managed to keep my Grandma from running into anything or anyone.

I love simple wins!

Coming home we chose to try the new road connecting Alpine and Draper. What an amazing view from up there! It’s a wonder how good Utah Lake looks from a distance.

The temple and drive were nice but what I really enjoyed about the day was spending time with my Grandma and Aunt. It may seem strange to some people but I really do enjoy hanging out with Grandma. When my Grandma and mom go to my Aunt’s house in Mt. Pleasant I try to tag along whenever possible. I’ve taken a trip with her to Montana and a couple of times up to Pocatello.

Over the last few years I have gotten to know her so much more than I had before and feel blessed that she is still around so that I have these opportunities. I think my Grandma is a wonderful lady and I hope when I am her age my grandchildren will think the same of me.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Countdown to Disneyland

A week from tonight I will be in California with my parents, my brother Ryan, his girlfriend Jessica, and more importantly my son Austin. We will be spending a week at Disneyland and possibly a visit to Sea World.

I am a little nervous about the trip - not the logistics - just making sure that Austin has a great time. I worry that I am a little too tense most of the time and don't loosen up as much as I should. On this trip with my son I shouldn't be like that. As it is we don't spend enough time doing fun things together.

I haven't been to Disneyland for about 20 years. I was in fifth grade when the Honeyman clan climbed into the station wagon - without Ryan - and ventured west. My dad likened it to the Griswold's heading to Wally World. I remember having so much fun on that trip and want to make this one fun for my son.

Austin has been to Disneyland, Sea World, and accidentally to Mexico with this Dad. Imagine your child calling you from his vacation and telling you he spent a day south of the border when California was the only destination. At least he can say he has been to Mexico. Since his experience is more recent than mine, I've told him that once we get there he gets to take the reins. Thankfully he knows I have a weak stomach and won't expect me to go on anything I can't handle - that is what Uncle Ryan is for.

Austin also knows that my Dad and I both have a serious aversion to the song "It's A Small World" and I remember from twenty plus years ago how much that ride bugged me. I mean, seriously, does it really need to be sung in every language out there. Okay, yeah, so it is a small world and I get the meaning of the ride but hearing it in English is more than enough for me. Hearing it in French, German, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Arabic, etc. is just too much. Honestly, I would not be surprised to hear it in Klingon or ancient Aramaic though I think Jesus would find it just as annoying in his Language as I do in ours.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pick it. Park it. Walk it.

Pulling into the parking lot at work this morning I noticed a little red car crawling through the lot looking for a place to park. The lady in the car drove down one row and up the next then around in a circle. Then she did it again, as if in the thirty seconds of circling someone would be leaving. Come on, lady! It is 9 am. People aren’t leaving - they are staying. They have swiped their yuppie badge, are checking their e-mail, and trying to figure out how to make the next 8 hours go by as fast as possible. After I parked out in the north forty as I always do and made my way to the building, the little red car passed me making yet another circle.

Seriously, unless you are a candidate for a handicap sticker or pregnant - park it wherever there is spot and walk. Now I may be wrong, she may not have been looking for a parking space. She may have been stalking someone. Which then causes me to wonder, what is stalking all about?

My next parking lot issue is people who see you walking to your car, follow you, and then wait for you to load all your Wal-mart goodies in the car so that they may have your parking space instead of the one five or six spaces up. This happened to me the other day. I had a primo parking spot at the Wal-mart and when I got back to my car lo and behold there they were just waiting for me to leave. Folks, this makes people uncomfortable. I don’t like thinking that the person in the other care is impatiently waiting for me, hand hovering over the horn, steam seething out of their ears because I am not able to unload a cart full of groceries at lightening speed.

Normally, I would hurry as fast as I could but on this day I took my time and made sure each bag was in its proper place (as if they have proper places) and even made sure my cart was returned to the inconveniently located cart return corrals. I think next time I’ll pretend my car won’t start and tell the people I can’t move it, then after they have parked half a mile away, pull out and drive past them with the “Oh Gee! Silly me forgot to put the key in the ignition” look on my face.

To be perfectly honest, I am guilty of having done all of the above but my usual parking lot motto is “Pick it. Park it. Walk it”. Pick a spot. Park the rig. And walk off some of the doughnut I inhaled on the way to work.

Monday, February 16, 2009

My love of reading and books....

You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. ~Paul Sweeney

Anyone who knows me well knows that to take away my books would be like taking away my spirit. I love to read. For as long as I can remember I have needed to read something.

As a young girl I fell in love with the Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gable's series and ever since have wanted to visit Nova Scotia. After Anne, I discovered author Lurlene McDaniel who writes about teenagers who are faced with life threatening illnesses. Through her stories I discovered there are worse things than being a somewhat awkward, kind of nerdy, healthy, teenager. I went through Francine Pascals Sweet Valley High series and wanted to be just like Elizabeth. Somewhere between high school and now, I've lost these books that I cherished so much as a teenager. I miss these books I loved as a youth in the same way I miss my old, ceramic, hand painted piggy bank given to me by one of my Grandmothers.
Thankfully the hardback copies of Anne of Green Gables were not lost with the paperback copies.

Though I will read almost anything, Romance novels have always been my favorite. After the Sweet Vally High phase, I discovered Judith McNaught and Julie Garwood, from there LaVryle Spencer, Nora Roberts, Debbie Macomber and the list goes on and on.

A problem I have is that I don't borrow books from the library, as much as I buy them. A trip to the grocery store will usually involve 5 minutes of book browsing. I have at least five boxes in my basement full of books, there are books on shelves in my living room and office. Then there are the boxes in the storage unit, and the books laying around the house in random places. I currently have one on the bed next to me saying "finish writing and READ me, please"; ten in the night stand that have been read, are waiting to be read, or were started but didn't hold my interest; one on the couch that I finished earlier today: and two more on the microwave waiting to be read.

Life is meant to be lived but there is something wonderful about being to escape reality for a few hours. I recommend it to everyone.

If anyone needs suggestion for a good book, I'm fairly certain I could give you one. You can also check out the "What I am reading now" link.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Solo Movie Going on Valentine’s Day

Today I went to the movie He’s Just Not That Into You…alone. I am not the most courageous person in the world, but I think it takes a brave soul to sit in a movie theatre on Valentine’s Day, alone, watching a romantic comedy. Had I gone to see something like The Pink Panther it would not have seemed like such a brave thing.

I have been single going on 11 years now. As a single gal there have been many activities that I’ve passed on as going solo is not nearly as fun and trying to find a date these days is not as easy as one would like, but that is a topic for another day. Going to movies is one of these activities, as is eating in restaurants that don’t have Happy Meals on the menu. I do have some wonderful girlfriends but with kids, work, and life it is not always easy to get together for a girls night out. And while my son is 14 and fun to spend time with he isn’t always with me.

He’s Just Not That Into You is my third solo movie going experience. This does not make me an expert but here are some tips for anyone single, married, or otherwise who isn’t afraid of buying a ticket for one and walking alone into a theatre filled with couples.

1 – Get to the theatre early but not too early. This may seem obvious but walking in alone after the previews have started is slightly uncomfortable. If you are alone while others are still coming in, they may assume you are waiting for the rest of your party. Walking in alone after everyone else has been seated and enjoyed half their popcorn makes it pretty obvious that you ARE the party.

2 – See the matinee. There may be fewer people in the theatre but it just seems more acceptable to see a matinee alone rather than an evening showing. Don’t ask me why – it just is.

3 – Do not be a solo movie-goer on a Sunday afternoon. This may not seem important in other areas of the world outside of Utah County but you may find yourself watching the movie completely alone. Example: One Sunday afternoon while living in Orem, I decided to see the movie You’ve Got Mail. I arrived at the theatre early and so did not find it unusual that there was no one else in the theatre. Then the previews started… I had the theatre to myself for the entire movie. I have to say it felt a little strange and not in a good way.

4 – Don’t be embarrassed.

5 – Don’t be afraid to laugh or cry during the show just because there is no one in the seat next to you laughing and crying at the same time.

6 – Have a good time. Movies are a great escape and you shouldn’t feel as though you can’t escape without someone holding your hand.

That being said, there are some perks to being a solo movie-goer:

1 -You miss having the whole “what movie do you want to see?” discussion. If you are having this discussion, then seeing a movie alone is the least of your worries at this point.

2 – You can get whatever incredibly fattening, buttery, chocolaty treats you would like without worrying what your date or “no-carb” dieting friend might think. Eat up!

The downside to solo movie-going is there is no one to talk to about the highlights and lowlights of the movie afterwards. Or share those random movie lines that you and your friends find completely hilarious but said around someone else would get you the “you should be committed look.” Where Maiken would get it if I randomly asked “Did I ever tell you that I’ve been struck by lightning seven times?” from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and if I were to use a tampon as a microphone to sing ABBA songs, Andrea would understand the Mamma Mia reference, my mom or sisters might wonder how much I have had to drink.

All in all, my solo movie-going adventure today was fun. I enjoyed the movie a lot more than I thought I would (a topic for another day) and when I turned my phone back on after the show I saw that someone I kind of like sent me a Happy Valentine’s day text. It is not as romantic or "aww" inspiring as flowers or dinner, but considering we aren’t actually dating, it has me thinking that maybe this one might just be “into me”.

Hope everyone had a great day whether celebrating Valentine’s Day, Single’s Awareness Day, Hallmark Appreciation Day, Saturday the 14th, or just another Saturday.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Blogging: Everyone is doing it..

Remember when your parents asked, "If so and so jumped off a bridge would you do it too?"

I remember it well and as a parent I am sure I have said it to my son at some point and will probably do so again... and again...and again. As I have been contemplating creating a blog, this is the one question that keeps popping up and apparently my answer all those years ago should have been "yes."

Here I am at 1:25 am on a Friday morning...blogging.

I wonder what I could say that is interesting enough that others will actually want to read my ramblings. Maybe I will come up with something profound, maybe review a book I just read, or simply share the events of my day. Whatever it is, I hope it has some meaning to someone even if it is just me.

So, to Jeev, Maiken, and Cynthia, you guys have talked me into it. I am blogging…after all everyone is doing it.