Monday, May 28, 2007

stupid computer

I love this age of technology where with only a computer linked to the internet practically any information we desire is right at our fingertips. However, just as I begin to take this incredible technological miracle for granted, my computer breaks - or in the PC term, "catches a virus" or has a "corrupt file".
Honestly, I am convinced that my computer has a personality. It seems to know when I am in the middle of something important and then all of a sudden: uh-oh this program has performed an "illeagal operation" and has to shut down. You can almost hear that little robotic voice blowing a raspberry and laughing wickedly at my despair. All of these "viruses" and "illegal operations" are actually temper tantrums of the most devious kind. One day I am sure that we will figure out how to predict the erratic robotic emotions of our computers and will be able to pacify them with a few extra mB's of memory or something. In the meantime I guess we just take a few extra deep breaths, try not to throw the computer out of the window, and call tech support for the umpteenth time.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I love summer! Maybe it has something to do with being born and raised in St. George, UT where it is summer 10 months of the year. However, even in Philadelphia with the humidity and the bugs, I love it. To me summer is all about baseball (or softball now), half melted ice cream, fresh raspberries in the morning and leisurely walks (or bike rides) in the evening just as the sun begins to set. It may seem like a strange collection of things, but here is yet another example of how my mind works...

When I was a kid we used to spread mom's old and frayed, rose covered table cloth on the floor in our family room and eat dinner while we watched baseball on tv. My mom has always been a huge baseball fan. As I got older I spent summer afternoons and evenings watching my brothers play little league. In highschool I watched friends and "boyfriends" play. Then when I met John I made the switch over to softball. I must have inherited my mom's enthusiasm of the game itself. But I also just love sitting in the sunshine, chatting with friends and enjoying my role as a fan of America's favorite pasttime.

My addiction to ice cream probably also stems from spending every summer of my life in 110 degree summer heat - that and the fact that I am Mormon. Since everything else is prohibited by the word of wisdom Mormons as a whole consume more ice cream than your average person, especially when you factor in family home evening. Regardless of the reason, I LOVE ICE CREAM. There is nothing better on a hot summer day than a cool ice cream cone or even better, a Dairy Queen blizzard. Yum!

As for raspberries for breakfast, this one I credit to my Grammy. Grammy was my mom's mom. She had a beautiful house in Ogden, Ut with a huge yard including a stream and garden in back. I spent a week with Grammy and Grandpa Ken on my own one summer. Every morning of that week I had fresh raspberries for breakfast on the back deck with Grammy. We would sit, enjoy the view, watch the hummingbirds, and revel in the bounty of Grandpa Ken's yummy raspberries. Man, I miss Grammy!

The summer evening walks and bike rides have been a more recent tradition. They are a result of John and I trying to get into shape and haul the kids around with us in the process. It just always seems so peaceful at that time of day.

What I most love about summer is that feeling of absolute freedom. School is out. The addictive tv shows are all reruns. Vacations are just around the corner. It feels like the world is open and ready to be explored. Here I go!

Thursday, May 10, 2007


John got me an iPod for Christmas. At first I wasn't terribly excited. I thought it was more of a gift for teenagers and college age kids than for a mom of two hooligans(I mean that in the most affectionate way possible). I was completely wrong! My iPod has become one of most favorite possessions. Not only is it useful for blocking out whiny voices at the end of the day but it has reminded me of my love for music. Growing up I was passionate about music. It surrounded everything I did and made up a large part of who I was. Marriage and parenthood has changed me, in good ways for the most part, but I have realized that I lost who I was for a while. It sounds strange - how could I lose myself when I knew exactly where I was? Anyway, I did and I have spent the last year trying to rediscover who I am. My iPod has been almost more helpful than therapy.
For me the music that I enjoy becomes a soundtrack in my life. Some of my most favorite songs mark important occasions, special feelings, and unforgettable moments in my past. People might describe my taste in music as eclectic. I just think my taste in music is as varied as the experiences in my life.
Lisa Loeb's album "Firecracker" reminds me of my semester in Russia. I listened to it on the way back to my apartment after taking John to the airport at the end of his visit. I cried the entire way home and most of the afternoon. So when I hear songs from that album it reminds me of that day and the concern and polite solicitations of the other passengers in the shuttle I took from the airport to the subway. The shuttle was full of middle aged Russian men who normally are not the most kind and gentle of men when dealing with complete strangers. In fact, had I been in my right mind, I would not have gotten in a shuttle with that many Russian men in the first place. When I choked through my tears to ask which subway station we were approaching, they bent over backwards trying to help me get to where I needed to go. I think one of them actually escorted me to the station when we arrived.
The song All-Star by Smashmouth reminds me of the summer John and I got engaged. We spent the summer in Orem, UT. That song reminds me of new love, Dairy Queen stops, and driving around with the windows down while we sang along to the radio.
I could describe millions of such instances. I think in a way music helps trigger my memory and evokes the same strong emotions as if it were happening all over again. How could I not love my iPod? It doesn't merely contain 2 GB of music, but 2 GB of memories.

Saturday, May 5, 2007


Today was Samuel's first game of t-ball ever. We put him in a community league that plays every Saturday for eight weeks. The day started off with a parade complete with police and fire truck escorts and a lunch of hot dogs and juice. When the fields were set up and the teams "ready" to play, it was clear that the kids had no clue what they were expected to do. So after a few practice runs around the bases, the coaches took up their posts, tried to explain the game and encouraged these 4-6 year olds to just do their best. Sam's team was up to bat first. Each child was allowed to hit and run one base at a time until the entire team had had a chance to swing the bat. There were no outs and the last player got an automatic grand slam as their turn at bat would signal the time for the other team to take their turn hitting. Despite the practice runs around the bases before the game, many of the kids didn't know what to do once they had hit the ball. Some of them ran to first, or directly to second passing right by the pitcher, or some of them chased the ball and tried to recover it. It was hilarious and adorable all at the same time. John was helping supervise second base so when Sam hit the ball the first time he ran straight for daddy. We finally got him straightened out, but the process itself was really funny.
Anyway, we all had a great time and the best part was that the emphasis was not on winning at all - heck, it wasn't even on being competitive. The emphasis of the day was on learning a new game and having a ball doing it (pun completely intended). Not a bad way to spend a Saturday.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Ode to my Mom

Here's to the woman
who gave me my life
Who gave me away
to become a wife.

Who has always listened
when I needed to cry
then offered advice
which went never awry

Who sends me a gift
I don't always expect
but which happens to be
what I need for a lift.

My mom is amazing
she always has been
She works with her heart
and she never gives in.

And now I'm a mom
with two kids of my own
and I need her help still
though I'm married and grown.

My great hope some day
is that I may be
A mother as kind
and as loving as she.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Philadelphia Driving Laws

Last week one of the programs on NPR was a discussion on driving manners and customs. It got me thinking about the culture of driving here in Philadelphia. I grew up out west and to tell you the truth, I have encountered several driving practices here that I have never seen before. So here are the top five.

5) Red lights are only red lights from 5 seconds after they turn red and until the opposing traffic light turns yellow.

4) Turning lanes are optional. You can make a left turn from the far right hand lane just as easily as you can from the turning lane. Just don't mind the other cars honking rudely at you.

3)Double parking is so much easier than parallel parking; everyone should do it! Once you have perfected the art of double parking, try triple parking. It is even more fun!

2) Turning signals are for chumps. When you use a turning signal it only encourages the cars around you to speed up and cut you off.

1) Whenever possible take a shortcut to cut off the drivers around you. "Shoulder" is a nickname for shortcut. Gas stations and shopping centers are other good paths you can use to get ahead. Pay no attention to the people or slow moving vehicals that may be in you way; they are merely obstacles you must overcome to reach the front of the line. When challenged by a red light see rule #5.