To Utah, With Love (written Sunday, June 22)

I’m back from my trip to visit my Utah Girls.  I wish I had been able to stay longer as I am entirely unready to re-enter my regular life, but alas…. duty calls.  Well, more like my anniversary called, but since I was so swollen upon return all I could do was sit on my ass with my legs in the air and wait for time to pass.  Rather slowly, I might add.  It seems like I’ve been back for weeks, not 48 hours!

I have emerged with a new title, Fearless Leader, and strengthened bonds of friendship for another 6-12 months, or until my next Utah trip.  I really wish I could go more often, but then the visits wouldn’t be as sweet and we’d become too familiar to each other to not take things for granted.  This way, the next time is so far away it makes us make this time together count.

 

Things that I learned on this trip:

  • Utah does have drive-thru Starbucks, there just aren’t any along I-80 between California and Tooele, UT.!
  • Everything good (ok, Starbucks) closes at freaking 7:00 p.m., even in Park City!  That’s like, Utah’s personal Mos Eisley for food and drink so I can’t figure out for the life of me why the early bedtime, but alas… that shall remain a mystery for another time.
  • Certain people should not be allowed to be hosts at places of business that serve the public.  Especially if they work at the Baja Cantina and their name starts with L and they dress like a pirate.
  • Alka Seltzer cures nausea for up to 6 hours
  • Sonic’s chili cheese tots are of the devil and should never be eaten no matter how yummy they sound.
  • The Training Table has sweet potato cheese fries.  They are NOT as good as regular cheese fries.  (Will not be making this mistake again)
  • Trips without your children are WAY more fun than you anticipate them to be!
  • Missy’s in-laws need a karaoke machine for their cabin.
  • Despite being at the summit of THE HILL, I can still party until 4:30 a.m. like the rock star that I am.

As usual, I didn’t get to see everyone that I wanted to.  Sometimes I wonder if my requests to get together are more of a chore than a pleasure.  I’ve recently come to learn that getting together (for others) is not the end-all, be-all that it is for me.  It’s hard not to take that personally, but I’m working on it.  My friends uplift me so much, I’m happy if all the time they have for me is the car ride to the grocery store.  I wish I could better put into words what these women mean to me, but it only matters that I know, and I do.

So Utah, I love you!  I miss you!  It was hard to come from the beautiful, green, tree covered valley and mountains to the brown, flat, dirty and dusty place that I live; but Ana Banana gave me a song that brings all the good things back to mind about why I love living here and now I’m going to leave it with you.  If you don’t have time to listen, please come back and do it later!  You won’t regret it.  I’ll post the lyrics at the bottom, too.

 

 

Always Come Back

by Niki & Tim Bluhm

Don’t you wanna go where the big trees grow
Kelp forests waving in the sea?
Opening day on San Francisco bay
Sailboats as far as you can see.

May comes along, the days are getting long
Snow still covers the mountains
Sunset goes and the universe grows
So many star you have to stop counting

Chorus:
I’ll always come back to California
I’ll always come back
I’ll keep coming back to California
I’ll always come back to you

Poppies in the spring make the mission bells ring
Rivers running freely over stone
A pick-bangs the strings and everybody sings
The wind from the east is gently blowing

Crops are on the ground autumn’s coming round
West-bound fifty is where I can be found
Home is in the heart
It’s where I got my start
One thing I know whenever I depart

Chorus:
I’ll always come back to California
I’ll always come back
I’ll keep coming back to California
I’ll always come back to you

You Say It’s My Birthday?

 

The last few days I’ve felt a crash coming on.  Highly inconvenient given that I’m supposed to feel extra fabulous today (is that even possible?  To be more fabulous than I already am??) not like a kid who thinks Santa isn’t real.  Knowing this, I requested on FB yesterday that you all leave me a memory from our mutual past; figuring that it would perk me up.  Once again, I was right!  My brother got me started with a private memory collection that made me cry while I was in line at Starbucks and as I got home and the memories started rolling in, lifting me higher than a balloon on a windy day.

So thank you, everybody.  Thank you for all the memories.  I look forward to making many more with you <3

To Women Everywhere On Mother’s Day

I know Mother’s Day isn’t until Sunday but I also know that, for some, Mother’s Day is not a happy day.  I hope you’ll read this essay that someone shared with me, and that you’ll find something to take with you this Sunday that speaks to you and lets you there’s a place for everyone on this wide continuum of mothering:

 

“To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you

To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you

To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you

To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you

To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.

To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you

To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you

To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you

To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you

To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience

To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst

To those who have aborted children – we remember them and you on this day

To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be

To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths

To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren -yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you

To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you

To those who placed children up for adoption — we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart

And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you

This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.”

Open Swim!

I’m happy and proud to announce that Swimming Season has started and the J family pool is now open to the public (now sporting a yard to play and tan in!)!  Starting tomorrow, we’re going to have some mighty fine weather, perfect for a dip!  As always, it is by invitation only.  YOU ARE INVITED.  That’s the only time I’m going to say it.  The ball is now in your court to phone/text me up and say “Hey can we…”  I promise, the answer is (almost) always yes!  Take advantage of our friendship, no matter how loosely connected we are.  We bought the house with the pool not for ourselves, but so we could con people into being our friends entice you to spend a relaxing morning/afternoon/evening poolside in our company!  We think we’re pretty fun.  We’re also available for BBQs and pizza dinners if you should like to stay after 5:00 p.m. and if you bring me a fountain Coke, I might let you have your kid’s birthday party here, too.

There are just a few rules, and I haven’t found a cute sign for the fence yet so I’ll post them here:

1 – (AND THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT!!!)  Bring your own towel/sunscreen/snacks.  I’m happy to share if you forget, but I’m also not an heiress to 7-Eleven so I can’t constantly feed the masses and I’m not your laundry maid.  Also floaties/pool toys/and chairs.  We’re light on patio furniture and no longer have small kids that we need to keep floaties around for.

2 – Sunscreen is mandatory.  If your kids refuse to wear, I will tell them the very sad story of my father, who grew up lifeguarding at the lake in his youth (before the days of sunscreen), got skin cancer (that spread to his lymph system and brain) and died at the woefully young age of 35.  Also, you have to wait until 15 minutes after it’s applied before getting in for it to be effective, so it’s a good idea to put it on before you come over.

3 – Hours of operation are M-Sat 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Not much advance notice is required, same day service available, and no limit on how many times in a week you can show up!

4 – We have a dog.  She is a nice dog.  She will bark and grumble when you first arrive and be very interested in you/excited to meet you.  If you have small children that can’t deal with dogs, maybe it’s not a good idea for them to come.

5 – Please keep careful track of your trash.  Our pool vac is tempramental, we don’t want it to have a meltdown because someone forgot to throw away their Otter Pop wrapper.

6 – NO DROPOFFS.  Unless you have older kids that know how to swim.  I’ll keep an eye on them from inside my air-conditioned palace but there’s no lifeguard on duty so if they’re not proficient swimmers you should plan on staying with them.

That’s pretty much it.  Oh, the pool’s not heated.  If you think it’s too cold/windy to swim, your kids don’t.  Mine start jumping in in January!

See you soon!

I’m So Embarassed

So, I had a little issue with iTunes yesterday.  I couldn’t remember the answers to my security questions.  Which was totally pissing me off because I did remember my password, and really, shouldn’t that be all you need to purchase music?

Apparently not.

Let me back up a minute.  I haven’t had iTunes since my computer exploded a few months ago, I sent it in to be reset, and got it back.  I tried installing it when I got it back, but something got messed up and it wouldn’t install.  Yesterday, I FINALLY got around to giving it a thorough uninstallation, rebooting, and reinstalling (for the 90 millionth time).

Ok.  Now we’re back at the part where I tried to buy a song.

I literally spent 2 hours on the phone with some chick from Apple Support (and I use that word “support” lightly here).  She finally transferred me to a supervisor, who couldn’t help me because we’d tried so many times even they got locked out of my account.  He did promise to call me around 11:00 the next morning and try again.  Hopefully, I would remember just ONE of my stupid answers because even though there are three questions, apparently they just needed one correct answer to reset my questions for me.

(I’m not embarrassed yet, it’s coming.)

So this morning Honey and I were having serious talks about making a car purchase.  I was getting extremely overwhelmed, and really needed a shower, and even though it was still 2+ hours before Apple would be calling me back, I was really starting to get upset about having to open a new iTunes account and not being able to download ANY OF MY MUSIC ever again!  I actually cried.  A lot.

(Ok, now I’m embarrassed.)

God must’ve taken pity on me because miraculously I was able to answer one of my questions correctly, reset the questions altogether, and now all is right with the music again.

Except now I think I hate Apple more than I hate Comcast, and that my friends is serious business.