Tuesday, September 23, 2008

And Another Thing

I should be sleeping but instead I'm on YouTube watching all the videos of my favorite song ever ever, The Prayer. No song has so much power over me as this one. I could listen to it for hours. This song actually makes me cry, that's how amazing it is. It's not even the lyrics, it's the brilliant music and the construction of the music -- amazing, it is. I have it on my playlist, but not my favorite version. I was actually looking for my favorite version on YouTube, but alas, it's not there either. My favorite version features Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban and Charlotte Church. The only ones I can find have just about all combinations of two of the four artists. I'm bummed. The one with the two men, though, is outstanding.

I was reading the discussions on YouTube about the various versions, and the general opinion seems to be that Charlotte Church "blows Celine Dion out of the water." So... I'm like, WHAT? Okay, Church is amazing and intensely talented. But, this is Celine Dion we're talking about here! Well I thought I'd give both a fair listen before making my final judgment and compared Dion/Groban to Chruch/Groban. Do these people even have ears? Groban totally overtakes Church in their duet during the most intense part, insomuch you can scarcely hear Church. She's amazing, but Celine Dion IS song. She sings. She sings with every part of her. I've long been a fan of that voice of hers. She is so, so powerful and I can't understand how people believe Church is a stronger companion for Groban. It just simply isn't true. If you care to compare, do it and report! Oh, and if anyone knows where I can find the version with all four, please inform me! I would save $$ for a year if it meant I could own a copy of it.

Random News

WELL today I went to pick my kids up from daycare and my dear and wonderful cousin Jennifer was there. Cool! She moved her a few weeks ago for her husband's schooling. She was planning to kidnap me and the kids and take us to Idaho Falls to go shopping with her and her kids. She and her husband are ultra invested in the betterment of my life and I don' t understand what I did to deserve their devotion, but I hope they never leave me because they have been lifesavers. Well she took us to IHOP for dinner -- the kids ate free (Yay for Tuesdays!) and Jennifer paid for me. It was quite yummy. I had a New York steak meal! MMM! Haven't had steak in a long long time and it was so delicious. It was a really good price. Then we went to Ross because Jennifer wanted a sweater and I ended up finding a fabulous, fabulous coat for Anna. She didn't have a winter coat at all and at Walmart they're like $30-$40 and I can't afford that. But the one we found is one of those 2 piece coats, with an inner jacket and an outer coat, which will be very, very warm. And it was only $18. Score! I'm a little worried because I might not actually have $18 in my account when all my checks clear, but on Thursday I'm getting $30 so I think I'll be okay if everything doesn't clear tomorrow. :) I feel like a much better mother now that Anna has a really great coat. My heart rests a little. Most of you may be thinking it's only September, but let me remind you that it snowed here on June 11th. Rexburg doesn't allow normal warmth. I have had to scrape my windows twice this month already. So depressing.

In random news, you know how sometimes we shorten words? Like "puppy" becomes "pup" or "computer" sometimes is "comp," "pictures" is "pics," you with me? Matthias has made his own shortened word, though it's not really acceptable terminology. He has shortened "daycare" to "dayc." I'm not kidding, it's so funny. "Mommy are we going to Dake today?" It took me a few days to figure out what the beans he meant.
And the other day Anna was playing with Jenna (her 2nd cousin -- Jennifer's 18 month old daughter) and Jenna had a toy that Anna was trying to get. I reminded Anna that Jenna had it first and she needed to let Jenna have it for now. Anna's reply: "But, Jenna's not the princess, only I am."

Oh dear. What have I gotten myself into? I've created a monster! I think she's right, of course, Anna IS the only princess. But... I don't think it's a healthy way to look at oneself. I'm sure her mother calling herself the queen of the world has possibly been her narcissistic inspiration. But.... I AM the queen. What do I do?

Anna has an ear infection and Matthias slammed three fingers in the car door. But no one is dying. God is blessing us.

God bless you!

Do You Want me to Spank You?

So I haven't really explained work much. I now work as a customer service rep at a printing warehouse here in Rexburg. They print a billion wedding invitations, and related product, for several different lines. They employ probably about a fifth of the city of Rexburg. That's probably an exaggeration, but there really are a lot a lot of employees. I, again, work in the customer service department, where I take calls from bridezillas yelling at me because their order isn't shipped yet, or because their order was incorrect, or because the sage napkins don't look sage, or because Hurricane Ike delayed the shipment of their order, etc. Heaps o' fun. Ah, it's not so bad. I work for a line called "Invitations by Dawn." It was really hard at first to say that name "Dawn" several times a day because that's the name of the woman my ex traded me for. Maybe I have written this before.... I don't know. Sorry if it's a repeat. But now I'm used to it and don't think about being cheated on every time I hear "Dawn" anymore, so it's a good thing. :)

I work with super cool people. It's a little bit of a gossip fest there at times, though, which bothers me a great deal, but only because I'm totally perfect, and I feel sorry for these sinners. (please be aware that I'm being facetious.) But, really, I don't know what the point is of negatively discussing other people's absences or other people's weight gain, or discussing someone else's "she's a nice girl but she's annoying"ness. Whatever. If she's such a nice girl, why speak negatively of her? I know they talk about me when I'm not there, too. Wonder what they say. It's mostly only two or three girls who get into the gossip but it's a drag-me-down. And they don't think other people can hear but I hear it all the time. ANYWAY. All the people I work with are still super cool, despite their imperfections. Ah, if only all people could be just like me.


Okay, so I sit near Cadee and Ben, which is fine by me. Actually, it was perfect because they're the ones I like the best so I was way glad to get my cubicle assignment. Cadee is my parents' age and I've somehow convinced her to care about me and she worries for me and it's sweet. She's way cool to talk to and I like having her perspective about various Stephanie-life issues. I highly value her opinion. Ben is the cool guy I trained with. He's smart and cute and just only 22 but sometimes I wish he was 32 and single. Because then I would try to wordlessly convince him to ask me out. :D Except if he was 32 and working for pennies at Artco, that would be a little sad maybe. Anyway, reminding myself that we're in totally different life stages and that he's Jaybo's age keeps me behaved. Hehe. He's not flawless anyway. He disagrees with homeschooling, for highschool anyway. And he likes Lord of the Rings. Sigh, we can't all be perfect.

Man, I'm high today, like high horse high. :D

So. Ben and Cadee are way cool to talk to. Next to Ben sits a woman. I'm telling a story that I don't know if she'd be comfortable with me telling so I'll disguise her identity for now and call her Linda. Linda is very, very funny. She cracks me up daily. She is one of those people who say the strangest things at the times, very random. She's funny without trying to be, like my Mom, which is the best kind of funny I think. She pokes fun at herself, which I think is pretty cool. I'd guess she's in her late 30s. I don't know how to describe her, she's just Linda. But what I'm about to tell you is funnier if you can picture who she is. Oh well.

So Linda was about to leave for the day. She has known Ben since he was a baby I think, so sometimes they talk about mutual acquaintances. Anyway, so she's standing up to leave and she goes, in all seriousness, with no trace of intentional humor,
"Ben, you've been quiet today- do you want me to spank you?"

My jaw dropped a little bit and I slowly turned to face her, while I'm turning I'm processing in my brain her words -- Did she really say that? No, no, certainly I heard that wrong. But I saw Ben's face and I was leaning toward, yeah, she really said that. Ben answered I think but I don't remember what he said because in my brain I was hysterically laughing and that's all I could hear (I don't hear voices; I hear laughter). I'm thinking all he said was something like "Uhhhh. . . ." So I shut my brain up for a minute to say, "Did you really say what I think you said?" to Linda. And she said some nonsense about something in her childhood and how she thinks spanking kids is now illegal. What? Well, spanking your kids is still within the legal ranks but I'm pretty sure spanking your coworkers is against legions of laws.

In her defense, I'm certain she meant nothing sexual by it and I'm certain she didn't mean to offend anyone. But, I tell ya, there was quite an awkward moment of severe discomfort. I was burnin in my cheeks and it wasn't even about me! What an awkward thing to say to an opposite-sex coworker! Can you imagine? Okay, reversal time. I'm sorry, but if any, ANY male coworker said that to me, I'd be freaking out. Especially if he was older. Wow. It's just one of those things you don't say at work. Linda's great for shock value. Never a dull moment with her. She's the greatest.

Oh, Linda. Work would be so boring without you.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Oh, the pride!

My heart is swelled with pleasure and pride for today my daughter read. It's always an exciting moment in a parent's life when his/her child shows them some new and wonderful skill, like reading. Anna is a genius and a human so I knew this day would come. Today I tried and failed to have a yard sale (the depressing details of which I will not presently reveal, but there was rain). I brought everything up to the living room and there are boxes all over. Anna found a crayon and began coloring on one of the boxes. There are a few words she can spell and write and she writes them frequently. Such as, her name, "blue," "Mom," "Dad" and that's usually about it. So I started helping her write some words. I told her to write "C-A-T" and then had her sound out the letters and she soon figured it was Cat! Then, I had her write "D-O-G" and she instantly knew what that was so I think she's already learned to spell that. She told me she was learning the letter "Q" in daycare and I asked her what Q says and she told me and I reminded her that a U almost always follows a Q and that's how you write "Quah." Then I wrote "Q-u-e-e-n" on the box and she puzzled and pondered and then shouted out "Queen!" and we both rejoiced! Then I wrote "H-a-n-d" and she puzzled and pondered and then shouted out"Hand!"

My daughter can read!!! We'll be working more on this skill. She doesn't even start kindergarten till next year. She'll be so far ahead I'll hate to numb her mind with learning colors and letters and numbers and shapes; she's known her colors and shapes since she was two and letters and numbers since she was three. And she can already add two numbers if they're each less than or equal to 5. She fully comprehends opposites. She understands the concept of rhyming! She frequently astounds me with her genius, and today I was just so tickled to see her read.

Studies have shown that kids who learn to read early end up no more advantaged than those who learn in kindergarten. And, really, Anna's going to be 5 in 3 months. So maybe it's not THAT special, but I'm still thrilled. Because she's my daughter and she's the smartest little girl I know.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Alright, alright

I've had a few requests for date details. I'll always indulge my readers, few though they may be.

His name is Scott. He is cute. He is 30. Great age. Never married. He was a gentleman. We talked about lots of things. He was very easy to talk to. He's got two years left of school and he's studying geology. We went to the mountains in Ashton, ID and had a picnic of sorts and hung out by the really cool river. It was cold and I was glad I brought my jacket. Oh, it was a blind date. My cousin Jennifer set us up. She just moved here (again) with her family and it AWESOME having her here.

Anyway. He showed me how to flyfish and then we fed bread to some bread eating fish. I liked him and I had a good time on the date and I'd like to go out with him again but he didn't ask. Oh well.

He does agree with homeschooling like I do. He hates TV like I do. He likes adventures and so do I. He hates movies, though, and I love 'em. :)

It was a great experience regardless whether I see him again.

Happy now? OH, Pamela, notice in that picture of me, do you see that picture on my piano? Do you remember it? You gave that beauty to me! I love it.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My Date

I went on a date last night! My first since the divorce! It was way fun. I should have taken more pictures but I didn't want to freak him out. All I took was this one of me before he got there:

And these of the awesome sunset we followed home:

MORE pictures

on our way home. So cute, they were playing with ponies together.The flight from Denver to Boise was cool because it was a little plane which made it a much more fun flight since you could feel the turbulence more. And it wasn't as high so you could see the ground better. Plus it was cool because it was cloudy.
American Falls Reservoir, bird's eye view:
I don't know what this is but I liked it:
the kids conked on this flight finally:

This is one of my former daughters, Brittany, with my current daughter Anna. I love how my daughters bonded. Brittany's like 12 now I think and Anna just loved her. Love this pic.Matthias really wanted to get in the dog carrier like his cousin Jenna did but no one would let him.
Me and the grandparents!
Joe doing his pizza dance talent:
Juliann. Michelle -- doesn't Valerie look like Julieann?

Friday, September 5, 2008

More pictures, still more to come

Talent show!Our T-shirts. Ours were the best, I have to say:Caleb and Dallin, the youngest cousins:
Our lame talent:
This was one of my favorites! You had to have been there. Here are Chantel, Sara and Amy. Chantel (which could be Shantel) and Amy are Ray's kids. Sara is Ray's son Kenny's wife.
Pretty Clara after playin in the water:Anna, Matthias and Morgan:
Jenna in the dog carrier:
Jaybo on the fiddle, Mom on the flute, Casey on the GItar. We're practicing for our lame talent.
Emmy and Morgan playing on the tables:

TONS of pictures (family reunion)

Here are just a few pics of the reunion. There will be more coming. This is more for my benefit than anyone else's so don't feel bad if you don't wanna look. :) I started from the bottom.

Uncle Matthew playing with Clara (Janelle and Josh's), Anna and Matthias:
Kaien, Clara and Emmy playing behind some stacked tables:
Gross nasty that was all over all the trees:
Look into my eyes. Uncle Matthew.
Clara and Anna playing by the water fountain. This was a very favorite activity among the little ones.
Haha, Lori eating and Tyler watching very carefully:Happy birthday Cameron. That one's my brother and it was his birthday. Behind him are Casey and Jaybo, also my brothers.
I dig this photo. I found them like that, all four folding their arms. Bryton (Mark and Gena's son), Chris (my brother), Justen (Mark and Gena's), and Tyler (my son. I mean, Lori and Mike's. I was his mom for a year though. I love him oh so much.)
Cousin Jacob's wife, Mindy. Ain't she cute?

food time. I was seriously planning to name every person in this one, but..... no.
Uncle Dan and some handsome cousins.
cousin Ashley, cousin Brittany, cousin Emalee, Aunt Arleta, cousin Tyler:
Aunt Kim, cousins Kevin, Michelle and Julianne, and Aunt Amy are in this photo:
In line for food. Uncle Curtis, Aunt Lori, cousin Diana, her hubby Jorge, and maybe cousin Sheldon

Anna's first flight. Sitting across the aisle from us and such a good sport:

Matty's first flight after he settled down:
cute silhouette:
Josh (Cousin Janelle's husband), EmaLee and her dad, Uncle Mark
Grandpa and baby Nolan, Janelle and Josh's baby.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Entering the Dating Scene

Soon, I will begin dating again. It's been 18 months since my ex left me. Really, that's not long, but he did make it awfully easy to get over him and I haven't longed to be with him in many many months. That's one reason I think I'm ready. On the other hand, the concept terrifies me. Dating. Dating is for highschool and college! I'm 27 and have two kids and am divorced. I'm fatter than I was in college (by 50 ell bees). I'm not as innocent, I'm not as naive (which is a good thing), I'm not as beautiful. I have more acne. I have stretch marks (which no one will be seeing any time soon, of course) that were acquired during pregnancies which another man and I created. I've got "marked" all over me.

On the other hand, I'm so much more mature, I'm smarter, in some ways I'm more beautiful. But I'm harder. Experience has created quite a shell. I don't even know what I have to offer anyone. I'm not bad, but I'm used. I'm old news. I've nothing new to give. I'm discouraging myself, lol.

The reason I began this blog has not even been addressed yet. Because I'm terrified that I'll ruin a potentially beautiful relationship, and because I'm terrified that I'll hang on to a destructive relationship, I want to give myself some guidelines, while I'm still thinking straight. Rules, really. Here they are. To Stephanie:

-Be yourself
-Don't ignore red flags
-but don't be constantly on guard
-Put your kids first
-Take things one step at a time
-He's not allowed in your apartment if the kids are sleeping or gone
-He's not allowed to meet the kids until a relationship is established
-Don't talk about Randy
-Don't whine about being cheated on
-Ask lots of questions; really get to know him. If he thinks you're being nosy, find someone else.
-Don't tolerate any lie.
-Don't worry if he isn't interested; someone else will be
-Even if no one else is, the world is not over
-Look for the good in him but don't ignore the bad
-Be honest

That's enough for now. What do you think? Any suggestions?
(I have a date this Saturday)