Monday, September 29, 2014

two years and six months

While he doesn't talk quite as much as other kids his age, Clarkjoon is starting to string together some pretty funny phrases.  I've always enjoyed interacting with him, but lately it's reached a new level of funny.  I always love posts about the funny things blogger kids say, so here's mine (which will hopefully someday be as funny as Julia Styles):
"Joon, say 'ambulance.'"
"Okay, say 'am.'" "Am."
"Bu." "Bu."
"Lance." "Lance."
"Ambulance!" "Am-poo-goya!"

(He's basically Joey Tribiani)

The teller at the drive-thru subtly asked if it was allright for her to give Joon a Dumdum.  When I nodded, she looked over at Joony and said, "Hi, there! Would you like a sucker?" Joony's jaw dropped open and he placed his hand over his eyes, laughing and saying, "Oh, my! Oh, thank you, thank you! Oh, my!"

"Your friend Livvy is coming tomorrow! Can you say Livvy?"
"Yeah! Caca."
" Li...vvy."

"Do you love your mommy?"

"You love cheese?"
(Laughs) "Yeah."
"Cheese and mommy?"
"No. Cheese."
And an update on our gymnastics class: last week, Joony scored an early exit by decking one of his peers right in the face! That's right, he's just a shining example of kindness and love and we couldn't be more proud. He did master excellent bunny jumping though, so good news there?  All morning I'd been telling him we were getting donuts after class, and he was heartbroken when I explained to him that we couldn't this week because he hadn't been very kind.  We have this week off for spud harvest, which I am going to talk about now because when I first moved to Idaho I thought it was a joke.  Instead of spring break, schools in Idaho get 1-2 weeks off in the fall during spud harvest so kids can help their parents harvest their crops.  We even have a break from gymnastics class.  This is Idaho, we grow and eat and love potatoes. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

oh, you gonna let it all hang out

There is no shortage of posts about "every mom is different! You do you!" in the mom-blogging world.  Just a few weeks ago, Carrie wrote a post about the "mommy wars" that I agreed with and spoiler alert: no such thing as the mommy wars.  It's all made up and it's dumb and seeeriously, no one else cares how you're raising your child.  It's all born out of our own perception that other people are watching us, which just isn't happening as much as we all think it is.

So I had that in the back of my mind when I watched this video by Lena Dunham, which is just so cute and spot-on.  I love her, plus we dance the same way, so there's that.
(There's an F-bomb at 0:40, plz watch anyways)
"A huge part of being a feminist is allowing other women, giving other women the freedom to make choices you might not necessarily make yourself.  And so, just like we should respect women who cover up for reasons of shyness, or modesty, or religious beliefs, just like we have to allow for all of that, we have to allow for women who want to walk down the street in booty shorts."

I just loved that and I've been mulling it over in my mind all day.  Sometimes I think I'm a bad feminist (Bad Feminist is on my to-read list, by the way! Anyone out there read it?) because I am not as well-read on current women's issues as I want to be. I still have a lot to learn before I feel qualified to spew an opinion on all these hot topics...but it's comforting to think that, at its core, feminism is about support, and I can be and am a part of that.  The quickest way to get respect for myself and my unique set of values and beliefs is to give that respect to others.  I just like the idea of being supportive and encouraging to one another and respecting that we all have the right to let our freak flags fly. Kumbaya and all that, amiright?

Ever since I moved away from blogging for followers and free crap, I've felt more of that sense of community around the blogs I read and the people I meet through the internet.  That's pretty cool.  I'm really trying to get there in my off-line life, too.  It's easy to take a step back and calculate my reaction to something online, or to unfollow that one mommy blog or whatever, but in real time at the grocery store or the park my gut reaction is often an eye roll or a snide mental commentary. I mean, people can just be so obnoxious! Wish me luck. I'm trying to be a better member of the sisterhood over here.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


I've mentioned this before, but I knew there was a void in my life before I applied for my master's program.  I haven't ever been one of those women who only dreams of babies.  I mean, I knew there would be babies, and I knew I would love them, but that wasn't the only thing I pictured.  Even now, when people make jokes about having a second, I feel myself flinch--not just because of how inappropriate the jokes are, but because I know with my whole heart that I'm not ready, and I think when I am ready again, it will probably be for the last time and that's a little bittersweet, too.  What I'm saying is that I love my job as Joony's mom.  I love taking care and helping him to grow and learn new things, I cry a lot because it's passing by too fast, I just adore him to pieces.  I also know that there are other things for me to be doing.  When I think about the things I want to fill my days with when he's older, I know I don't want to pick up a random job or hobby--I want to do things that make me happy, things that I feel to be important.

When I made the decision to start applying to MFA programs, it felt so right that I couldn't believe I'd let three years pass since graduation (I mean, I could believe it--I found out I was pregnant a month after graduation, so I'd been preoccupied).  Actually starting classes felt very far away though, so I enjoyed feeling bookish when I told people I was going to grad school, that I was researching universities, that I was assembling application materials, waiting for word back from my top choice.  When I found out I got in, I was shocked and excited and proud, and still had a few months to go, so I got to bask in that and not really think about the reality of being a student again.

David started his MBA program at the beginning of September, a full month before mine starts at the beginning of October, and watching him spend his nights frantically working through assignments has been a wake-up call.  Registering for my classes (Flash Nonfiction! Narrative Journalism! Am I dreaming?!) was a wake-up call.  And now, being two weeks away, I'm mostly feeling scared.  I haven't been reading and writing regularly since my days at BYUI, where I honestly felt like a bit of a big fish (maybe a medium sized fish?) in a very small, very comfortable pond where I knew all the other fish. It feels intimidating to know I'll be sending work in to be read by people I haven't ever met, professors who are published authors (um, one of my classes is taught by Tony D'Souza).  I'm starting to doubt myself and feel like maybe I jumped in too fast, maybe I should have waited...for what? Three more years to pass?  Obviously now is the right time, when I have a couple more years before a maybe Baby #2.  The time is now, I'm ready, I want to be educated, I want to be well-read, I want to be writing, and I don't want to be so scared by it all.  When I think about the big picture, though, I think the scared is what is going to make it so cool.

After I graduated high school, I was sitting around my parent's basement being a general loser, working random part-times, when my mom kicked me out (okay, that sounds harsh.  She told me I wasn't welcome anymore, and then drove me to Idaho and helped me get settled and stocked my refrigerator and helped me apply for BYUI--the only school I could get into with my 2.0 from high school).  I felt so angry and so scared, but looking back, I feel proud that I snagged a full-time job and paid my rent and figured out how to do my own laundry and got motivated to go to college and do more. In college, I applied for writer's retreats and teacher's assistant positions that I never really thought I'd get, but I took the leap and stuck the landing and they were the coolest experiences.   The night before I had Joony, I tearfully googled how to give a baby a bath. I'm dead serious, I was so worried I wouldn't figure out, and now I just toss that grimy toddler into a tub without a second thought (the baths are nothing, I wish Google was helpful with the tantrum situation). I guess I'm just giving myself a pep talk here--it's called a comfort zone because it's comfortable, and nothing changes, and sometimes it takes a huge scary leap to get out of it.
Well, anyways, thanks for all the encouragement on my original post about going back to school.  They helped when I started feeling iffy, and I've been reading them again as I get ready to start classes in two weeks, and they gave me the confidence to write this post.  It's fun to still have this space even though I haven't felt like posting outfits lately--maybe sometime soon?

Friday, September 19, 2014

we beat to the same drum

I start school over a month behind David, so I'm trying to enjoy having time in the evenings to bake and watch Desperate Housewives and read instead of feeling cranky because he's busy with homework.  An overview of those things I've filled my evenings with:
  • So far I've baked: a sugar cookie cake, Swig sugar cookies (AGAIN), my mom's chocolate pudding graham crust thing, Oreo truffles, and lemon cloud my freshman 15 is happening a good month before classes start. Huzzah! 
  • I'm 3 seasons into Desperate Housewives. I'm such an intellectual! HA. So far I've counted: 2 suicides (and 2 fake suicide attempts), 3 homicides, 2 B&E's, a secret teenage love child, 2 houses burned down, 1 statutory rape, 1 hit and run (resulting in a coma + amnesia), 1 dead body in a freezer, 2 basement prisoners, and a grocery store shooting. HOW DO PEOPLE STILL LIVE ON WISTERIA LANE? MOVE! And why am I still watching? Every soap opera cliche is right there. 
  • And then books. This month I've read Silver Linings Playbook, Orange is the New Black, Where'd You Go Bernadette, and right now I'm working on Astronaut Wives Club with Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close on deck. I got my Goodreads account up and current, so add me on there if you can dig it!
Have I mentioned my insane giveaway luck? I have insane giveaway luck. Hands down my biggest win is $1,000 (not a typo, seriously that much) to Gemvara from Little Green Notebook. CRAAAAAZY! I got the prettiest rose gold band to stack behind my wedding ring (which also looks so classic by itself if I want a lower profile) and two dainty necklaces that I'm stoooooooked to layer for Fall/every day for the rest of my life. I maybe had too much fun trying to decide what to get since you can customize everything they have on that site. So many options.

Joony started gymnastics! I've been so excited and counting down the days and planning how great it would be to get him around other kids his age and get us OUT of the house, especially as the weather turns cold. Well, our first class was not ideal. It was a disaster. While the other little cherubs were stomping like elephants and buzzing like bees and being cooperative and adorable, my son was sprinting around the gym screaming, "NO! Mom, NO! NONONONO!" I was sweating and speaking through clenched teeth and bribing with donuts and it was just...well, it was life with a two year old. The teacher was so patient and sweet and gave a little pep talk at the end about how this age group is still figuring out structured learning time and interacting with others and they'd do better as the 12-week session progressed. I could have kissed her, she was so kind.  After class, I took Joon on a donut date, because that's what my mom did every week when we had gymnastics classes growing up...and because I needed a little caffeine/chocolate boost after that class.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

running just as fast as we can

Tips From an Asthmatic Runner Who Does Long(ish) Distances Very Slowly:
My only picture crossing the finish line! It's blurry but takes me right back to that moment, so I love it. Also, that's the marathon timer and they started a few hours before us. Juuust FTR.

1. Run when you can, walk when you have to.  I started off with a 3:3 minute walking/running ratio. I gradually upped my running time to 4 minutes, and then I'd shave a minute off my walking time.  It was neat to experiment with my ratios and see how short I could make my walking times vs. how long I could run.  The biggest misconception I had about running was that you couldn't ever walk. All the marathoners I saw at my race took little walking breaks here and there.

2. Just focus on the run you're doing that day.  I distinctly remember walking through the door after my 7 mile run--a full month before race day--and feeling so defeated because I couldn't imagine running 5 miles after the beast of a run I'd just finished.  I had to shift my focus.  Even on my short run days, I tell myself: "Today, it's just 4 miles, nothing more."  Tomorrow's distance, or next week's distance, they don't matter.  It's all about the run at hand (which is, like, so true as a metaphor...for life, man. Think about it. It's deep).

3. Warm up. Warm. Up. WARM UP. Warm up, ya turkey. Ain't nobody got time for an injury. I have to stretch out and walk briskly for a long time to give my lungs time to clue in that they're about to work.  My lungs are fickle, petulant little organs. I have to be gentle with them or they go full-on screaming in the cereal aisle on me.

4. Good shoes! It's basically your only expense as a runner, don't be cheap about your feet. Go to a running store, have them fit you properly, pay more. They're going to last you 500ish miles, it's worth it. No sale rack at TJ Maxx or neon Nike shoes just because they're trendy, I'm being for reals here.

6. Be so patient with yourself, and then also push yourself. If you're positive you can only do 1 mile, map a 1.25 mile run. You'll get such a rush out of pushing yourself just a little extra bit, you'll want to see what you can do the next time. And then also, don't be discouraged because the guy who fits you for running shoes does 12 milers regularly. The coolest (COOLEST!) thing about the running community is how excited runners of all levels are just to see other people out on the road with them.  I rarely pass someone without getting a nod or a smile or a thumbs up.

7. Sign up for a race! Nothing gets my butt off the couch faster than knowing I paid entry fees and they'll be wasted if I'm not ready. Plus, you get a tee shirt. And a huckleberry milkshake if you do the Mesa Falls run like I did.

8. I mean...just do it. Put on your sneakers and walk out the freaking door.
There were so many crazy moments during my half marathon...the Killers whispering "Time, truth, and heart" into my ear right as I turned and saw fog rolling in over the deepest blue river.  Rounding the last corner and finally seeing the finish line--I teared up and somehow found the adrenaline to runfloat over it.  Miles 1-4, which felt like floating. Miles 5-8, which were straight uphill and not as hard as I imagined. Miles 9-12, which were the hardest physical moments of my life.  Over anything else, though, I keep thinking about a comment David made the day before the race: "The training has been a bigger accomplishment than the race will be."  He was right. Committing to it, sticking to the plan, making it happen; I really didn't think I could do it. There's a lot of power in proving yourself wrong about yourself. If you WANT to run, but don't feel like it's something you can do...well, you really can do it, and I hope you do! Because if I can, then really, really, truly, anyone can.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

bringing booty back

1. Obviously Taylor Swift's new album, 1989. We were born the same year, so BFFs, and she is so pretty.
2. I got $200 for free as a part of a promotion for a local bank opening up in the area, I'M RICH! I ordered this sweatshirt from Forever 21, because although I am not 21 anymore, I still love that store. AND I had that top in my cart for weeks, it sold out, I was sad, it magically came back, and was only available in my size. Shopping kismet!
4. I took Joony to the park and while he was trying to climb up a slide, I heard him chant-whispering to himself, "Cheese crackers. Cheese crackers. Cheese crackers." Whatever motivates you, dude!
5. I know it's been on the radio for weeks, but there is no end to my love for the All About That Bass music video. It's just so cute. Also, Joon L O V E S this song and baby dancing is the best dancing.

6. I got a new phone, and it is not an iPhone. It's an Android and I don't care what you say, I LOVE IT. Probably more than my iPhone? Definitely more than my iPhone, I think.
7. Pizza for dinner with the crust made from Rhode's roll dough. It's the best.
8. The most perfect moment: me baking cookies, David watching a rainstorm outside, and Joony watching his tractor YouTube videos before bedtime. Quiet, peaceful, cookie-smelling house with rain falling outside.
9. Happiest news from the very best people I know. Seeing someone's dreams come true from behind the scenes, and loving them so much that you get to feel happy because they're happy...well, friendship is just so necessary.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

flo rida

We spent last week in Daytona Beach, Florida with Dave's family!  We were mere feet from the ocean, we got David to ourselves for ELEVEN days, it was just the best. Here is post one of twelve about our trip! I kid, I kid. Here's the highlight reel.

- Beach time every morning, followed immediately by pool time, followed immediately by shower time, followed immediately by nap time. It was the best routine. Joony loved filling his dump truck with sand and then dumping it into the water, and Dave and I took turns playing in the waves. I had never swam in warm ocean water before! It was a dream.

- An eco boat tour! We saw manatees and dolphins, one of our co-passengers flicked his cigarette into the ocean (cue red face emoji), Joon napped the whole was so nice and relaxing.

- Not one sunburn on my fair self! That is a vacation success in my book. I also read Silver Linings Playbook, which was most excellent. Definitely recommend. 

- Our belated 6th anniversary celebration! Joony had a sleepover with Dave's parents and we checked into the Black Dolphin Inn in New Smyrna Beach, which was just the prettiest B&B you've ever seen.  We did an adventure rope/zipline course in the treetops, got dinner at the Garlic, and spotted dolphins from the private dock right on the water. Heaven. Also, we slept through the second B of B& we ate at Denny's. We're the lamest. But it was just the miniature romantic getaway we needed.

- Amazing food. We all took turns cooking dinner, and then also went out once or twice. I don't think we had one meal the whole week that was anything less than excellent (with Dave's steak grilling, as always, being at the top of my list).

- Family time--the whole point of the trip! Joon hadn't even met his aunts or cousins on David's side (and he's 2.5! Shame!) so it was so, so cool to all get together and admire each other's families and joke and make new memories together.

- Miserable travel days. It's a 4 hour tour from Rexburg to SLC, then flights and layovers across the country, then 90 minutes from Orlando to Daytona...everyone was DONE by the end of those travel days. We didn't get back into Rexburg until 3am, and Joon was awake at 7 ready to greet all his toys. And I got a cold. No thanks.

So now we're home, it's September, David has started his MBA and I'm starting my MFA few weeks after him, and there are lots of cookies to be baked. Huzzah! It was the perfect end to the perfect summer (even though I kind of feel like it's still summer a little bit).