Monday, December 6, 2010

So, it's been awhile..

I bet you didn't even notice!
I wish I could say I have been to the gym, repeating my last posting's activities.
There is not a lot to report on. And, having a very strong suspicion that my blog goes unread is not much of a motivator to come up with things to write about. That is probably why most blogs eventually fall into the oblivion of cyberspace.
I had an awesome Thanksgiving. Just for the record, I must say it was near perfect! I was quite pleased with myself! I didn't get any pictures, but they would not have done justice to the feast! What I loved most was being home from work for one entire week! I loved it! I loved having the kids home and having my almost-daughter-in-law join us. I realized later that there was not much discussion about things we were grateful for. But with 27 people crammed into my home, we were lucky to just be able to get our food and eat. You can read about many things I am grateful for on my other blog Musings of the Mama B.
Just because I have not written does not mean I have not been thinking. I have been thinking a lot, just trying to organize those thoughts into some kind of coherent form!
Looking forward to the Christmas season!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Oh Yeah!

Today, I...

Went to Work.

Went to the gym.

Had a great Pilates Reformer workout with Janna.

Decided to stick around for the next class,

which was...


We did some of this

And some of that

And, just in case you're wondering...

I was able to do it all!

Oh yeah, that's what I'm talkin bout! Bring It On!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bliss

Sometimes I need to be nudged. Today was one of those days. A few days ago I had planned to spend all Saturday alone with Dave - we hardly see each other anymore and I felt the need to reconnect. But then I couldn't sleep last night, finally pulling myself out of bed late morning, groggy and moving very slowly. I hate waking up late, it throws off my whole day.

The sun was shining when I woke up (one nice thing about waking up later!)and Dave suggested we go for a bike ride. One part of me thought that sounded like an awesome idea. The other part of me, the lazy part that was experiencing an overdose of inertia, needed convincing.

Dave and the less-lazy part of me finally prevailed and we eventually found ourselves on a lovely bike trail along the Weber River.

I'm so glad Dave nudged me to get up and get outside. It was total bliss, a perfect combination of pleasant temp, beautiful scenery, lots of sunshine and physical exercise.


After the bike ride we got a quick sushi snack, did some shopping and went to see Life As We Know It (cute). A very good day after all! Thanks, Dave. I love you.

Last Night...

Watched Karate Kid for the first time last night. I know it was in the theaters ages ago, but it just got to my movie venue of choice - Redbox. Laura "rented" it with a free code a couple of nights ago, so it will actually cost her a couple of bucks. She didn't even watch it! But I told her she should because it was good!

Sleep evaded me most of the night. I didn't get to bed till very late. I was finally on the brink of sleep about 1:30 am (to all my night owl readers out there, that's late for me!) when I heard the garage door go up (it's attached to the house and very loud, ugh!). Then a few minutes later I heard the garage door go down and realized my son had decided to drive home instead of sleeping here. I started worrying about him driving that far that late and couldn't sleep. (Okay, so he is 25 and getting ready to jump into the pool of matrimony, but I am still his mother!) After tossing and turning for what seemed like FOREVER, Dave started snoring! Exasperated, I got out of bed, took my pillow and a blanket to the couch and finally dozed off.

Today Dave redeemed himself by making me a yummy breakfast. Now we are tossing around a couple of ideas of what to do the rest of the day. Looks like a perfect day for some bicycling - not many of those kind of days left this year, should probably take advantage of the warm sunshine.

Hope your day is a great one!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Coming to Terms...

Today is my birthday.

I am 52!

You may be tempted to feel sorry for me in my old age. Heaven knows I have! But as I've wrestled with this whole aging thing I have discovered some hidden benefits. I want to share a few with you today, as my birthday gift to you.

1. I am much more comfortable in my own skin. Getting older has given me the freedom to be ME. I still like to present myself as best I can, but I have come to terms with who I am and that I don’t need others approval – at least to the degree I did when I was younger.

2. I think I have mellowed out with age. While others may challenge this, I am very aware of a shift in many of my attitudes. (This will be the topic of a future blog post.)

3. Finally, most people over 40 need reading glasses to see things up close. While this can be a hassle, I have discovered an upside - the worse my eyes get, the less wrinkles I seem to have! It’s all in how you look at things!

I want to discover more joy in this phase of the journey. If you have some to share, please feel free to leave a comment.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Death by Gym

I am going to be D.E.A.D tomorrow.

Hopefully not literally, but if you never hear from me again, check the obituaries and know that you were among the first to know.

But I am going to be D.E.A.D. tomorrow. So dead sore I won't be able to move tomorrow.

I neglected reserving a spot for my Pilates class this afternoon and since no one was signed up this morning the teacher made other plans.

I even went to work today, instead of staying home in bed (which at 6:00am seemed like the best thing to do to try and get better) so I could go to my Pilates class.

You know it’s that whole responsible thing I seem to have a problem with.

Anyway I decided that if I couldn’t do Pilates I would simply go to the next class that was offered.

(Did I mention I was going to be D.E.A.D tomorrow?!)

BodyPump. Sounded fun and good for me. I was even early, anxious to be a part of a new class. I mean, how hard could it be? A little weight-lifting? No problem!

D.E.A.D.

I knew I was in trouble when, after finishing a series of killer lunges, the teacher had us kneel down on one knee for a grand finale and when I tried to stand up I collapsed in a heap. The girl next me asked if I was okay. “Yes,” I replied, crawling to the corner to try and pull myself up, only to discover that my arms had been transformed into wet spaghetti noodles too.

D.E.A.D.

The sad thing is that several of the women who had been in my class felt pumped up enough to stay for the next class – BodyAttack. It was all I could do to drag myself into the locker room!

D.E.A.D

You can leave your condolences, or if you would rather, donations to my bank account would also be appreciated!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Avete Zumba?

A while ago I wrote about my Pilates Path. I have found my group class and always feel better after a great workout on the reformer (thanks Janna!).

I have recently discovered a new (for me) awesome workout in


I've known about Zumba for a long time, but I had never experienced it until a couple of weeks ago. I am hooked! It is so fun and such an amazing workout. A girl in today's class was wearing a bodybugg.
After our one hour Zumba class, her bodybugg calculated she had burned 800 calories!! And she had fun doing it!

I approached my first Zumba class with a little uneasiness, not sure what to expect or how I would fit in. Any anxiety quickly disappeared as the music was cranked up and we started dancing. Everyone was just there to have fun and we were all so busy trying to keep up with the teacher we didn't have time to think about anything else!

Pilates is an integral part of my fitness regime, and now so is Zumba! You should Zumba too!

(the time I spend in the steam room afterwards is not too bad either!)

If you want to know a great place to Zumba, leave a comment with your email and I will get you all the details!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Days and Brownies

Today I had a very Lazy Labor Day.

I slept in until 10:00 am.
I watched more TV today than I have watched in the past six months combined:
Two (or was it three?) episodes of Bones,
The end of Never Been Kissed,
and, No Reservations.

I am in a real funk.
I feel like I am flatlined.
It hit me today during a commercial for Martha Stewart's TV show how very little creativity I am expressing right now - in any area of my life.
I can't even find something interesting to write about on my blog!

I'm not depressed, just a little empty. It's kind of like when you make brownies. You have this bowl of rich, creamy chocolate. After you've filled the pan with batter and it's tucked away in the oven, you still have the bowl (and spoon) with chocolate brownie batter on it (because no one ever puts all the brownie batter into the oven, right?!) So, what do you do? Wash it out? No! You lick that bowl and spoon until they are almost clean. And it's always kind of sad when there's no more brownie batter to lick clean! So, there you have it - I feel like a used up bowl of brownie batter! Nice. See what I mean... there's just nothing left!! I need to refill that bowl! But, how?!

Lest you think my weekend was dreary, fear not!
I did have a very fun time being silly with my girls.
I was happy that I was able to see most of my kids.
I loved being home with Dave, he takes such good care of me.
I was grateful for the time to rest.

My bowl is actually quite full, isn't it?!

How do you fill your "bowl"?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Evidence of a Mother's Love (?)




Saturday I gave one of my college-aged daughters my prized haircut/color appointment I had scheduled for me six weeks ago. I even paid for it.

I either really love my daughters, or I'm beginning to resort to desperate measures to get these girls hooked up with some handsome men!

You decide!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Yin and The Yang

Laura and I had a fun time on Wednesday.


We ended up here and did some shopping.



We had a yummy lunch on the patio at Applebee's.




There were rain clouds threatening, but they didn't bother us much. We were enjoying the afternoon too much to be bothered by a little rain.




When we left it didn't look like stormy weather over our house. But as we continued our drive south and saw storm clouds gathering over the mountains, I became a little worried that I had neglected to give Sophie her sedatives which sort of help her during thunderstorms and fireworks.

Surely she would do fine until Dave got home a couple of hours later. Right?




Our fun afternoon was brought to a screeching halt by a simple text message from Dave which included a picture of what he found when he returned home.




Apparently, the storms were a little more severe over our home less than 15 minutes north of where we spent the afternoon shopping!.


Needless to say, the picture kind of dampened my spirits! We finished up where we were at and ran through the rain to the parking garage. Looking back I think we should have stayed at the mall, but all I could think of when I saw the picture was how much it was going to cost to fix, and shopping is not a good thing to do when a huge unexpected expense is looming.
Sure, the carpet is old and needs to be replaced, but other changes will be made when we change the flooring and we are not in a position to make those changes right now.


A couple of days later Dave came up with a good solution - a carpet repairman. Of course! The carpet is not that damaged (despite what the picture looks like!) We are so fortunate that the rips were straight and not shredded. The repairman will come look at it on Wednesday, hopefully he can fix it. He sounded concerned to tell me the charge would be between 79.00 and 149.00! I wanted to jump through the phone and kiss him! I hope he can fix it.


I have recovered from the shock of it all. Sophie is still amongst the living and still in our home. I have even started to talk to her again. I came to an understanding about the whole thing that you can read about on my other blog - The Musings of The Mama B.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Time for a Re-Charge


My battery is running low, so I've decided to take a day of vacation and do a little "re-charging"!

I woke up at the same time I always do, but not having to rush and get ready and out the door was a re-charge.

I went out to my patio and puttered around the pots holding my "garden" this year. The tomatoes are finally looking good. They were suffering for awhile and being a novice at this whole gardening thing I was at a loss as to what to do! However, thanks to
I was able to diagnose the problem...
Blossom End Rot
and learn what I needed to do to fix it. All at no charge to me!
I have since harvested 2 perfect tomatoes and there are lots of healthy tomatoes growing on the vine! Yippee for me! Thank goodness for Google! Spending the extra time taking care of my garden was a re-charge.

While I was out on the patio I cleaned it up a bit. Working full-time, I tend to push aside tasks that aren't "urgent" here at home. Getting those things done was a re-charge, too.

Cleaning my house (even a little bit!) will be a re-charge.

Laura and I are going to do some school clothes/supplies shopping today. I look forward to milling around, lunch out, and just spending time with Laura. That will be a re-charge, and if we can actually find treasures that will be a bonus!

The day will end here
Bountiful Temple
at the temple with Laura and the rest of the Young Women in our ward. The best re-charge of all.

I can't think of a better way to spend the day. Can you?

Monday, July 26, 2010

F.H.E.
Our Family Home Evening included a mini Georgia Mudd Blizzard at the local Dairy Queen
A water show while consuming our confection
Lots of lights flashing
Bright red trucks gathering
and men flying above the trees.
Sadly, a business was destroyed.
Hopefully, they were well insured.
Gratefully, no one was injured.
How was your evening?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summertime, and the Livin' is Easy...
That title is kinda catchy, maybe someone should write a song...
I thought I would post some pictures from one of our activities this summer.
This may look like a scene from White Christmas, but that there is cottonwood "stuff".
Makes me itch and sneeze just looking at it.
Dave and I discovered this place on one of our bike rides. There is a very nice trail that runs along the river. All of us, including the dogs, enjoyed the river's coolness on a hot summer day.
It was a nice outing full of wading...
Melissa with Sophie
Melissa, Sophie, Ashley and her dog Riley
and thinking.
Dave - nice legs!
Sunning and smiling...
Shelby & Laura
and sleeping...
Dave with dogs (Sophie & Riley)
followed by more wading...
hiking(sort of!)... and nature.
Isn't this dragonfly awesome?
Dave, Laura and I were returning from exploring the river when all of a sudden we heard screaming and laughing and screaming. What? We got back to our picnic area to find this dragonfly "frozen" on the chair. Nature had gotten a little too up close and personal for my brave daughter's tastes. Poor dragonfly was frozen in fear! After I took the picture I gently lifted it off the chair and it flew away. I can imagine the stories it had to tell as it returned to where ever dragonflies go after a hard day at work!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Whirlwinds and Weekends
My four-day weekend is almost over. Sad.
Kudos go to Laura who passed her drivers test - the only one of her group to do so. Sadly, she is still one essay and a final exam away from finishing the book portion of the online course. And, even more sadly, her instructor is out of town on vacation for the week and won't be able to sign off on it until the following week. It's probably a mixed blessing for us. We have to keep picking her up from her late night shifts, but our insurance rates won't be going up quite yet!
Went and saw Inception today. Intense, bizarre, intriguing, clever, thought-provoking, and entertaining are all words that could describe this movie. Even at the end you are left wondering! It's not a story created to simply entertain. I would recommend it. Was it the best movie I have ever seen? In its genre, probably.
I created a button for my other blog "Musings of The Mama B". I was pretty proud of myself for figuring out how to do it. See the beehive over on the sidebar? Well, you can click on it and see my most recent project.
The whirlwind of activity blew in fierce this weekend with four of the six kids at home. And just as fast as the whirlwind came, it was gone. Poof! Weird. Were they ever here? Maybe it was just a dream?! The house is quiet and still, except for the hum of the air conditioner, Dave snoring on the couch, and Sophie who is panting and drooling because of the fireworks going off outside.
It's been a great weekend.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Like It?
Well, that was fun! Hope you enjoy the new look, I do! I wish you could see the entire background. There are three flowers and the one "missing" is purple (did I trick ya?!)
Today I am taking one day of the two weeks vacation I'm supposed to get during the summer! Attached to the upcoming 3-day weekend (in Utah the 24th is Pioneer Day-a State Holiday!)means I get a four day break! Ain't I smart? That's because I work at a school! This is the fourth summer I have worked without getting my full vacation time! Not because my AWESOME BOSS (emphasis added just in case he, or anyone he knows reads my blog!) won't give me the time off, but because the summer is one of the busiest times of the year for what I do! Fortunately, I can usually take some vacation time during the year, which provides me time for some quick get-aways with my hubby. Last year we went here for 4 nights. It was F.A.B.U.L.O.U.S! I would go back in a heartbeat; unfortunately, the $ are a little dry right now!(probably because we spent 4 nights at the Hotel Del last year!) Maybe one day...
My house will be full this weekend - college girls headed home. It will be fun. Wish everyone could be here - now, THAT's a houseful and a Party! I guess we are going to see Inception. Shelby says it's the best movie she has ever seen - stay tuned for my report! Laura finishes up Drivers Ed this week and is looking forward to getting her drivers license on Monday! Yikes! Consider yourself forewarned! Dave has not started up in Wyoming yet, probably the first of August. It's nice to have him home working around the house! Although today, my day off, he is actually working at the office here in Salt Lake!
It is now 12:00 noon and I am still in my pjs! How cool is that?! But, the sunshine is being wasted so I'm bidding you farewell for now!
Bye! Happy Summering!!
ps - I have tried to insert spaces between the paragraphs, but the dumb Old Editor is not letting me. Come On Blogger, work with me here. Puhlease.....
Changes are a Comin' ~
My background is currently provided by these creative minds. But today, when I logged in I found a message announcing that my current background would expire on July 23 (tomorrow!). I clicked on the message and was directed to their site for more information. However, the link that would answer my "why" was not working. So... I guess this blog will be getting an overhaul soon!
That's okay. Change is good! I would love some feedback as to how to make it more personal and customized!
ps - I really hate this Old Editor option and wish blogspot would get their act together and fix the problems with the New Editor so I could use it. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do on my end?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Having Troubles Loading?
So, for a while I have wanted to post something here. Don't get your hopes up, I don't have a fabulous post to post! I have just come to my blog to post several times and I have not been able to because it took FOREVER to log in to a new post screen. The last post I posted was actually a post I had started earlier that was blank and I selected "edit" and then I was able to post! Anyways...
I went to the "help" menu and in the search window wrote "new post" and Lo, and Behold, turns out I'm not the only person experiencing this frustration. There it was - the exact question I was asking: "Why is it taking such an amazingly long time to load my new post screen?" Well, maybe not the exact question, but close enough!
Betcha wanna know the answer, huh? Probably because you've also been trying to post and you can't because it's taken so long!
Apparently there is a hang up of some sort with the New Editor. All you have to do is go to your dashboard, select "Settings", scroll down to the bottom and select "Old Editor" and voila - it's magic! Then you can write a post about the challenges of posting a post and share the solution with someone else!
What was that? Oh, You're Welcome!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Summer?

I can't believe summer is almost gone.  In less than one month the teachers return, with the students not far behind.  I have been busily searching for the best values on curriculum and supplies, trying to stretch  budget $$ as far as possible.  Reminds me of the days I would scour the weekly grocery ads, meticulously creating lists for each store, determined to get the absolute most for my money! 

It doesn't seem quite like summer when you work the whole time.  I would happily go on a vacation somewhere; however, money and time are in short supply, so I don't see a vacation anywhere in our immediate future!  I think if I could find a swimming pool, a chaise lounge, a bottomless glass of icy lemonade and a good book I would be very satisfied!  

Our garden can be found in various pots on our patio this year. I am very pleased with the success we are having. I have eaten one cherry tomato off the vine and just picked my first zucchini!  I water my little garden everyday before I go to work.  Oh, I am just so domestic!

Dave will be away, working onsite in Wyoming for the next several months.  I am grateful he has work - no complaints here! But, I will miss him.  I know it's a temporary arrangement, and he will be home every weekend(!). I can handle this...I'm a big girl, I am! 





Monday, May 31, 2010

Once Upon a Time...
we lived in Colorado Springs, CO.  We enjoyed life there in the shadow of Pikes Peak.  It was there that I first experienced mountain biking.  I bought a mountain bike (one of the originals, it's probably an antique by now!) and started cycling with a friend in the cold, dark, early morning hours on streets that were like mountain roads (because we lived in the mountains, duh!).  But our lives abruptly changed one spring with a move to Houston, TX.   While I loved the heat and the humidity of the South, it did not foster an active lifestyle!  I got lazy - choosing instead to soak in the sun at the swimming pool or retreating into the cool, air-conditioned house when not at the pool.  Fast forward several years and we found ourselves relocating to Utah.  The altitude and extreme cold (remember, we had spent 12 years in southern Texas!) proved too much for me.  I did try skiing for a couple of years, but it wasn't the same as when I was in college.  
Fast forward again, September 2009.  Dave and I took a much needed vacation to Coronado Island. We had a fabulous time.  Our days were filled with sunshine, ferry rides, ocean breezes and each other!  One of the most fun activities was renting bikes and cycling around the island.  These were single speed cruiser bikes and I loved them! 
I dreamed about having a simple bike like that ever since. I did not want to hunch over handlebars anymore. I did not want to have to figure out what gear I was in.  I just wanted a bike to ride for the fun of it.  However, we live in the foothills and a single speed bike is very impractical, since the only place I really could ride it would be in my driveway!  Thoughts about My Bike increased in direct proportion to the thermometer outside - as the days became warmer, my desire for a bike got stronger.   We went looking "in earnest" on Saturday.  I even took some on test rides.  I came home and researched more.  And today, after careful consideration, I went and bought My Bike!  
Gary Fisher Simple City 8
Isn't it pretty?  The picture doesn't really show it, but the basket and the fenders are a soft, minty green.  I love it!  Everything about it is easy.  I am not technically savvy, so I can't write in detail about all of the cool features the Simple City has, like internal hubs and rapid trigger shifters, and stuff like that. But, I do know it is easy to ride and easy to shift.  It has eight gears so I can climb moderate hills - hopefully, that will get easier with practice!
Oh, and in my research I have discovered several paved bike trails relatively close by.  I'm looking forward to many fun times on my new bike!  I feel like a little kid, and it feels great!


In Memory...
of all those who have made the idea of freedom a reality.

God Bless You and the U.S.A.
HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY ~ 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Golden Rule
is a terrific tool...
It says Do Unto Others as You Would Have Others Do to You.


I remember teaching my kids this song when they were little.  I learned this principle in church and home.  Wasn't everyone taught this at some point in their lifetime?
I am beginning to wonder if it is a principle that's being thrown out that proverbial window.
Do we really believe and live the Golden Rule?  Or do we merely pay lip service to it?
Do we really treat other people how we really would like to be treated?
Do we extend to others the same mercy we would like to have extended to us on any given day?  Or are we quick to judge, not taking the time to try and understand?
Do we recognize that most of the time, most people really are putting forth their best efforts and take the opportunity to acknowledge that?  Or are we impatient and unfair in our demands?
Do we truly accept people for who they are and what they can contribute, regardless of their personality, appearance or income level?  Or, do we quickly judge someone through our limited frame-of-reference and assume we are right because, well... we are?


Most of us are not guilty of being outright rude or hurtful to people.  Some of us may even be so good as to never gossip openly about others.


But, what happens when we are given one of these?

Can we maintain the same standards of mercy, kindness, fairness and compassion that we might if people knew it was us who was making the judgements?  Is it easier to be unkind when no one knows it's us?


Anonymous surveys can be dangerous things.  When completed fairly and carefully they can be valuable tools to help an organization make improvements.  However, they can also become an easy way for people to let off some steam.  Just go to any news site on the internet and read the comments people make to see how stupid some people can become when masked with a shield of anonymity.


So, the next time you are given a survey to respond to, take a minute, take a breath and think about that Golden Rule.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Things
at my work do not "wind down" with the end of the school year.  In fact, they get busier and busier the closer we get to that beloved last ring of the dismissal bell.
(this is not me!)

First, I make sure ALL students take these:


Grades 2 & 3 take two tests (2 sessions each), grades 4-10 have three tests (2 or 3 sessions each.)

Doesn't sound too bad, until you start multiplying everything by hundreds of students!  Fortunately, I have some fantastic teachers that do most of the administering of tests.  I just have to keep track of it all (I make the State Department of Education happy when I do this well), make sure the accommodations happen for those students who need them, and of course provide opportunities for students to make up the tests if they were absent on test days.   
Public Service Message to parents everywhere: Please, don't take your kids on vacation during state-mandated testing windows.  It creates unnecessary complications.  Thank you.

Next, I coordinate the return of thousands of these:

(at least it seems like thousands, I should count sometime. Not!)

Today I was reminded that I need to print off one of these


for each of the elementary students to take home next week 
and make an additional copy for each student's file. 
(someone else files them, thank goodness!)

The students and teachers no sooner vacate the building, than I start to fill teacher requests for:

and more

And whatever else they need for the coming year!

 And guess what?  
I might be really tired,
and my brain may feel like mush by this time of the year; 
but, overall, I really love my job.  
Being in a place that is having such positive effects 
in the lives of children
 gives me a brighter outlook on tomorrow.
Kudos to all teachers who care and who put forth the effort to make a difference!  I hope you all have a wonderful summer.  You deserve it.   


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Molds are useful.  
There are many types of molds...

candy molds
cake molds
jello molds
antique molds

Unfortunately, we sometimes confuse people with jello or cake.  Not literally, of course.  But if we aren't careful we can be guilty of trying to "mold" people into a form that is pleasing to us, instead of accepting them simply for who they are.  We can introduce people to new opportunities, or suggest ideas that may inspire them to want to make positive changes in their lives.  However, our love and acceptance of them as human beings can not be linked to whether or not they make those changes.  All people, regardless of age, nationality, gender, religion, etc... are loved by One greater than all of us combined.  We would do well to follow His example, for that is where true happiness will be found.