Saturday, July 20, 2019

Before We Sell

Since we recently bought a truck, we're in the process of selling Scotty's car (the buyer is coming to pick it up this afternoon). Earlier this week, Scotty cleaned out the car, and as usual, some pretty interesting items surfaced...

Like three headlamps...


Three pairs of work gloves...


Tons of tools (this photo only shows a small portion)...


Several golf balls and pieces of rope...


His toothbrush from his most recent dental appointment...


A poncho and toilet paper...



A work lamp...


A selection of free t-shirts, hats, and drawstring backpacks...


My tin cup from trek (plus two more tin cups)...


Outdoor wiring...


and a can of butane.


Most people put their car in a garage. Scotty puts the garage in his car.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Christmas in July

For Christmas last year, Scotty (kind of) bought me Hugh Jackman tickets. I say "kind of" because I caused a few problems. You see, Scotty and Brian (my friend Christie's husband) had secretly conspired to buy us the tickets, but Christie and I had also secretly conspired to buy ourselves tickets. So Scotty and were both online trying to by tickets... for me.

Scotty will tell you that I am not fun to buy gifts for. I confess, I don't make it easy. 

Luckily Scotty caught on that I was trying to buy tickets, so he told me that he wanted to get them for me for Christmas. I then had to tell Christie that she was getting a ticket from Brian for Christmas. And then I told Scotty to buy four because I knew I would have at least two other friends who would want to come!

The tickets were purchased in early December, and then we waited the long seven months until July 11th.


Our friends Carlie and Lynsie joined us for the concert, and you guys!

You.

Guys.

It was just really, really good. 


So good, in fact, that the minute I got home, I looked up tickets for the next night's show (after we bought tickets, they announced a second date). I would have done it! I would have bought tickets for the second night!


And there were several options still available!

The thing that stopped me was the fact that Scotty was out of town, and I didn't feel like it would be right for me to ask someone to watch my kids so I could go see Hugh Jackman for a second night in a row. 


But Christie went the second night. With floor seats! (never in my life have I wanted floor seats at a concert until this. This is the one I should have been on the floor for!)

I suffered the greatest FOMO of my life. 


He was amazing! What a talented and gracious man! 

And so easy on the eyes. 

One night of Hugh Jackman will never be enough. 

Never.

Be. 

Enough. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Unusual Asks

My house is filthy, and I have so much stuff I need to work on, but I'm giving myself a break. Daisy is outside painting with a friend, and Zoe and Eva are at a neighbor's house for a minute, so I'm just gonna go ahead and sit here and blog in the silence. I haven't experienced "quiet" in a really long time. My summer soundtrack has been a chorus of, "Mom! Mom! Mom!" with the cacophony of fighting in the background.


Might I add that I can smell urine where I'm currently sitting? Which means Eva must have peed on the couch at some point this week. I guess I have some shampooing to do today. The fun never ends at the Brittish household.

(At this point in my writing, I closed my lap top and passed out on my couch - with my head on the opposite end from the pee, of course. I have since awoken, started a load of laundry and hand washed a sink full of dishes. Then, while putting the dishes away, I saw how gross the floor under my oven drawer was, so I pulled it out and swept under it. Now I'm ready for a second nap).

Since I'm in a writing mood, but I don't really have anything to write about, I thought I'd do another quick questionnaire from the internet. This one was titled "Unusual Asks," and I already picked a few questions to eliminate for stupidity.

1. What did you want to be when you were a kid?

I wanted to be a bus driver or a taxi driver. I'm kind of glad I didn't pursue those paths.

2. Which "Friends" character do you relate to the most?

I've never thought about it before, but probably Chandler. I'm a little bit sarcastic, sometimes to the point of rudeness (I've gotten better over the years, though). I'm always sneaking my addictions - for him it's cigarettes, for me it's Coke (the cola, people!), and I'm not always socially savvy. Plus, I've let a duck live in my house before.

3. Are you a messy or a clean person?

Messy. Hands down.

4. How tall are you?

5'7"

5. How tall were you when you were ten?

I have no idea. But I remember I was 4'2" when I was in second grade.

6. What is your guilty pleasure?

Eating toast in bed while watching Netflix.

7. What are you saving money for right now?

A trip to San Francisco.

8. How many Pringles can you eat all at once?

Oh, I can eat a whole can and then some. But what flavor are we talkin' bout?

9. Tea or coffee?

I think I'd make a mighty fine coffee drinker.

10. Are you an extrovert or an introvert?

I think I'm an ambivert.

11. Sweet or salty?

Both!

12.  Favorite social media?

I only use Facebook and Instagram. Instagram is just for convenience of doing Chatbooks. I only follow a handful of family and close friends. I wouldn't consider either of them my "favorite."

13. Who is the last person you kissed?

Are we talkin' lips? If so, that's Scotty. Otherwise, probably one of my girls.

14. What is your favorite breakfast?

Probably biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, and orange juice.

15. When is your birthday?

January 1st

16. When did you start your blog?

August 2005. My original blog was called Weekday Wisdom.

17. What is your opinion of the Kardashians?

First, that is a really random question.

Second, I can't say I've given them enough attention to have an opinion, but things don't look favorable in my limited view of them.

18. How would you describe your style?

"Tired Mormon Mom"

19. What color is your hair?

Naturally, it's light brown, I guess. Right now it's brown with highlights.

20. What color of socks are you wearing?

White.

It's lucky you asked while I was actually wearing some! Being summer and all.

21. What is your dream job?

Marriage and family therapist by day, choreographer and author by night. With a side of inspirational speaking and podcasting.

22. Dogs or cats?

Chickens.

23. What makes you weird?

I'm a morning person. Practically alien.

24. Celebrity crush?

I don't know. I'm kind of celebrity confused right now. But Hugh Jackman is always on the list. And Richard Armitage (who looks like Hugh Jackman's brother) is quite a looker as well. Occasionally I have a Chris Pratt thing. Oh! And then there's my weird guy crush... James McAvoy. I used to love Adam Levine, but my affection is dwindling. He's still handsome, and I love that falsetto, but I'm troubled by his lack of dancing skills when he says he has the "Moves like Jagger." Then again, Jagger's moves aren't that impressive. They're twitchy and awkward. I'm aware that the song might not be referencing dancing, but according to Wikipedia, it is.

25. Opinion on cigarettes?

I tend to avoid them.


Monday, July 8, 2019

My Phobias

A few weeks ago I wrote about some of my fears. As of last weekend, I have a new one: passing out in a hot porta-potty. This new fear came while using a Honey Bucket in 90 degree weather at my in-laws' campground. I was in there thinking, "Wow, it's really hot in here. What if I pass out? How long would it take for them to find me?" No one knew I was in the Honey Bucket. I suddenly became aware of the lack of air flow and the tightness of the walls. The Honey Bucket became a death trap. I thought, "I should text Scotty and let him know I'm in here," but I didn't have service.


Really, I have no reason to worry about passing out - I've never passed out in my life. But being in tight quarters with no air flow brings on panic and gets my imagination riled up. I'm moderately claustrophobic. From day to day, it's not really a big deal, but on the occasion I find myself in a small or closed-in space, I can easily make a fool of myself.

There was a day in primary when I was leading the music, and someone closed the door to the room. I prefer the door open, but normally, I am ok if the door is closed if I take a few deep breaths to remind myself that I have plenty of air. On that particular day, though, it made me panic. The room was hot and fuller than normal. I had to fight to not abandon my lesson and run out of the room and through the back door of the church for fresh air. The second singing time ended, that's exactly what I did.

There's another phobia I want to talk about today, though. It's one I've always had, but I didn't know the term for it until recently: trypophobia. (You're gonna have to google that one on your own. I can't give you a link because I don't want to see the images that come up). I've always had this "thing," but I never would have considered it a "phobia" because it's not necessarily a "fear." 


Trypophobia is having a disgust response to tiny holes. If it happens to you, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If it doesn't happen to you, it will sound crazy.

I first became aware of it when I was about 12 years old, and I tried Easy Mac for the first time. I microwaved the noodles, and they all turned on end so the holes were all facing upward. I looked at them and felt really yucky. I couldn't stop picturing it afterward - the visual was just stuck there in my mind. From then on, I've been very aware that patterns of tiny holes make me feel sick - things like strawberries with their tiny seed holes (shudder) and wasp nests with their little caves (shudder) all make me feel really gross, sometimes to the point of shaking (literal shudder).

(I eat strawberries just fine, but I can't look closely at them. If I do, I get that yucky feeling and then I get fixated on them and can't stop picturing them).

When we were camping last week, I had to face my claustrophobia in the Honey Bucket, but I also had to face my trypophobia when one of my nieces found a rock with tiny holes in it and left it sitting on the picnic table. I kept glancing at it and thinking, "I have to get rid of that thing!" I ended up turning it over. But first I held it up to my niece and said, "Does looking at this rock make you feel yucky?"

She said no and looked at me like I was nuts. 


Apparently trypophobia has been a popular social media topic in the past. Somehow I missed that wave, but it's nice to have a word for it and to know that there are people who have the same reaction. We can be nuts together!

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Lately

Summer is keeping us busy with wonderful things as well as stressful things. Here's a quick rundown of what's happened in the past six weeks:

We've been getting as much swimming time in at my mom's house as possible. She is moving (spoiler alert - she moves by the end of this post), and the pool isn't coming. 


Last week I was in a hurry early in the morning, and I was trying to make a pasta salad to take to the lake. I turned on the wrong burner and had some containers from my fridge sitting there. Long story short... I almost burned the house down. 


Sidewalk chalk paint is always on our summer bucket list (our hypothetical bucket list - I don't make an actual bucket list cause who has the diligence to follow through with stuff like that?) 

Equal parts cornstarch and water + a few drops of food coloring. I always mix up a big pitcher of it and then pour it into cups and let the kids add their own color. 


I bought this little chest at the thrift store and painted it (possible reveal in another post? Another spoiler alert: it's white and boring). My girls all fought over it, but I gave it to Daisy to store her 5,001 Beanie Boos in. 


My mother-in-law (I have two - it's good to take note of this since I reference my in-laws a lot in this post, and I'm talking about two entirely different families) has a sleepover for the grandkids every summer. This year she did a farm theme, and she hired a petting zoo! 

I sat back until all the kids had their turn (just being well-behaved and stuff), and then I climbed in the caged area and snuggled a baby goat. He was only a week old. 



A few weeks ago, my other in-laws spontaneously decided to do a service mission at a girls camp. Within two weeks, they had packed up and left for the mountains. Grandpa gave all the kids a ride on his motorcycle before he left.

{Eva & Grandpa on the Harley trike - the only motorcycle I want her on}

Oh! And Scotty bought his step-dad's other motorcycle. because when you're serving a mission, you don't really need two motorcycles!

I am mildly obsessed with my new nephews. 



I should probably go visit them soon.

Their mama had surgery last week, so I babysat them while she was at the hospital. Two newborns! At my house!!! Such heaven! 

On the day I almost burned my house down, we went to the lake with my in-laws (the petting zoo ones). It was our first journey with the kayaks this year. The weather wasn't ideal - it was quite windy, but we had fun anyway! Zoe spent the day retrieving everyone's lost inflatables and returning them. 


Since all our sunscreen was applied in the wind, we ended up with some wild tan lines. Some parts of my neck and shoulders were absolutely fried! I had tiny blisters. I'm still in pain. 

Since my kids are growing like weeds, they are acquiring more surface area to be sunscreened every year. We've already gone through two packages of Sam's Club sunscreen (that's $14.98 x 2). Last week I found a bunch of sunscreen two-packs for $5 in the clearance cart at Smith's. I think we are set for the rest of the summer... maybe...


Scotty's birthday was last week. He turned 38. I wanted to plan a surprise date, so I got a babysitter and packed PB&J (we are so gourmet), and we went kayaking. 


We took turns rowing each other across the lake and timing ourselves. My time was 2:30, his was 2:15 (for future reference). It's just a small community reservoir. 

Also, I have since cut Scotty's hair. 

Meanwhile at the babysitter's house...


My friend Carlie, and I have kids all the same ages and opposite gender, so we have big plans. Eva and Magnus are starting to warm up to each other a little more now that they are getting older. All our other kids took a few years before they would play with each other.

For the 4th of July, we went to the girls camp where Scotty's parents are serving their mission. They don't book the camp over the holiday, so we had the place to ourselves. I think we are really going to enjoy this perk over the next few years!

Here's the family playing human Foosball.


We also played Gaga Ball and rode ATVs. The kids enjoyed an abundance of freedom. 


{Eva & me in the side x side}

We were going to stop at a concert on the way home from camping, but my in-laws' trailer ended up having some septic tank issues, and Scotty had to help deal with the "crappy situation." We missed the concert, so we stopped for dinner at Billy Blancos in Park City instead. 

The decor inside is really fun - it's all done in cars and motorcycles. Here's a box of grease rags in the bathroom to dry your hands:


While we were eating, it started pouring rain and got windy and cold. That's not what the 4th of July is usually like here, so it was really weird. 

All of our stuff in the back of the truck got rained on. 

By the way, we bought a truck a few weeks ago. We haven't had one since Nicky was a baby, save for one year when Scotty had a work truck. We've wanted one for a while, but it wasn't a priority. The stars aligned, and we were able to find one that was reasonably priced and can fit our whole family. We have loved having it. We don't know how we lived without a truck for so long. 

Speaking of purchases, I bought a box of 200 at Sam's Club last week. Despite my hatred for Otter Pops, it's nice having hundreds of popsicles in stock for when neighbor kids and cousins come over. You win some, you lose some. 


This past weekend, my mom moved into her new house, and we said good-bye to this place:


When I first heard she was moving, I was really sad about it, but I've had a year to get used to it. I realized I didn't live in this house very long, anyway. Only the three years before I got married. And I lived there with a step-dad with whom I don't have the greatest memories, so there are some advantages to leaving it behind. It's one of the final ties to him that can be severed. 

It's really hard to walk away from the pool though. I don't even like swimming, but my mom has had a pool for over 20 years, and I have four kids who have enjoyed that perk. 

On our last night at my mom's house, we sat on the floor and ate pizza and drank Pepsi out of the only cups left in the house!


My mom needs a China intervention. She has so many sets of China and dishes. I told her she has a problem. She also has a lot of  cake stands and cat food bowls, and I think I found a can of Raid in every fourth box I unpacked at her new house. 

For the first few weeks of summer, I babysat my nephew three times a week. That just ended last week, so now I have a bit more freedom. 

I haven't officially retired from my wood crafts, even though I planned to. I came across some more wood, so I'm going to make a few more things. 

This was a custom order I finished last week:


As of today, we've survived six weeks of summer break, and we have six more to go! There are things I like about having my kids home from school, and there are things that are really hard. I feel like this summer has been more chaotic than normal, but I'm not entirely sure why. It might have to do with my kids getting older and doing so many separate things. Until this year, most of our summers have been spent with the kids and me all together (which has it's pros and cons), but this year, everyone is going different directions every day. It takes a new degree of calendaring and time management. 





Sunday, June 30, 2019

Pretty Darn Sure

This post has been stirring in my mind for almost a year. I haven't written it because I don't know if I'll get it right. Today I'm just going to start writing and see what happens.



I believe in God.

Based on that statement, there are now fifty different directions I want to go, so I'm going to try really hard to keep my thoughts organized.

First off, the purpose of this post isn't to convince anyone to believe in God. I really just want to explain a few reasons that I do and what that belief looks like. This post is kind of for me. I already know I'm going to come back to this one a lot in the future - whether I hit "publish" or not.

Next, I want to talk about the word "know." I believe in God, but I don't know there is a God. I used to think I was supposed to know because people (especially in the culture of my Church) are always saying that they know. I have said the word know hundreds of times in regards to my own beliefs and testimony, but when I sit down and really think about it, I realize that I do not know.

I believe.

I have faith.

I have hope.

I have a strong conviction.

I'm pretty darn sure.

But I do not "know."

And I don't think I'll know until I see God or the Savior face to face.

When I speak of my beliefs, I now try to not use the word know. I love contemplating words and coming up with new ways to say things, so for me, it's a fun challenge to consider how I might phrase my testimony to more accurately reflect my belief. However, I don't have a problem with those who do say they know. Some people get tripped up over this word, though. "Know" has various connotations that make it easy to use even when you don't have "100% absolute knowledge and proof." So a person may say that they know there is a God when really, they are just pretty darn sure.

I don't know that there is a God. But I know that if there is a God, He is okay with us not knowing. What He wants from us is belief and faith in Him (and actions to reflect that belief). That is enough. In fact, that may even be more than knowing. Faith is kind of the point anyway. The prophet Alma said in the Book of Mormon that, "...faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen which are true" (Alma 32:21). In essence, knowing is not required.

So here I am: not knowing.

But believing.

I have always had a deep fear of experiencing anything counterfeit. This holds me back a little bit with God because I don't want to fall prey to my own imagination. The mind is powerful, and I understand that if I am looking for God, I will find "God" whether He exists or not. So sometimes I am wary and I tread carefully. I want to have authentic experiences with God, but the only way that can happen is if God absolutely exists.

Last year I overcame this to some extent. I found myself in a situation where I could feel something. I can't explain where I was emotionally or mentally because I don't remember. All I know is that across the span of several days, I felt like God was right there. I felt love emanating from Him, and that love made me feel good about myself in a way I never had before. I could sense my true worth. I felt like everything was going to be okay. I could look out at this terrifying world and feel a sense of peace because someone greater than myself - and greater than any person on this earth - was watching over us. I experienced the true absence of fear. That meant more to me than anything else - I wasn't afraid. I didn't realize how enveloped I am in fear from day to day until I shed fear entirely. It was one of my greatest burdens relieved - one I didn't know the weight of until it was lifted off me.

That's the closest I've ever come to "knowing" that there is a God. It was a fleeting feeling - it didn't stick around long, but I haven't forgotten it. During that time I had a brief moment where I considered that I had created it myself - that everything I was experiencing was counterfeit. But then I had a thought: that's how I want to feel for the rest of my life. Loved, valued, and fearless.

To have that, I'm willing to let it be counterfeit. But ultimately, I believe it's real.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

About Failure and Break Dancing

A couple weeks ago I wrote about how I'm teaching a summer dance class (see #9). As part of that class, I do a short character building lesson. I try to do an activity or add something in the choreography each week that relates to the character building lesson. For example, our first week we talked about body language and how it sends a stronger message than what we say. We talked about how dance can tell a story or depict emotion. Then I had the girls walk across the floor two at a time to the music while showing them a paper with an emotion written on it. I asked them to adjust their body language to match that emotion. They had fun with it. We also went through some specific examples of how our body language can affect our communication with others.

This week, something kind of cool happened, so I wanted to write about it. I recently told you about my fear of failure. I'll have you know that I haven't overcome it by any degree. Probably never will. But I feel that it's something important to talk about with kids, so my lesson for this week's dance class was on failure. I asked the girls about failure and mistakes, and they said all the right things. They gave me all the quotes, and they knew their stuff. After our discussion, I told them, "Today I'm going to teach you a dance move that might be hard. You probably won't get it the first time. Some of you might not figure it out today. You might have to go home and work on it all week. But I promise that if you keep trying, you will get it, and you will be so proud of yourselves!"

Later in the dance class, I showed them the move - the "Coffee Grinder" or "helicopter" (and yes, I can still do this, but it ain't pretty, and it hurts). I learned it when I was eight, and I danced to "Rump Shaker."

(Yep. Eight-year-old girls dancing to "Rump Shaker." Sigh...)


Every single girl (except Daisy because I taught her this a few months ago) stared at me with her mouth agape and said, "I can't do that."

I asked them to practice over and over, and I told them, "If you keep trying, I promise it will click at some point, and you will be able to do it!"

I had two girls just flat-out give up. One even laid on the floor and didn't move again until it was time to leave. But all of the other girls kept trying, and one by one, each of them figured it out! Even one of my littlest ones - who always complains that I'm torturing her - walked out of class this week being able to do the coffee grinder (she claimed I made her get a butt cramp, and I said, "You enjoy that butt cramp! It means you worked hard!")

I loved watching this unfold because the girls all struggled at first, and they all had an excuse for why they couldn't do it. They complained that it hurt. That their legs couldn't move that way. That they were tired. Then one by one, they figured it out, and once they got it, they just beamed with excitement. They suddenly, it didn't matter that they had floor burns on their feet or that their leg muscles were tired. They were so proud of themselves that they kept showing me over and over again that they could do it! I even had a dad text me later that night and tell me how awesome it was that his daughter could "break dance," and I was thrilled to know that she went home and said, "Dad, watch what I can do!"

It just reminded me of that simple life lesson - one that I'm forever learning - that not everything is going to go right the first time, but if we keep trying, we might just get there.