Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I do not like my hair right now. It's been short and easy care for years now but I like change. Boredom sets in if I leave it in the same style for too long, so I'm growing it out. Having done so in the past, I remember that it's an annoying process, but I'd forgotten how extreme the annoyance really is. The process of going from short and sassy to long enough to successfully coif behind the head is driving me nuts! I just want to be able to pull it back into a pony tail when running/biking/working out. Is that too much to ask?

The layers are growing out fairly quickly, but the problem is that I have a lot of hair. When getting it cut, it's imperative to have the stylist texturize it to death, or my nice new style cut, all too soon, turns into a bush; an unattractive, over-grown, really needs to be pruned bush. Not exactly the look I'm going for. As the layers grow out, the bush has, sadly, turned into something like a weeping willow. Again, a fairly unappealing look, so I went and got it shaped. It looked great, actually looked like my hair had a smidgen of a sense of style again. But, not knowing any better--what do I know about hair?--I had them texturize it as usual. This wasn't a problem until a few weeks later when it started to grow out. The texturization (I'm sure that's not a real word) caused hundreds of short little hairs to stick straight out amongst the branches of the weeping willow, giving me a porcupine-ish weeping willow kind of look. ARRGH! Some days it looks somewhat okay--not great, mind you--but not horrendous either. And every day is a struggle to get to the point where I'm not abashed to be seen in public. I'm not terribly vain, but embarrassingly bad hair days, stacked one on top of another for weeks in a row are starting to give me a complex! And yet, my hair is still not quite long enough to ponytail it. Something about the shape of my head necessitates longer than average locks to pull off a tail!

Almost at the end of my rope, I mentioned that I was going to give up and get it cut. To which my husband replied, "No, don't cut it!" He almost never gives his opinion about this kind of thing, so the knowledge that Hubders wants me to grow it out, helped me find the wherewithal to stick it out a bit longer.

I know that this too shall pass and that it's not important in the eternal scheme of things, but I will be soooo relieved to put this process behind me! It feels incredibly vain to be terribly bugged by multiple bad hair days, when there is actual real suffering in the world; but the relentlessness of dealing with this is wearing very thin. Once the hair has reached the required length and a professional has trimmed it ever so slightly into a somewhat stylish do; once I am again satisfied that I don't look incredibly dorky, then I'll be grown-up and mature. Right now, I just want to have a meltdown, reminiscent of my teenage years, in front of my mirror each morning. But that would be an incredibly bad example to set before my young-uns. So, instead, I'll whimper inside and suffer in silence whilst I yearn for better hair days.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I've always loved surprises. I love the anticipation, the savoring and wondering, almost as much, and sometimes more, than the actual event/gift itself. Hubders could tell me exactly where my birthday present was hiding months in advance (this is obviously a hypothetical example, I can't quite imagine him actually purchasing a gift that early), and I would not be tempted in the least to peek. That would ruin the surprise. When Ruggles was in-utero (spell check won't help me spell that word!), the ultrasound obviously revealed, even to my untrained eyes, that we were about to welcome son number two into our family. It was interesting to me that the actual delivery was a bit of a let-down. Along with the joy and wonder of seeing him for the very first time, the absolute miracle of one so recently sent down from God, there was also a smidge of disappointment. Not disappointment that he was another boy, but that I already KNEW he was a boy. The surprise part of it had been taken from me. Not a huge deal really, but it was then that I realized how big I am on surprises.

My love of watching things unknown unfold at the proper time is a big part of why I love being a mom. To me, it's the most satisfying surprise of all to watch your children grow and develop into whoever it is they are in the process of becoming. I couldn't have guessed when I was in the throws of diaperdom and refereeing squabbles between my first three that Tough-guy was in process of developing such a love for his country that he'd put himself through the excruciating process of becoming a Marine and literally offer to lay down his life for his country. Or that Ruggles, who just wanted to play and would do almost anything to get out of work, would buckle in, save more than the entire $10,000 dollars needed to pay for his LDS mission and serve with all his heart in Thailand. Or that Sweetie, who is so innocent and pure that you felt you would always need to protect her, would be the first to go off to college half a continent away, and thrive there with a beauty and grace that is a joy to behold. What a lovely surprise this mothering thing can be!

My three younger children are still unknowns. Beautifully wrapped packages with only the corner opened. I still have most of the anticipation and excitement of their big reveal yet ahead. But occasionally I get another glimpse of what lies beneath the paper.

We just got back from visiting my parents on their mission. I absolutely love that after nine years of a twenty hour drive to see my mom, she's now only three hours away!!! Hubders, bless his heart, is simply letting me go whenever I want--not quite three months into their mission and I just came back from visit number three! This trip I took Bikey-boy and Banana-girl out of school so they could come too.

Grandma has generally made a hot breakfast, but she recently hurt her knee (surgery is probably in her near future), and so planned a breakfast of cold cereal. My family loves cold cereal, so this isn't a problem, but she only had the kinds of cereal that adults traditionally like. There wasn't a single choice that didn't have dried fruit of some kind in it. And to top it off, there was only skim milk, something my children have learned to drink in a glass, but are loathe to ever have on any cereal. Not four months ago, we had a protracted struggle at the breakfast table with ten-year-old Banana-girl because she accidentally poured skim milk on her cheerios. I let her know that we were not going to waste that bowl, it was perfectly good milk, not sour or anything, and she could eat it. Although she eventually did, it was NOT a fun morning. Bikey-boy and Girlie-whirl both like raisin bran, so I knew they would enjoy the meal, but I was thinking of how to help Banana-girl act appropriately about her breakfast options when she took the raisin bran, poured it in her bowl, topped it off with skim milk and pleasantly joined in the breakfast conversation as she proceeded to eat!!! She's certainly growing up! It was a lovely surprise!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'm glad I don't live in Somalia

I learned something new this morning. For the past twenty-four years, whenever Somalia is prominently in the headlines, my husband thinks of me and the different paths my life could have taken. This was news to me. I don't think much of anything when I hear about Somalia, but, apparently, hubders does. Interesting.

The story behind his musings goes way back to college to a tale of unrequited love--(okay, in retrospect, I'm sure there was no real love involved, but that didn't occur to me until I was much older and somewhat wiser). I'll try to make it short, but I may not succeed.

I attended an agricultural university where there were significant numbers of international students. Many of the campus co-eds learned the hard way that normal pleasantries--such as smiling and saying hi--were often interpreted as romantic overtures by said international students of the male persuasion.

I worked the taco bar in the cafeteria and tried to be friendly and helpful to everyone who came to me for Mexican yummies. Every day a guy would come and order a taco salad. Sometimes we would chat a bit if things weren't too busy and I eventually learned that his name was...I'll just call him Asad, and that he was from Somalia. We became what I would call casual acquaintances. He said that the Somali government was paying for his education and that after graduation, he would become the head of agriculture for the country. (I completely believed him at the time, but on reflection, he was probably not completely honest with me--duh!) Soon, he started asking me to go to dinner with him, but I had decided long ago, that once I was of marriageable age, I wouldn't date anyone who couldn't take me to the temple. (For those who are not LDS, temples are where we Mormons marry for time and all eternity--something very important to me). However, standing at the taco bar preparing burritos for customers hardly seemed the appropriate time and place to explain this to Asad. I tried to put him off in more casual ways but he was persistent, so I eventually agreed to go to dinner with him. I reasoned that I would pay for my own meal and there would explain why I couldn't date him.

A few days later we went to dinner and after talking for two hours, a good portion of it about the whys and wherefores of my decision not to date him, he asked if I would wait for him while he went back to Somalia for a year. He would then return and marry me. I was dumbfounded, to say the least! Yup! I won't date you, but I'd be happy to enter into nuptials!? It was most likely a language problem that accounted for this miscommunication, despite his fluent English--that, or a fervent desire to procure US citizenship--again, something that only occurred to me much later. I, of course, explained that marriage was out of the question and that we could only be friends.

He continued to come to the taco bar. He called me frequently, gave me ivory jewelry and a book on Mormons and Muslims. His favorite phrase was, "I don't know, but I think that one day, you will marry me." He seemed completely harmless and I never felt threatened in any way, but I was looking forward to the fast approaching day when he would fly back to Somalia. However, that day came and went and he didn't fly. He continued to call and wanted to see me, but I was invariably busy--usually, legitimately so. One day he called, got a bit angry and told me that he had stayed an extra month just so he could see me and now I was never available. Never being one for confrontation--okay, I'm a wimp!--I calmly explained to him, that I hadn't asked for him to stay and that my schedule was busy and that's just the way it was. He eventually flew home; calling me en route to ask if he could send me a new wardrobe from Paris--which I flatly refused to let him do. The LAST thing I needed was to be made to feel indebted to him because he spent a wad of cash on me!

Although there were multiple attempts to contact me after that, they were easy to deal with, owing to the fact that he was half a world away. I never saw him again. Now I don't want to leave the wrong impression. This was not a case of tall, dark and handsome falls madly in love with me. It was more a case of short, dark, so-so looking and somewhat whiney refuses to take no for an answer--a much less romantic scenario!

By the time he left, I was dating Hubders and the rest is history. In the intervening years, we've seen Somalia in the news for the following: large famines (Hubder's imagining me starving to death); bloody coups (husband imagining me living in exile in Paris, or, worse, murdered with my family); drug cartells (he's imagining me married to the guy who wastes anyone who gets in the way, and me getting wasted as payback or some such thing); and now pirates (use your own imagination--though I doubt it will be as original as his!)

I've always said that life with Hubders is never dull, but I'm happy to report that the excitement of life with him is of the ordinary mundane kind, and much more to my liking than the life he imagines for me as wife of Asad, the Head of Agriculture for the government of Somalia.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Eggs!

I found a tutorial on dyeing easter eggs with silk ties at Our Best Bites and decided to try it. We invited some friends over and tried it out. It was alot of fun. Here are some of our results. I love the subtle colors. Unwrapping them was so much fun.
They're prettier in real life, but then isn't everything!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


We went to Springfield, IL to the Lincoln museum over spring break. It was great fun. We went with our neighbors to the north, a family in our subdivision that we have so much fun with. Here are some pics.

The fam hanging out with Lincoln's fam

Chillin' with Lincoln on a park bench (seriously, it was freezing)

Girlie-whirl looking through the Lincoln dollhouse

Our neighbors--very fun(-ny) people

Waiting to go into Ghosts of the Library (a seriously cool show)

An action shot with Hubders--he made it in too
This is actually earlier in the week, before we went to Springfield. We went to St. Raymonds for lunch on Wednesday. A large portion of their congregation are Lebanese families. Since the 1960's they've been doing lunch on wednesdays to raise funds for upkeep of the church. We had grape leaf rolls, kibbi aras, humus with flat bread, and baklava.
Great food and a new experience for the kids.

Notice, they see a camera and everyone has to strike a pose.

Confession is good for the soul, and hopefully, the waistline

I don't want to admit this, but I really think it's best that I do. I've been a pig lately. Really. I had gone back to doing weight watcher points, I was getting a handle on it, and enjoying my food more than ever. I always enjoy my food more when I limit it and eat mindfully--that's why I was able to lose the 60 lbs before. I REFUSE to go hungry, eat food that's yucky or completely give up the foods that I love in order to lose weight. And I learned that I could do it. It was a shock to me-never having had any will power in the past. But beside enjoying my food more than ever, there was such a sense of well-being that came that I just stuck with it--not perfectly, of course, but really stuck with it til I'd lost the weight. But after getting to goal, the eye of the tiger was gone and I haven't been able to get it back. So, not being one to give up, and being the eternal optimist that I am--I continue to try over and over again. Anyway, I was doing great (for a whole three days) and then, I don't know what happened, but all willpower went out the window. It has officially left the building and suddenly I'm this mindless eating machine! I HATE that!! I feel bloated and weak and pitiful, but I just keep doing it this week! WHIMPER!!

This whole thing is, to say the least, mortifying to admit, but maybe, if I can admit it here, just maybe I'll do something about it. See, told you I was an optimist.

Friday, April 3, 2009

In case you're wondering...

When you're getting back into running, the second day is harder than the first. Nuff said.