Archive for May, 2010


I was blog surfing the other day and came across a post about a family that is possibly moving to Casper, Wyoming. The post caught my eye because I was born and raised in Wyoming. As I read the post, I noticed that the author was nervous about the move and worried about what life would be like in small-town Wyoming. I wanted to post advice and reassurance because I think she’ll do fine. But then I realized, I can’t give anyone advice about adapting to new places now because I’m not following my own advice.

I loved moving to and living in Sweden. It was an experience that I lived with every single atom of my body. I was charmed by the architecture, puzzled by the culture, mystified by the language, awed by the history, and dazzled by the beauty of the landscape. I can say that I really enjoyed my experience there.

But then I moved to New York. And suddenly, the change was not easy for me. All my good habits of exploration, keeping an open mind, internet research, etc. went out the window. I could give you a list of excuses why I fell off the wagon: really bad health, some less than stellar challenges, little money, etc. The bottom line is: I’ve let this time in New York slip away from me. As I’ve done so, I’ve felt like I don’t fit in and feel like I don’t have as many close friends as I should have by now. And even worse, I don’t feel the affection for New York that I felt for Provo, Sweden, Israel or Wyoming.

That is going to change. I’m going to be more pro-active in my explorations. I’m going to use my time well and enjoy this New York experience. Whether we’re here for 5 years or 6 months, I want to look back on this time as one filled with interesting experiences. I also need to be more pro-active as I work on friendship. I have friends, but I long for more closeness with them.

I truly believe that change can be very positive and that you can create a beautiful life wherever you live, as long as you are willing to do the work to make that happen.

So, watch out New York, here I come!


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I don’t like Emma. I’ve read it several times and the main character, Emma, annoys me. I tried to listen to it this week, and I just couldn’t get into the story.

Persuasion is my favorite Austen novel. I am rather fond of Mansfield Park.

Mansfield Park doesn’t translate well to the screen. The other Austen novels really fare well on the screen, but Mansfield Park just falls flat.

I like the Emma Thompsom version of Sense and Sensibility. I liked t the recent BBC adaptation of Sense and Sensibility.

I loathe , despise, and abominate the Pride and Prejudice movie with Keira Knightley. Keira annoys me.

Which Jane Austen novels do you like/dislike?

Tell me about your favorite/least favorite Austen books. And tell me which films you like.

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then read this:


My friend, Jenna, wrote it. She expresses a lot of feelings I have about my work as a mother and homemaker. Jenna and I were roommates for six months before I married. Over the years, we’ve stayed in touch, mostly because of Jenna’s wonderful diligence. I admire Jenna because she consciously strives to be a good mother. She also thinks deeply about issues and expresses her feelings and thoughts about those issues. I also admire her because she doesn’t throw things-verbal or otherwise- at me when I disagree with her. She always listens to me. Maybe I don’t change her mind–and that’s okay. But she has definitely mastered the art of civil discussion.


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Things I Love

Lilacs in bloom in May

The special color of green during the Spring. It has such a vivid intenseness that is a welcome relief after the greys and browns of winter.

My baby’s giggle–seriously nothing is sweeter than that.

Amarillo by Morning as sung by George Strait (Yes, I know it is country music. It will require a special post to explain why this is my favorite song in the world. But for now, please don’t knock it.)(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bnBRG6Tw-w&feature=related

Painting toenails and fingernails with my daughter.

Seeing my daughter with pigtails and in a leotard and skirt.

Listening to T sing every song for his school concert slightly off-pitch, but with such enthusiasm and vigor that you can forgive the melody mistakes.

Watching my oldest son get totally absorbed in a book.

Kissing my husband.

Getting text messages from my parents.


Funny books

Planning the weekly menu with my kids–so fun to watch them flip through food magazines.

What are some things you love?

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Happy Mother’s Day to all of my wonderful readers who are mothers. I’m so glad to be surrounded by good mothers. I learn a lot from my friends as they navigate the terrain of motherhood. I appreciate the advice, stories and the listening ears (or reading eyes) from all of you.

I’m grateful for my sisters and the mothers they are to their children. My oldest sister has 2 young adults, 2 teenagers, and 1 pre-adolescent. She has such a positive attitude and sense of humor about raising teenagers that she gives me hope about my future days as a mother to teenagers. My second oldest sister mothers her children with fierce protectiveness. I admire her strength and endurance as she has struggled through difficult personal trials but continues to find joy and peace in raising her 5 kids. My third oldest sister also has five children and just recently assumed the guardianship of her husband’s youngest sister. Her husband’s father is suffering with Alzheimer’s. She has a great sense of humor about having 5 girls and 1 boy.  She is creative and intelligent and utilizes her talents in her daily mothering. My fourth sister (just younger than me) has three beautiful children. I love the way she cares for them, helps them enjoy life and enjoys her life as a mother. My fifth sister has an adorable toddler boy. She has tremendous energy and just loves playing with her little guy. My sixth and seventh sisters are amazing aunts. I love the way they are willing to step up to cuddle nieces and nephews, ride horses with them or play games with them.

I appreciate my sisters-in-law as they share stories with me about their children. I love how they navigate tricky situations, encourage their children in developing talents, mother from afar, and teach with love.

I am extremely grateful for my wonderful mother-in-law. From the day I met her (many years ago) she has always been kind and sweet to me. When my husband and I got engaged, she embraced me fully into her family. She raised my husband very well–taught him the value of hard work, encouraged him to develop talents, and to be a faithful, loyal and loving husband. The debt of gratitude I owe her is profound.

And finally, there is my own mother. I love her very much. I miss her everyday of my life and probably call her far too often. She listens to me as I relate my own struggles and reassures me that it will be okay. She prays for me and supports me. When I began singing and playing in public, it was always my mother that provided the calm strength I needed. Many times I would look out over an audience to find my mother, mouthing the words, supporting me with her eyes. I still feel her strength over the many miles that separate us. She has given much to me. I only hope that I can be half the mother she is.

Wow! That’s a lot of good women. I really am blessed.

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We bought a car today. We’re not really car-buying people–at least I don’t think we are. The whole thing feels surreal. 

In our entire married life we’ve purchased 4 vehicles. The first was the car I drove while at college. We wrote a check to my parents and that was that. It was a sporty red car that was fun to drive. We had a hard time selling it when we moved so we gave it to my husband’s sister.

  In Sweden, we purchased an old Saab that we drove for a year until we faced inspections and discovered that it was too much work to repair said car. Then dh bought the GWB. For those of you who don’t know, the GWB stands for “GREAT WHITE BEAST’ because it was a beast. In Europe, all the cars are small–well, except Volvo station wagons. But the GWB was this massive Ford Tourneo that seated 9 people. Yes, you read that right, 9 people. It was ugly and huge but was incredibly practical from the point of view of having to haul kids and stuff around. I could fit all the bicycles in the GWB and still have 9 passengers. The only downside to the GWB was that you could not park it in the parking garages. (A lesson I learned after trying to park in a parking garage. A dent in the roof testified to the fact. Good thing I didn’t get stuck!) We sold the GWB four months before we moved back to the U.S.

When we moved back to the U.S., we knew, sadly, that our days of biking and walking were pretty much over, unless we moved to NYC. So we bought a mini-van. Some very kind friends in our ward in the U.S. allowed us to lease a car from them so my husband could commute to work.

The time came for us to return the leased car. We’ve been researching cars, checking craigslist, scouring the Penny Saver, etc. Today we went to several dealers and found the car that fit all our criteria. We bought it. I’m glad our search is over. But still feel a little surprised about the whole process. Silly, isn’t it?

How many cars have you owned?

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Freeze Frame

I want time to freeze today. I want to enjoy the luxury of my baby’s deliciousness. I want to see my baby’s eyes light up and hear his giggle when he sees me. I want to kiss his chubby rolls and tickle his thighs.

I want to read stories with my daughter and paint fingernails and toenails. I want to brush her long hair and braid it. I want to have her by my side, helping me with chores.

I want my six-year old to sit by me, rub his cheek on my cheek and read, haltingly through one of his books. I want him to whisper his worries and concerns in my ear.

I want my eight-year old to share his new exciting discovery about Pokemon or nature. I want him to burst with excitment and joy. I want to watch his eyes sparkle and his dimples to indent his cheeks and chin.

I want to cook with my ten-year old. I want to play Mario brothers with him. I want to have him tell me how to get to the next level. I want to watch him laugh at me when I make mistakes.

I want to sit across from my husband at dinner and look in his eyes and smile. I want to see the look he gives me that tells me I am the most important person in the world to him. I want to hold his hand and talk about our day.

I want to freeze frame this day and remember every single detail of the way we are right now.

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