Saturday, December 20, 2008

Why our house will never be finished

Last weekend, Clint and I painted our living room Taupe. This weekend, Clint and I repainted our living room because our walls looked like we blended up liver pate and deviled ham, took the mixture to Home Depot to color match it, and foolishly purchased two gallons of the Taupe disaster because we didn't want to waste our money on a quart of paint to use as a sample. We applied one coat on the walls and stood back as the color began to dry. It was scary ugly. In hopes we could temper the color a bit, we convinced ourselves it would look better after a 2nd coat. After a full day of painting, it began to look eerily reminiscent to the color of cat food. We've spent the last seven days complaining about how much we hate it. Too make matters worse, I mistakenly painted all of our new baseboards, crown moldings, and casings with flat paint. I'd like to apologize to our niece for missing her birthday party. I'm sorry you're related to two anal individuals who don't think through projects as well as they should, and can't seem to live (not even one more day) with the consequences of their mistakes. I hope Emma did a good job being our proxy. We, however, are covered in Behr Antique Brown, that so far, does not look like anything edible.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thanks a bunch!

Thank you Mother. Thank you for letting me invade your closet tonight. Thank you for letting me poke and prod through your wardrobe in search of church appropriate vintage dresses. Thank you for allowing me to take a few home. Thank you for not bringing up the fact that for the first 20 years of my life, I made fun of the vintage lifestyle you led. You said I would appreciate it all some day, blah blah blah. Thank you for not throwing that back in my face. You were right.

And a special thank you to my Nona's Thanksgiving stuffing, for affecting my ability to zip up my Mother's vintage dresses.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


A word of caution if you happen to visit me this week at home:

matter of the economy has caused my stress level to rise to a ridiculous amount, and my mouth is paying the price. I'm struggling with a doosy of a canker sore, and my constant companion, anbesol, just isn't cutting it. It's very painful when I talk, so I've been saving my communication for only the most important of situations, like "I thought the lunchmeat was on sale for $6.99 a lb. You charged me $8" or "Clint, I'm leaving and I won't be back for 43 hrs. Good luck". So, if you would rather not hear me yell at you at the top of my lungs, then please don't touch the bananas, because I've already told the 2 year old several times to stop touching the bananas, but he continued to try to pull them apart, and right now for me, each spoken warning is accompanied by a shooting pain, and after several excruciating pleas, I finally broke down and screamed STOP TOUCHING THE FRICKIN BANANAS!, which caused the two year old to cry with fright, in turn causing me to kneel at his side and silently gesture like Lassie that I'm sorry I scared him.

Fair warning.

10am on a Tuesday Morning

Asher's got it right. I can think on nothing better to do on a Tuesday morning than to study a caterpillar's act of gluttony, clutch fast to my fairy wand, and practice hopeful optimism that one day I can turn myself into a ravishing butterfly as well, all while sporting my sister's pink high heels.

Asher reading The Hungry Catapiller

This is the life.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Something I've been thinking about lately

Lately, I've been feeling like I'm a lousy friend. I'm awful at nurturing relationships. I'm capable and willing, but time and ignorance prevent me. I never feel I lack for friends, which causes me to have a terrible habit of taking friendships for granted. What's the best way to show those you care about that you still value them?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Always check

Tonight, I spent time with some mighty good friends. We partied hearty and hit all the hot spots of Mesa: Red Robin, Starbucks, AMC Theatres, the parking lot..... adventurers we were.

I also had the pleasure of trying a Salty Caramel Hot Chocolate from Starbucks. It was delish. My friends and I sat outside and enjoyed our beverages. After the first few sips, I commented that it had a slight coffee flavor.
A friend remarked that Starbucks uses dark chocolate, which explained the bitterness I was tasting. I was surprised that none of the ladies I was with was having an aversion to the drink. Most of them have never tasted coffee, and they should have found it to be too strong a flavor. I, on the other hand, have had coffee in the distant past, and I enjoy(ed) it's taste. I remarked several more times that it had a strong coffee flavor. A friend grabbed my drink, took a whiff, and said "It's because you're drinking coffee". Other's whiffed my drink and concurred. I tried a friend's Salty Caramal Hot Chocolate, and was dismayed that it did indeed taste sweet and salty, the flavor combination I was missing in my own. I had mistakenly grabbed another's drink order, and drank half of a Grande sized White Chocolate Mocha coffee. Remember how I joked about Emma not knowing the difference between a lobster and a scorpion? I'm 31 and I mistook a cup of coffee for a cup of hot chocolate. Karma paid a visit tonight.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Helena -

You run a close 2nd to salt.
Yours is a friendship more pleasurable than snapping a crayon in half.
For you, I would sacrifice a hair coloring appointment.
You're first in line as my VP.
And if you needed the space, I'd delete 4.72 hours of tivo.
Now if that ain't love, baby..........

Happy 26th Birthday.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Emersen Paris Draney

My oldest is seven (and four days). I told her it's her lucky year. Not sure how so, but it seemed fitting.

TIME FLIES! is also very fitting to say. Cliche, but true.

Come hold my virtual hand as I take you on a trip down memory lane. Or, for those that had not the pleasure of my company during these times in Emma's life, it'll be a trip down the scroll bar for some pictures of a maturing Emma with interspersed anecdotes and tidbits.

On Emma's infancy - I've never been one of those moms who declares their children to be the cutest of all in existence. When your friend down the row says the exact same thing about their own children, it seems to be a moot point, right? In the spirit of keepin it real, I can honestly tell you I did not think Emma was an attractive newborn.

Infant Emma.jpg

Is it just me, or did Emma look like a frog? Granted, it may not be a flattering picture, but she didn't grow into her looks for another 2-3 months.

This is how I remember Emma's earlier days. She only fell asleep if swaddled and in our arms. She was not not an easy baby. She was never a champion nurser or sleeper. I remember many times having to nurse her while standing and swaying from side to side, and the minute I would sit down, she would declare treason and all was lost.

Emma as baby

The following pictures are Emma at around 6 months old. Now, I will as a dutiful mother, claim that at this age, and henceforth, she was/is beautiful.

Emma as baby with doll

Emma Pretty Baby

Emma at 6 months

Aren't all little girls deserving of a picture of themselves dressed in some outlandish fashion, surrounded by tulle and feathers?

Emma as an angel

After Emma's first year, she began to grow into her personality and finally let up a bit and became easier to care for.

Emma at 1 firm

Emma at 2. This is one of my favorite pictures of her. I love how her foot is out in front of her, kicking the air.

Emma at 2

Emma at 2 firm

Emma at 3.

Emma at 3

Emma at 4.

Emma at 4 firm

Emma at 5.

Emma at 5

Emma at 6.

Emma at 6

Emma at 7.

Emma at 7

A few interesting tidbits about Emma -

She is, by far, the most agreeable child I've every known.

She is always thinking about me and ways to make my life easier. There's not much she can do, so she does small things - she'll open all the car doors before she gets into the car, or she'll frequently say "I'll do anything you tell me to do". The guilt I feel is overwhelming sometimes. It's tough to give her a hard time about doing her homework in a timely fashion after she's just offered herself up to do my bidding. Here is her love note to me after being told she had to wait to eat a piece of bread until she had eaten more dinner.

Emma's Note

Emma has never watched (at least on my watch) Hannah Montana or any other tweeny show of the like. I'm not saying she never will, but I'm not ready for her to be grown-up enough to start watching a show with a laugh track. And, to her detriment, the 2 year old in our house rules the tv at this point, so Emma doesn't have much choice but to sit back and watch Muno from Yo Gabba Gabba sing about being nice to worm babies. I wouldn't think it was such a big deal that a six year old would prefer cartoons over real life actors, but it seems that Emma's entire 2nd grade class of girls knows all the characters in High School Musical. I just don't understand what draw that show has to 7 year old girls who have no clue what the subject is about. Then again, I've never watched an episode of Hannah Montana, so maybe the show is about how you should brush your teeth for 2 minutes and make sure you flush the toilet after you're done going potty.

Along those lines, Emma doesn't listen to music on the radio. Right now, it's because I'm usually listening to NPR, but when she's older, I know her and I will have many arguments about our listening choices. Sometimes we'll listen to The Beatles or The Doors, and Clint has her hooked on the latest Coldplay cd, but will a time come when she's made fun of because she doesn't know every word or appropriate gyration to the hit song at the moment? I could very well be preventing her possible Student Body President win.

She reads when she goes to the bathroom.

If asked, she will prefer to wear a dress above all else, but when I tell her to throw some clothes on, she will put together some very interesting, yet slightly embarrassing ensembles.

She's taken for granted. By me, that is.

She's going to be the easiest teenager. Shut up, I'm not in denial. I'm trying to put out good vibes.

I don't think I compliment her enough because whenever I do, she hugs me and tells me she loves me.

She sings all the time, and very loudly, except for when she's supposed to sing (like at church).

Asher is her best friend and she is a wonderful older sister to him.

Emma now

She's sensitive to other's feelings. We watched Monsters inc recently, and towards the end of the movie, when Boo and the big blue monster (I forgot his name) were saying goodbye to each other, Emma started to wail. I chuckled, and then she yelled at me for laughing at her.

Emma has been such a joy to parent. I've always been firm yet loving towards her, and I used to think that it was me that shaped her into the obedient child that she is. Then I had Asher. He stomped and spit all over that theory.

Do you every purposely put your chair on two uneven surfaces so that you can shift the weight of the legs back and forth for fun? I've been enjoying the click clunk sound the entire time it took to write this post.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Love Veteran's Day

I Love Tempe.

I Love That Every Year Tempe Hosts A Veteran's Day Parade.

I Love Going Every Year.

I Love Supporting Our Proud Veteran's.

I Love Watching The Parade With Emma's Friends.


I Love Watching The Parade With My Friends.


I Love Marcia's Mop Brigade. I Look Forward To Marching With Marcia's Mop Brigade In 30 Years.

Marcia's Mop Brigade

I Love Shriners.


I Love Shriners In Funky Cars.

Little Car

I Love Shriners In Little Cars.

TIny Car

I Love Shriners In Minuscule Cars.

Small Cars

I Love Seeing My Alma Mater. I, However, Do Not Love Seeing Their Size Diminish With Each Year.

Tempe high

I Love Ladies Who Grow Older With Pride.

Old Ladies

I Love Ladies Who Strive To Stay Youthful.


I Love My Boys.

My Boys

I Love Boy Scouts. I Love That Emma Will Probably Marry A Boy Scout. He May Be In This Picture.

Boy Scout

I Love That Police Officers Get A Break And Can Ride In Our Parade.

Police Men

I Love Emma's Little Bum.


I Extra Special Double Dog Heart Adore Swoon Love Firemen.


I Love Living In Tempe.

(missed you Tricia)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

"The Art of Friendship: A Woman's Tale of Love Lost and Found"

Dedicated to Monica and Janica.

This account is based on an actual fictitious event. Names have not been changed.

Chapter 1:
"Jaylee, both my good friends have moved. Will you be my new best friend?" asked Jeanette.
"Yes," replied Jaylee.

Chapter 2:
The two new best friends take a picture to commemorate that special moment in their lives.


Chapter 3:

Monica and Janica fume in Colorado and Utah, respectively.

Chapter 4:
It's their fault they moved.

And so ends the sordid tale of how Monica and Janica lost their friend.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Good Day

Emma learned to ride a bike

Asher peed in the potty

Ate some yummy chili

Bart is no longer a houseguest

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

There once was a man from Nantucket....

We have a mouse in our house (sounds like the start of a children's poem).

It's a teeny tiny little mouse,
Who probably has a little spouse.
This teeny mouse is a louse,
For it's eating up my drywall.

This teeny mouse is very smart,
It deserves a name; how about Bart?
"Bart!" I yell, and as quick as a dart,
Bart scampers back into my drywall.

Now, I'm assuming Bart, you have large brood,
You're probably out scavenging for food.
You better be careful because I'm not in the mood,
To see and hear you chewing up my drywall.

Hey little Bart, you're in for a treat!
Peanut Butter! Oh my! It can't be beat!
Now hurry up your little feet!
And please ignore the apparatus underneath the peanut butter, next to the drywall.

I tried to warn you; I tried to be humane,
But Bart, your droppings are such a pain!
I clean them up, but it's all in vain,
Because you just keep pooping next to my drywall!

Bart, I'm sorry, the time has come,
You must die die die and something else that rhymes with come!
And then another great sentence that rhymes with come,
Geez Bart! Come on! What do you expect? You're living in my drywall!

You're gross! You're yucky! You probably have rabies!
Okay, maybe not rabies, but maybe...... scabies?
And you're popping out a horde of little pinkie babies,
and I can't have you and your filthy family living in my drywall!

So Bart, please eat the food; it will all be over soon,
And while you're dying, I'll sing you a tune.
As we sit together underneath the moon,
I'll serenade you this sweet song:

Die mouse, die die die!
Poor little mouse, where's PETA to save you now?
You think you can come into my house and set up shop?
Time to meet your maker!
I hope you burn!

Did you like that song, Bart? Hey, I think I see a light!
Go to it Bart! Give up the fight!
Oh, it's pretty Bart! So nice and bright!
What a tender moment we're sharing next to my drywall.

I promise Bart, I'll take care of your litter,
Stop yelling at me Bart! Now's not the time to be bitter!
Oh Bart! You're not breathing!

psst, hey Clint, can you fix this drywall so none of Bart's rat babies can get out?

Have I missed the grace period to post pictures of my kids in their Halloween costumes?


Thursday, October 30, 2008


Geez, October was busy. It's worrisome since it only gets worse as we enter the Holiday Season (Holiday Season - such an overused term, most likely coined by ad execs to promote spending. Due to the current state of our economy (yet another overused term), I think this year the new slogan for retailers forecasting dismal sales will need to be "You'll Get Lucky If You Buy Your Wife This Lovely Necklace").

Moving on to more uplifting prose.

The family and I attended a wedding in Denver last week. It was beautiful. Who wants to move there with me? I could write an entire post on the trees. Their trees are colorful eye candy. The beauty still amazes me every time I visit. Don't you agree that of all the cities in the United States, Phoenix is by far the ugliest?

The wedding was gorgeous. I love, but am not able to attend many, non-LDS weddings. It was a 3-day party. And eclectic to boot.

Friday night, we were scheduled to attend a dress rehearsal. I've never understood the importance of dress rehearsals; isn't it just a matter of walking from point A to point B? However, after witnessing it, it was proven to be necessary. The wedding party consisted of many bodies, 2 of which were children, so making sure it wasn't an awkward mess on the big day was essential. Of you who know Clint and I best, you may snicker, but we were late to the dress rehearsal by 25 minutes. It was required that Emma attend since she was a flower girl, and for 25 minutes, all wedding party bodies, parents, photographers, coordinators, wives and husbands of wedding party bodies, and an especially frustrated mother of the bride waited outdoors, after the sun had gone down, for our procrastinating selves to show up. We were lazily sitting around Monica's house, debating different methods of applying butter to toast, and had lost track of the time. It was an uncomfortable first few minutes, many jokes were made at our expense, but people got over it.

At the end of the evening, all involved with the wedding were invited to dinner, which was held at this house...

Judy's House

...we dined on tofu, salmon, edamame, and miso soup, while being serenaded by a duet of guitar and flute, played by a hippie husband and wife. Can you believe there are loads of houses like this in Denver? Problem is, you need loads of cash to purchase them. One can dream.

Saturday, the Big Day, was again spent lazily laying around Monica's house discussing dirt bikes, and again time escaped us, causing a mad dash out the door (what is wrong with us?). Emma had her hair professionally styled by this diverse woman...

Emma Hair 1

...and eventually she turned into a miniature version of a woman (they grow up so fast).

Emma alone

Then it was off to the ceremony (which started 20 minutes late, but I swear it was not on account of me (or Clint)).

It was located at Cheesman Park in downtown Denver, and it was spectacular. This tiny, ill-taken picture doesn't do it justice. While the guests waited, they were serenaded by the bagpiper in the lower right hand corner, who also performed the processional music.

Wedding site

This is a better picture of the pavilion, for which I can not take credit for. It captures the beauty of the structure and it's surroundings.


Yet another terrible picture taken by moi. The ceremony was held in the afternoon, underneath a huppah, and interestingly enough was officiated by a rabbi and a preacher.


Afterwards, we attempted a nice family portrait. I think Emma's the star of the picture since she so closely resembles a wedding cake.

The family

This is Asher's GQ money shot.

GQ add 1

While we were waiting around for actual professional pictures to be taken, Emma twirled while Asher and Clint inspected the water grate; the highlight of Asher's weekend.


The reception was held at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. An awesome thing about having a reception at a Museum is the all inclusive access to the exhibits. When else would I be able to take a sultry picture wooing a sea lion?


There's also no other time Emma can study ancient pottery manufactured by the People of the Amazon while wearing a dress that looks like a cake.


We dined on gourmet Mexican food, complete with all the churros and sopapillas I could cram into my mouth. A Reggae band provided the music, and Emma danced more than anyone in attendance.


emma dance 1

emma dance

She promised this little boy that she'd look him up the next time she's in Denver.

boy 1

Why are pictures of sleeping kids so irresistible? At the end of the evening, Asher was spent.

Asher sleeping

Sunday morning, we attended a brunch at a Jewish Deli and dined on bagels, lox, and latkes. Wow, I'm noticing the bulk of this post is about what I ate. I enjoy eating more than is healthy, and I have to admit it was nice to go away for the weekend and not spend a dime on food. All in all, it was a very culturally diverse and enjoyable weekend.