Sunday, November 30, 2008

I've Become a Mother of Teenagers

Just like that, overnight... I am the mother of teenagers. I have two sons, soon to be three... and soon their friends will start "spending the night/weekend" in herds.

Let me explain. As many of you know, Owen moved in with me the beginning of the summer. Him and our friend Matt have this great idea of being "Snowboard Bums" for the winter semester (January-April). They originally were looking all over, but finally realized that it made sense to stay in Utah. Hello!! Best snow on earth, already had a house... etc, etc, etc. So, it was only a matter of time until they approached me about Matt moving in. After some thought I finally agreed, Matt is a sweetheart and easy to get along with, this can't be too bad. Well, a few weeks after that they spring the thought of moving in ANOTHER one. I finally agreed that if they can all fit in Owen's room than I am okay with it.... And just like that I agreed to be the Mother of three teenage boys.

Now, I'm sure they will be offended that I'm calling them teenagers, "But we are 21 and 20 years old!!" they will say... but seriously, 21/16/18, whatever... practically all the same.

They are in bunkbeds and another seperate bed, all in the same room. Sometimes I can hear them in there giggling before they fall asleep or first thing in the morning before they come out for the day. Last night I got home from being out and as soon as I walked through the back door (which is right next to their room) I hear, "Hi! Don't worry, we tucked ourselves in." So, I open the door and say "Goodnight, boys." and get "You can turn on the light." So, I turn on the light and say, "Goodnight, boys." After a bit of chatting I finally turn off the light and leave them... I hear giggling and a few banging noises before they finally fall asleep about 20 minutes later....

The other day I come home to them waxing snowboards in the living room. I can't complain, they waxed mine as well. I was a bit worried, but they were good... they were careful not to get wax on the floor and they cleaned up their mess. They also have made a few meals already and cleaned up relatively well. Matt is a very good cook and Owen likes to help him, so I think this could work out nicely. Now I just need to find a way to keep all their crap contained... When they come home from the mountain it looks like a snowboarding bomb went off inside the back door - boots, coats, boards, gloves, etc.... EVERYWHERE. We will have to figure that out....

All in all, I think it will be rather fun. Matt is a bundle of energy and a sweetheart when it comes right down to it. I KNOW that Owen will enjoy having him around and they will make memories that will last a lifetime. I dont know this Andrew kid yet, but Owen and Matt say he is a mix of the two of them... if that is the case then he has got to be one great kid. As for me, I will enjoy having the snow shoveled and someone to take out the trash. I will have to lay some ground rules, but with a little bit of effort and a lot of patience I think we will have a great time. Let's be honest.... I get to have three teenage boys for a few months!! I'll be able to get rid of them right about the time that they are consistently driving me nuts....

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving = FALL CLEANING?!?!?!

Thanksgiving - noon - The entertainment center is in the middle of the living room - Owen is covered in dust - I still haven't showered - boxes are in the hallway.

I don't know how it happened, but Thanksgiving day turned into Fall cleaning.
Actually, I can tell you how it happened... Matt arrived Wednesday evening to stay for the weekend. However, he also brought pretty much everything with his for when he officially moves in the middle of December.

I thought, he needs some room for his things in the bathroom, which turned into completely cleaning out and going through the entire bathroom. Owen had to clean out part of his room to bring in Matt's bed, which lead to having to find room for all of Owen's things; some were boxed up, some were relocated to other rooms in the house.

Owen decided to bring the xbox into the living room, which meant everything had to be reorganized, which means the entertainment center was disassembled and in the middle of the living room at noon on Thanksgiving.

One thing led to another and just now (yes, at almost 2 pm on Friday) I am getting to the point where I feel like I am almost done cleaning the rest of the house... then I just need to take care of MY room. I still need to sweep and mop the floors, the bathroom floor/mirrors/sink needs to be cleaned and I am still working on the mountain of laundry... but I'm getting close.

The boys have been up snowboarding all day. They did what they could last night to help get the house settled, but then again they also did set up a snowboard waxing station in the middle of the living room as well. Tonight after they get back (and we get done with Hope's birthday dinner) we are going to put up Christmas decorations... they don't know that yet, and they will probably hate me for it... but we are doing it.

So there ya have it, Fall cleaning happened on Thanksgiving day. Trust me, I don't plan on making this a tradition.... but I'm excited for the house to be clean - and it's amazing to me how well we have been able to fit Matt in. Good thing he didn't bring too much stuff with him....

His personality is fun to have around. He brings A LOT of energy with him, but he also brought a pan of his Mom's apple dumplings... so we'll deal with it. haha.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Grocery Store on Thanksgiving Eve = Your local UFC Cage Fight

I'm excited for Thanksgiving. The food will be delicious; most of these dishes are things that we only eat during Thanksgiving.

But what I'm REALLY excited for is shopping for all this food. I'm ready to throw elbows, be snappy with people in my way and run over the heels of slow indecicive walkers.

The first memory I have of Thanksgiving shopping was in Walla Walla. Mom sent me to the store for low-fat sourcream, Land-o-Lakes brand (thats the only kind that dosen't taste low-fat). My barely 16 year-old self arrives and parks in the back 40 of the parking lot, the place was packed. I only needed sour cream, so I pass by the carts and start into the bustling mass chaos grocery store. I head straight for the sour cream isle. There are people (and their overflowing carts) all over the place. I start to navigate the maze of carts to slide between everyone to reach out and take the LAST CONTAINER of Land-0-Lakes low-fat sour cream. Right as my fingertips grasp the container some crazy ass blue haired grandma reaches for the last one... well, she didn't get it. I did! (mwahaha) So, she proceeds to say, "Um, I was going to take that." I said, "Sorry" and turned to slide my way back out throught the maze of people and carts. (The frantic energy in the store had already taught me, this isn't a time to be hospitible and giving). She reaches out and grabs my arm and says in a more forceful 'I'm the Grandma and you should give it to me' voice, "I need that sour cream."

Now, please remember that I am usually a fan of Grandmothers. They are usually smart and kind, loving and great contributors to society and children's lives alike. But... In this case I got the impression that this blue-haired terrorist thought it was ok to send me home without sour cream just because she was the elder and therefore should get first pick of the dismal sour cream selection.... Come on Grandma, survival of the fittest... I was faster, stronger, quicker, more nimble. Besides, if I go home and try to face my mother without this sour cream I very well may lose my life...

I simply replied, "So do I" and quickly manuvered my way back through the maze to go stand in a 45 min line to buy my one container of sour cream.

That was my first of many run ins on Thanksgiving Eve. One of my families glorious qualities is procrastination and last minute preparation. Therefore, we are usually those crazy ones out shopping for Thanksgiving dinner Wednesday evening. Thank goodness we are tough and fiesty.

Once again it's almost Thanksgiving and I know that Mom and Poppa will probably start making calls tomorrow evening (Wednesday Evening - aka Thanksgiving Eve) making Thanksgiving assignments. I am guessing I will probably get my famous Sausage Apple Stuffing and mashed potatoes (like last year). You would think that I would have tried to shop for everything by now, but instead I'm at work thinking that sometime late tomorrow night I should be able to get a quick list together and go brave the crowds.

I am planning ahead however. I have decided I am going to work out before I go, just to get the blood pumping. I might even tape on some tin-foil. (ask a hockey player if you aren't sure what that means). I most definately will be in my nikes and have my money/card in my pocket - purses just get in the way. I will probably listen to a little "game day music" on my way over, something like Metallica or Hell's Bells. I'll also put on my best "don't mess with me, its Thanksgiving Eve and I'm in a hurry" face.

But, Grandma's and Zoobies alike, beware.... I have a list and I'm willing to do what it takes to make sure I get all those ingredients so I can go home and LOVINGLY prepare a delicious feast for my family.

All in the "Spirit of the Season." :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Music - It Moves The Soul

So, I'm a sucker for music.... but its not a one sided love affair, it seems to like me an awful lot too. I seem to be really lucky when it comes to having music around at the right times and finding music that I really enjoy. This week seems to be more full of it than normal and I'm loving it.

First and foremost, the COLDPLAY CONCERT WAS AWESOME. We had good seats and the whole thing was a great show. The opening band was decent, the next act was interesting and intriguing. It wasn't a band at all, but a DJ that mixed live to a crazy wacked out animation. It lasted for 35 min, no joke. It was crazy, I couldn't tear my eyes away from it. But there were a few times that my head felt like it was going to explode. SneakAttack loved it... go figure, it was animation. Here is a link to a short clip:
The actual concert was mindblowing. Seriously, these guys sound incredible live. They are fantastically entertaining and their set/stage/lighting/etc is always great. SteakAttack isn't much of a dancer, but I think I grooved enough for the two of us. ColdPlay music just has a way of digging down into my core, it gets me...
Here is one of my favorite newer songs from them. "Lost!" This was filmed during this tour, so this is what the stage and things looked like.... absolutely awesome.

On top of the Coldplay concert, I also found another wonderful song that I fell for that day. Before the concert I was relaxing while SneakAttack was doing homework and he had music playing. At one point I woke up and thought "this song is so cute, so peaceful...." and I must have fallen back asleep. I told him about it last night and he was sweet enough to ask questions and figure out what song I was talking about. So, here it is folks.... enjoy.
"405" (Acoustic version) by Death Cab for Cutie

On Sunday I found a Sacrament Meeting up here in Salt Lake to drop in on. It was a pleasant little ward with a lot of old people. I don't think I saw a single teenager there and the High Priests blessed and passed sacrament. During the meeting there was a musical number. Apparently there is a composer who lives in the ward and he did an arrangement of "thanksgiving hymns." A woman performed this on the violin while he accompanied on the piano. To say it was absolutely gorgeous is a serious understatement. The spirit was strong from the very first touch of the piano and it carried through the entire piece. I loved feeling the passion of the song and the delicate ways it touched my heart. I sat there that day and felt as if I had recieved a gift, that it was sent just for me.... If I could I would listen to it a million time over and over.

This morning I got home from work and only had a few short hours to actually sleep in my bed before my alarm would go off and I had to head back up to Salt Lake. I haven't been home in days (although I'm not complaining AT ALL) and when my alarm went off I felt like I had hardly slept. I lay in bed for a minute and listened to the country music while I tried to pursuade myself to get out of bed. I always have my alarm set to country, country music warms my soul.... so if my alarm ever has to go off I would prefer it be country. ANYWAYS, I laid there and all the sudden I heard the first couple notes of MY SONG - The song I have loved from the moment I heard it, the song that is on just about every single playlist on my iPod, the song that makes me smile contently everytime I hear it.... Again, a little gift saying "Sara, I know you are tired sweetheart, but go ahead and get up... it will all be ok." So I laid there, listened... then got out of bed and started my day.... Here is a little piece of heaven, enjoy.
"Good Morning Beautiful" by Steve Holy.

And just because I'm feeling sappy....
Yes, makes me want to dance around in my underwear... (and pull you in for a good kiss babe, 8 days a week!)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

And then the Heavens Opened up and God said "I LOVE you Sara!"

Have you ever been at a time in your life when you think, "Please God, let it stay just like this. I don't think it could get much better."
I heard someone tell me one time that you are living right if every new year is the best year of your life... Well, if that is the case then I feel like I'm on the right track.
I owe some serious props to the man upstairs. Funny how he has a way of dropping things into your life and then you realize, there is no other way this would have happened without him being involved.
I woke up this morning and I wasn't just content... I was thrilled with where I am at and how things are going. Now if I can just keep them there... Part of me feels like things couldn't get any better, but then a small part of me keeps whispering, "Girl, this is only the beginning... Hold on tight, you are in for a great ride."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Give to the World and the World Gives Back -- In COLDPLAY TICKETS!!!

So, all that good energy I have been trying to put out into the universe has paid off...

Yesterday I was stalking facebook (as always... especially while being sick) and I see that one of my friends from long ago had a new status post: "Riley is stuck in Canada with an expired passport, therefore lowerbowl tickets to Coldplay concert in SLC are half price." I quickly posted on his wall, "Call me, re: coldplay tickets."

Well, he called... rattled off a horrendous story about being stuck in Canada without a passport to let him back into the states... and then quoted me a price. I told him I would call him right back, sought approval for my purchase from Owen and Emily and quickly called him back.
He answered "Hello?"
I answered "SOLD!!!"

I was so excited I couldn't lay back down to sleep. I quickly texted SneakAttack and told him to call me ASAP when he was done with class... Because of course he was going with me, he didn't have any choice in the matter. :) I got in the hottub, that usually calms me down... I tried to fall asleep, it didn't work.
I eventually dosed off and SneakAttack calls, finally done with class... I squeeked out a tired sounding "Hi!"
He says, "What's up? You ok? How you feeling?"
"I'm feeling good!! I'm stoked, you will never believe!! Well, um... how was class? Things good? (Trying to be polite)"
He is confused..."Yeah, class was good. WHAT'S UP?"
So I say... "You better not have plans Saturday night, but if you do you are cancelling them. You don't have plans do you? Saturday? Do you?...... (no answer)"
Finally I get, "No, nothing I can think of.... Why?"
And low and behold, he is excited... apparently he enjoys Coldplay as well... and we have sweet tickets!!!
(Thanks Riley, sorry you are stuck in Canada.....)

So, COLDPLAY HERE WE COME! I have been listening to Coldplay all morning... I remember going to their concert at Red Rocks Ampitheater (my favorite venue of all time) in Colorado in June of 2002 - it was AMAZING. It was probably the best concert I have ever been to, top 2 for sure.... They sound great live, awesome music, supurb atmosphere, fantastic presentation, etc, etc, etc...
Can't wait!!! (have fun with the playlist!! You won't be disappointed) (Someone else's take on Coldplay)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Being sick is BORING

So, tragedy has struck... and I have been sick. It usually takes A LOT to get this girl to say in bed. You are talking about a girl that has been known to gargle dayquil at work to numb her throat. I was raised on a farm, it takes a lot to keep me down. But, these past two days the gargling with dayquil happened while I was in bed. This one hit me, down and out...
Good news tho, it has been rather quick. I started feeling miserable Sunday afternoon and here it is Tuesday morning and I am feeling "acceptable." I still have a sore throat and my lymph nodes are only the size of walnuts (not golf balls anymore).
However, I am bored out of my mind!!! I have been stuck in the house and don't even have homework to do!! I have watched TV, stalked facebook, posted on my blog (hope you all are enjoying it), and BEGGED for entertainment... Honestly, I am going crazy here. I think today I may venture out for a walk, but i'm trying not to over do it.
I really really wanted to go to deep water aerobics today, but I figured that would probably wear me out and I would be flat on my back again. I really need to clean out the flowerbeds for "fall cleanup" but that would probably kill me off for sure. I really wanted SneakAttack to come down, cuddle with me and make me laugh like he is so good at doing... but that isnt' going to happen. So, what am I supposed to do?
Maybe it is a sign that I need to slow down in my life. I mean honestly, don't most people enjoy two days of "free time?" What is wrong with me that I can't enjoy watching TV for two days straight?? Oh well, its just how I am... I have always been like this. I don't see it changing anytime soon.
I think I am going to start writing out my Christmas lists... who gets what... start sucking up now folks.!! hahahaha. j/k j/k

Monday, November 17, 2008

I love my Heavenly Father by making pig nose faces during my Primary Presentation

Yesterday I had the privilage of watching my nephew, Paul, in his first primary program. He stood up there on the stand and was front and center. He kept looking over at all of us, so very proud to be there. We waved, and he waved. We gave him the thumbs up, and he gave us the thumbs up.
It was fun to see his personality, such an individual for such a little man!
At one point he was singing along with everyone else and looked over to see me mouthing the words and helping little Beau (his 1 year old little bro) wave his arms as if he was conducting the music. Paul burst out laughing, tipped his head back and covered his mouth with both hands. Quite a clown! After a few facial expressions encouraging him to continue singing he joined back in the rest of the primary....
It is always fun to hear the kids recite their parts of the program, some mumble, some laugh, some are really loud and some you can hardly hear.
Yesterday I noticed that we do a great job of brainwashing our primary kids. One class was asked to answer how they can show their love for Heavenly Father. Their prewritten responses were "I can show my Heavenly Father that I love him by cleaning my room and listening to my mother." "I can show my Heavenly Father that I love him by obeying my parents and helping with my brothers and sisters." "I can show my Heavenly Father I love him by doing what is right." Yes kids, that is right.... listen to your parents. That is ALL you need to know! haha.
In all seriousness tho, it was fun to hear the singing and listen to all the cute voices. Primary programs are a good break from the normal sacrament talks.
Besides, being able to watch Paul wave and sing was great. My favorite part was when I looked up at him and he was giving us his "pig nose and blood eyes" face.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tell Me Something Good

I am ashamed to admit that until I got a text from Mom late this afternoon I had forgotten what November 15th means to me and my family. One year ago today I sat at LifeFlight and at 6:15ish AM, I got a request to fly on a gun shot wound at a local Village Inn, we were cancelled and I didn't think anything more. I was almost half way home and I got a phone call from a hockey volunteer, "I don't know if you have been watching the news," he said, "but it's Ken."

Todd said he had been trying to get ahold of my parents but couldn't, I told him I would tell them. I immediately started calling my parents cell phones, alternating between the two as they didn't answer. I started to cry, then sob, then I became hysterical as I barreled down the highway at almost 100 mph and was still trying to get one of my parents to answer the darn phone.

Finally Poppa picked up, I was sobbing, I couldn't breathe. All I could say was, "Poppa, Ken's dead. Ken was killed, someone shot him. He's dead!"

The day continued, we called a team meeting and told the team. I remember when they walked in and I couldn't say anything. They could tell I had been crying but they all came in and sat down, waiting to be filled in on what could have caused the need for an Emergency Team Meeting. I heard one of the boys say, "Sara can't quit cleaning, that means its something bad."

It was bad. We missed him a lot that season. I wasn't used to seeing him day in and day out, so sometimes I just feel like he has been out of town for a long time. But I have felt the emptiness he left behind, especially in my Poppa. He was my Poppa's best friend.... I know he misses him terribly.

Today I got a text from Mom, "Pray for Ken today." I noticed the date.... November 15th, Ken's day... Then I got another text, "Pray for your Poppa."

I know Ken is in a better place. I know he misses us and he wishes he could comfort those here who love and miss him... But who really needs the prayers is Poppa. I know he longs for a friend that he enjoys like Ken. He misses the fun they had together and the connection they had.

Ken's personality was supportive, upbeat, encouraging, motivating... he always went a hundred miles per hour. He would always say, "Tell me something good!" Well Ken, something good.... Your influence and example. That was something good. I still think about you and how you would handle things, how things would be if you were here. I think about my Poppa and how much he misses you.

Thanks Ken, for everything... Be strong Poppa, we love you! Another good thing... Friendships like yours and Ken's don't end, they simply are put on hold for a little while till you are reunited.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The difference between boys and girls

As you all know, I have worked with men's collegiate hockey for the past eight years.... that involved going on DOZENS of road trips, mostly bus trips. During those times I was usually the ONLY girl. I'm not complaining, I can hold my own and usually we had a pretty darn good time.
Now I'm working at a local college and for the first time in almost 10 years I am working with a women's team... women's soccer to be exact. Now, to be even more honest, the entire team is 18-19 years old, except for maybe 4 or 5 girls who are a whopping 21 years old.
So, yesterday we embarked on a lovely roadtrip to freezing Helena, Montana. It was the first time I have ever traveled with girls. I didn't really expect, and therefore prepare myself, for the drastic differences between traveling with girls and boys.
I often refered to my hockey days as "herding kittens." Now, for any of you hockey players actually reading this, this is not a bad thing! It just simply means I felt like I was constantly trying to keep order when it was simply impossible. Often times I was "along for the ride" more than I was actually making anything happen... or so it felt. Road trips with the boys were always interesting... Here is how a typical road trip would work:

6:00 am - Sara trying to make sure all of her "kittens" have everything on the bus and they are all there.... Oh, and trying to make sure the "kittens" have everything they need and she has everything they have forgotten they need
6:30 am - Bus pulls out for who knows where, Kittens decide they want to watch a movie. Machine guns now echo over the speakers of the bus.
6:35 am - Kittens are all asleep, machine guns still blaring.
6:37 am - Sara put in iPod and falls asleep
7:42 am - Kittens wake Sara up wondering when we are going to stop for food. In an hour? Ok, Sara gives them some of her food to keep them quiet.
9:15 am - stop for food and bathroom breaks
9:32 am - Kittens have been watered, fed and are all back on the bus. Start another movie. Bombs and fighting noises echo through the bus.

Now, I'm not complaining, things were fun... traveling with 30 guys is definately an interesting experiance. I was exposed to endless "guy movies." (but I like guy movies, not a big deal). I would always tease them and say that statistically speaking it was finally time for ME to pick a movie, they would say "Ok, which one?" and I would say "the Notebook" just to get their reaction... of course we NEVER watched the Notebook.
I was introduced to "Gay Bob", a game that is played in the back of busses on hockey trips that no Mother or unsuspecting innocent bystander should ever even know about. It involves cards, male genitals, and lots of guys screaming and carrying on. Thank GOD I don't know the ins and outs of the rules... But I do know that every trip I would be awakened to "GAY BOOOOBBB!" being shouted out from these unruly gentleman every couple of minutes. I would shutter every time.

SOOO, imagine my amazement and wonder when I started my roadtrip with my women's team yesterday.....

We arrived at the school and carried our bags to the bus. The busdriver is very chivalrous and loads all of our bags for us. We simply hand them to him and he places them underneath, very orderly. I board the bus and quickly find my seat. We start our trip and IMMEDIATELY offers of homemade goodies start being passed around the bus... Michelle's Mom's Homemade Oreos, Corie's chow mix, Lisa's chocolate chip cookies.... "And there is more where this came from!!" shouts Heather!
We start down the highway and Heather pops up to my chair, "Sara, we are making friendship bracelets... What colors do you want?" As she holds up a huge ziplock bag full of thread. I choose my colors and she gives them to me on a pin to attach to the seat in front of me so I can join in the fun. Before I know it the girls have made about 10 bracelets FOR ME (to join my own). I have been the only one on this team to not have a wrist full of these things... until now. Apparently it is a "road trip tradition." We finish our bracelets and I politely decline the invitation to start another....
I put in my iPod and fall asleep.
I wake up to my chair being shaken around. I open one eye (with my iPod still serenading me) and realize the trembling is coming from one of our assistant coaches who is sitting in front of me and jumping around in HIS seat (remember, he's a guy). I notice he is watching the TVs, and getting quite annimated about what is going on, so I look up.. and a movie is on.... and IT IS THE NOTEBOOK!!! hahahahahhaa....
Yes, Ladies and Gentleman, for the next 5 hours we watched not one... but TWO total chick flicks. The Notebook, followed by A Walk To Remember.
Now, As Owen said (in a text message when I filled him in on all this... because I knew he would get a kick out of it...) "I'm usually not very sexist, you know this, but how are they supposed to muster their warrior spirit for regionals by watching the f*#%ing Notebook?" I don't know Owen.... I don't know.... I will tell you when I figure that out....
After our second movie ends we sit in silence and coach tells us all to "maybe do some homework, focus on our games" instead of putting in Kung Fu Panda like they are begging for... After about five minutes we hear music wafting up from the back of the bus. I turn around and there is one of our girls standing in the isle way with a boom box on her shoulder, music blarring and she is dancing up and down the isle. Before we know it half the bus has joined in the dance party and there is booty shaking and chorus lines and of course singing at the top of their lungs. The dance party continues for about 20 minutes until one girl extends the booty shaking to up where the coaches are sitting.... "Its about time we all sit down I think." Coach spoke, they listened.
Some of the girls come up and chat with the coaches and I. We talk about who is dating who, who broke up with who.... get the gossip and the latest on everything and soon enough we pull into town. The girls all wait patiently for their hotel keys, with NO COMPLAINING. What? No complaining? No way..... but it's true!!!
We check into our hotel and then promptly leave for a nice dinner at a local Steakhouse...

There ya have it kids, the difference between boys and girls.... just incase you were wondering.
It has been an interesting trip and I'm sure it will be even better today and tomorrow.
I will keep ya all posted, but until then... I'm off to go shower, then probably make another bracelet and join a dance party with my girls.

Come One, Come all!

Well, as many of you know... my life is pretty much an open book. I'll talk about anything and everything... and according to many of my precious friends, things seem to be quite interesting usually. (I promise it's not me... this wierd stuff just seeks me out!!) I have had many requests for a blog, so maybe it's time to give in. Hope you all enjoy it!