Friday, March 30, 2012

I like today.


I do this same thing every day. Oh wait, I don't. Ever.  Jamie shared this with me and I LOVED it because I think I need to hop up on my bathroom counter and start my day with some positive affirmations instead of pinching the fat on the back of my arms, getting annoyed when Liv takes a 12 minute nap when all the other moms boast and gloat about their 2-3 hour nap taking children, get frustrated because I feel allergic to myself and bugged and everything I am not and feeling jealous of everyone who is, spending hours on pinterest in some sick altered craft reality that will never come to pass and secretly swearing at the people in front of me at the grocery store line that are taking way too long.

Monday, March 26, 2012

What's your total today?

I love to laugh.  The average adult laughs on average of 3-5 times per day and the average child laughs over 150. What the heck happens to us? Talk about a horrible not funny statistic. You don't need to be doing a Doctoral thesis on laughter to see that validity of those statistics.  Any comedian can make it with children.  It doesn't have to be clever or witty or even funny for them to bust a gut.  Yesterday my two side kick neighbor boys ages 8 and 5 came over.  They are home schooled so coming over is like their exotic field trip.   I put on "Horton Hears a Hoo" for them and they were laughing so hard the youngest boy kept choking because he was laughing harder than he could breathe.  The older one came down the stairs with a very serious face and said, "Um, Chelsey I am feeling just real real bad for you right now." I asked him why and he responded, "Because I don't know if you know but you're house is really super small."  I was not aware.  Kids are so funny.

Don't you want to know what this lady is laughing at? I certainly do. Laughing wrinkles are supreme.

Liv is the best because she doesn't even understand English but she laughs like a she's got front row tickets to Brian Regan if I put a blanket over my face.  She's got the fastest humor threshold of any human alive. I love it.  Making her shriek with laughter is by far my favorite hobby.  
People need to laugh more. I need to laugh more. I love to laugh. I wonder how many times I could potentially laugh during the day and don't just because my humor receptors have been dulled and moldy by my crusty aging years.  I feel like laughing hard is like fresh air to your whole soul.  Life is way too short to be around fun suckers who don't make you want to laugh or laugh at you.  When we're commanded to be like little children, I wonder if that includes the laughter study and increasing our average daily laughs so that we allow ourselves to find humor and joy in the simple things. 

This life lesson brought to you by Liv Seibold. An apple a day may keep the Doctor away but laughing 150 times a day will keep from feeling like you hate your life away.  Don't go to bed until you find something to laugh at. If you can't think of anything, call my sister Em.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Some late night thoughts...

5 Things that I am wanting at 11:52 pm while I wait for the dryer to finish:
I think I'm out of the backpack stage but maybe I could have a stag beetle diaper bag. It would definitely make a statement in the mothers lounge. It's so dang funny to me.
Roses made out of bacon. Genius. They don't wilt, they have multiple purposes and are less expensive, not to mention extremely romantic.
I would like a finger monkey just for church. It would fit in my scripture case and I think it would be very entertaining and I could still pay meticulous attention, well at least for me.  Last Sunday during sacrament meeting when I was putting Liv's banana puffs in G's ear for her to fetch while he tried to give his laser beam like usual attention to the speaker he finally whispered, "Chel, you are acting like you are 3!" I whispered back, "Well you are acting like you are 80."  I love my reverent husband. I still want a church finger monkey.
 I want to get one of these for Liv. This is what we call an outfit investment. If G will grant his permission, I really am seriously considering buying this. It makes me laugh.
Why have I never thought of getting a clear toaster?  Burnt toast is always the incorrect way to start the day. Especially salvaged burnt toast where you make that really ugly sound scraping the black shrapnel off into the trash.  This invention solves it all.

4 quotes I'm liking right this second:

2 Things I am reading right now and loving:
1."The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin
2. "Increase in Learning" by David A. Bednar

2 People I am really loving and missing right this second:
 (Not missing her enough to wake her up but still missing her)

 While this is what he should be doing at night, this man is doing rectal exams, diagnosing diabetes and saving lives while the rest of the world (besides construction workers) drool away all night. I will not be sad to kiss the night rotation goodbye.

The dryer just finished but I think I am too tired to fold so instead I am going to cash in my chips and say goodbye to Saturday. Happy Sabbath, anyone is invited for dinner with a complimentary free squirrel show directly following the meal. Book your reservations now.

Squirrel consumption mystery solved...

 When I was in college I remember my Uncle James calling me barely able to contain his excitement as he invited on the change of a lifetime to go bird watching to have the life changing experience of sighting some rare owl that had been spotted in Sun Valley.  Now, let me make it very clear that I had no idea what I was signing up for.  First item of business the reader must understand is that my Uncle James is a genius. He has these laser beam blue eyes that when you speak to him makes you wish you would have read a few articles from the encyclopedia or at least looked up some bird names to throw out there when conversing.  When I thought of going bird watching, I took that description quite literally. See a bird and watch it for a couple minutes and then go somewhere fun to eat and maybe take a pic to remember the event.  How wrong I was.  We spent over 9 hours driving to find the "Surnia Ulula" which I will never forget, and when the heavens parted and the obsession was acquiesced by that white feathered friend finally showing up, we did anything but watch, click a pic and leave.  I felt like we worked for national geographic the way Uncle James was snapping pictures and exploding with intricate details about this flying phenom.  I will never forget that memory.  However, that experience taught me that I am indeed nowhere NEAR close to being a true bird watcher.   My ornithology data base of my brain are exhausted after naming 15 birds and that's counting  jay and blue jay. Anyway, the point is that I don't think bird watching in its true form is for me.  I have, however, found a new hobby involving natures creatures that is what I would consider a daily delight: Squirrels.
Our back porch is basically a squirrel public park eatery and I promote it at every opportunity.  Whatever we have for dinner, the squirrels have for breakfast.  Liv and I watch the squirrel fest every morning.  We have our regulars with names and sometimes they bring a new girlfriend and we watch in fascination as our favorite rodent friends dine with their tiny unclipped nailed paws. I feel like the squirrels of Bluefield and I have a very important relationship and they trust that I will provide and they will consume.  I think my heart goes out to them even more because they have to live here while I get to move.  I will not feel as much sympathy for Denver squirrels.  Anyway, for months and months I always leave out food for them after dinner.  Always. Sometimes I am shocked because usually whatever I have left out is always gone by morning so Liv and I bring out breakfast for the little guys.  I've always found it so interesting how there is never even a single crumb left when we wake up.  Now I know why.
A few nights ago I dumped a bag of chips on the porch outside.  G didn't say anything, but I could see his, "I am now exerting extra patience with my wife  and will refrain from saying anything" eyes.  I asked if there was a problem and he said, "Well babe, don't you think that's just a little ghetto to be dumping food on the porch like that?"  I first reminded me the state where we lived and then told him about my close relationship with the squirrel family and said that if he would like I would put it on a special squirrel plate with some hand sanitizer and a napkin next to it for fine dining purposes but I would not deny my duty to my furry friends.
Nothing more was said except for the next day when I sat out 4 raspberry filled doughnuts and G asked if I was intentionally giving the squirrels diabetes so they would fit in here. The next night I made about 7x more noodles for our spaghetti than I needed so I sat them in the dish on the porch even though I could tell it was crossing the "ghetto" boarder for my classy spouse.  I went to the store later that night and when I came home I opened the door and what should I see? But Garrett on the porch dumping the noodles off.   He started laughing and I yelled that he was caught red handed.  I asked if this was the first time he had done this. He said no. Suddenly it was all coming together.... all those times these past months that I thought hundreds of hungry squirrels were licking the plate clean having a midnight snack,  was secretly Garrett who was quietly trying to bring a touch of class (what's not classy about jelly doughnuts on your back porch in West Virginia?) and "de-ghettoify" his porch despite his wife's squirrel obsession. 

We then began yelling in a heated rage...Oh wait. Not. As much I would like to imagine having that kind of drama, it's hard when I married the King of Peace and someone with a severe allergy to conflict.  Sometimes when we're just laying in bed I say, "I just want to have a good fight."  G responds calmly, "Ok Chel, that sounds like a good time, why don't you pick us a topic."  It's the same way he responds to all my ludicrous immaturity...with calm logic. Have I mentioned lately that I married the perfect person for me?  I did.  I still feed the squirrels. Garrett tolerates it and no longer secretly disposes of their meals. He respects that I am the squirrel steward and wish to magnify my duty.  As the self appointed, "keeper of the squirrels," I know what is best for them. I figure they'd rather have diabetes and eat a raspberry jelly doughnut than live an extra 6 months eating boring nuts. I would.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring is springing...

 When I was in the car yesterday with my pet parrot who squawks and babbles constantly (also known as Liv) I saw one of these:
I don't think I've ever cared about daffodils in my whole life. Ever. But for some reason, seeing that daffodil was the perfect visual of how I was feeling.  It was warm outside. It was beautiful. I took Liv to the park and she squealed with so much delight at the introduction of the swing that I couldn't stop laughing and neither could all the people watching her.  Her complete euphoria and joy at being in the swing made every laugh because it was such as simple thing. 

I think the seasons are symbolic of our soul seasons.  I think I go through periods where I feel winter inside. Blah and gray, cold and icy and grumpy with shortened light periods and frozen windshield perspective.  I love when I feel summer inside, summer means happiness, carefree, eating green otter pops, warm nights and loving every second of smelling freshly cut grass with the windows rolled down driving.  I think the definition of physical spring is oh so appropriate for how I feel when I have spring in my soul.  According to our dear friend, Wikipedia describes spring as:

"One of the four temperate seasons, the transition period between winter and summer. Spring and "springtime" refer to the season, and broadly to ideas of rebirth, renewal and regrowth. The specific definition of the exact timing of "spring" varies according to local climate, cultures and customs."

My current climate, culture and customs inside myself are feeling so much hope and renewal.  It has been a long winter both outside and inside my soul and I am ready for spring.  I am so grateful for soul seasons.  

It is blowing my mind how slow life seems to pass when you are in the middle of a winter.  Time is going so fast. Too fast.  I loved this thought:

 I just realized after coming out of a "winter" season in myself how much better it feels to be filled with hope.  I want to go back and redo and restart and enjoy the days where I just felt like I was waiting for the day to be over.  The seasons are made of days and days are made of moments.  It's made me soak up the moments like a lizard sitting on a rock in St. George.  I felt like I went to Kroger with a whole new appreciation for the people that spent the entire afternoon chatting away like we had been friends since the sandbox.   It's made me want to lay on the floor extra long reading "Fuzzy Bee" and eating banana puffs with this blue eyed mini Gar 23 pound creature of joy:
I'm so thankful for spring. I love daffodils. I love sun and hope and transition.  I hope you are seeing daffodils and spring outside and more importantly, feeling some spring inside your guts. Every season has things to be learned and while I can never go back and re-season, I can say: 

I love change.  Ironically, The daffodils official real name is narcissus. Supposedly the story is that of the youth of Greek mythology called Narcissus, who, in at least one of many variations of the tale, became so obsessed with his own reflection as he kneeled and gazed into a pool of water that he fell into the water and drowned.The Narcissus plant first sprang from where he died. Tragic. Not really the story behind the happy yellow trumpeter of spring flower I was expecting.

Forget the conceited Greeky story.  The point is the same, when I get "winterized inside" and feel frozen by the white witch with discouragement or self pity, and focus all about Chel world I am miserable.  The Greek youth mytholocial being is not real, but I know that it's true. When I forget about all I want to complain about, there is springtime and hope and so much more room for joy. Bienvendios Spring!

The new home buyers to be....

So operation Denver continues on and I could not be more excited.  Since rent is pricey (and by pricey I mean ridiculous) G and I have talked about buying a little place for the next few years.  I have no idea how to do this.  I called a Denver realtor yesterday who looked nice in her picture and she answered saying, "This is Marie, how can I help you?"  I said, "Hello Marie, I would like to buy a house."  As soon as I said it I realized that you probably don't buy a house like you order moo goo gai pan from a Chinese take out. I have been learning a lot about the house buying process and Marie and I are probably going to get best friend necklaces after this whole thing is over.  Anyway, she asked what we were looking for and so I thought of a few things on our very limited budget that were a "must" (ha).
  For starters, G and I love porches and fireplaces. Why not combine them? Duh. It's a no brainer.
How do people NOT have a lazy river in their downstairs? Talk about genius. You can cancel your seven peaks pass and save money. This is far more economical in the long run. 

The classic slide/stair combo is imperative for those wanting to make their transportation to different floors more enjoyable and also out of respect for those guests who may have recently had knee surgery and can't climb stairs.
Now here's an economical idea, an underground garage with a secret car.  Why waste garage space filling it up with cars when you can have one of these? 
Washing hands is fun again with real live goldfish in the sink.
How do more people NOT have an inflatable lawn tent? Think of the possibilities...

What about a bowling alley in the basement with faces of everyone in your family painted on the lanes? Talk about family night activity deluxe.
Why not celebrate valentines day all year round with a little love pool in the backyard? 
Obviously Marie was not prepared for all my exceptional suggestions so I kept them in my brain for later.  Even though we may end up just having regular old stairs instead of a slide and a normal garage for our cars, it's still exciting to think about owning a home.
Unless Marie can find us the indoor bowling family face ally, we may have to settle for frequent trips to the public park for our recreation... 
Have I mentioned that I love the two humans with me in this picture no matter where we live? I do.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ahem, an important announcement.....

The city you see above is called Denver Colorado, aka topographical salvation, the best place on Earth, the mile high city, not Bluefield. In the middle of our vacation, G had an interview at a very impressive residency in downtown Denver.  There were so many applicants that it has been over a month since we applied but that didn't stop me from making it as frequent as "please bless the food" in my daily prayers.  The offered him the second year position at the conclusion of his two day interview!  Let me simplify this, WE ARE MOVING TO DENVER! Did you get that?  I am smiling as I type it.  I feel like I lost 120 pounds. We are returning to civilization.  Walmart will no longer be my only option for recreational activity and cultural refinement.  This is a blessing of extremely large proportions.  As soon as I picked up Garrett from the airport we got a strawberry milkshake to celebrate.
I also thought we should celebrate the fact that on the way to pick up Garrett I got a Florida warning instead of a $400 speeding ticket. Yes. Let's celebrate that too.  The conversation went a little something like this:
Policeman who looks like Gaston from Beauty and the Beast:  Mam do you know why I pulled you over?
Me: I would say speeding.
Police: Yes, that's correct. I need to see your license and registration.
Me: Ok, Here's all the things from the glove compartment (I hand him a large stack of papers, tickets, receipts and miscellaneous items)
Police: Um, mam if you'll hold out your hands I'll give you back everything I don't need.
Me: That sounds great. While you're sorting through everything I would like to apologize for speeding.  I'm really wishing I didn't do that. A lot.
Police: Silence. Cold stare. I feel like I'm trying to bond with a Gargoyle.  He then finishes handing me back my Disneyworld brochure, registration, McDonalds receipt and strength of youth pamplet. I really need to organize that for next time this sort of thing happens....

(After about 10 minutes of him looking up all my sins on his fancy car computer he finally returns with his hardcore flaslight. I've never understood what takes so long, I mean heck don't they just type in my name and it says if I'm wanted for murder or drunk driving and then either arrest me or give me my ticket.  I just think we could speed up the whole process.  I think they just sit in their cars for a few extra minutes playing "Words with friends" just to drag out the anticipation)

Police: Mam, you were going 20 miles over the speed limit and you didn't stop fully at the stop sign. I don't know what its like where you're from in West Virginia but here in Florida that is 7 points on your record and you're lookin at a 400 fine.
Me: I'm not from West Virginia. I actually hate that state and I'm trying to move which is why I'm trying to pick up my husband who is in Denver trying to get a job so we can leave that place.
Police: So I don't know West Virginia's policy but here in Florida you need to come to a complete stop.
Me: I don't know West Virgina's policy either because like I said, I'm really not from there. 
Police: I don't care where you're from. Why do you have that look on your face?
Me: Well, Officer I just think $400 is a lot of money. I mean a LOT of money and I don't think my husband is going to be thrilled and I really need to go pick him up.  He's very responsible.
Police: Is that why you were speeding?
Me: I didn't know I was speeding because I didn't know the speed limit but now I know I was speeding and I feel really sorry that I did that because I don't like to break the law, especially on vacation.
Police: Well slow down and it doesn't matter if you're here in Florida or when you go back to where you're from in West Virginia, you need to slow way down.
Me: I'm not from West Virginia.

It went on and on but I finally escaped unscathed with a warning.  The mercy definitely merited a strawberry shake.
I don't know why we are so blessed. I really don't. We are saturated in blessings and they just keep pouring in.  Denver feels like the perfect place for us. I could be a Broncos fan. I can be an anything fan pertaining to us moving.  It will be so amazing for G and for me.  We really are blessing hogs wallowing in our mire of tender mercies and blessings galore.
I am so excited I don't even know how to express my sentiments. More information to come....

Some things we learned on our vacation...

I learned a few things while at the Babich all inclusive resort of love.
1. How to braise lamb shanks. Rosemary is actually a plant, not just the flakes in the jar.
2. These two people would give Mother Teresa a run for her money.  I have never seen such generosity.  It was like hospitality on steroids.  I mentioned that I like the cocoa almonds they had downstairs and when I woke up the next morning, what did my eyes behold but a bowl of the cocoa almonds right next to my bed (next to the peanut m&ms that were already there).
 3. David is very funny to play games with and everyone should enjoy a round of golf with them both.
4. No one does laundry like Aunt Eveleen. No one.  I have never seen clothes folded so meticulously and smell so nice.  I never thought there was an art to laundry until I witnessed the master at work.
5. Think of the most gourmet deluxe tastebud tingling thing you have ever eaten and then times that by oh say by a gizillion and then you will be in the ballpark of how Uncle David cooks.  I should have taken a picture and documented every meal.
6. I am so grateful to be on the same family tree as these unselfish, fun, Christlike human beings forever.

Liv the lizard hunter...

We spent at least a little time each day by the pool doing exactly what all our fellow lizards were doing..soaking up sun.  While it was snowing in Bluefield, we were applying sunscreen in Orlando.  I was letting Liv crawl around and when she started squealing, I realized she had a new hobby....lizard hunting.  She was successful...twice.

I was laughing hard. Don't worry, G had her wash her hands.

Universally a fantastic time...

Thursday we went to visit Harry; as in Harry Potter.  We thought we would go see him at Hogwarts and we were not regretting our decision.  Even though G closed his eyes because he gets motion sickness like a woman in her first trimester times ten, it was still an unforgettable day.

 The pictures all talked. The castle itself was mind boggeling.  There is no way to describe the ride so I will not attempt to use words.
We ate at Jurassic Park and enjoyed the other Universal Studio attractions.