Monday, July 30, 2007

Tagged Again

Shanna tagged me again, so here are a few more tidbits about me.

Four jobs I've had:
1. Restaurant Manager
2. Relay Operator for the Utah Relay Service for the Deaf
3. Massage Therapist
4. Balloon Delivery for a party supply store

Four places I've lived:
1. Torrance, California
2. Kennewick, Washington
3. Noble, Oklahoma
4. Bountiful, Utah

Four Favorite T.V. Shows:
1. CSI in all its forms
2. Bones
3. Blood Ties
4. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Four Favorite Foods:
1. Canteloupe with cottage cheese
2. Mexican anything
3. Vegetables straight from the garden
4. Pizza and ice cream

Four Websites I Frequent (Besides blogs???):
1. Latter-Day Authors - LDS writers site
2. The NoteBored - A writers support site
3. Acclaim Images - great place to find character images
4. Novel Journey - Technically a blog, but is made up of interviews with various christian authors. I've had great inspiration from this site.

Four Bloggers I Tag Next:
1. Chocolate Daydreams
2. Confessions of a Lifelong Bookworm
3. Girl in a Whirl
4. Life of a Story Engineer

Quote of the Day: "Sure, it's simple, writing for kids… Just as simple as bringing them up." - Ursula K. LeGuin

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Learning to breathe again

I'm not even sure where to start with things here, which is the primary reason I haven't updated my blog in over a week. As I said in my previous post, my trip was bittersweet. We finally met my sons' birth brother, the boy we've tried for almost two years to adopt ourselves and it just wouldn't happen. One of those things where our hearts were in the right place, but it wasn't in God's plan. I'm happy for his birth family and know he's where he needs to be, but there's a small part of me that desperately wishes he could be with his brothers.

After Kansas we headed down to Oklahoma. It was strange. I felt lost in my hometown. Things were familiarly unfamiliar. Does that make any kind of sense? Every once in a while I'd get a flash of something and go "oooh, I remember that", and ten seconds later I was lost again. I think the hardest part was the heaviness that still weighs down Oklahoma City, even twelve years after the bombing. It took me days of feeling pretty low to finally figure out the sadness was coming from outside of me, not within. I was living in a wounded city, a place that had taken a major blow and still had the scar to prove it.

We visited the bombing site one day and I wish I'd been able to spend more time there to process it all, if that's even possible. There were beautiful glass and metal chairs with the names of each of the victims etched in them. They seemed to stretch on forever, some large and some small and it nearly broke my heart to see and fully realize the price that city had paid. The price those families had paid. It seemed so unfair that I was able to go home and relive my childhood when they would never see another day. I've never been so close to violence like that and it has affected me profoundly. I find things that were so important before to be suddenly very trivial and I'm not sure how to resolve the issues it has brought up. I'll find my answers in time, I hope - some of them at least - but I will carry those feelings with me for a lifetime.

There were a few bright spots toward the end of the trip. I spent an entire day all by myself in the small town of Noble where I grew up. That place was very familiar. It finally felt like I'd come home. I took about four hundred pictures while there. I literally drove down the street with my camera out the window snapping pictures as fast as I could. I stopped at a local restaurant for some lunch and made a few phone calls, one of which was to my old friend Ursula. We were best friends from fourth through the beginning of eighth grade. We set up a time to get together with our families the next day for dinner and talked a little about how strange it was to be back after twenty-three years. Well, when I finished eating lunch, I went to pay and the waitress told me the lady sitting in the booth behind me had paid for my lunch. Evidently she wanted to welcome me home in her own sweet, southern way. It made my day and the rest of the trip went well.

That's the Oklahoma I remember. That one simple act resolved the differences between the past and the present and I finally felt at home. It was amazing. Seeing Ursula the next day and meeting her wonderful son was just the icing on the cake. It was almost as if we'd never been apart. I love those kinds of friends. They are so few and precious.

I'm adjusting to home life again, but still carrying the weight of realization that hit me there, though I did finally start to get some inspiration on my stories again. Hopefully something will pan out here soon. If I can just slow down enough to get a breath, maybe I can write again. Here's hoping!

Quote for the Day: "There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you." - Z.N. Hurston

Friday, July 20, 2007

I'm back. Oklahoma was bittersweet with all the memories of childhood and tragedy of twelve years gone. I've got to go back to work in the bakery tomorrow morning at 4:30, so it's off to bed for me. I'll post some pictures and talk about events tomorrow, but in the meantime, here's a fun little test I got from Shanna's blog.

You Are Periwinkle
You're very intuitive and sensitive. You often know other people better than they know themselves.You're also quite optimistic, and you think well of yourself and others. You know your dreams will come true.
What Color Blue Are You?

Quote of the day: "Write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I'm not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter." - Neil Gaiman

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Worlds of Fun

It's been a busy two days in Kansas City. We spent yesterday in Independence, Missouri at the visitors center and met a sweet missionary from Orem named Sister Johnson. She took us all around the center and was great with my hyperactive, ADD kids. I took a picture of the RLDS (or is it the church of christ now?) temple across from the visitors center, just because it looked kind of cool. It wasn't there last time I visited Independence. Of course that was over 20 years ago. A lot can change in that kind of time. I had a friend who was a missionary in Independence when they were building it so I've been hearing about it for years, but this was the first chance I'd had to actually see it. Different, but kind of cool.

Today we spent time at Worlds of Fun amusement park, which I totally remember from my childhood. It was strange being there as an adult, but just as fun, though I didn't get to ride as much as I'd like.

My favorite ride had to have been "The Spinning Dragon" roller coaster. You have four seats per car, two facing each other, and the car spins as it goes the normal coaster route. My eight year old was totally excited until that first drop. He was facing me and as soon as the bottom dropped, he screamed and didn't stop the whole ride, his face totally screwed up in terror. About half way through he started yelling "Mom, help me! Help me!" I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. What was I going to do? Stand up and yell "Stop the ride!" I was as stuck as he was. I hated to see his little face so terrified, but I personally loved the ride. I would have gone again if I could have. Poor Birdy almost cried as we finally slowed down and rather empahtically said "I am NEVER going to ride that thing again!" I believed him.

Everyone loved the water rides, of course, and I took the kids on several of the kiddie rides while Dad rode a few extra coasters. He then insisted that I ride one of the tallest coasters in the world called "The Mamba". It goes 75 miles an hour in parts and has a 205 foot drop! Scary but toally awesome! Wow, it was great. I laughed the whole ride. I'm sure the kids in front of me thought I'd completely lost it, but I didn't care. If the family hadn't been waiting for me when I climbed off, I would have run around and gone again.

So that was my day. Tomorrow we are going to see the boys birth brother whom they've never met. We're all very excited. It should be a lot of fun. After that we're heading to Oklahoma. Only one more night and I'll be home! I can hardly wait!

Monday, July 9, 2007


I'm leaving for Kansas and Oklahoma tomorrow so it will be hit and miss on the blogging for a couple of weeks. I'm pretty sure I've got wireless access at the hotels, but I'm not positive. If I do, I'll update you guys on what we're doing and post a few pictures. Just wanted ya'll to know I haven 't forgotten you! I'll be back!

Thursday, July 5, 2007


Well, that's just weird. As recommended on Tristi Pinkston's blog (, I took the sandwich quiz. It turns out I'm a ham sandwich. What's freakish is that it's actually pretty much right on for me. Very strange.

You Are a Ham Sandwich

You are quiet, understated, and a great comfort to all of your friends.Over time, you have proven yourself as loyal and steadfast.And you are by no means boring. You do well in any situation - from fancy to laid back.
Your best friend: The Turkey Sandwich
Your mortal enemy: The Grilled Cheese Sandwich

In other news, the anniversary was wonderful. We stayed in the Carribbean Sea Cave at the Logan Anniversary Inn. We both fell in love with the room and decided we wanted a boat bed and a watefall jacuzzi tub. Here's a few pictures from the room:

This is on the ceiling. Amazing, isn't it?

That's the door to the right and the bedframe center and left. Check out the artwork!

Here's the boat bed. Cool, eh?

And here's the happy couple. There wasn't anybody around to take the picture, so I did it myself. Not bad for a first try, if I do say so myself.

The fourth of July was a little anticlimactic after last year's fire. Not that I'm complaining! It was just strange. Every so often I'd look at the clock and think "The fire alarm went off about this time last year" or "The fire engines showed up about now".

I know I've mentioned the fire before, but for those of you who don't know the details, here's the short version: the boys decided they hadn't had enough fireworks last year and snuck a box of matches up to their room. Where they got them from, I don't know, as I thought I had all the matches locked away. Regardless, they found them and started their own miniature fires in the carpet, then would blow them out before it got out of hand.

Evidently that got boring, because next they set the curtains on fire. Unfortunately for them, the curtains were a basic cotton cloth went "whoosh" in a heartbeat.

About the time they started to scream, the smoke detector went off. I ran upstairs, already seeing the orange glow from under the door. I threw it open, yanked them out, ran downstairs, grabbed the phone, dialed 911 while I ran outside for the hose, talked to the dispatcher and got the hose unscrewed about the same time. I tossed the phone, ran back in the house with the hose stretched up the stairs. It just barely reached to put me in the doorway of their room. I yelled for my mom to turn on the water, several times, and finally it came on. I squirted it across the room and had the fire out within three minutes of the time I found it.

My kids were understandably a little freaked out, but were more worried about their new stuffed animals getting burned up than anything. I don't think it really hit them how serious it was until I went away in the ambulance. I had a little bit of smoke inhallation and the EMTs wanted to make sure it hadn't gotten in my lungs. I was fine, but as I left, the neighbors later told me that the kids started sobbing.

It was the scariest thing that's ever happened to me. My heart still races when I remember the shock of seeing the orange glow from under the door, the smoke detector screaming with the kids.

I'll never look at Independence Day the same again. For me, it has become something personal. Not to minimize the freedoms our country has fought so dilligently for, but that day has for me also become a day of fighting for my family, of freeing my children from the harm they themselves had created. It was a day of lessons learned and of bonding with my boys in a way we hadn't before. The finally knew they were staying. They did about the worst they could do, and still we kept them. We didn't send them away like they'd always feared. No, we not only kept them, we loved them and taught them about choice and accountability and repentance.

Through the fire, their hearts finally found a home.