Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's a baby day

Today has been a day of babies ... wanted and not wanted. My beautiful niece was born this morning. She is the wanted one. She is a healthy 8lb 2 oz baby named Eleanor Stephanie Ann Johnson. She has the middle name I never did. I am touched that Pat and Kate would use my name and both of their Mom's (Ann is both of their Mom's middle name.) If I could have chosen a middle name for myself (and who knows maybe one day I will get it) it would be Anne. I cannot wait to meet her. I cried when I heard her name. I am very happy and touched. A nice touch to try and make her my favorite!!

Then about 15 minutes after I got the text about El, I was sitting in my office (this is the part about unwanted babies) and a coworker walked in to give me something. He paused, looked at the floor and asked "What is that on your floor?" I looked down to see the second biggest spider I have ever seen in my lifetime (the biggest was a tarantula that my cousin used to have as a pet ... a pet spider? hm) He was closer to the spider monster, and I am wearing opened toe shoes, so I asked him to step on it. He paused to look at it ... I cowered like a little girl. Now before you call PETSCT (People for the Ethical Treatment of Stupid Crawly Things) on me, I have a strict rule about crawling things: If it is in my living space I can kill it, if I am in its living space I leave it alone. It was all up in my living space right then. So he stepped on it ... and ... shudder ... little spiders scrambled. Like 30 of them. I am still sick about it. It was so gross and my skin is crawling. I am torn between having guilt at killing little babies, and elation at not having to kill them myself!! Enter in a whole scenario where I screamed, my coworker stepped on the little spiders, another coworker got Raid, and everyone came running to see why I had screamed. I am not afraid of spiders, I will kill them, but this scenario might have been bigger than me. A few shots of Raid, a vacuum, and my inhaler later ... all is well! Gross, but well. Have you seen Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets? You know when Aragog's descendants scamper after Harry and Ron in the forest? Picture that only on my carpet, and with baby spiders. My skin is still crawling. Still crawling. Still. Crawling. Still. I think you get the picture.

So today has been a baby day. Welcome Ellie! I need to come up with a blog name for her. I am think Elsa.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A blog tease

I was invited to be insisted on being a guest blogger on my sister’s blog. The blog post is coming. I will keep you in the loop when it is done. So here is the deal with Sister. Not only does she work full time as a mother, she works part time as a technical writer, she owns her own online business AND she could not be more talented when it comes to crafting, sewing, quilting, raising her kids, decorating her beautiful house, sewing, being a good person, helping whenever someone needs help, sewing and sewing. Want to know what I am not talented at? Crafting, sewing, quilting, raising my kids, decorating my house (yet), sewing, sewing, or sewing. (I am good at being a relatively good person and helping when someone is in need, so I can own that.) Sewing and crafting in any form cause me anxiety. Mom and Sister do it without problem. Colleen, in fact, can make stuff up when sewing. The purse I am carrying around that kind of looks like this but with a buckle not a bow? She just made it up! What? Yup. My last purse, she made it up. My wallet? She made that up too, and named it after me. I do not get it. I can sew on a button without any help. What? Yup. So I am in awe of her. Did I mention she can crochet too? I did not. We were at a family reunion last Sunday and I had to tease her because she was sitting having a conversation with our cousin (they are both in their early 30’s) and they were crocheting like a bunch of old women. Bless her.

So when I told her about this blog idea for her successful {The Busy Bean} blog I was super excited when she said yes! A few weeks ago I went down to her place in Egypt and we sewed for the evening on a repurposing sewing project so easy even I could do it. I learned a lot, like A LOT!! For example, did you know that if you tack down the seam it will not bunch? I did not. Also did you know that if you serge an edge it will not fray? So if you are looking for a frayed look this is not the right sewing option. I did not know that. I did, however, know that good music and great company make any project better (can you say Fresh Prince?!) It was a fun night. I love the project we made and have worn it more than once and it is has not fallen apart like the other similar project I made. Spoiler alert, it is a skirt.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What I'll Miss

After high school I moved to Chicago to be a nanny and, though I lived with the family I nannied for, I was in a separate "wing" of the house. I lived with a missionary companion every day in Michigan (sometimes 2-3 comps at a time.) When I moved home I lived in a home with 3 of my siblings until they moved out one by one because they got married. Then my folks were moving home from Seattle and moved into the house with the one remaining un-married brother and I. We have lived this way for a while now. So I have been in a home with people my whole life. Next week I start moving out into my own brand-spanking old house. Alone. I was getting ready for work this morning and had many many different thoughts running through my head.

"Seriously, you are 35 and still live with your folks?"
"Get off my back, I they moved in with me."
"Stop fighting, random head voices!!"
"I do not have anything of my own any more to care for a house!!"
"I need new ... EVERYTHING!"
"Crate & Barrel needs to open stat!"
"I am going to miss so many things that go along with living with my Mom ... like shopping in her food storage."
"I need a vacuum."
"I do not have a microwave oven."
"I'll need to buy q-tips."
"You are single, what the crap are you going to do with 5 bedrooms?!"
"The wallpaper needs to go stat!!"
"Can I live with the ceiling for a while?
"Of course you can, you need a new microwave!"
"You need to find a roommate for the basement."
"Where would you find a roommate that you know you could stand to live with? You have issues, sis!!"
"How odd do you think you are going to look mowing your lawn riding the mower wearing a surgical mask because you are allergic to grass?"
"Cable or satellite?"
"That house is going to be seriously empty ... you have no furniture."
"Why are you suddenly talking to yourself in the second person?"
"At least it is not third person, she says."

Mostly I will miss the comforts of a well established home. A stock pile of toothpaste and soap, a vacuum and broom, dish towels, food, a home cooked meal when I get home from work, a microwave oven and q-tips. I have to go shopping. I hate shopping! That sounded negative. You know the cure for this? Ikea.

Monday, August 22, 2011

#60 - See Mount Rushmore

Yes I know my 101 is technically done, but I am so going to continue to do all of them even if I did not do them in the timeline.

#60 was to see Mount Rushmore. I went last weekend with my folks and a friend. I will blog more about it once I have caught up, but I wanted to share just one pic.
I found out when I got home that my favorite family from Chicago (no offense to everyone else from Chi, but they did feed me for 4 years) will be there this week. Seriously? My timing sucks! I would have loved to see my boys for any reason! D - if you read this before you go - enjoy my friend!! Can't wait to compare notes!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Let the good ducks roll

I have a pal who works for Make-A-Wish foundation here in Utah. Every year they have their Rubber Ducky Derby. This fundraiser helps to raise money to help fund the wishes of sick children. I have to be honest, when I was a kid I always hoped someone would submit my name to Make-A-Wish so I could go to Disneyland. Then I found out you had to be really sick to have a Wish granted, and stopped hoping someone would submit my name.

Anyway, back to the point. Craig is looking to raise some money this year. If you are interested in sponsoring some ducks the link is here. There are many ranges of support from $6 on up. No amount is too small I say, because it all adds up. There is a very small chance that your duck could win the race and you could win ... something. Not the point of it all, but still prizes are cool. The deadline to donate to this duck derby is 8/19 at noon.

Highly recommend.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Green Head of Jealousy

I am not one who gets jealous a lot. I have bouts of envy from time to time. But usually I just am happy for the fortunes of others. Usually. From time to time, I get the green (pun intended) head of jealousy.

I now have been jealous of my mom twice in a week. Jealousy 1: We had tickets to see Idina Menzel with the Utah Symphony in Deer Valley. When we walked in there were camp chair set up. I asked what they were for because we were told that chairs were not allowed. I was told they were ADA seating. I asked how people get them because my mom has cancer and sitting on the ground was not ideal (what a good daughter!) They gave us 2 tickets to sit there. Well since Kate is 8 months pregnant, she got the other seat. I was so jealous I was seeing green (again, with the pun for Idina.) They were so close they got these great pics during the bows.

Side note, the concert was so great even from the cheap seats!!

So jealousy #2? Mom will be in Chicago today for a week. My Chicago. My town. Mine. I want to go to there too. My boys are there. I am jealous. Jealous of my folks' 2 week vacation, jealous Mom will be in Chicago for a week while Dad is at a conference in Iowa (to be honest I am not really sure if that is where he is), and still a little jealous that she was so close to Idina! I know, grow up Steph. Two of my favorite things in a week and my Mom gets them.

There is a side of me that some of you have never seen (or read) but there you have it. Of course on the flip side, I could not be happier that Mom and Kate did not have to sit on the ground and that she gets to see Chicago, and that I get to meet up with her in South Dakota in a week. I also got to be at the concert, who cares if I could see her well. And I did get to live in Chicago for 4 years. I think we all know what needs to happen now. I just need to go get a pizza from Sweet Home Chicago Pizzaria here in Utah. I think I shall. Who is in? Monday night?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Presidential Challenge

A few things to note: I am a HUGE political junkie and fat!! So when I heard this morning that the President of the United States wanted to push his fitness challenge I was ALL IN!! Are you kidding me? The chance to get a certificate that the President will personally sign and send me (it may looks like a stamp on it and one may think a staffer might send it out, but I know the truth!) So I signed up today.

The concept is to move 30 minutes a day, for 5 days a week, for 8 weeks. (For kids it should be 60 minutes a day.) This is a challenge for anyone, regardless of current fitness level.

Since I also know that I do better when I have the encouragement of friends in a group, I started a group: Drama Queens. I kept it a private group, so people I knew could join and it would be a little more manageable. So if you too are interested in getting a major award from the President himself, and would like to join me in this group, I would love to have you.

Check out the challenge site here: The President's Challenge

If you want an invite to the private group (it will not be found doing a public search on the site) leave me a message here with your email address. I will not publish it on my blog, but will invite you to the group. Comments with no email address will be published on the blog.

Let's Move!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Mean Girls

I had a memory hit me today from when I was younger and lived in Washington. We were picking berries so my Mom could make jam. My siblings and I all went to the patch where we could pick as many as we could. After we had been there for a while my bag was pretty full. We were getting ready to leave and some older girls asked me if they could see how many I had picked. I showed them my bag, pretty excited that I had so many. I think you can guess what happened next. Those mean girls took my bag of berries. I remember feeling like a failure for not being able to give Mom berries. I remember crying. Mean girls suck.

Mean girls still suck.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Huh ... Now that was a dream

I had this dream last night that just cannot not be put on the blog. (Grammar check Bean?)

I was at home resting on the floor when my friend Margo from Chicago walked in. We were talking and rested on the floor a little while longer and then decided to get some dinner because the people in my house were being annoying. I ordered a hot dog and the guy making the food bit my hot dog in half before putting it in the bun. He ate half and then tried to give me the rest. I felt anxious about this. So I thanked him for his kindness but could not eat the dog and left. Margo and I went to the local high school where Margo turned into Candice, you know in dreams people suddenly are other people? We were attending a fund raiser. In walked Punky Brewster and her little friend Cherie, only they were adults. Tricky part was? The people were the actors who played Blossom and Rudy Huxtable. Candice and I were the only ones who accepted that these women were Punky Brewster and Cherie. Everyone else thought they were just people there to watch the fund raiser. People became rude to Punky Brewster and Cherie and I felt like I needed to defend them. The entire dream felt chaotic. When I woke up my thought was "I really need to clean my room."

Some finer points to focus on: I have not seen Margo in probably 10 years. The people in my house were not my family, they were annoying strangers. I would never lay on the floor to rest. I would never order a hot dog because I am allergic to pork. I would not thank a man for eating half of my food and then trying to serve it to me; I would give him the business end of a talking too. I loved Punky Brewster, Blossom, and The Cosby's so to have them mixed up in a dream seem rather chaotic to me. I do need to clean my room because I could not find something in it yesterday which is probably why I felt I needed to clean my room.


Monday, August 1, 2011

101 ... Time's Up

I have been working on 101 goals, and the time limit I set for myself ended yesterday. I am pleasantly pleased by how many of them I was able to do. And I am not giving up, I have a few of the things scheduled, such as a trip to see Mount Rushmore in 2 weeks and fishing in 4 weeks. Some of the goals were just not realistically feasible because people moved or just did not have time to get with them to do what needed to be done. I learned a lot from it. I had a ball doing a lot of it (i.e. trip to Boulder and cruise to Europe!!) I would do it again. Not all of my goals were accomplished in the time I had set (i.e. I just graduated) but they were accomplished, so I crossed them off. Thanks again to Wretch for inspiring me! Love to copy you in so many things (see future post about me playing in the rain this weekend with my nieces!)

I was able to finish 72 out of 101, C average?! Yeck yes! Some of the goals were not finished, but are close (i.e. watching all of the Oscar winning films from over the years) So the final list with things crossed off is below:

Starting Date: Tuesday, November 1, 2008

Ending Date: Tuesday, July 30, 2011

Short Term (within the month of November)

1. Make the List

2. Get a pedicure

3. Get a facial

4. Deep clean the house for Mom’s return

5. Vote

6. Clean and organize bedroom

Long Term (Before the end of 2009)

7. Graduate from College

8. Write 7 PLA essay

9. Take a class to improve computer skills

10. Design plans for improvements to new home

11. Blog daily for a month one thing I am grateful for

Long Term (Before the end of 2010)

12. Direct another play

13. Take a continuing education class

14. Take a dance class

15. Visit teach monthly 100%

16. Participate in one civic event as a volunteer


17. Tell one member of my family a week that I love them

18. Start a date night with the nieces once a month

19. Eat all currently frozen Power Cooking meals

20. Make new Power Cooling meals

21. Plan and execute a Family Reunion

22. Cook a Thanksgiving Dinner

23. Host a Hanukkah party yearly with a new food to try


24. Participate in a Girl’s Night Out quarterly

25. Have an afternoon tea with the girls at The Grand

26. Learn a new skill from a friend

27. Organize a friend’s service project

28. Plan a surprise J&JDOF

29. Have a ba/grl party where I have to invite a man

30. Host a cheese night


31. Reach insurance goal weight by October 2009

32. Reach goal weight by the end of this list time

33. Get my dream 90 minute massage from Hutch

34. Get a hot rock massage from Lisa Jo

35. Plan a menu for a month and adhere to it

36. Read 4 health books (3/4)

37. Invest in 4 new exercise videos (4/4)

38. Get a bra fitting

39. Replace clothing as it becomes unflatteringly too large

40. Plan a weekly exercise schedule until October 2009 and stick to it

41. Train for and participate in a sprint tri by 2011

42. Exercise with someone new to learn a new workout

43. Clean out shoe closet and get old shoes repaired or thrown out

44. Get a new pair of great running shoes

45. Yearly tune up for bike

46. Take a tai chi class

47. Learn yoga


48. Clean and organize every drawer in kitchen

49. Buy all of “my dishes” by the end of 2009

50. Donate unused items to DI

51. Organize DVDs and get shelving for them

52. Buy 2 new book shelves and organize books

53. Keep bedroom/office organized and clean for an entire month

54. Have laptop fixed

55. Make a meal for home once a month


56. Go on a rafting trip with Tonya

57. Plan a trip to Boulder Colorado for 2009

58. Visit one national park I have never been to

59. Plan my next cruise for 2011

60. See Mount Rushmore

61. Go to Vegas with Candice and eat one of “her” steaks

62. See one of Brady’s plays

63. See one of Dylan’s games (or visit D at school in case of injury)

64. Go fishing

65. Road trip to St. George

Personal Growth

66. Study the Book of Mormon each year with a different learning theme in mind

67. Say morning prayers daily for a month

68. Say evening prayers daily for a month

69. Read one good book a month after college graduation

70. Have Mom teach me how to make the baby blankets/rags

71. Have Colleen teach me to knit

72. Volunteer for a political campaign locally

73. Join a book club

74. Start a mini enrichment class at church

75. Do all of the required reading for one class in school

76. Read the weekly lessons for a month at church


77. Plan a budget for 2009

78. Add $150 from each paycheck to savings

79. Invest in a stock

80. Ask for a raise

81. Take a class on economics

82. Pay off credit card debt by end of 2010

83. Consolidate student loans

84. Pay off car


85. Go to the Zoo

86. Go to the Aquarium

87. Visit a new museum once a year

88. Write a policy and procedure manual for work

89. Submit payroll policy manual for work

90. See a school production, a community production, a regional production, and a professional production (4/4)

91. Paint a picture with the help of Liz

92. Take a skiing lesson

Personal Enjoyment

93. See all of the Oscar Winning Best Picture Films as available from Blockbuster cue 53/83

94. See all of the Best Picture Nominee Films for 2009

95. Go to the Sundance Film Festival; see at least one Sundance film

96. Audition for 4 plays or musicals (2/4)

97. Try 2 new places to eat next Done O’Round

98. Stay overnight at one of the really nice hotels downtown

99. See a movie in the theater once a month

100. Hold “Award Show” parties for the big 4 in 2009

101. Have a spa day