Wednesday, September 22, 2010

diary of a gimpy kid

Sunday, September 12, 2010

This photo was taken in September 2001.  Our morning started in the usual fashion, with me resisting waking up and the kids watching Barney on TV.  I lounged on the couch and contemplated any semblance of productivity in the day ahead.  I got a call from Cindy Zielke (a woman in my ward) telling me to turn on the TV.  The kids protested my changing the channel with incessant whining, but soon wandered/crawled around carte blanche while I tried to internalize the chaos I saw on almost every channel.  Like every other person in the world I couldn't stop watching. 

Trying to make any sense of the insanity, I called my brother John who worked in San Francisco for United Airlines and he told me that there were still other United Airlines planes yet unaccounted for.  

Then the plane hit the Pentagon.  How could anything breech the very symbol of the entire United States Military?  I was terrified and called my mom crying.   "Mom, they got the Pentagon!"  This confirmed that no target was off-limits, and I was consumed with panic.  We lived 15 minutes away from Fort Hood, TX, the biggest army base in the United States--what would preclude them from targeting that, too?  We went outside and I paced around on the phone in the parking lot while the kids played in the grass and my mom calmed me down and we talked for a long time.  Any real sense of security I felt before had been shattered.

Marc had just started an internal medicine rotation.  I paged him and he was finally able to call me back.  I begged him to come home to the kids and I.  He really didn't even have details of what was going on, since obviously people kept continuing to need medical care even though the country was falling apart.  No sitting in front of the TVs for these interns.  He said there was no way he could come home but would call me back soon. 

After a complete over-saturation of TV coverage, I remember finding solace in subsequent episodes of Barney, Bob the Builder, and Dora that day, holding my two babies close and praying for the people whose lives had changed forever, including ours. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

We had just moved to Temple, Texas, north of Austin.  Marc was just starting his five year radiology residency at Scott and White Hospital.  I was a young mother with two babies in a new apartment in Belton, [Chappell Oaks Apartments, I think].  

I had just quit my job as a pharmaceutical sales rep with TAP Pharmaceuticals in Tucson because we had moved and was transitioning into my stay-at-home-mom role.  I was lonely and hadn't established any friendships yet (but was starting a great one with Becky).  I didn't know any of our neighbors yet.  The bishop of our new ward (church congregation) and his wife had already been over to visit us and see how we were doing.  I still love that Bishop and Julie Atwood for that warm welcome that I desperately needed.   

I have a degree in International Relations from BYU.  Which means I took many classes on geopolitics, geography, international policy, and my favorite, Terrorism 301.  I was (and still am) fascinated by all the factions of global terrorists.   This also meant that I obsessed occasionally over whether or not my life would ever be impacted by extremists whose goal is to saturate and debilitate a society with terror.  Spending a semester in Madrid, Spain, opened my eyes to the power of the Basque Separatist terrorist organization, (called ETA) because my roommates were all Basque girls from Northern Spain. 

To be continued... 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

the retro peach room

This is clearly AFTER.  Camilla Wright striked (striken? stroke? struck? has striked?) again.  After a year of paralyzing indecision, guru Cami came on board and we had way more fun than we should have decorating the little girls' room. (maybe more fun than McWhatAboutRetirement? claimed we should).  

The color palette was inspired by the Martha Stewart tissue paper hanging pom poms (in the corner over the bed) that I used for Ellison's birthday party.  Why couldn't I use nudes, pinks, and corals together?   With three girls I was getting a little weary of pink everything, so the neutral yet feminine wall color {Dunn Edwards Retro Peach}was the perfect jumping off point.

Cami recovered the cushion of this chair that we found at a retro store in Phoenix.  I like a mix of different colored woods in a room.

The girls love it.  As well they should.  They'll grow into it, too, since it's not a "themed" room, so to speak.

My SIL Ashley turned me on to this bookcase.  The girls can see the COVERS of all their books, not just the spines.  It holds like 300 books--best purchase EVER. It came from an educational supply catalog that supplies school classrooms with bookcases.

This dark wood "whatnot" shelf was a Christmas gift from my dear Hoopes grandparents when I was about 10.  I finally absconded with it from my old room in El Centro this year.   I cherish it.

Cami found this dandelion light fixture from IKEA.  It's perfect and modern and you just go ahead and TRY to snap on all 200 PAPER flowers around the edges.  Which is why I tipped the electrician to do it.

Ellison's birthday pom poms set the color palette for the room.  I may or may not take them down soon.  Dust magnets, but fun.

Cami and I chose mostly Amy Butler and Heather Bailey fabrics for the pillows, with some standard burlap and velvets for texture.  If you need a cheap and FABULOUS seamstress, let me know.  She's a perfectionist with over 20 years of experience.  {Denise Snyder}.

The bedspreads are a standard khaki/white stripe ticking that I thought looked contemporary and neutral.  I copied these bedspreads from some that I saw in a model home 3 years ago--I love how the skirt goes all the way to the floor--no need for traditional bedskirts.  We'll see how they hold up....

I found these steel mini-stools at Domestic Bliss in Mesa for a bit of an industrial feel.  We've had the Target table forever.

I took the doors off the closet (in Caroline's room, too), and added the curtain for more of a "dressing room" vibe.

My friend Jamie Kraus from TX sent this darling wood cube to me as a baby gift for Charlotte.   Such an original keepsake.

Cami found these frames at Goodwill, antiquing, etc, and just spray painted them various colors.  She found some great antique china and silver accents here and there.

This lamp is from Home Goods--I can't even express to you how much I adore Home Goods.  Many of the knick-knacky things came from there as well.  They have great prices and super-varied inventory. 

The metal antique cream nightstand is a great contrast next to the white modern linear headboards [from West Elm].  I do love a mix of shabby-chic and modern. 

The long white shelf on the left is standard IKEA fare, dressed up a tad with Anthropologie brackets underneath.

I love Charlotte's little angel watching over her--I can't help but say the prayer "Now I lay me down to sleep...."

Cami also found these fun modern Russian nesting doll prints on Etsy.  Never underestimate the cool stuff on Etsy.

Eclectic.  Warm.  Unique.  Modern. 
And d.o.n.e.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

i know what you did last summer

Inspired by this book my friend Carol Fawson gave me (which her mom wrote), I decided before school got out that some summer goals were definitely in order.  Frankly, I was surprised at how well this system worked for us. 

If the kids even hinted at the "B word" {nope, not the one Ellison heard on the bus and blurted out at the dinner table}, I just scuttled them right over to their dandy summer goal sheets. 

No Boredom Allowed. 

The kids came up with most of their goals, but I had to put the kaibosh on a few ("get a pet lynx").

Incentives?  You bet your overachieving deriere.  They weren't buying my initial soliloquy on "achieving goals makes us feel proud and good about ourselves, etc etc etc etc etc" so we opted for Plan B. 

Upon completion of ALL summer goals, they got to pick a family activity that we normally don't do, like bowling, laser tag, etc.   OH YES, we'll be doing a repeat of this program next summer.

My main summer goal was to stay out of the clink.  Somehow I ran a yellow light (to be fair, it was a pretty flattering photo of me), somehow managed to miss driving school, and somehow just because of those two things the DMV saw fit to suspend my licence.  Boy howdy did I ever drive super carefully until I got that little plastic card reinstated [with the slightly fudged weight]. 

 Silver Lining Alert--How many kids in the 4th grade can say they their Room Mom makes good cupcakes AND is out on bail? 

Authority: 37    Karen: 0

Goals are good.