28 September 2008


Colby had a fun post on her blog this week about "Project Mortified" (I think that's what it's called, at least) - where you look through your old journals / poetry / stories / letters from when you were young and publicly share some of the embarrassing writing that makes up who you are. I think that this is a terrific idea! I'm always up for some public humiliation! In fact, my kids' favorite way to pass the time is hearing about the embarrassing stories of my childhood - and they usually get me to tell these embarrassing stories to their friends as well!!

Anyway, as I read Colby's post and determined that I would also participate in this project, I knew exactly what journal entry I wanted to find - I have the perfect "Mortified" story!! I spent the afternoon yesterday reading through my old journals to find the entry. Unfortunately, as I searched through my box of journals, I realized that the journal from that particular time period is missing!! That means you get a bonus, because I'm going to tell you about my mortifying moment, and then I will also share a snippet from one of the journals I have as well - Wow! A two-fer!!

Okay, so probably the most embarrassing, mortifying moment of my entire life was when I was in 9th grade. We had just moved from Rock Springs to Cheyenne (Wyoming), and I was just starting to get to know people and make friends. Well, one day, after school, I was standing around with one of my new friends, Amy, while we waited for our parents to come pick us up. (We had stayed after school for an extra band practice.) We were the only 2 people still waiting for our rides, and we were a little bit bored and getting silly, so while we waited, we started making fun of this really silly commercial that was on the radio all of the time. It was for the E.P.T. pregnancy test, and it was a bunch of girls saying "Mike, I hope I'm pregnant" "Bob, what if I'm pregnant?" "Bryan, I think I'm pregnant..." (etc.) So we were quoting the commercial and really hamming it up. I got all melodramatic and said (rather loudly), "Bryan, I think I'm pregnant!" Suddenly, Amy's face went absolutely white and she got this panicked look on her face. I asked what was wrong, and she couldn't even speak - just pointed behind me. So I turned around and was absolutely MORTIFIED to see Bryan Bell standing right behind me!!!! I had just met him that morning (maybe it was the day before, but I think it was that day), so we didn't know each other very well - and he was incredibly freaked out that I would be "sharing" such personal information with him!!! I really wanted to sink into the floor! Of course, I had to quickly explain to him that it was NOT what he was thinking - the last thing I needed at my brand-new school was for the rumors to start flying! Here we are, 17 years later, and when I think of "the most embarrassing thing that has happened to me in my life," that one still tops the list!

Of course, I found plenty of "mortifying" moments in the pages of my old journals. I think that the hardest part of this whole thing is narrowing it down and trying to figure out what to post for all to see and laugh about!! I think that I will have to go with an installment of a story that a friend and I were writing together. We were really bored one day and writing notes back and forth in school, and Jenni wrote, "Did you know that Jack threw Jill down the hill and got himself in trouble with George because he loved Jill. Then George's dad didn't want Jill even near George and so he went to Jill's house and made Jan, Jill's sister go to the mountains and eat with the hungry bears. Then Veronica got mad at George because Jan was her best friend, she was so mad and then Veronica went right over to George's house and gave him some of her mind and then she couldn't think anymore! So she wandered around the countryside lonely until...." Jenni left the story for me to add to, and of course I did, and we passed the story back and forth for weeks! Of course, it got more and more bizarre with each installment, and we managed to work in the guys we had crushes on and all kinds of weird "romantic" episodes. The funny thing is, I was fighting with the guy she had a crush on (don't remember why, but I swore up and down that I would never speak to him again for as long as I lived), so I kept trying to write him out of the story. Meanwhile, apparently, I had a ton of different guys that I was "in love with" and they all had to have a part in the story, but Jenni really didn't like one of them, so she kept trying to turn him into the villain.....

So here is one page out of our "masterpiece"!! (In case you can't read this lovely scanned image, I will transcribe:)


"I'll just start with the story. "Oh no! cried Jenni... "She really is crazy! Everyone's always saying that she is, but I never thought they were serious!" "What's wrong with being crazy?" Chris, Jason and Kenya all yelled together. "Vern wouldn't be Vern if she wasnt' crazy!" "I'm sorry people," the policeman interrupted, "but we came to arrest someone, so one of you is coming with us! We don't know which one of you is guilty, but I think Vern had every right to try to kill Jon. It's obvious that she's telling the truth, but we can see Jenni and Jon's point of view too. Who should we arrest? I know. You! - You're under arrest. You have the right to remain silent. If you don't want to be silent, you can talk." They grabbed Toby's arms and dragged him off into the woods. He was protesting all the way. As soon as they were gone, Vern ran to Chris and thanked him. Then..... Your turn! What happens next?


Let me just say, this was truly a masterpiece! It's hard to believe that such an amazing work of fiction was written by two 9th-grade girls in between classes, isn't it???

Thanks, Colby, for sending me on this stroll down memory lane with all of the grins and giggles it produced along the way!!

16 September 2008

The Importance of Friendship

My friends and family are the most important things in the world to me. I try to always be there for my friends, no matter what, and I know I have friends who would do the same for me. (It amazes me how easily I arranged babysitting for my kids for my trip to Maryland next week! I thought that it was going to take a monstrous effort with lots of schedule juggling and bribery, but all it took was a couple of phone calls! In fact, I wound up with more people willing to help out than I actually needed!! Thanks guys!!)

I must admit, though, that my level of commitment to my friends didn't actually hit me until tonight. At about 8:00 tonight, as I was tucking my kids into bed (it was a late night for us - they're usually in bed by 7:00, but I was chatting with Phil about houses on the webcam and lost track of the time), the phone rang. It was my good friend, Elizabeth. She was playing a game with the Officer's Spouses club, and they needed to know the address for the U-Fix-It shop on base. Of course, none of them knew the address, but Elizabeth remembered that it was just down the street from me, so she called. I couldn't remember the address either, and it was dark enough that I couldn't see clearly to count how many houses were between my house and the U-Fix-It shop. So what did I do? I set down the phone, slipped on some flip-flops, grabbed a flashlight and ran down to the end of the block to read the address for her!

No big deal, right? Okay, so if you know me well, you know that I am terrified of being outside in the dark! If I forget to turn my sprinkler off before the sun fully sets, it stays on until morning, because I start hyperventilating when I think of going out to my porch (with the porch light on) to turn off the hose! Yet, my friend called to ask a favor, and without even thinking about it, I not only went outside in the dark, but because it was too dark to see clearly between my house and the end of the block, I ran through the shadows all the way to the end of the block, among the vacant lots and abandoned houses to get an address so that Elizabeth could get a few extra points in her game!!! Then, I ran back home and gave her the address and hung up the phone. And only then did it hit me what I had just done! Maybe that should have been an empowering moment, when I realized that it is incredibly silly to have such an irrational fear of the dark. Perhaps it should help me to get over this silly fear, so that I can go outside and turn off the sprinkler that is still running before I go to bed.... But, yeah, that's not what happened. No, instead, here I sit in awe and wonder that I would do something so completely out of character just because a friend needed my help! (I may or may not gather the courage to go out and turn off the sprinkler that is still on in my yard tonight.) I guess friendship really is a powerfully motivating force!

12 September 2008

I Want to Write a Song!

People always tell me that I have an amazing voice. It didn't come easily. I practice singing all the time. (My dad told me, when I was a little girl, that if I practiced every day, I would be able to have that beautiful singing voice that I wanted, and so I have!) I love to sing, and I hope it doesn't sound conceited, but I freely admit that I do actually have a great voice - it's an amazing talent that I like to share as much as possible, so I'm always ready to join a choir or sing a solo whenever I'm asked. Again, I'm not trying to brag, but I think people like to hear me sing as much as I like to sing for them!

I have even had people tell me that I should sing professionally. I've had total strangers advise me to audition for America's Top Idol (that doesn't seem right - what is the name of that show? - anyway, I'm sure you know which one I'm talking about). When Phil was at DLI, one of his classmates heard me singing lullabies to Ben and said that I put him to sleep too - which might not sound like a compliment, unless you take into consideration the fact that this guy had a really bad case of insomnia. He hadn't been able to sleep for about a week, and he was so tired that all he wanted was a good nap! But every time he tried to sleep, he just couldn't keep his eyes closed. He told Phil that, listening to me sing, he had the best rest he'd had for weeks!

Anyway, every time someone suggests that I might consider trying to make a career out of singing, I have always just kind of shrugged it off. I can't see myself as a famous person. I'm just little old me, quietly filling up the background and trying not to stand out in the crowd. I don't think I would even know what to do if the spotlight was on me!

Still, there is that part of me that really wants to try. I remember when I was in Jr. High School, and my sister and cousins and I decided that we would form a band and become famous singers. We wrote a song together and practiced hard - and everyone said that it was really good.... until we got in a fight over some silly little thing, and I tore up the music and stormed off. (Who knows? Maybe we would have been something great...) Ever since, I have wanted to try it again, but I haven't ever really had the courage to make the attempt.

Lately, I've been thinking about it a lot. I've found myself listening almost exclusively to music by artists who write their own songs, and I keep thinking, "what if?" I don't think I'll ever be famous - I have no clue as to how someone even goes about recording an actual cd. I wouldn't even know how to start that process. (I really can't see myself auditioning for one of those reality show competitions - since I can't even bring myself to watch them!!) Still, it would be cool to write songs.

Last year, I got to write the songs for our ward roadshow (for church), and I had so much fun in the process. I didn't write the music, I just put my own lyrics to music that people already knew (mostly Primary songs), but I was pretty proud of the lyrics I came up with - and everyone told me that it was really good. And I used to write poetry that people told me was pretty good - so I think I could write lyrics for a song....

Recently, I tried my hand a little bit at composing music too. There is a song that was written for our Stake Young Women's camp when I was 12 years old - I love this song! Anyway, the lady who wrote it for our Young Women (I think she was in the Stake Young Women's presidency) gave us the lyrics and taught us the melody so that we could all sing it together, but as far as I know, she never wrote out the music for the song. Over the years, I have wished on several occasions that I had the music so that someone could accompany me on the piano while I sang the song. So, finally, I decided to try it myself. I bought a program for my computer for composing music. You can put in the notes, and it will play it back for you so that you know what it sounds like. I played around with it, singing along with the computer until I got the notes, the rhythms and the tempo just right for the entire melody. Then, it occurred to me that I have never seen a piano accompaniment for a song that didn't have some notes for the left hand to play to fill in the sounds... So I spent a few weeks composing the rest of the accompaniment - and it turned out great! Right now, I am in the process of trying to learn how to play it myself, and it's pretty difficult, but I'm confident that eventually, I can learn it.

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a Time Out for Women event in Sacramento. It's put on by Deseret Books, and if you've never heard of it (I hadn't until my friends told me that I should come with them), let me just tell you that it is such an amazing experience! If you ever have the opportunity, you need to make sure to go! (They also have Time Out for Couples and Time Out for Women & Girls - something to fit just about anyone!) It was a 2-day event, filled with musical numbers and inspirational speakers and a generous dose of the Spirit! As I listened to Kenneth Cope and Cherie Call singing their amazing songs, it reawakened my dream of writing music. I have so much to be grateful for - so many blessings that I have been given - and mere words never seem to be adequate to express my gratitude. So I have been thinking about it all week, and I've finally decided that I'm just going to jump in! I'm going to start writing songs. Maybe they will be amazing masterpieces, or maybe they won't be any good at all, but I'll never know if I don't try it, will I?

01 September 2008

I'm So Loved!!

I was sick this weekend. I caught the yucky bug that seems to be going around here lately. All of my friends and/or their children have been sick in the past couple of weeks - starting the night before school started. Actually, I guess I'm a bit surprised that I managed to avoid catching the bug for as long as I did, but it hit me pretty hard this weekend. I was wiped out - didn't get to do anything fun!! I had to stay home from church yesterday, because I felt like I was going to pass out or throw up or both every time I got out of bed. You know me, it's like torture to stay home from church. - And of course, I always feel guilty for not being there to fulfill my calling or to take my children to church....

Well, I must say that I was very proud of Rebekah. Knowing that I was sick and couldn't take her to church didn't quench her determination to make it there. She got all dressed and ready to go, and then she picked up the phone and called my friend, Elizabeth, to ask for a ride! (Ben then tagged along, so he got to go to church too.) -- Katie would have done the same, but she was sick too, so I wouldn't let her go to church, and she wasn't very happy about that!! It always makes me so proud to see that my kids have their priorities straight. I don't know if I would have been that dedicated at age 6....

Anyway, I feel extremely loved. Elizabeth not only gave my children a ride to and from church, but then she brought me dinner so that I didn't have to cook - and when she dropped it off, she stayed and washed my dishes for me!! Wow! Talk about spoiled! Maybe I should get sick more often! (Just kidding - it's not worth it, even for that!)

Elizabeth wasn't the only one, though. I had TWO other friends call to check on me and to offer to bring me dinner or whatever else I needed in order to feel better. (Thanks Regina and Barb!) I guess sometimes the Lord gives us trials in order to remind us how lucky and blessed and loved we truly are!!