Wednesday, February 18, 2009

From the Chronicles of My Life's Most Embarrassing Moments

I've decided to share with you some of those times in my life when my face turned red. I don't know what is possessing me to do this, but go ahead and enjoy my discomfort. Here's the first installment:

The year was 1994 and I was a junior in college. It was summertime. (I loved going to BYU so much that I stayed and went to summer school instead of going home. Is that normal?). Going to school in the summer was intense but I managed to squeeze in quite a bit of fun. And a serious crush.

We'll call him Chuck (because that's his name). Chuck and I did a lot of group activities with our friends: went to the drive-in, jumped off bridges into water
of questionable cleanliness, had giant wrestling matches on mattresses in my living room, drove to Manti for the pageant--all kinds of fun stuff. And through it all Chuck and I would flirt endlessly. I liked him, but, of course, was sure he didn't like me.

As smitten girls are wont to do, I started thinking about him during my classes and hoping I'd go home to find a message of his on my answering machine. I doodled his name intermittently in my class notes. I doodled my name with his last name. *Cringe* I think I even named our children and wrote their names in my notebook. I was head-over-heels.

It started to seem like maybe Chuck liked me, too.
Although he didn't ask me out on a "real date," Chuck would frequently come over and visit when I got home from working my custodial job on campus (9 pm). We could and would spend hours chatting about anything and everything (exept slavery--we quickly discovered that was a topic not to be touched; Chuck was from the South and had a completely different take on the Civil War than this Yankee). But I digress.

So, Chuck was over one night and we were studying/talking/flirting. At one point, he reached over and grabbed my notebook to see what kinds of things I was studying. I thought nothing of it. Until he started leafing through it's pages and stopped on a page of doodles. And by that, I mean my doodles of names. I was horrified. I grabbed notebook, snapped it shut and clutched it to my chest.

Chuck choked on a laugh, "What was that?" he asked. I remember thinking, How can I get out of this? and then realizing that there was no way I could get out of it. The boy I had a terrible crush on had actually seen my "Mendy Simpson" doodles in my English notes! I wanted to die. Instead, I sat in petrified silence and then opted to confess.

It turned out to be fine. I'm pretty sure he already knew I liked him and he didn't immediately run screaming from the room (in fact, he kept coming back); I think he liked me, too. But for a moment there, I dreamed of a natural disaster hitting my apartment and making it possible that I'd never have to look at Chuck again.
And boy, was my face red!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

How Many Have You Done?

I found this on Jenny's blog and thought it might be fun!
The things on the list that are red are the things I have done.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a Praying Mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in movie
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

100. Talked your way out of a ticket

That's 58 for me. I was close to some others--like, I've been to Venice, but was too cheap to pay for a gondola ride. And I've been to the Great Salt Lake many times, but there is no way I am going to let that water touch my nearly-naked body. Yuck!

Anyway, it was fun. Who says a woman has to give up everything to be a homemaker? I've done lots of exciting things!

Which ones have you done?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Flashback Friday!

I believe you know that I am a Mormon girl, dear friend and devoted reader. And I think you know that once upon a time, I was one of those Mormon missionaries. You know that I went to Romania and lived there as a missionary for sixteen months.

But did you know that I never even considered that I would go to Romania? It's true.

When you decide to go on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you don't choose where you'll go. God does. You fill out some extensive paperwork which includes notes from your ecclesiastical leaders, results from your doctor's/dentist's physical examinations, and some basic get-to-know-you stuff.

Certainly, the forms have a section where you are supposed to list any foreign languages you've studied. I noted my French minor in the provided space.

I knew that having previous exposure to a language didn't guarantee being sent to a country where that language was spoken. And I wanted to be thrilled with wherever I was sent. I used to sing myself the "Fifty Nifty United States" song and stop to think of something good about each state. I wanted to have a positive association with wherever I was going to go. I tried to think of all the francophone places in the world and do the same thing. Then, I thought about all the Spanish-speaking places in the world. Then, Portuguese. And so on. I really thought of everywhere possible (or so I thought).

Well, my mission call (the letter saying where/when you will leave on your mission) came one day at the end of my junior year of college. My little brother, Jared, lived in the same apartment complex I did and I wanted to wait for him to open it with me. I also had to go to work, so I stashed it under my mattress and ran out the door.

When I got home, I walked into a huge party in my honor. My best friend, Melissa, had called together many of our friends, decorated our apartment--complete with a "Mendy the Missionary" banner-- and baked a cake in honor of my big night. She also made a huge map of the world upon which everyone had to write their guesses as to where I'd be going. After all the guesses were written, it was time for the big reveal.

When I went to retrieve my letter from under my mattress, I discovered that it was gone. Jared knew me too well and he had confiscated it! No worries, he hadn't opened it or allowed anyone else to have a peek.

Once I had the envelope in my hand, I opened it. I remember looking and seeing the word, "Romania," and thinking Oh my goodness, that is so cool! I never even thought of Romania. I felt shock, joy, and excitement all at once. Quickly, another thought entered my mind, What language do they speak in Romania? Further down the letter, the answer was revealed: Romanian. Oh, duh.

I don't know who took this first photo, but it is my reaction the moment I read my call. Even though it is a really goofy photo of me, I quite love it. I am so excited in it and you can see how happy Melissa is for me.

The next photo is a group shot I took of my friends who came to help me celebrate that night. I may not have kept in touch with all of them, but I am sure glad they were there to help make the night I opened my mission call a memorable one.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Back on the Wagon...Baby Steps

I know, I know. I've been remiss again. Part of it's busyness with life, part of it is the fact that I left my camera in PA last time I was at my parents', but neither is a great excuse. I'm sorry.

In an effort to get me to post on my blog, my friend Angela tagged me. Here goes:

This is the 4th picture in the 4th file located in "Pictures."

This photo was taken in 2007 at the US Dept. of Agriculture's Field Day. My family loves loves loves this day and we make it a point to go every year (except that one year when they decided not to do it--sad).

On their grounds, the Dept. of Agriculture sets out all this big farm equipment and big tents. The kids can climb on the giant tractors, push all the buttons and pull all the levers. Inside the tents, there are educational stations set up for kids and adults to enjoy. In this photo, Maia is doing some kind of hands-on science thing while her little sisters look on.

It's important to note that the things my kids associate most with the Field Day are the snacks. One year, we all ate chocolate-covered crickets and another year, Michael and the kids all ate chocolate-covered cicadas!

Quotation of the Month

There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.

-Jill Churchill