Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What She Really Looks Like

Right out of the womb!
So, not as scary as my little post before, but I have a feeling Little Bean #2 will be more photogenic by the time I see her in a couple of hours.
Hooray for a baby!

You Can't Throw a Rock without Hitting One of 'Em

Many of you out there know I come from a rather large family-- not the immediate family, of course, as my parents were only blessed with three darling children-- there are plenty of the Sego persuasion in the greater Albuquerque Metro area. Everyone wants a slice of the dynasty (T.C., I'm talking to you, you little kiss-up!).
And now, we can add one more to the New Mexican Mormon Royalty:

Just kidding. This is not Paizlee. She's actually in the birthing process even as I type. I just think this picture is so awful! Sometimes I buy old pictures, especially if the people are creepy. Yesterday, I asked Ben if he'd still love P if she looked like this. He must not have been in a joking mood, because he said this little demon was cute. Then I suggested we send this picture out as a preliminary birth announcement. He looked at me like he'd kill me. But, they don't read my blog, right? Just kidding. Anyway, I promise a picture of little Paizlee (or Peas-ly, as Zoey calls her) as soon as I get up to the hospital later. I'm excited to see what she really does look like, and I'm hoping she'll wait a while before head-butting me like her older sister does.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I'm no longer Regina George

As many of you may recall, it was about a year ago I was wallowing in the depths of self-despair. Right now, I've got to chuckle a bit, because I remember starting a post off in a similar manner a year after H told me I "wasn't physically attractive." Oh, how stupid that all seems now, but believe me-- that memory still affects me every day. And now, though I can't be bothered to go back and dredge up the memories by looking at old posts or journal entries, it was about this time of year that I had that whole, "I'm hitting rock bottom" experience. I think I'm actually a little early on this, and because the ordeal pretty much went from September through the end of December, we could commemorate for a whole season, but why bother? I'm just saying, THAT stage of my life has been on my mind recently, moving me to reflection and evaluation.
But it's not what you might think from your sappy Rachel-- it's not like I'm losing sleep any more, trying to figure out how in the world my life will go on, or any such dramatics (most of the time-- I guess it would be lying to pretend like that's never happened, even though it's much less frequent these days). Mostly, I've been thinking about the aftermath, and how I'm kind of "recovering from recovering." Oops. Vague enough?
Let me try again. The most tragic thing about last year's heartbreak wasn't that it sent me into such a state as to need medicinal help, nor was it feeling like I'd never recover. It wasn't the sense of having a vital organ missing, leaving a whole in my chest cavity (at least through the year, I've gotten some sense of my heart's existence, even if the manifestations feel like the sensations of a phantom limb) or having to let all my publics see me crumble again and again. Those things weren't fun, but if there's one thing I regret about it all, it was my reaction to everything, inasmuch as I found myself being meaner than the "Mean Girls" of Tina Fey fame. I don't know if I was looking for power or revenge or satisfaction in feeling anything, but I think about how mean I was to a couple of people, and I really regret it.
That's not to say I don't still end up being a little mean sometimes. Unfortunately, I am, though I'm glad it's no longer this intentional delight from unmerciful teasing. I've long ago stopped stomping around, acting like some entitled Queen of the World. I really snapped out of it ages ago, I think, but it's taken me a while to see just how crazy my behavior was for a while. Not that this is a confessional, but for heaven's sake! I dated a guy just because I thought it would hurt someone else. When I heard people thought I was evil, I laughed and tried to prove them right. And when I realized how seriously bizarre I was acting, I couldn't blame it on an alien abduction or temporary insanity (though I sometimes felt like I was losing my mind, I was never insane, though it would have been a convenient excuse). When I temporarily lost myself, I could have lost so much more. Fortunately, my friends were good enough to give me the benefit of the doubt and stick by me through it, and I hope now I'm proving myself a more-worthy companion.
To sum up--
* I no longer take pleasure in other people's pain.
* I stopped playing on people's loyalties and acting the part of the martyr (I hope).
* When people don't like me, or double-cross me, or call for my head on a platter, I've moved past vengeance. I do what I can to rectify the situation, but I've also learned to not lose sleep over it anymore.
* I am once again comfortable in my own skin, because even though I make myriad mistakes-- DAILY-- my intentions are good and kind. So now, the old, dead, hardened-heart is gone, and it still beats for someone else in its tale-tell way, but I think I'm growing a new one.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Auntie Maimed

So last night I had to cancel all of my social plans (read: choir I would have skipped anyway, dinner with J.R., and/or hanging out with Lou and A-- an invitation that sounded marvelous, by the way) because shortly after blogging yesterday, I tried once again to convince Z the orange and green shirt was a better option than the crusty Thomas t-shirt, and she totally head-butted me. In the mouth. So now I have this gross, bruised lip. I kinda cut my lip on my teeth, and swelled up like a blow fish, and so I elected to stay home, do laundry, and watch episode after episode of Gossip Girl, Season 2. By the way-- they killed Bart?!?!? I know this is old news for everyone else on the planet, but I was really surprised. I thought at the end of the previous episode that Lilly would just nurse him back to health post-accident. I'd even forgotten about him, so the funeral was a shock.
Anyway, I had a dentist appointment today. Normally Dr. Soto says, "Wow! You've got beautiful teeth," which is one of the reasons I like going to see him. That, and he's a super nice man and a great dentist. But today, there were no teeth compliments. He just said, "Whoa! What happened to your lip?" I told him about Zoey going all WWE on me, and he said, "It's a good thing you have that permanent retainer, or she might have knocked your teeth out." Then, he told me a story about one of his other patients who'd been kicked in the mouth while changing her grandson's diaper. She thought everything was fine, but after about a month, her tooth was totally discolored because her gums bled internally and blah, blah, blah. You know, after all the time, effort and expense I've put into my mouth, I'm gonna be pretty mad if I end up with a black tooth. Or even a grey one. Yuck.
In the car on the way to take Z to meet up with her parents, I said, "Zoey, I love you, but now Aunt Rachel won't be able to do any kissing tonight." So I guess she felt bad and when I left and gave her a hug, she gave me a big, wet kiss on the mouth. It hurt, but I love that little monster.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Which Came First? Chicken/Egg

I'm hatching a plan even as I type. But like a baby chick struggling out of the egg, I'd best not "help" it by talking too much yet. Wouldn't want it to end up dead because it never developed the necessary strength. Let's just say the incubation process is interesting, and I'm trying to appreciate it. In the past, I've spent my time on too many developed chickens. I'm hoping by letting mother nature take its course on this one, that things might work out better.
A few quick, unrelated notes:
*Went to the fair (briefly) last night with Lou. I love Lou! She was the best part of the evening, though there were other highlights. Like remembering DC locking himself out of his car a year ago, and seeing the youngest boy ever to sport girl jeans and emo hair (he was seriously like 8 years old). Unfortunately, it was crowded with the world's trashiest people, the fried food gave me indigestion and I didn't meet any nice Polish carnis. I did spit in the general direction of the rude people selling Russian merchandise (because they have been consistently rude to me in fairs and craft-shows past with their superiority attitude, claiming that Poland doesn't produce any amber {lies, you KGB scum!} and what not) but I don't think they noticed. I didn't feel like getting all political at the fair.
*Zoey has been sweet, but naughty today. She threw a big fit when I tried to get her to change out of her filthy "choo-choo" shirt (Thomas the Engine) and into something clean that matched her orange, stretchy pants. She cried like I'd beaten her to death, then I cried for being so insensitive. This child gives me lots of love, but she sometimes makes me doubt my fitness for parenthood. Not that I'm incubating any babies myself, besides my newest hair-brained scheme.
*But speaking of my barrenness, even my customers are concerned about it. Don't ask me how it gets brought up, but this nice little man who builds a lot in Socorro asked if I were married and I said no, and he said he'd be on the lookout for a nice, Christian man. I told him great. Never hurts to have an extra set of eyes looking.
Anyway, Z and I are off to the ballgame, and then I'm possibly off to a date. I look like I've been taking care of an 18-month-old all day, but I think my little man can handle it. Cheers, chums!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Not that I'm keeping track...

But I'm closing the gap. That one kid only has 12 more friends than I do on Facebook. I'm rallying, I'm rallying.
Just kidding. Kind of.

Monday, September 21, 2009

You Don't Have to watch "Dynasty" to have an Attitude

OK, quick wedding sum up:
Really nice girl married really nice guy. There was a little incident when the bride got red wine on the front of her dress about half an hour before the ceremony was supposed to start, but she was super calm about it (which may be credited to her great personality as well as serve as a testimony to all the wine that she actually consumed without spilling). She looked beautiful, her husband teared up as she walked down the aisle, the weather cooperated, and clean-up wasn't all that big of a deal. Major props to my aunt who didn't freak out about the hundreds of people who seemed to be wandering around her house. Seriously. My aunt's house looks like a magazine spread, and people come to see it all the time, but even in living museums, people generally don't go wandering in certain places. Not at Sylvia's. I went inside the house a few times (and I'll admit, it was a selfish thing-- had to check the score on my game, and it was depressing), but I'd see these strangers come downstairs and look at me like, "What?" I don't think I would have been happy about it, but auntie was a champ. Still, the more weddings I go to, the more elopement sounds like a reasonable alternative.
Honestly, though, I don't know that I was as much help to Sylvia as I'd planned. While I was there, I still got to relax a bit and mentally unwind. I think that's the best thing about visiting Artesia-- I always come back re-focused, calm, and yet energized with creative inspiration. I got a little shopping in (GREAT deals on presents for brother's upcoming birthday, as well as a kick-a dress for myself-- I could really use a date to show it off), but I mostly spent my time devouring Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol." Finished it about 1 this morning. Like all his books, there are some so-called twists that are easy to pin-point early on in the story, but it was a great little page-turner. Good thing I have several books in the to-read pile on my bedside table, because I can't seem to start a book without plowing through (with the exception of the one Pam lent me, which I will read... eventually!). I am a media maniac, and my appetite for engaging entertainment is insatiable.
For example, I got home relatively early yesterday. I'd planned on working on some painting or other stuff for the boutique, but I was so tired, I just sat on my couch watching "Gossip Girl" (season 2). After 4 episodes, I was a little disgusted with myself (I know that show is really the devil, but I like it so much). So what did I do? Oh, I made a couple of phone calls and sent a couple of texts. But then I sat in my corner chair, bundled up in the pjs and blankets, and read for the next four hours. Seriously. I rarely have time to do such a thing, but when I think of the seven hours of entertainment consumption yesterday, I wonder if I have an addiction. I think I'm safe so far because the gorge doesn't happen so often, as my life is full of other things. But it's times like these I'm happy I don't have cable.
Still, with the massive GG consumption, I find myself practicing giving dirty looks and acting like I'm all that (no major scandals for me, thank you, and even though I love the wickedness of the show, that's about all I can bother the emulate). After three hours and eight minutes of GG, I started thinking about how lame all my pseudo boyfriends are, and was ready to give them the heave-ho. Anyway, if you run into me and I'm workin' the attitude, you'll know why.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Report From Wedding HQ

So far, I've been no help at all, but I'm having a good time out here.
Got the late start yesterday, and made it just in time to watch C&T do their fake walk down the aisle, and then went to dinner. C gave me a nice bottle of wine with their label on it. I don't cook with red, so I guess my cousin will be the recipient of the re-gift, but I was really touched that she'd think of me. She's a very sweet girl, and I hope everything goes perfectly for her today.
So what have I been doing instead of being wedding helpful? Oh, let's see. I came home last night (opting out of the bachelorette party) and read for ages from Dan Brown's new book-- Mormon References so far: Just one. The book is a page turner, like his others. Had to force myself to stop at chapter 31. Anyway, cousin decided he'd rather stay in town than have his designated driver (ie, Me) go pick him up in the middle of the night, so I had a luxurious night of sleep. It's nearly 10 a.m., and I'm still in the jimmy-jams. My aunt just showed me this outrageous forward she got about Jesus naming the Antichrist (and of course, it's Barack Obama, according to the video from her well-meaning, politically extreme friend), and we had a good laugh, because Syl and I don't believe it, of course, but it is funny what people will come up with.
So I'm thinking I'll go to town in a bit to look for some shoes for my brother (my one assignment from the fam) and then I might drop in and say hi to my Artesia admirer Mr. Coffee. Truthfully, I wish I could just go sit on the porch and read my book all day, but I'm hoping I will actually get to be a little useful to the bride and groom. And speaking of grooming, I've gotta go do it. Wouldn't want Mr. Coffee to see me in the pink polka dot jim jams.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Pre-Weekend Thoughts, Including an Embarrassing Admission

I should be on the road... I'm about two hours behind. Oh pooh. But I want to get these down before I forget, and who knows how much time I'll have to even breathe for the next few days. Here's the short-list, all rather unrelated. I'm not looking for meaning, exactly, unless someone wants to offer it. Just recording for posterity, and for the sake of enabling the voyeurs.
* I'm super mad President Obama backed out of the deal with Poland. My friend Eric (who is now, apparently, my fiancee in one of those "If we're both still single at 30" deals) made some good points about why interceptors in Polska aren't that practical, but I maintain Russia is whiny, and I feel like we owe Poland our word. I hate that the President is treating them like they don't matter. Treating a group as expendable after they've been so fiercely loyal to us makes me mad. And why shouldn't it? I didn't like bullies in school, and I don't like them now. Still, the world marches on, and I'm glad I don't have to think about this for a while.
* Speaking of my fake fiancee Eric, I could do a whole lot worse. Love him. We'd have beautiful, intelligent (and possibly militant) children. And they'd be funny. Hmm. Perhaps this isn't such a bad idea. I could live in DC, for sure.
* Still rockin' the sore chest. My dad saw me pop a couple aspirin yesterday and asked, "Headache?" Hahaha.
* I've got something very embarrassing to admit-- I just got another glimpse into how competitive I can be. I've got this friend, and of course we're linked up on FB. I stalk him all the time. It's not because I'm in love with him, but he consistently has about 17 more friends than I do at any given time. It drives me bonkers! I know it totally doesn't matter, but in my mind I always think, "Rachel! Don't let him upstage you!" It's the weirdest thing, but it really gets under my skin. I don't know why I think about it when there are so many real problems in the world. It's not like I'm in a love deficit. It's just that I'm always checking, and he's always winning. And by always, I mean I've checked about three times in our whole friendship. But I'm gonna quit. I promise. Because that's about the stupidest thing I've ever heard of, and wouldn't ya know, it's me doing it! And besides, what do I care how many friends he has? I'm the future Mrs. Eric Christensen! That's what really matters. ;)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sometimes I'm a Boob

There are a lot of urban legends out there, even in LDS culture. For those of you who aren't familiar with Mormons or our ways, we don't have a paid clergy, and the "sermons" are given in the form of talks by the general membership of the congregation. For the most part, these are prepared, and assignments come from the bishop or one of his counselors. Often, there is a meeting theme, and everyone speaks on a subject relative to that theme.
Anyway, once upon a time, my friend Rick said he heard about this happening in a meeting, but for all I know, it might just be one of those stories that gets passed around.
So there was this lady, giving a talk in church one Sunday on the occasion of her son going out on a 2-year mission for the church. Apparently this sister got super emotional and couldn't really control herself for several minutes. She just sobbed into the microphone and gasped and cried like a maniac. Finally, because it was becoming rather uncomfortable for everyone in the congregation, her bishop came to the podium from his seat on the stand, and put his arm around the lady to console her a bit. She managed to smile an embarrassed smile and say into the microphone in front of her, "Oh, Bishop, I'm such a big boob." And this good bishop, in attempt to comfort her replied, "Don't worry, Sister. The bishop loves big boobs." MWHAHAHAHAHAHAH!
Like I said, probably an urban legend, but it seems like an appropriate start to this post, which is mostly to say I survived the annual exam. Or half of it, anyway. Because I'm not, nor have I ever been, sexually active, they didn't make me have the pelvic exam. Of course, everyone in the doctor's office looked at me like I was stupid and reckless with my health and what not, but SERIOUSLY. I just couldn't do it. And my primary doc told me all I had to have was the breast exam, so that's all I had, and the experience was traumatic enough on its own. Or at least the anticipation was.
Last night, I couldn't sleep because I kept having nightmares about it. I'd dream the nurse practitioner would come in and scream, "There's nothing I can do for this woman" because I was crying and screaming because I didn't want anyone looking at or touching me. When the time came for the actual appointment, there was at least the comic relief of the nurse taking my vitals lectured me on the need for a you-know-what, and I said that because that particular test is for HPV, I didn't need one because I'd never had sex. She said, "And how old are you?" I think I must look younger than 28, because when I told her that, she dropped her pen. "Never?" "Nope," I said, smugly. Then she asked if I had a boyfriend.... Maybe she thought I liked women or something. Who knows? I told her no boyfriend, just a boy I kiss and date, but it's not very serious. And she said, "Wow. Good for you. I've NEVER met such an old virgin before." Um, thanks? I didn't really know how to respond to that.
When the N.P. finally came in (and why are hospital rooms so cold? That backless gown is not much to keep a person warm), I started to tear up because I was so nervous. But it didn't really last long, and neither did the b. exam. But I will say this-- ouch! Can't even imagine what a mammogram is gonna feel like, because fingers? OUCH! At first I couldn't help but laugh because I'm so uber-ticklish, and I'm certainly not used to having someone else touching me. So she said, "Oh, no problem, I'll just push harder." Ouch again. So my chestal region is a little sore, but hey, at least I don't have to do that again for another year, and I can feel extra smug as I save my pink Yoplait lids and what not.
Last night, I ditched choir because I was too stressed out. First, I'd visited a friend in the hospital (and let me just say that she's got it WAY worse than I do), and then I realized I was gonna be about an hour and a half late to the rehearsal anyway, so I just skipped out and went to Jeff's so he could distract me. He did a good job, and I'm happy to say his roommate is nice and his couch isn't as ugly as I thought it would be. I actually liked it. J and I did a little bussing to take my mind off the impending exam, which might be a little backsliding as we really are just friends, but it was helpful. Nice enough to take my mind off the impending doom, but not so involved that my head is full of fluff and hearts and rainbows and unicorns today. This also probably makes me a bad person, but kissing is just so good for one's well-being. I'm pretty convinced that few of us are doing enough of it.
Anyway, my boobs are sore (bad) and my lips are swollen (good) and I'm ready to put it all behind me and get back to payroll. How's that for clinical?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Another Reason I Shouldn't Be A Mother

Today I accidentally locked Zoey in my mom's car at the T.J. Maxx parking lot.
Fortunately, there was a nice EMT who was on her way to Shoes on a Shoestring. She was able to wedge her hand between the seats and have Zoey (who was incredibly calm through the whole 15-minute ordeal) hand her the keys. I couldn't get the seat to fold down because the car seat was blocking it. This is what we get for trying to get Z out of the house. She's been a little terror all day, and I feel bad to boot. My mom said, "Ben and Skye never need to know." I love my mom. And fortunately, there was only one person who walked by and talked about us violating the law or whatever. Because of course that helps. By the time the police arrived, Z was out and chatting in her little chattery chatter. And singing in Polish. She's almost mastered "Panie Janie," though she's having a little trouble pronouncing "wszysy dzwoni bija," but who wouldn't? She just gave me a hug and a kiss. She smells a bit like poo, but says she doesn't want her diaper changed. Her dad is supposed to be here in about 10 minutes. I might let him handle it.
The good news is, it's only 15 hours to my scary doctor's appointment. Pray for me.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Let's Talk About...

OK, gotta post. No one wants to stumble on my blog and have the first thing to read about be my nervousness regarding my upcoming annual exam. I'm a survivor (and I'll be reminded of that as I listen to Destiny's Child elaborate on that via headphones while the nurse practitioner pokes and prods in all sorts of uncomfortable ways).
Anyway, life is grand, grand, grand. In the shower this morning, I smelled like chlorine. I really like when that happens. I mean, not smelling like chlorine, but that next-day reminder of time spent in a pool. I'm still not an uber-fan of appearing publicly in a bathing suit, but I'm getting over it a bit. Hey, if I hadn't back in February, Rudy and I would not be secret lovers (according to our fabulous friend, Miss J). I'm afraid none of us really looked like supermodels, but who even cares?
So last night's pool party was very fun, as usual. By some miracle, it didn't rain! I only stayed in the hot tub for a bit, because things got a little uncomfortable when Jacob H started asking for foot massages (and giving them out as well). Touching is creepy enough to begin with. Touching in a hot tub=no good at all. But AFK III seemed to enjoy it, so there you have it. I ended up sitting with my friend Jacob D(1) (as opposed to Jacob D(2) who writes an excellent blog, with a link posted to the right) and having a laugh at the ridiculousness of young, single Mormons together in a pool.
Of course, even better than the activity itself was the weirdness on the way home. Pammy was privy to this bizarre birds-n-bees talk I had with little Jacob H. This was awkward because I honestly have NO experience with that, so I feel like I'm not really in a position to advise, EXCEPT that J knew absolutely NOTHING about girls. Seriously. It's really refreshing to meet someone with that kind of naivete, but I really don't know how he hadn't absorbed at least some of this information along the way. I suggested he read "The Act of Marriage" and make sure he talks to the fiancee, and that was my best advice. He told me later that he was glad we talked about it because it's nice to have someone to give him the info in a non-gross way. Guess he couldn't talk the the male roommates, ya know? Only problem is I don't know his bride-to-be all that well, and I'm wondering what poor Victory is going to think of J's "older sister type" friend. Oh well. I've done my part.
Also last night I talked to Andrew. Man, I love that guy! I was organizing some old email (both sent and received) recently, and I couldn't believe what a big part he plays in my life. I guess it shouldn't be a big surprise. I mean, he and Nathan are quite possibly the reason I'm not married, as I've never known any other men of their caliber. Anyway, we talked and laughed and started to tentatively schedule a future visit. I'm excited. I really hope it comes to pass. I'm so happy that I get to be the one helping him for a change, and I'm thrilled at the prospect of having him stay twice in one calendar year. Speaking of calendars, I already got him his Mucha for 2010. I'm pretty in love with having that in common, even though my love for him takes the form of hero-worship or platonic ideal more than anything else. I wish I were a beautiful Mucha girl, framed in art nouveau mosaic background. But talking to Andrew always makes me feel closer to that goal somehow.
And now, I must be off. I have soooo much work to do! Not only am I swamped in office stuff, I'll have to race home tonight to play domestic diva. Remember that episode of Gilmore Girls where Rory dresses up as Donna Reed at Babette's and fixes dinner for Dean? Yep, you can pretty much imagine my evening now. Except Jeff and I are playing Ward and June Cleaver. I'm making meatloaf. He's building the shelves (cross your fingers!). But the house is covered in boutique projects midway through completion, and I've got to clean while the meatloaf bakes, and set my hair in a 1950s flip (I think I'll wear the navy blue dress and some pearls). Dinner has to be on the table early, and I don't know how I'll get it done, but the key to being a good television housewife is to make it look simple. Never let 'em see ya sweat, even if you are advising your little friend on the facts of life.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Scarier than a Snake in the Garage

No wonder my nerves are shot. First, it was the lizard. Then, the sheep tragedy. Then the snake in the garage (which, I'm happy to say, slithered out last night after I nearly stepped on it-- I didn't like it, but I'm happy it's gone). And let's not forget the bat that was on my porch for a while, or the centipede on the carpet I had to grab and flush down the toilet. Getting broken into and then having my mailbox smashed in and taken down wasn't a picnic either. This is why I get jumpy in the dark reptile display at the zoo. This is why I have those dark circles under my eyes, making me look old, or at best, like I'm getting into the Halloween spirit extra early this year.
But if I thought my anxiety was going away with the departure of the snake, I'm afraid I was wrong (ooh, punny!). I went to the doctor this morning, and when he said, "is there anything else?" I mentioned that I'd need a renewal on the b.c. next month. So that's when he said, "Oh, let me introduce you to the nurse practitioner, so she can give you an annual female exam." WHAT?!??!?!?! OK, and it's not like I didn't know it was coming, but I was hoping we'd go the way of last year's lucky break when my P.A. (who moved to West Virginia, thus making me see Dr. S. instead) said I don't have to have one. Boo!
Fortunately, this lady seems nice, but I'm not gonna lie... I really don't want to go see her Thursday. Yes, Thursday! I guess it's good that I don't have much time to worry about it, and my doc told her I don't have to have a pelvic exam because I'm Little Miss Virgin (there is SOME mercy in this world), but there's still the breast exam. And yes, I know this is too much information all the way around, but I'm SCARED TO DEATH. Mostly, I think it's just because I'm such a modest mouse. I think the last time anyone saw me fully naked (with the exception of Andrew seeing me in the bathtub in Poland 5 years ago-- and that was from a distance, and in a mirror) was when I had to take a shower with my mom at Girl Scout Camp when I was 9. So it's only been 19 years. And yes, I know this woman is a medical professional, and that there are a lot of girls out there who are going to call me on being irresponsible about my body and blah, blah, blah, but I just don't want this exam. I'm thinking maybe if I bring my iPod and listen to music I can pretend it's not happening.
I know. I'm a complete wimp. I'm still super nervous though.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

All Sheep Go To Heaven

I hope. Flower joined Bethany, and I'm actually relieved. It was rough seeing her breathing hard, and not able to open her poor little mouth, or the rattle of her esophagus when she swallowed, or the flies, or the blood dripping from her chest. Maybe we should have put her out of her misery sooner, but I don't think I could ever purposely kill something. Poor little thing. Yesterday afternoon before I left my parents house, I went to say goodbye. I pet her and said a little prayer that she'd be able to be relieved from her suffering. I told her it was ok to go. And she went.
She was preceded in death by her half-brother, Tiny Tim. Remember Tim? He was the little disabled lamb the mother rejected back in April of '08 (I only remember this because I named him after my friend Tim Heaton, because Tiny was born on Tim's birthday). I thought about Tim today-- the first in a long time. He was such a little spaz, always nosing me in the back of the knee, looking for some milk. He was also bald, which I'd never seen in a sheep before. His little head used to get so sun burnt. I was really relieved when he went on to a better place as well. I guess sheep are kind of easy to love.
Snakes, however, are not. Last night, I got home late and was happy to change into my jimmy jams and settle in to relax (note: watching "The Other Sister" may not be the best way to chill out). Anyway, I was straightening the house and found some things I wanted to recycle, so I took them to their bins in my garage. No biggie, until I saw this HUGE yellow snake under my car. I yelled and jumped (I was barefoot!) and the snake reared back and looked like it was gonna snap at me, even though it was probably harmless. I ran into my house and couldn't bear to go out to chase it away.
Well, I didn't sleep so well last night. I probably woke up every hour on the hour, until I finally got up, put on my galoshes (which was not the best look-- picture baggy pajama pants in black and pink polka dot tucked into green polka dot galoshes, all with a black and grey t-shirt... I kind of looked like a Cossack, but there wasn't any dancing going on). I ran into the garage, slamming the house door behind me so as not to let little Lucifer in. I opened the garage door and grabbed a push broom so I could defend myself in an attack. But no snake. So it's even worse now, because I don't know if he left, of if he's hiding, waiting to attack me when I leave my parents' house this evening. Still, I have to face the facts soon, and I have to go home. My house is a wreck (well, not a wreck, but certainly not up to my cleanliness standards) and my mom spent the whole family dinner telling me how awful I looked from lack of sleep. Never a good thing to have your mom, who by law must think you're pretty, tell you that you've seen better days. Oh where oh where is my Diet Coke with Lime? I simply can't go to sleep at 7 p.m., even though I want to.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

As Promised-- The Joy of Speed Dating

OK, gotta make this quick. Racing against the clock today with a to-do list a mile and a half long. But I'm happy, so I'll be singing as I work. Probably even when I hit the case-lot sale at Smith's. Because who doesn't like to hear someone singing about green beans?
Speed dating pretty much went as expected, but I have to give PBS (aka President Brown) major props for keeping things moving. I didn't have to tolerate anyone for more than about three minutes. There wasn't a soul who interested me, but it was still fun. My new friend Kristy was there, and she found some success, I think, so that's pretty happy. Also, I met a distant relative-- the great-grandson of my grandfather's cousin (Dirty) Enos Sego. Enie was a legend with the ladies of his generation. My grandmother used to talk about how much she hated dancing with him because he'd dance so close. Garret, who likes to "Enie dance," aspires to be our generation's version. Anyway, loved the little kid, and little kid loved Pam. My favorite thing was she called me this morning to report on her middle-of-the-night dinner with him, and he sat on the same side of the booth as she did. She told me in her mind she was saying, "I'm judging you right now." I love that! But Pammy will survive, because she's on her way to LC to celebrate the birthday of her Little Man (nephew Alex) and she's got a date with a nice-sounding guy. I echo Tresann's sentiment-- make out, Pam! Come home with a boyfriend! But if you don't, my distant cousin is a sweet little guy, same-side-of-the-booth and all.
But enough gossip about Pam-- let me gossip about other people.

*The best thing about the night was being able to spend some time with my girls. T joined us and it was a girly shrieking fest. Loved it so much. It was like old times, glow-stick dancing with Jacob (and his adorable fiancee, Victory), plus Paul and Kacie. I was pretty much in friend bliss.
*When Ben G. asked me during speed dating what I'm looking for in a husband (Yes, yes he did!), I didn't skip a beat when I said I'm looking for someone who can support me in the style to which I've grown accustomed. I told him I'm looking for a man who will buy me a lot of presents. (Note, this is partially true, but of course, not the main thing-- but I'll tell ya what, if a man tries to give me a little diamond chip of a ring, I'll say no. I've waited nearly 30 years for this, so I say bring on the rock!) Ben looked shocked and said, "surely you're also looking for a nice guy." I said, "Nah. Been there, done that. Bring on the expensive gifts." He still asked me to dance, but I turned him down because I was having too much fun dancing with my girls.
*Rudy got super jealous of all the other boys in our lives, which we knew was bound to happen. He told me and Lou that he thought Pam was "there with a boy" (her ardent admirer, and my "relative"), and then he threatened to "take that Jacob kid down." I suggested he refrain, as I doubted Jacob's future wife would appreciate it. That seemed to calm him down a bit. Poor Rudy. I love dancing with him. He's hands-down my favorite partner, even with all the "Night at the Roxbury" jazz. Sometimes I've overwhelmed with the temptation to kiss his face, but I'm good at resisting. Serves him right to be unfoundedly jealous. What goes around comes around, and we weren't even trying. Things like that make me laugh.
*AFK III continues to rock the inappropriate. He always leans his head down on Pammy's chest, which is completely uncool, even if he is 5 inches shorter than she is. He was dancing with Lou last night and yelled, "butt touch" and proceeded to touch her bum (which was actually very funny, especially when she played along and did it right back to him-- go Lou, you rule!). He tends to kiss me in public (which is funny, but sometimes he gets me on the lips and I'm always a little shocked), touches any pin I'm using to keep my cardigans closed and preserve modesty (an excuse to touch my boobs), and sometimes he'll finish a dance with a single pelvic thrust while shouting "dry hump!" I've talked to him about this, and scolded him up and down, but there's no changing him. That guy gets away with a lot, mostly because, well... I can't really say, because I don't want to be libelous. Let's just say he gets away with a lot. Love him, but he's a little nut.
*And a certain vampiric admirer continued to give me problems. Wallace and Grommet both offered to walk me to my car last night, but I declined the chivalry because it wasn't necessary. But Bat Boy (wow, that's not a good name, but I don't know what else to call my little friend) walked me to the car instead. He'd suggested earlier in the evening that we make out. I just laughed. I think he was really trying to get a kiss, but I wasn't having it. Here's the thing-- he's such an awesome friend to me, and I love him on many levels. But because I don't love him on THAT level, nor do I suspect I could ever, I just don't want to encourage him. I've already told myself I've got to stop calling him with all my emotional distress, because it's just giving him false hope. His interest is flattering, but it's stressing me out.

Anyway, that's all of the prurient content I can handle this morning. I've got to go gets me some green beans and come up with a song about it. XOXO

Friday, September 11, 2009

Dating on Speed

So tonight's activity-- speed dating + a dance. Cue the scary music.
The last time there was a speed-dating activity, we were only supposed to have 3 minutes with each person. I got "lucky" and they forgot to have people switch while I was partnered up with "Andrew" (ok, ok, that's really his name), who was nearly intolerable. I asked him every question on the list. He answered every one, further revealing his blah-personality (or lack thereof), and never gave me anything to work with. I'm sure he thought I found him fascinating, because he never asked me a single question. I think I had to endure him for about 7 hours. Or 9 minutes, but who's counting?
Still, my dear friends Paul and Kacie met at that activity, and have been in couple-bliss ever since. They are convinced tonight is my night. I am not, but I'm going anyway. I don't even really know why. Desperation, perhaps?
The lady who periodically cleans my parents' house was here yesterday. She told me she thinks she's pregnant, but she hopes she isn't because a) her husband said "no more children" (she already has two DARLING boys) and b) because she thinks she's old. She's 37. I told her my mom was almost 36 when she had Ashley, hoping to give her some encouragement. I don't think it worked, and I'm not sure such an argument would convince me either. I'd always hoped that I'd have my all my children by about 32 or 33, so I'd have more energy and keep up with them better. As for me, with no legitimate prospects on the horizon in even the boyfriend department, it looks like I won't be married for a few years yet. Chances are that if I do get married in the next several years, I won't have the luxury to wait a while to procreate, because my body probably will protest. It's not that I necessarily want a baby-- let's be honest, they scare me!-- but I don't want to be taking Jemima to her first day of kindergarten as a grey-haired old-lady, with girls 15-years my junior doing the same.
Now, don't get me wrong. During my 3 minutes with each of the gents tonight, I'll not be evaluating them for potential-father-to-my-children status. That makes it sound like a sperm-bank. Truthfully, I doubt I'll even be evaluating them at all, because I'll be wondering if they've noticed the monstrous pimple lurking on my chin (even with birth control, occasionally zits happen), or if they're figuring they can figure out my political affiliation by the way I dress, or if they're just looking down the line at the next girl they get to talk to. But when it's all said and done, I hope I can just stand in my own little corner, and dance with my eyes closed for a while, and pretend that I'm jammin' alone with my iPod in my house.
If I were to evaluate them this evening, it might be just to figure out which one I'd like to kiss, because I haven't been doing any kissing for nearly a month now, and speaking as a kissing addict, that's a long time. Oh dear. I sound like a 16-year-old boy.
OK. I promise to report. Here's hoping it'll be painless, or even fun.
PS. Last night, just as I was drifting off to sleep, I realized that two boys from different parts of my dating history are now roommates. I just hadn't put two-and-two together before. I don't even know what set the epiphany in motion. Neither one knows of my involvement with the other. This could get interesting. Or messy. Oops, I did it again.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Flower Lives-- For Now

OK. I'm operating animal hospice here, but Flower, the miracle sheep, is still kickin'. For now, anyway. I still can't get her to eat or drink, but she did smell the food in my hand earlier, which gives me hope. Also, she was a little skittish today. It didn't offend me, because if I'd just had something attack my neck and legs, I wouldn't want anyone touching me either. Yesterday, she was so passive about letting me love on her. She usually lets me pet her, but not that much. Today, she jumped away from me once, so maybe she's getting her strength back. Or her resolve. Sheep don't have much resolve, though, so we'll see.
Last night in my scripture reading, instead of going on with my chronological BofM study (Helaman can wait a day, right?), I checked out the Bible Dictionary and the Topical Guide and read all about sheep. Also, I have Del Parson's painting, "The Lost Lamb," hanging in my bedroom. I've always identified with it so much, but I feel at peace, no matter what happens.
In the mean time, let's all give a hip-hip-hooray to Brecken for birthing another Cook boy! That girl is a champ.
And in other good news, Zoey has been about 95% angelic today. She wasn't too into taking a nap until I realized that she wanted to wear "Choo-Choo" (her Thomas the Tank Engine shirt), which she sleeps in. Ben says she has four of them and they are constantly washing them because she won't go to bed at night without a Thomas shirt. After I put her in that, she curled up next to me and slept for an hour. I took advantage and slept a little bit too. When I woke up, we were both all sweaty. Aunt Ashley's daybed gets hot with all of Z's toys piled high and deep around us. The good news is, her sweaty hair facilitated a really great faux-hawk. Wish I would have got a picture of that.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Why I don't want a Dog, and Why I Can't Have Children

I swear by my Zooey Deschanel bangs and temporary Ed Hardy tattoo (a pirate girl over my heart, coyly peeking out from behind a fan) that I'm not turning into an emo diva. Things are just hard right now.
As frank as I generally am, I don't really want to talk about all the reasons I feel sad these days, and some things I'm just not at liberty to discuss anyway. That's a change, right? I guess if I were to sum it up, I just feel drained, and like I need to find a way to replenish the love. I don't want or need some solo vacation or other alone time typically prescribed to burnt-out women. I need to feel some love so I can give it back-- at least, that's what Dr. John Gray (author of "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus") would say. Actually, can I make a shocking analogy?
Remember the story in the New Testament (actually in three of the four gospels) about the woman with an issue of blood who touched the hem of Christ's robe and was healed? Remember how he asked, "Who touched me, for I perceive virtue gone out of me?" Well, in NO WAY am I anything like Jesus, so don't get me wrong. I'm working on it, but my strongest efforts are paltry at best. Anyway, normally we think about that woman's faith, which would have been incredible. Talk about a spiritual gift, right? But when I think about the Savior recognizing a measure of His infinite love going out to someone else, it begins to make a little sense to me how finite my own love is. It makes me want to emulate Jesus even more, so my own cistern of love is always overflowing. But right now, I'm "wrung out and dry as a bone" (thank you, Ingrid Michaelson).
I guess that I also had not realized that love comes with a price. Normally, when we love it's easy to get caught up in the back-and-forth flow of good feelings. Or even if it's one-sided, love makes you feel like you're better than you were. But take my face-in-the-dirt episode of a week and a half ago: My friend told me he thought maybe I wouldn't want his friendship anymore, and couldn't believe it when I told him of course I wanted it. But we both saw what it cost me emotionally. We both witnessed my crumbling and tumbling. And I don't regret one bit of it. It took a chunk of my love storage, but it was worth it, and I know that love is always the best decision.
So yes, sometimes that price is painful to pay, but you can see how it is good in the long-run. Love means giving up your pride and your selfishness. Love means saying you're sorry and owning up to your own faults constantly. Love is tearing down the corroded and dilapidated walls we build around our selves and rebuilding someone else-- whether your own self or the person who needs you. It takes work, it takes patience, it takes perseverance. And you come out with something beautiful.
But like a love jackhammer in a power outage, I feel like I've lost my juice. This morning, after a wringing weekend, I came to work and found my little sheep Bethany dead by my parents' barn. Her neck was nearly severed. A dog must have gotten her. I went screaming through the field, looking for our other sheep, Flower. I found her by a fence, with blood on her neck, standing completely still. I couldn't get a reaction out of her, and I thought she'd died of some kind of shock. The neighbor's goats were also gone, in a bloody heap across the fence. Thank heavens for my sainted brother who came to investigate after my sobbing phone call. He said Flower actually is still alive, but we won't know until later how hurt she is, and if we need to stitch her up or just put her out of her misery.
Now anyone who knows me well understands that I don't want a pet right now. Despite the lectures and the urging from my family and friends, I have no desire for a guard dog. Initially, these were my reasons:
1) I don't like big dogs. I hate the way they goose you or come nose around your body in the most intrusive way.
2) I don't want poop all over my yard. I don't want something digging up my grass or peeing on my trees or tearing up my things. I don't want to have to remove ticks.
3) I can't afford the food and the vet, etc., etc., and
4) I'm not around enough to give any pet the kind of love I think it needs. I don't want to be tied down.
But now I have another reason. Even though I just fed Flower and Bethany a few mornings a week, I saw them born. They knew and trusted me. They let me pet them and weren't skittish like typical sheep. They actually obeyed me, and though our relationship wasn't super close (like mine is with my mother's dog, Molly-- who, by the way, is super loving but an extreme pest, and I think taking her to and from our cabin this weekend was torturous), I felt so awful finding my sweet little sheep so massacred. It was the saddest and most violent thing I'd ever seen in person.
Anyway, I can't do the animal thing. I'm too disposed to love and attachment. I can't handle the loss, even more than I can't handle the poo in my yard.
And that makes me wonder if it's also a big blessing that I'm not married and making children. I don't think my heart could take it at this stage of my life.

Friday, September 4, 2009

My Shallow Love Is True

So do you ever worry that you just don't know how to love people? I do. Not very often, but I do.
My ideas on love developed over a normal trajectory-- I always knew as a child that my parents loved me. My siblings loved me. My grandparents loved me. My aunts and uncles and cousins loved me. They all took care of me, and I let them. And I took care to be loving, and when I was old enough (which was not very old), I tried to take care of them as well. That was the beginning of love.
And I don't remember a time in my life when I didn't know that God loves me. In Primary, we sang "I am a Child of God," and it all fit in just right. In Vacation Bible School at the Lutheran Church and Pre-School at the Assembly of God, all these ideas were reinforced as we sang "Jesus Loves Me" nearly every day. I see manifestation of my Heavenly Father's love all around me, so that was never an issue.
Then of course, I had friends to love. This might have been the beginning of the trickiness, because sometimes they didn't act so lovable, but I figured out early on that loyal friends were very special and I loved them for sticking with me.
Anyway, I guess that's all pretty basic. The first time I really remember making a decision about love, however, was the summer I was 12. I was at the beginning of a really awkward stage with bad hair and raging hormones and generally weirdness. I went to the family reunion, anxious to hang out with some of my cousins, but they all had brought friends and kind of left me out. Don't cry for me. It got me acquainted with some of my other cousins-- second cousins who took me under their wing and were so good to me. There wasn't any question of whether I was cool enough. They were cool because they were good to me, and I noticed how they treated me like I was the most important person in the world. So aside from picking up on their cues for what was acceptable in the pop-culture realm of pre-teen identity formation (the reason I love Converse and Depeche Mode to this day, I'm sure), I decided that summer I would be like these cousins-- it wouldn't matter who I came into contact with, I would treat those people with as much love and kindness as I could muster-- like they were the center of my universe. Later experiences helped me reinforce those ideas-- EFY, for example. And somehow, that became part of my identity.
Well, I'm nearly a decade and a half past that initial decision, and for the first time in my life, I'm beginning to wonder if it was exactly right.
Here's the deal-- in some ways, it has served me well. I think I'm generally well-liked, and a lot of it is because I love people. I still hope that someday I'll take my last breath on earth in the midst of doing something for someone else. Oh, there are the little inconveniences, of course-- like men assuming because I love them on principle that I'm madly in love with them, or the ones I'm madly in love with thinking that I treat everyone the same and not figuring it out. But I'm not so concerned about that. It's just that I've begun to wonder if maybe as I spread my love around that some people are getting the shaft.
Hmm... that's not so clear. I guess the problem isn't that I love so many people, because of course, I don't love everyone, and I need to work on it. I think it's the manifestation that gets me in the mire.
For example, I know I sometimes drive my family crazy. I feel like I do a lot with and for them, and they do more in my behalf than I could ever repay. We're a demonstrative group, and we show our love best by taking care of one another. But sometimes, I have to go take care of someone else. For the most part, they're understanding and not resentful. They know that just because I love someone else and they need me doesn't mean I love the family any less. But maybe there are times when I really could have been doing a little bit more for the fam, but I couldn't because I was out trying to be a superhero. Or not even that. Just doing the duty.
I think maybe my friends are the ones who suffer the most on this count. I had a friend ask me a few weeks ago if I was mad at him. I hadn't seen him in ages, and couldn't figure out why he'd think that. He told me he thought I'd been giving him the cold shoulder and confessed to being a little mad at me. I tried to explain how over that particular time period I wasn't ignoring him, it was just that I was busy taking care of some other people. I apologized for making him feel neglected, and I tried to give him a little more attention. But it made me wonder how many people I've managed to unintentionally offend, not because I don't care for them, but because my caring for someone or something else took me elsewhere for a while.
Maybe the issue is that I like to show my love with doing for others-- I'm a real believer in the adage, "actions speak louder than words." When another friend told me the other day that he loved me, I asked him not to say it, because I didn't believe him. Why? Because he doesn't follow through when he says he'll do something. Even when I've let him know how important it is. But maybe I was wrong to ask him not to say it. Some people love by telling and hearing. Just because I love by serving doesn't make him wrong. And maybe if I'd let him say it, he would have been able to follow up with a little more loyalty and kindness. Maybe I squelched his love by not letting him express it.
I have another friend who is convinced that he doesn't love anyone. I worry about him. He does a lot of good in the world, and he thinks his primary motivation is a sense of duty. He worries that his feelings aren't enough to justify calling them love. I hope that he just doesn't recognize the way he loves, and that he really does have loving feelings, but I'm not sure.
Still another friend demonstrates her love by giving gifts. It's funny, because I think she knows I love her when I call her or spend time with her, and though she appreciates it when I send her things, I don't think she wholly loves me just because I pick up presents for her. But that's the way she's most comfortable showing she loves me.
Anyway, this wasn't meant to be some self-analysis or a long diatribe. I just wish I were better at loving, so the people I love knew I'm sincere. Breadth I've got down. And truthfully, I've got depth. I just worry sometimes I look shallow on the surface.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy September

You know, it feels merciful that this is a new month. Fresh start and all that.
OK, sorry about yesterday's LONG, dramatic post. Things are a little better, and I figure I'd better say so before my three readers think I'm about to hurl myself off a cliff. There will be no suicidal attempts this "breakup." (Further clarification-- no previous suicidal attempts over any other breakup or trauma, and none will come about in the future. I'm too in love with myself.)
Hmm. Do you mind if I complain just a little bit first to get it out of my system?
I've got a sore throat. My sister and brother-in-law have them. I was worried about giving it to my niece, but turns out she is sick, and so is my brother and sister-in-law. Zoey is possibly the one who infected all of us. Good thing I love her more than anything else in the world, because it's annoying to feel like crap. It's very likely that my problem is related to all the crying I've been doing for the last 36 hours, but because the crying is over, I'm hoping my excellent immune system will take over. I'm also praying I don't give this junk to my little mother, because she's got an out-of-town shopping trip planned. And I don't like what being sick does to my good sense. My eating habits have been pretty jacked up.
Typical Food Intake:
Slim Fast or Fiber One Bar
Salad or sandwich or whatever (admittedly, this is sometimes fast food, because my mother is a junk-food junkie)
Lean Cuisine

Yesterday's Food Intake:
Peanut Butter and Jelly on bread
Two hotdogs I wish I'd not eaten

Today, so far:
Two glasses of Orange Pineapple Juice (soothing on the throat)
Three glasses of Water
One Diet Coke with Lime (at like, 7:30 this morning-- what was I thinking?)
Baked Cheetos (100 cal pack)
Quaker Breakfast Bar
Fiber One Bar
Fling Bar (which is a candy bar-- something I rarely eat at any time of day)

So basically, I've eaten a week's worth of crap in one morning, and I don't even feel that bad about it. Thank goodness I'm usually not a food moron! Back on track as of now. Who knows if I'll even want to eat later? After writing all of that down, it feels like there's a brick in my stomach. Yep, that's a no-brainer. Yuck.
Anyway, aside from feeling a bit like hell (largely due to my own behavior, but possibly because of my sister or my niece), I'm doing pretty well. I'm still having some issues with some of these dudes who aren't really good at being my friends, but I suppose that will all work itself out.
As for the happy news, there really is a lot of goodness in my life. Updates/shout-outs:
* Jeff and I are figuring things out. I did manage another crying face-plant yesterday, but at least this time it was in the grass and not in the dirt. Anyway, we're very much on the same page, and I think we're in a position to help one another. I do care for him deeply as a friend, and I'm so glad it's working out. It wasn't his fault that all of this sent me into a tizzy, even though he thinks it is. Anyway, we're working. I feel safe again.
* I love Pammy so much. She never judges me when I'm a crying fool, and was amazing to play Backstreet Boys and N'Sync in the car, and drive so I could get down to the bottom of my metaphorical well, and to tell me funny stories, and to just generally be awesome.
* I love Paul and Kacie so much. They do a lot of special things for me, things that are probably too sacred to write about. Let me just say I love them and I hope they get married, and that they'll adopt me as their sister so I can spoil their children, who will be hott and compassionate and artistic and wonderful people.
* I licked ketchup off of Rudy's shirt last night. It would have been much funnier if I were in a better mood and would have just done it without talking about it first. I know. That's so weird. And Rudy, though I'm in love with him in many ways, is a bum. But it was funny.
* Elder Fryer gave me a "side-hug" last night because I was so sad. I hope this is not implicating him and that someone doesn't come across my blog randomly and report him, because he's one of the world's greatest missionaries. He and Elder Davis had taken to saying to so many of us emotional weirdos, "If I were allowed, I'd totally give you a hug." But then someone pointed out recently that the white handbook doesn't specifically say "no hugging," but "no inappropriate touching." So when Fryer offered, and justified his behavior because it was just a half hug, I still think I yelled "INAPPROPRIATE!!" but I really appreciated it. He must have been concerned seeing me crying in the grass. Bless his heart. Our branch has the world's best missionaries.
* Even though I should have been nice and extra compassionate last night, I did something kind of thoughtless that did end up completely funny. There was a girl looking for a ride to the activity, and I told her I wasn't driving (true). We asked several people to get her a ride, and I was under the impression it was happening, but turned out that everyone thought someone else was taking care of it. So we sent a somewhat reckless guy to pick her up. He's kind, but oh-so-strange. She'd never met this chap so far as I know, but I called her and told her he'd be picking her up on his moped. I said, "Don't worry, he's an excellent driver." I don't know why I said that, because he's actually one of the most accident-prone individuals I know, but I just forgot until I realized I'd just told a fantastic lie. They did end up making it to the activity, but my little friend's typically beautiful brown skin was pasty white with fear. I did wonder if it would be on my head if they died, but it was still tremendously funny, and even though I felt like poo on a stick, it made me laugh a lot.
So you see, things are better and brighter today. I still feel a little raw emotionally, but I'm scabbing over, which is the beginning of the healing process. I'm exhausted and my body feels ooky-- not only because of all the nasty food I consumed this morning, but also because it's like I can feel my eyebrows growing in and my limbs feel heavy and the skin on my hands feels tight. But maybe things will be slow today and I can take it easy. And maybe tomorrow will be even better. It should be. It's September, after all.