Friday, September 26, 2014

Things Mary Says

Mary:  We have to interview four family members for English. I'm going to do Tyce, Harrison, Cameron, and Katie.

Me:  Not one of your parents?

Mary:  No offense, Mom, but I don't want to listen to your stories about life in the 1900s.


Me:  I really admire people who have large families. To be a good mom to 8 or more kids, you have to be on the ball 100% of the time. I'm on the ball, say 72% of the time.

Mary:  IF THAT.


Mary:  You know it's weird. I always knew I was shy but now I'm starting to think I'm anti-social.

Me:  Why's that?

Mary:  In my classes people . . . they know things about me. Just regular stuff. But they pay attention, you know?

Me:  Why is that strange?

Mary:  It's like they see me as a person . . . and I see them as things to be avoided.


Mary: You know that guy I like in my art class? Turns out he's gay.

Me:  How do you know?

Mary:  He asked me if I had a boyfriend and I was hopeful, like, Where are you going with this? And then he said, "Because I do."

Me:  What would you have said if he HAD asked you out though?

Mary:  I would have just told him I can't date until I'm 16 . . . because I would NOT have told that boy no.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Man things have been busy. I'm finding it more difficult than expected to add this part-time job to my full-time life. The parts I love: my boss and coworkers, doing makeovers and consultations, and making my sales goals. The part I hate: having to make my sales goals.

Oh, I had one really bad experience in a makeover with liquid eyeliner that I hope to erase from that poor client's memory. Let's just say I have my strengths and applying even lines with a liquid pen is SO not one of them.

I've been wearing my Young Womanhood medallion with my uniform.

This is the "old" necklace because I earned this in 2003 (or so). A few people have asked me what building that is (the Salt Lake temple). I explain that this symbol inspires me to keep my standards. Several people have recognized the pendant and so we've had a shared connection as members of the same church. Both are good things.

In my regular life I am a regular gal. Most people are a lot like me. But at work I am quite a curiosity because I have FOUR kids, I don't smoke, swear, or drink--but the one that makes me stand out the most is that I've just re-entered the workforce after a 16-year hiatus.

This job takes a lot of hustle. I dare say I work harder as a Clinique girl than any other position I've had, including the ones that utilized my college degree. And yet when I look at my paycheck I'm like: Whoa. That's not a lot of dough. Bryce literally makes 10 times what I do. It makes me grateful that he does, because if we both made what I do we wouldn't be able to survive. Don't get me wrong, I like my job. But it's nice to know that if I need a change I have a Bachelor's degree to fall back on. Ha.

Anyway. Most of the kids have been doing great. The twins are loving 4th grade. Harrison has the goal to never miss school and to make straight As. Cameron tried out and was selected for two school choirs: the general one and the select one. Mary is rocking 9th grade and is doing amazingly well. She and a few friends are obsessed with an anime called Attack on Titan. Nikki bought matching jackets for herself and Mary, and Bella bought matching capes. The first day Mary wore her jacket she got a ton of shout-outs from strangers who were fellow fans. That made her day!

Bryce is filling in where I am suddenly missing and he's doing a great job. Every woman should have a man so good to their family.

I am so very fortunate that I have not had to work any Sundays. My boss knows that I don't want to but my big, big boss made it clear that I couldn't rule it out. Honestly I feel blessed that I haven't even been scheduled that day--if I am I plan on switching but that hasn't even come up. So today after church we had our first youth committee meeting of the new school year. We have 16 kids from the stake serving and the co-chair, Emily, did a great job conducting the meeting. We have fabulous young people in this world. I always feel blessed to work with some of the finest.

I've had a lot of deep thoughts lately but not enough time to write them down. Maybe I'll get to that soon. Topics include rising up to challenges, how flowers are the lipsticks of the landscaping world, and the nature of our Heavenly Parents.

You know, I have many good people who make my life enjoyable. I am blessed.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Double Digits for the Twins

Our boys turned 10 on September 3rd. They are such good kids.

Before school,

Bryce got them donuts for breakfast. Cameron was especially offended at having to go to school, especially because their birthday fell on a Wednesday and they'd had the prior two days off for Labor Day and Teacher Development. But they were good sports.

I got them Happy Meals from McDonald's and brought them to school for lunch. They were more interested in the toy (a football player) than in the food. I enjoyed seeing their friends.

Harrison and his pals.

Cameron was at the same table a few kids down.
That night we had our family party. We got them pocket knives and Legos. Bryce held back gifts he'd bought in Tijuana when he went on a work trip (to California) in May: leather stool stamped with the Steelers logo for Cam; a Mexican blanket backpack embroidered with the logo of the Ravens. Those were the hits of the night.

Boys and their cakes.

Make a wish!

They loved their gifts.

Bryce got them baseball chips (like poker chips).

How cute are those excited faces?
After the party they got a phone call from Mopsie and Grandpa. The boys loved the cards they got from them--the kind that sing!

Haha, Harrison!
The boys got a little money from us to spend how they wanted so that night we went to Target. Later that night they couldn't get over how this was "the best birthday ever." They are so very sweet and I love them so very much. Happy birthday, boys!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Night with Friends

One of my longest and dearest friends, Carmen, invited us to join her anniversary celebration by seeing our mutual friend Mike Masse' sing at a lounge in Mandalay Bay. Mike was in our apartment complex at BYU, an excellent musician then and even better now.

The Joneses with Carmen and Alex.

Two drink minimum for these teetotalers means $5 Dr Peppers and cranberry juices.

We loved his music--covers of songs from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and today. His voice is just beautiful. We bought his CD and and the whole family has enjoyed listening to Mike as we do errands.

We can't wait for him to make it big. He's that good.
I always enjoy spending time with Carmen and Alex. It was great to catch up with them. I joked that I was on a date with my BF and my BFF and while Bryce does fit the bill for both of those there's nothing like hanging out with a girl I've known over half my life. So glad she invited us to spend her anniversary with them.

Great night, great music, great friends.