Saturday, June 28, 2014

Twerking Tutorial

Okay, let's get this out of the way - Ben had his interview, and it went well, and the guy was like, "How much are you looking at, salary-wise?"  And Ben said an amount which, according to those salary calculators, is what we make here, but converted into what it would be in Vegas.  That is a really awkward sentence.  Does it make sense at all?  We make such-and-such an amount here, and if you use this online calculator, it will tell you how much you would need to make in a different city to have the same lifestyle.  Our lifestyle is pretty bare bones - hand-to-mouth, no savings...  Student loan payments are enormous.  So Ben told him the amount that we would need to basically survive in Vegas, and the guy was like, "Oooh, that's pretty steep...we'll see what I can do."  Steep my butt.  Whatever.  So we're supposed to hear from them on Monday.

There is another company in SLC that's interested in Ben, so we're trying to set up an interview with them.  Also, there is a different dome company that is looking for a project manager for three months in N. Carolina.  Ben would get paid for it, on top of the severence pay he's getting, plus he would get per diem, plus if the project is satisfactory at completion, he'd get $10,000 on top of that.  So we're thinking that, if this Vegas thing and SLC thing don't work out, he might go do this project management thing and then keep applying for jobs in the evenings, etc.  That way, we can just save everything he makes over there to give us some more cushion in case he hasn't found anything when his severence ends at the end of August.  Ben needs to tell the dome company his answer toward the beginning of next week.

Basically, this is just a huge waiting game.  And waiting/being patient isn't my strongest suit.

Speaking of which, my friend Shelly, who is a Dressing Your Truth guru, thinks I may actually be a type 3 instead of a type 2!!!!  Whattttttt?????  We had a long conversation about it, and she says that, with my facial features and my movement, I'm more of a 3 than a 2.  When she told me, I got excited.  "I'm DETERMINED???" I almost shouted.  Which, in and of itself, might show that I'm not this calm Type 2 person.  And she said that the fact I was excited about it instead of dismayed was a really good sign.  I've always wanted to be a stronger person.  Willing to stand up for myself, etc.  So anyways.  I may be a type 3.  And I like type 3 clothes a ton better than type 2 clothes.  But I still would rather die than ever wear a, like, business jacket.  There are ladies that wear those to church, and they look so cute, but that just sooo ain't me.  I'm not a businesswoman, dude.  I'm a stay-at-home mom.  Shelly discovered that she was really a type 1 instead of a type 2, and I told her that I will punch her in the face if she ever wears one of those stupid fake gerber daisies in her hair like some of the type 1s in those tutorial videos do.  She laughed and promised me she will NEVER do that. :)

Oh, and on the dance teacher front, I got to teach an advanced pointe class yesterday - it was a blast.  And a different company has contacted me and I have a tryout dance class I have to teach Monday for them.  So wish me luck!  It's also advanced pointe, so I'm just going to teach the same class I taught yesterday.  Easy peasy.

Gage is sitting on my lap and playing with my hair.  I love that. :)

Um, okay, so on to what I wanted to talk about.  This happened cleeeear last fall, and I kept forgetting to put it on here.  And it was soooooooo funny.

So this was during the whole "Whoa, Miley Cyrus is a promiscuous lady now!" hype.  The whole twerking-at-the-some-kind-of-MTV-awards-thingey thing had happened, etc.  I didn't want to look up twerking, because I just figured it was probably a bad idea.  I generally try to avoid naughty images if I can help it.  But I had a general idea of what it might entail.

This one's not too bad:

So two of my sisters, Nat and Lex, plus my mom and I, went up to BYU-Idaho to see an Improv group perform.  Which was seriously hilarious.  We laughed so hard.  They did a really good job.  And we were waiting for the box office thing to open, and we were talking about how they always ask for suggestions from the audience.  So we were trying to figure out random funny suggestions to yell out.  We decided that we'd yell out my foot condition "PLANTAR FASCIITIS!" because it sounds funny.  And because I like to say it with a really thick southern accent.  And we decided we should yell "TWERKING!" at some point, because it was on everybody's radar at that time.

And I go, "You know, I don't really even know what twerking entails..."

And Lex goes, "I'll show you.  But let's go into an empty classroom or something.  I'm not doing it out here with everyone."

So we all run into a classroom, giggling.  And Lex proceeds to show us, using really clinical terms, what you do when you're twerking.  And then she said, and these are the exact words, "A variation of twerking is when you do this..." and then proceeded to show us the variation.  We were laughing soooo hard.  She was, like, twerking against the chalkboard.

What we didn't know was that the improv group gathers into this classroom right before they go out to perform, and luckily, just as they were coming in, Lex was straightening herself up while we were all laughing.  They looked at us like, "Huh?" and we just ran out of there.  It was hilarious.

And yes, I got to yell out PLANTAR FASCIITIS! during the performance.  They were like, "We need a question.  Who has a really good question for us?"  So I yelled, in my really thick southern accent, "What should ahhh do about mah plantar fasciitis??"  And it was just a weird enough question that they decided to go with that. They had three "experts," one playing some kind of tough-love life coach, one playing a little kid, and one who talks like that ghost on Adventure Time.  So they each gave me "advice."  And none of them knew what plantar fasciitis is.  Haha!  It was funny.  Good times.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I got the job!!

Before all this Ben-getting-laid-off crap even happened, I kept having this really strong feeling that I needed to get into dance again, as a teacher this time.  I haven't danced for 15 years, plus I'm 30 pounds overweight.  And I've never danced professionally.  Or taught dance.  So I thought, "Nah.  Nobody would even want me around." 

But the feeling persisted.  And then I saw those videos of me dancing as a teenager and got all emotional and thought, "Ah, what the heck.  Let's just put our feelers out there."  So I sent resumes and letters of intent to every local dance studio.  Except for the studio I got kicked out of when I was 15 (not my fault).

Kay, now I feel compelled to tell you why I got kicked out.  As you know, I am a peace-loving kind of gal.  I'm easy to work with.  I play nicely with the other children.  My dance teacher was kind of a hard-arse, but being the peaceful people pleaser I am, I put up with it, because she made me a good dancer. 

My mom is also a peacemaker, but she is also very, very frank.  And one spring, when I had to have two different costumes, and Hard-Arse wanted to charge $100 for each costume, and they were, like, leotards with sequins glue-gunned onto the costume, my mom gave her a call.  Here's how the call went:

Mom:  Hey, I was wondering if we could maybe use this costume sometime down the road, so I don't have to pay another $100 for a different costume this winter for the winter recital.

Hard-Arse Teacher:  What???  Are you questioning my artistic capabilities?

Mom:  Um, no...I just find it hard to justify spending $100 on a costume that will never get used again.  Just trying to save some money here.

Hard-Arse Teacher:  That's it.  I'm kicking Karlenn out of my studio.  I don't want to see you or her or her little sister ever again!! [Side note:  Beads was also dancing at the studio.  Before she discovered the world of horses.]

So see?  It wasn't me.  It was Hard-Arse's problem.  She ended up kicking out like half of the advanced class, her secretary, and even her co-teacher, who was amazing.  And from what I've heard, she continues this practice today.  If something makes her mad, you're kicked out.

Kay, so back to my story.  I sent my resumes to a bunch of studios in town, except for that studio, and I thought, meh, I probably won't hear from any of them.

I heard from all but one of them!!  No kidding.  I interviewed with one and taught a class there.  It was a ballet-only studio and very advanced.  My foot was giving me a lot of problems, but I did the best that I could, and I felt like I challenged the girls.  I began the class by introducing myself:  "Hey, I'm Kar.  I'm 30 pounds overweight and have a foot injury.  Sorry about that.  So let's start with some plies!!"  At one point, to show them how their feet should look in the air during a particular jump, I had to hold onto the barre, kick my feet in the air, and hold them out there while hanging onto the barre.  "See?  Your feet should look like this. But you'll be jumping through the air. Not hanging onto a barre."  The class went well, injured foot aside, and the main lady said she had an opening in the fall and would call me.  And that's the last I've heard from her.

 (This is the move I had to lean on the barre to show them proper form.  It's called a brise.)

Another teacher has e-mailed me twice, expressing interest, but has kind of fallen off the earth.  So whatevs.  Another called me and left a message, and I called her back, but she has also kind of fallen off the earth.

Then last week, this studio that mainly specializes in jazz dance called me.  The gal who runs it (who is my age) interviewed me and asked if I could teach a class so she could watch me in action.  She said that ballet was their weak point and that they needed better technique so they could have an edge in competition.  In fact, she has required her advanced dancers to take ballet classes at one of these other studios to maintain that edge.  Ballet really is the building block for most dance.  Like amino acids being the building blocks of protein. (The only thing I remember from science class in school.)

Essentially, she needs a ballet specialist.

Enter Kar.

I mean, I took jazz, and I could teach a jazz class, but it's not the area that I love the best.  So this position is right up my alley.

And no, I haven't told her our situation yet, because I haven't known where on earth we'll end up or what we'll do.  As soon as we have concrete plans or a concrete job, then I'll let her know.  But honestly, let's say Ben gets a job out of town.  I'll have to stay behind with the ninos and have to sell the house for who knows how long.  You know what I'm saying?  Why not dance in the meantime?

Anywho, I observed her Ballet 2 class last week and then taught it today.  I downloaded "Ballet Goes Pop" off iTunes - which I thought was very cool of me.  Pop music made into piano music for ballet class??  So fun! 

 (We did this.  The girls were so confused.  I had to do a lot of work with them and a lot of explaining.  Which is why we only did, like, 8 different exercises in one hour.)
My class didn't impress the girls.  These girls are jazz girls and haaaate ballet.  Hate.  They didn't give me attitude, and they worked hard, but I can tell when someone is into something and when someone is not.  I taught enough boys who hated English to know that look on their faces.

 (How did someone sneak a camera in there??  Do you like my artfully arranged legwarmers?  Haha!  Um, I wore a Buffalo Bills t-shirt and biker shorts.  And the girls I taught were NOT smiling.)
I managed to put together a class that wasn't too hard for them, but still pushed them a little bit. 
 (This is how their feet look during jumps for now.  Something we'll be working on.)
The main lady observed and was really excited afterward.  Then and there, she said, "You're hired.  Can you teach this class for the rest of the summer?"  And I said, "Heck yes."

We just need to hammer out the details of pay and all that - I don't expect to make a fortune.  I'm mainly doing this for myself - something to get me out of the house and doing something I love.  But I'm set to teach this one class the rest of the summer.  And I'm so excited about it.  It was a BLAST.
(I'm only including this picture because this is one of my favorite combinations ever - the four swans.  It's a really hard, fast, cool dance.  Almost all of it with their arms linked.)
I don't know why I felt compelled to continue on this path if we might be moving, but I still feel impressed to keep going with it, so we'll see what happens.  Maybe just so I can have something to put on my resume and try to get a job teaching dance wherever we land.  Because I want to keep going down this road in my life.

If the other ladies call, unless there's something in my contract saying I can't teach at other studios, I could entertain that idea of being kind of a roving ballet teacher.  I wouldn't mind teaching more than once a week.

Ben is in Vegas, being interviewed as we speak.  I'll let you know when I hear anything from him.  Cross your fingers for us.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Yes, I was there, notwithstanding lack of photographic evidence...

Ben's niece (my niece?  It feels weird saying that.  Like I don't have a right to say that or something.  Maybe it's something I'll get over as I mature?  Yes, I am 37 years old and still immature), Taylor, got married last weekend!!  Oh my gosh, it was awesome.

They were married in the Rexburg temple, and it was such a neat experience to go inside and see the two of them get sealed for all eternity.  The ceremony was beautiful, and the words the sealer said before and after were so wonderful.  Ben's mom and dad lost four babies early in their marriage, and Ben's sister, Jen (Taylor's mom), also lost her first baby.  The sealer said that he could feel the presence of those of the family who were taken from the earth early, and that was it.  We were all bawling.  The Spirit was so strong.

 (All photos napped from Ben's stepdad's facebook page...)
Other things that made me teary-eyed - he emphasized that nothing could ever, ever separate Taylor and Ryker.  They will be together forever.  Also, the sealer gave some advice that some of the prophets have given on keeping a marriage strong, and it's always a good reminder to hear these things and to really put our lives into perspective.  I've been struggling so much with Ben's layoff, but when I was in the temple, I was reminded of what really matters.  I will be with Ben forever.  I will have my children forever.  Ben loves me and treats me well.  These things are the most important things.
 (Yep, I'm in this picture.  I'm wearing hot pink.  You can see my hot pink shoulder over toward the right side of the picture.)

Afterward, we headed up to Ashton, where Ryker is from, for a ring ceremony.  There are several members of the family and several friends that were unable to attend the sealing, so this was a really nice thing to do.  Right on the banks of the snake river.  With 20 mph winds.   A perfect Idaho wedding. :)

 Again, I bawled a ton.  I've been on a bawling spree lately.

The food was amaaazing, and there was a leeetle bit of dancing.  Which I, of course, participated in.  You can see my hot pink shirt behind Ben's sister, Jen, in this picture:
 Sadie and I were boogeying down.

I wish I could show you a picture of the property where we had this ring ceremony/reception.  There is this big pool, and a cute little waterfall and creek that goes into it, and a pretty little's awesome.  My kids were in hog heaven.  Seriously, it was the perfect venue for kids.  We could keep an eye on them from the tent and they could run around like wild Indians.  Gage was particularly fond of splashing through the creek and throwing rocks into the pond.  Dylan was trying to catch a turtle the whole time.  He came really close, but his cousin threw a rock at the turtle's head each time and the turtle swam away.  At one point, I believe Dylan yelled at his cousin, something along the lines of, "I HATE YOU!!!"

I love it when my kids embarrass me.

Micah was loving the dancing, too.  He wouldn't dance with Sadie and I.  He insisted upon being in the corner and tripping the light fantastic by himself.  He's a kooky kid.

I buttered my roll at dinner and took a bite and slowly chewed, thinking, "This is really spicy butter.  Is it, like, a mustard-butter??  Do they make mustard-butter?  Like honey-butter??"  Turns out that the little serving cups had horseradish in them.  I was eating a roll with horseradish spread in it.  Good times.

We got to stay in this cute little two-room cabin/hotel thingey in Ashton.  The kids looooved it.  Micah kept saying how much he wanted to live there. 

It was on a creek, and it was dog-friendly, which Pepper appreciated. 

Gage appreciated the abundance of "dah-piz" (caterpillars) on the property.  His grandma Go-Go had gotten him a little bug cage thing where he would deposit them.  For awhile.  Mainly, he would play with them until they died.  Poor things.

A highlight of staying in Ashton for me was my jog early in the morning before the wedding.  I jogged for an hour among the wheat fields and had a world-class view of the Tetons.  It was really emotional for me.  We may be moving away from Idaho.  And that makes me sad.  Nothing beats an Idaho summer.  I love the Tetons.  I love the rolling wheat fields.  We'll just have to make sure we visit often.  In the summer.  :)  Because I won't miss the springs or the winters here, that's for sure.

Ben has an interview TOMORROW in Vegas.  Pray for us?  I'd be okay with Vegas.  I'm usually okay anywhere.  Except China, obviously.  I really wish I could pack my family and friends here in my pocket and take them with me.  My hilarious Brazilian friend, Adelina, said, "Oh, I LOVE Vegas.  I haven't been there yet, but I just know I would love it.  I'd rather live anywhere than Idaho.  I'd rather live in Afghanistan than in Idaho."  Haha!  She cracks me up.  I should do a whole blog post on funny stuff Adelina says.

Kay, I need to go weed.  Peace out.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Kar do what Kar gotta do.

Duuuuuuuuuuuuude.  You guys, I am so SORRY!!  And when I say, "you guys," I'm talking to my two readers.  I haven't been on here in forever, but it's not because I've been depressed.  In fact, my sister called me a few weeks ago to say, "Kay, you haven't blogged.  Are you doing okay?"  I'm fine.  For realsies.  I've just been busy.  And sometimes blogging has to take a backseat.  It makes me sad, but that's the way it is. 

Dad and I were talking about the things that athletes do before throwing free-throws, winding up to bat, stuff like that.  And we were talking about how Karl Malone had something he would mutter as he did some deep knee bends and twirled the ball in his hands while at the free throw line.  It was part of his routine so that he wouldn't psych himself out.  We were wondering what it was that he used to always say, so Dad looked it up on his smart phone.  I have a dumb phone, so he had to do the honors.  And what Karl has said in interviews that he used to say is: "Karl Malone do what Karl Malone gotta do."  Which is like a tongue twister when you try to say it.  Try it.  AmIright?  I would do something less tongue twister-ish.  I think I'd say something like, "I'm just throwing the ball in my driveway."  Or maybe something really unrelated, like, "Bean burritos are so fattening."  I don't know.

Anyways, that little phrase of Karl's kind of sums up why I've been absent.  I've had stuff I've had to do.  Kar do what Kar gotta do.  Want me to tell you what I been doin'?  Okay.

1.  Editing VHS videos onto DVD.

My dad turned 60 in April, and my sisters and I thought it would be so cool, as a gift, to at least convert a few of his FIFTY-FOUR home videos on VHS to DVD.  I checked it out and found out that Walgreens can do that.  You can choose to either transfer each tape straight to DVD, orrrrrrr you can edit the tapes online and drag and drop to a DVD.  Which is what we really needed to do.  Because Dad was really a gung-ho videographer for a few years there.  I've seen footage of him on a snowmobile, scanning the forest while riding, for like an hour.  And do we need to see an hour of Yellowstone in the winter?  Nah.  Maybe like a minute, tops. 

And in the interest in getting this done in a timely fashion, I decided, the last month and a half of school, to take my usual blogging/working out time to edit these videos. 

Nope, I'm not done.  You'll see why soon.  I'm about 3/4 done.  I'm in 1993 right now.  Just finishing up my awkward stage.  Totally skinny.  Sigh.  I miss those days.

I'll add photos to this post later.  I don't have time to download them, resize them, and put them on here just now.  But I will.  Don't you worry your pretty little head about that.  I'll have to put one of my favorite video clips on here.  There are some seriously funny little gems I've found.  There are at least five times that Dad has been videotaping me doing some darn thing, and I'm always asking him if he has gum.  I don't know why I would do that; my parents hardly ever have gum!  I just think it's funny I was always trying to mooch gum off someone.  Nat was always telling Dad that the recorder wasn't on.  Beads was always standing in front of whatever Dad was trying to videotape, and he had to keep saying, "Beads, move over, I'm trying to see _________."  Lex, in her toddler phase, is always screaming and crying.  And Mom is always trying to flip  my dad off or tell off-color jokes about her boobs.  It's pretty funny stuff.  I love it.

2.  Having a mid-life crisis.

So, while going through these videos, I watched all of the footage of me dancing.  And I got really sad.  I have missed it so desperately.  But I have always thought, "Nah, no one would hire me.  I'm 40 pounds overweight and haven't danced in 15 years! And I haven't ever taught dancing!!"  And that led me to, "I made the wrong career choice!  I should have been a dance teacher!  I should have stuck with it!  And now it's too late!  Baaaahahahaha..."  (That is supposed to be a simulation of me crying in my head.  But it maybe looks like evil laughter.)

And then something inside of me was like, "It's not to late, Kar.  Apply at the local dance studios.  See what happens.  It can't hurt to apply..." 

And by dang, I did.  And by dang, some people have expressed interest!  I've had two ladies e-mail me a couple of times, but I haven't heard from them in awhile.  And then I've interviewed at two places and actually taught a class at one place.  It was so much fun to use those French terms again and get into teaching mode again.  I couldn't believe I was able to challenge these girls who are reeeeally skilled dancers.  I can't believe what a rush it was.  I have another class I'm teaching in a couple of weeks, so we'll see.  I haven't heard back from the lady whose class I taught, but she's been busy doing summer intensive stuff. 

I figure if it's meant to happen, it will happen.

3.  Running kids to activities.

Yep, I am officially in that phase where I spend the majority of my life in my car.  Dylan was in the Cal Ripken league this year, Sadie finished up ballet (and ended up really hating it.  "It's so BORING!" she would say), she had a volleyball clinic (way more up her alley.  I mean, a girl that pigeon-toed really shouldn't be in the ballerina business.  And she is so freakin' tall - perfect for volleyball), and Dyl had taekwondo and scouts.  Crazy schedule.

Dylan and baseball.  I chuckle still when I think about it.  You know, he did really well, considering that he hadn't had any baseball experience since he was five years old and in t-ball.  He had a really good throwing arm and spent the first half of the season in left field and the other half on third base.

But watching those games was absolutely cringe-worthy.  I played softball growing up and really just love the game of baseball.  My dad was often my coach and I have really fond memories of it.  Dylan just didn't seem that into it.  He never crouched, ready for the ball to come to him.  At one point, he was playing in the dirt between third and second base.  I was like, "DYLAN, STOP MESSING AROUND!!"  And up to bat, he mainly struck out.  But you know, in the field one day, he made one really awesome play, throwing a ball he fielded in left field all the way home.  The kid at home actually caught the ball (not an occurrence that happened often) and actually tagged the kid who was sliding into home out!!  That was a proud moment for me.

And he did get a couple of hits, which is great.  He was hitting about one out of three times at bat, and my dad informed me that makes his batting average a .333, which is better than a lot of guys in the major leagues.  I had no idea people struck out that often!!  I wish I had known that when I played ball.  I thought it was the worst thing in the world to strike out, so I swung at anything.  I'd, like, step clear over to where the ball was thrown so I could hit it.  Or practically golf it. I did anything to avoid striking out.

His coach said the flipping funniest stuff when he was cheering on his team.  If our pitcher was doing well, he'd yell, "'AT'S A PITCHAHHHHH!!!"  and "'AT'S A STRIKAHHHHHH!"  Some other favorites:

*  (to the pitcher, after pitching a strike) "Give him a steady diet of those!"
*  (to a kid named Will)  "Show him your WILL power!!"
*  (to the pitcher, after a kid didn't swing at one of his pitches, referring to the batter)  "He was thinking about it."
*  (to someone, I don't remember who)  "Unleash the BEAST!!"
*  (to a kid named Nathan, after he didn't swing at a bad pitch)  "Good eye, Little Child."
*  (when the kids weren't taking the discarded bats out of the playing field)  "Clean up that lumber!!"
*  (when Dylan got a hit)  "Way to whomp that tater, D.Y.!!"

He also referred to me as the Angel of Peace after I offered to sew on their arm patches.  I'm not sure what peace has to do with it, but I'll take it.  That's a better nickname than some others I've been called, amIright?

Dyl's team ended the season proudly:  1 and 21.  They won one game and lost 21.  Not kidding.

Like I said.  Cringeworthy.  But they got better as the season progressed, and that was fun to watch.  Plus I'll always take watching baseball over cleaning the house at home.

4.  Obsessing over Dressing Your Truth

Dressing Your Truth is an extension of the theories behind that book I read, The Child Whisperer.  So I took this free online course, and it was just really befuddling me.  But I had to spend $100 to learn the details of what a Type 2 dresses like, and I couldn't justify that, so I just sat and stewed over the limited information I had. 

And there is this Dressing Your Truth store down in Utah, I guess, and they have an online store as well, and all the Type Two stuff was stuff The Golden Girls would wear, and I was like, "Ugh, this stuff is so borrriiing!!!"

Seriously.  I spent like two weeks fretting about this.  And then I bought some shirts on sale that I thought might fit the style I was supposed to be wearing, and I'm not in love with them.  I have decided to push it out of my mind.  Because it was driving me nuts.

5.  Making a bazillion cards.

Seriously, this has been a really busy card-making time for me.  Birthdays, graduations, weddings, my card exchange group, requests from friends, helping in Young Women's, doing a card thing for Activity Days (my calling)...  I'll put them up here soon.  They're super cute.  I got an embossing machine and am having way too much fun with it.

Father's Day card:
 Manly birthday card:
Mother's Day Card:

6.  Losing a little weight.

I saw my cousins a month or so ago, and they were all total skinny minnies.  I was like, "How are you doing this?"  And they said they all used MyFitnessPal, that app you can get on iphones and ipads.  I don't have an iphone (I have a Dumb Phone, if you remember), but I do have an ipad, so I had Ben help me set it up, because I have NO idea how to do that stuff.  And I've been keeping track of my calories.

I never knew dieting could actually be kind of fun.

I never thought I'd hear those words come out of my mouth. 

I am a dieting failure.  I have failed at like a million different diets.  The reason this is working for me is because it's like a game.  "Oooh, if I want a coke with breakfast, then I have to have a really healthy lunch!"  See?  I can still enjoy things as long as I change other stuff.

And dude, working out is a big help.  I always did that, but I ate like a linebacker, so I wasn't dropping the weight.  But when you put in how much time and what kind of exercise you did, it adds to the calories you can intake that day.  Which is seriously fun.  It is what has enabled me to eat a piece of strawberry rhubarb pie every now and then. 

I've learned a lot.  Mainly, that my three main loves - pie, ice cream, and bean burritos, are evil.  Holy crap, those will do a lot of damage.  So, sometimes, I have to have half a scoop of ice cream, instead of two.  And it's okay just to have a taste of something.  Or, like, today I did have a bean burrito, which I was able to do because I jogged for an hour this morning.

So I've lost 11 pounds in the past five weeks and I can tell a little bit of a difference.  Other people have noticed, too, which makes me happy.  It just feels good not to feel like such a schlub, you know?? 

I've got probably thirty pounds to go.  I lost six in the first week and then have steadily lost one pound per week since then, which is what my cousin Ryan told me would happen.  Huge loss at first, and then slow and steady from there on.  Every now and then I have a day where I really mess up my calories, but not very often.  It's great to feel in control of something in my life.

7.  Reading.

I just finished the Beyonders series by Brandon Mull and loved it.  And now I'm reading the Divergent series, by someone.  I haven't paid much attention to the author because it's an ibook thing. You don't notice the author's name as much because you just go to the page you bookmarked when you pick it up to read it.   I am kind of tired of the whole young adult dystopian genre, but we saw the movie on my birthday and I liked it and decided to read the book.  It was fun.  So now I'm reading Insurgent.  But I think I may have to not read anymore youth dystopian stuff anymore.  It's getting kind of depressing.

8.  Binge-watching TV shows

In particular, The Mindy Project.  Ben and I watched both seasons in like a week.  I laughed and laughed.  I want to read the book Mindy Kaling wrote a couple of years ago, something like, Is Everyone Hanging Out without Me? and Other Concerns.  She's a funny girl. 

And I'm so glad her character and the character of Danny ended up getting together.  When they broke up halfway through the second season, I was so depressed for a couple of days.  Media gets to me in this way sometimes.  I remember watching Young Guns II when I was 13 (because it was rated PG 13 and I was finally 13 and allowed to go), and it depressed me for DAYS.  I remember sobbing while dusting our piano because Jesse James got killed.  I just couldn't get over it.  Despite the fact that he killed tons of people......  As that really ancient guest on The Brady Bunch said about Jesse James, "He was a mean, dirty killer...a mean, dirty, killer....a mean, dirty killer..."

If you don't know what I'm talking about, you need to binge-watch The Brady Bunch.  My favorite show of all time.  Seriously.

But back to crying about the demise of Jesse James - I am an emotional person sometimes.  Anti-depressants have helped with the whole bawling-about-things-you-really-don't-need-to-bawl-about problem I used to have. Mainly.

9.  Landscaping an entire yard.

So the grass was totally gone in our new house, because it had been empty for three years.  The only thing on the lawn was weeds.  And weeds in the flower beds.  So we used KillzAll to kill the weeds, had to wait 10 days for the weeds to experience plant death, and then Ben rototilled it.  Then we spent like a million years raking the weed clods off the dirt and discarding them.  This is only in the front yard.  The backyard is dead, but we haven't done anything more to it yet.

It was dirty, horrible work.  When we can afford more grass seed, I think we're going to get one of those back-hoe things and just scrape the top layer off and take it to the dump.  No more dusty raking.  My sensory perception disorder just can't stand it anymore.

Ben spread the grass seed a couple of weeks ago, and we've been watering it three or four times per day.  It's maybe an inch long now, and I'm so excited about it.  We'll have to re-seed some parts, but it's doing really great.

I inherited like a hundred iris starts from a friend of a friend, so I put those into my little garden triangle, plus some cast-off shrubs and some more starts from my parents, and it's almost totally full and looking pretty good.  All but one of the shrubs Mom and I planted like at the end of October, when it was already freezing, survived the winter, and they're looking really nice.  Some of the starts I've gotten are grumpy right now, but they'll get used to their new home soon.  I've been babying them and making sure the other shrubs and flowers are being kind and welcoming to them.  So their wilting should be stopping within the next couple of days.

Did you know that you burn 900 calories if you dig for 90 minutes?  True story.  It's nice that something has come from all of this back pain.

Also, I have decided that it's really dumb to fill your flower beds with river rock and lava rock.  Or to use that stupid black fabric plastic stuff.  That doesn't stop weeds from coming up, dude.  It's perforated.  Therefore weeds can come up.

Lots and lots of digging. 

However, I've made it fun for myself by singing that cool Hip Hop song that's in the movie Holes while I dig.  "Diggin' up them  holes, dig it...diggin' up them holes, dig it..."  I should download that song.  I really like it.

10.  Limping around.

My foot is still bugging me.  Did I ever tell you I have plantar fasciitis?  I've had it for a year.  I've been limping for a year!!!  Cortisone shots are the only thing that help me to be functional.  And taping my foot every day.

I tried orthodics from the running store, but my podiatrist says they aren't good enough.  I have to try these special $60 ones now and wear them every dang day.  No flip flops for me this summer.  Which is a huge bummer.

Hey, that rhymes.  Summer, bummer.

And if the $60 ones don't work, I have to get $380 ones.  And if those don't work, I have to do this surgery on my foot that will render me unable to do anything active for two whole months.  Blah.

11.  Mourning.

My husband got laid off three weeks ago.  And I didn't feel like blogging about it for awhile. 

Basically, the company he works for decided they didn't want to go after architectural projects anymore.  They just want to go after industrial projects.  Coal storage domes.  Wood pellet storage domes.  Stuff like that.  You don't need an architect when you're just building a plain old dome.  So they let Ben go.  I had no idea this was on the horizon.  I thought Ben would have this job the rest of his life.

It hit me hard.  Because it brought back memories of when the company he was working for went under five years ago.  That was one of the hardest times in our marriage.  So, so awful.  So I cried for a good full day or so.  But since then, I've had a feeling of peace.  I know Heavenly Father will take care of us.  I just don't know where he'll take us, or when Ben will get a new job.  It took Ben a couple of weeks to get his portfolio, letters of recommendation, letter of intent, and resume together, and now he just applies, applies, applies.

He has applied at all the local firms, but hasn't heard back from any of them.  There are lots of jobs available in bigger cities - Denver, San Fran, Las Vegas, cities in Florida... so it looks like we might have to move from the house we just barely bought and are so in love with. The house we just landscaped.   I hoped I'd never have to move again, until we retired or something.  I really don't want to rip the kids out of school again, when that just happened last December.  They finally just got comfortable at their new school, and now we may never return there. 

I don't have any feeling yet about whether we'll move or where we'll move or anything.  I keep waiting for Heavenly Father to give me some kind of hint, but I'm getting nothing right now.

Luckily, this time, Ben got a three-month severance, so we're able to still live while he looks.  But it will end at the end of August, and we'd better have something by then, or we're screwed. 

As for my part, I'll continue pursuing this dance teaching thing, and then I'll probably work on getting my teaching certificate up-to-to-date, just in case.  I hope it doesn't come to that.  Architectural jobs are much more plentiful than they were five years ago.

Ben really wants this job in Ketchum, Idaho.  Right by Sun Valley.  Beautiful country.  I'd like that, too.  He also has an interview this week with a company in Vegas that does hotels and casinos.  He interviewed for a place in San Fran, but the guy wasn't offering enough for us to survive on.  Maybe a single man could survive on what the guy was offering, but not a man supporting a family of six.  Some dude in Indonesia contacted him.  When Ben told me that, I swore.  I just...can't do the Asia thing again.  Unless we're in a big, westernized city this time.  For reals, yo.

So we'll see what happens.  Do me a favor and include us in your prayers, will ya?

Soooo that sums up the last month and a half or so.  Lots of news.  Lots of craziness.  I'll throw some pictures on here when I get a chance.  And I'll let you know what becomes of us.  Hopefully we won't be living in a cardboard box on the side of the road in three months.
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