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:
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.
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.
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.