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Tuesday, May 31, 2011


What a great weekend. I mean, really. Sheesh.

You may or may not remember that Alan and I have a band we both love. Alan "discovered" them while we were dating and their first few albums became the soundtrack to our courtship and newlywed years. They are the Old 97s

The Old 97s were in Salt Lake City Saturday night and you better believe we were there. Fourth time since 1999 (except maybe once I wasn't allowed in because maybe I borrowed someone's ID and maybe they didn't believe it was me).

Each concert, the crowd gets a little fuller. And older. And crazier. And drunker. But the band, they are always phenomenal. I'm not kidding. They must have played over 20 songs and they killed each one. We never even heard the nimrod behind us that kept screaming before they took the stage. I'm sure he was still screaming, but the music took over, thankfully.

After the show we got to meet Ken (the guitarist above, left), Murry, and Rhett (the singer above). Maybe our son being named Rhett has something to do with our love for the Old 97s. Well, that and our love for novels and cinema (Hello, Rhett Butler). Rhett Louis Macfarlane sounds pretty great, too. I can see it in bold on his best-selling, great American novel.

So, we met Rhett Miller. He was very gracious to everyone. Even to the crazy tattoo lady who tried really hard to woo him.

Check out their music, if you want to be awesome.


Monday, May 30, 2011

may 30

Happy Memorial Day!

It's May 30th and raining with a high of 60*F. So, no grilling over here. Maybe we'll go out to lunch and drive up the canyons to see the snow. 

Hope your day is memorable.


Friday, May 27, 2011

4 day weekend

It's 9:12 a.m.

There is no school today. Kids go back on Tuesday for another week and a half. Then it will be summer.

It's now 9:13 a.m.

The only thing I can think right now is, "How in the world am I going to do this for 2 1/2 months?"

Johnny and Ash have already asked me 18 times if they can play the Wii. The short answer is no. The longer answer is no, because you played it yesterday for three hours and I was feeling very generous since Ashton got a new Wii game. But then you were super cranky at night and this is not going to happen this weekend. Find something new to do. Go play with your massive amount of toys. Go outside. Draw me a picture. Go read a book!

But, when will we get to play the Wii?


9:16 a.m. and they are all congregating in my room needing direction. Son of a... !

Today tells me that I've got a lot of planning to do in the next week. I can't promise a trip to the park every single day this summer.

It's 9:18 a.m. and Johnny just said, "How about in 3 hours we can play the Wii?!"

Oy vey.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

army guys to the rescue

Yesterday was all about Ash and the party.

When I asked him what he wanted for breakfast, he said "Cereal." Really? I will make you chocolate chip pancakes, smoothies, ebelskivers, anything. "Cheerios." 

What do you want to do while I get ready for your party? "Play the Wii."

Where do you want to go for lunch with Mommy? "I just want a cheese sandwich at home." Seriously? We can go anywhere you want and you can get a drink, too. "Cheese sandwich" (we actually call them "Daddy sandwiches" because Alan makes cheese sandwiches with Miracle Whip and they all love them).

The party was a success. The kids loved the ribbon entrance.

We played a few games, which always last about 1 minute, even though I've estimated they would take 15 minutes. Water grenade toss, obstacle course, army crawl race, musical chairs, dance/dance/freeze. 

The cake was a hit. The kids loved having an army guy on their piece of cake. Those guys got a lot of play... messy, cake play. The camouflage cupcakes were pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. 

For dinner, Ash chose the Training Table--a place where you can call in your order from your table. It was pretty gross. Happy Birthday, Ash. Wherever you want.

And then American Idol. Big surprise. Whatever.

good times


Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I can't believe this kid is five years old!


He has been my little pal for the last five years. I think I will actually cry when he goes to kindergarten in the fall. Ashton is easygoing, funny, quiet, handsome and happy in his own skin. If he's tired, he puts himself to bed. If he's bored, he pulls out the army guys and cars. If he's angry, he gets over it. If he is hungry, he begs. And he's hungry all of the time. Food and the Wii are Ashton's favorite topics.

Ash likes to get cozy, sit on my lap, and tackle Rhett. His prayers are mostly about Johnny. He can stay silent for the entire dinner and the one sentence he says will have us all laughing to tears.

Five is the beginning of being a big kid. I am excited for him, but hopeful that he doesn't grow out of the awesome kid that he is. 

I sure love you a whole lot, Sizzles McDizzles!

Happy Birthday to Ashton!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Gypsy Momma

25,731 sq ft  ANYONE? this home can be YOURS--see it HERE

I am a nomad.

70% of me could roam the rest of my days. Stay 6 months here, 2 years there, 15 months over there.

30% of me (and I am guessing this is the mother part) wants roots--a place to always call home.

The four people I call my children force the 30% to be the dominant personality. So I begin looking for a place to plant my our roots. And I have come to another conclusion about myself:

I am a home snob.

I don't care about gated communities or granite ANYTHING in a home. In fact, those two things turn me off in looking for a home. My problem is I want the homes that are $100k-$200k more than I can afford... for the price I can afford. I want a deal. I've seen this house recession and I want no part of it. I want to get a great home for an incredible price.

If I'm going to plant roots (and acquiesce to the 30%) then it better be pretty cool soil.

That personality trait is the saboteur of the home buying process.

The 70% wins... for now. Call me Gypsy Momma.


Monday, May 23, 2011

sometimes you feel like a nut

Blogs are funny.

Blogs are basically narcissistic.

This is my virtual soapbox, podium, scrapbook and I have the gall to think anyone should care. You are an enabler. And I love you for it. Truly.

I go through these roller coaster of emotions about this ol' blog. Sometimes I love it. Sometimes I wish I was as cool as some popular bloggers. Sometimes I don't care at all. Sometimes I wish it wasn't hovering over me every morning trying to think of something to write. Sometimes I love it.

Last year, I made a goal to write something every weekday. Now I can't stop. Even when I've got nothing to say. Because I can't let YOU down. If I let you down, I let myself down and then we're all down... and that's not cool.

So I put some drivel down every weekday. And you, my friend, stop by and sometimes you comment. You and I have become a lot closer, I can feel it. It's the kind of friendship that keeps up when time passes quickly and some friendships fade. It's a pretty rad connection.

I keep blogging. I realize that maybe this blog thing isn't completely narcissistic.

So, yeah, thanks.


Friday, May 20, 2011


Is it me or does it seem that I have neglected to share some of my favorite music lately?

No longer, my friends.

I bought the entire album (!) this week of Sia's "We Are Born". I own a few songs of Sia's and they got a lot of play, so I don't know why I was a year late to the game on this album.

In short: I love every song. It's beyond radical. I don't even know how to pare it down to a song or three to share with you. But, I will try.

First up is "You've Changed". Check it out:

Awesome, eh?

And then there is a slower, more intense offering called "I'm in Here":

One more, you say? Nice. A weekend starter and funky video to boot. Voila, "Clap Your Hands":

bon weekend, mes amis.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

the 3 wise men

Papa John teaching Ashton and Johnny how to skip a rock last weekend.
John, Alan, John.

The first born sons.

My father-in-law, my mate, and my son.

Biggest minds I've ever known. Ask them who that kid was with the red sweatshirt when we ate at that one restaurant five years ago and 9 times out of 10 they will know first and last names. They remember everything.  The name of the band of the obscure song playing... and the year it came out.

One time I was with Al's Mom and sisters; we were talking about the Victorian Era and we asked John (Sr) when that was. "Late 1830s until the first of the 20th century." Like it was common knowledge everyone was carrying around in their heads. Later, I began to recount his Dad's incredible recall to Alan and before I gave dates, he said, "Wasn't the Victorian Era 1840-1900?" Close enough.

It's a good thing I've got these three around. I can't remember what I had for dinner last night. Johnny could tell me what we ate two months ago, and what we had for breakfast on his 2nd birthday.

Man, someone get these fellas on a game show or something. Someone hire them to be federal profiling agents. 



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

700 BOO-YAH!

I've got nothing today, folks. Nada. Rien. Zilch.

It's a rainy, cold day and all I want to do is read my book and fold laundry. Well, I don't WANT to fold laundry, but that is the only time I watch movies during the day. And since I've got three loads in process... looks like a movie day.

It's nice, I admit.

Oh, and this is my 700th post. It's the real deal. (or as my fellow Utahns would say "the rill dill!")

What should we do to celebrate the big 700?


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I kid you not

Scene: Same Costco, one week later

We open up to a slightly less disheveled (than the previous ACT) Anna strolling around a very busy Costco with the two sons in the shopping cart. It is midday and she wonders why she always comes at the busiest times.

As she maneuvers her cart around the packed aisles, she sees someone familiar. On second look, it is an old, well, what-would-you-call-him? Not quite boyfriend. They dated several times. He flew out several times to take her out and called her on the phone for weeks. He even took her to meet his parents. Thanks to Anna's stellar memory, she can't remember if they ever kissed. On second thought, she doesn't think that they did.

He walks right past her.

No, they definitely did not kiss.


Monday, May 16, 2011

spah-ring cah-leanin'

What is it about springtime that makes me want to clean up and get rid? And spray paint?

We live in an old house. Which means Al and I share a small closet. Like the closest at IKEA in the 500 sq ft home showroom where the closet holds maybe five outfits. 

This is what it was looking like sometime last week:

My Momma tried!

One overflowing garbage bag to the thrift store and one ginormous box of winter clothes later...

The tragedy is that I probably only wear 1/10th of all that remains. Baby steps, people.

Now I've got to finish the dresser I am painting so I can tackle the overflowing pajamas, socks, etc. Spring cleaning is liberating... and exhausting.

Do you Spring Clean? Are you one of those hardcore cleaners that moves all of the furniture (even the toilets) to get the big clean on? Or are you the type of cleaner who gets it looking nice, but leaves the deep cleans for moving time? (Guess which one I am. HA!)


Friday, May 13, 2011

s'about time

Oh, Ashton's sweet little friend walked over with this handful of tulips. Is there anything more tender than spring's blooms?

And finally... it is time for this:

time to change from cozy, flannel sheets to cool, cotton sheets. Yes, that is my train-car bedroom. It is like sleeping in a little cabin in the trees.

Anything great happening this weekend?


Thursday, May 12, 2011

holy craft

Thanks to the fifteen of you that want my craft. It warms my heart.

I had pick a winner... randomly. Here's the deal, though. I would send you all an item, if I could justify paying the postage. If you didn't win, come by my house and pick one anyway.

For real.

The winner to whom I will package and mail to your doorstep a piece of craft is:

Congrats, Michelle. And I agree. The earrings ARE adorable. Email me your address to arzabud{at}msn{dot}com .

To the other 14 of you, come over to my house and pick something. I'll save it 'til you get here.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

a load of craft

About the Beehive Bazaar.

It was fun. It made me get out of my comfort zone a lot and push my creative little heart. It took lots of hours and lots of money. After cost of supplies, entrance fee, and the 20% taken by those in charge, I will come out of it $50 richer.

That's like 75 cents an hour! And I'm worth it!

I also came home with a craft-load of my remaining items. Happy Birthday, Family and Friends. I hope you like hardware jewelry, colorful animals and army guys, and dip-dyed kitchen towels.

But... it was a good experience for me. Check it off my To Do List for this life. 

How about I share the wealth of leftover craft with you? Say YES! 

12:45 a.m. I have no pride. But, I had to show you that these earrings are really quite cool. Believe me. Utah is just behind the fashion. They didn't know a good deal like these bad boys when they saw them at the craft bazaar. They will be sad. oh yes.

I will send a pair of hardware earrings or a dip-dyed sailor knot bracelet to one commenter. None of this fancy "follow me" or "tell all of your friends" or even "five days until this giveaway closes". If you love me, you "follow" anyway. Right?

Whether you are friend, family, or blog friend, leave me a comment saying which one you would prefer and I will pick a winner tomorrow.

Even if you've already won something from me before.

(AKA Help me get rid of this craft!)

Maybe someday I will show you how to make it yourself and YOU can make millions selling it at craft fairs. Just give me 1%. Deal?


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

greasy and grimy

let me paint you a picture...

Up really late Thursday night because when the husband is gone, all kinds of noises are amplified and  the TV must stay on until at least 4 am. Friday morning, wake up, get kids off to school, feed baby and 4yo. Hastily dress (sure, this matches... enough) and pat that wicked short hair down (3rd day no washing it). Run out the door to pick up a friend and take her to the airport.

Think, "Hey, Costco is kind of on the way back and I don't know another time when I am going to be able to get all of the supplies for my Mother's Day dinner." Yes, buying dinner provisions for Mother's Day is on the TO-DO list. 

Run around an oddly-busy-for-Friday-morning Costco with two little boys happily munching on every sample item (CREAMIES today!  woot woot!). Take a bite of the Creamies and make funny noises. Look to the left. See an old high school boyfriend. With his adorable wife. Stop and chat. 

Walk away content that he no longer resents you breaking up with him because DANG, lady, look how you turned out! His wife also feels much better that she is way cuter than that old high school girlfriend he once had. You know, if he even kept his Prom pictures.


Monday, May 9, 2011

weekend by pic

Last weekend Al left us to hike and search these:

While I, of course, had to set up and worry about this:

Meanwhile, while out to lunch with my mother, she ended up doing one of these:
FOR THE RECORD this is not my mother, and it was not her fault

Which gave her a ride in one of these:

Then Rhett had a bite of one of these:
chocolate-covered cashew

Which made him break out all over his little body into this:

And made him vomit all over himself and me, as we made our way to clean up this:
so yes, I smelled like very sick vomit as I cleaned up and chatted with people. Great impressions I make!

Alan finally came home. Oh yeah, and it was Mother's Day. That was nice.

I hope you had a less exciting weekend.


Friday, May 6, 2011

mine mine mine mom

For quite a long time, Rhett said only DAD and ASHTON. I was--to put it mildly--disappointed.

I MADE you.
I CARRIED you in my womb.
I BORE you in a not-that-pleasant experience.
I FEED you, CHANGE your soiled diapers, WASH you, KISS and HUG you!
Say MY name!

Oh, young mothers, be careful in your asking.

Now he says many words, but two of them are so frequent that he may very well be playing a recording.

They are BALL and MOM. The latter definitely outweighs the former. By about a gazillion. It reminds me of the seagulls on the movie Finding Nemo.

Rhett's frequent Mom-calling also reminds me of a story by Pres. Spencer W. Kimball:

“At a distant conference, my plane brought me to the city many hours early. The stake president met me at the airport and took me to his home. Having important work to do, he excused himself and returned to his work. With the freedom of the house, I spread my papers on the kitchen table and began my work. His wife was upstairs sewing. In mid-afternoon, there came an abrupt entry through the front door and a little fellow came running in, surprised to see me. We became friends; then he ran through the rooms calling, ‘Mother.’ She answered from upstairs, ‘What is it, darling?’ and his answer was, ‘Oh, nothing.’ He went out to play.

“A little later another boy came in the front door calling, ‘Mother, Mother.’ He put his school books on the table and explored the house until the reassuring answer came from upstairs again, ‘Here I am, darling,’ and the second one was satisfied and said, ‘Okay,’ and went to play. Another half hour and the door opened again and a young teenager moved in, dropped her books, and called, ‘Mother.’ And the answer from upstairs, ‘Yes, darling,’ seemed to satisfy and the young girl began practicing her music lesson.

“Still another voice later called, ‘Mother,’ as she unloaded her high school books. And again the sweet answer, ‘I am up here sewing, darling,’ seemed to reassure her. She tripped up the stairs to tell her mother the happenings of the day. Home! Mother! Security! Just to know Mother was home. All was well.” (found here)

I think sometimes the notion exists that mothers who are well-educated and intelligent need to put those things to good use by working outside of the home... otherwise it is wasted.

Wasted on what? On whom? Your children?! Who else should raise my children to become the intelligent, kind, respectable people I hope they become?

I have no doubt that I could be a successful business woman. It's in my blood. I am sure I could make gobs of money. Oh yes, I said GOBS. I am that confident in my abilities and intelligence. But the first time I read that story, I knew that if situations allowed, I would stay home with my children (but good chance I wouldn't be the sewing mother; maybe a spray-painting mother). As long as I was able. And I would do my best to make it so that I was able. My children are more precious than gobs and gobs of money. Or notoriety. Or acclaim.

Which makes this snippet of Rhett all the more endearing. Bring it on, sweet child of mine:

I am grateful this Mothers Day that I can BE A MOTHER. And that I am able to be a STAY-AT-HOME MOTHER. I am unapologetic for this. While I am aware that everyone has a different situation and some are unable to or prefer not to stay at home, I proudly state that I CAN! That I WANT TO and that I LOVE IT!

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to all who read this. To those who are mothers, to those who have mothers, and to those who hope to become mothers. But especially to my own mother.



Thursday, May 5, 2011

if you go

(to the Beehive Bazaar) check out my table:

it's the one with the red polka dots kinda back in the front corner. (don't put baby in a corner)

If you go, make sure you LOUDLY admire every single thing on my table and say how ingenious and inexpensive each thing is.

you know... if there is anything left! ;)


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

ahummunu whaa?

Yesterday, Maggie asked me if I know what a "donor dad"  is?

What? No. Why?

Because a girl at her school has two moms and a donor dad.

Upon further investigation, Maggie tells me a lot of what this new girl at school told her. Like her mom loves her other mom very much, so they got married and used a donor dad so that they could have a child. And when she is 16, she can find her donor dad... but won't it be funny when all of his children from being a donor dad show up at his door?! She has more brothers and sisters than she knows. Also, this new girl has traveled to Turkey AND has lead thousands of people in a march to allow girls to marry girls.

Maggie is NINE! I didn't know most of this stuff until I was 29. Or something.

On one hand, I am glad she came to me and asked me difficult questions. I am grateful that we can talk about these types of things openly and honestly. I am lucky that she trusts me. I do appreciate living in a place where she can see that all types of people are good and that we all make our own choices--sometimes we villianize those we don't know. I am glad that she knows many kinds of people and families.

On the other hand, Maggie is nine. This was a topic of conversation I didn't imagine having for a couple of years. And I never imagined that a new girl who is so exciting and dynamic would be the one giving Maggie her first impression on such a weighty issue.

I guess my kids are growing up. BOOOO!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I can see it in your eyes

Monday, May 2, 2011

this week

In about 3 days I have to set up for this:

And I have to finish, price, tag, inventory, and set up this:

and more.

Then I have to pretend like I don't care if anyone buys anything to save esteem, even though Alan told me not to bring any of it home.

Is anybody else feel a huge pit in their stomach? No? Yeah, me neither.

Are you coming?