Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Carry Me

My favorite sounds tonight.









Monday, December 28, 2009

Olde Tyme

If you ever lived in Utah as a kid, I am certain you went to Lagoon at least once a summer. And I am also certain that you remember the black and white photo shop in Pioneer Village where you could get your picture taken as a 19th century saloon girl or gunfighter. And I am willing to bet that most of your parents were not willing to pay whatever ridiculous amount of money they charged at said shop to get such a photo. Am I right?

So when Emily came out to Colorado Springs and we walked by such a place in our touristy wanderings, the 12 year old me was just bursting to do it. It turned out that 12 year old Em was pretty easy to convince as well and next thing you knew this happened:



I'm thinking I ought to crop that cleavage, make it my Facebook profile photo and see what if it has any effect on my relationship status.

But don't worry, after we satisfied our inner 12 year olds, we let our inner Olympians out as well.




Sonic drinks are very, very important staples of our training you see.

Friday, December 25, 2009

25

Coming home to Utah is always such a blur. We stay up late, I never manage to see everyone no matter how much running around I do, I drink a truly disturbing amount of Diet Dr. Pepper and then suddenly it's over and I am exhausted and happy and just a little bit dazed.

This trip has been really fun. My sister came to Colorado Springs on Friday to help me put my apartment together and keep me company on the loooong drive home (but oh! to live within driving distance of the family!). It's been just about a week I almost have Morgan convinced that I really am a member of the family.

One of the best parts of being here though has been the social overload. Remember that I totally love my new job and I'm enjoying the new apartment and the new city but it's been a lot of new. 2009 was an absolutely exhausting year. I was miserable for the first three months of it, I changed jobs twice and I moved to a brand new place for the first time in a long time. So I'm having a great time and feeling happy and blessed and all kinds of other superlatives but it's also been a long year of being "on". Learning new stuff, working hard, trying to make friends, being a wee bit concerned about the utter lack of dating prospects-it all combines to wear a girl out. So when I sit at a table with the girls I grew up with and we laugh about junior high crushes and Sunday School teachers we hid from and babies and husbands, it feels like watering a half dead plant. It's been a week stuffed full of those kinds of moments-friends from all stages of my life who just fill me right back up and put back all the emotional electrolytes I lost in this nutso year. I feel awfully lucky for my job and the move but of all my embarrassingly large haul of blessings, I am most thankful for my adorable family and my share and then some of good, good friends. A roommate a few years ago teased me that some people collect stamps-I collect people. I am pretty sure I have a Sotheby's worthy collection because I've been laughing and smiling nonstop for eight days.

Now I'm going to go fill up on getting attacked by my brothers and quilting with my sisters while we listen to Sufjan Stevens. Bliss.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Intro

My baby sister (who is 18 and really isn't a baby at all) started a new blog and it is awesome.


I'll post this week if I ever stop cuddling with Morgan.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Heist

I went to Vancouver last weekend for a final site visit before the Games and got pulled into a little adventure we like to call "ticket pick-up". That's when four of us go to Canada with empty suitcases and come back with about $2 million in tickets. Yep.

Step one is to go to the Organizing Committee and count out about 14,000 tickets to make sure we got them all. Here is Nancy opening the ceremonial first box.


Then the cute ticketing guy explains to us how to read the ticket.

Awww, look at me with my stack of Speed Skating tickets...notice how I ALREADY look tired and this is BEFORE we spent 22 hours in a conference room counting, counting, counting.
Being at the Office meant seeing several people that I like quite a lot. Scott and Bev from the Salt Lake Games came down to say hello. Bev and I keep in great touch but I hadn't seen Scott in seven years. Aside from a few more gray hairs though, he was the same delightful guy who used to bring us to our knees laughing way back when. We got telling stories and I am pretty sure the interns with us thought we were insane. It felt so good to see them, even just for a few minutes.
Here is the ticket counting machine that sort of makes you feel like you are doing something illegal. Although pretty much the whole experience made me feel like I was doing something illegal. Can you imagine the looks you get at the airport when four of you come through the TSA with nothing in your carryons???
And here is two million dollars worth of tickets.
We spent the next two days counting, sorting, and assigning tickets to all of our National Govering Bodies. We were watching Ellen while we worked and what should be wandering eyes should appear but John Mayer! Wearing one of the Ralph Lauren sweaters our athletes are getting! The very sweaters I have been counting for the last month! Full circle my friends.
And if you are wondering how we got all those tickets home? No armored car, no bodyguards. Just four ladies and our suitcases. The station manager in Vancouver was nice enough to come in early and walk us through the airports so we could get right to the plane with no waiting. You sure get a lot of curious looks when you are being waved through every checkpoint plus customs. Definitely the way to travel folks.Our bags were all crazy heavy. I was pulling mine down from the overhead compartment and said something about it breaking my back and the guy behind me said, "heh, must be all that gold bullion you have in there." I made nervous eye contact with Lisa and Brittney and we all giggled like dorks. We are very subtle.

I was so dead tired when I got home I thought for sure I would just fall into bed. Instead I grocery shopped, did laundry, cleaned my house, got a pedicure and wrapped Christmas presents. I'm hoping there is something like sleep under the tree for me next week.

The end.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Down

As you may have guessed from reading this thing lately, life is pretty good.

I do have a complaint though.

I have had zero zero zero time to write in the last three months. Don't misunderstand, I love being busy! I love feeling really good at my job again! I love getting to do new and interesting things!

But I miss writing. This has been an insane week of Games Staff Training and I had to give not one or two but three presentations and I finally feel like a human again. I desperately want to write about that but it's 10:25 and I'm so friend that I just watched two straight hours of television to give my brain a break. I get to the end of the day lately and I'm completely spent.

But there are tulips on my table (MY table!) and the apartment is warm and my bed is cozy and the sunshine wakes me up every day and I'm going to Vancouver in two days. And yesterday I cried at work and not because I was sad but because our Director of Paralympics brought us all to tears with his closing remarks. And that folks, is why this girl is going to keep the murmuring to a minimum and get to bed.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

This Christmas

All I did this weekend was sleep. I managed to pull myself out of the house to go for a failure of a run, go to a parade with my friend Heather and her family, hit an hour of church and get a tiny bit of grocery shopping done.

Other than that, I caught up on a few shows and watched The Proposal so I could stare at Ryan Reynolds for awhile and I slept. At first I was feeling really guilty about sleeping away my weekend but then I realized, hey self, you've been pulling 12-14 hour work days for about three weeks so it's really possible that what you needed was a whole bunch of rest.

I've been listening to a whole bunch of Christmas music while I slugged around. Here are some of my favorites for your enjoyment!

These guys went to school with my friend Lori and they are really quite fantastic.


The Weepies



Is it even Christmas without Nat King Cole??



If you can get your hands on Sufjan Steven's Christmas albums, do. Fantastic.



This is Judy Garland and Bing Crosby doing Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer and it's one of my all time favorites. It's so clever and fun.



How wonderful are the Beach Boys?? This little gem is just a perfect example of everything they were so good at-fun lyrics, great harmonies, and catchy catchy tunes that stick like crazy in your head.



Make fun of me if you want to but I love Justin Timberlake and I think this is such a pretty version of one of my favorite classics.



And finally-Taylor Swift doing Last Christmas!!! What could be better??



I love Christmas!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Finito

So we finished counting all the apparel for the Games today. My shoulders hurt, I've been dirty for like three straight weeks and I'm sick to death of cardboard. But today when we stacked all of our pallets neatly against the walls and our 30,000 items were all accounted for I might have done an actual dance of joy.

Here it all is-every scrap of Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Podium wear and a whole bunch more fun stuff you get if you spend your entire life training your head off. (psss, those stacks are six deep friends. I'm ready to die.)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

My coworkers are going to kill me

But then again, this pose took zero coaxing so...


Oh I love my job.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Last Christmas

I looooooove Christmas music. Love it! And these days I love the show Glee too.

So when I found a version of the cast of Glee singing Wham's "Last Christmas" I almost died.



Hooray!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fact

Pretty much all you need to know about me in one sequence of events from this evening:

I took a nice quiet bath for about half an hour. Immediately after getting out I scrubbed the tub, mopped the floor, washed the bath mats and vacuumed the entire apartment.

Because seriously, relax? How would I even do that?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Bless You

I was going to write a long post about the differences between Thanksgiving 2008 and Thanksgiving 2009 but instead I'm going to rip off my friend's Facebook status from yesterday. It's pretty perfect.

Without exaggaration, if one year ago today somebody would have shown me today, I would have wept for joy. What a miraculous year it has been for me. Blessings from above and I am thankful indeed.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Bring Him Home

One day when I was 11 or 12, my mom brought home some tapes she was very excited about. She had seen a segment on 20/20 about a new Broadway musical and was so struck by one of the songs they highlighted in the story that she went right out and bought the soundtrack. I was just a wee thing but I still vividly remember her putting in the tape and finding the song (hey remember tapes? the fast forwarding to get the song you wanted? that was awesome) and playing one of the most beautiful songs I had ever heard as loud as she could get our stereo to go. We had speakers left over from my dad's college rock bands days so that is kind of saying something. I used to love to stand right next to those things when the music was loud and I could feel it thumping right into my chest.

The musical was the adaptation of Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables" and the song was "Bring Him Home", Valjean's prayer to save the wounded love of his daughter's life.

If you are unfamiliar with the story, Les Miserables is basically about redemption and atonement and my mother fell madly in love with the musical. She got so good at talking about it that Relief Society groups and Book Clubs all over the valley would have her come give her presentation about it complete with selections from the play. She finally got to see it in LA a few years later and then on Broadway a few years after that. So I grew up with the story and the music as a staple in our house and it was rarely played quietly. I still know every single word to every single song. When I went to New York for high school graduation I finally got to see it on Broadway as well and it was every bit as amazing and inspiring as I expected. I was slightly outraged at my classmates who like "Phantom of the Opera" better.

So if you want to know why the Twilight phenomenon with it's creepy codependent love story and shirtless werewolves is so annoying to me, blame it on the woman who raised me. It's not that I was above teen drama and romance-I used to listen to sad little Eponine sing "On My Own" to a Marius who didn't even know she was alive and cry my guts out. But my mother loved this musical not just because the music is fantastic and the story is engaging but because there is depth and truth it and you can't watch it without feeling something real. And watching it isn't exactly homework-the play ran for 16 years on Broadway and 21 years in London. It won eight Tony awards, and grossed 1.8 billion dollars worldwide-it was a phenomenon too. It's not too much to expect that something can be obsession worthy and still maybe leave you a little bit better.

My iTunes spit out a bunch of Les Miz tonight and after I was done sobbing I managed to find the clip of that 20/20 segment on YouTube. I had actually never seen it but it shows the first time Colm Wilkinson sang "Bring HIm Home" in rehearsal and I honestly think if you can watch this and not feel anything you might want to have your soul examined.



Then here is a full version of the song from the 10th Anniversary performance.



My poor future children. I'm going to make them read Pride and Prejudice and watch Romeo and Juliet and go to museums. They are so going to hate me. Unless of course I get kids like me and then they will totally write a nice blog post 23 years later about how awesome I am for introducing them to greatness.

Thanks Mom.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Room of One's Own

I've done a fair amount of adult things in my life. I'm a college graduate, and a returned missionary. I've managed million dollar budgets and moved across the country not once or twice but three times. I've bought cars, flown to foreign countries by myself, and even have a 401k.


But the most grown up I have ever felt was this week when I moved into my first apartment all by myself. For the first time in my life, I'm the only person who lives here! It's all mine to clean up or mess up and build forts in the living room if I want.


I've been pretty lucky in the roommate department over the last 15 years of living with people. I have generally lived with good, well-adjusted girls in cute apartments with low drama factors. But when I moved to Colorado I decided it was a good time to try getting my own little space. I found a cute place near the mountains with a lovely view of the city. All week I've fallen asleep to the twinkling lights of Colorado Springs out my bedroom window.


It's been way, way too much fun. Anyone who has ever lived with me will know that I'm spending an inordinate amount of time in my towel instead of proper clothing and I don't think I've turned the stereo off since I moved in.

One thing I haven't really done over the years is to collect more then clothes, CD's and books. I have more shoes then I can fit in the giant walk in closet but I don't own a couch or a skillet. So yesterday I spent more money in one eight hour period then I have in my entire life setting up a kitchen and getting some key furniture pieces to build around. My sister who is much better at making things pretty than I am is coming before Christmas to help me hang art on the walls and figure what to do with the inordinate amount of space I have in my bathroom. My OWN bathroom. Yep, first time for that too.


I went to a Dixie Chicks show a few years ago and this song really hit home for me. What I dream about has always been a bit different from a lot of the girls I grew up with. Not better, just different. A little spot of my very own was always on the list and although I'm finding I need more patience in getting where I want to be than I ever imagined, there is a special sweetness to finally getting there. Even if you take a long, long, bumpy road to get there.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Backyardigans

So this is ten minutes from my house.
Hey there is a guy up there!
Oh hello deer.

I need to make some friends so I can take less awkward photos of myself.


Not a bad place to call home eh?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Factory Girl

So I may not actually be cut out for a life of manual labor. We spent this week counting every. single. piece. of apparel the athletes will get in February. The sense of pride I will get when I see Bode Miller on the medals stand, knowing I have touched not only his jacket but his tights AND his socks *might* not be worth the fact that now I have to spend the weekend moving my OWN clothes across town and my nails are already all broken.

However, this is the week I discovered Fanfarlo. If you don't like them yet, try harder. Their album Reservoir is so fantastic and you don't believe me, trust my friend Heather who knows far more than I do about music that is awesome. If this hadn't been such an exhausting week I would be in Denver RIGHT NOW watching them.

But I caught up with Coach Taylor and Liz Lemon tonight and despite my whining, that ain't a bad Friday night.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

I Wear Sneakers

I'm just going to admit it. I am a tad bit obsessed with Taylor Swift. You're laughing. That's OK, I'm very comfortable with it.

I put "Love Story" on a running mix earlier this year because it's has this great building chorus that is so perfect for hill climbing and it opened some sort of floodgate. Next thing I knew I was picking up her CD at Target and now I know the whole album by heart. I know!

But hear this, if you were ever a 15 year old female living in the suburbs this little album hits ridiculously close to home. Even if you like to think you were a fairly serious teenager with a lot of important things on her mind, life was still about and crushes and dances and football games and boys who didn't seem to realize you were totally perfect for them. And although it's really easy for adult me to look back at 15 year old me and be dismissive of the way she felt about stuff, I listen to this CD and I remember that it really did feel like the end of the world when that kid really did want to date the head cheerleader instead of me. And since one day I might actually be the mom to such a 15 year old I'd like to keep a little link to that part of myself.

This is my favorite thing to sing along to. Try it, it's really fun.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Whirl

I'm back from my whirlwind trip to New York. From the moment I landed Sunday night until I nearly passed out on my forecasting project Thursday evening we honestly did not stop moving. The event was fantastic though and if you caught a glimpse of any of the Today Show on Wednesday morning you definitely got an overload of Olympic spirit. And like I said, I was scurrying around behind the scenes.

This is just a quick clip from the ice right after the hockey segment. If you don't follow hockey, the silver haired gentleman is Jim Craig from the 1980 US Hockey Team that beat Team Russia and went on to win gold. The guy sitting down is Mike Eruzione who scored that winning goal and the tall, handsome fella (who was so darn cute I got a little flustered when I introduced myself and said, "I'll be helping you get dressed this morning.") is David Backes who currently plays for the St. Louis Blues and will most likely end up on the US Hockey Team in Vancouver. And then you'll see three time Gold Medalist swimmer Rowdy Gaines who was the event emcee getting a few photos of his own.
video

Needless to say, it was a spectacular day. And aside from offering to help a professional hockey player change his clothes (which he seemed cool with by the way), I was beyond excited to be back in event mode. Stuff like finding a tailor who would do emergency embroidery on a jersey, getting athletes to and fro, and tracking down size 11 black shoes at midnight for an emcee who only had brown lest one of our sponsors have a fashion heart attack the next day-this might all sound like a nightmare to you but I was practically walking out of my skin with with joy. I might not survive the Games if it continues to feel so good.

I got on the plane on Friday completely exhausted but still managed to flirt with the cute stranger who ended up next to me ORD to COS and then slept for 12 hours. Today I picked up the keys to MY VERY OWN APARTMENT, the first time in my life I get to live all by myself. It's been a good week people. I hope yours has too.

(The only photo I got of myself. And I'm wearing a swoosh.)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Apple

I'm in New York this week for work-got in late last night and seriously haven't stopped moving since.

But if you happen to be in the city on Wednesday, come down to Rockefeller Center and you can try out a Luge and try to get on the Today Show background. And if you have a Tivo, set it for 9:30 EST because Nike and Polo will be unveiling the Opening and Closing Ceremonies uniforms as well as the Podium outfits. And you can imagine that somewhere behind camera I am running around like a crazy person.

I seriously love my job.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Future Olympian

The Olympics are in a little over 100 Days. My nephew is super excited.


Babies in hats...what could be cuter????

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Shhh, don't tell

Maybe you saw photos of the blizzard in Denver this week? Well this is what it looks like 60 miles south.


Guys, this place is awesome.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Dance Dance Revolution

I can't fully express the depth of my obsession with this song back in the fall of 2004. Then the video came out and my love for it grew even deeper. Everything about it is so charming, it was the perfect thing to roll through my iPod on a clear, cold Friday.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hey Thanks!

Dear Married People:

You don't.

KC: so FNL was awesome, i'm making my favorite spaghetti, listening to Otis and anticipating a funny 30 rock in half an hour. Does a cold winter night get any better????
26 minutes ago · Comment · Like

DD :A husband for ya would make it better, right? ;)
23 minutes ago · Delete


Thanks,

Single People

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Why the Face?

I have a slightly broken heart tonight. Season Four of Friday Night Lights premiered tonight and I don't know a soul with Direct TV. It's hard for me to be rational about how much I love this show. I rewatched the first season this summer after forcing my friend Traci to watch the pilot with me one night (her Facebook status today? FNL. I'm good.) and I just cried my way through it. The writing is great, the acting is fabulous and it's just so gosh darn pretty to watch.

My rock star friend Rudy is feverishly searching for places to download the thing but I'll admit, when I found just this clip of the credits on YouTube, I might have gotten a tear.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dry

You know how sometimes you go to YouTube to look up an old Boyz II Men song your friend Natalie had as her gchat tag today and then 25 minutes later you are walking through the back catalogue of New Edition? What did we all do before the internet?

The enabling is disabled on YouTube but this song is just killing me right now. I got New Edition's Greatest Hits from one of those Columbia "get 12 free now and buy one someday" specials when I was a senior in high school. When my parents let me paint my bedroom (my OWN bedroom) I listened to that and He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince over and over for days on end. A year later my friend Brandon, who I had an insane crush on at the time, came over to my college apartment and declared those two the only things worth listening to in my room.

So tonight I'm watching these old videos (wow, I know every word to "Poison"-miss her kiss her love her) and loving my funny little suburban Salt Lake 17 year old self and her R&B phase.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bloom

It's almost November and I've been in Colorado for a little over a month now. That's not very long but somehow it feels like I left Boston about a million years ago.

I'm sitting in the living room watching snow fall outside the window and it's making me laugh. Over Christmas last year my sister and I were sitting her apartment during one of the many nasty storms Utah got over the holidays and she said something about how much she loved to watch snow fall. I was jealous that my time in Boston was turning me into a snow hater. Maybe it was that I always got jolted from the endless sunshine of Huntington Beach to gloom and doom on the East Coast but I just loathed the winter and all it's evidence. It was dark and cold and it just seemed to go on and on and on.

So it's funny to me that here I am, sitting in the living room watching the snow fall and listening to Patty Griffin, and everything feels soft and peaceful.

Which brings me to something I've been thinking about a lot this last month. You know that generally good advice that we choose the way we react to things and that it's up to us to make the best of whatever is going on in life? Well I generally believe that. I also generally believe that sometimes there are points in our lives that things just flat out suck. And we can choose not to let it swallow us whole and we can choose to have faith that it will get better and we can even choose to try to slap a smile on our Facebook photos while it's happening. But there is a big difference between grinning and bearing it and truly grinning. I felt that in the Spring when I switched from the job that was sucking my soul to the one that was actually pretty great. It was like that moment when the cold medicine kicks in and you think-why didn't I take that an hour ago?? Multiply that by like a thousand and that's how I've felt the last six weeks. Like the first gulp of air when you've been holding your breath underwater. Even the last six months in Boston I kept thinking that I was so lucky to have been able to change jobs and I was doing something fun and learning this new sport-but I lived in a city I was done with and knew that I didn't want to be with the company long term. I did all the things I would have advised a friend to do in the same situation-I bought cookbooks and hung out with friends and wrote and joined a gym that made me more excited to go, I finally got my bike ready to really ride. I chose to be happy. But despite all my efforts, life was kind of in a holding pattern there for awhile. The day I got an email from an old friend saying, "hey I think there is a good opening at the USOC, do you want to give it a try?" my first thought was-I'm only five months into this new job, would this be me just running away? Fortunately that thought was trumped by one of my life mottos which is "new opportunities are worth exploring." (although that is the same motto that made me tell that recruiter that yes, although I explicitly said don't ever come to me with a job on the East Coast, especially not Boston, I would LOVE to apply for a job at a tiny little brand with no money that I will hate! So the system is not foolproof I suppose!)

So I explored and two months later I'm happier then I can remember being in years. And it's not because this place is perfect-Colorado Springs is SMALL, and there are no single mormon boys to speak of and I have to drive to Denver if I want to shop the J. Crew sale rack or go to a show. But my job makes me happy every single day and yesterday I rode my bike on mountain roads and a guy who trains Olympians is writing a weight lifting program for me. Life is good. Really, really good.

So the fact is that two years ago I was feeling restless and bored even though I had a good job and a beach in my front yard. It took some freaky twists but now here I am in a city that has effortlessly hooked me at a company I didn't even dare put on my dream lists back then because it seemed so out of reach. It's ok once in awhile to choose to be unhappy or bored or sad. My firm belief is that feeling that way is no way to live, but sometimes it's the only thing that will jolt us into action. I think we can Pollyanna ourselves into staying in something that just isn't good enough-a job or a relationship or a habit. Nobody tells you to ignore your body when it says it's thirsty or tired, why ignore your heart when it says it's unhappy?

I'll get off my soap box now-the snow is still going strong and I have to find my friend Damian's obscenely good hot chocolate recipe. I do love a snowy day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Actor Announcement

I love it when my friends do cool things because then I get to brag about how I have cool friends.

This is my friend Dave. He is terribly talented both in front of and behind the camera. Look at him tell off that impatient cake cutter! **sidenote, these Intel commercials are really funny. Great campaign.

Congrats Dave!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Danger Zone

I took a carload of Air Force Academy cadets back to campus after church yesterday. Please note that if you are taking people back to a military installation you should NOT squeeze four passengers into a three seatbelt backseat. The guards tend to frown on such a situation.

Fortunately I was able to do some shuffling and got all the little freshman safely to the dorms and then stopped to check out the B-52 on display on campus.

My pops was in the Air Force before I was born so I called him and he told me a little about the history of the B-52. This particulary plane is Diamond Lil and she flew from 1957 to 1983. She is absolutely massive-hard to tell in a photo just how big the thing is. And if you are a person who is fascinated by the things humans have invented-the fact that such a thing can FLY kind of blows my mind.

A nice little Sunday afternoon field trip.



Thursday, October 15, 2009

Calling all Teachers/PTA Moms

One of the really fun parts of my job is that I will be running Team Processing before the Games in February. Every single US athlete will come through our center to pick up all the fun stuff they get for making the team. They'll spend a few hours trying on clothes, getting their Opening Ceremonies outfit altered, getting their "yearbook" photos taken and sending all the clothes they brought with them home because they just got super hooked up.

We thought it would be really fun to get school kids across the country to write "Good Luck" cards and posters to the athletes that we can post in the Team Processing venue. If you are a teacher or a parent who would like to have your child's class participate, you can leave your contact info in a comment or email me at katieclifford(at)gmail(dot)com. I'd love to have you guys play with us!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

She's a Libra

I have a "I'm 33 today and trying not to freak out about it" post that I will get to later this week. But today I have to give a little blog love to my mother. She gave birth to me 33 years ago and continues to have to do motherly duties far beyond what I'm sure she ever imagined.

My last three months at PUMA I was working on a big exciting endorsement deal and my mom had heard me talk A LOT about the kid we were signing and how much I had enjoyed working with his family on the deal. He's a great golfer and you'll definitely be hearing his name now that he has gone pro. He's also a smart, fun, down to earth guy with a tight, supportive family. They were really good people and although I was beyond thrilled when my current job opportunity came along, leaving just as we were finishing up getting this kid signed was disappointing.

My sneaky mother knew that a friend of mine would be taking the photos at the official signing annoucement after I had left so she tracked him down and got his help doing this:



A framed version of it showed up at my house last night and pretty much made my whole month. Thanks momma bird.

p.s. These little weasels appeared in my inbox this morning. So yeah, good birthday.

Monday, October 12, 2009

It Takes Two

My nephews got a rare chance to hang out this weekend. I can't believe I share some genes with these little stinks! If I ever have any kids I hope they end up this adorable.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Closer

I think maybe my brain is too full of new things and it's inhibiting my ability to write anything worthwhile! It dawned on me the other day that while this is my fifth move in seven years, it's been a long time since a move meant learning a new city and making new friends. It's somewhat exhausting. And exciting too. Work has been really wonderful but there is a lot to process there as well. So I have a lot I want to write about but I'm having trouble getting it out. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I heard a song this weekend that I've had on repeat pretty much ever since. The lyrics are pretty darn sweet.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

No Sleep 'til Brooklyn

I've been in Vancouver all week on a site visit for the Games. They are 128 days away. I'm exhausted. But I am having SO MUCH FUN AT MY NEW JOB.

More to come.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

One

I had lunch today with two ridiculously cool girls from the Marketing department at work. They were in town from our New York office. One just moved from San Francisco and the other one has been in New York for 11 years. The three of us are all in our thirties and all have pretty cool career experiences under our belts. Between us we have lived in three of the biggest cities in the country. What do you think we talked about?

Well work. Obviously. And we are all new to the Committee so we talked about our old jobs and what we like to do in our spare time.

But of course we talked about boys. And dating. And I was looking at these two really cute, confident, successful women and I thought to myself-men are stupid.

Just kidding! I don't think men are stupid. I just think that I'm about to turn 33 and it's comforting to know that I'm in pretty fabulous single girl company.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Elevation

So I just moved to a city that is consistently ranked as one of the fittest in the country. Outside Magazine actually called it the best place to live in America this year.

I also happened to work on a complex where at any given time, a few hundred athletes are busily training for various competitions.

The two are conspiring to remind me that my workout habits during my Boston years were dismal at best. I vaguely remember a time when it was normal to go for a run and then hit up Taco Tuesday with a bunch of other sweaty people but...maybe that was just a dream?

The good news is that my new city and my new job are also generously offering ways to get me back on track. One fairly enormous job perk is that we all have access to the facilities at the Training Center. So last night I changed in my office and walked a whopping 100 yards to the weight room. Let me tell you that your motivation to keep running goes through the roof when you realize the guy next to you could very well be training for London in 2012. I fought through some lingering effects of seven years of living at sea level and left a 45 minute run later feeling like, well, some kind of Olympian. Must be in the air.

Then tonight I met up with some friends at a bar downtown that hosts a weekly 5K. They do it every Tuesday and afterwards everyone comes back for a spaghetti dinner. Every Tuesday! And it was PACKED! And there were so many good looking boys! You really can't go two blocks in this town without seeing some cute guy in spandex.

Colorado Springs, if you intend to rescue me from the chains of the DVR, I think you are onto something.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Lion Tamer

This song came up on my iPod tonight. I forgot how much I adore it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Waldo

Through some tragic mix-up in the universe, my brother and his wife planned an East Coast trip that worked out to be two weeks after I moved. So they are in Boston this week and I am living vicariously through text messages and my roommate who got to have dinner with them tonight. And these "where's morgan" photos Christopher has been sending me.




I think I would feel much worse if I didn't just move about 2000 miles closer to the little devil.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rocky Mountain High

Leaving Boston was a wee bit harder then I thought it would be. Last time I left I knew that the majority of my close friends were on their way out of town as well. I was a little sad to go but so much was changing anyway and there were enough palm trees in my future that I was overjoyed to get on that plane. My first year back was brutal but I absolutely believe that I asked for every minute of it with all that "praying for growth opportunities" when I was feeling stagnant in HB. I made some dear, dear friends this last time around and I'm certain that I left a stronger, more humble, and more empathetic person then I was when I arrived. I also know that Boston was the best place for me to learn so many of the lessons of the last 18 months. I also know that you could tell me that Tim Riggins and a million dollars were waiting for me if I'd move back and THERE IS NO WAY I WOULD GO!

My sweet mother came out to help me pack/load/drive from MA to CO and she was an amazing help. This will sound so stupid to all of you who are married but we discovered my rear brakes were grinding two days before we left and she just took care of it while I was at work. She was a complete rock star and I don't know how I would have done it all without her. We drove for five days, saw lots of cites, drank lots of Dr. Pepper and finally rolled into the Springs on Monday afternoon. We watched the end of The Way We Were and then slept for about ten lovely hours. It was a good way to begin my time here. My step-dad came to pick her up the next day and I felt just a twinge of what it was like fifteen years ago this month when she dropped little freshman me off at SUU. That's right, I'm 32 years old and I still cried a little when my mom left me in a new city.

I started work on Wednesday. Is it OK if I gush just a little bit? I am pretty sure I've died and gone to job heaven. It is going to be a LOT of work but I am so excited about it. After the Winter Games were over in Salt Lake, all I wanted to do was to keep following the Games. I didn't, and I'm glad I made the career decisions that I did over the last seven years. But I feel incredibly blessed to be back in the Olympic world and doing something that makes me excited to go to work. On Friday we did Habitat for Humanity as a team and then went back to our Director's house and sat on his patio and chatted and I had to keep pinching myself that I get to be part of this team. It's spooky and awesome all at once the way things are working out.

And I guess that's the most important lesson in my whole Beantown Round 2 experience. I had been there just a couple of months when we had a Stake Conference speaker whose message was pretty much, "keep your faith up, things work out." I am finally getting that through my stubborn head. I am realizing that it so rarely works out in the way you hope/plan/expect but it's really often so much better. I found this quote earlier this year when I was doing some studying on Faith. It's from Joel Osteen who is a bit cheesy but I love the idea behind it...

God is ready to present you with new opportunities. He wants to open new doors before you. It doesn’t matter what’s happening in the world around you, in the economy, the housing industry, or with job reports; God’s Word still remains true. He rewards the people who seek after Him. He’s not the least bit concerned about how He’s going to supply your needs. There is no recession in heaven. He has His eye on you, and He still opens doors that no one can shut! In an instant, He can bring the right people into your life, the right opportunities, and the right resources to take you to a new level.

But in order to go to a higher level, you have to have a higher way of thinking. You can’t stay focused on what’s happening in the natural nor allow worry and fear to fill your thoughts. Remember, God’s ways are higher than our ways. Choose to keep an attitude of faith and expectancy. As you do, you’ll move forward through the open doors of blessing God has prepared for you.


There is a pretty great scripture that goes along with that sentiment in Revelations 3:8 "I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee and open door, and no man can shut it."

I have plenty more to say about my first week here and the fun things that are already happening but I will just leave you with this for now. I have been enjoying the Genius feature on my new iPod and rediscovering lots of music I hadn't listened to in a long time. This song cycled through yesterday as I was coming back from a run at the Garden of the Gods and it made me burst into tears. My friend Jeff has teased that someone should make a Felicity-type series about my life and all my criss-crosses of the country. I'm all for it as long as I get a Noel Crane out of the deal...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Face Blog

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I think internet haters are stupid. You know, the people who love to tell you that they don't do facebook because they prefer "real interaction." The internet and I have been tight for about 15 years now and if anything, it has allowed me to keep people in my life and to turn acquantances into friends in a way that would be tougher without the help of blogs and status updates.

The internet was extraordinarily kind to me last Friday night. My mom and I were on day two of my Boston to Colorado trek and thanks to expedia.com, we ended up getting a good last minute deal on a hotel in Columbus, Ohio. We both hopped onto our computers once we got to our room and I checked in on my friend Beckie who had been on a crazy layover in NYC that day. And what to my wondering eyes did appear but a status update that little Miss Beckie was IN COLUMBUS OHIO. So I called her, and not only was she in Columbus, she was at a hotel one exit away. Twenty minutes later we were enjoying Chinese take out and trying to take a photo that didn't betray all the time in cars and planes between us (we were mostly unsuccessful). I get sort of dizzy when I think of all the things that had to work out to get us to that hotel room.

So thanks Facebook. If you hadn't taught us all to broadcast our activities at all times I might have missed out on some pretty great "real interaction".

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fox in Sox

(this has been in "edit" mode for weeks, waiting for me to download some photos.)

We went to a Red Sox game and the little girl in front of us held up this "U Rock Big Papi" sign when David Ortiz came up to bat-and he scored a home run! It was so cute and totally made me think it was the kind of thing my friend Jane and her Sox loving family would make for a game.


I suppose it's Rockies games from here on out but I'll always be a Sox fan!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Advice

Hey maybe don't try to work right up until the night before you have to drive across the country to your new home. Holy crap I'm tired. Thank heavens for this big fluffy hotel bed in Philly.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Ride

This is what I did today. Pretty darn near perfect way to spend a Saturday.




Friday, September 04, 2009

Aid

One of my favorite episodes of Sex and the City was on the other night. Carrie's computer crashes and she loses pretty much everything. Her kind of amazing boyfriend Aidan (who I never actually thought she deserved but that is a completely different post) tries to help and buys her a new computer, complete with zip drive (remember those?) for backing everything up.

Instead of being pleased, Carrie gets mad at him and tells him she doesn't need his help and she already gave him keys to her apartment and seriously guy, what more do you want from me??? The scene ends with him storming out after leaving her keys on the table under the receipt for the computer.

She ends up calling him later and telling him that she's just used to taking care of things herself and what if she gets too used to his help and then he goes away. And that's the part where I start crying every time I watch this one because I can hear myself having that very conversation with some poor boy.

So I'm curious, lots of you are married after being single for a long time. How do you let someone else help/fix/solve things without feeling like you are losing your independence?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Fall

It's almost September which means that it's just about to be FIFTEEN YEARS since I started college. I was thinking about that today when I decided to go to the gym instead of hitting the Counting Crows show. The 17 year old me who listened to "August and Everything After" on repeat that fall would be so disappointed.

This is my favorite track from that CD. I never get sick of it and it can still make me cry. Being a freshman was so dramatic!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

500 Miles

I really love "best of" lists. I know they are so subjective and I rarely read one where I agree with everything, but I'm kind of a sucker for them anyway.

There is a very snobby music review site that I used to read pretty religiously until I decided they were making ME snobby and quit. I still check in now and then though because their reviews are usually interesting and well written and they do a lot of cool interviews and features as well.

This month they have posted Top 500 Tracks of the 2000's. And yes, it's kind of weird to post this list a solid four months before the decade is really over but eh, 500 songs in nine and half years and change is still ambitious AND awesome.

It's a cool list and there are so many great songs in here. It's hitting my ears at a funny time though. The move and the job change has definitely got me in a nostalgic mood and I didn't quite realize how much of a time machine such a collection would be. I have been working my way through most of the list at my desk and I have had to get up a few times and run to the bathroom and wait for the redness to clear out of my eyes.

I keep thinking 2000 really wasn't that long ago but let's see, it was four moves, three jobs and tenish years ago so I guess a think or two has happened since then. It's been a pretty incredible ten years with a really fantastic soundtrack. Here are some highlights...

Izzo-Jay-Z

If you didn't know this song in the early 00's you must have been living under a rock. For some reason it always makes me think of trips to the Tasty's Donuts at the end of my street when I lived in Sugarhouse. I still miss that sweet little neighborhood sometimes. And I really love Jay-Z.



Such Great Heights-The Postal Service

I first got this song from a boy when I was living in Huntington Beach the first time. I don't remember precisely which one though because for a very lucky six months or so I had a steady stream of mix CD's coming my way from helpful guys willing to share their musical expertise. Those three boys really changed the way I listened to music and the first thirty seconds of this song still make me feel like I just discovered something life altering.



3rd Planet-Modest Mouse

This is one of the first songs I ever downloaded from iTunes. Modest Mouse is probably the band that I most closely identify with moving to Boston the first time. I was late in discovering The Moon and Antarctica but it's a beautiful, beautiful album. I love this song so much because some parts of it are weird and almost annoying and some parts are so pretty and melodic. It's kind of the perfect way to describe the way I feel about Boston and my collective time here.



Move Your Feet-Junior Senior

Quite a few times while reviewing this list I have landed on a song and thought, "I FORGOT THAT THIS WAS SO AWESOME!" I listened to this song until it virtually fried my brain and I still can't sit still during it. So perfectly dancably wonderful.



White Winter Hymnal-Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver-those are two artists that are linked to Boston Round Two. I went to see the Fleet Foxes at the Sommerville Theater all by myself last fall when I was feeling every single day like I needed to quit my job and move. I'm glad I didn't. I'm glad I stuck it out. Things work out if you don't run away. And I'm also glad that the darkness of much of last year didn't ruin these guys. At all.


So it's February of 2003. I've just made a new friend who knows just about everything about music. He gets into my car one day and reaches for my CD holder and I see him nodding approvingly. But I know something is there just waiting for him to lower his opinion of me. Then he pulls it out and says, "you have Justin Timberlake? Let's listen to this!" And so began the story of one of my all time favorite friendships.
This song is amazing.

Cry Me a River-Justin Timberlake

Jesus Etc-Wilco

New Year's Eve 2004. Me, Emily, Corey. Madison Square Gardens. Like every dream the teenage me had for how my life would go coming true. And then we sang along to this song at midnight and I probably could have died a complete woman that night.



Ms Jackson-Outkast

This is one of the first songs I remember really liking after I got home from my mission. I would listen to it over and over in the bathroom I shared with my sister for longer then I think we all thought I would stay there. My brothers loved to sing the chorus-I am for REEAL. I had a fun job and good friends and a salary! What more could a girl want...



Young Folks-Peter, Bjorn and John

My friend Dainon put this on a mix and I was instantly obsessed. It will forever remind me of runs along the water in HB and bike rides to the pier. I never once walked out of the house in that town without thinking I was the luckiest girl in the world. I can see now that moving on was the right thing but those memories are some of my all time faves.



So check out the list-it's very indie so you aren't going to see Britne or Usher on it...but I'll bet you find something you forgot you loved too.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A mile high

They say the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. If that is true then I have probably been going slowly insane for the last seven years. My life has been a somewhat predictable cycle of "take a marketing job, pack things, move to a coast, talk about shoes all day." And not just move to a coast-move within five miles of where you lived the last time that city was home.

Quite frankly, I don't feel insane. But I think maybe the universe wants to just make sure. Three weeks ago a dear friend from a past work life called to ask if I was interested in looking at a job description she thought I would really enjoy. I am never one to say "no thank you, I'd rather not explore that opportunity," so I said sure. Flash forward a few weeks and folks, this girl is switching career gears and moving to Colorado Springs.

That's right-not Huntington Beach, not Boston. And it's not footwear. You know I'm going to be cagey about exactly where I'm going-I keep myself pretty accessible online but I do like to maintain a semblance of professional distance. But here are some hints: I'll be spending winter of 2010 in Vancouver, summer of 2012 in London, winter of 2014 in Russia and summer of 2016 in city yet to be announced. And I'm pretty sure I'll be able to verify that famous wingspan on Michael Phelps in the near future...

It's an absolute dream job that will have me working my TAIL off. As you can imagine I have much more to say about all of this but for now, I'm walking around feeling like this all day...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Our Own Devils

Even if you really like your job, I think it's tough not to get a little case of the Sunday Sadness as the weekend closes. Especially in the summer when even though you got to sleep in and buy cute new shoes and destroy a heaping tray full of crab legs by the sea, you still feel like you didn't get enough Saturday.

I try to do things Sunday night to relax and get ready for the coming work week. One of my favorite things is to take a nice long shower with candles and music. Taking a shower is already one of my very favorite things on earth and has been since I was a kid so you add in low light and good tunes and seriously, it's practically impossible to get myself out of there.

Tonight was particularly nice-Natalie and Linda did "breakfast for lunch" this afternoon so I ate Mickey Mouse pancakes and then lounged at their place for awhile just enjoying all that fun freedom we single folk have. Then I came home and watched a bunch of Mad Men episodes so I can actually participate in TV conversations again...and then that delightful shower. I had this song on repeat because I have kind of a big crush on it.



and now I have four minutes to get to be before my self-imposed midnight curfew!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Old

Usually when I see that my mother has been posting old photos on Facebook it means I have to go in and untag myself a bunch of times lest the world see what an AWKWARD teen I was.

But fifth grade? That was my YEAR...here I am the day I dressed up as Georgia O'Keefe to do my state report on Wisconsin (where she was born).

Monday, August 17, 2009

Speed

Here at work I sit next to the guy who does all the marketing for our Running category. So I hear A LOT about his star athlete Usain Bolt.

This weekend that guy did this.


Pretty spectacular don't you think?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Reeling

My brain is sort of a jumble tonight. It was a good weekend but overly emotional. I'm not going to dwell on this too much but they made a big change in the congregations here in my little corner of the Mormon world. All the single people over 31 are being shipped off to a shiny new ward by ourselves starting next week. And in case you were afraid I was going to have a good attitude about it, I still feel the same way I did 2 years ago when we had a midsingles conference in Huntington Beach. I'm sure I'll get over it and get on board but tonight I feel like I'm in a "failure to marry" penalty box.

And yet. I want to slap myself when I hear my brain using marriage as any sort of barometer of success or personal worth. For a variety of reasons I've spent the last couple of weeks thinking quite a bit about the past and trying to figure out what I want the next four or five years to look like. And I'm 32, so it's hard not to let stuff like, "well if I do that thing will it affect my ability to meet someone?" creep in when I weigh options. I have such mixed feelings about that thought because I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be optimistic or realistic at this point of my life. Too many -ics, it's exhausting sometimes.

What isn't exhausting though? Today I used my new cookbook and made dinner for six. And it was pretty great. So maybe I'm totally OLD and I should just get some cats or whatever but at least the animals and I will eat well.

Here's a song from the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack that has been making me happy for weeks.

just stay there
cause i'll be comin over
and while our bloods still young
it's so young
it runs
and we won't stop til it's over
won't stop to surrender

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Oreos

So I got a pretty great letter yesterday for the Dear Me project...


Dear me yesterday,

Buy more milk. Oreos wouldn't be a bad idea either.

love,
Amy


I'm always wishing yesterday me would have bought some Oreos.

Speaking of food, after reading "Julie and Julia" and deciding it was high time I learned my learned my way around a kitchen, I bought the first cookbook I have purchased as an adult. I also got around to reading "Friday Night Lights" on a plane this weekend (so, read the book, saw the movie, worship the TV show) and decided it was also high time I knew more about football. So since I was already at the store, I picked up a book that bills itself as a woman's guide to understanding the NFL.

Cooking and football-part of my goal to build my personal brand during a down market.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Promise to Me

This song got overplayed about 10 years ago but I ran across it tonight and gosh, so pretty.



I saw 500 Days of Summer again today and I'm telling you what-if you think love is a pretty good thing then you will like it.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Modern Love

The New York Times has a weekly feature called "Modern Love" that deals with all sorts of topics relating to Love and Marriage. Although I don't love just copying someone else's article as a blog post, I haven't been able to get this one out of my head and thought it was worth passing along. I wish wish wish that I had the kind of calm and foresight the author did when dealing with a crises. It's a good read whether you are married or not.

Those Aren’t Fighting Words, Dear

Published: July 31, 2009
LET’S say you have what you believe to be a healthy marriage. You’re still friends and lovers after spending more than half of your lives together. The dreams you set out to achieve in your 20s — gazing into each other’s eyes in candlelit city bistros when you were single and skinny — have for the most part come true.

Two decades later you have the 20 acres of land, the farmhouse, the children, the dogs and horses. You’re the parents you said you would be, full of love and guidance. You’ve done it all: Disneyland, camping, Hawaii, Mexico, city living, stargazing.

Sure, you have your marital issues, but on the whole you feel so self-satisfied about how things have worked out that you would never, in your wildest nightmares, think you would hear these words from your husband one fine summer day: “I don’t love you anymore. I’m not sure I ever did. I’m moving out. The kids will understand. They’ll want me to be happy.”

But wait. This isn’t the divorce story you think it is. Neither is it a begging-him-to-stay story. It’s a story about hearing your husband say “I don’t love you anymore” and deciding not to believe him. And what can happen as a result.

Here’s a visual: Child throws a temper tantrum. Tries to hit his mother. But the mother doesn’t hit back, lecture or punish. Instead, she ducks. Then she tries to go about her business as if the tantrum isn’t happening. She doesn’t “reward” the tantrum. She simply doesn’t take the tantrum personally because, after all, it’s not about her.

Let me be clear: I’m not saying my husband was throwing a child’s tantrum. No. He was in the grip of something else — a profound and far more troubling meltdown that comes not in childhood but in midlife, when we perceive that our personal trajectory is no longer arcing reliably upward as it once did. But I decided to respond the same way I’d responded to my children’s tantrums. And I kept responding to it that way. For four months.

“I don’t love you anymore. I’m not sure I ever did.”

His words came at me like a speeding fist, like a sucker punch, yet somehow in that moment I was able to duck. And once I recovered and composed myself, I managed to say, “I don’t buy it.” Because I didn’t.

He drew back in surprise. Apparently he’d expected me to burst into tears, to rage at him, to threaten him with a custody battle. Or beg him to change his mind.

So he turned mean. “I don’t like what you’ve become.”

Gut-wrenching pause. How could he say such a thing? That’s when I really wanted to fight. To rage. To cry. But I didn’t.

Instead, a shroud of calm enveloped me, and I repeated those words: “I don’t buy it.”

You see, I’d recently committed to a non-negotiable understanding with myself. I’d committed to “The End of Suffering.” I’d finally managed to exile the voices in my head that told me my personal happiness was only as good as my outward success, rooted in things that were often outside my control. I’d seen the insanity of that equation and decided to take responsibility for my own happiness. And I mean all of it.

My husband hadn’t yet come to this understanding with himself. He had enjoyed many years of hard work, and its rewards had supported our family of four all along. But his new endeavor hadn’t been going so well, and his ability to be the breadwinner was in rapid decline. He’d been miserable about this, felt useless, was losing himself emotionally and letting himself go physically. And now he wanted out of our marriage; to be done with our family.

But I wasn’t buying it.

I said: “It’s not age-appropriate to expect children to be concerned with their parents’ happiness. Not unless you want to create co-dependents who’ll spend their lives in bad relationships and therapy. There are times in every relationship when the parties involved need a break. What can we do to give you the distance you need, without hurting the family?”

“Huh?” he said.

Go trekking in Nepal. Build a yurt in the back meadow. Turn the garage studio into a man-cave. Get that drum set you’ve always wanted. Anything but hurting the children and me with a reckless move like the one you’re talking about.”

Then I repeated my line, “What can we do to give you the distance you need, without hurting the family?”

“Huh?”

“How can we have a responsible distance?”

“I don’t want distance,” he said. “I want to move out.”

My mind raced. Was it another woman? Drugs? Unconscionable secrets? But I stopped myself. I would not suffer.

Instead, I went to my desk, Googled “responsible separation” and came up with a list. It included things like: Who’s allowed to use what credit cards? Who are the children allowed to see you with in town? Who’s allowed keys to what?

I looked through the list and passed it on to him.

His response: “Keys? We don’t even have keys to our house.”

I remained stoic. I could see pain in his eyes. Pain I recognized.

“Oh, I see what you’re doing,” he said. “You’re going to make me go into therapy. You’re not going to let me move out. You’re going to use the kids against me.”

“I never said that. I just asked: What can we do to give you the distance you need ... ”

“Stop saying that!”

Well, he didn’t move out.

Instead, he spent the summer being unreliable. He stopped coming home at his usual six o’clock. He would stay out late and not call. He blew off our entire Fourth of July — the parade, the barbecue, the fireworks — to go to someone else’s party. When he was at home, he was distant. He wouldn’t look me in the eye. He didn’t even wish me “Happy Birthday.”

But I didn’t play into it. I walked my line. I told the kids: “Daddy’s having a hard time as adults often do. But we’re a family, no matter what.” I was not going to suffer. And neither were they.

MY trusted friends were irate on my behalf. “How can you just stand by and accept this behavior? Kick him out! Get a lawyer!”

I walked my line with them, too. This man was hurting, yet his problem wasn’t mine to solve. In fact, I needed to get out of his way so he could solve it.

I know what you’re thinking: I’m a pushover. I’m weak and scared and would put up with anything to keep the family together. I’m probably one of those women who would endure physical abuse. But I can assure you, I’m not. I load 1,500-pound horses into trailers and gallop through the high country of Montana all summer. I went through Pitocin-induced natural childbirth. And a Caesarean section without follow-up drugs. I am handy with a chain saw.

I simply had come to understand that I was not at the root of my husband’s problem. He was. If he could turn his problem into a marital fight, he could make it about us. I needed to get out of the way so that wouldn’t happen.

Privately, I decided to give him time. Six months.

I had good days, and I had bad days. On the good days, I took the high road. I ignored his lashing out, his merciless jabs. On bad days, I would fester in the August sun while the kids ran through sprinklers, raging at him in my mind. But I never wavered. Although it may sound ridiculous to say “Don’t take it personally” when your husband tells you he no longer loves you, sometimes that’s exactly what you have to do.

Instead of issuing ultimatums, yelling, crying or begging, I presented him with options. I created a summer of fun for our family and welcomed him to share in it, or not — it was up to him. If he chose not to come along, we would miss him, but we would be just fine, thank you very much. And we were.

And, yeah, you can bet I wanted to sit him down and persuade him to stay. To love me. To fight for what we’ve created. You can bet I wanted to.

But I didn’t.

I barbecued. Made lemonade. Set the table for four. Loved him from afar.

And one day, there he was, home from work early, mowing the lawn. A man doesn’t mow his lawn if he’s going to leave it. Not this man. Then he fixed a door that had been broken for eight years. He made a comment about our front porch needing paint. Our front porch. He mentioned needing wood for next winter. The future. Little by little, he started talking about the future.

It was Thanksgiving dinner that sealed it. My husband bowed his head humbly and said, “I’m thankful for my family.”

He was back.

And I saw what had been missing: pride. He’d lost pride in himself. Maybe that’s what happens when our egos take a hit in midlife and we realize we’re not as young and golden anymore.

When life’s knocked us around. And our childhood myths reveal themselves to be just that. The truth feels like the biggest sucker-punch of them all: it’s not a spouse or land or a job or money that brings us happiness. Those achievements, those relationships, can enhance our happiness, yes, but happiness has to start from within. Relying on any other equation can be lethal.

My husband had become lost in the myth. But he found his way out. We’ve since had the hard conversations. In fact, he encouraged me to write about our ordeal. To help other couples who arrive at this juncture in life. People who feel scared and stuck. Who believe their temporary feelings are permanent. Who see an easy out, and think they can escape.

My husband tried to strike a deal. Blame me for his pain. Unload his feelings of personal disgrace onto me.

But I ducked. And I waited. And it worked.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Crush

For a few minutes when I was in high school country dancing got REALLY popular. There is a working farm in Salt Lake with a big barn and they did line dancing every Wednesday night. It wasn't really that cool to like country music but somehow, you got a pass if you were going to Wheeler Farm.

My friend Andrea knew some cute boys from a different high school who we went with a few times. Boys from another school always felt so much cooler then the ratty ones you'd known since six grade AND we were out on a school night. Doesn't get much better than that at 16. We've been joking around that our summer theme has been Teenage Summer what will all the roller coasters and late nights and ice cream eating (not this week!) but I was thinking last night that the thing it's missing is a little country line dancing with the Granger boys...this song was one of my favorites back in the day-I have to see if there is a country bar here in Irish pub central.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Humph

I wish grownups got summer vacation too.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Don't Call it a Comeback

About this time last year I was copycatting my sister and doing a cleanse from the book Quantum Wellness.

You can go back and read the post yourself so I won't rehash how great I felt afterwards or how committed I was to staying that healthy.

And then whatever. Life. Winter. Mild depression. Things just went nuts and so did my self-control.

So when a close friend said she was looking for a way to jumpstart her eating habits, we decided to do the cleanse again together. It makes me crazy that I am so lazy about the way I eat. I know I'm happier when I'm eating fresh stuff and more fruits and veggies then anything else and then I realize it's Friday and I've been eating out twice a day all week.

So see you later l-a-z-y kate.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Journey

I had an insane marriage dream last night. I think I have mentioned before that I have fairly regular recurring dreams about getting married.

As usual, it was my wedding day and I had absolutely NO clue how I had gotten there. I'm always totally surprised that I'm getting married that day and I never like the decorations or the dress and it always feels like the whole thing was rushed. Last night the groom was a guy I've been friends with for many years but we've certainly never dated-I'll wager neither of us have even thought about it. So I was fairly surprised that we were getting married.

I pulled my mother aside to ask her if she really thought this was a good idea and she told me he was a good guy and really cute so it probably couldn't hurt. I texted a bunch of my friends with the same question and got pretty much the same response from all of them. So I went right to Mr. Fiance to see if maybe he was having any of the same misgivings about you know, GETTING MARRIED WHEN IT DIDN'T SEEM LIKE WE HAD EVEN DATED and he was super nonchalant about it. Just shrugged and said, "I think it could be cool, we might as well give it a shot." Truly what every girl wants to hear from the man she's just about to pledge her life to right?

All through the dream I kept thinking, "how did I let this happen? It's just like in all of my stupid dreams, how did it happen in real life??" and hoping that I would wake up.

I finally did wake up and I'm still feeling so relieved. I spent some time googling "marriage dreams" to see if there were any explanations of such a dream and this was pretty much my favorite:

For a young woman to dream that she is a bride, and unhappy or indifferent, foretells disappointments in love, and probably her own sickness. She should be careful of her conduct, as enemies are near her.

So there you go guys, my enemies are near. Awesome.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

1000 words

My mom posted this photo from her mission on her Facebook page today (The parents are so in the treehouse you guys.) and I thought it was so cute. I still don't know why none of us could get that great red hair...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Junkie

OMG! This weekend was an exclamation point! We rode roller coasters! Then I taught Relief Society which I love but also gets me almost as worked up! Then a near diseaster at work surfaced as I was walking out of church that took four frantic hours to fix! It was CRAZY!

The day ended on Spencer's 19th floor roof deck with a looooong delightful chat as the sun went down over Boston...and now I am going to sleep so hard that rocks will be jealous.

This is what I've been listening to on repeat since Thursday. You'll like it I promise.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Lazy Days

I went to see a screening of the movie "500 Days of Summer" tonight. They say in the previews that it's a story about love but not a love story and I can agree with that. But I will say this, it just helped cement how much of a complete and over the top romantic I am. As much as I have tried in the last few years to downplay it and be practical about ever finding it-I am wildly, passionately, whole-soulishly devoted to the concept of true love.

I was talking to someone this week about gratuitous PDA and she said, "you know at our age, we are just not going to be in love with the same intensity as we would have ten years ago." I had to disagree. I believe in crazy romance and finding a soul mate and that falling in love changes everything. And I know it sounds kind of naive, and maybe even a little bit unrealistic, but over the years I've had enough glimpses at what it CAN feel like to keep my little dream alive.

That's not to say I'm expecting perfection, or that I don't understand that love is not always fun or easy. In lots of ways I'm just as excited about getting through the crappy stuff as I am the good stuff. I was trying to explain this one night to a couple of my married friends who thought I was diminishing my own life by saying that I think people are better off in pairs. But after 32 years on my own, I believe it more then ever. It's good to be on a team. It's even better to be on a team with someone you can fight with just as comfortably as you can sleep with. I also happen to believe that people should do their own thing for as long as their own life schedule requires. I'm a person who just never would have been happy getting married young. I've had lots of things I wanted to do and gone through lots of things I think I have absolutely needed to do alone. Being single is really great and I feel lucky to have had the time to figure myself out in ways I personally probably wouldn't have had I been married.

But.

I only have to see the way my grandfather still looks at my grandma after like a million years together and how much they just genuinely like to be together and well, that's what I'm holding out for. And I'll totally wait.

Anyway, see the movie. It's sweet.