Friday, December 30, 2011

Double Dare

I could go on and on about how perfect this break has been but I have way better things to talk FINALLY getting that St.George nephew this morning. At press time he still does not have a name but his Seattle cousin will be induced in the morning and we'll have our Clifford boy basketball team complete just in time for 2012.

I worried after all the hoopla around the first nephew that kidlets #2 through whatever would not be as exciting. But when Christopher sent me a bunch of pictures tonight I burst into the same kind of tears anyone standing on the corner in SoHo oh those three years ago would have seen when I got the news that Morgan had arrived. 

Here's a pretty song by the always terrific Matt Pond PA that I've been listening to almost constantly the last two weeks, guaranteeing that it will always remind me of these little as yet unnamed weasels joining our big crazy wonderful insane can't live without them family.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Due Date

Someday, when my soon-to-be nephew is old enough to sit through a story we will tell him the one about how his parents and aunts are totally crazy.

Because one night over Christmas vacation, someone told them that they heard if you change elevation quickly you can make a baby come early. So at 10:00 at night, they loaded up the minivan with his two older brothers and they drove from St. George to Cedar City, got some fries and a few Diet Cokes, and drove home again.

It did NOT in fact, make the baby come. But that's how excited we are about you baby. So hurry up, so many people are excited to meet you. And when you leave, can you push your Seattle cousin down the chute too? Nephewpalooza 2011 needs to START.

(We tried some yoga on the red rocks too-nothing. Except this totally awesome photo.)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Finish Line

I've been reading some old holiday blog posts and there seems to be a common thread in all of them-I hit the end of the year running on fumes. I'm always half delirious to get home to Utah and recharge.

This year is no different and I would venture to say that needing time with my family and the network I still have in Salt Lake becomes exponentially more important every December. There are so many wonderful things to say about 2011. When I think back to January, my main resolution was that I wanted a year full of good stories. I wanted to yes more than no. I wanted to try things and experience things and I wanted to be open. So I traveled to places I had never been, I went to concerts on weeknights, I kicked a little ass at work, I made new friends, I explored my beautiful state, I had some hard but honest conversations. I rode to the top of Hoosier Pass and strapped on skis like a proper Coloradan. I put my heart out there and came away a little bruised but learned a lot.

I also did a lot of dumb stuff and made a lot of mistakes. My friend Damian once said that the older he got the more he realized how little he knew about anything. I certainly feel that too. And demonstrated it on more than one occasion.

I am pretty sure that all adds up to a pretty great year though, one I'm proud of. 2012 starts with a bit of a bang which is why I'm so looking forward to a quiet few weeks loading up on sugar and faces. There are some parties and some ski days and probably more lunch dates than you can shake a stick at on the horizon. But mostly there will be laughing, and hugs from small fry and evening conversations that will turn into late night confessionals. There will be sleeping in and there will be reflecting. There will be sister time. And Aunt time. Friend time. Daughter time. Flirting time.

And music time. I'm such a sucker for a great love song. This one is in pretty heavy rotation 'round here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


This week is a losing battle of trying to get everything done so I can go to Utah for two weeks with a clear inbox. It's best that I accept that I will not, in fact, get everything done. I will have to plug in my laptop in St. George. And I will plug it in in Salt Lake. But Morgan can crawl on my lap while I assign rooms in the Youth Games village and I can sit in my sister's cute apartment and eat guacamole while I plan February's site visits. There is simply not enough time this week for all the things I have to finish.

Enough. There seems to be a theme in my life there ever enough? Time. Attention. Love. Resources.

I think the answer is just no. So it's finding satisfaction in the time, love, attention that you can give or get and letting a lot of things go. I'm trying so hard this week release all of the stuff I can't control or finalize and trust the universe that it's all going to be just fine.

This morning I was on my way to the warehouse super early and freaking out a bit about how I was going to box up the 99 bags for Youth Olympians we packed yesterday when I discovered this song on a KEXP compilation I had bought at a music store in Seattle. So instead of rushing I stopped and got some hot chocolate and took a couple pictures of the mountains. I didn't entirely stop the rising panic in my stomach as the printer refused to work and four people needing five different things all showed up at once, but the bags got boxed, and the staff got clothed and the conference call was fine and I still managed to show up to the dinner I have been looking forward to.

It's a little gem. Have a listen.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Little Talks

There are end of the year music posts all over the internet this month. They are stressing me out because there is so. much. stuff. I missed. And I already felt overwhelmed by all the good tunes I heard and saw this year.

NPR posted a link that just cost me a small fortune. They are all worth checking out but I am a sucker for Icelandic bands so I'm posting this one.

I hope you are dancing in your kitchen now too.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Wish you were here

No internet, despite what the photos on Facebook say, I am not dating someone I haven't told you about, nor do I have a kid I haven't mentioned.

I do however, kind of love the super cute photos they take at the top of the mountain and might take one every time we go. 

This skiing thing is kind of turning out to be my best decision in a looong time. Today I finally felt my legs doing the things they learned oh so long ago when I was taught how to do this. It's so much fun and the perfect way to get out and enjoy this amazing state I live in. And the other kind of scenery up there doesn't suck either. (I'm taking about boys you guys. It's hard not to be hot in ski gear it turns out.)

We're going to try to ski in the Alps next month. I will get crushed but I will enjoy it.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Spin the Bottle

A funny thing has happened. I finish up with the Youth Olympic Games in Austria near the end of January and then have a big meeting in London the first week of February.

When I proposed to my higher ups that I stick around Europe and take a few vacation days rather than play time zone roulette, I got the green light.

So I have this lovely dilemma wherein I have about 7 days to get from Innsbruck to London with no real firm idea of where I want to go along the way. Spend a few days in Paris? Visit a friend who just relocated to Zurich? Book an Easyjet flight to Alicante? Or Inverness? Trains? Planes? Road trip?

It's like the most deliciously exciting prospect unknown days.

So I ask you internet...thoughts? Where would YOU go? I mean, I'm going to blog the SHIZ out of it so maybe you guys should speak up about what you want to read.

Monday, December 05, 2011


Is anything more fun than innocently watching guilty pleasure television and OH MY GOODNESS a song pops on by a hardworking little Denver band you love?

These guys opened for The Head and the Heart at a teensy weensy little club last winter and I was totally enchanted. I even got to play their glockenspiel (not a euphemism) during one of the tunes that night. I've seen them play a few times since and this song always get the crowd riled up.

Such a fun treat on a night where I still don't have my car because apparently there was more wrong with it than originally anticipated. Sigh.

Sunday, December 04, 2011


The lesson learned this week is that the Universe has one heck of a wicked sense of humor.


Thursday night after we laughed and cried at The Muppets (go see it, hands down the sweetest movie of the year) I came out to a check engine light and a creepy chugging sound when I started the car. I took it to the garage on Friday morning and darn it if the O2 sensor-a thing I had no idea even existed-was broken and don't you know it, the part wouldn't be in until Monday.

I had planned to go to Breckenridge Saturday and thankfully my friend was down to drive. It was a wee bit snowy but were determined and his 7 year old daughter was looking forward to her first snowboard day of the season. We got part way down Hoosier Pass when my biggest driving in snow fear started happening. We lost our traction and the car sailed across into the other lane and then right over a ledge and into the embankment.  We landed just over the edge almost completely sideways.  My heart was leaping into my throat as we approached the side of the road-I remembered riding that curve on my bike that summer and knew it was mostly steep drop-offs but somehow we managed to slip off in an area where there was a bit of a shelf that stopped us. The car was at such a weird angle Ana and I had to hold onto the roof to keep from sliding to the other side.  Guillermo was remarkably calm as it was happening. He said later he felt like a duck-smooth on the top but paddling furiously under the water where we couldn't see. He called AAA right away. Unlike my experience on Wednesday, more people than we could count stopped, got out of their cars and came over to see if we were OK. The car wouldn't start so we could roll the windows down and we weren't sure how secure we were and didn't dare get out so I would push the door almost straight up to thank them and tell them help was on the way.

It was so surreal. I have never been on a snowy road where I wasn't terrified that we would slip off the road. And then it was happening. We were sliding right towards a scary ledge and it actually crossed my mind, "this could be it." And then it wasn't. And then AAA came and the guy was laughing because we were laughing because what else could we do? We drove slowly to Breck and the sun came out and it quit snowing and I skied and they snowboarded and we laughed some more about our day. There are a hundred ways that adventure could have ended and I feel incredibly blessed that all we ended up with was good story.

Then tonight I got a text I wasn't expecting from a boy I shouldn't want to hear from asking to see me. A thing that is hard to say no to on a snowy night. That I did say no to and I should have said no to but was harder to say no to than I wanted it to be.

I feel like maybe my guardian angels have been catching up my blog and thought it would be funny to test me on ALL THE THINGS I'M WORKING ON.

But then this. So I've been carless this weekend and since Thursday night I chose The Muppets instead of a desperately needed grocery shopping trip (no regrets) I ended up needing to walk to the store tonight which I usually try to avoid on Sundays. It's cold so I piled on a bunch of layers and headed over. As I was investigating the bananas I noticed that a girl I've been stalking on about five different social networks and know through a mutual friend was also checking out bananas. So I stopped her and we ended up having a lovely little heart-to-heart on dating and careers and marriage and Lululemon. It was so fun to see her and the conversation hit all these unexpectedly needed points and calmed my manic little heart down in a hundred ways.

Well played angels, well played.

Thursday, December 01, 2011


My morning went something like this yesterday...

I woke up obscenely late for an adult with a job and had to call and cancel two meetings. Then I picked up my mail for the first time in a week and found not one, but two notices of overdue bills, a sign that those times I sat in the team processing office at midnight trying to remember what to pay may not have been the most coherent moments of my life. A couple of embarrassing "can I pay this over the phone?" calls later I finally got on the road to put in a half day at the office after being out for five days.

That is until I heard this terrible sound as I was getting off the freeway and discovered once I was sort of safely on the shoulder of the exit that I had a flat tire. Since I do not know how to change a tire (sorry feminism, I just can't seem to care enough about this one), I joined AAA from the side of the road. After the nice man with really astonishingly great eyes put on a spare, I got the lovely news from the guys at the garage that hey, you need to rotate your tires lady because this other front one is about to blow too. Since I'm driving to Breckenridge just about every Saturday until Christmas and then to and from Utah for the holidays I decided you know, why not spend all my money this morning on things that are not fun and I replaced not one, but two tires.

So that was my day.  And there were years and years of my life where I think I would have dissolved into tears on that freeway shoulder wondering why on earth all this had to happen to me? And I would have been overly stressed out about how I was going to pay for everything and it would have just seemed like the worst.  But I think you have two choices as you get older-you can climb deeper into your own faults and fears and get more and more set in your ways or you can really try to identify the things you struggle against and work your tail off to get over them. I have mentioned often and recently that worry is one of those things for me. I had a roommate several years ago who even bought me a book about managing worry-a gesture that was both sweet and embarrassing. If the person who lives with you feels compelled to buy you a self-help book, you might have a bigger problem than being an endearing little worrywart.

The truth about worry is this-nothing you are laying in bed freaking out about ever happens. Weird stuff that isn't even on your radar screen does, your parents get divorced when you are 24 or your dad's kidneys shut down 4 weeks before you leave on your mission or you end up in a city you hate with a job that is eating you alive. You didn't worry about those things ever happening but then they do and you get through it because that's what you do. Meanwhile you stay up half the night thinking about whether you ordered enough backpacks for the Parapan Am Games and of course you did. Or you read an article about the likelihood of a woman over 35 getting married and you get stuck on it for a week even though you are a person who can see the hand of God all over her damn life and you know He's not really a numbers game kind of guy.

So I'm working on worry. And it's getting better. Today was annoying, and it killed the better part of my work day and it was expensive at a time of year I would prefer to be buying nephew presents to AAA memberships. But it wasn't the worst. It was actually far from the worst. Because today I also got to see coworkers who have been gone for a month and who I missed. And because we made firm ski plans for the weekend. And yesterday I had lunch in SoHo at a restaurant I'd been dying to try. There are just better things to have in my head than getting stuck on things that are just life. Tires go flat. Sleepy bodies turn the alarm off. Bill due dates can slip by in busy times. And sometimes that all hits at once and it feels like a personal attack from the universe.  But then last week I got a whole bunch of these moments.

I was probably due for a flat tire or two. Good trade in my book.