Friday, March 25, 2011


No, not that kind. Though I did vacuum, dust, wash windows, and cleaned the tub (including the shower drain) the last few days. Instead, I have a bunch of random updates about the kids and life in general that I thought I'd throw out there for anyone who is interested in our lives.

I guess it's time to change the blog decor again since St. Patty's day is all over. Maybe I will do that after I post. We shall see how well the kids are behaving.

Speaking of the children's behavior, Logan has officially crossed a few serious lines the last two days. First, he shot Kaylee in the face with a Nerf Dart yesterday. Then he lied about it. Ugh. Isn't it too soon to have to deal with LYING??? And then, to top it all off, he shot her in the face again today. After the first incident, the gun was put away for the rest of the night. After this second incident, all of the Nerf guns in the house have been rounded up and will be stored away for an undetermined amount of time.

But when he isn't lying and shooting his sister in the face, Logan is still my sweet boy. He always wants to help me in the kitchen when I'm cooking, so I always try to have something for him to do. He is also getting pretty good at writing his name. He knows how to spell it, but it still asks for help with the G and the N. He has also started to get more creative when it comes to drawing...most recently he loves to draw spaceships, trains, and rail road tracks. Oh, and he is becoming a fast pro at quite a few xBox games. Mostly Sonic the Hedgehog and Castle Crashers, but it's pretty impressive. It's his quiet time activity while Kaylee naps and Mommy reads.

Kaylee has expanded her vocabulary quite a bit. She will pretty much repeat any word you ask her to. Just last night, she and Logan were in the tub and he said, "Kaylee, say 'I' (I) 'love' (lah) 'Mommy!' (Mommy!)" And then he had her say she loved Daddy and Logan (Schweebee), candy (Nandy), Baby Einstein (Bay Ein), and everything else he could think of. She also LOVES to draw. Whenever she sees a relatively blank sheet of paper or a crayon, she brings them to me and says "Draw Mom!" and after she draws something, she exclaims "I did it!" Actually, she will shriek "I did it!" after everything she considers an accomplishment. It's very sweet. Not so sweet, though, is the fact that she has been waking up at like 6:20 every morning. I don't know how to fix that and I'm not really tolerating it well. Sigh.

Zac got a job! ...sort of. Well, it is a job. And it is EXACTLY what he wants to be doing (character and environment design for a video game). However, it is a game being created and produced by two guys pretty much out of their garage. Both of the guys have a ton of experience and know what they're doing, right down to the marketing. However, they and Zac will get paid using a profit sharing model, which means they won't make money until the game makes money. Which is projected to be a little less than a year from now. So yeah...Zac is excited for this project, but also still looking for paying work :-)

I'm still here. Still writing. Still enjoying the spring in Seattle. Still longing for home just the tiniest bit. One of the girls in my critique group (the one that started it, actually) moved to Seattle from Virginia last September and she and her husband just decided to call it quits and move back to Virginia. Looks like we aren't the only ones toying with the idea! Also in writing news, my Freshman roommate from BYU, Jess, has a writing blog (like mine...remember? This one.) and she does a fun segment once a week called "Before they were Published" and asked to interview me for next week. It was fun. So on Monday, you can read all about me and my writing here. She also mentioned putting up a hilarious-black mail type picture from Freshman year, so I'd go check it out just to see what picture she comes up with!

Well, I guess that's all for now. And as a reward for reading that lengthy post, here is a picture. We went to this park/farm on Wednesday and this was right before Logan was scared to death by a giant turkey that was just wandering around. It's from my cell phone, as I still haven't tracked down my camera charger. Where IS that?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

For Logan...

Quick story for Logan to look back on years from now...

Logan loves Toy Story. And, as you may recall, asked for a Buzz Lightyear for Christmas. Only, as you may also recall, he couldn't (and still can't) say "Buzz Lightyear," and instead called him "Butt Laser."

Think that's funny? It gets better. I just got a text from Aunt Nana that read:
So...last week my class was learning about length and measure. One table mentioned lightyears as a measure of length, so I told them about Butt Laser. I'm grading their papers right now and a few of them wrote that off to the side so they'd remember later :)

See, Logan? Not only do you make us, your loving and adoring parents, laugh, but Aunt Nana spreads your hilarity wherever she can, too.

It's because we love you. (And I think because Aunt Nana misses you, too!)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Another Interview, Another Rejection...

Yeah. Zac had 2 interviews with Google. And then he got a call today saying he's not part of the Google team. Well, at least they let us know.

And I know I shouldn't be upset and complaining with all of the crap going on in Japan. I should be counting my blessings and all that.

But here is the thing: credit card companies, cell phone companies, and insurance companies aren't going to be expecting on-time bill payments from earthquake and tsunami survivors. Student loan repayments can be deferred for people suffering due to natural disasters.

No one really seems to care about a family of four who moved to follow their dreams of putting their college degrees to use and have been unemployed for five months.

Ok, pity party over.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


My friend and former crit group buddy is having a massive giveaway over at her blog, Room on the Shelf. So go. Enter. Win books. then keep reading her blog because she is very insightful.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Random Thoughts, Er, Monday...

I know I usually do Random Thoughts on Thursdays, but since A.) This Thursday is going to be kind of busy, 2.) I have a lot on my mind, and D.)it's been 5 days since my last post, I'm posting my random thoughts now. But to make it more intense, each thought has multiple layers of random connectivity. See, it's different from my typical ramblings.

The Job Hunt:
Zac has interview #2 with Google on Thursday. It's still not really what he wants to be doing the rest of his life, but it's a job. A year-long contract job with pretty fantastic pay AND full benefits the day he starts. So it's something! He also was contacted by an indi game studio that likes some of his stuff and wants to talk with him about a project they are working on. That would also be friggin' sweet. And on the parental front, my dad had a job interview for groundskeeping in Fairport, so we're keeping our fingers crossed there, too. (See what I mean about connectivity? Same topic, 2 thoughts. I'm so deep right now.)

The Lack of Pictures:
Zac's sister, Liz, got married on Saturday. To her sister-in-law's brother. I love it. So we weren't there. Which was a bummer. But even more of a bummer is that no one has posted pictures yet. Where are all the pictures, people? We live in a digital age...there should have been pictures uploaded the second you were home from the reception! And on another note, I haven't posted many pictures lately. Turns out my camera battery charger was stolen by gremlins or something. I really need to find that.

Relief Society Birthday:
The women's organization in our church (Relief Society) has a birthday celebration every year. In our ward here in Sammamish, they have decided to have a "gift exchange" in which you provide a service to someone as your gift (like babysitting, a ride to the airport, etc). I was asking Zac what I should give as my service gift and he said, "Cooking dinner, obviously." Which is true, but I want it to be special, not "I'll bring you a casserole." So I think I'm going to offer a "Gourmet 3 Course Meal for 2," where I will cook (and clean up) in their kitchen, wearing my chef's coat and all that jazz. Fun for me, delicious for them. And hopefully I will get to know some people in the ward a little better! I was thinking my Chicken French as the main course, but what I really want to do is Creme Brulee for the dessert course. Which leads me to the second portion of this random thought...I really want a Creme Brulee set. You know, with the ramekins and the torch. Sure I can do it under the broiler which I've done in the past, but this would make it super-fancy.

Well, I have more thoughts, but I can't really connect them right now, so I guess that's all. Thanks for letting me ramble.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Heavenly Birthday...

Today is Uncle Gary’s birthday. His fifth in Heaven. I’m trying hard to imagine what a 54th birthday in heaven would be like, but I would guess it’s not too different from any other day. I mean, it’s Heaven. If they could do anything special to celebrate and improve your birthday, they would do it every day.

And I suppose, if it’s any sort of Heaven at all, Uncle Gary got to sleep in, as “The Waking Up Thing” was always rather difficult after a great night of “Bed Sleeping.” And you know the mattresses in Heaven are literally like sleeping on clouds, so it just has to be tough waking up from that. (Then again, maybe the spirits of the righteous dead don’t need sleep. In which case, maybe his birthday morning would start with the equivalent of breakfast.) I’m assuming that Uncle Gary’s birthday breakfast of choice would be a breakfast sandwich from Einstein Bros. Bagels. It became a fast favorite of his in Vegas, so it has to be equally as desirable when surrounded by pearly gates and lilting harps and such.

(Of course, being a spirit, Gary would only be eating a spirit bagel sandwich. And yet because he still occupies the same physical dimension as the spirit breakfast, I assume his spirit body eats the spirit breakfast with the same joy that his physical body took regular bagel sandwiches, densities of matter being equivalent and all that. But I digress.)

So, Gary wanders in, and is greeted by a chorus of angels singing “Happy Birthday” to him, orders his bagel, and is off to work. (Work in Heaven? Of course there is work in Heaven…but it's only the kind of work that you love and makes you eternally happy.) Naturally, you can request to have your birthday off, but Gary would never do that. Because his job is to compose and play beautiful music all day long. You know, contributing to that Heavenly atmosphere. Bringing peace and joy to all those who hear it. And if you knew Gary at all, you know he wouldn’t miss a day of that. Even on his birthday.

So after his shift at the celestial piano is over, I figure Gary would probably receive a note from a heavenly messenger saying that he was sent another one of those pesky balloons with a birthday card from his niece. Of course the Hosts of Heaven are too polite to say or do anything to prevent the balloon messages from being received into the eternities, but I’d imagine having a foreign object (like a balloon) wandering up through your cloud-bank floors at all times of the day would get a little distracting.

Gary tries not to get too emotional, but he can’t help it. Getting teary-eyed is still in his nature and he loves getting those cards on his birthday and Father’s Day. So he reads it and sets off on his “birthday mission,” as he started referring to it a few years back.

You see, in Heaven, I feel that you get one small wish or desire of your heart granted to you on your birthday. (That’s where the wishing on your candles thing came from.) So Gary sets out to talk with our Savior. And after waiting in line (it’s not just his birthday, after all) (and since time has a different meaning in Heaven than it does here, it’s not annoying to wait your turn), it’s his turn to petition the Lord.

Gary kneels down at the Lord’s feet; balloon and birthday card still in hand, and simply looks up. He doesn’t have to ask, as his wish is the same as it is every year…to see his family again. To be able to say “Goodbye.” Because nothing was more important to Gary in this life than his family.

“Now Gary,” the Lord says, taking Gary’s hand in His, “We’ve been over this. You can’t just go back. First, it would freak everybody out. Second, your body was in some serious trouble and you don’t want to go back to that painful state. Third, you’ll see them all again soon enough. And fourth, you have family here that would miss you just as much. So let’s settle on your alternative.”

Gary sighs. “Alright.”

And he’s not upset, because he knows the Lord is right. And when he arrives back at his heavenly mansion, he is thrilled when his Grandma Myrtle comes out of the kitchen with a spirit cake she baked from scratch. And his Grandpa Ray pats him on the back and wishes him a happy birthday. Which inevitably starts the endless hugs and kisses and birthday wishes from everyone from his Grandma Vivian, to his cousins, down to his great-nieces and great-nephews that we still haven't met, but who love and adore him as much as he does them.

And it’s then he realizes how grateful he is for the concept of eternal families and that we will all be together again eventually. So with a smile on his face and a room full of spirit friends and family, he sits at his piano and plays.

And knows that he is home.