Show and Tell

Our reading assignment for class this week was all about the difference between "showing" and "telling."  I think I get it.

First I have something to show you.

The last three Fridays I've gone to Christine's house to quilt.  We've been working on this.

I know.  I'm in love with it too.

And now I have something to tell you.  Particularly if you live in Utah Valley.

Rachel and I are taking the show on the road again.

We are teaching our fireside on body image,

More Precious Than Rubies: Truths About Body Image in a World Full of Lies

this Sunday, January 31st, at the Grove Creek Stake Center in Pleasant Grove, Utah

1176 North 730 East (in Pleasant Grove) at 6:30 p.m. 

and you are cordially invited.

I hope you come and I hope that it will bless your life.  Better than that, we will finally get to meet.

Which, I'm telling you, will be delightful.

Oh, To Be As Brilliant As She!

First some news, some anxieties, and then I'll do my best to bless your life.

First news.

Last week I was asked by a real-life editor to write a foreword for a new, soon-to-be-published book.  I know.  You can bet I did a little jig of happiness.

Which leads us, already, to the anxieties part.

I worked on it this morning.  I think parts of it were just shy of brilliant, or at least good.  Not sure about the rest of it though.  I emailed it off to him today with my heart in my throat and my ego on my sleeve.  Gulp.  We'll see.

After the first draft I left the house to get away from it a bit before I edited it.  I have to get a little space before I can start killing and maiming my babies, see?  I went to the college to get my student ID and my parking pass.  The student ID they gave me has my maiden name on it, as the computer refused to believe that I had gotten married.  I told David this morning in the shower that I needed to get a ring between now and next Tuesday just in case some other boy wants to ask me out.  He just smiled.  ("What?" I said, "I was very popular in college."  At which, his smile broadened.)

Anyway, while I was there I went to the bookstore for my required books (can I tell you what a little thrill that was?) and saw that one of the requireds is a book I already own, a book already sitting on my writing table, on top of the stack even!, a book I've already read and tried to learn from.  And I had the brief and horrible thought that what I might need is not more information (i.e. this class I've registered for) but more talent (i.e. no professor can help you there).  And the dream nearly died right there on the bookstore linoleum.

But then RIM raised her voice over CIM's freaking out and I pulled myself together.  That is, until I got home and murdered my forward, gave birth to a new version, and sent it through cyberspace to be critiqued and analyzed by a real-life editor.

Good night, what am I thinking?

There's no help for it.  Best move on to the part where I bless you life.

Last week I went to to lunch with my brother who was in town just briefly, and my sister who lives here all the time but whom I never see enough.  We had a delicious conversation over sandwiches and fries and water with lemon.  Near the end, my brother mentioned a masterful talk he had heard at church that had blessed his life.  I looked it up and now it has blessed mine as well.

So here it is.  It is by Sister Julie B. Beck--the B. stands for Brilliant by the way, and that is always how I refer to her in our house, Sister Julie Brilliant Beck.  I think you'll agree.

And, you're welcome. 


(P.S.  I know some of you might be sorely tempted to leave an encouraging comment about my "brilliant" writing, but honestly I can't bear it today.  I am restricting all comments to agreements about the gorgeous and wise, Julie Brilliant Beck, and to those of you who think it is entirely plausible that I could indeed get asked out my some cute boy in my class next week.)

The Secret Delights of the Week

First of all, may I just point out that this makes five posts in five days.  You already know that of course, as I'm sure this was one of the secret delights of your week.

But before the weekend comes, a few more of mine, for the record.

1.  This book.

I am completely in love with Flavia de Luce.  I could eat her for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Better than pie, I say, and I find myself wildly grinning through Mr. Bradley's every paragraph.  

2.  This game.

Caleb got this game for Christmas and by New Year's we owned the expansion.  We have played hours of it since then, including a stolen hour last night between dinner and Roundtable meeting that David had to rush off to. 

3.  This conversation.

This morning as I was in the shower and David was putting the finishing touches on his tie, we were reviewing my posts from the week.

David remembered the one from Wednesday morning and got a little red under the collar remembering the last couple of paragraphs.

He rolled his eyes at me and said, "I wonder what people think."

I said, "They think you love me.  They think that's crazy, but they definitely think you love me."

"But can't they know that without being inappropriate?"

"Probably not," I assured him.

His eyes did another roll but I just smiled at him and he got distracted because I was just coming out of the shower, remember?

4.  This text.

Hey love hope u r having a good day

This afternoon, quite out of the blue, David sent me a text.  Unheard of.  Especially in the middle of the day with the hospital always absorbing all of his daylight-hour attention.

Of course I texted back. nice to be thought of in the middle of the day...cant wait for date night

And then I waited.  For something witty perhaps?  For something steamy perhaps?  But he didn't text back.

I was hoping for something like:

me too


where do you want to go

or even

i think of you in the middle of the day every day

But the exchange was over.  Still.  I'll take what I can get and count it as one of the delights of the week.  I am so easy to please.  (That was funny, right?)

5.  The rest of today.

I spent the day at Christine's (my sister-in-law) house quilting.  Or actually, mostly talking and planning and fabric shopping and plotting ways to get my sister, Rachel, to quit her job so she can join quilt day too, but we call it quilting.  We had plans to work on some unfinished projects but mostly got excited about starting a couple of new projects instead.  It was easily among the best hours of my week.

Next week already looks less delightful as I have jury duty bright and early on Monday morning.  I am sincerely hoping I don't consume all of Flavia between now and then as I would love to have her with me through jury selection. 

But the week after that school starts.  And I, for one, can't wait.  This week I went and peeked through the window of my classroom and my inappropriate heart did a fluttery bounce and started pounding madly away, undone by the sight of desks and chairs and whiteboards.

Heaven help me if I ever find myself in a classroom with David.  I will surely spontaneously combust with all that lust.   


This morning at breakfast Ethan told me, "Technically, there are seven more days until Christmas."

Well, technically I'm running out of days.

Yesterday morning David asked me how the Christmas cards were coming.

I made a sound like a trapped animal.  (At that point there was technically still a swear word right in the middle of them...)

I asked him how the service project was coming.

He changed the subject.  (At this point he still hadn't technically come up with an idea yet...)

But in much better news, technically today was the last day of school for the year.  Our holiday has technically and officially begun.  (And not a moment too soon.)  Let the wild rumpus start.

(Video courtesy of my clever brother and his gorgeous wife, who are technically so on the ball that they not only have time to complete their own Christmas lists, but to make charming holiday movies of other people's children.)

A Salt Lake City Invitation

Last night Rachel and I were supposed to teach a body image class, but she had a fever.

And so I was a one man band.

Running the computer and talking at the same time, and trying to remember her lines on top of all that. 

When I got home David met me at the door and asked with concern, "How did it go?"  He was expecting the worst.

I shrugged, which is short for "it could have been worse, but it also certainly could have been better."

I sighed, "Sunday will be better."  And that is what I told myself all night when I couldn't sleep.  Sunday will be better.  Repeated over and over more like a prayer and a plea than a promise.

And that brings us to the part where I bless your life.  (And you thought we'd never get there.)


If you live in Salt Lake

Rachel and I are coming to give our body image presentation,

More Precious Than Rubies: Truths About Body Image in a World Full of Lies

This Sunday, November 8th at 7 p.m. at the Salt Lake Winder Stake Center,

4366 South 1500 East,

and you are cordially invited.

Bring your daughter if she's older than ten and we will try to bless her life as well.

Best of all,

Rachel will be fever-free and at her best (which you won't want to miss)

and I will be there only doing my lines (which should be better)

and if you already know me you can give me a bolstering hug because heaven knows I'll need it

and if we haven't met yet, we can, and then it will be just like old times.  Delightful, no?

So come, it will bless your life.  (I'm almost sure of it.) 

My Blog by the Numbers

David and I are in a fight.

I'm not sure what it's about, but I think it might be about rootbeer extract.

No, that can't be right.  And yet, I think it is.

When I got married I had no idea that the big issues would include rootbeer extract.  I'm thinking that that probably wouldn't have even come up in premarital counseling.  Though I could be wrong.

Anyway, add rootbeer extract to my list of regrets.  (I'm as surprised as you.)

In other news, my blog turned 2 today, and so for your delight and entertainment, I give you my blog by the numbers:

In the last 2 years

I have written 370 posts,

including this one,

that have been read by people in 50 states

and 5 countries. 

(Two of my readers are technically Americans just spending the semester in Europe, but I'm totally counting that.  And ya, Canada counts too.) 

And what did I say in those 370 posts?

Contrary to what some people think, I've only mentioned entropy 15 times

and my perfect breasts 3 times. 

(Can that be right?  Clearly a serious oversight.)

Rachel commented once, "This blog has everything...suspense, sex, comic relief, scripture, drama, and oh so much more,"

but looking back I've only mentioned sex twice

and Isaiah twice,

but she's right about the comic relief.  (It has to be in the high three hundreds.)

For the record, there have been 6 kissing pictures,

but my favorite is still this one.

(What rootbeer extract?)

To my surprise, my most revisited theme was pie.  24 times in fact.  Well.  You can't beat pie.

Over the last twenty-four months

I have recorded the celebration of dozens of holidays,

deconstructed scores of days around my dinner table,

noted several perfect gloamings with my darlings,

and counted my blessings hundreds of times

Add to that the fact that this blog has blessed your life in countless ways (See?  More comic relief.  I told you.)

and I think it's a blogiversary worth celebrating.

I think I'll make pie.


After the weekend

there are six large pumpkins on the hearth, waiting for the knife

a small tupperware of aaloo chole and one of chicken tikka masala, but no more naan to mop them up

a few bits of sugar cookie, two ghosts and half a pumpkin  (never mind, I just finished off the pumpkin)

a drying rack draped with perfectly tea-dyed mummy rags, waiting for a body to bring them to life

a notebook with notes from stake conference, and more determined resolve in my heart

a boy with a blazing temperature and soupy lungs, the dresser next to his bed littered with medicine, nebulizer, thermometer, and drinks with straws

and me, armed with...


a smile from the weekend delights,

a bottle of lysol for all the hard surfaces in my house,

a pair of watchful, vigilant eyes on guard for worsening flu symptoms and new cases in the rest of my darlings,

and a fervent prayer in my heart for protection from the worst of it.

Sand in My Eye

How about something fun today?

I'm in a bad, bad mood.

In fact I may be teetering on the verge from "mood" to outright "funk."

It's that bad.

And it's all David's fault, of course.

Now he is reading that last line and I can hear him scoffing all the way from the hospital.  He is thinking, "That's outrageous!"

And it is.  (But don't tell him.)

I'm going to move on to the fun stuff in just a minute, but first, the straw that broke the camel's back.  (Because I know you are wondering.)  I went in the bathroom this morning to put Caleb's hair up for "Crazy Hair Day" and I walked through a substantial sand pile right in the middle of the floor.  I asked, "Who dumped their shoes out in the middle of the floor?"  And everyone said, "Not me." 

I know.  I was shocked too.  And if you are wondering how this is David's fault I will just remind you (as I reminded him) that he was the reason these children (and therefore, the sand pile too) exist in the first place.

I know what you're thinking.  "Wow, she can make a mountain out of a molehill  sand pile like nobody else I know."  What can I say?  It's a gift.

(Don't worry.  It's October.  I should be feeling better any day now.)

Now to the part where I make your life a little better.  Fun, right?

On the way to Utah last weekend, David asked me if I brought any books-on-tape.  I had.  But he wasn't interested in either of them, and so I casually mentioned that I had a bunch of "This American Life" podcasts on my ipod that we could listen to.  I've mentioned this before.  But honestly, David thinks my penchant for NPR is another of my charming character flaws, and has always declined.  But then he got a little desperate on our way out of the desert and I tempted him by saying, "There's a funny one I think you'd like."  And so he reluctantly consented.

We listened to every one of them before the trip was over.

I made a convert.

Some of them are so laugh-out-loud funny David and I just sat and hooted at each other and wiped our eyes afterwards.  Some of them are so sobering we just sat and looked at each other, our eyebrows doing all the talking.  Some of them are so informative we would have to pause the podcast and discuss our take on it, and how it made us think of something else we had to tell the other one right away.


And, as you know, I love being right.  So this was doubly wonderful.  David even asked me when it "normally airs."  Ha!  I told him Saturdays at two with a gleeful, triumphant smile.

So if you haven't already, you really should subscribe to the podcast and next week you can fold your laundry to the joy that is "This American Life."

And can I just say, that when I can't sleep and I am lying in my bed in the dark, I fantasize about being interviewed by Ira Glass.  And the stories I would tell him and the pauses he would make and the questions that would follow.

I can just imagine the one I would tell him about the sandbox I found in the bathroom this morning and after I told him the whole thing, how I harassed the children and made a federal case out of it and was nearly run through by the beam in my own eye, he would pause and ask, "At any point along here did you think 'This is crazy!'?"

And then I'd give a long pause.

And we'd both laugh, because of course I hadn't.

In Case Your Taste Is Better Than Your Art

I was supposed to scrub the house and run the washing machine today.

It didn't happen.

Instead, a good friend called me this morning and asked me about my writing project.  I hummed and hawed.  The truth is that it's going about as well as my laundry.

Which stinks.

And then, I found this great clip by Ira Glass and thought about it for the rest of the day.

It was quite what I needed to hear.

I am posting it here in case you haven't seen it and have a similar problem.  With your art.  Not your laundry. 

I know.  I love him, too.

[David thinks this post won't apply to most of you, but says "why don't you just put it out there?" and so I am.  Plus I know at least one of you (and you know who you are) will find this immensely helpful.  You can thank me later.]

An Open Invitation

As you may or may not know, (how could you not know??), my sister, Rachel, and I have a presentation about body image that we give a couple of times a month to LDS Relief Society and Young Women groups in Arizona.

Well, now we’re taking the show of the road.

If you live on the Wasatch front, this is a once-in-a-lifetime, limited-engagement, opportunity.  We are going to be giving our presentation in Pleasant Grove on Wednesday, July 1st, and all of you that live around there are invited to come as well.

I know, lucky you!

(The truth is we’re desperately nervous and we’d love to have a full house that night, as well as a few familiar, friendly faces in the audience.)

We’d love to have you there and any girls in your lives that are 10 and older.  Plus, you’ll have a really good time.  (I mean, probably.  I am almost as charming in person as I am on my blog.  Especially if you're not married to me.)

Here is the info:

The ward is Grove Creek 8th Ward.
The address is 1176 N. 730 E.  in Pleasant Grove, UT 84062
at 7 p.m.

I promise it will change your life.  (I mean, probably.)