The Solution to All Your Problems

You know what's really great?

Adele turned twenty-one and she came out with a new album.

It will make you deliriously happy.

Even if all you are getting these days is bad news.

It is so good that when she is singing and your husband is kissing you so deep and so hard, reality and entropy and unemployment and certain disaster and all their horrid cousins will magically disappear.  Your brains and your worries and your anxieties and the part of you that knows better will melt together and be sucked right out, leaving only a hot, throbbing joy pumping through your veins.

It will make you remember all the good parts of life.

Even if your husband starts crying on the way to the post office because he only wants to go back to work instead of running errands with you.

It is so good that it will make you forget that life can be hard, and instead make you start to dream that the future is as bright as resurrection morning. 

Even if the bad news only got worse this week, and you find yourself sitting across the couch from your one and only trying to calmly list your dwindling options and sort your priorities.  A roof.  Food on the table.  

It is so good it will make you want to throw a garden party with giant bowls of pasta salad and individual glass lemonade bottles and paper lanterns strung up in the trees.

Even if you are running out of time and after watching the last six months drag impossibly slow, you are now in a race with the calendar that is moving surely and swiftly towards summer, when everything will come apart for sure.

It is so good it will make you believe that anything is possible.

And that is only track 1.  Just wait till you get to the second half.  You will swear salvation is at hand.

Turn it up.

A Post In Which I Bless Your Life Again

I am making steady, wondrous progress on my "before-school's-out" list. 

The swim cupboard is accessible (no small feat) and pleasing to the eye.  The school file boxes have been readied.  The ironing has been completely caught up.  (A gasp and three cheers are in order here, should you feel so inclined.)  I have made summer pillows and bought the fabric to recover the cushions in the girls' room.  I've made cookies twice, for no reason at all except pleasure.

On Saturday afternoon I bought a round table on Craigslist (oh joyful day!) and I have begun sanding my kitchen chairs so that I can stain them to match.  (I'll take before and after pictures and save them for another post, because, as you know, there is nothing I like quite so much as bragging.)

In short, I am a domestic goddess.

And so that you might be too, (I find most people want to be like me...that's what happens when you're amazing) here are a few things to help you on your way:

1.  This Book

My lovely and talented Aunt Jill wrote this book and it is gorgeous and drool-worthy for several reasons:

  1. There are lots of pictures of me in it (reason enough right there to buy it).  There are also lots of pictures of lots of people who are related to me and who happen to look EXACTLY like me as well, so if you like pictures of me (and who doesn't?) this is the book for you.
  2. It is FULL of beautiful quilt patterns (really beautiful quilt patterns) that you can do with a group (if you have lots of domestic goddess friends to hang out with) or by yourself (if you are into making everybody else jealous of how amazing you are).
  3. So many other cute projects like pincushions and notebook covers made from selvages.  Just yum!
  4. Speaking of yum, it also has some favorite recipes. 
  5. I wrote the foreword.  And some people have told me that it made them cry.  And I think even if it doesn't make you cry, it will make you want to call all the women in your life and tell them that you love them.  And even if it doesn't do either, it may be the one and only time I am ever legitimately published and so get it while it's hot.

2.  Bamboo Sheets

A long while back I heard Martha Stewart say that she only sleeps on bamboo sheets and I thought, "Egyptian Cotton is out?  When did that happen?"  A few weeks ago I put the summer sheets on the bed only to find that they were worn out and threadbare and needed to be replaced.  I went to Tuesday Morning (where I always go to buy sheets, because I love quality sheets, but I refuse to pay for them.  See how that works?)  Anyway, they had a set of bamboo sheets and my inner Martha was delighted.

It's been a couple of weeks now, and I've got to say, for the record, that there is a reason she is Martha Stewart.  And she was absolutely correct about the bamboo sheets.  They are so soft they are almost more like leather than fabric.  Even though that sounds a little weird.  (Probably especially to Kelly.  You'll have to trust me.)  I told David these are the sheets that Adam and Eve slept on to populate the world.  They are that good.  And cooler than cotton too, which is a delightful characteristic in your summer sheet set.

3.  I am recovering my kitchen chair cushions after I re-stain the wood and so I have been looking through upholstery fabric swatches.  Talk about joy!  (There are times when I am completely my mother's daughter...this is one of those times.  She used to carry swatches around in her purse for months.  I am just now discovering that she did this just for the fun of it.)  Anyway, I found these lovely designs from Thomas Paul.  (The two owl prints at the bottom are Alexander Henry.)  You have my permission to drool, and then find something to recover.  I think I will do the piano bench while I am at it.  Perhaps Aviary in Tangerine.  Be still my heart.

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.)