"how many browns do you have?"

i have a little "dark meat" in me. so does kaitlyn. we know it comes from our great grandfather, but the nationality is a little bit in question. we think he was latino. but then sometimes grandma would change her mind and throw out greek.....anyway, it's picks and chooses people here and there in my family. it got my dad, skipped my older sister, got me, skipped my younger brother, got my youngest sister, etc. you get the idea. my blogging bff jori just adopted an adorable little african american baby and it got me thinking of this story--

in my own little family, we have "two browns"--here's how we know:

about 4 years ago we had my cousin allison's daughter, india, over to play with chandler. india is the most exquisite shade of copper brown as her dad, vasu, is from (you guessed it) india. allison and vasu also have a younger daughter, sienna.

that night we loaded up all the kids plus india to go for a ride in our sweet miniature van. india and chandler were sitting in the captain's chairs right behind me and the rbc, and we could hear their little 5 year old conversations.

just then chandler asks, "india, how many browns do you have?"

india says, "what?"

and chandi says, "you know, brown people. how many?"

right at this moment i look over at russ who is simultaneously horrified and ready to kick some SERIOUS butt. he mouths, "OH. MY. GOSH." to me and was just about to reprimand chandler for being so rude, but i held up my hand and whispered, "wait. just wait."

india says, "oh, BROWNS! we have 3 browns in our family. how many do you have?"

to which chandi replies, "we have two browns and three whites."

politically correct? ummmmmm, yeah--NOT. but by breaking it down to the easiest of terms, she managed to sidestep all the hatred and bigotry and rules that the world demands that we follow, and make it straightforward and simple & sweet.

i absolutely love telling this story because i think it would be so much better if we could all just reason like children did. i think it could solve so many problems. my hope? that we can all be "color blind".

here are the two "browns" in my own family: me and megan
and a photo we took a couple of years ago to actually show the whites and browns: l to r--loni (white), mindi (brown), ryan (white), michael (white) and megan (brown)

so, how many browns do YOU have? or whites? or yellows? or pinks.....?

thankful thursday

this week i am thankful for:

good friends and good family

the fact that our ghetto rec center is getting new spin bikes--yahoo!!

that my baby turned 14. and is going to her first stake dance on saturday night. yikes.

for a mother who loves me always and still calls me her baby

that my husband takes my car and gets it washed for me on saturday afternoons. i wuv him.

i hope guys don't make passes....

at our girl who wears glasses! wondering how long until the novelty wears off......any bets?

shallow thoughts:why record the WHOLE program?

when we were in hawaii, we went to the polynesian cultural center. they had an evening show that was awesome--it highlighted dancing and performers from all of the islands surrounding and including hawaii.

they had to announce about 15 times "no flash photography, please!" and then they would repeat it in japanese, twice. recording the show was not forbidden, though, and as i looked around i was amazed at how many people were recording. THE ENTIRE SHOW. WHICH WAS 2 HOURS LONG.

the rbc's latino employees love to do this at the annual company christmas party. we will gather for dinner, white elephant gift exchange, and then some group games. it never fails that every year at least 8 to 10 of them record the entire experience, from beginning to end. it's usually almost 3 hours long. over the years i've developed different theories, but usually i just figure they have family at home in mexico that they would like to show it to.

which brings me to the point of this post: do people REALLY go home and watch 2 hours of shaky, hand-held recorded footage of the polynesian cultural center show? do they invite friends and family over to show them, too? i can't even imagine that the family at home in mexico wants to watch 3 HOURS of people opening presents or sitting in their chairs, waiting for the next person to karaoke. where does all of this footage end up? couldn't they record 10 or 20 minutes here and there, like only the good parts? i know that we have footage of our children that our kids love to watch, over and over again, but it's short snippets of this day and this birthday and this christmas. if it's even more than 4 or 5 minutes of a dance recital or school concert, they get antsy and want to fast forward to the next scene.

i could be up in the night. i figure if i am, you are gonna set me straight.

chicks dig motorcycles


no way can i have a girl who is turning 14 years old. or, "WAY."

hb to my little katie bird who was my first born beautiful little indian baby. she had a head full of dark, curly hair and the prettiest olive skin. i was a young, vain mother who was worried about birthing an 'ugly child', so i can't believe that someone upstairs didn't teach me a lesson by sending me an unfortunate looking baby. instead, i hit the jackpot and was totally in love.

being first child,kaitlyn has been the guinea pig, which i want to apologize to her publicly for. katie, we haven't been perfect parents, but you know how much your dad and i love you, and we hope that fact will make up for all the different ways we've scarred you over the years.

katie is such a sweet, compassionate, good girl with a great head on her shoulders. she has a little bit of her mother's obsessiveness about things periodically going on. over her years she has been obsessed with all things: titanic, moulin rouge, phantom of the opera, twilight, maximum ride, prison break, and someone with the initials b.s.

kaitlyn gets as brown as a bear in the summer--one of my favorite stories is when she was about 6 years old, her little friend kennedy was talking to her mom about what they'd learned about martin luther king, jr, and the civil rights movement. kennedy said to her mother (kristin), "mom, i'm so glad that we live in this time and not back then, because i wouldn't have been able to sit next to katie on the bus."

katie, i love you so much! i am so glad that you were sent to our family! you make us proud of all the great things you accomplish. i'm sorry that you have a mother who likes to embarrass you while you roll your eyes and say, "mom! you are such a dork!" hb sweetie.

we celebrated katie's birthday with a dinner last night--here she is with her wanksta uncle neal:

aunt megan made you the cutest ginormous cupcake cake:

lots of love from your "peeps":

soft talk with abbey

we were in the basement watching our 428th consecutive episode of "lost". they had just buried shannon and had a funeral for her, people crying, etc.

abbey was sitting right next to me, snuggled on the couch. she looked up at me with her big eyes filled with sadness and said, "oh, mom! i would be so so sad if someone i loved very much died!"

my heart filled with sweet tenderness as i looked down at her. i kissed her on the head and was about to tell her i wasn't ever going to die when she added,

"like zac efron."

i would like it stated for the record that i would not like zac efron to die, either.

pajama party

this is totally random, but i am a little bit obsessed with girl's pajamas by nick and nora. you can buy them at target and i am going to bear my testimony about how much i can't live without them and why you shouldn't.
i heart them so because they are CHEAP-- the nightgowns and the shorts and capri sets are $14.99 and the long sleeved, long pants pajamas are $19.99. they go on sale about every 4-6 weeks, down to $12.99 and $14.99, respectively.

i heart them because they are SOFT-- they are made out of 100% polyester, so they are slick and slippery like satin, and super comfy.

i heart them because they are STYLISH-- i love the bright, whimsical patterns they use. i am always just disappointed that they don't make them in my size.

but probably the reason why i heart them the most is because they WASH UP LIKE A DREAM-- i hate on pj's that ball up after 2 times through the laundry. these just wash and wash and wash and still look brand new a year later. i am not kidding.

totally legit.

like, for real.

they make them in about 4-6 different styles and lots 'o fabrics:

the end.

tag team

my blesbian blogging bff lesley tagged me:

How to play the game. Post these rules on your blog: List 3 Joys, 3 Fears, 3 Goals, 3 Current Obsessions/Collections, and 3 Random surprises about yourself. Tag five people at the end of your post by leaving their names.

hey! something that lets me talk about myself? it's ON!!

3 Joys-

*4 girls who love their mother unconditionally (well, mostly.)

*traveling with the rbc

*a really great concert with friends

3 Fears-

*a child drowning

*hurrying through the stages of my kid's lives and realizing that only when it's too late

*always having a hate/hate relationship with my body

3 Goals-

*finish mia's scrapbook (oh. and to actually START it, i guess.)

*learn to be more patient with my children

*be better about church attendance (did i say that out loud?? hey--we have the 8:30 am church whinewhinewhine) don't break up with me.

3 Current obsessions/collections-

*blogging. it's all your fault, btw.

*diet dr pepper

*my extensive 'precious moments' figurine and spoons from every state collection. (just waiting to get north dakota. it's in demand and hard to find.....) i think they are gonna make me a shiz load of money on the black market. or i can trade them for food when the apocalypse hits.
(for the record: this is me being facetious.)

3 Random Surprises About Me!

*i used to be a lifeguard at the st. george city pool, but only had one rescue in 4 years. (successful, i would like to add.)

*I will buy anything from any child under the age of 16 selling something door to door for girl scouts, fundraisers, band camp, etc. ANYTHING. i also stop at EVERY "lemonade 4 sell" stand that i see and buy a cup. then i toss it out the window when i'm far enough away that they won't see...what can i say. i'm a sucka.

*I served kenny rogers pizza at pizza hut when i was 16. i was hoping to incorporate "you gotta know when to hold 'em. know when to fold 'em," into the conversation. i failed.

alright, duty fulfilled. i tag holly s., amy, jori, tiburon, & arianne. you're IT!

june 22nd, 1991

17 years ago i made a really smart decision.

happy anniversh, russ!!! here is how i feel about you:

have a great weekend--hope it is off the hook!

hawaii: keeping apple bottom jeans in business

zwani.com myspace graphic comments

here's a little known fact about hawaii: they only import 10 songs to their radio stations. seriously, just 10. i know this because i heard them. over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. and there is some mad love in the citizens of hawaii's hearts for rap.

believe you me, i would know because rbc and i are radio listeners when we travel. we find the 5 or 6 local radio stations that we enjoy and program them into the rental car's ghetto-fabulous stereo. unfortunately for us, there were only about 6 total stations on oahu that we could get, or that weren't broadcasting in japanese.

we spent a LOT of time cruising in our sweet convertible 'stang, and there was one moment on saturday afternoon that 4 out of the 6 stations were ALL playing "what you got", which only made us want to veer off the freeway into oncoming traffic. what you should know about me is that i have an unnatural appreciation for a little rump-shakin' tune, so if i've hit my limit......then the apocolypse must surely be nigh.

wanna know the ten?? well, you're gonna get them whether you want to or not, since they are burned into my memory forever after:

in this club--usher (who, ironically, doesn't club anymore with his 50 year old wife)
get low-- 'lil jon (which has lost it's 15 minutes. or so i thought.)
what you got-- colby 'o donnis (liked it the first time. not the 20th)
soulja boy-- soulja boy (naturally. hate it)
lollipop-- 'lil wayne (as obnoxious as it sounds)
sexy can i-- ray j (don't even get me started)
bleeding love-- leona lewis (used to like this , now i develop hives)
take a bow-- rhianna (used to like this, too. but i can only take so much)
realize-- colbie callait (the soft rockness made me drowsy)
stop and stare--one republic (which i used to LOVE, but now have to banish)

now you know. and if you ever get to be on jeopardy and 'hawaiian musical favorites summer 2008' category comes up, you are SET.

one song that we did get to hear occasionally sandwiched in-between songs by artists starting with " 'Lil " is the song that my blogging bff kami turned me on to: jason mraz's 'i'm yours'--i have it on my blog player, and i fell in love with the ukulele and the "island vibe", and it will always remind me of my hawaiian vacay.
you need to take 3 minutes and 41 seconds to feel the love for the islands in this kick a video right here

thankful thursday

this week i am thankful for:

1. hawaii. {sigh} i think i've covered why.

2. kamari's pool. i think it's downright generous of her to build it so we could lay around and soak our fabulousness all day long. plus, where else are my kids gonna be entertained for a 3 hour stretch? that's some good stuff.

3. fathers--for my own, and the father of "my own". just had a lot of time to reflect, and i am so thankful i drew the "long straws" on both. me so lucky. i don't want no scrubs (see slang term of the day)

4. chips and salsa and steak quesadilla from pachanga's. i'm a little obsessed. i think it's laced with heroin. all i know is they did INDEED make my own dang quesadilla.

5. for things like THIS that happen, and restores my faith in humanity.

hawaii: ghetto-licious shrimp truck finger-lickin' goodness

so we were repeatedly told by people in the hawaii-know that we needed to buy shrimp from the shrimp trucks going up the north shore to laie. TOTALLY sketchy, but i do what i'm told.

russ and i decided that if we were gonna die of food poisoning, we were going ALL THE WAY, and so we vowed to find the nastiest truck to patronize. i'm almost positive that we did:

but, wait: it gets BETTER--

we pulled over to a screeching halt when we saw 'famous kahuku's' shrimpmobile of love--seriously, could it get any worse than this? well, as it turns out, YES: it nearly killed me to purchase food from any eating establishment (boy, and i use that term lightly) that has a sign that spells 'patience' like thus:

we told them we wanted whatever we didn't have to pop heads or pull legs off of, so when it came we sat down amidst the roughly 5 BAJILLION flies also patronizing 'famous kahuku's' fine dining.

we prayed for the strength to fight botulism, and then......

and then:

the reason why we are smiling is not because it was the best shrimp we'd ever tasted--we are smiling because i couldn't believe we were eating seafood from an rv with a gott cooler in it's front windshield. it gives to' up (see slang term of the day) a whole new meaning.

the shrimp WAS very good, but i'm afraid that the surroundings were just too much for my fragile psyche to handle.

but now i can join the club, and hold my head high. plus i got to take a picture of an rv with a gott cooler in it's front windshield.

i'll take a good healthy dose of self esteem, please.

i wanted to share with you all my favorite "love yourself at any size" story:

about 3 months after birthing my 3rd child (abbers), russ and i traveled to atlanta for a hotel conference. i was still sportin' approximately 55 of the 60 pregnancy pounds that i always liked to gain with each baby, and finding clothes to cover my business was a bit traumatic for me. we went to an old navy store (which we had back in st. george, but i preferred to go to the one on the other side of the united states) and i reluctantly took back some pants to the dressing room.

i just happened to follow a group of about 6 very voluptuous 'sistahs' who were all taking back shorts and halter tops and skirts in sizes 18 to 20. i was schlepping my size 16's and quickly sliding down my shame spiral into self-loathing when i heard this from the other dressing rooms--pardon me if i use stereotypical language, but i swear to you this is almost VERBATIM how the conversation went:

(sweet, honey-drippin' southern accents)

"girl, you are workin' that halter!! you are a diva!"

"child, i know--but i think i would look better in the size 20--will you have laquisha get that? LAQUISHA!!! GIRL, GET ME A 20 IN THE HALTER!!! although i do look guuuuuuhhhhd in this one, don't i? girl, your booty is puttin' those shorts ta shame!"

"oooh, girl, you KNOW IT!! the 20 is a bit snug, but i think tarell is gonna like it like thiiiiisssss--and i do look FINE when i do thiiiiisssss...." (this is actually when i peeked out the dressing room door and saw her dropping it like it was hot in the 3 way mirror--priceless.)

and it went on and on like that for the next 20 minutes or so---in fact, i sat in that little cubicle, enjoying every minute, listening to them go back and forth. it was delightful.

i finally got the guts up to venture out and i spent about 5 minutes pretending to fuss with my pants by the bathroom just so i could watch them strut up and down the dressing room aisle to that mirror that was none-too forgiving, and praise the bejeepers out of each and every outfit that was stretched far beyond capacity on those ladies. better yet was the fact that they were pulling things back there to try on that i would never in a million years have dreamed of wearing, even before my mormon underwear prevented it.

not one of those women were smaller than a size 18, and there couldn't have been a single one who was taller than 5 foot 4.....yet they were ALL ABOUT THEIR BODIES. they loved every curve and roll and bulge and, better yet, CELEBRATED them!! the best part was the fact that they saw no reason in the world why they couldn't wear the same halter top or skinny jeans that the size 2's were wearing, and probably thought that they looked even better.

for someone who has had a hate/hate relationship with her body her entire life, i was floored. i wished that:
a) i had a mirror at home that made me feel like a million bucks in a size 20, and

secondly: that i could get OVER myself and my issues.

of course i never found that magic mirror, and i know i'll have issues until i'm taking a dirt nap, but i love that there are women out there that truly love their bodies, no matter what size.

if i could bottle that and sell it on the internet, i think i would be ready to buy google by january.

hawaii: swimming with sharks is how we roll....

many of you suggested that we try swimming with the sharks, and we are mighty glad you did: it just so happened that it was our favorite thing we did!!!

we went with north shore shark adventures out of haleiwa, which is up on the north shore. it was a little pricey at $110.00 a person, but when you figure milk is 8 dollars a gallon there, this was a freaking bargain!!

we showed up and knew that we had struck gold when we saw the marine on the boat wearing this t shirt:

i found it quite interesting and wanted to ask if the girl with him was proof that he managed to get over the awkwardness or no.......russ said i couldn't ask.

we cruised out about 3 miles to their special "shark spot" (which had me pondering if it was just one giant set up and they were gonna tie a concrete block around our ankles. but i figured russ and i could take 'em.) and our captain and first mate put the shark cage in the water. it's all open, with two large plexiglass windows on both ends where you can view if you are nervous. (like it's gonna make any difference.) you climb in and they let you float out about 20 feet attached to the ropes and then those sharks hunt you down and have you for lunch.......

the marine and his not-so-awkward morning tried it first. i was smiling because they didn't get eaten. i took that as a good sign, but then wondered if it would only make them more ravenous for us.

apparently it didn't matter since, by golly, we had plopped down a wad 'o cash and we were gonna swim with those sharks come what may! this is russ and i and the two little gals from atlanta who wanted me to stop viewing the sharks while floating in the cage and just snap photos of them with their crappy underwater camera. i told them to step off. politely.

if you float there, they will come.

russ and i are on the left, underwater. it was so crystal clear and the water was a bright turquoise blue. the sharks were all out in force, about 30-40 of them (or as i liked to tell it, 350-400). there was one that kept circling that had a huge hook embedded in it's nostril with about 20 feet of fishing line trailing behind him!! it was the most exhilarating 20 minutes of my life, and it felt like about 120 seconds.

i was so proud of the rbc because he has a huge fear of the ocean and i thought he would chicken out last minute fo sho. he BROUGHT it, with a vengeance, and i heart him for it! i also like the picture below because he looks like he is thinking, "Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot."

i think this pretty much proves that russ and i are, indeed, NOT wankstas (see slang term of the day.) we are hardcore and were there to REPRESENT.

if you are going to hawaii, i would SO recommend this adventure. you won't regret it!
coming tomorrow: the scariest shrimp truck you have ever seen. in your life. i promise.

4th of july seasonals

kind of a dark picture, but you get the gist. god bless america.
everytime i pull out a new season, it makes me giddy--sometimes i wanna dance like THIS

hawaii: all that AND a bag of chips

warning: lots of smug gloating and bragging about "that stupid hawaii trip" ahead. don't hate.

ahhhhhhhh, paradise. it really IS all it's cracked up to be. this is the first vacation that russ and i have taken in our 17 years of marriage that i really was not ready to come home on the last day. don't get me wrong, i missed my "peeps" at home.........just knew i could extend for at least 72 more hours and then hug on them afterwards. i realize that by admitting this it virtually requires me to give back my mormon mommy card, and that there is a large group of protesters gathering even as i type who have a bucket of hot tar, a bag full of feathers, and a sign that reads, "2-4-6-8!! take your kids when you leave the state!!"

they obviously don't subscribe to my dad's theory: when you take your kids, it's a trip. when you go alone, it's a VACATION. and i must be honest--my vacay was OFF THE HOOK.

why? you ask? well, it could be because this was the view from our hotel balcony:

oh, yeah--and THIS:

and this was the solid wall of sliding glass doors that opened onto our lanai (i learned to speak hawaiian in my short time on the island. i'm pretty much fluent.) or balcony area where we watched the ocean:

now, even at my level of pseudo travel-snobbery, we've never done the upgrade to the 'view' room. i've always just thought that hey, it's more money that we don't need to spend and how much time am i REALLY gonna spend looking out the window?? yeah, that theory is out same said window now because i am 100% convinced that if i had to pick one single aspect that made our hawaii experience, it would hands-down be this view. we spent so much time sitting out in the chairs and watching sunsets. it was the best $$ we spent.

one of my favorite things about russ that makes me giggle is that, without fail, every single time we stay at a hotel, he unpacks everything. EVERYTHING and puts it all into the drawers or hangs it in the closet. i've asked around, and i've yet to find somebody that does this. fyi: he will do this, even if we are only staying one night. legit.

alright, it's time for you to get your hate on, because THIS was how we ate breakfast every morning:

yes, russ and i order room service. yes, it costs ridiculous amounts of money, and yes, we could go down to dirty ron's and get a couple of egg mcmuffins for lots cheaper, but this is one of the coolest parts of the experience. plus rbc gets a discount on the food. and i likey when they roll the little table in and set it up and then hope that you are not gonna notice the 18% gratuity that has automatically been added and that you'll throw in another 10 bucks. (i learned the hard way.) anyway, if you have never done this, you need to try it at least once. btw: russ and i have only acquired this nasty bad habit in the past few years, and we justify the heck out of it because we are old and weathered.

every morning, without fail, the birds would come down and perch on the rail and watch us eat. then, when we would hold really still, they would get brave enough to jump on the table and peck a little bit once we were finished.

i think they were hi-falutin', very spoiled birds who have lots of great meals out on the lanais of the jw marriott......i think one even saw that i was sporting the knock-off fendi bag and left on principle alone.

i will be gloating and and dragging this out for two more days. let's still be friends.

swimming with sharks (KICKED SERIOUS A!) tomorrow.

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