Sunday, December 16, 2012


This weekend, Ryan, Jaylinne, and I stayed at The Cliffs Lodge up at Brighton Ski Resort with some of our friends. Two of our friends couldn't come up with us, and I found myself wishing they were there with us. However, upon our arrival home, I realized they had been hard at work while we were away! Jaylinne came home to this waiting for her:

For a couple years now, I have been hearing about a Christmas tradition called, "Elf on a shelf." I had no idea what the concept was, I just kept seeing pictures of a stuffed elf hidden in crazy places around the house. Well, in a nutshell, Santa sends his "helpers" to watch over the little boys and girls when they are at home, and then report back to The Boss each night while the children are in bed. Then every morning, they are in a new place within the house, to do it all over again. Each child names their elf, and it's a fun incentive to help them to remember to be good! Just one rule: don't touch the elf, otherwise they lose their power.

Jaylinne wasn't familiar with the concept either, so the first thing we did was read the note, then the book. When it came time to name the elf, I was excited. My mom's cat, who's named Runt, Jaylinne lovingly refers to as: Serafina Angelina Renae Fluffy-pie. She didn't get that extravagant this time though, and she decided on the name Chippie. Well, once she found where Chippie was hiding, it wasn't even a half hour before she came and told us she broke the cardinal rule! She touched him! Naturally, this sent her into a frenzy. The tears were flowing because she made her elf lose its power, and worst of all: she had been bad. If she knows one thing at all, she knew Santa would not be happy with her. She told us to return her presents, cause Santa wasn't going to bring her any either. Once we got her to settle down a little bit, we explained to her that Chippie seemed like he was a reasonable enough guy, and if she apologized to him and asked for another chance, he would more than likely oblige :)

Of course Chippie was going to be back the next day, but bless her little heart she was worried! I wanted to make sure she knew she was forgiven and was not a member of the naughty club, so this is what we came up with:

The poem says:

Dear Jaylinne, 

I know you were afraid
I thought you were bad
I don't want you to worry
So please don't be sad!

You said you were sorry
Then a picture you drew
Was all that I needed
To come back to you!

You'll still see me each day
I'll watch what you do
Santa says if you're good
He'll bring presents to you!

Love, Chippie

Thank you Jen and Brandy! This is going to be fun :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Thank Goodness for Uncle Joel!

When I was a little girl, my parents sure had me fooled! To squash my curiosity about "grown-up drinks" (coffee, beer, soda, etc..) they would tell me that if I drank it, I would get hair on my chest. Naturally, I didn't believe them. However, being the clever little buggers they were, they were 2 steps ahead of me at all times, and executed their next move flawlessly! Whenever I would question getting a hairy dad would simply pull up his shirt.

GASP! Look at all that hair!?! I saw my Dad drink those drinks all the time, and low and behold, they DID cause hair growth! And my Mom, bless her heart, deserves a damn Academy Award! She, on occasion, would squeal that it was even putting hair on his belly! NOOOO! That was all she wrote. It worked, and I was defeated.

I never knew how clever that little trick would be until I had my own curious little one. Ryan and I found ourselves using that very same tactic to thwart Jaylinne's curiosity. One night about a year ago, maybe even longer, our friends Joel and Meggi came over to hang out. Joel heard Ryan tell Jaylinne about the growing of hair in unsightly places, in the event that she consumes a beverage that wasn't "kid friendly." Well, Joel took it and ran with it! She questioned him and he, without missing a beat, responded that it would put hair on her bottom! I never saw what true fear looked like until that day. She was a believer!

Well, tonight being Ryan's first night gone for his trip to London, we went down to my parents' house for dinner. Jaylinne had a little cup of Pepsi with her dinner, and we carried on about our business. After we finished dinner, we headed home. Jaylinne ran into her bedroom, changed into her pajamas and headed in to use the bathroom. After a few minutes, after not being able to hear so much as a peep out of her, I asked if everything was ok.

"Yes, mom!" she replied. So I waited for another couple minutes, and finally I hear: "Mom, I have something I need you to look at." I walked into the bathroom, and saw her sitting on the toilet, stone faced. I asked her what was wrong, and at this point she was almost in tears. She was able to choke out the words, "Was it the Pepsi?" And just then I realized what she was talking about! She had some dryer lint that apparently got stuck to her skin from her panties....and she just KNEW it was the Pepsi's fault and she was growing hair on her bottom! I couldn't help but laugh! We both had tears streaming down our cheeks, but they were caused by very, very different reasons! Bless her heart, she was scared to death! And she was none too pleased that I got such a kick out of it ;) At least now we know that everything Uncle Joel tells her is as good as gospel!

Diabolical! He'll never see it coming...

Today Ryan left for his trip to England to play a show. Him, Joel and Rob were asked by their friend, Sky, to be substitutes for his usual band members that couldn't make the trip with him. The band they are playing with is called Oh No Not Stereo, and they are also playing as Joel Pack and The Pops while they are there. Since Jaylinne was a little nervous about her daddy being gone for 10 days, last night she hatched a plan to get him to stay. If this isn't the most clever plan ever dreamed up, I don't know what is! :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Heavy Hearts...

  I feel like every time I read the news, I am left feeling...well, genuinely sad 
about the world we live in. Everyday, there are nothing but endless stories 
filled with pain and sorrow. I, for one, am tired of it. It's truly a sad day 
when you are ashamed to be a part of society. When did this happen? How did this 
happen? And more importantly, have we been on a steady downward spiral for God 
knows how long and I've been too blind to notice? 
 Here is a picture of yours truly at the ripe old age of 14. When I look at this 
picture, I recall my years as a leopard at Lakeridge Junior High School. A time 
when my biggest concern in life was forgetting my gym shoes and having to wear 
mismatched, size 9 beauties that called the lost and found home. I had my whole 
life ahead of me (and God willing, I still do!) Did I get made fun of? Sure! I 
mean, look at that hair! ;) Everyone, at one point or another, has been made fun 
of. Was I teased? You betcha. However...was I bullied? No. I am lucky enough to 
say that I wasn't. And for this I am grateful. I never experienced being afraid 
to go to school. I never experienced being torn down by my peers to the point 
that I actually started to believe the horrible things that were said about me. 

 Just as I believe that nearly everyone has been on the receiving end of teasing 
at some point in their lives, I also believe the majority of us have also taken 
part in doing the teasing as well. I will be the first to admit that I did my 
share of cracking jokes at others' expense, and making fun of my peers. But I 
don't feel as though I ever bullied. And for that I am also grateful. However, 
who's to say that in someone else's eyes I wasn't a "bully?" Who's to say that 
when I was laughing about something as trivial as someone's shoes, they weren't 
taking it to heart?  It starts with shoes, but could very well escalate to 
attacking their character. It's all about perception. Who was I to laugh at a 
pair of shoes?! I wore high tops that were older than I was, and about 6 sizes 
too big for crying out loud! My point being, that as innocent as it may be, 
teasing and poking fun can do more damage than we can ever dream.

 Having a child growing up in this day and age scares the hell out of me. Kids 
are cruel, to say the least. I just can't decide if kids really are just getting 
more mean and more hateful with every passing year, or if it's just thrown into 
the public eye more via social media outlets. Either way, it haunts me to my 
very core.  Naturally, I want to protect my daughter from...well, everything. 
However, realistically, I know that's not something I am going to be able to do. 
In reality, the only thing I'm able to do is teach her love, respect, and 
acceptance. How do I do that you ask? That's a great question! The answer is: To 
lead her by example. 

Bullies become bullies for a reason. We aren't always aware of the situation 
these kids are exposed to at home, therefore we cannot continue to think they 
just came into this world as rotten little people.  It is my opinion that if we  
exude nothing but love and acceptance to our children, they will do the same.  
Monkey see monkey do, if you will. 

It has been a sad weekend in Utah. The reason behind this rant is a 14 year old 
boy named David Phan. Like many other kids, David was bullied at school. The 
taunting and teasing became too much for him, and tragically, he chose to take 
his own life. Could David's family prevent the bullying from taking place? No, I 
don't think they could have. However, I firmly believe that if David's family was 
aware of the trouble he was experiencing, they could've changed his opinion of 
himself. To value his own self worth. I am experiencing so much sorrow for this 
family, and for so many other families that have had this happen to them.

 It is time for a change. It is time for us, society as a whole, to step up and 
do what is right. There can't be a change until we make that change. Tonight, I 
started doing something with Jaylinne that I am going to continue to do. I sat 
her in front of a mirror (actually, it was my iPhone camera with the lens facing 
us) and named 5 things I love about her. In turn, I also asked her to name 5 
things she loves and values about herself. Consequently, my five year old now 
thinks her mom is completely nuts :) I can't change the way other people view 
her, but I can change the way she views herself. I hope she never feels in her 
heart the sorrow and pain that so many other kids feel each day. 

To those kids I say: It gets better! School is such a small, insignificant part 
of your life. You ARE loved, and you ARE valued. Don't let anyone ever make you 
feel like you are anything less than amazing.  Please talk to someone! There ARE 
people who care about you, and you don't have to go through this alone.

                                                            Photo Credit: Salt Lake Tribune                                               Rest in peace, David. I hope that you have found the peace in your heart you were searching for. I am devastated for your family, and am so sorry for their loss. May your death not be in vain, and this tragic event open the eyes of people all around the world. You will be missed.