Thursday, November 10, 2016

Election 2016

I, like many American's, am still trying to process the events of this week. I have many dear friends that voted for Hillary, for Donald, and who opted to write-in a candidate of their choosing. But when the dust settled on Tuesday (in spite of Hillary winning the popular vote) the electoral college has designated Donald as our next president of the United States. And with regards to this election, "united" is something we are not. I'm not going to get all doomsday, but I am going to state how incredibly sad I am that of all the good people, in various political parties, of all the qualified, intelligent, honest, hardworking individuals that could fill this role, we are left with him. Many that voted him in are staunch, proud supporters. I know that some Donald voters held their noses as they cast their ballots. In exit polls, over 20% of the population stated they voted for him, but didn't think he is qualified to do a good job (what sense does that make?!)  What is to be said? We are a nation divided.  I still can't fathom that anyone saw the video that was leaked just a few weeks ago, and found him worthy of a vote.  Even worse, is that the video didn't shock me. His character has been on display for years.  I'm just so incredibly sad. In reading one of my favorite blogs (by common consent) I found a comment about the election that resonated with me. I'm sorry I can't thank the anonymous poster personally. It eloquently explains my feelings on why my heart is heavy from the choice America has made.

PS - please know that if you voted for Donald, we can still be friends.
PPS - please don't reply to this post explaining the faults of the other candidates. We are left with Donald as our president. This post is about him, and about us for choosing him. Thanks.

And evidently, America didn't see Donald's treatment of women as a deal breaker either.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

TV Time!

I recently did another television demo.  IN honor of fall and warm comfort food, I made an adult grilled cheese sandwich (think several tasty cheeses, and spicy mayo) and home-made tomato soup (so much better than anything you ever get from a can, you'll never return to the convenience.) Not rocket science, but hey. I love doing demo's, and I seriously love the Studio 5 crew.

Getting ready.


Friends forever! I love taking my girlfriends to the Studio. They all get the same speech: I'm a little bit nuts and stressed before the demo, but once I'm done, we'll go out to lunch!

*** This post is for November 2nd, 2016***

Friday, November 4, 2016

Simon the Thespian

Tonight was performance 2 of 4 for Simon Stander Wright Smith.  He is an extra in Thoroughly Modern Millie.  He smiled, danced and sang with all his heart. He loves the stage and is such a cheese ball.  Ryan and Owen attended attended the play.  I went last night with Calvin and Annie.  

Tonight Annie had a swim meet in Utah County. A sick Norman, Annie and I travelled an hour both ways to see Annie swim in a couple of events and miss one because she was otherwise distracted.

Preston had his first rehearsal for the big play in February.  He is again on a high note.  This time of year always brings out his smile and laughter and incessant singing and dancing all over the house - when he is home.  Calvin is at a "friend's" house.

Yeah to the weekend!  

Go Cubs.

It's impossible to overstate the joy that my husband felt on the historic evening of November 2nd, when the Chicago Cubs won the World series, after 108 years of coming up short. When he was just a little guy, Ryan had the privilege of being one of the bat boys for a few of the Cub's games. As luck, or rather destiny would have it, he was at a business meeting in Chicago the night of the game. He watched the game in the hotel bar, and to suggest there wasn't electricity in the air would be a total lie. He came home exhausted, because even though his room was on the 20th floor, fans on the streets were so elated that the partying was none stop from the moment the game was over. Miracles do happen, dreams do come true. Go Cubs!

The day after the game,
Owen went to school in his dads official Chicago Cubs batt boy shirt, 
that Ryan wore just 30 years ago..
Owen shouted "Go Cubs!" in every room that he walked into.
GO Cubs, indeed!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Failing to Post

There are a few reasons that I fail to post sometimes

- Nothing exciting happened
- It's late and I'm tired
- Interesting stuff happened, but it's too personal to throw out there
- I forgot to take pictures about what I want to post on (and pictures are the real reason most of you come;~)
- I want to post about something somewhat important (at least to me) and I feel pressure to have the post be perfect: funny, cheerful, honest, grammatically correct, interesting...

That last reason is why I have failed to post about being released* from the assignment that I held in my church's congregation (Mormon) for the last three years: the President of the Relief Society (the women's organization in my church.) We have 166 women in our ward, and I was blessed to work closely with several of them. I helped out with funerals, after births, with service projects, got food to those who were struggling to make ends meet, visited ill sisters in the hospital. I sat in leadership councils and offered opinions, volunteered for activities, opened the building, purchased tablecloths, organized closets, taught lessons, held planning meetings, gave several talks in sacrament, spoke in stake conference, sang a lot, prayed a lot, and cried a lot. It was the best of times.

The list above sounds so good! But the truth is, these last three years have been a refiners fire of sorts.  During my time as president, I hosted a lovely young woman from the foster system in Scotland for 3 months, I started a business (The Chipper Chef), I got pregnant with my caboose and one month later, found out that my husband had colon cancer. In the midst of those challenges, I** struggled to help my oldest son, who is gay, who hadn't come out of the closet yet and was battling school, depression, church and his parents...add to the mix some new church policies. And there was my four other kids that deserved a high-quality mom. And for those of you that don't know me well: I'm a raging feminist. Being a feminist Mormon isn't an easy path, and I constantly felt inadequate and frustrated to be all that I wanted (and felt) a proper RS Pres should be. It was the worst of times.

The Relief Society is not a one woman act. I had councilors and some secretaries, several committee chairs, coordinators, committee members, pianists, teachers; I worked closely with the Bishop of our congregation, and he earned a solid A+. I was surrounded by hard working, faithful, dependable, organized people who pulled their weight, and in hindsight, often pulled mine. Thank you. Those words seem inadequate. But thank you, none the less.

My understanding of myself, the gospel, and the church have changed because of my time as the RS President, and I have been changed for good.

A friend of mine made me an edible thank you for my service:
Home-made strawberry Lime jam and wheat bread. It was delicious!

Thanks to everyone who has hugged me and shared kind words with me since my release. It has meant a lot to me.

*Released isn't like being "let go" from a job (I wasn't "Fired"... although sometimes I felt like I was on that edge:~) In our congregation, the women's president typically serves for around 3 years, and my time was up. Also, it's worthy to note that I wasn't "elected" to the "calling." God made it known to me and the Bishop that this was where He wanted me to serve - a few months before I got home from our sabbatical in Scotland... an interesting story for another day:~)

** I almost forgot! Many "I"s in the post could/should be "we"s. Ryan isn't just eye candy, he's also a fabulous friend, supportive spouse, and an excellent kisser.

*** I was released on October 16th, 2016***
The new RS Presidency is going to do a great job!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Halloween Tricks

I like the saying "Trick or Treat" because it implies options. It would be rather enjoyable though if a knock on a neighbors door led to some sort of magic trick... how many snickers can one toddler eat anyways?! But instead of simply getting loads of treats on Halloween night, we got a few nasty tricks as well. First, one of my creative children accidentally left a can of yellow spray paint out, which rolled under my car, which I accidentally drove over, which exploded upon impact, which got paint all over my bumper and the concrete in my driveway. Mull that over for a second... I wasn't keen to call Ryan to report (seeing as there wasn't much he could do and I didn't want to ruin his last hour or so before she got home)... so about 30 minutes later, I got a call from him. He was in a little fender bender himself. The other car and driver are fine, but his Volvo didn't fair too well. What are the odds that we would both have a Halloween car story?! But since bad things come in threes, I'll continue. After a good two hours of trick or treating in the somewhat chilly weather (we got root beer, homemade pumpkin donuts, roasted hotdogs, and lots of traditional candy: my neighborhood is just incredible when it comes to Halloween) I headed down to tuck my littles into their beds... only to discover the toilet overflowing: an inch of water on the floor, and plenty soaking into our brand. new. carpet. For the love of all good things... how many times have we had the "the appropriate amount of toilet paper to use" lesson?! And in the event of an unforeseen toilet incident, where more TP is required, just do an intermission "courtesy flush"!  By the end of the night, I was ready for all of the goblins and ghouls and witches (myself included) to go to bed. The Smith's definitely got Halloween-ed.

Trick or treating with some neighborhood friends.
Owen is the jail bird, Simon is Prince Charming, Annie is Harley Quinn, and Norman is an elephant.

Calvin is a 1950's greaser.

My elephant at the Halloween library story time.

Gathering together to walk to school for the Halloween parade.

My Halloween fruit platter.

Hat day at school: Highland Cow, Scottish golfing cap, and Loch Ness Monster.

Bathing Brothers.

Last adventure at Lagoon Theme Park.

Norman getting into trouble.

*** Happy Halloween... sort of.****