Monday, June 28, 2010

The Wonder Years

I went with Topher to his 20th High School Reunion and it was really fun. You don't expect the spouse of the graduating class to say that, do you? In fact, at the end of the night, I almost felt that I could have convinced myself that I did go to Provo high. I don't want to be a traitor to my Southeast High graduating class of '92, but there it is. I had a great time and thanks to all of Topher's stories, and the friends I happen to have made within their class over the years in seemingly haphazardly ways, I found myself laughing and reminiscing as if I had been there, too. After all, we listened to the same music, wore our hair the same way, so it's like the same experience, right?

I should admit right off that when I was in high school I used to dream of tri-stake Utah dances and alcohol free dance clubs where I could meet other Mormon boys. I used to wish, a little, that I could have that kind of experience instead of being the only different one. Of course everyone in high school thinks they're the different one, which is a fact that is lost on you until you grow up. I just wondered what it would be like to go to a party and not explain why you don't drink for the one hundredth time or be a little worried that someone (like say, your "best friend") was going to slip something into your drink just so they could all laugh at how they tricked the Mormon girl to drink a little cinnamon schnapps in her diet coke (Oh, eighth grade was a doozy of a year!)

After the reunion I confessed to Topher that according to my estimation, about 90% of my embarrassing life moments happened in high school. I have been reliving some of them in my mind, with that same twinge of awkwardness, and have concluded that I still embarrass myself, but the difference is now I don't really care.

So, just for fun, I've been amassing in my mind some of my most uncomfortable memories and here's what I came up with, in no particular order:

1. My first date: I was so excited because it was Prom and this boy I had a little crush on asked me out of the blue. He was from another ward near mine and we had been friends for a long time. It was 2 weeks before my 16th birthday and I was really excited, but then my mom's weird "friend" called her and yelled at her at how inappropriate it was for me to go before I was officially 16 (keep in mind that most of my friends were sexually active at this point and I hadn't been on one date yet). My mom told her to mind her own business, but, seriously, whose first date starts off with so much drama? Then I go on the date, have a great time, and then at the post-Prom party at the high school, my date excuses himself and when he returns after an uncomfortably long period of time and I ask him where he's been, he says, nonchalantly, "Oh, I was just calling my girlfriend." (2 uncomfortably moments with one story: BAM!)

2. I was the last of everyone in the world to go through puberty and so my friends called my "Little Lisa" for a long time (I was the original Polly Pocket) and don't worry, the irony is not lost on me now. . . it simply adds to the delay of embarrassment so I'll feel the full effect (which I do). . .Well, suddenly, as it happens, I, um, developed a different physique over the summer before my 9th grade year and hoped nobody would really notice. I really thought I could just fly under the radar, until that dream was killed by one of my best guy friends when he called me after the first day of school to tellme everyone had noticed and were talking about my chest (not the word he used). Best. Phone. Call. Ever.

3. I was Prom Queen my junior year (which I only mention because it is pertinent to the story and because it makes Gina jealous) and after holding up the drunk Prom King for the appropriate amount of time, I walked off the stage with my tiara feeling pretty good and my cute really drunk friend comes up to me and says really loudly, "Oh, are you the prom queen? I heard that from someone!" (it had just happened) "That is sooooo cute! You know, they usually pick someone whose cool and popular, so that's sooo awesome that they chose you instead!"

I had a lot of great experiences in high school. WONDERful memories. But today, I salute the awkward.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Topher told me the difference between Girls Camp and Scout Camp is rubber snakes and real snakes. . .

I'm back from Girls Camp.

For those of you who don't know what that is, it's a time to take girls ages 12-18 camping, away from technology and distractions and teach them life skills, survival skills, but most importantly a time to teach them to stop and listen and think about what they want in life, who they are, and who their Savior is and to encourage and strengthen that testimony in a real, authentic way. I had some amazing experiences that are spiritual in nature, but tonight I'm too tired to adequately express those feelings. Maybe later. Tonight I'm just falling in love with my bed all over again and grateful for the blessing of a full DVR of new shows and not having to share a bathroom with 152 other girls.

Girls Camp is also a time for the leaders to work really hard and pretend they can function on 4 or 5 hours of sleep as they sneak Diet Coke from under their pillow and go on long hikes and cook food and sing songs and hear stories confirming how 15 year old boys haven't changed from 20 years ago as we make bracelets, play games, have devotionals, and find rubber snakes in our beds. Don't worry, I've already facebook messaged my old Girls Camp Leaders from decades ago (absolutely true story) thanking them and apologizing for some pranks involving shaving cream and ice water. It's the circle of life, right?

Oh, and I have some Miley Cyrus song stuck in my head. She seriously has millions of dollars, doesn't she? Don't tell me.

Like a wilderness animal who needs to mark her territory, I came home and immediately (as in before a shower and a nap) cleaned my house. As I was scrubbing toilets and mopping down the kitchen floor, I told myself that this is proof that there's something wrong with me. But I told myself (yes, there is more than one voice in my head) that I didn't care and that this would make me FEEL better. And it did so I told myself "FACE! I told you needed this!" My head admitted defeat and promised to stop questioning the cleaning gene if I stopped talking to it out loud. I made no promises.

After my house smelled like bleach and this glorious geranium cleaner I got as a gift (yes, those close to me know I love special cleaners as much as real lady perfume), I felt better. But then I had a headache from a combination of lack of sleep, lack of sitting still for five days, and sunburned ears. I don't know if it was the sleep deprivation or the constant fumes I inhaled at Camp which was a mixture of bug repellant, fingernail polish remover, and estrogen, but I finally realized that I hadn't eaten all day. It was 4:30. I got in my car and went to Wendy's and thought about how nice it was for someone to have all your meals planned out everyday. Just having someone tell you what to help prepare for each meal was such a nice change of pace and a great break~! I told myself. Think about that for a moment. It's kind of pathetic that I thought that (and still think it's true). I guess I know how great my kids have it now! (Except it makes me more and more mad when Hugh rejects everything I think about preparing and then do prepare in favor for plain saltines and Cheerios.)

Oh, while I was gone Topher and his awesome friend built the kids the most amazing tree house (pictures to come) and Margaret says "POOP!" over and over again and won't stop.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I'm going to try really hard not to make this a sappy post. Or an unrealistic one that glosses over the tiny cracks. You know what I mean, I trust, you trusty reader, you.

3 June 2010 marks my (our) 15th wedding anniversary and it is a thing to be celebrated. Access Hollywood will tell you that this is a great accomplishment in our culture, but more than that, it is a thing that I treasure as something I can't really describe. And each year--one more--it becomes dearer and dearer to me. I find myself thinking, in a few of years (6 more), I will have been with Topher longer than than I was without him. I think, 15 years seems like a lot of life, but I know it is just a tiny ripple in my eternal existence. I am thinking of the 5 beautiful children we have together, and what that means to us forever. Because, I reason, think about what it means to me NOW.

Topher is not perfect, but he is nearly so. He is never intentionally mean (with exception to drivers who follow too closely--then he will slow down or box you in and slow down again and speak condescendingly to you) or jealous and he is extremely loyal. He plays dumb in certain situations to make others feel comfortable, and he avoids confrontation (despite my efforts by example to teach him otherwise). He is not always funny so that it's annoying (hello Robin Williams), but enough so so that it is delightful and surprising (authentic). He's more talented than he will admit, and more hardworking than anyone I know. He doesn't keep score (In case you are wondering, I do) and he will go out of his way to help others. OUT. OF. HIS. WAY. Everyone wants to be Topher's friend, in my mind, and I want him all to myself. I'm jealous that way.

I don't feel that 15 years of marriage gives me any particular authority to give marriage advice, (although I love giving advice--seriously--I love it. Send in your questions.) because each couple is different. For example, I say just go ahead and go to bed angry. You're probably just tired. Get a good nights rest and if you're still mad in the morning then talk about it later--after work and kids and dinner and the bedtime routine--oh wait, you're tired again. Well, maybe talk about it on the weekend. If you remember what you're angry about. See? Wasn't that great advice? Also, (I know I said I wasn't going to give any advice, but this is good) Topher always gives me, and his friends, the benefit of the doubt in any situation. You know when you say something and you could take it as a compliment or an insult? Topher will always assume you meant it as a compliment--because he thinks highly of you. Doesn't that make you love Topher a little more?

I wanted to write something meaningful and momentous, but I'm just going to end by saying that I'm happy. I'm so happy I married Topher and that we have created what we have created. The good, the bad, I'm grateful for it all. And humbled by it. And it's reason to celebrate. So, tomorrow afternoon we will check into a fancy hotel and take a nap. And no, that's not a euphemism, it's a literal nap. Creating all this happiness is tiring.


1. We hang out with famous people whenever we can (and you thought the title of my blog had nothing to do with my life!)

2. We love America. (We're watching the Freedom Festival Parade here.) We seriously love freedom and dying our hair blonde at the same time! (sameseez!)

3. Topher puts up all Christmas lights and all other holiday related decorations. This has saved us a lot of arguments.

4. We dress up for Halloween every year. Most parents poo-poo this idea. Topher has insisted on it every year of our marriage. Here, he's obviously a cowboy and I'm Hester Prynne (pregnant with Margaret).

5. I'm mysterious.