Thursday, June 29, 2006

Some Enchanted Evening

Last night at 9:30, my husband was home from his meetings, my kids were in bed and two of them were actually asleep -- Junior was having one of my favorite summer experiences, reading 'Peter and the Starcatchers' under the covers. I was on my way to our neighborhood grocery store for some ice cream. Bear Claw. Mmmmmm. I walked out of my house, which was a little too chilly with the a/c going, and was enveloped in the warm summer night. I could hear sprinklers going, and smell the slightly damp grassy scent of June. I could see bright stars shining in the sky. I turned off the a/c in the car and rolled down the window. I purposely didn't turn the radio on. The joyous smell of strawberries, $6.99 a flat, greeted me at the store, and I saw a dad and his cub-scout-shirt-wearing son picking out which bag of cherries was best. After I paid for the ice cream, I drove home slowly, taking in all the sights and sounds of summer. I was happy. Happy that my family is together, healthy, and has more good times than bad. Happy that my sweet husband has a job he loves and is good at. Happy that we have a home and can provide for our needs, and a lot of our wants. Our lawn is mostly green, our flowers are blooming, and our vegetables are growing. Joy. I felt loved and embraced by a loving Heavenly Father who knows who I am and wants me to be happy. Life is good. Not always, but a lot of the time. My challenge is to celebrate the times when it is. Not always easy, but when I do, I am even more abundantly blessed.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

My Foray into Serious Blogging

My friend Tyler has a blog. He is an ultra-mega-super-conservative guy in my neighborhood, and he blogs on local politics. Even though we don't usually agree (I am a metric ton more moderate), I think he and his wife are two of the nicest, smartest people I know. This has been difficult for me because I have had a hard time vilifying them for their beliefs. I'm usually pretty good at that. (This is the point where people type "J/K" or make asinine little sideways smiley-faces. That's not my style - I'm not serious - if you can't tell, then...well...so what).

I found out about Tyler's blog in a funny way. Last fall, I was helping our mayor in his re-election campaign. He needed a lot of help, because he works in the LDS Church's Temporal Affairs Department, and he was spending a lot of time out of state dealing with the effects of Hurricane Katrina. I am friends with the man who was opposing the mayor - he and I served together on our city's trails committee. One day the mayor's opponent, whom I'll call Juan, because that is his name, called me on the phone - he was livid! Someone was blogging about HIM and his webpage, which commented on the mayor's lack of a webpage, and some felt did not accurately portray the truth. So I googled him and found my friend Tyler was the offending blogger. Strange coincidence. Since then, I have been an active participant on the blog. But not as NatGo, because I am a little silly over here, and I want all the Davis County politicos to think I'm serious and dependable.

So, Tyler's wife, Erin, had a baby today, and he's asked me and my friend to be guest-hosts of his blog while he bonds with the new one. But it turns out that all my serious Natalieness is undone, because my guest-hostedness is as NatGo. So instead of being Katie Couric, taking over for Bob Schaeffer (is that his name? I can't believe I don't know his name, because he was so much better than the suckfest that was Dan Rather), I am Jack Hanna to Tyler's Letterman.

Whatever. Any minute now, monkeys are going to pull off my really bad toupe. It's not easy being Jack Hanna.

So, check us out if you want.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

My Vacation

I recently returned from a 13 day trip to Southern California. Nothing too exciting happened. We went to Disneyland and California Adventure. Little Miss met every single princess on both the A-list (Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora, Ariel) and B-list (Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan) except the elusive and mysterious Belle. I got a scary disease that included sore throat, fever, body aches, swollen glands and, for a delightful 18 hours (thankfully after Disney), intense eye drainage accompanied by facial swelling. I was like the freaking elephant man. Nice. I'd like to thank the lovely nurses at the Disneyland First Aid center, conveniently located on Main Street, who gave me two Advil, 4 cough drops, and let me nap on their cot. Even with my mysterious illness, I had a fabulous time in the happiest place on earth.

We spent a week at a beachhouse in Carlsbad (California, not New Mexico, as there are no beaches in New Mexico. BTW, here's a shoutout to my sister who told me not to miss Carlsbad Caverns.) We hung out on the beach, where my entire family got toasty sunburns - we're like Quiznos! Junior is convinced that he's already got cancer. We told him to wait 25 years before he worries. We went to Sea World and I got to feed dolphins and see the cheesy new Shamu show. We went to see Cars on opening day, but I missed the ending because I had to go to the bathroom (probably because of the ginormous amounts of antibiotics coursing through my system, but I'm not sure). We paid to pick our own strawberries and went to In and Out Burger. I got to meet my new niece, who is beautiful and delightful. All in all, it was a wonderful trip.

I am happy to be back, living my life and sleeping in my own bed. Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home.