Tuesday, July 26, 2011

a bummer of a scientific conclusion

Whenever I wax philosophical as I did in my last post I begin to wonder, "Am I dying?" Really. A lot of times I think, "What if this blog entry is my last? What if my final words to my posterity are about my toenail polish?" And then I recall the legendary wisdom of Ferris Bueller: "You're not dying, you just can't think of anything good to do."

We have reached that point of the summer, folks. We're vacationed out. We've done the pool, the rollercoasters, the popsicles, the recreational reading of fiction. I think it's time to pack it up and return to Utah. We have not reached this decision easily.

For those of you who were unaware, I base all of my decisions on the conclusions of extensive scientific research and the polling of my sisters as we sit by the pool. It should come as no surprise to anyone, then, that I have created the following chart to determine the true end of summer:

Using Olivia's hair color as my guide I have monitored our progress through the stages of summer. Yellow=Let's get this party started. Chartreuse=Independence Day. Green=Time to go home and make a meaningful contribution to society.

Well, our bell tolled this morning. As I brushed out yesterday's French braid I observed that Olivia's hair had progressed from chartreuse to full on leprechaun green overnight. See for yourself:


I guess it's time to go home and resume those activities that we associate with the non-summer seasons: learning, cleaning the stove, bathing on a regular basis, and knowing what day of the week it is. We'll see you Friday.
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

orange cream slurpee wisdom

Ladies and gentlemen, I present...NIRVANA:

And you thought it was unachievable! It turns out that when you're two, reaching nirvana is as easy as stubbing your toe or using your phone's entire data plan in two weeks--so easy, any doof nut can do it on accident. All it takes is a sippy cup, a wubbie, and an overpriced Elmo doll that Aunt Val bought at Barnes and Noble. Look at that happiness!

Today as I sat next to the swimming pool, sipping my orange cream slurpee, working on my suntan, I thought a lot about happiness. Is happiness sitting by the pool for hours on end developing melanoma? I don't think so. It's not rollercoasters, green smoothies, zebra heinies, baseball games, road trips, Facebook, or baba syrup. What brings me lasting happiness? Anything that can be mine for eternity--my family, my soul.

Eternity is such a weird word. I think a lot of times I say that word like it's some mystical time that will begin after I die. As in, "I want to spend eternity with my family in heaven," and things like that. I like my family. Shoot, I LOVE them. I think I'm ready for eternity to start now. Let's DO this thing.

So if my eternal family, my eternal marriage, and my eternal soul are starting today, what should I do differently? How should I spend my time? How should I treat these people with whom I am taking this, the ETERNAL road trip?

It seems to me I could put my life to better use. I could treat my husband more like I love him and less like my manservant. I could treat my children less like a burden and more like a blessing. I could improve my time rather than just spend my time. I could treat my mind more like a garden and less like a Dumpster. I could practice the piano. I could laugh more and yell less. And I would still eat baba syrup, because I'm counting on the resurrection being totally awesome in terms of my hips.

All of this wisdom from ONE orange cream slurpee.
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Friday, July 15, 2011

a Vulcan Mind Meld would've been easier

If I was to dump out my purse on your computer desk tonight, you would find: a mangled (but unsoiled) diaper, my wallet, a bag of wipes, three half-eaten tubes of Lip Smackers, a checkbook, a spiral notebook, tweezers, a billion (or so) Walmart/Target receipts, a Hot Wheels or two, a really worn out Post-It with Marie's phone number on it, one of those pairs of pliers which is also a knife/corkscrew/file/screwdriver, some postcards that I've been meaning to send, and roughly twenty dollars in nickels and pennies. And then YOU'D be like, "Get your crap off of my desk," but we'd still be friends because you'd be really impressed by my receipt collection.

If I were to dump out my BRAIN on your computer desk tonight, this is what you'd find:

Atlas Shrugged. I finished it today! HalleFLIPPINGlujah! Is this what it feels like to have passed a kidney stone?! Interesting book. Some really awesome ideas, some less awesome ideas. In short, it's probably good that we're done having babies because otherwise my next daughter would be named Dagny, and to quote my little sister Marianne, "That's just MEAN."

Alaska. DJ is in the process of brainwashing our children into thinking that they want to live there. I present exhibit A:

In case it's difficult to read, it says, "What we want to do this fall: go to Alaska..." and also mentions building an igloo and catching large fish. Seems fishy to me. [weak rimshot]

Speaking of fishy, DJ and the kids caught this monster in the stagnant body of water behind our apartment complex. I am told it is a largemouth bass.

He threw it back (which I fully supported because I like my mercury levels where they are, thankyouverymuch, and I really don't appreciate finding enormous fish corpses in my freezer. Voice of experience talking).

Green smoothies. I loooooove them. (I'd write a poem about them, but honestly I haven't eaten enough sugar tonight to make poetry-on-the-fly happen.) My kids love them. I love tricking my kids into eating spinach and broccoli. Win, win.

Summer. Where did you go? We are driving back to Utah to resume our regularly scheduled lives in under two weeks. I always mourn the passing of summer. I always want to shoot the "Back to School" propaganda that they hang up in Walmart/Target with a shotgun. Have you noticed that they don't celebrate painful things in the pharmacy department? You never see a huge sign with a cartoon of a moldy, rotten foot and the words, "Athlete's Foot!" Can we stop pretending that "Back to School!" is awesome, already? I mean, I will pretend for my kid's sake (I also make them drink pureed broccoli) but can we desist with the hanging of the signs in the beginning of JULY?! You're bringing us down, man.

Thanks for letting me unload. Now my brain is empty, just like I like it.
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

narrowly escaping death

I've eaten nothing but curly fries and onion rings today. No, really.
I'm sunburned.
My throat is raw from screaming.
My feet feel like they ran a marathon. In flip flops.
I might have a concussion.

...but it was SO worth it. There are few things in this world that I love more than a rollercoaster.

But Six Flags is about so much more than rollercoasters. It's about walking really quickly past the giant stuffed animal-peddling carnies. It's about embarrassing the crap out of your nieces by forcing them to pose for pictures in front of EVERYTHING. It's about paying $4.99 for 32 ounces of Powerade. It's about realizing that you're finally a mature adult because the concession prices disgust you. It's about buying the Powerade anyway because your only other option is death.
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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ohhh say can you see...

This year for the fourth of July we visited my husband's aunt Val and Uncle Greg who live just outside of Houston. There was satellite television IN OUR BEDROOM...

Play Doh...

Ice fishing tales...
Craft-making with Aunt Val...

Barbecued meat of every imaginable variety...
A slip and slide and one totally awesome dog which (heads up, Val) I am planning to dognap...

...and Baba Syrup. What is Baba Syrup, you ask? It is only the most mouth-watering, sinfully delicious waffle/pancake topping to exist in the history of the pancake-topping universe. And Val gave *me* her recipe. Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!

(catching breath)

No, really. It's wonderful stuff. The only way to do justice to the marvel that is Baba Syrup is to write poetry about it.


"Baba Syrup"
by Elise Haynes

So sweet and so sticky
(not that I'm being picky),
you're my new favorite condiment.

Pour you on rotten feet
And they'd taste like a treat,
I wouldn't give you up, even for Lent.

Not that I am a Catholic,
you just taste SO fantastic,
And nothing else rhymes with condiment.

[end of poetry]

I'm grateful to live in a country where our citizens are free to move to Canada for twenty years, collect delicious recipes from their Ukrainian neighbors, then move to Texas where they are free to wear a gun on their hip and share their recipes, but not to light a firework because that would be a class B misdemeanor.

Cue "The Star Spangled Banner."

(Thanks again for an awesome weekend, Val and Greg! You spoiled us rotten.)
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