Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'm kind of in love.

So, I'm kind of falling in love with Washington State. Against my will.

We had a nice weekend. After church on Sunday we found a patch of blackberries next to a railroad track and picked...

and picked...

and picked...

...and we ended up with a big bowl of berries.

They're pretty, aren't they?

The whole time we picked I was thinking about this Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem, which is one of my favorites:

Earth's crammed with heaven,
and every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

I felt guilty just selfishly eating the blackberries like a greedy, selfish berry-eater, so I took off my shoes. Now we're eating blackberry everything.

And yesterday was even more fun!

It was Chancho's birthday. He opened his presents first thing.

Then we hopped a ferry to the Olympic Peninsula.


And then DJ scared the crap out of Macey with a dead crab.

After that we hustled back to the ferry and came home.

I like Washington so much...

...when the sun is out. Ha ha ha.
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Saturday, July 28, 2012

(Lots of parentheses today.)

Hey guys.

Consider yourself warned: This post is being written post-sugar binge. But seriously...

Source: tumblr.com via Elise on Pinterest

See? Like it says, it's fine.

It has been another lazy week up here in the Pacific Northwest. We spent a day at Lake Sammamish, which I think sounds like Lake Sandwich. It was eighty degrees and the Seattle-ites came out in droves. It was towel-to-towel pasty white people on the beach. Here is Tess enjoying some other kid's bucket:
"Hey Tess, Where'd you get that bucket?"

Commence abrupt subject change.

A few weeks ago our lesson in our Relief Society (that is the women's group at my church - pretty much the most awesome women's organization to ever be organized, even taking Pinterest and Avon into consideration) was based on a talk given by Jeffrey R. Holland (which you can read here - and you should if you have a spare five minutes and like being uplifted). I always enjoy Jeffrey R. Holland's remarks. He's straightforward. We were each given a copy of the talk to read along during the lesson and I've had it in my purse ever since (along with my 10,000 Target receipts). The other day I was at the park with my kids and I unearthed it from my purse for a re-read.

This part stood out to me:

May I plead with us not to be hurt—and certainly not to feel envious—when good fortune comes to another person? We are not diminished when someone else is added upon. We are not in a race against each other to see who is the wealthiest or the most talented (or has the smartest kids, or the most organized house, or climbs mountains in their free time) or the most beautiful or even the most blessed. The race we are really in is the race against sin, and surely envy is one of the most universal of those.

Also, this one:

...coveting, pouting, or tearing others down does not elevate your standing, nor does demeaning someone else improve your self-image. So be kind, and be grateful that God is kind. It is a happy way to live.

I find it alarming that those parts stood out to me. Maybe this is something I should work on? It is a happy way to live, indeed. (I guess I'm going to need to start snapping my wrists with a rubber band for this one.)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

You can take the girl out of Utah...

In a rare bout of job-laziness, my husband took the night off last night so we headed to downtown Seattle for an adventure. Here are my husband and kids seeing the sights:

For the carousel portion of the festivities I passed my family photographer duties off to DJ:

"I couldn't get it to focus," he said.

So it appears.

Anyway, after the carousel we made our way back to our car because it was getting dark and we wanted to get home to my stash of See's candy and our Hulu account. (Most people don't know this, but if you neglect your Hulu account it will get depressed and eventually die, just like a Giga Pet.) Unfortunately, when we climbed into our trusty Tahoe we found that it had a dead battery. Like, deader than a doornail.

This is where a normal family outing turns edge-of-your-seat thrilling. DJ called a co-worker to come give us a jump start. The following events transpired in the ninety minutes or so that it took for him to find us:

It got dark.

My four children got edgy and scared which forced me to sing "Call Me Maybe" and primary songs at the top of my lungs to calm them down.

DJ asked everyone who passed us for a jump start. As it turns out, Seattle folk are surprisingly skittish of Mormon guys with missionary hairdos, polo shirts, and children. This explains Mitt Romney's unpopularity with the locals, I suppose.

A terribly unconvincing transvestite walked by.

It got darker.

A homeless man parked his shopping cart right next to my window. DJ asked him if he had jumper cables and he told DJ that George Bush took his house, his job, his wife, and his car. Then he changed his shirt in front of us and left. He did not have jumper cables. I'm sure George Bush took them.

A carload of African American youths slowed down next to DJ and yelled, "What you lookin' at white boy?!" out of their rolled-down window. Remember, I am only presenting the facts for your interpretation.

Macey asked, "What if we never get home?!" for the 300th time, forcing me into another round of my Carly Rae Jepson/Janice Kapp Perry repertoire. My voice got very tired.

I heard the unmistakable sound of trickling water in the third row (i.e. No Man's Land) followed immediately by Chancho yelling "Tess is peeing!"

It got darker. And then finally...

The Vivintmobile arrived!

I have never been happier to come home to our dinky little apartment.
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Happy things

We've had a pretty low-key week up here in Seattle. Here's a bulleted list of things that I'm happy about this week:
  • Lake Warshington. We went there today with some gals from church and their kids. I love sitting on the beach and I love that my children have grown to the point that I no longer need to be hyper-alert like a doberman when we're near a body of water.

  • I'm not in contempt of court! Yay! As you may remember, back in June I didn't show up for jury duty. I had to beg Judge Shumate's forgiveness. I got the official-looking pardon e-mail from some guy/gal named Kelly who e-mailed me on the judge's behalf. [PSA: If you have an androgynous name like Kelly, it's courteous to include some sort of gender-indicating clues in your e-mail so as to make it less awkward for your recipient to respond. "Dear Mr./Ms. Mitchell? No... Dear Kelly? No...To whom it may concern...UGH!"] I think DJ's kind of bummed about it - he wanted me to be in contempt of court so that maybe I'd get arrested so that I could no longer hang his arrest over his head.
  • That's right. DJ got arrested once. We were on a date when it happened. I still hang it over his head when I need to remind him of his place in our marriage. I'm not really happy about it this week, per se, but every so often I think about it and laugh. For the record, I did not laugh at the time. I do remember enjoying a root beer float while I let him sweat it out in the clink, however.
  • Belgian waffles.
At the beginning of the summer we set some family goals with rewards. We accomplished one of our goals last week and this flipping waffle iron was the reward. Hayneses may be lazy, but not when there's the prospect of a waffle on our horizon. On Sunday morning I made honest-to-goodness Belgian waffles. It was a life-changing experience. You may think I'm being dramatic, but that's only because you haven't tried these waffles. [Dear Belgium, If you ever go to war with the United States I won't side with you, but I will feel conflicted because of the waffles.]
  • What would happen if Britney Spears and Jack Johnson had a baby? This: 

I've been listening to her all week. I really like her cover of "Creep." If you're already super depressed you might as well check it out.

I guess that's it for my bulleted list of happy things. Until next time!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

So you're telling me there are no security provisions on this rotary phone?!

I bought our plane tickets home this week. Where is the summer going?!

Where did this week go?!

We went to this man-made jetty called Jetty Island. We had to ride this little Gilligan-esque ferry to get out there:

It was a thrilling three minute boat ride. Then we got to the island for our day at the beach and it was...drumroll please...

Low tide!

But still...a day at the beach? I'm not complaining.

We also visited the Boeing Museum of Flight this week. Isn't it inspiring that in under one century mankind went from flying like this...

...to flying like this?

And we've got YouTube now, so that's something.

They pretty much cover all of those bases at the Boeing museum. We. LOVED. it. Definitely one of my favorite Seattle sites. We got to walk through Eisenhower, Kennedy, Lincoln, Johnson, and Nixon's Air Force One plane.

I probably skipped a president somewhere in that lineup. Sorry. I was distracted by this rotary phone onboard:

In case you can't read it, it says, "CAUTION This phone has no security provisions. Sensitive or classified material should not be discussed." So you're telling me there are no security provisions on this rotary phone?!

Moving on.

Chancho got to sit in the cockpit of an M-21 Blackbird, which at its fastest reached almost 2200 miles per hour.

I think the experience may have planted a seed. The boy left the gift shop with his own mini-Blackbird and it hasn't left his sight since.

For comparisons sake, here is the original (the world's only remaining, as a matter of fact):

This was an unexpected surprise (as opposed to an EXPECTED surprise):

Can you tell what it is? I tell you what, if you read this entire post I will reward you by solving the mystery for you at the end of it.

Oh, oh, oh! We can't forget the Concorde!

Now I've been inside of the Concorde and I can tell you with confidence that the Concorde is a plane that goes incredibly fast and looks exactly like a cramped plane on the inside.

I could talk about the airplane museum all day, I think. Someone should call me.

Oh yeah, that metal thing is a space station treadmill. Ta da! According to the docent, an astronaut used that treadmill to run the New York marathon along with the runners in New York. I'm thinking, if I were LIVING ON A SPACE STATION, forcryingoutloud, I'd call it good on the New Year's resolutions. But that's just me.
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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bind my wandering heart to thee

 The first time I saw this video was in seminary. I was seventeen years old, I think. (Going by the name Linda, driving a super awesome '92 Honda Accord LX, living at my parents' house - it was another world.) I was just beginning to understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. Having been raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints I had heard it all before, but I was applying it to myself for the first time in my life.

This hymn was a game-changer for me. It solidified my belief in Jesus Christ as my savior. It made me want to be faithful to Him.

Here is the best part:

O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.

I don't know what made me think of this video after fourteen years, but I found it on YouTube last night. Listening to this song makes my heart feel like it's going to swell up and burst, so I had to post it on here to alleviate the pressure. Enjoy.

(If nothing else, enjoy the '90s hairdos. You haven't seen bangs like that in a while! Unless you live in central Utah.)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thank you, Steve Jobs.

Happy Independence Day to all of my fellow Americans. To readers visiting my blog from a foreign land, won't you join us in celebrating two hundred and thirty-some odd years of America's independence from England by ditching work and attending a Major League baseball game? In my mind, nothing better captures the American spirit of rebellion, er, independence.

I had to talk my husband into playing hooky. Who can out-sell the salesman? This girl. I even quoted Steve Jobs (via Pinterest) in my pitch:

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important." 

"Husband," I said, "Steve Jobs thinks that you might be dead by Thursday. Would you rather spend your last day on Earth working or watching baseball and eating overpriced concessions like your forefathers intended?"

Obviously we went to the game. The Steve Jobs quote was a deal-sealer. Pinterest for the win!

The Mariners played the Baltimore Orioles. Halfway through the game DJ left to get expensive pizza and missed the only homerun - by the Orioles. I tend to root for the underdog no matter what sport or game or YA paranormal romance novel I'm reading/watching. If you're the type that loves rooting for the underdog, the Mariners are for you. It was a heart-wrenching nine innings. They almost rallied in the last inning. It was exciting - they scored two runs (the only two of the game, if my memory is accurate)!

I thought, "Yes, underdog! Yes! You're going to make it!"

But then they got their third out and we all got in our cars and took off.

Happy birthday America!

No hard feelings, England?