Friday, January 31, 2014

Self esteem builders

Raising girls makes me nervous.  When I think of my friends growing up, every single one of us felt not good enough.  When I think of my friends now, most of us feel not good enough.  We are too fat or too thin.  We don't spend enough time with our kids.  Those of us who are divorced feel not good enough because of that.  Those who are married feel like they are not good enough spouses.  Those who work feel not good enough.  Those who stay home feel not good enough.  The list goes on.  I don't want my girls to feel this way.  I want them to celebrate being them.  I want to build their confidence.  I want them to feel like they can be whatever they want.   I want them not to base their self worth on others definitions of them.  I just don't know how to foster those feelings.  I have a few ideas, but need a whole lot more.  
1. Encourage creativity 
2.  Encourage bravery 
3. Help them try new things
4. Help them know failure is a part of life.  
5. Help them know rejection is a part of life
6.  Help them know that it is not possible to please everyone.
7.  Teach them the value of taking risks
8. Encourage learning 
9. Let them figure out what they like 
10. Knowing my ale that just because I like it does not mean that they will. 
11. Encourage decision making. 
12.  Encourage doing chores
13. Encourage education and skill building
14.  Encourage independence
15.  Encourage them to share emotions and feelings 
16.  Tell them they are good enough
17. Read and then read some more
18. Accept that no matter what I do, they are their own people and eventually will make their own decisions.
19. Learn how to believe I am good enough, because eventually they will see themselves in me.  

"Pretty pretty please if you ever ever feel like you're nothing, you are perfect to me."

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Guilt is such a powerful weapon.  I think that most moms feel guilt about just about everything.  Moms that work have guilt, moms that stay at home have guilt, moms that are divorced have guilt, moms that are married have guilt.  Today I spent a lot of time thinking about guilt, and I have decided that I am sick of feeling bad about every single move I make.  So today instead of feeling guilty about all that I did not do because I was sick, I am going to talk about the things I am not guilty about.
1.  I let my girls paint my nails even though I don't feel good an a seven year old does not paint well.
2. I am currently getting a "check-up" performed by my three year old with her doctor kit.
3. When I took Leia to school she said to her friends "That's my mom.  She dyed her hair red."
4. And now the seven year old is assisting with the check up.  It's apparently a two woman job.
5. We still had a healthy dinner.
6.  The girls also decided to play fisherman pulling nets on the "boat" which is my couch.
7.  My children are smart and creative.
8.  My girls love to give hugs and tell everyone how much they love people.
9.  My girls are building good imaginations and good self esteem.
10.  My girls are smart and funny.

I am so blessed, and I need to remember that whenever I feel less than the people around me.  

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


I am not a pleasant sick person.  In fact being congested makes me quite grumpy indeed.  Today I have been trying to make myself more comfortable in my congested state.  Some of my favorite comforts: 
1.  Cosy blankets
2. Soup
3.  Hot shower
4. Hot bath
5. Hot Blanket
6. Comfy couch
7. Rocking chair
8.  Cosy bed
9. Good pillow 
10. Hot chocolate
11. Heating blanket
12.  Heating pad
13.  Orange juice
14.  Medicine that works! 
15.  Massage
16. Foot bath 
17. Cuddling with a little one 
18. Fireplace

What helps you feel better.  

Monday, January 27, 2014

Trying new things

Dyed my hair today.  Always wanted to, was always afraid to do so.  So, in honor of my new hair, lets list a few other things I would love to do if I were not such a chicken.
1.  Travel to Europe (okay so that is part chicken, part lack of money)
2.  Try out for a musical
3.  Sing in a competition
4.  Get a PhD
5.  Write a book
6.  Start my own business
7.  Go hiking more
8.  Do more physical activity
9.  Learn to ride a motorcycle
10.  Do stand up comedy
11. Go to law school
12. Write movie reviews
13. Do a podcast
14.  Travel to other awesome places (again, money)
15. Sing in any type of public venue
16. Learn new things (languages, skills, etc)

What new, fun, brave things should we all try this year?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Random Thoughts Day

It's kind of exciting to be in my brain.  No, really, you all should try it.  :).  Just a few things that passed through my brain cells today:
1.  While at a stop light, I was singing and dancing in my car.  Why not, right?  May as well have fun while waiting.  Got a few strange stares from the car next to me.  My thoughts?  You all wish you were in my car.  It's way more fun over here.
2.  People really need to learn to play the organ faster.   Just because you are in church does not mean you need to play the music glacially.
3.  Sometimes I hear people on the radio and wonder why people think they sing well.  I mean, really, why?!  There are plenty of people I don't like their music, yet I admit they sing well, just not my style or whatever.  But others? Really? Are that many people tone deaf?
4.  Some people never age.  Saw a few people today that I had not seen for 20 plus years, and yet they look exactly the same.  How is that possible?
5.  I still need more reasons to get dressed up and wear fancy things.
6.  I am more grateful for a good nights sleep than I should be.
7.  If you were performing at the Grammys, wouldn't you choose more than a t-shirt and jeans?  I mean its fine, if you are a multi millionaire from Australia singing country you can wear whatever you darn well please, but for me, I would be wearing more than jeans and a t shirt.
8.  Why don't I play guitar?! Sad face.
9.  It's time for a new hair color.  I have been blonde for 34 years.  Time to do something new.
10.  I love seeing people I love.  I love people.
11.  I wish I had been born in a british television series.
12.  I thinking singing contests with my seven year old are my all time favorite activities.

Hope you all have a fun week.  Sing in your car. :)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Doing too much....again

I have this nasty little habit of overextending myself...a lot.  And then I get tired.  And upset.  Yet, I feel guilty if I relax, if I take time off, if I take time to be myself, enjoy myself, and relax just a little bit.  This week, especially this weekend, has been like that.  So many struggles cloud the way too often.  So I need to learn and remember that even on exhausting days like today I have so much to be happy about. And really, the little things do keep me going.  So, today specifically, here are some things I am thankful for.
1. FaceTime.  Good old Apple.  Thanks for making it possible for me to talk to and see my daughters every day.
2. The radio, itunes, youtube, pandora, etc.  It is so wonderful that I can listen to music whenever I want, whatever I want, in many different ways.
3.  Good friends who listen to me whine and cry, and let me experience new things, like making freezer meals, even if I kind of make a fool of myself.
4.  Good friends who answer the phone even if they know they will have to hear me complain for a bit.
5.  My brother.  For many reasons, but today in particular, his movie collection.
6.  Good food.
7.  Blankets and pillows.  And beds.
8.  The fact that my phone can video my kids.  The fact that our memories are a lot more recordable now than at any other time in history.
9.  People who are kind and understanding.
10.  People who have helped me rebuild my confidence and help me understand my worth.
11.  Of course, as always, nothing is as wonderful as the two little angels that make everything I go through worthwhile.
12.  People who remind me that while some people are hurtful and harmful, most people are good, kind, and trying the best they can.
13. Grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, pizza delivery, and everything else that makes the every day activities of life easier.
14.  The ability to take care of myself.
15.  The education I have been blessed to have.

Happy Saturday Night everyone!  Relax a little.  

Friday, January 24, 2014

Live entertainment

I love live entertainment.  Not that I don't love other forms of entertainment, but there is something to be said about watching people entertain you in real time.  The moments of genius, the moments of mistakes, the people behind the scenes making the magic happen.  Here are just a few of the most memorable moments I have seen live:
1. Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth making each other fall out of character and into laughter until Idina finally had to say "if you want the show to continue Kristin you will have to stop."
2. Whoopi Goldberg breaking the fourth wall in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum.  
3. Janet McTeer shouting the line "I am a human being!" In a dolls house. 
4.  The feeling in my soul when I first witnessed the ending of the first act of Ragtime.
5. Linda Eder singing Someone Like You in Jekyll and Hyde.
6. Watching my sister in high school get shot in a show and fall flat on her face and hearing the entire audience gasp.
7.  When I was 15 seeing Beauty and the Beast in LA and watching the amazing transformation of the beast.
8. Tonight, Pioneer Theatre Company, A Few Good Men, "he has a weakness...he thinks he is right".
9. Idina Menzel, deer valley with the Utah symphony, No Day But Today.
10.  The first time I saw Rent. 
11.  A Raisin in The Sun.  Any time Phylicia Rashad walked on stage. 
12.  P!nk flying in the air.  
13.  Idina again...Defying Gravity.
14. Audra McDonald at Weber State...don't remember the name of the song but it was about September 11th and I was in tears.  
15. The last number of the first act of Aida.  And Amneris's sparkly lipstick.  
16.  Maureen McGovern singing Days of Plenty in Little Women.  
17.  Broadway in Bryant Park.  A free concert of broadway stars on a perfect summer afternoon.  
18.  My seven year old singing a solo in Chinese.  
19.  Kristin Chenoweth tearing up because of the sign language interpreters    at wicked...and then signing to them at the end of the show "you made me cry".
20.  Neil Patrick Harris in Assassins.  I wish I had seen that show a hundred times.

I am so lucky to have been so entertained.  Someone once asked me if I regretted wasting so much money on live theatre.  That person did not understand the true value of experiences and memory.  

What Kids Say....

Yesterday was a particularly amusing day with my children.  I was giggling from the time I got home from work to the time I went to bed.  Here are a few of the great moments.
1. Me: Singing "So what?! I'm still a rock star!" 3 year old: "Mommy! Shh!!! Be a quiet rock star!"
2. 7 year old: "Mommy you can sing kind of like P!nk, but you are not as strong as she is.  Maybe you should work on that."
3. 3 year old watches a video of P!nk dancing in the air and then wants me to help her do back flips.  I ask her if she wants to be like P!nk.  "No. I be yellow."
4. 7 year old: "Mommy, you need more fun.  Let's have a beach party!" So we went downstairs both Wednesday and Thursday and laid out blue blankets and played beach.  Yay for January!
5. Upon seeing that there will be a sing a long Frozen in the theaters...7 year old: "Will it be a competition? I hope so cause I know we will win."
6.  3 year old: We get mango milk from Gossners in Logan (THANK YOU STEPHANIE!!!). 3 year old spent much of the afternoon tutoring me that it was mango milk, NOT chocolate milk.
7. 7 year old: "Mommy I broke something.  I am sorry.  Don't worry, it's fine, Grandma will fix it."  That's right. GrandMA, not GrandPA.  That's the way our home goes.
8. 3 year old: "I LOVE BLOCKS!! Thank you Mommy! Thank you Stephanie! Thank you blocks!!"
9.  Me: Big Bang Theory is a Rerun. 7 year old: "Oh Mom, they need days off too!  It's okay.  It will be new again soon!  I can make you laugh instead!"
10. 7 year old: Who are you texting? Me: Amanda. 7 year old: Oh.  She is important.  But let her know she is not as important as me.
11.  3 year old made up songs all night long.  Not sure even still what she was singing about.
12. 7 year old: "Mom can we have a campout on the floor?! Please!! The floor is comfy!"
13.  Me: "You can sleep on the floor.  I will sleep on my bed." 3 year old: "Why?!" Me: "The floor makes my back hurt.".  7 year old: "But why?!" Me: "Because I am old" 7 year old: "You are not! Old people use canes and have wrinkles and gray hair." Me: "I dye my hair" 7 year old: "Oh.  I thought it was cause you liked colors."
14.  7 year old: "How old is P!nk?" Me: "She is my age." 7 year old: "I bet she sleeps on the floor with her daughter!"
15.  Middle of the night, 7 year old comes into my room.  " were right.  The floor is not comfy! Does that mean I am old?"

I love these kids!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Entertaining Children

I love technology and new inventions and all of the things that go with it, but what I do not love is that sometimes I feel like there is too much stimulation for my kids.  Too many things to take up their time.  TV, Movies, Radio, Computers, Tablets, Smart Phones, tech-savy toys, and on and on.  So, I am trying to help my daughters remember that there are things they can do and play with that don't require batteries.
1. Reading.
2. Running
3.  Singing
4. Playing piano
5. Playgrounds
6. Blocks
7. playing dress up
8. Coloring
9. Writing stories.
10.  Cooking
11.'s what my seven year old is doing now :)
12.  Chores :)
13. Build something
14. Gardening
15. Hair and nails and all girly things
16.  Sewing
17. Board games
18. Puzzles
19. Making jewelry
20.  Swimming.

Going to unplug tonight.  Enjoy everyone!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What P!nk Taught Me

You had to know I would muse about all things P!nk.  Her concert was literally one of the most thrilling spectacles I have ever seen, and I have seen a fair amount of spectacles.   I can usually sing decently whilst standing up straight and having good breath control.  How one can sing well spinning in the air, flying in the air, hanging upside down, and dancing like that is truly beyond comprehension.  If I had not been a fan before, the performance last night would have certainly converted me.   However, I was certainly a P!nk aficionado before walking in.  This fact has surprised many, as I often get the comment that P!nk does not seem like "my type of music".  (I only have to assume they mean not broadway when they say that).  But it is simply not the case.  I like music to have a point, to teach me something.  Yeah, sure, once and awhile I will be caught singing some top 40 song with no substance or meaning, and I like most have some songs on my itunes playlists that border on embarrassing, however by in large the music I enjoy has a purpose, and that purpose is to teach me, inspire me, make me want to be a better person, live a better life, be stronger, and help others do the same.  I also like songs that say things that I can't seem to say myself.  Sometimes that is mean, sometimes that is good.  I like songs that are real.  So, in honor of yesterday, in no particular order, here is what P!nk has taught me:
1.  Just because it burns doesn't mean you're gonna die.  You gotta get up and try, try, try.
2.  I don't want to be a stupid girl.
3.  I'm not gonna let you check out of this place, cause the passion and pain are gonna keep you alive someday.
4.  So if you're too school for cool, and you're treated like a fool, you can choose to let it go, we can always party on our own.
5. You're so mean when you talk about yourself.  You were wrong. Change the voices in your head.  Make them like you instead.
6. We're not broken, just bent, and we can learn to love again.
7. I'm my own worst enemy (Don't let me get me.)
8. They knew better.  Still you said forever, and ever.  Who knew?
9.  I think that life's too short for this.  I want back my ignorance and bliss.  I think I've had enough of this.  Blow me one last kiss.
10.  I forgot to say out loud how beautiful you really are to me.
11. So what? I'm still a rock star.  I've got my rock moves, and I don't need you :).
12.  I had a revelation.  All's well right now.  It's all good right now.  These are the good old days.
13.  Sometimes I hate every single stupid word you say.
14. Mistaken, always second guessing, look I'm still around.
15. I'm not here for your entertainment.  You don't really want to mess with me tonight.
16.  I am finding that's not the way I want my story to end.
17. The quiet scares me cause it screams the truth.
18.  Pretty pretty please don't you ever ever feel that your less than, less than perfect.
19. How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?  How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
20. I swear, you're just like a pill, instead of making me better, you keep making me ill.
21. So if you see me coming down the street then you know it's time to go.
22. Have you ever hated yourself for staring at the phone? Your whole life waiting on the ring to prove you're not alone.
23. Take the best of what I've got, and you know no matter what, before you walk away, you know you can run back to my arms and they will hold you down.
24. Let me be lighter.  I'm tired of being a fighter.

I could go on, but we all get the point.  Where there is desire there is gonna be a flame.  Where there is a flame someone's bound to get burned.  But just because it burns doesn't mean we're gonna die.  You gotta get up and try.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Being nice

Today someone offered me a very kind gesture.  They gave me a package of tissues when I was in need of one.  It was a small gesture.  But it meant the world to me.  On the first tissue was written the words "We Love You."  I really wish people were more kind to one another.  I think it would go a long way.  Sometimes we think we don't know what to say, what to do.  So let me list a few things I think would make the world a better place.
1. Carry tissues (lesson learned).
2. Give more hugs.
3. Smile more.
4. Compliment more, and not just about looks.
5.  Say I'm sorry.
6.  Understand that everyone is fighting their own battle.
7. Don't judge.
8.  Don't judge.
9. Don't judge.
10.  Listen to each other.
11. Teach people to feel comfortable being themselves.
12. Share.
13.  Don't think that your way is the only right way.
14.  Don't think that people who don't speak like you, act like you, or think like you are evil.
15.  Sing, have fun, play, whatever it is you like to do, do that more.

I am very grateful today for tissues.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Shows that changed me

If you have known me for more than five seconds you know that I love broadway shows.  A lot.  Probably almost unhealthy is my love for all things broadway.  Watching a local show here today I was thinking about what I love so much, and what it comes down to is the feeling of live theatre, and how live theatre has changed me, helped me grow as a person.  Sometimes it's the story, sometimes it's what happened in my life at the time, sometimes it's the performance, sometimes it's the music.  In no particular order, here is a list of shows that have changed me.  
1.  Mame.  Weird I know but it was the first show I was in.  I was ten.
2. West side story.  Cause it's amazing. 
3.  Anyone who knows me will be shocked by this one.  The Music Man.  It's actually my least favorite show, but ironically the first show I ever reviewed.  Reviewing shows has been my balm of Gilead over the last few years, so I am grateful to the music man. 
4. Wicked.  Cliche but whatever.  Don't judge. 
5. Aida.  As anyone who lived in my apartment complex at Utah state can attest.  
6. Rent. See number 5.  And a shout out to Tyson for helping me to finally be a confident singer. 
7. Ragtime.  Most moving performance I ever saw on broadway.  We'll never get to heaven til we reach that day.  
8. Songs for a new world.  And anything else by Jason Robert Brown.
9. Les Miserables.  Cause it is what it is. 
10.  The secret garden.  Seventh Grade in Michelle Philipps basement singing our guts out.  It's this day not you that's bound to go away.  
11.  Phantom.  The first musical album I ever owned.  
12.  Jekyll and Hyde.  Beautiful and haunting.  And Linda Eder.
13.  Hairspray.  Cause fat girls can be leading ladies. 
14. A raisin in the sun.  For changing my perspective on actors and acting.  
15.  Anything with Audra McDonald.  Anything.  
16.  Little Women.  Because you have to believe there is reason for all.  You have to believe that the answers will come. 
17.  The lion king.  Because the opening number was costuming genius.  And because I know that the night must end and that the sun will rise.  
18.  Titanic.  For introducing me to Brian D'Arcy James.
19.  Thoroughly Modern Millie.  For bringing Sutton Foster to my life. 
20.  Brooklyn the Musical.  Eden Espinosa.  That is all.
21. In the Heights.  Who knew I would ever like anything that included rap? 
22.  Mamma Mia.  On Stage not the movie.  For reminded me that sometimes theatre should be fun. 
23. Into the woods.  Careful the things you say.  Children will listen.  
24.  Beauty and The Beast.  For helping me gain appreciation of costumes and makeup. 
25. Assassins.  For helping me gain an appreciation for an amazingly written story.  And Neil Patrick Harris.  

What shows do you love?

Friday, January 17, 2014


I am trying to learn how to use excel.  Trying is the key word.  I am not excelling at excel yet. :).  Today, as I was practicing making a spreadsheet, I decided to list all the things I would buy if I had no money worries. Now, money and stuff does not buy you happiness.  This I know.  But dreams never hurt anyone.  I am completely aware that I will not have most of these delusions, but its fun to want.  Well, at least it made for a fun excel sheet.
1. Macbook Air
2. Ipad Mini 64 Gb
3. Imac
4. Touch Screen PC
5. Super nice all in one printer
6. Surface tablet
7.  State of the art digital piano
8. Sound recording studio
9.  Condo in Brooklyn
10. Condo in San Diego
11.  Condo in Puerto Vallarta
12. Condo in Orlando
13.  Year passes to Disney
14. Private Jet
15. TV/Blue ray player
16. Broadway show tickets whenever I wanted
17.  Speaker system throughout living space
18. Brand new furniture
19. Mini Cooper
20. A maid
21. Time.  I wish I could buy more time to spend with my kids, etc
22.  A library like in Beauty and the Beast
23. A condo in Chicago
24. A condo in Salt Lake
25. A personal chef.

What all do you want to buy?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Music Musings

Lately it seems that a lot of songs are about standing up, saying what you want, being brave, and so on.   Not that I mind.  I love the message.  However over the last several years it seems almost epidemic.  These songs are great.  They help me get out of bed and feel ready to face life. For instance:
1. Brave-Say what you want to say, and let the words come out!
2. Roar-I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath, scared to rock the boat and make a mess, etc etc etc.
3.  Perfect-Pretty Pretty please don't you ever ever feel that you're less than, less than perfect.
4. Let it go-I know I left a life behind but I'm too relieved to grieve.....let it go, let it go, don't hold it back anymore
5.  People like us-People like us we've gotta stick together, keep your head up, nothing lasts for ever
6.  Stronger-What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, stand a little taller, doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone.
7. Try-Where there is desire there is bound to be a flame, where there is a flame someone's bound to get  burned.  But just because it burns doesn't mean you're gonna die, you gotta get up and try, try, try.
8.  Since you been gone-I can breathe for the first time.  I'm so moving on...thanks to you, now I get, I get what I want.

I want to add more to my list.  What should I be listening to?  Suggestions?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Things I want to learn

Today I was working on trying to learn something new at my job, and it made me realize that there is still a lot of knowledge I want to gain.  So here are some things I would like to learn:
1. How to do excel spreadsheets.
2.  How to make a podcast.
3. How to design a website.
4. How to make a blog more aesthetically pleasing.
5.  How to do my children's hair better.
6.  How to make freezer meals.
7. How to make more interesting powerpoints.
8.  How to write for pay!
9. How to write a play/screenplay.
10.  Chinese.
11. How to pick out clothes that look good on me.
12.  How to pick a more flattering hairstyle.
13. How to paint my kids nails better.
14.  How to use twitter.
15.  How to say no to french fries (yeah, that one is probably the most impossible on the list).
16. How to exercise without looking like a fool.
17.  How to sing without breathing so much.
18.  How to sing high notes without screeching.
19.  How to belt without cracking.
20.  How to sing as good in front of people as I do in my car.
21.  Better understanding of computers in general.

What do you want to learn?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


An object in motion stays in motion while an object at rest stays at rest.  What I mean is I over extended myself this week.  So today, after work, I tried to relax, and failed miserably.  Which means the laundry is done and the girl's bedroom is clean.  However, now I am in my cosy rocking chair, watching Downton Abbey.  I have never been good at resting and relaxing, but it is something I feel I need to get more efficient at.  So today, let's list things I can do to relax.
1.  Go for a nice walk.
2. Sit on a balcony and read.
3. Sit at a park and read.
4. Sit at a park and watch people.
5. Watch a good movie.
6. Watch a good tv show.
7. Take a nap.
8.  Learn to meditate.
9. Talk to a friend.
10.  Listen to music.
11. Guided meditation.
12. Play piano.
13.  Take a bubble bath.
14. Get a massage.
15. Get a pedicure.
16. Have my hair done.
17. Write something.
18. Go to a flower shop.
19. Eat chocolate.
20.  Sing.

Hope you all have a relaxing evening.

Monday, January 13, 2014

What makes a good TV Show?

I recently finished watching the West Wing.  I loved that show!  I never got to watch it when it was on, in between mission and college and stuff, I just never got started.   So now that I have watched all seven seasons, I will say that it is one of my favorite series of all time.   Which has lead me to muse, what makes a TV show memorable?  What do writers need to do in order to get us to be invested in the show?  Warning, I try not to spoil things, but sometimes my explanations end up being spoilers.   Consider yourself warned.
1.  A show must be clever.  Not just funny, but clever.  Funny shows are great, but I don't get invested in them.  Clever shows are the ones I find interesting long term.
2.  Help me care about the characters.  Meaning work on character development.
3.  Make the characters real.  No perfection.  Flaws.  Martin Sheen played a perfectly flawed president of the United States.   Made me like him even more.
4.  Let people disagree.  That was one of my favorite parts of the West Wing.  The characters were not carbon copies.  They had serious political and personal differences.  Just like you and I do.
5.  Don't resolve every problem.  Sometimes it is exhausting to watch shows that always have a happy ending.  Life is not always happy, and endings are not always happy.  Moments are happy, and struggles continue on.  I really  appreciated how the show did not make it seem that things always turned out right.
6.  Handle pain with class.  One of the main actors in the show died unexpectedly.  We all knew he had died, so obviously the show would have to address that.   That was some of the best writing and acting I have ever seen.  Knowing full well that he would die, I still sobbed like a baby.   See #2 as well.  Good work helping me care about these people, and then handling the fact that all the other characters would have cared as well.
7.  Have some variety.  Don't recycle the same plot over and over.
8.  Don't talk down to your audience.  Trust us to have enough intelligence to follow along.
9.  Educate us.  Help us learn about how things work in areas we may not be aware of.
10.  Do what is best for your show, rather than follow the trend.  For instance, Buffy the Vampire Slayer did a musical episode in season six.  Was one of the best episodes of television of all time.  It worked within that story.  Of course, Glee is a musical show.  Also works.  Grey's Anatomy did a musical number.  Although there was certainly talent involved, the show itself was a trainwreck.  A girl can dream that her doctors will burst into song, but really, they won't, and they shouldn't.
11.  Realize that it is okay to move on.  The finale of the West Wing was phenomenal, and one reason why is  that it allowed the characters to grow, mature, and move on with their lives.

What TV shows do you enjoy?  Why?  What shows should I watch next?  I am already well versed in all things Downton Abbey and Big Bang Theory :)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Traditional musings

Today let's just muse in my traditional fashion.
1.  I really wish I had a reason to dress in fancy attire.
2. Children (well at least mine) excel at reading facial expressions. 
3.  It's silly how difficult it is to choose between certain television shows.  Technology makes it possible to watch whatever whenever but sometimes you want to watch it right now :)
4.  Sometimes I rewrite words to songs in my head.  Sometimes I know if I share the new words I would shock people.  
5.  I would love to have a ladies maid.  Even if just for one day a week. 
6. I also wish there was more opportunity for me to wear fancy hats. 
7. Yep.  So done with winter.  
8.  I want a storage ottoman in black.  Not sure why, I just do.  
9.  Am thinking of dying my hair red.  Thoughts? 
10.  Good luck facing another week everyone!  

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Things I Enjoy

Sometimes we have do things we don't want to do.  Things we have no desire whatsoever to do.  And yet, we must do them.  I had one such chore today.  However, I prepared myself by surrounding the rest of the day with things I love to do.  So this is what I did today to combat the negative hour and a half I had to endure:
1. Eat pancakes with butter and syrup.
2.  Look at pretty sparkly things.
3. Purchase pretty sparkly things.
4.  Belt to Kelly Clarkson, P!nk, and others in my car.
5.  Look at apartments I want to live in.
6.  Text some of my favorite people.
7. Go to station park not once but TWICE!
8.  Eat at cafe Zupa's
9.  Retail therapy
10.  Shop with my favorite shopping buddy.
11.  Find really great deals (7 dollar sweaters!  8 dollar boots!)
12.  Use gift cards and rewards!  Spent 63 cents at one store!
13.  Listen to my favorite podcast.
14.  Chat with my precious girls.
15.  Hang with my Brother and Sister-in-Law
16.  Introduce my Sister-in-Law to Torrid, one of the best clothing stores out there.
17.  Charming Charlie's.  Enough said.
18.  Humor boards on Pinterest.
19.  Nice long hot shower.
20.  Eat at Applebees.
21.  More Singing!
22.  Make Predictions about the Golden Globes.
23.  Talk about how awesome the West Wing is.
24.  Talk about wishing characters of the West Wing would run for office.
25.  Watch the Big Bang Theory

Bad chores can't take away my happiness.  Difficult things are but a moment.  Awesome songs are forever.

Friday, January 10, 2014

How to tell you are over 30

Having a girls night out with some high school friends and it reminded me of how awesome we mid thirty year olds are.  So here are some ways you can tell you fall into my awesome age range. 
1.  We actually know how to use our smart phones while our parents don't have smart phones. 
2.  However our children understand our phones better than we do.  
3.  Going to a ten thirty move is living on the wild side.  
4. It's a luxury to walk through a candy store sans children.  
5.  You remember going to the corner grocery store for penny candy in a paper bag.  
6. "Friends" comes up in conversation at least once a day.  
7. You chat about the good old days until you realize it makes you sound old. 
8. Way more bathroom breaks then when you were in high school.
9. PBS kids also come up in conversation more frequently than you want to admit.  

Thanks for the girls night out!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

What day is it anyway?

Spent the entire day thinking it was the 8th, when it is the 9th.  Which made me realize how I often make little mistakes like that.  So today I want to muse about some of my favorite little mistakes in life.
1.  Growing up, I always thought my name was really just all my siblings names mashed together cause my mother would say everyone else's name before she got to mine.  Good times.
2.  Ever start belting a song and enjoy it so much that you miss your exit?  Well I do.  All. The. Time.
3. Ever spell your own name wrong?  Yeah.  Not the highest moment of my life.
4.  Once I taught an entire hour of a four hour class before realizing I was using a powerpoint from a different course in a different department.  :)
5.   Accidentally using diaper cream for toothpaste.  Not my favorite mishap.
6.  Falling down.  Happens like once a week.  Just call me grace.
7. Putting down the wrong year.  I still write 2012 sometimes.
8.  Emailing the wrong person.  Love when I do that when it is something important.  Shows my genius.
9.  Saying the wrong birthdate for your child.  Do it at the Pharmacy every single month.  I am sure the Pharmacy Tech thinks I am the smartest woman she has ever met.
10.  Sending e-mails with grammatical errors to your supervisor with a PhD.
11.  Posting grammatical errors and typos on facebook.  Love it when I publicly show my lack of intelligence.
12.  Pretending to understand a conversation until the person figures out you have no idea what you are talking about, and then they laugh and laugh.
13.  Singing....coming in on the wrong note, loud and proud.  :(
14. Being a well known Broadway expert, and yet misquoting a show as Sondheim when it wasn't.
15.  Teaching a Psychology class and yet quoting the wrong theory.

I could go on.  My point is Today is January 9th, but I did not know until I was schooled by my 7 year old at 5pm tonight.  Happy Thursday Everyone!!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Maren's Favorite Movies

I love movies.  I really do.  I honestly could sit and watch movie after movie and be content.  Of course, life and duties and responsibilities prevent that.  However, if I had hours to waste, I would probably watch several wonderful movies.  Picking a true favorite would be impossible.  I like different movies in different moods and different genres.  Some of my choices you may judge, but that is the way it goes.  So in no particular order, here are several movies that are a sure fire way to provide me with an evening of enjoyable entertainment.  Maybe one of them will brighten your dreary January.
1. Steel Magnolias.
2. The Help.
3.  Legally Blonde. (DON'T JUDGE!)
4. What's Up Doc?
5. The King's Speech
6. Slumdog Millionaire
7. Saving Mr. Banks (New but I know it will be a favorite forever.)
8. Frozen (See number 7)
9. Sense and Sensibility
10. Dead Poet's Society
11. The Avengers
12. Hairspray
13. Pete's Dragon
14. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
15. You've Got Mail
16. What's Eating Gilbert Grape
17. Little Women
18. Newsies
19. Anne of Green Gables (Is that a TV Show?  I don't know how to categorize it)
20. A League of Their Own

There are more, I know.  I probably missed all your favorites.  I probably missed many of mine.  But I say wrap up in a cozy blanket this weekend and watch one of these movies!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Pick me up Tuesday

Today, lets muse about things that can give us a little pick me up, or a jolt of happiness in an otherwise sad or dull day.
1.  A hug from a good friend or loved one.
2.  Listening to a good song.
3.  Watching a funny show.
4. Telling a joke.
5.  Sending someone a text message to brighten their day.
6.  Doing 10 jumping jacks.  (Okay really I hate stuff like that.  But...I feel better thinking I may have done something good for my heart.)
7.  Trying something new.
8.  Reading a good book.
9.  Smelling flowers.
10.  Taking a nice, hot shower.
11.  Remembering a fond memory.
12. Window Shopping.
13. Real shopping.
14.  Going for a walk.
15. Calling someone you love.
16. Extending a helping hand.
17.  Drinking a glass of water.
18.  Putting on lotion.
19. Running through the sprinklers.
20.  Acting like a kid again.

I hope you all had a good Tuesday!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Monday Monday

It's always hard to start a new week.  Harder still when you have had a few weeks of Holiday's and vacation time.  Add to that cold and dreary weather, and you have a recipe for all things sad and horrid.  So.....let's list some happy things, shall we?
1.  My kids and all that entails.
2.  My car still makes me happy six months later.
3. Downton Abbey is back.
4.  Big Bang Theory.
5.  Broadway Musicals.
6.  Social Media and how it helps us all stay connected.
7. Potatoes.
8.  Cheese.
9.  Kelly Clarkson, P!nk, and various other artists.
10.  Pinterest.
11.  Friends to brighten your day.
12. Some e cards.
13.  Netflix and redbox
14. Marvel Universe.
15. Disneyland, Disney world, etc.
16.  Movies!!
17. Text messages.
18. Swimming pools.
19.  Gordmans, Charming Charlies, and basically any shop at Station Park in Farmington.
20.  Cafe Zupas and the fact that they give you a chocolate strawberry with every meal.
21. Hot tubs. Massages.  Pedicures.  Other things to pamper yourself.
22.  Road trips.
23. Roller Coasters
24.  The beach.
25.  Podcasts.

There, next time you have a rough Monday like I did, remember that even on bad Monday's I can still come up with 25 things that make me happy.  I bet you all can too.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

7 year old Wisdom

While listening to the ramblings of a toddler is fun, it is even more fun to talk to a 7 year old.  7 year olds are excellent when it comes to praise, honest when it comes to criticism, and look at life as an exciting adventure.  These are just a few of the fun things my oldest has said recently:
1. Mom, let me help you pack your lunch.  You need bubble gum.  (Why do I need bubble gum?)  Cause if you start to have a bad day, you can chew bubble gum.  No one is sad chewing bubble gum.
2. Mom when I go to college you can go to college with me.  Then you could finally be a real doctor.
3.  Mom, you sometimes sound like Elsa when you sing.  And sometimes you sound like Anna.  And other times you sound like P!nk.   But you always sound pretty.
4.  Mom you really need to practice your reading voices.  You sing well, but you need to be more exciting when you read.
5.  Mom you are the best cooker ever.  Really, the very best.  You should go work at a restaurant.  Everyone will go there.
6.  Mom, don't get a job doing nails.  You do okay, but the lady at the salon was much better.
7.  Mom you always tell me when I am watching TV or movies to figure out what it is teaching me.  What is pinterest teaching you?
8.  Mom, do you have to ask your boss when you have to go to the bathroom?
9.  Mom, I have always dreamed of going ice skating.  Really.  Can you please make my dream come true?
10.  Mom, this movie seems like a true story.....(20 minutes later after witnessing a lot of magic in the movie) Oh I get it.  Its not real.  Beds don't fly.
11.  Why does Kermit always sing?  In every movie he sings.  Why?
12.  Mom I wish I was born before I was.  (Why?)  Cause in old movies everyone sings.  Why did people stop singing?

Out of all of them, I have to concur, why did people stop singing?!!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

What I hope to teach my daughters

As I sat and watched my daughters play at a playground this afternoon, singing at the top of their lungs, uninhibited by social pressures that they may learn all too soon, I thought about how I want them to grow up, and the things that I hope they will learn.  Sadly, I have no idea how to instill some of these things in them, but I can say with all honesty that there are several things I hope they gain from me.

1.  It is important to learn to take care of yourself.  Don't wait for a prince charming to come.  You can be the hero of your own story.
2.  It is not selfish to think of yourself, your dreams, wants, desires, and even preferences.
3.  Being pretty is fine and good, but not really important.
4.  It is fine, good, and important for you to be smart, regardless of if you are a boy or a girl.
5.  Having fun is not selfish.  It is important for both mental and physical health.
6.  Just because other people do things one way, does not mean you have to.  It is okay to be different.  Not just okay, but essential.  The reason the world works is because of differences.  
7.  Have courage.  Be brave.  Try hard.  Don't be afraid to fail.  Don't be afraid to take chances.
8.  Don't change for someone else.  If someone expects you to change to please them, they are not worth it.
9.  Don't hide your talents.  Don't hide your accomplishments.  Don't pretend to be less than you are to make others feel more comfortable.
10.  Don't keep secrets from those you love.  If they truly love you back, they will not be put off by your secrets.
11.  Don't forget how much your mother loves you.  No matter what you do or who you are, your mother loves you.  She may be disappointed in your actions, or try and guide you to better choices in life, but no matter what, she loves you.
12.  Learn to be happy with yourself.  You don't need to be in a relationship, have a particular type of job, house, car, or any other thing to make yourself happy.  The fact that you are you, that is happiness enough.  Anything else is just icing on an already fabulous cake.
13.  Learn to recognize happiness and goodness.
14.  Don't let others blame you for their mistakes.  You cannot cause or force a person to behave badly, no matter what they may say or think.
15.  Learn to respect yourself.  If you truly respect yourself, you will not let others disrespect you.  Don't lower your expectations.   You deserve the best, nothing less.

The world needs more strong, brave, amazing women.  I hope to make sure these strong, brave, amazing girls grow into the strong, amazing, brave women they deserve to be.  

Friday, January 3, 2014

The End of the Week

Ah Friday, glorious Friday.  Sometimes when I reach Friday, I am extremely grateful for even the little things, like making it through the week.   So, great things that happened this week:
1. Got to go sledding!  It's wonderful to do little kid type things with my wonderful kids.
2.  Got asked to do a musical number at a pretty big meeting in April.  Have no idea what I will do, but am totally flattered that I keep getting asked to do this type of thing.
3.  Got to fix two of my favorite meals this week, Spaghetti and Meatballs, and a Curry Casserole my mother invented years ago that has always been my favorite.
4.  Got to have a movie night with one of my favorite people, and watched two of my favorite movies.
5.  Actually exercised every day except one.  Not major exercising, but well within my goal of moving more.
6.  Actually made good eating choices the vast majority of the week, and did not feel deprived.
7.  Got to plan a weekend trip to CHICAGO!!!!  YAY!!
8. Might also get to have a weekend trip to Vegas.  Still working on that one.
9.  Got to cuddle and snuggle and hug my little girls over and over and over again.
10.  Actually accomplished a lot this week.  A lot more than I expected.  Feeling pretty content at this moment.  Well, as content as a person can be watching Monster High.  Oh children, the things we do for you.
11.  Honestly, Honestly can't wait until Frozen comes out on DVD and I am able to watch that over and over again instead of Monster High.
12.  Someday they will be teenagers, and maybe I can convince them to be Buffy fans.   One can hope.

Let's hope each week of 2014 also has at least 12 wonderful thoughts at the end of the week.  Happy Friday everyone.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Entertained by a three year old

I love watching kids learn to communicate.  One of my very favorite things.  My youngest really likes to feel like she is a part of things, which may include repeating, speaking, helping, anything that makes her feel like she belongs.  Some of my favorite things that have come out of her mouth recently:

1. Mommy! I Lob you!
2. Mommy, I have sugar? (meaning any sweet treat)
3.  I want to be a monster! (Sobbing, mind you)
4.  Mommy, I sitting on your face. (At 3am)
5.  Mommy I don't want toy drums.  I want real drums.
6.  Reciting and acting out almost every scene and song from Frozen.
7.  After bumping into me.....I sorry Mommy.  I get you lotion, make you better.
8.  You the best eber!!
9.  Mommy, you be a monster! You scary!  I scream.
10.  Mommy I dance.  You sing.  Ready, Go!

I adore this little girl.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Random Daily Activities

Today was not the greatest start to the new year, but all is well that ends well, and I type this with a three year old climbing on my shoulders and head, which actually makes me more happy than you can imagine, although also more prone to typos.  So today we shall just stick with the regular random musings.
1.  Love it when a child covers your face and then says "Look at me".  They think we have super powers.
2.  Taking down the tree is more fun when you do it with kids.   Not nearly as sad when your kids get wrapped up in lights and giggle.
3.  It's taken me six months to finish the series I am watching on Netflix.  Don't know if I should be proud or sad.
4.  So beyond grateful for wonderful friends.  Every day I realize that I am surrounded by the best people in the world.
5.  Amalia and Leia are now dancing and singing while they brush their teeth.  All we need now is a magic orchestra to begin living a musical.
6.  Really, what is it with Monster High? Did we like that weird of stuff when we were kids?  I am sure we did, but really, I can't remember anything that silly.
7.  Thanks to dry, rough skin, my youngest now thinks lotion is the solution for every problem.  She got sad because I made her put the toys away for bed, and she said lotion would make her feel better.

Hope you all had a wonderful day!