Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What I don't miss

Yesterday I waxed nostalgic over all the things I miss.  Today let's look at things I don't really miss:
1.  Never really knowing what lyrics say in a song. "Neverson Babies".  Serious points for anyone who gets the reference.  
2.  Junior High.  Enough said.
3.  Using a card catalog instead of the internet/database/amazon.
4.  Listening to the radio all night waiting for your favorite song to come on so you can tape record it.
5. 80s and 90s bangs. And clothes.  
6. Waiting in line at the computer lab to check my email.  Now thanks to Steve jobs I check it every five minutes.  Okay, not really sure which is better.
7.  Piles of road atlases and street maps to find my way around.
8. The smell of people with hygiene problems on the subway.  
9.  Handwritten notes instead of texts.  No one could read my handwriting.  
10. Midnight feedings.  Babies are cute and all, but I like the post potty trained stage more. Leaps and bounds more.
11.  Going to rent a VHS only to find the one you want is gone.
12.  Summertime humidity
13. Tolls.  Seriously Illinois is the king of toll roads.  Don't miss that one bit.
14. It taking an hour plus to get anywhere.  I don't think I really knew how long it took to get places in manhattan. 
15.  Alternate side of the street parking.  

See! Yay for change!  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Generally I am a fan of change.  I think it is a good way to progress, grow, and learn about oneself and others.  Occasionally I do miss and reminisce about things I wish had not changed, or that certain things I experienced when living in other areas would still be available to me.  In speaking with a friend today, I thought of a few things that are no longer readily available to me, and I truly miss them. 
1. Chicago style pizza
2. NY pizza
3. The ZCMI food and pastry counter
4. Real dollar theaters.  That actually cost one dollar.
5.  The rocket at the rocket park in Layton.
6. Good street vendor food.
7.  The awesome cheese fries at a random bar in Cumberland Maryland.  Yes as a missionary I regularly ate at a bar.  Seriously delicious food.
8. The TKTS line.
9. NY hotdogs 
10. Chicago hotdogs
11. Deli pickles
12.  Concerts in Bryant Park
13.  The New York Public Library
14. The Chicago Public Library
15.   Living by a large body of water. (No the great salt lake is not by my definition a large body of water.)
16. Free smithsonian museums
17.  Tall buildings
18.  Taking the subway to work
19. Diverse dining choices
20.  People who know how to merge

Oh well.  Better learn to be grateful for what I have.  

Monday, February 24, 2014

Rewarding myself

Sometimes I feel like it is wrong to celebrate oneself or ones accomplishments.  It's okay for loved ones or outsiders may praise us, but to praise myself would be seen as conceited, vain, inappropriate.   Well today I have a rebellious spirit.  I started today with a bit of personal and somewhat symbolic sadness, however thanks to some kind words of friends and a bit of a fiery spirit inside of me, I decided I have every right to be glad to be me and to celebrate even tiny accomplishments.  Today I celebrate:
1. I get out of bed and go to work.  Daily.  
2. I love my children. 
3. I pay my bills.  
4. I provide for my children.  
5. I provide for myself. 
6. I am entertaining, and people enjoy being around me.
7. When I teach college courses, along with intensely intellectual information, I include clips of the Big Bang theory because I am awesome.
8. I go to work even though I am usually in some kind of pain.
9. I can recite more musicals than most people have ever heard of.
10. I have excellent taste in movies and television.
11 I have beyond excellent taste in music. 
12.  I am willing to laugh at myself.  
13.  I am getting better at biting my tongue.
14. My daughters and I have dance parties.
15. I have amazing friends.

Go celebrate yourself! You are awesome!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Good Friends

I am so lucky to have really good friends.  I have had a lot of people come to my side over the last few years as I have struggled with a few things.  One thing that I still struggle with daily is feeling worthwhile, forgiving myself for the mistakes I have made in the past, and not obsessing over the things I cannot control.  In talking with some friends over the weekend, I was reminded that we all feel that way.  We all feel like we can't look a certain way, say a certain thing, believe a certain way, etc etc etc.   And yet, I have two daughters that I want to feel that they can grow up to be anything, and that their minds, their creativity, their talent, is what makes them special, not their looks.  So what can I do?  What can we all do?  How can I not let my girls feel like their value is in their relationship status and their beauty level?   I do have a few ideas:
1. Stop reliving my failure. It is what it is.  Learn and move on.
2.  Be proud of my accomplishments.  Don't pretend to be less than what I am.
3.  Allow my personality to be shown.  Don't hold back because I think people may not like me.
4.  Find ways to continue to grow and excel.
5.  Compliment girls on things besides looks.
6.   Find stories and role models for my daughters.
7.  Give my daughters opportunities to learn, grow, and progress.
8.  Expose them to successful women.
9.  Teach girls that all choices are okay and available, and it does not have to be a competition. Mommy wars are so damaging.  It makes me sad.  Stay at home moms are wonderful.  Working moms are wonderful.  Married moms are wonderful.  Divorced moms are wonderful.  Etc Etc
10.  More than anything I want my daughters to know that people are people.  Just like MLK, I have a dream that people will be judged based on the content of their character, not if they are black or white, or male or female.

Sorry to wax all philosophical tonight.  It's just on my mind today.

Writer's block

Back pain, overextending oneself, and laziness have now been proven to lead to writers block.  My most humble apologies to my fans.  You should be happy to note my delusions of fans are alive and well.  What have I mused since our last encounter?
1. Sandra Bullock needs to make more movies.
2.  Having visible difficulty whilst standing seems to add way more years to your appearance than wrinkles.  
3.  I find myself having unkind thoughts towards people I see from high school that do not appear to have aged.  Damn the crap shoot that is the human gene pool!
4.  Starting to really like the praise I get from the three year old when I use the potty.  We all need more positive reinforcement in our lives.
5.  Everything is still awesome.  Truly the song never leaves your head.
6.  I still remember back in 2004 I believe it was when a friend introduced me to YouTube.   Best.Site.Ever.   When you are sad you can go on YouTube and watch any of your favorite people.  Anytime.   Thank you YouTube.
7.  Vampires shouldn't sparkle.   Old news, but people need to be reminded from time to time.
8.  I appreciate that people still want to hang out with me even though I talk too much.  Been told I talk too much since first grade.  Didn't stop me then, highly unlikely I am going to stop now.
9.  So growing up I was taught to "liken" scriptures and other religious stories to my own life.   I submit that my talent is being able to liken any story or entertainment to my life.  
10.  I also submit that number 9 is mostly the result of my older brother who taught me that the wisdom of Star Wars is just as appropriate to quote as the wisdom of the ages.
11.  I need more singing in my life.
12.  My fashion sense is lacking and when I am dressed nicely it is because fashion conscious friends helped pick out the outfit.  When I pick out my own outfit I tend to look like Amy Farrah Fowler.

It's late enough that I better stop before the thoughts become completely incomprehensible.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tuesday Monday

It was a rough start to the work week.  A Tuesday with a Monday feel that kind of makes you think perhaps holidays are not such a good idea.  Let's look at just a few of the fun things I experienced today.
1. I was in a meeting.  My phone was ringing but I did not answer because I was in a meeting.  So they called my cell.  Which I did not answer because I was in a meeting.  So they called my assistant.  Who told them I was in a meeting.  So they sent me an email.
2.  I have discovered there are far too many ways to contact me.
3. Ran back into a restaurant to get my keys that I had left on the table.  Only I did not leave them on the table.  They were in my purse the whole time. 
4.  Didn't realize until five minutes before work was over that I am in charge of a meeting at 7am tomorrow.  Go me!
5.  Got stuck eating cup of sadness and despair for lunch today.
6.  Had an awesome workout followed by a bacon cheeseburger and bottomless fries.   I rock and my decisions are awesome.
7.  Everything is awesome is still in my head.
8. Discovered that you can buy Lego sets of the places in the Lego movie.  Yeah, I'm gonna be broke soon.
9.  Sometimes I get sick of sitting and have to type standing.  People give you very odd looks when you type standing.  
10.  I have an iPad mini and a MacBook Air.  A coworker saw that, looked out the window at my small car, then looked at my stature and said "is everything you purchase petite?" To which I replied "indeed even my clothing."
11.  Had to call someone I had never spoken to before and I desperately wanted to do so with a British accent.
12.  Don't go to Red Robin on a Tuesday evening.  It is apparently packed at that time for no reason.
13. Do go to the gym on a Tuesday at 6pm.   Apparently no one goes at that time.

Hope that tomorrow brings with it less adventures than today and remember if you leave a message for me on one phone you do not need to call one of my other phones, send me an email or call my assistant.  I promise.  On second thought skip all the other options and just email me.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Things I wish I had studied

I have had an interesting and mostly good career.  Lots of mishaps along the way, and a few major mistakes.  As everyone who is honest with themselves will be willing to admit.  For a long time I thought my career would go one way, but when I got the opportunity to be where I thought I was headed, both personally and professionally I suffered a blow to my ego, and realized that just as Dumbledore also realized, not everyone is meant to be in charge.  Not everyone makes great leaders.  But that does not mean I am not good at what I do.  I am.  And I am also very intelligent.  What I love most is learning.  If I could find a way to just get paid to go to school forever, I would do that.  So tonight I muse about all the things I wish I could have or would have studied.  Some for their practicality.  Some for their career potential.  Some for the sheer interest.  And some just because.  Who knows...maybe I will go back to school some day.  I am still young.
1. Sign Language interpretation
2.  Law...I love to learn, and argue.  "Do you think she woke up one day and said I think I'll go to law school?"
3. Computers.  Just so I could fix them when they break and not have to deal with people on grumpy days.
4.  Media studies.  Yeah, I know.  But whatever, there are media professors out there.
5.  A PHD in anything.  Yes, pretty much anything.
6.  Nursing....would have loved to be a midwife or APRN
7.  A teacher...just for the schedule though.   I adore teaching college...not sure how I would do with children.
8.  Creative writing.  Again, I know not practical, but it would be interesting.
9.  Business.  Highly practical.
10.  Children's literature
11.  American History
12.  I have a minor in Women's Studies.  Would love to learn more
13.  I have a Masters level certificate in Disability Studies.  Would also like to learn more.
14.  Buffy Studies.  It exists.
15.  History of Musical Theatre.
16.  Welding or cabinetry, or anything that would make me look tough.
17.  Pharmacy or dentistry or podiatry or some other medical thing that pays well but does not often get calls at 2am.
18.  Anything that would make it possible for me to be Neil Patrick Harris's personal assistant.  Or Idina Menzel.  Or Stephen Schwartz.  Or Ellen.....or....or....or.
19.  A travel critic.  Rick Steves if you will.
20.  Food critic.  I mean come on how do people get so lucky?!?

Oh to dream.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Recently the amc theatre in our hometown was remodeled and it seriously makes me so happy.  Not because of screens and sound projection but because of the fabulous reclining chairs.  Seriously it's heaven while watching a movie.  My youngest and I were able to snuggle and enjoy The Lego Movie last night and it made me muse about being comfortable.  There are many things I find cosy.
1. Big warm blankets.
2. Lounge chairs on the beach or by a pool.  
3.  Floating beds in pools.
4.  Hammocks
5. Comfy couches
6. Big beds
7.  Anything that lets me lay down after a long day.  
8.  Massages
9. Pedicures
10. Cuddling with my kids
11.  Getting my hair washed at the salon.
12.  Sitting on a beach blanket at the beach
13.  Sitting on a blanket in the park
14. Sitting and reading by some sort of water source
15.  Any kind of reclining option.

Hoping you all find some way to relax today.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Oh the places you'll go!

I love going places, meeting new people, seeing new things.  I love experiencing new cities and going back to places I love.  Today I will muse about some of my favorite places I have been.
1.  Central Park.  It's just like in the movies. 
2.  Split Rock Lighthouse.  Ever since I was a child I thought northern Minnesota looked a bit like heaven. 
3.  Navy pier.  
4.  Zion's National Park.  As much as I love man made creations this one still gets me.  The beauty of nature is breathtaking.
5. Yellowstone.  See number 4. 
6. Chicago architect boat tour.  Coolest tourist experience ever.
7.  All things Disney.  It is magical and bah humbug to anyone who says differently.  
8. Puerto Vallarta.  So amazing and peaceful. 
9.  The smithsonian.  
10. Times Square.
11.  Walking across the Brooklyn bridge.
12. Tagaytay.
13.  San Deigo beaches.  
14.  The Met. 
15.  On the banks of the Mississippu.
16. On the banks of the Potomac.  
17.  Cumberland MD.
18.  Amish Country.  Best rocking chair ever still have it!
19.  Shenandoah Valley.
20.  The Great Lakes.  I think I have only seen three of five but love the three I have seen.  

This world is amazing and I need to see more of it! 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Something in the air

Everyone seems to be having a rough week.  I think there is something in the air or water.  My friends are stressed my kids are being wild, etc etc.  it seems the only good thing is that my youngest finally decided going potty is a good thing.   So let's muse some happiness again shall we?
1.  My youngest said to me "once upon a time there was a monkey and a tail and drums.  The end.  Do you like that story mom?"
2.  My oldest went on a field trip.  When asked if she had ever been there before she said "oh I am sure my mom has brought me here.   My mom knows all the cool places."
3.  I confess I browse the Disney resort vacation packages too often.  A girl can dream.
4.  I am glad that valentines day is defined as celebrating love and that I can celebrate with the best little valentines in the world.
5.  Surprising the girls with a spa day!  Yay us!
6.  My oldest said she could not sleep unless she heard me sing or imagined me singing. Melt my heart.
7.  A three year olds smile is the best thing in the universe.
8.  Should I buy my self a valentines gift? No Maren the pretty shiny device you are typing on is the only special occasion gift you can get for yourself for the next year :)
9.  My youngest hates to go to bed.  My oldest is asleep but my youngest keeps walking in my room giggling.  She is mischievous this one.
10.  Stopped to smile at her and she said "no you keep typing!!"
11.  I swear my oldest is smarter in first grade than I was last week. 
12.  I need a vacation.  Except for the spend money part.
13.  Whenever I wake up my hair looks like Anna's when she wakes up in Frozen.  Both of us must be visited by Ralph the nighttime hair dresser.  
14.  Sometimes I put coconut oil on my daughters skin.  She also enjoys chocolate.  Therefore hugging her makes me instantly crave almond joy. 
15.  Trying to keep up with my thought pattern is exhausting.

Sleep well all!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Battling the sucky day

Some days just kind of suck.  No matter what you do, the sucky things pile up.  You leave your phone somewhere.  You obsesses over a mistake.   An insult still stings.  You mourn a loss.  You feel misunderstood.  So what is a girl to do?   
Let's muse about things I have to look forward to.  Today sucks but there is joy in the future.
1.  My awesome girls have great valentines day outfits.  
2.  The Lego movie this weekend.  It's going to be totally awesome.
3. I'm going to Chicago very soon for a visit.
4.  Farmington Station in spring.
5.  Anything in spring.
6.  Captain America.  Xmen.  Idina is singing at the oscars.  New episodes of Big Bang theory.
7.   As soon as the youngest is able to appreciate it, perhaps seven or trip to NYC!
8.  Another trip to Disney sooner than that!
9.  Road trip!  Anywhere! Yay!
10.  Frozen on DVD.  
11.  Massages
12.  Downton Abbey
13.  Cooking dinner with my girls.  
14.  Splash pads in the summer
15.  Dinner with friends.
16.  Dinner with family.
17.  Theatre theatre theatre.
18.  Karaoke cafe.
19.  The avengers 2
20. Really any movie or food event

Life sucks for a minute but there is always happy around the corner.   I am done with today.  Bring on tomorrow.  

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hooray for portable technology

When I was little I really wanted to have a small pocket TV so I could watch shows in my bedroom and not fight with my siblings.   Who would have know that when I was 34 I would have 6 separate devices that could do just that and so much more right at my disposal.   It does kind of blow my mind.  So, today lets list several reasons why I love my Ipad Mini.  You can substitute Kindle, Smart Phone, anything that you want.
1.  It weighs a lot less than several books on a plane ride.
2.  It helps me get through boring meetings.
3  If people want to see my kids, it is very easy to pull up a picture for them.
4.  It helps me if I am lost.
5.  It keeps my kids quiet and occupied.
6.  Netflix.
7. Google.
8.  No need for a newspaper subscription.
9. Facebook.
10.  I can type a blog post on it.
11.  It taught my oldest daughter to read.
12.  Disney Parks apps.  Next time you go to a disney park it will change your life.
13.  Relaxation apps.
14.  Dr. Seuss books are so awesome on the Ipad.
15.  I can take notes and not have sticky notes everywhere
16.  I don't have to worry about not understanding my handwriting.
17.  Pinterest.
18.  Music
19. Youtube.
20.  Being able to check my finances, appointments, and any number of other things to keep me organized.

Yay for technology.

Sunday, February 9, 2014


Hoarding is such an interesting thing.  I have actively been trying to dejunk my life, both physically and emotionally.   I was talking to a friend who collects after valentines day a few years ago she bought hundreds of valentines.   She has a garage full of other things she has a hard time letting go of. My parents hoard books.   And on and on.  Emotionally we hold on to regret.  Friendships long lost.   Clothes that will never fit again.  So it's time to stop hoarding and l am ready to let go this year.  
1. I will not keep clothes I know I will never fit again.  
2.  I will not keep clothes that my youngest child will never fit again. 
3.  I will not keep wishing for relationships that did not give me strength
4.  I will not buy things I don't have room for now because I might need them later.
5. I will not keep toys my children no longer play with.
6.  I need to find a way to get rid of the guilt I have hoarded over things beyond my control.
7.  I need to let go of feeling less than others around me.
8.  Let's be honest I probably will continue to hoard music, books, and apple products.  No one is perfect.
9.  My worth is more than a paycheck.
10 .  My worth is not based on a number on a scale or a clothing label.
11.  My worth is not based on a title, occupation, marriage status, or life choice.
12.  I will surround myself with people who build me up and attempt to assist in building them as well.
13.  I will hoard moments, joys, adventures, and experiences.
14. I will hoard and give hugs and compliments and phone calls and texts and positive human interactions.
15.  I will hoard learning and growing and progressing.
16.   I will have more fun.  I will treat myself better.   
17.  I will be my own valentine :).
18.  I will collect smiles and laughs and jokes and amusement.
19.  Lastly, I will still hoard blankets.   Oh how I love a good blanket.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Retail therapy

Today was an excellent day of retail therapy that has lead to many musings.
1.  Love me the apple store.
2.  When you tell yourself you don't really need anything, you find all kinds of things.
3.  Technology just gets more and more awesome.
4.   It seems you can eat a feast and yet popcorn still smells good.
5.  A really good sales lady is something that change everything.  I had two today.
6.  It seems rain brings out more shoppers.
7.  I want to move to Farmington someday.
8.  Today's blog post is brought to you by the cloud, iPad mini, iPhone five with a personal hotspot and yours truly.  Thank you Steve  Jobs.
9.  Next time you are told sitting will be painful just shop all day.
10. I love shopping buddies and random friends who call me when they are at Farmington Station Park cause they just assume I am there.
11.  I love being complimented for wearing an outfit that was entirely picked out and/or supplied by said shopping partners.  Confirms my good taste in friends who have better taste than I do.
12.  Have I mentioned my love of technology?
13.   Cinemark HD.  Enough said.

Let me know if you ever want to shop with me!

Friday, February 7, 2014


Fell down the stairs in my graceful fashion yesterday.  The pain in my buttocks has seemed to grow over today.   Thanks to a caring friend I have it looked at so that is good, but not much to do but ice it and struggle to stand and move.  So today I am focused on pain.   Therefore, here is a list of my most painful things.  I may or may not be singing like Maria Von Trapp whilst writing this.
1, bone marrow biopsy 
2. Labor
3. Migraines
4. Shoulder pain
5. Arthritis
6. Growing pains
7. Twisted ankle 
8. Dry sockets 
9. Sinus pressure
10. Lower back pain 
11. Stiff neck
12. Charlie horse
13. Sore muscles
14. Paper cuts
15. Shaving cut
16.  Severe sunburn 
17. Curling iron burn 
18. Falling on ice
 Looking at the list I realize that while having experienced some pain I am pretty lucky that I have not experienced more severe pain.  Guess I should just grab my ice pack and be grateful.   

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Growing up pride was sometimes a negative word.  Don't be too prideful.  You hear that at church all the time.  Well, throughout the years, while sure I have had my moments of pride struggles, I can easily say that there is a much more difficult struggle for myself and others I know and love, and that is never being proud of ourselves.  Never feeling good enough.  Never measuring up.  Well tonight, I put together a desk all by myself, just like I did a toddler bed several months back, a chair, a couch, and a toy kitchen.  I know for some that is not a big feat, but for me it has been epic.  I have been used to asking and or begging help from others, and I could still easily do so now, but it feels infinitely better that even if I did not do it perfectly, I did it.  On a day that was stressful, frustrating, and upsetting, I did it.  So, on that note, I will take this time to talk about things that truly have made me proud.
1. The day I gave birth to each of my daughters.
2. The day I decided to get out of bed and continue living after a miscarriage.
3. The day I decided to continue on after failing at a job and being betrayed by people I thought friends.  
4. The day I had a bone marrow biopsy 19 weeks pregnant without meds all alone and did not scream or even cry. 
5. The day I moved to New York. 
6.  The day I moved to Chicago. 
7. The reason I chose to come back from Chicago.  
8. The day I graduated with my Masters degree.
9. The first time I taught a college course.
10.  The day I decided I deserved to be treated better.  
11.  The day I decided I am good enough alone, just me, and no one has a right to tell me any less. 
12.  The first time I wrote a theatre review.
13.  The first time one of my reviews was quoted in another publication.  
14. Every time my children tell me they love me. 
15. Every day that I wake up, and live another day to its fullest.
16. Every time a friend or loved one thanks me for not judging them.  
17.  The day I decided to go on a mission. 
18.  The person I was when I came home. 
19.  The person I am today.
20.  The people my children are becoming.

It's okay to be proud.  Really it is.  You all are amazing.  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Being productive

I love being productive.  I have a hard time getting motivated but once I get going I will keep going even when I should stop.  Yes, I am a nerd.  Here are several of the reasons I am classified as such:
1. I love taking classes
2. I love writing papers
3. I love reading textbooks
4.  When I learn new things on the computer it makes me happy
5. I get excited when I have a reason to make a new spreadsheet
6. I know about sites like mugglenet
7. I find myself quoting Big Bang theory every day
8.  I understand most Star Wars references.  That is my brother's fault.
9. I watch YouTube videos from comic con
10. My choices on Netflix. 

Yay for nerds!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Super Bowl

Hope you all had an excellent Super Bowl viewing yesterday.  I have never really watched or understood much of anything related to sports.  I used to be quite conceited in my hatred, wanting everyone to see things my way.  However, happily, I have aged in my wisdom and I realize that everyone is entitled to their enjoyment, and that a lot of the things I love, many people would find lame and stupid.  So I publicly apologize to all my sports fans.   I did in fact have a wonderful Superbowl weekend full of the things that I love. So while you sports fans were having fun at your parties, I celebrated enough to not have time to write a blog post!  This is how I celebrated:
1. Went to a Karaoke Cafe :)
2.  Went to Frozen, the Sing A Long Edition
3.  Made cookies and ate them :)
4.  Had a tea party.
5.  Watched Downton Abbey
6.  Went to Target and discovered the children's book "Mouseton Abbey"
7.  Found new recipes on Pinterest
8. Played piano and sang
9.  Read many, many stories with my girls.
10. Made glittery stickers
11.  Face painted
12. Painted nails
13. Played Goldie Blox
14. Discovered the similarities between my three year old and a wild and crazy muppet character
15.  Had a cuddle movie night with the girls
16. Made Valentines for my first graders class (And discovered I had not bought enough :()
17. Got a doctor check up from my 3 year old.
18.  Tried, I promise I tried, to watch part of the game.  I made it about 10 minutes.

Happy SuperBowl!