Sunday, April 27, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Jason had a fun-filled "guy trip" with his four brothers and dad. His brother-in-law, Nick, was there in spirit, if not in body. They went to Las Vegas and St. George for golfing, games, movies, and I'm sure lots of salty snacks, steak, and loud bodily noises. They also went to the Hoover Dam, which I heard was really cool.
However, since it was just the guys, they did not take any pictures. (We all know who wields the cameras in the family, do we not?) So I found a picture online, and we can all just pretend it's from their trip :)
The kids and I piled in the car and headed to Grand Junction, Colorado, where I grew up.
We spent a lot of time with Nana (my mom) and Grammy (my grandmother). We haven't seen Grammy in a few years, so it was good for the kidlets to get reacquainted with her.
We went to the Botanical Gardens. It was small compared to other Gardens I've been to, but it is in the process of expanding and is really fun. The kids enjoyed the Butterfly Room, the big fish, and the river made out of concrete (with fish, animal tracks, and swirly water).
Oh, wow! Look at all the butterflies!
Ian learned the hard way that you do not touch cactus--especially this really big one.
Luckily, Nana was quick on the uptake and got out the spines with, of all things, gum. It worked great, too!
We also went to the Dinosaur Journey, a fun dinosaur museum. Here the kids are playing with the erosion table.
"It was a quiet day in the late Jurassic. The dinosaurs were playing happily, not knowing that a build-up of water behind the nearby dam would forever alter their primitive lives."
Not surprisingly, the boys' favorite display was the Utah Raptor ripping the head of a peaceful plant eater, with entrails and blood pooled at the raptor's feet. "Cool!" (and I quote.)
Brennan's favorite stop, however, was the Math and Science Center. It was pretty neat. Take almost every scientific principle you can think of, and all the cool experiments you can do to show that principle, put it all in a giant room with visuals explaining everything, volunteers to help, and let the kids run wild. They loved it!
We finally had to drag them out (literally) after over two hours. I guarantee we will go there again the next trip.
Here Brennan is building a golf ball maze on a carpeted wall with pipes.
It looks just like Ian!
Senea and Nana look at the live bee colony. It was glass on both sides, and had a plexiglass tube connected to the outside, so the bees could go in and out. Very cool.
On our trip I got in touch with some old friends too. Unfortunately, Senea got sick (the throwing up in the middle of the hotel continental breakfast kind of sick) so we cut our stay short. Still, it was a good trip and we had lots of fun.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Ways to Maintain A Healthy Level of Insanity.
1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and point a Hair Dryer At Passing Cars. See If They Slow Down.
2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don't Disguise Your Voice.
3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, Ask If They Want Fries with that.
4. Put Your Garbage Can On Your Desk And Label It "In."
5. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks Once Everyone has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch to Espresso.
6. In The Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write " For Smuggling Diamonds"
7. Finish All Your sentences with "In Accordance With The Prophecy."
8 Don't use any punctuation
9. As Often As Possible, Skip Rather Than Walk.
10. Order a Diet Water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face.
11. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is "To Go."
12. Sing Along At The Opera.
13. Go To A Poetry Recital And Ask Why The Poems Don't Rhyme?
14. Put Mosquito Netting Around Your Work Area And Play tropical Sounds All Day.
15. Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends You Can't Attend Their Party Because You're Not In The Mood.
16. Have Your Co-workers Address You By Your Wrestling Name, Rock Bottom.
17. When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream "I Won!, I Won!"
18. When Leaving The Zoo, Start Running Towards The Parking lot, Yelling
"Run For Your Lives, They're Loose!!"
19. Tell Your Children Over Dinner. "Due To The Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go."
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Let’s see—March. What a month! I had a number of major events, most smashed within a two and a half week period. I had speaking engagements, a couple “parties” for large groups (60+ people) that I somehow managed to be in charge of, a major family event, helping a friend gear up for finals (since she’s dyslexic I am her personal editor for college papers), the news that a friend has terminal cancer, a writer’s conference that I was involved in, the release of my latest book and therefore a media kit to prepare for my publisher, the building of my own website, a release party for my book, helping in the planning for two family weddings (my brother and little sister, and somehow I’m in charge of a bunch of stuff for that too), and a two-week visit from my mom. Oh, and don’t forget my writing critique group and being mom to my 3 kids, with just the normal chaos.
Whew! It just sounds exhausting, doesn’t it? Yes, it was. I even quit working out (Nooo!) because something had to give. I am happy to announce that everything got done and was a relative success. Go me! (Applause) The writer’s conference is put on every year by the author’s guild that I belong to, and it was a huge success. It was sold out and we had numerous editors and a literary agent from one of the bigger agencies there meeting with attendees. I presented a workshop on finding your niche in non-fiction (which went really, really well). I was also one of the conference photographers, general gopher to help with moving chairs, lunch, temperature control (the thermostats were all wonky), and basically doing whatever I was told. This meant I was rarely in my seat. I was also a mentor at the writer’s boot camp (a two-day intensive, hands on workshop) as well as partially in charge of the food for the boot camp. Then, I was a live blogger for the ceremony of The Whitney Awards, which recognizes excellence in fiction by LDS authors in various categories. It wasn’t quite the Oscars, but I wore heels, a dress, and there was assigned seating. Then, to top off those three insane days, my good friend and neighbor is starting up a business doing book screeners, which is basically dramatized trailers like you see for movies, only for books (check them out at www.bookscreeners.com). He was presenting at the conference too and I was heavily involved as a consultant. Let’s just say after the first 14 hour conference day I got home to 5 messages and spent the next hour running around, and the next hour after that over at my neighbor’s helping him.
My meeting with the agent did not go well. I had been so busy that I wasn’t sufficiently prepared. So I vowed to do better and stalked the editor of the publisher that I really want and pitched to her in the hall. That went much, much better. She wants to see my manuscript, which is not quite done. My goal was to finish it and send it off before school gets out. We’ll see about that.
The week after the conference I got sick. Just a cold. Nothing big. I sent off my houseguests (which now equaled 3: my mom, my brother, and his fiancée), tried to recuperate, and then got really, really sick. I remember when it hit. I was on the computer working and all of a sudden I was violently ill. And I was down for the count. I got influenza, which is not the “flu” that I’ve ever had before. Take a really bad head cold and laryngitis or strep throat, and imagine it worse. Then take the “flu”—body aches, fever and chills, nausea, headache, and weakness—intensify it and add it on top of the head cold and strep throat. Now you might have an idea of what I felt like. I don’t cry very often, but after a few days I was bawling in the middle of the night, not able to sleep because I could barely breathe, I had only eaten a yogurt and two bowls of Cheerios in days, I couldn’t get warm despite full-on sweats and electric blanket on full blast with more blankets piled on top, and I wasn’t getting any better. Jason was really worried about me. He had never seen me so sick in the 14 years we’ve known each other. My neighbors started watching my kids and bringing my family dinner. And I lost weight, which is not the best diet program. I will not complain now about little sniffles or sicknesses anymore, not after that. I am happy to say that after 2 weeks I am starting to feel more like myself. According to my brother-in-law, who is also a doctor, I probably have about another week to fully recover. It was soooo not fun.
Oh, and did I mention my kids were sick too? They didn’t get what I had, but all of them cycled through a little 3 day yucky bug.
So, there’s a little peek into the life of Jaime over the last few weeks. I also just returned from a trip to my hometown in