Failing my wifely duties

Hi, it's me again. I'm sitting here in my apartment alone with a 50 inch flat screen TV, purchased about 1.3 hours ago. It is freaking huge and weighs more than I do, and I'm eight months pregnant. I can never let our kids watch it unless they're sitting fifteen feet away, otherwise their little retinas will burn out.

I don't think I resent it, as my husband is very happy and has spent the last two months looking at and talking about TVs. I have spent the last two months looking at and talking about baby stuff. So he better not resent anything up that alley. I am a little ashamed of it though. It seems so...gluttonous to have it filling up our living room. My parents paid slightly more for their current car than we paid for this TV--I know they will definitely disapprove when they find out.

You know, I did originally tell Austin no. That's what wives are supposed to do, right? Keep their husbands from buying impractical and expensive electronics? I told him he wouldn't get a Father's Day present and that I wanted a baby grand piano, etc. I realize these are not great reasons for a guy to hold off from buying a big screen TV, but I figured that I married a practical man who is a FINANCE major so he would be able to resist until it was more in the budget. I guess I underestimated the allure of...this thing. It's huge. Yes, it will make Mario Kart that much better, but it's just sitting here, dominating our apartment. There is just no hiding it.


The Next Great American Novel

I just got done making a list of every single thing I can think of that I need/want to do in the next few weeks. Looking it over, none of it's very inspiring (note: "go get putty from house," and "buy clarifying shampoo") but it was very satisfying to get it out of my head. Is this just a woman thing, this list-making? Maybe it's hereditary. My grandma will put things she's already done on her lists just so she can cross them off.

One time I made a list of all the things that made me happy and then I found my older sister reading it and it was embarrassing. (I think I had such juvenile things like "flirting with boys" on there) and what was worse, she said she really liked my list and added to it. Schmarmy things that I can't even remember--anyway, I thought they were cheesy and I didn't agree with them so it wasn't my list anymore and I probably added her to my list of the things that make me mad. I actually have one of those around somewhere. The only things I remember from it are "slow people walking in front of me" and "being woken up from a nap."

Words I can't ever spell right:
The city in California where the Lakers are from (Los ____)
The photo i.d. you take with you when you drive or buy cigarettes (Driver's _____)


WC Party

WC Party Friday, May 31, 2008. It's another service work party (Okay, I know this is a small change from the fun Tin-Foil-Dinner plan, but...) to put together hose and river pump. Wear old clothes, since it'll probably be raining. (If you're serious about working, bring a set of dry clothes or use my hair dryer like Ivor does), or you can work in the kitchen on the food. Or you can just sit in the swing and watch the rain. It's beautiful. Leanna? EmPo? Julie? Who's out there?


I'm getting married!

I wanted all of you to be the first to know that Brad and I are officially engaged as of yesterday! (All of you a feeling relieved right now, I know.) We're going to get married on either August 1 or August 7. Either way, we are so excited! I've never been so happy!



Alright crew, Iron Man at 3:10 and Indiana Jones at 7:15 at the Rex (the big theatre). Today (Saturday). Be there or be square. Sis. Morgan, you should come. Rumor has it that Annie Dillard wrote the screenplay for Iron Man and Joan Didion wrote the one for Indiana Jones.


Middle School Graduate

I'm done. My student teaching "experience" is finally over. I said good-bye to all of the little 7th and 8th grade monsters today. Then I finished my grades, packed up my stuff, and said good-bye to middle school. Finally.

Somehow though, in all the terror of middle school, I came to love the wretched students. I loved the boy who threw his gum at the wall every day and the girl who hated my clothes. I loved the girl who told me my assignments were too hard and that she shouldn't have to "do crap like that" in eighth grade. She's somehow quite delightful to be around. In fact, I think I might miss her.

Somehow, through all the moaning and groaning, I must have liked what I was doing because now that it's over, it's bitter sweet. I certainly dread looking for a job as an English teacher, but maybe teaching on a secondary level isn't all that bad. Or maybe I just don't think it's all that bad because it's over. 

I miss you all a lot. I want to keep going to school, right there in Rexburg, where it's winter 11 months of the year. It's safe there, and I don't have to worry about finding a job and becoming a grown up. I can feel a tangent coming on, so I'm going to head for bed instead. (Wow, nice internal rhyme in that sentence.)

Dear Friends,

Ivor and I are going to see Iron Man and Indiana Jones this Saturday. That's the plan at least. Anyone else not have plans for Memorial Day weekend and feel like glutting themselves on two big-budget pop flicks in the same day!? Remember, if you're not with us, you're against us.



Why is it so difficult for me to actually post anything? I deleted this several times already.

We sang “My Heavenly Father Loves Me” in Seminar yesterday. I have always loved that song; it seems to find tiny bits of my memories and connect them in a way that I never could.Birds used to build nests in our big tree every spring - we always wanted to see them, but could never climb high enough. I would lie on the grass and watch as the birds engraved their soaring wings through our endless blue sky. I felt like our house, our yard, our sky, was the center and sum of the universe. My mom made us work in the garden every summer, usually weeding, while she tended to her roses. My sister collected the fallen petals once and placed them in a small glass bowl that she put on top of the laundry hamper in the hallway. They lost their scent by that night, but if you stirred the petals with your finger, the fragrance hiding underneath would float up into the air, filling the hallway with roses. Growing up, we had three lilac trees – two purple, and one white. They smelled like spring, and drooped gently off of the trees like flowered pinecones. I liked to pick off the individual 4-petaled flowers, and scatter them on the sidewalk, like a tangible spring rain. In the summer we would steal the green goldfish nets from behind the fish tank and run through the yard and pasture, chasing the bright butterflies. They seemed to just drift through the air, but somehow were always faster than us. Sometimes we’d go grasshopper and cricket hunting out behind the barn – we fed them to the gecko, and my dad paid us five cents a cricket. We hoarded our small handfuls of pennies carefully, until we had a chance to go to Gromore. The tiny gas station had penny candy and was just a couple miles away, though the hot pavement burning through the soles of my shoes made it feel farther. But my favorite parts of summer were the storms – I would stand outside on the driveway, arms outstretched, while the rain enveloped everything around me. I loved the different sounds: the rain hitting the ground, the grass, my skin, small pools of water; the thunder lowly rumbling over the far hills. And there was always the smell – the electric burnt heat of the lightning, as though the sky were on fire, mixed with the fresh clarity of the rushing rain.As I walked home yesterday, the sky overflowed with clouds of dark blues and grays, and the acrid scent of lightning brushed my skin, making the skin on my bare arms prickle. I lifted my face to the almost-warm rain pouring out of the sky, and let the wind rush through me, pulling and tugging at my dress and hair. I didn’t have a jacket, and I hate being cold – but storm cold is different from other kinds of cold. When I reached the Hart building, the air suddenly stilled; I looked around and could see the trees swaying in the wind, the branches and leaves trying to fly loose from each other. But the air around me was perfectly still and quiet, as though I were encased in glass. I spun in a circle, stretching my arms upwards and outwards, not even caring if the guy trudging past me with his hood up thought I was crazy. I ran the rest of the way home, through the storm.Afterwards I cooked and sang along with Anne Murray in the kitchen, and I almost felt like I was home again. I thought about calling my mom, but I didn’t really want to talk to her. Instead I wrapped myself in my memories and danced in the bright fluorescent kitchen, while the clouds filled the world outside.


A Dirty Affair

My apartment is a dump.

It didn’t always use to be this way; in fact it has a lot of potential to not be like this. One Thanksgiving break when I was marooned by myself in my apartment, the place was spotless, there were no dishes in the sink, the counters were clean, and the floor was swept. It smelled nice. This time though, I’m not that lucky.

I came home last night to find my roommate in his parking spot on the couch, feeding his face and adding to the mess in the kitchen and living room. While the TV blared ESPN (the only station that my roommates watch) I went to the kitchen to think about a snack. Wrappers of tortilla packages, empty Top Ramen packets, dirt and crumbs of all kinds chips and bread, and salsa stains littered the floor. The counters weren't any better; no less than five cans of Welch’s grape soda stood empty-- two of which were tipped over and lying in a dried puddle of its contents. These framed the open package of chicken breast, raw meat glistening in the fluorescent light, sitting prominently on the island counter. Four used plates with its accompanying unwashed utensils sat next to three bowls, its remnants of milk and cereal long dried and crusty. As though to indicate that breakfast had been eaten here, bags of Coco-Roos, Tootie-Fruities, and Marshmallow Mateys leaned against the sterile white cinder blocked wall. Their contents too were spilled on the counter.

That’s just the counter. You can probably imagine what’s in the sink. I think about cleaning, but it's too much. It's not my mess. It's not my problem.

I used to try to fight a one man war against messy kitchens because my wise mother once told me the places that have to be the cleanest in the house were the kitchen and the bathroom. Your house should be a haven to you right? It should be a place of comfort and peace, so I would patiently wash the dishes, and put them away, trying desperately to create some cleanliness, only to come back twenty minutes later and find two or three pots in the sink, uneaten macaroni and cheese floating in them, and a mountain of plates all waiting to be washed, every time I cleaned. Gradually this wore me out, my protests would always fall on deaf ears, and apathy set in.

I think the earliest this came was on my mission, when our apartment was so dirty that I started throwing empty wrappers and letting crumbs fall on the floor beside the trash can (not in) just to see if I could make it dirty enough for the other missionaries to wake up and smell the rotting trash. It didn’t work. We had ants instead. But it didn't matter to me then either, I was going home. It wasn't my problem.

I sometimes feel bad about my apathy, thinking "I should be more charitable and do service". Then apathy rears its head and says "No, you didn't make the mess. Just wash your own dishes and you'll be fine." I usually listen to my apathy. I don't care enough to help clean up the spilled Welch's grape soda. It's not my mess. It's not my problem.

This apathy is becoming a problem. The other night our toilet got clogged and started to flood the apartment. Toileted water floated across the vanity floor and into our living room, drenching the carpet. It dripped its way through the cracks in the caulking and down into Dan's apartment downstairs. I heard it tripped the circuit breaker (Sorry Dan but it really wasn't my fault, or at least I wasn't directly involved). I watched my roommates plunge madly away at the toilet, desperately turn off the water to the commode, and I heard their shocked tones when they discovered that the toilet was somehow vomiting more toileted water across the floor despite their efforts. I offered sympathetic comments about how much this "sucked".

I watched. I listened. I didn't really help. I went next door to borrow a diseased looking gray mop, and mopped some of the water, but I didn't really care. It wasn't my problem, I reasoned. I only sleep here. I don't really spend any time here because I don't like living in other people's filth. This isn't my home, this is just where my bed is. One of my other roommates tries to clean a bit, hoping to be a good example, but he too knows it's a losing war. Deep down I want to help too, but you can't help people that won't help themselves right? So my apathy speaks again: It's not your mess. It's not your problem.



Help I'm slowly and painfully being worn down.

I'm sitting in the library on the third floor, which has traditionally been a meeting place for singles. Most of the computers have been moved to the basement, and all that is left are barren, wood-panel tables and the occasional student whose furrowed brow is buried in some book or computer screen. When I walked in to the room and its sterile light I saw one of my friends who works at the reading center. Her eyes were tired and dim, almost gray, and she was hunched over a computer screen. I made some comment about her needing a break and prescribed a break.

I'm sitting right now, and taking my own break. It's only been an hour that I've been slouched in this chair staring at my laptop and trying desperately to keep writing my assignments that are due. I'm burning out, and I don't want to do it anymore, so I do what I always do when I'm frustrated with work: I start taking everything out of my pockets. Maybe it's a comfort thing, I dunno, but I grab my brick of an iPod and two sticks of chap-stick (why did I need two?) and throw them into my backpack. I don't bother to zip it up because it doesn't matter-- they are deep in the pocket and won't fall out. I place my fat, canvas wallet on the table and sit again. It always feels funny sitting without my wallet in my back pocket. It's softer.

None of this helps, though. I've still got three hours of work to get done before I take my Spanish test tomorrow (early, because of my trip,) and I don't want to do it. I miss summer being a fun time, when you could play all day in the sun and the grass and maybe go to work at then drive around to the beach and just sit.

I miss time to just sit.


Statues of snow

We build statues of snow and weep when they melt.

I'm a little bored. Just listening to iTunes. My little sis just called and asked if I wanted to go see that new Narnia movie...which I kind of do, but we just bought a Wii, and we haven't bought a crib or anything for the baby, so now I feel bad spending money. I was going to be all crafty and make curtains for our apartment, but the sewing machine is still in the back of the car, which Austin took to work. He's gone until eleven tonight, and he hates his job. He's just waiting for his real job to start in September. I'm just waiting for the baby to come, but at least I like my job.

I found that quote up at the top in one of my old newspapers from the 1800s. I think it's by Sir Walter Scott. I know it should be followed by a profound blog. Do I even have that in me though? Someone else needs to write a profound blog for me. I'm taking a water aerobics class. I thought I might sink because I have a big preggie stomach now. We get water noodles to hold though. I have to wear this gross grandma swimsuit because again, I don't want to shell out for a swimsuit that I'll only wear for a couple months. Sorry, I'm just writing. Trying to focus in on something that's just a little too far. But since everyone just reads this blog as a timewaster anyway, I don’t feel bad about wasting your time.


Blogs, Anyone?

If you have a personal blog, how about letting us know so that we can come visit? Just a suggestion, since we all need other things to do besides homework. Actually, the truth is that I am hopelessly addicted to looking at people's blogs; last night Travis caught me looking at a stranger's blog. When he accused me of it, I said, "No--I found this blog from my cousin's link to her friend's sister's blog. . ." but I quickly faded out when I realized he was right. So do me a favor and let me spend my time looking at my friend's blogs, ok?



If you are going to invite the missionaries over, you should at least be there to help. I know I said that I would take care of it, but you should know that I meant I would take care of most of it. Not all. I still need you there to help. But no, you are off studying somewhere. Thinking that everything is going to be perfect when you get back. But really, I just got out of the shower from work, my hairs is sopping, my make-up is not done, the house is a mess, we don’t have a bread, drink, or a dessert, and the table isn’t set. So yes, I took care of the main dish, but you should have been there for the rest.

This is my thought process as I am bumbling around trying to get everything together for the missionaries. I grumbled and gave David the cold shoulder as soon as he entered the door. He said sorry. He said, “Please forgive me. I didn’t know.” But I continued to turn from him. And then he had to leave to pick up the missionaries. So our night will be filled with fake smiles and superficial conversation about how everything is going fine. I pick up the computer and books off the kitchen table and lug them into the bedroom. I realize that I also have to write a talk about baptism for tomorrow, and I haven’t even begun. Talk. Speeches. I pause as I throw the lettuce into a bowl. David had to give a speech last night at the dinner he went to.

I was sitting at the computer when he finally walked through the door last night at 7:30. I looked up, annoyed.

“Hi, sweetheart,” he said, “How are you?”

“I thought you said it would be over at 5:30?” I questioned.

“Well, it went longer.”

I roll my eyes, “Typical of your life.”

Do I ask how the dinner went? Do I ask how his speech—that I helped write—was received? No. I don’t even ask him about his day. I proceed to tell him about the frustrations of mine and how I can’t get certified and how I have to find a temp job before I go crazy. How I can’t stand being alone for that long each day. How I want to go back home. How I, how I, how I.

But I didn’t even ask him about his day.

I slow down as I set the table and really wish I hadn’t been so unkind when he first came in. How I wish I wasn’t emotional. How I wish that I had given him a hug and let the house be messy when the missionaries came and forget the stupid side dishes, at least we would be happy. How I wish that I had asked him about his day. How I, how I, how I.

And that’s when I realize, not only do I get worst wife award—but I deserve it.


a long lost poem

The other day I was scanning through my blog entries on myspace for the address to my sister's blog site. I stumbled across this poem I wrorte during a hard time on my mission and I thought I'd share it. I still dont know the title so take it as is. ~Nathan

When the pistons grind

and the shackled joints swell,

the pulse of scraping chains

cause the dust to mix

with the sweat and blood of me.

After blazes of that crimson fire

scorched and cracked

my face, marred and bleeding

my soul at last has place for stature

and I know for whom and for what

I am broken.


It's a Girl!

Just a quick post to let all know that we're having a girl! We're so excited! If you want to see a picture from the ultrasound, you can check out our blog at lanceandleanna.blogspot.com.


It was a year ago at this time that the Writing Center blog was first formed. Initially it was on Blackboard, set to help out with housekeeping issues in seminar. Now it is on Blogger and is a lot different than a place to rant and rave about scribblers. I thought I would compile some of the best quotations from our blog from last year up to this point. Here you go:

"[Truthful essays] simply take us into a true landscape and let us walk around beside them. And in this way, they turn their essays into an art form. They allow us--they do not force or push us--but allow us to connect."
Sis. Morgan

"Hey! Did you know that turkeys will peck to death members of the flock that are physically inferior or different. Such stupid birds. No wonder everyone kills them for Thanksgiving." S. Morgan

This is not a deep thought about writing, or in fact a thought at all. Anona


Every birthday is big when you’re in your 90’s. This is when people start to say, “Any day now. . . .” And even if you don’t hear them, you still know they’re saying it. So I’m going to keep going...After turning 100 there’s really nothing left to live for, so that’s when I plan to die.

Today is a momentous day in scribblerhood. Julie

I'M ENGAGED!!! Jenny

I wonder why people blog the things that they do. Rhett

First question, what is the voice you don't want to hear? Anona

Sometimes I wish I was a child in Africa. Julie

I’m getting the feeling that this—the true union between two people—is what marriage is all about, which is strange considering I’ve heard this all my life. Leanna

Now there’s a sharp pain, like a knife running down the back of my hand, following the bone of my pointer finger. I have to stop again. But I have to write. Travis

Rumors are hurtful Julie and you shouldn't post them on the blog. Dan

I’m just putting it out there in hopes that by doing so, I can focus on everything else in my life a little more clearly. Leanna

Now the piano

slides up and down the treble like a hurricane

with da, da, da, da in the bass.


You know all those obnoxious EFY counselors and participants that everyone hates seeing on campus? The ones that congest our already narrow paths and scream so loudly that we can't concentrate in our classrooms? Well I've been stalking them. EmPo

Yesterday after my last class my teacher asked, "Now who will you be when you get back?" Anona

Sigh. Mood swings, bipolar living—I blame it all on the birth control. I just feel discombobulated.

p.s. Sorry I missed the party. Anona

So much of that Center is alive. Sometime I think I can feel the chairs breathing underneath me, and the walls pulsing with the flow of blood and life. Julie

When I am honest with myself, though, I know I want more than that. I want to do more than just finish college; I want to wait until at least my mid-twenties to get married; and I want to stop my education or career when I am ready to, and not because our culture seems to expect it of me. Is that too much to want? Kristen

Falling pine tree. Tears. Dead beaver. S. Morgan

Sis. Morgan: "If that's a snake, you're fired."

Me: "I have two weeks. Fire me."

Anona at the rodeo: "What are those chicas doing there?" Kristen

"I can feel my neurons straining." Jami

Mike seemed gruff and scary, but we bonded when his Megaman T-shirt struck up a conversation about that terrific series of games. Chan

I thought the poor fish was sleeping. Is that possible? Do fish sleep? By yesterday, however, it was definitely dead. Very, very, very dead. Kristen

I miss you all like crazy. Julie

Probably about 40 people watched me make a complete fool of myself. It was great. Dan

The realization that I am definitely leaving hasn't sunk in yet. I thought it would when I got my flight plan in the mail; I thought it would when I sent in my deferment; I thought it would when people started trickling back to school. Nope. Instead I continue in my la-te-dahness. Kirsten

Today's excitement reached its zenith when I found a new bottle of gel/pomade stuff in the bathroom and put some in my hair after my shower. Chan

I have calluses on my fingertps and the palms of my hands. Leanna

I learned a valuable lesson today: If you're going to go fishing without a license, don't fish anywhere near where you park. Dan

But as I didn't cuss and and didn't laugh at their jokes, things got cleaner. The guys are good hearted. Chan

So, since nobody in attendance at potluck drinks fermented anything (plus the fact that it tasted funny) the remainder of my lemonade got poured down the drain. I think next time I’ll skip the rice and hard lemonade and just bring Jell-o. Kirsten

Of course, this mood probably won't last until our meeting on Tuesday, so, don't worry; by then you can expect me to be back to my onery self again. S. Morgan

I hate my job...On a lighter note...I currently have a beard. Chan

My husband left me Friday morning. Leanna

I always end up with the best people in the whole universe working for the Center. S. Morgan

As this girl in a session today said, pain in sports is like a toy in your Happy Meal--you just expect it. Anona

Wait, wait. I have to stick my hand where to get what out of the turkey????" Julie

Excuse me. There is a spider crawling on my couch S. Morgan

I had a dream last night that I caught a teeny, tiny, orange feral cat that went crazy clawing and scratching every time I touched it. Tell me what that means and you can have a peppermint from the basket by the front desk. Chan

Anona, a "kid" is a small goat. You are going to have a baby.
Chan, Chan, the bearded man. S. Morgan

I continued walking when the sweat had turned to coldness. Travis

And why do I not want to look them in the eyes when I tell them my plans? Leanna

I see you all have become incredibly silly in my absence. Anona

Tell me how wrong that is. Wait, don't. I already know. Julie

I have a fear. It’s of opening up too much. Or too little. But that contradiction seems in keeping with the paradoxes shared at the party tonight. Shannon

Life is about leaving. EmPo

I knew though in my heart that the words of the old hymn rang true. “We thank thee O God for a Prophet”. Ivor

I’ve found myself occasionally doing something I’m not overly proud of. Matthew

It puzzles him to see other dogs and deer walk on water. S. Morgan

The wind blows across a lake and whistles through the trees and through my ears; waves are created that attempt to scale the boulder on which I’m perched. They all talk to me, and I seem so far from alone, but I’m distanced by the fact that I cannot speak their language. Shannon

What if as soon as I go to the door I'll get hit over the head with a frying pan and sold into the slave market across the world? Julie

I should be better, but instead I’m daydreaming of Jami singing at MY funeral. S. Morgan

As I pushed my cold corn around my tray, listening to the other faculty members talk about how many points each portion of their meal was according to their new weight watchers program, I wondered—what will happen to me in 11 weeks and 4 days when I finish my student teaching? EmPo

Behind my door and alone in my room, I can finally say, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry”—but again no one hears me. Hyrum

I thought you were suppose to feel refreshed after your visiting teachers came. I just feel drained for them and scared for my own mental functioning. Julie

This is me not writing my big fat essay that's due tomorrow in Bro. Samuelson's class. Chan

I’m the teacher, so I tried to be the adult in the situation and just said in my sweetest sarcastic voice, “That’s okay. You don’t have to like my clothes. Quite frankly, I don’t have to like your clothes, either. But none of that matters right now. You should be working on your questions.” EmPo

Because you don't say good-bye, I never realized that I had actually left Rexburg & thought I could run down & talk to you any time. Guess not. Sarah

I’m scared of starting over. Sara Lee

God wants me awake. Nate

I exploded. Shannon

I just had to use the word "Tire" no less than four times in the title of this post. Matthew

I really hope the scriptures are true when it says that the same sociality will exist, and I'll be able to scowl at him again when he walks into the room cheerful and smiling. Ivor

I don't even know if "authorship" is a word, but I'm celebrating it. Jami

I've never seen Sister Morgan dance around a fire with eagle feathers in her hair, but she must do it often because she was quite skilled at doing so. Jami

Can something be unfair just because I want it to be? Hyrum

WAHOO! (I think an exclamation mark is warranted here) Sara Lee

This is not, according to my opinion, where those (things) have been done, to ask nothing more. Dan

I picture my creative spark as this little Amish man. Matthew

I didn’t quite know what to say to that, so I just smiled and nodded my head. Sure yeah whatever you say… Leanna