Sunday, November 19, 2006

Stick a fork in me

According to my doctor this past week, I am the "poster child for identical twins." Are you jealous? Well, don't be. Because it's not all it's cracked up to be, folks. Couldn't I have been like, the poster child for nice skin or something? Don't get me wrong--I am more than grateful that I have survived 34 weeks and that the girls are doing awesome. However, am I not allowed the occasional gripe? Even poster children sing the blues. I think so, anyway. They probably would if they had carpal tunnel syndrome and had to wear splints to bed and couldn't open boxes of Raisin Bran in the morning. Or if their fingers were so numb and tingly that they always felt like they were thawing out twenty-four hours a day. Or they might protest a little bit if their skin was so itchy that shaving their legs became this sick addiction because the razor was a good scratcher. And they might just have to mutter under their breath if they had shooting pains going up their thigh while taking reverence walks with their Sunbeams class, so much so that they cried out inadvertently and doubled over for a second, then continued walking as if nothing happened so as not to alarm the already mystified four-year olds. And might they not be a bit miffed if their stomach was stretched so tight you could bounce quarters off of it? Or what if the very act of putting on clothes was a funny joke and they wondered why couldn't nudity be socially acceptable for a couple of weeks? And do you think they would hate or love the fact that an interesting assortment of socks, wrappers, Hot Wheels cars, Polly Pocket boots, rubber bands, and food bits had accumulated on the floor everywhere due to a strict non-bending-over-for-anything-smaller-than-a-breadbox policy?!

So you see, even the glamorous life of a poster girl has its darker moments. Thank goodness I'm also campaigning for "poster child for having a sense of humor when you feel pretty crappy." Otherwise, I just don't know how I'd get up on my marshmallowy feet in the morning...

Monday, November 06, 2006

"What do you do at recess?"

I asked tonight.

"Well, I'm pretty busy with the Woodchip Club, and we just got a new member named Monet. She's new to the school and she's one of those people who has a permanent smile."

"I see. Who else is in the club?"

"Kaisa, Jade, Max and aaaargh! SAMUEL! Jade invited them to be in it! Max is the funny guy who says funny stuff but Samuel always pushes me!"

"Well, why don't you just tell him he's out of the Woodchip Club?"

"Oy, I can't, because he's a permanent member!"

"That is problematic..."

"So anyway, today we had a meeting to decide what jobs we should have and who should be leader, and then we decided that everyone is a leader in the Woodchip Club. But I decided my job was decorator, even though Jade thought I should be machine builder. We also have the Furnace Room and the Shade Room, except there are always spies trying to get in the Shade Room to steal our woodchips! And you know what we do in the Storing Room? We decide which woodchips we should sell and which we should keep and take care of. There are parent woodchips and baby woodchips, and we raise them. And Mom?


"I started the Woodchip Club."

"I don't doubt it."

She's getting glasses on Thursday and she's excited, even though she has to be "squinty" for three more days. This morning, we were looking up the meanings of names on a Baby Namer website and when she put in Nick and found out it meant "victory of the people," she shrieked, "Oh wow, no wonder I like him so much!!!"

I know, it's an awesome job I have.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Lady-Killer (Well, for this lady, at least)

Before I give birth to two more girls and the reigning king of our castle gets lost in the "middle child" moat, I have to share some of the current quirks of my three-year old. (Keep in mind that this blog is the most "journal" writing I've done in years, so for those of you who tire of reading about my kids, to you I say: Genealogy, I am doing it!)

Here is a list (I can't stop making them right now) of things that can tear out my heart and melt it at the same time:

*The pictures in this post were taken the first day we managed to talk Ethan into wearing his sportcoat to church. You must know this about him: pickiest kid to dress ever. Mila has never said one word about any of her clothes. The girl will wear anything I put on her bed. (Sort of to my detriment now--she still wants me to pick out even her pj's every night.) Not so with my son! For a while, he only wanted to wear green because green was his favorite color in the world. Then a certain Cars movie came out, and green became the bad color because Chick is green and he's bad. Red was the new "it" color. He also hates wearing anything new. Hence the struggle with the coat. After Ben finally got it on him, he said what he always says in a new ensemble: "Everyone is going to look at me! You better not let them look at me!" We told him that they wouldn't be able to help it because he is so handsome. This made him more angry and he started being completely irrational. "If I wear this, they are going to throw me out of the church!" I'm pretty sure no one has ever been thrown out of the church by any sort of fashion police, but I could be wrong.

*Recently, if I ever try to enforce a house rule, Ethan will threaten me in some way. There have been the expected "I'm not going to love you tomorrow"s, the more extreme "I'm going to go and play in the street"s and my personal favorite: "Mom?!! Do you want me to turn you into a duck?!!" Try to imagine me, trying to reply with a dead-panned "Yes, Ethan, I would like you to turn me into a duck."

*We are not allowed to use the word "hate" in our house, and so Ethan has gotten around this creatively by using the phrase "I don't love...," such as "I don't love cleaning up my cars," or "I don't love broccoli." So trust me, there are many things that he doesn't love and if you are one of them, I am so sorry.

*One day, over Play-doh, Ethan informed his pre-school class that he had Potty Power. Apparently he was quite elitist about it and not very thrilled with other kids who did not have the same "gift." When his teacher asked me if it was some method I was using, I was sort of embarassed to tell her that it was, in fact, a DVD. But a dang good one, and I highly recommend it.

*He calls Ben by his first name. I don't know why, but it's become so funny to me. "Where's Ben? Is he at work? Ben? Are you home? Oh hi, Ben--when did you get here? Ben, why are you so heh**?"

*He really says the sweetest things. Yesterday morning when he pulled me out of bed in the pitch black (darn you, last days before Daylight Savings!) he asked, "Where are your glasses? I love your glasses. They are beautiful--you are beautiful, Mom!" If you saw me in the morning, wearing my glasses and my special hairdos with my big ol' body, I'm pretty sure there are 100 adjectives that might cross your mind before "beautiful". And that is why I love this kid. He also loves to kiss, hug, and snuggle with me, especially after watching Barbie and the Twelve Dancing Princesses. He was extra "charming" that day, and I believe he even asked Phoebe Clark if he could kiss her.

So that's my little guy. In some ways, I'm a little afraid of him because he is an outward manifestation of all of the crazy things I try to hide from the world about myself: my temper, my impatience, my stubbornness, my flair for the overdramatic, my large mouth and teeth... He's my little Id, while Mila's my Superego. It's like having those little angel and devil people on your shoulder coming to life as a 6 and 3 year old and walking around your house. It may sound crazy, but I swear it's true! It's also pretty awesome, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

** A "Smith" adjective, used to describe something that is amusing instead of laughing at it. Am I right about that, guys? I'm trying to get Ben to write a blog with a glossary of all the words.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


First day of First Grade...

We curled her hair and she was hoping that a girl named Gabby would like it. Imagine my surprise when, as we were waiting in the hallway for the bell, a girl with naturally curly hair came right over and said, "Mila, I like your curly hair!" It was in fact, Gabby, and I silently thanked the superficiality gods for granting my shortest-shyest-girl-in-the-class her first day wish! Bring on the self-esteem!

Oh yes, and speaking of curls, sugar, spice, and everything nice, in case you haven't heard, we will be welcoming two more girls into our family. Can you believe it? Poor Ethan. I brought up some of Mila's baby clothes the other day and as Mila and I were oohing and aahing at the little dresses, Ethan asked, "Where are the boy clothes?" I said, "Uh, in the basement--we don't need them because we're having girls, remember?" Wrong answer. He spent the next hour screaming and pleading, "Please make them be boys! I need boys, not girls!" I finally had to say, "Well, maybe the dr. was wrong..." just to get him to stop. My 300% boy is in for the shock of his life! Although he has been carrying around two "babies" (a teddy bear and a dog) and making me be quiet all day so they can nap, so there is some hope...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Adventures in Bathroom-Sitting

**Warning: The following post contains references to certain bodily functions and may not be for the faint of heart, unless of course your last name is Smith, in which case the subject of poo comes up at the end of every dinner table conversation ever.

By some cruel twist of fate, my children possess the rare need to "relieve" themselves a)at the same time, b)in THE most public restrooms possible, and c)for the duration of fifteen minutes or more.

In the past few weeks, they have exercised this "talent" in the following places:

-A gas station bathroom somewhere in between Cedar City and Provo. (We lost half an hour at that particular stop)

-A Thanksgiving Point Gardens restroom (both wearing wet swimsuits, mind you)

-A Tucano's restaurant (I'm so glad I had already finished eating)

-A Wal-Mart Supercenter

The last pit stop was especially harrowing, and I feel the need to give you further details so as to not deprive you of any of the finer points of my personal trip to hell.

Well, there we were, just pulling away from the checkout stand, having survived four traffic jams, three cart crashes, two tantrums, one tidbit of unwanted parenting advice from a Wal-Mart employee, and an on-the-go Wal-Mart McDonald's lunch. I had never been so excited to burst out into the 100 degree daylight in my life. We were almost in the clear when Ethan, freshly toilet-trained, yelled out the dreaded words, "I need to go potty!" I could not believe it. I had a sudden sense of foreboding as we made our way to the bathroom. Then I saw the writing on the wall: "This is a RESTRICTED area," it said, followed by "Please leave all carts and packages outside" or something like that. I looked from my overflowing cart to my two wiggling children. I made a desperate decision. "Mila, can you please take your brother in to go potty?" I figured I would just pop in there every 30 seconds and make sure everything was a-ok and I hoped and prayed that the number 1 would prove to be my lucky number.

It was not my lucky day. Not half a minute had passed when Mila yelled, "Mom, come in here! Ethan won't let me have my turn!" I dashed in there to find the door wide open and Mila dancing around like a crazy person. As I approached Ethan, he screamed, "No, Mom, no! Don't come any closer!" and so my worst fears were confirmed. I quickly instructed Mila to take the next stall, (at this point the bathroom was empty) and ran back out to check my cart. More yelling came from inside as Ethan had his first wiping "false alarm," as I like to call them. And so I left him once more to his business. After repeating this process three times, I gave up and had one of my "bite me" moments, for lack of nicer words. I am, as a rule, an upright, law-abiding, considerate citizen. However, since the sign did not say "Thou shalt not take your cart in" and I had two less than stellar wipers in there, I figured I had no choice. I pushed my whole dang cart in, daring anyone to challenge me. No sooner had I done that, of course, then everyone in Wal-Mart had to pee or something. All of a sudden, there was a line out the door and my children were noisily occupying two of the four stalls. I went from stall to stall with words of encouragement, always aware of the ever-growing line of people staring at me. It's just about the most awkward moment you could ever have. Because it's not like anyone can volunteer to help you. "Excuse me, ma'am, I see you've wiped his bum nine times now--I'll get the next one!"

We did, in fact, survive to see the light of day again. And believe me, I do not plan on returning again any time soon, unless both children have already taken care of things at home. And if you ever see a crazy, sweaty pregnant lady with her cart and two kids in a Wal-Mart bathroom, please do not judge her for breaking the rules. What she is enduring is punishment enough.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Can I get a witness?

I know you've heard them all. And many of you can nod your head in agreement and say, "Mmm-hmm, girlfriend." But maybe there are those of you who haven't experienced them. Maybe this blog is for you. So you don't call me when you or your wife is expecting to ask, "What the?" These are just some of the ups and downs of pregnancy, people. Let's start with the plusses.

1. It does wonders for the "girls." (If you have to ask who the girls are, then you are either too young or have too much testosterone to be reading this blog.)

2. The eating. Oh, the eating. I eat whatever I want, whenever I want, and ain't nobody goin' to tell me to stop because Momma's gots to eat! (At least that's what I like to say if somebody dares to raise an eyebrow.)

3. The excuses. I like to use my pregnancy as a trump card to get out of everything: working, running, cooking, cleaning, getting out of bed, being nice... "Mommy, can I have one of your crackers with Easy Cheese?" "I'm sorry, honey, but those ten are for the twins, and those two are for me. I just can't spare any." It's cruel, and yet legitimate. Or, "Mommy, I don't want to go to bed!" "Oh but you have to, because Mommy is making babies and Mommy needs her rest right NOW." (Even if Mommy's emergency rest consists of watching TV for two hours.)

4. The crazies. A crazy is someone who says something crazy without thinking first. They make me laugh, and they come out of the woodwork when you're pregnant. For example, the other day at Motherhood Maternity, I told one such crazy at the cash register that I was having twins and she replied, "Wow, you are BRAVE!" I immediately heard Ron Burgundy in my head saying, "That doesn't make any sense." Like I made some sort of choice to be in this predicament? Or like I have a choice about the outcome? "Oh, you know what? I'm actually sort of a coward, because I almost went to the baby store and took one back but I forgot my receipt that day. But now I do feel brave, because I'm going to keep and raise the both of 'em!" Gotta love the crazies!

5. Pregnancy dreams. Woo-boy, they are wierd! And entertaining! I can't expound because I never remember them, but trust me on this one.

And now for the not-so-fun parts:

1. The caboose. I heard a song on "So You Think You Can Dance" the other night called "Too Much Booty" and I felt sure that the Mother Ship was calling me home. I find myself hearing Black-Eyed Peas and waxing philisophical. "What AM I going to do with all that junk, all that junk, in my trunk?" Good thing I'm married to Sir Mix-a-Lot Smith. (Again, if you have to ask, you're too young or too pure.)

2. My tiny little bladder. This is the great irony of pregnancy. You are supposed to fit like 5 gallons of water a day into what has conceivably shrunk to the size of a pea. Come on! Which leads to number 3...

3. I can't sleep. That is why I am writing this blog at 3:30 in the morning. I get up to pee yet again and return to my bed to find that Mr. Sandman has hightailed out of there, without even leaving a note. Which leads to number 4...

4. I'm tired. Some days, I swear I wake up and take a shower and the act of standing in the shower is more than I can bear, so I have to lie down afterwards. This may sound like a big fat #3 from the plus side, but I'm telling you, it is the truth!

5. I can't really think of one, which reminds me that pregnancy makes you more dumb. I don't know if you are giving what's left of your brain cells to someone else, but I just can't think of stuff sometimes. So please don't give me any math problems. Or ask me where the car keys are. Or ask me my kids' names. It's just...exhausting.

Friday, June 23, 2006


Call me a sentimental pregnant woman, but my dad wrote this poem about his mom, who passed away on February 3, 2003. She was one of my best friends, and a true inspiration to me. I spent the afternoon with my grandfather the other day, and he played me "Bluebird of Happiness," which was their song, and so of course I've been thinking of her. (He also gave me a beautiful, illustrated Complete Works of William Shakespeare, because I'm his "Shakespeare girl." I love you, Grandpa--you are the most gracious.)


(A poem dedicated to my dearest mother, Colleen Keeler Jones)

A clear and sunny springtime morn’; it’s nineteen fifty-one,
Your firstborn son takes his first breath; life’s journey has begun.
You must have been so happy, you must have been so scared,
You must have been a lot of things, but for me, you were there.

I don’t recall the first few years, the bumps and spills I took,
But I know all about it ‘cause I read it in your book.
You sang to me and held me close and smoothed my tousled hair.
My tear-filled eyes gazed up at you and knew that you were there.

I know how hard it must have been to leave your mountain home,
And move your family here and there and oft’ times all alone.
You made each move in love and faith and humble fervent prayer,
And wrapped your heart around each child and always, you were there.

It must have been so bitter sweet to help your oldest son,
Endure the tough and trying years; your work was never done.
I fought so hard to make the grade without much grace or flair.
You understood, I prayed you would, I hoped that you’d be there.

I wanted so to be someone, to make a mark someday.
You built me up and calmed me down and smiled my fears away.
So many nights you waited late so I’d come home to share
An earful of my hopes and dreams; I knew that you’d be there.

You nurtured and prepared me to make a love launched quest,
To islands halfway ‘round the world, to teach and grow and bless.
Your tireless, earnest patience and your faithfulness so rare,
Traversed the boundless oceans and I felt your spirit there.

And when I came back home to you, transformed from boy to man,
Your radiant, joyous, proud-eyed smile was waiting once again.
Because you stood and showed the way, my future path was clear.
I forged ahead in faith formed steps and found your footprints there.

You cheered me through my triumphs, and then in my darkest days,
You held my hand and dried my tears and loved my pain away.
And though at times my inner grief seemed more than I could bear,
You somehow sensed just how I felt, I’d call and you’d be there.

And once I’d finally found my timeless love, my sweetest soul,
You met us in a hallowed place; I knew your heart was full.
I knew it for I saw your shining eyes, your joyful tear.
I knew how much it meant to you that all of us were there.

So, little girl from little town who hoped her life to be
Somebody who the world would love and laud and want to see,
Somebody rich who lived a life as big as any star,
So when she’d walk down any street you’d see a star right there.

Yet, all who knew you loved you and will ever praise your name.
Your celebrated love endures beyond mere earthly fame.
Each grandchild as a precious gem adorns your crown so fair.
Each holds within, your priceless love; each heart can feel you there.

I often marvel as I lay and think of you at night
How gracious was our Father’s love to bless me with your light.
Of all Our Father’s spirits you became my mother dear.
And though now I don’t remember it, I know that we were there.

With patience we were waiting there on preexistent shores,
The time when we could all go down and pass through earthly doors.
You left, but soon I followed you with heavenly knowledge sure,
That I would soon be born to you and know that you were there.

From that day forth until the day I stood there by your bed,
And held your hand and quietly spoke some words we’d left unsaid,
And watched you smile through final pains, I knew you were aware
That I was yours and you were mine; we shared sweets moments there.

I wept and watched and asked our Heavenly Father for His will
Regarding you my life-long friend who lived and loved so well.
He touched my soul; I felt at peace, no doubting nor despair.
I felt our Father reach for you; you knew that He’d be there.

And once you’d finally gone with Him I sensed your pure delight
As you renewed eternal ties with loved ones dressed in white.
I wanted to be with you then to share that grand affair.
Oh, what a sweet rejoicing as they welcomed you back there.

And so, my sweet somebody, shining now resplendent star,
I can feel your light and love, and long to go there where you are.
And I know you’re watching o’er me and I know how much you care,
And I know when I come home again, as always you’ll be there.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Famous last words

I have to laugh at my last post about motherhood and all that. I feel like the guy in the movie who utters that rousing speech only to go get slaughtered in battle. You see, I've had a major development in my life in the past week. Last Tuesday, I went to the doctor to check up on what I was hoping was a healthy 9 week-old person inside of me. When the doctor couldn't find a heartbeat and suggested we do an ultrasound to make sure everything was ok, I was pretty nervous and not too optimistic. As he was prepping me for the ultrasound, the doctor asked me if I wanted a boy or a girl. A bit distracted, I think I just muttered, "Yeah, one of those..." I was not at all expecting the doctor to then say, "Whoa...maybe you'll have one of each!" I sort of half-laughed at him until he said, "No, really, I'm not kidding." I still tried to disprove him with a lame "My husband's sister is pregnant with twins..." to which he quickly responded, "Well, your husband's wife is pregnant with twins!" He was just not going to allow me to remain a second longer in that lovely place I like to visit called Denial. I won't go into any more details about that doctor's appointment, but just believe me when I tell you it was the Twilight Zone in there. When I stepped out into the sunlight again, blinking my eyes, I knew then that I knew absolutely nothing about motherhood. Or anything, for that matter.

The reactions have been great. There have beens screams, silence, laughter, and my personal favorite: tears. My neighbor actually started to cry and hugged me. And not so much tears of joy. I sort of patted her and said, "There, there, it's ok. I haven't even cried yet!" Lots of people have felt the need to tell me their second-hand twin horror stories, although I can't imagine why they would think I might want to hear those gems before, say, twenty years from now. A lady in my mom's ward did come up to me to put in her two cents: "Don't listen to what anyone says--twins are a blast!" Finally, a person I wanted to listen to! Unfortunately, I had to question her credibility as a sane person shortly thereafter when she added that her twins came at the end of her nine children!

My co-improviser told me to let him know when we could do a big farewell show for me and I thought, "Wow, it's like I'm dying!" But maybe I sort of am. Maybe the part of me that loves sleep, good food, good TV, friends, shopping, travelling, performing, laughing, will just sort of have to take a backseat for a couple of years. Although my grandpa did say, "Well, at least you have the sense of humor for this!" I, on the other hand, am sort of wishing that I had been somewhere else when the silly sense was handed out, because I'm starting to believe that with your sense of humor, they also secretly slipped you a disease, or a dysfunctional family, or twins... Why couldn't I have then hopped into the patience line? No doubt it was far too long.

So yeah, I'm feeling immensely overwhelmed. However, I'm staying true to my life mantra and taking it all a day at a time. At present, I am rather enjoying the opportunity to consume enormous amounts of food in restaurants while strangers stare. I'm also feeling extremely grateful for the most supportive family and friends out there. I love you all! (And please still love me back even after I drop Ethan and Mila at your house for the hundredth time!)

(P.S. Speaking of Mila, if you did happen to read my latest post on motherhood, are you as shocked as I am that my daughter must be some sort of prophetess, in that she predicted that I would weigh 399 lbs. and know a lot about babies? I have no doubt they will both come true!)

Friday, May 19, 2006


I almost forgot to mention something certainly worthy of note. Ethan has a highly unusual skin condition right now called Lichen Striatus. It is a rash of little pink bumps which goes up and down his entire leg. It appears for no reason, causes no discomfort, and goes away by itself in a period of months. When the doctor saw it, he called in another doctor and they were like two kids in a "highly unusual condition" candy store. You have to check it out if you see him in the near future, or I guess you might find some pictures online somewhere. So anyway, wierd.

(Reality) Check, please!

Yesterday was my birthday. It was a really great day, and I was overwhelmed by the amount of phone calls, e-mails, cards, and gifts I received. I felt pretty special. All of this attention might have even gone to my head a little, if it were not for the efforts of one small person. Said person called me out of bed at 5:45 in the morning to re-attach his band-aid. An hour later, he demanded breakfast and company on the couch. When I was on the phone with my dad, he yelled at me and when I ignored him, he stormed into the garage and slammed the door. He went over to a friend's house, and when I tried to take him home he ran away and when I caught him, I had to carry home a kicking, scratching, 31-pound ball of fury. In the evening, he left a present out of his diaper on the living room floor. Thankfully, my brother-in-law cleaned it up before we got home, but still... In other words, my little guy keeps it real. He keeps my feet chained fast to the ground, even when my head is up in the clouds. He reminded me yesterday that I am just a normal human being, prone to all sorts of weaknesses and foibles. My daughter kept it real on Mother's Day when she presented me with a card that said, "My mother is: 28 years old and weighs: 399 pounds. She is really smart. She knows a lot about: babies."

Seriously. Where would I be without my kids? I know exactly where I'd be, and who with, that's the thing. Ben and I went to Dallas last year for his best friend's wedding. It was our first trip by ourselves since our kids had been born, and it was an eye-opening experience. We slept in until 9:30, we spent a ridiculous amount of time getting ourselves ready, we were on time to everything, we ate out for every meal, we stayed up late with friends and went to clubs. We were utterly self-absorbed. We even got pedicures together and Ben got his feet waxed. I believe it was at that point that I realized that while I could really get used to this lifestyle, I'm not sure I would really like the selfish people we would inevitably become. Don't get me wrong. I am all about pampering yourself once in a while. I think I deserve it. But I realized then that my kids, for the most part, force me to be selfless. I can't think about myself all the time. There are times when I can't even think my own thoughts, period! They keep me humble and keep me focused on others and force me to never take life too seriously, and for that, I can only hope I will be a better person. And so my friends, here's to keeping it real! (And now I've got to run, as a certain person is screaming for milk in his green cup.)

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Thrillionaires take on the BYU

I got to perform for 6,000 screaming women last night with three of the most awesome performers I know. And they laughed at us! Of course, they were all charitable Mormon ladies, away from their husbands and kids, so I'm pretty sure they'd laugh even if we weren't funny, but who cares? We also got to meet some amazingly talented LDS musicians who also happened to be way friendly and cool. I'd have to say it was a pretty fun gig. Oh yeah, and two girls told me I looked like Reese, so that brings the total number of times I've been told that up to about twelve. Wierd.

Jake, Maclain, Hailey, and Brett

Greeting the fans (Ben in the background)

Monday, May 01, 2006

If I had a nickel...

People tell me I look really young all the time. I turn thirty next year and I can't wait because I know that the response of "I'm thirty!" has such a better kick to it then any number in the twenties, especially because they usually guess twenty-one.

Most strangers are very polite when they mistake my age and the whole thing ends up being a very complimentary experience. However, some people take it a little bit too far. Case in point, the other night I was in a Disneyland line at Cafe Rio with my good friends Jenny and Laura. We were, in fact, talking about the happiest place on earth when the elderly bald man in front of me (I say elderly as to retroactively prejudge him as he did me) turned to me and asked,

"We (indicating the woman next to him) have just been wondering, is that a real wedding ring you're wearing? Are you really married? Because you look like you're twelve."

Whoa. So many questions. Which one to answer first? All I got out was a non-descript "I am," before he added to my friends,

"You guys look YOUR age, like sixteen."

Was this guy for real? I informed him that I was married, had two children, and would be twenty-nine next month. He said, "I'm twenty-nine, and I look forty."

That was a freebie. At least I didn't have to point that out for him. I did throw in a "Well, thank you...I guess..." and that was the end of that awkward conversation, or so I thought.

Five minutes later, he turned around, almost perplexed,

"Can I ask where you're from? I need to drink some of the water from wherever that is."

Uh, too late. And now sort of creepy. Does he always solicit girls whom he believes to be not yet of a legal age while he's on a date with his wife?

I just told him that my mom looks young and he said his mom looks old (tomato, tomahto) and I said that it would probably work to my advantage when I was forty and he said, "I guess..." and then I ended the conversation with the good old "Must be the genes," and a shrug of the shoulders.

My friends and I had a laugh over this guy's wierd interrogation, but the more I thought about it, the more strange it seemed to me.

First of all, the guy almost seemed offended that I looked young. My friends thought he must be jealous. And my mom did always say that other kids cut you down when they are envious of you. So is that why he said I was twelve? Because when you think about it, it's one thing to assume someone is nineteen or sixteen--that's not really insulting. But to tell a woman she looks entirely pre-pubescent? Nice manners, guy! Is this what this couple does for kicks? Goes out in public to prey on innocent, unsuspecting Disneyland-loving girls wearing wedding rings? And why throw in the part about "is that a real ring?" I may as well have been five, out in public in my mom's heels, dress, and jewelry, trying so hard to be a grown-up.

I think my problem is that I'm too nice. I need to do the other adolescent-looking women a favor out there and nip these guys in the bud. What I should have said was, "Yes, I am married, and yes, I am twelve. I'm going to be wife number six, June here is number five, and Mary Beth, number three. They are taking me out to dinner to celebrate my engagement!" I would have paid money to see his reaction, and I can only hope he would have learned his lesson.

Which reminds me, whenever I fly with my kids by myself I get the strangest looks, all of which seem to say, "Oh look at that poor girl who got knocked up once in high school, then was stupid enough to do it again!" I have always longed to turn to one of these onlookers and casually mention, "I hope this flight is on-time. I have to get back for the prom tonight!" Maybe next time, I just might.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Look, Ma!

I know I have become the queen of minimalist blogging, so today I am going for a new record by merely posting a pic of my new 'do. When I have something interesting to say, you better believe I will. I guess 2006 just isn't that exciting so far, unless you're counting TV. But who wants to hear about that?

And just so you know, this posting really was intended mainly for my mother, who is probably the only person who will get super excited at my decision to have blonde and short hair, which is, in her opinion, the only style I should EVER have.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Buddy, you've got a string of dames in this town as long as my grocery list...

I am an addict and my drug of choice is improv. I love the stuff. I am so lucky to have the opportunity to perform on a regular basis with people I adore. This past Monday night, I had the pleasure of putting on a special 1940's-themed night with my troupe, the Thrillionaires. We presented a film noir and a musical. If you are ever in Provo on a Monday night, please stop by the Club Velour at 135 N. University Avenue at 8:00. You will not be disappointed...

To see even more pictures and such, visit

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

"Man is a Giddy Thing," or How I learned to Stop Worrying about Facial Hair and Love the Moustache

Man is indeed a giddy thing, as I learned while performing "Much Ado." We immersed ourselves in giddiness, and so here's to chocolate fondue, Guitar Hero, Mambo Italiano, sock mints, dirt cake, improv games, dancing girls, uncomfortable words, awkward moments, girl talk, good stories, smelling salts, stage slaps, stage giggles, bad hair nights, bad hairpieces, bad moustaches, laughter, Amore, and above all else, friends.

"And this is my conclusion..."

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


The following conversations took place within the last 24 hours:

Mila: Mom is so good at reading minds.

Ben: What do you mean?

Mila: I was pretending to have a water bottle stuck to my face and she knew I was just pretending.

Ben: Wow.

Mila: That is ONE smart lady!


Mila: Why do you and Mom stay up and have dates watching tv after we go to bed?

Ben: Because we love each other and like to spend time together.

Mila: Love makes you do CRAZY things!

(That it does, Mila, that it does)

Mad me: Mila, you forgot your backpack!? I guess we have to turn around! You need to remember your own stuff! I can't do it for you every day!

A few minutes pass...

More calm me: OK, you stay here and I will run in and get your backpack, ok?

Mila: Mom, did you let go of the anger?

(Uh-huh, yes, of course--wha??)

There. Just a little glimpse. Stay tuned...

Thursday, February 02, 2006

By my troth, I am exceeding ill: heigh-ho!

I told the girls in my cast two weeks ago that I wanted to write a blog with this title because I felt pretty sick then. This is one of my lines in the play, even though I just realized I've been saying it wrong all along because I didn't even know I was supposed to say, "By my troth," which is a shame because we all love saying that expression and agree that it's fun to say like, "Troth, no!" or "Troth, yeah!" instead of say, "Heck, no!" But I digress...

So, now I am sick for reals. I actually have a bonafide condition! Ladies and gentlemen, for the first time in my life, I have strep throat! My throat started hurting on Tuesday and last night at about 4 am, I could barely sleep because of the pain. I went to the doctor this morning and when he walked in, the first thing I said was, "I feel so silly that I'm here because of a sore throat but I'm in this show you see..." and then I kept talking and talking which is something I do a bit too much when I'm in an uncomfortable situation. Well, once I stopped talking for two seconds he looked in my mouth and said, "Well, it doesn't look like strep." Then I really did feel silly. So Ethan and I waited for about ten minutes while they tested the culture and Ethan ate about thirty sour raspberry Altoids from my purse while I sat there feeling mad that I had wasted $20. The doctor returned and said, "Well this is why we do cultures. I would have sworn that there was no strep, but you tested positive!" At which point, I of course observed," Yeah, I knew it wasn't just a regular sore throat!" Then, as he was telling me about serious stuff that strep can do to you if it's not caught, Ethan started throwing pennies out of my purse at him. The funniest part was that he didn't even flinch as the pennies kept hitting him. "I have three kids," he deadpanned. I liked him a lot at that point. Finally, he told me I could get a shot of penicillin today or take it in pill form for the next ten days. I asked, "Where does the shot go?" "In the upper buttock." Hee hee. That's why I could never be a doctor. I couldn't say things like that dead-pan. I decided to take the shot. The nurse came back in to give it to me and Ethan held my hand and said, "Don't be scared, Mom," then promptly ditched the bedside manner to go check out the Bugs Bunny band-aid I received. Then we had to stay there for another ten minutes to make sure I didn't have a bad reaction to the shot. I asked the nurse what would happen if I did have a reaction and she simply said, "You'll know!" Uh, thanks! But I didn't feel bad at all. In fact, I could actually feel the drugs coursing through my veins and it was nice. So, I'm feeling good about the "shot-in-the-bum" decision right now. After the doctor's, Ethan and I went to the store to get Ibuprofen, ice cream, popsicles, and donuts. And I will be eating those today and watching my stories. Because, you see, I have a condition...

Oh, and by the way, despite all illnesses, the show is going really well and here are some links to our glowing reviews, in case you are bored and are looking for more mindless stuff to read on the internet.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Because your kiss, your kiss is on my list...

As many of you know, I am currently in rehearsals for Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing." (I have to plug in the Bardster before the title, I've discovered, because when I just say the name of the play by itself, I get nothing but blank, staring eyes. It never ceases to amaze and horrify me at the same time.) At one recent rehearsal, us girls in the play were backstage swapping stage kiss stories. You know, girl talk. As someone who has kissed more guys on-stage than in real life, I have plenty of stories and I got to thinking about the more, er, memorable stage kisses I've had and so I thought I'd record them for your horror and enjoyment.

The One that came First:

Meaning, my first kiss on stage, off-stage, anywhere! It was my first kiss, period. I was sixteen going on seventeen, a junior. He was a FRESHMAN. In my ward. And he had a serious girlfriend. We were doing "Oklahoma!" The show was double-cast and Jimmy and I watched as the director screamed at the other Curly and Laurey for their crappy kissing. We decided to practice. His mom had the idea to take us out to lunch to let us get "comfortable" with each other. It sounds so much more awkward than it was. Wait a minute, no, it was that awkward. We sat next to each other and held hands and pretended we were in love. Afterwards, we went to my house and did the kissing scene. I found myself standing in my backyard getting pointers from a fourteen-year old as my little sisters and brother ogled and giggled. It was somewhat humiliating. However, I suppose the happy ending would be that we didn't get yelled at by our director, so I guess it was worth it. What was kind of wierd is that Jimmy's girlfriend played Ado Annie and they made out a lot backstage, then he'd come on and kiss me. We were just one big happy saliva-swapping family.

The One-That-Must-Not-Be-Named:

I don't know if any of you have experienced the "Big Fish in a Small Pond becoming the Plankton on the Ocean Floor" phenomenon that occurs when you leave high school and enter college, but I certainly have, and it isn't pretty. You become desperate and do crazy things. Like audition for every single stinking BYU Mask Club (a student-directed one-act) that comes along, no matter what the piece. I was a sophomore and one of, oh, hundreds of wannabe actresses in the department. I got cast in a Mask Club production of "Lovers and Other Strangers" as Brenda. It was about a guy and a girl who have just met and go up to the guy's apartment. They both try to play it cool, but what they really want to do is get it on. And they make out a lot. So pretty much I played an easy chick. As for the guy playing opposite me, I have to give him credit for being a decent actor but he sort of looked like the love child of Jack Skellington and Count Dracula. Oh, and he dressed up as Jack the Ripper on Halloween. Nice. He was also about thirty and I'm not going to lie about the fact that I was nineteen and in my prime. I will spare you any further details about the unpleasant rehearsals we had, but I will tell you that the Mask Club class was so offended by the sexual implications in the script that they pulled it off the schedule one week before it was supposed to go up. The director had to do something, so we ended up doing Chekhov's A Marriage Proposal, which is just so similar to skanky singles. In many ways, I am so very grateful that my peers did not get to witness my degradation. At the same time, I think they would have surely given me some sort of acting award for making them believe I wanted to throw myself at that guy. Over all, not one of my shining moments, but thinking back on that crazy time I can remember that feeling of desperation so strongly I can almost taste it. And it's nasty.

The One on Film:

This was my one and only "close-up film kiss." The film was "Funkytown," a film noir musical. (What else?) We were in my character's apartment, red lights were hung everywhere to set the "mood." I was Sydney, the seductress. Doug Heder was my victim. (Yes, he's his older brother.) I had to be very close to him and the camera was very close to us. So were the rest of the thirty people crowded around. Doug seemed nervous and kept spraying Binaca in his mouth. I was amazingly calm, cool, and collected. (I guess it was MY apartment...) I was supposed to say "You've got a dangerous lip on you, boy," then kiss him. On the first take, Doug kissed me, which was a no-no, so we did two more takes. No fuss, no sweat. What did make me sweat was when Ben and I went to see the film. I had told him it was one little peck, nothing more. Well, thanks to the magic of editing, what had been one two-second kiss became like this ten-second close-up extravaganza. Complete with noises that my director had added by kissing his own hand. Thank you, Matt Janzen!

The One that Bit:

My best friend at BYU in the acting program was Ary. The foundation of our relationship was insecurity. It was a great friendship. Ary and I were cast opposite each other as Lord and Lady Chiltern in "An Ideal Husband" for our senior project. Ary loved gloating to Ben about kissing me in the play, so much that Ben wanted to punch him. (Note to men kissing married women: you might want to downplay that fact to their husbands.) Well, at the very end of the play, I said something like "You are ideal!" (Spoiler, I know.) Then we kissed and the lights went out. Well, one night, for whatever reason, Ary went in to kiss me and sort of bit/sucked my upper lip in a way that was much more Sam Shephard than Oscar Wilde. The black-out came and I whisper-screamed to Ary in the darkness "What the heck was that?" The best part was that my dad was in the third row or so. I was willing to just let it go and hope that he hadn't noticed. But not Ary. He walked right up to my dad after the show, shook his hand, and said, "Hi Mr. Jones, I'm so sorry I sucked on your daughter's face!" Oh, Ary...

The One that Bled:

I was Sarah in "Guys and Dolls" at a local community theater. (This was towards the end of my "desperate phase.") There was this one long scene at the beginning of the show that begins with fighting and culminates in kissing, with singing in between--every musical has at least one. Well, Sky Masterson walked onstage for this scene one night and I looked up to see only panic in his eyes. It soon became clear that he had a bloody nose and it was not stopping. Jerry Elison, who played my grandfather, casually left the stage and came back with Kleenex. We kept talking and began singing and soon, I realized that the kiss was coming. Since the show must go on, I closed my eyes and waited for the worst. I didn't have to wait long. As Sky pulled away and I re-opened my eyes, I stared at him in horror (but loving horror-I'm that good) as he reached up and rubbed my cheek with his finger. He had, in fact, bled on my face! My favorite reaction to this story was Ben's. He observed, "If this was a sporting event, they would have stopped everything! You don't know what that guy could have!" I reassured him that a returned missionary, fresh off the boat from Australia, was most likely not carrying any questionable diseases. Then again, I've never been to Australia. (I've decided not to mention Mr. Nosebleed's name because he's pretty famous in the Mormon arts these days and I wouldn' t want you to think of his bloody nose and laugh at him when you were watching him as Hyrum in the new Church movie...)

The One Kiss to Rule Them All:

Ha, ha! Just kidding! We're not going to talk about any good stage kisses. That would completely defeat the purpose of this blog, which is to ultimately convince my husband that stage kisses are no day at the beach.

Oh, and by the way, I have practiced many "stage kisses" with Ben, and he's a pretty dang good actor. I totally believe his performance.

Finally, please feel free to share your own kissing experiences, on or off-stage. I could always use a laugh!