Friday, December 16, 2005

Making a list, checking it twice...

As the New Year fast approaches, I often catch myself undergoing brief moments of self-evaluation. What is it about me that makes me me? And should I be ok with those things, or really reach deep down and make an effort to change them? Here are some of the questions that have been running through my mind:

Is it bad that my daughter came home from school with a wrapped handmade gift which I automatically assumed was the inevitable "mom" present, and when I went to sentimentally place it under the tree with eyes brimming, she said, "Hey, that's a picture frame I made with a picture of me in it, and I'm giving it to my friend Jenna!"?

Is it bad that I have never sent out a Christmas card/letter, and I might never send one out?

Is it bad that I made a renewed effort to start exercising again, went running around my neighborhood twice, then swore it off? (In my defense, it was pretty bad timing to pick up outdoor running in mid-November.)

Is it bad that sometimes when someone in my family is talking to me, I am just thinking about the plot of Alias, and where could they possibly be hiding Vaughn, and how is Irina connected?

Is it bad that I want "Soft A Blossom Falls" played and/or sung at my funeral? I just love the song--I'm not trying to make a statement about my physical appearance.

Is it bad that I think about funerals and people dying, hoping to avoid such tragedy by doing so?

Is it bad that Mila's teacher had to lecture me on how Mila probably shouldn't be eating the school snow because there are two different kinds of chemicals on the ground?

Is it bad that everyone in my ward's favorite hobbies are scrapbooking, cooking, and exercise, and mine are Tivoing, acting, and eating?

Is it bad that my family is well aware and publicly documents that my favorite hobby is eating? (

Is it bad that I want people to go visit the above blog because it's all about me, and I'm starved for attention? (At least I'm honest.)

Is it bad that as I'm writing this blog, I'm arguing with Mila about how writing this is much more important than playing Polly Pockets with her?

And last of all...

Is it bad that it's December 16 and I'm on Mosiah 7?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

It has been snowing all morning. And not like lame, wimpy snow. We're talking heavy-duty, white-out, I can't see my neighbor's car, blizzard. It is awesomely gorgeous. So can you tell I love snow? What I'm looking at outside my window right now has to be the prettiest sight I've seen since about two months ago, when I looked out and saw nothing but red trees all over the mountains. Seasons, you gotta love them! I want to cry for my family and friends in California, Arizona and Texas, who have two seasons year round: really hot and sorta hot, and who have to throw on their coats when it's 65 degrees out. I just feel for them, for what they're missing out on. My Burbank-native sister Jacqui has never even seen snow! I just shed a special tear for her. I mean, in four months, I'll probably be changing my mind again when all of the trees and flowers are in full bloom, but for today, the snow has my vote all the way. Here are some of the reasons why snow holds such a special place in my heart:

**Mila fills our backyard with "snow angels," or as I like to call them, "butt angels," because when I look out the window all I can really see are little bum indentations everywhere.

**In what other kind of weather, tell me, do you hear the following squeals from your children as you're driving to school: "AAAH, we're going to be buried alive---eeeek!" and "WHOAAAAA! There are ghosts everywhere, Mommy!" and my favorite--"Oh my gosh, Mom, I don't even want to think about what a crazy time recess is going to be today!!" Do you get to hear those gems when it's sunny? I don't think so.

**Three words: Hot chocolate, Baby!

**I get to call my friend (who shall remain nameless so as to protect her "cool person" status) on the phone first thing in the morning and give her a giddy, giggly update of our snowfall, and then continue those updates throughout the day.

**Do not even tell me there is anything more beautiful to look at this time of year than the snow-covered mountains of Utah county. Just stop trying to think of something--why waste your time?

**My children, who have come to earth with some sort of magical tastebuds in their little mouths, eat snow as if it's some kind of delicacy that is not to be missed. They eat so much with so much rapture, that sometimes I begin to think that the stuff is full of mysterious healthy nutrients that they live off for the rest of the year. That just has to be the case, because they certainly don't eat anything I put in front of them. So I guess we should just start calling it manna from heaven around here.

**I can't go anywhere. There are lots of days I don't go anywhere all day but it's ten times more fun when you can't physically GO anywhere. I'm just dying for someone to call me on the phone and invite me to something so I can say, "Oh, I'd love to, that sounds fun, but I'm all snowed in!"

**Aah, the memories. The peaceful, muffled quiet after a snowfall. The hours we spent in our backyard in Denver tunneling and making snowball fight forts and snowmen. Going tubing and wondering on the way down the hill if this was the end. Then going right back up the hill to do it again. The frozen fingers and toes that didn't seem so bad back then. Ignoring those appendages so you could stay out just five more minutes. The feeling of a warm mug between those thawing fingers. Bliss.

Well, it's been snowing for four hours straight now. Give me a call if you want--I'll be home all day!!!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Shout out to the fam

Yeah, so have I ever mentioned that I come from an incredibly talented family? There's this seventeen-year old rocker chick named Maryn Jones who happens to have this cool band and who happens to be my baby sister. Go here to see/hear what I'm talking about.

And I should mention that my sister Brinna sang as an opening act for the one and only Bob Newhart.

Both Brinna and my ever youthful mom, Shawn, sing in smokin' cover and tribute bands, performing gigs all over the east coast.

My brother Clayton's musical highlights have spanned everything from flying across a stage as Michael in Peter Pan at age eight to working as a professional studio vocalist to kicking some major behind in All-State choir in high school. Last time I checked, he dreamed of being a high school choir director. He'd make a darn good one.

When my dad plays guitar and sings "The Birthday of a King" or that one shepherd boy song, it might just be the prettiest thing I've ever heard.

So my family rocks the music world. That's all I'm sayin'.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Me: Jane, You: Whoever the heck I want you to be

The other day I was reminded of something strange about my childhood when I was reading one of those e-mail questionnaires that I get from time to time. The question was, "Did you have any imaginary friends?" Whoa. Talk about opening a can of repressed worms. I thought back to my childhood and recalled (and my mother is my witness) that I had not one imaginary friend, but approximately eight. Even more strange, all of MY friends were male. I believe three of them were named Peter, Michael, and John. Two of those may have been twins. According to my mom, those guys were some of the first to come along and by all accounts, they were sweet, normal little boys.

At least three of my friends were adult men. They were Tarzan, Ropeman, and Swingman. Yes, those are three separate people. (Note to self: do not allow impressionable young four-year olds to repeatedly watch Tarzan. Especially the Bo Derek version...) So apparently, in addition to surrounding myself with boys, I also enjoyed the company of scantily clad, well-built men. I don't see any reason why my parents should have been concerned AT ALL. (They weren't.) My mom also informs me that I hung out with this motley crew until I was at least six!

The more I think about this odd childhood inclination, however, the more I realize how it fits in with the rest of my life. I have never been boy crazy per se, but I think that instead, I rather viewed the opposite sex as amusing playthings to surround myself with. Not at all surprising, considering the crowd I "ran" with as a pre-schooler. In high school, most of my best friends were guys. I always enjoyed their laidback style. The fact that they may or may not have been slightly attracted to me probably helped as well. My friend Juan (a real person, though not his real name) says that he doesn't think he can be friends with anyone that is not somehow attracted to him. I definitely think there's some merit in that.

My well-meaning objectification of men carried on into my freshman year of college. My roommate and I gave nicknames to all of the guys we met. Luckily, I wrote them all down. Here is a short list:

"Vampire boy"
"Drummer boy"
"Intriguing boy"
"Little Dave boy"
"Arcadia boy"

Do you sense a trend? Of course, we didn't call them these names to their faces. At least, I hope not. It was simply a handy way of identifying someone quickly. And just for the record, I have never done anything like this with other girls or women. So I really think it goes back to that strange behavior as a child. (I also tend to think that perhaps an intense fear of emotional commitment influenced me to push people away, but that's not very interesting, funny, or fun.)

Luckily, I eventually met a guy who seemed as odd and unpredictable to me as I was. I married him, and we have a couple of odd kids. (Refer to previous blogs)

You might think that the end of this story would somehow involve me, now reformed, surrounding myself by sweet sisters from the Relief Society. But no, I hang out at Comedysportz with twenty goofy guys. I guess that old saying about teaching an old dog new tricks is truer than true.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Scary Carrot Jungle

You know what? When it comes to FHE, you're darned if you do and you're darned if you don't. On Monday night, I thought it would be fun and festive to go to the corn maze at Thanksgiving Point for Family Night. We got there at around 6:30. It was a gorgeous evening, not too cold, not too hot--just the right amount of chilliness. Everything was going swell. I received $17 off our total ticket price with my season pass plus coupons, the kids were excited (well, at least Mila was--Ethan was a little skittish and insisted on being carried,) and Halloween was in the air. Ben's brother pointed out a sign that said "The MAZE will be haunted on Monday, Friday, and Saturdays." I made sure to ask the cashier girl about this, who assured me that it was only haunted after dark, and even then not until eight, so we had PLENTY of time. Yeah, I know what you're thinking: major red flag. But I was not going to let anything mess with my perfect plan.

We headed into the maze, laughing and dancing to the music that was playing, all the while following our cute little "tiny tots" clues. We got through the first phase pretty quickly and started in on the second. I noticed it was getting darker but it was only seven, so no big deal. We were almost to the end when we came to a clearing with a tetherball. (The maze had a Napoleon Dynamite theme--of course.) Because it was only 7:15, I told Ben and his bro they should go ahead and play. Ethan, at last feeling comfortable and safe, finally allowed me to put him down. The guys were having fun, the kids were giggling, and I was capturing this wonderful family moment with my digital camera. I was trying to get Ethan to pose for a pic when I heard a revving sound that seemed to be getting closer. "That's wierd, " I thought, "who the heck is allowed to ride a motorcycle in a corn maze?" No sooner did this thought cross my mind, then a clown brandishing a chain saw burst into the clearing and descended on my paralyzed children. All I remember about what happened next is lots of running and lots of me screaming, "BEN! BOONER! GRAB THE KIDS AND GET US OUT OF HERE NOW!!!" and "GET AWAY FROM US! WE HAVE LITTLE KIDS!" and "DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT SWAMPMAN!!" After about thirty seconds of this we were in the clear and out the other end. I was a little bit embarassed about my gross lack of calmness in that situation, but there is a reason I don't frequent haunted houses--ever. I am so not cool with strangers jumping out at me in the dark. It's a good thing that I had my children there this time to use as an excuse to keep the bad things away. It's an even better thing that we were so close to the end and that the haunting didn't start back when we were in the middle because I think I would have just curled up into a fetal position and bawled. I had a hard enough time walking twenty feet out of there by myself without asking my brother-in-law to carry me, too. But since he was already carrying my daughter I figured that might be difficult, even if he is 6'4".

After the corn maze incident, we tried to erase the bad memories by taking part in the other, less life-threatening activities that were there, such as the cow train and the animatronic chicken show. But despite our efforts, all Mila could talk about was the scary clown guy. I tried to tell her that it was just a guy in a Halloween costume playing a joke, but she just kept saying, "I just can't think about it that way, even if I try." In other words, scarred for life. Ethan seemed alright until Ben tried to put him to bed and he just kept saying, "There was a green man in that scary carrot jungle..."

I wonder if I will be able to get them to go back for the "Fright Lights" show next Monday night...

Thursday, October 13, 2005

You listened to people, who scared you to death and from my heart...

How about a spooky blog for the Halloween season? So, I have this recurring dream where someone is trying to get into my house. Do you know the dream I'm talking about? Where the intruder is trying to get in and you are running like crazy from door to door, locking each one just before the guy gets there? Only there's like forty doors in the house all of a sudden and so you're like, "Oh crap, the front basement door! Now the back basement door! Aaah! I forgot the secret passage door!" And there's always a few locks that get stuck for whatever reason, so you're trying to get it to turn just as the you hear the guy breathing on the other side! (I guess it can be compared to the chick who always drops her keys when she's trying to unlock her car door in the movies) But I seriously have this dream all the time. So if anyone knows what it could mean, you have to let me know.

Now for the twist. Two night ago when I had this particular dream, there were two interesting guest stars, if you will. First of all, I had a friend with me in the house, helping me lock all the doors. That friend was Ellen Degeneres. That fact in and of itself is not too wierd. I would like to hang out with Ellen, and I bet she'd be a good person to have in a situation like that--she could lighten the mood by telling a joke about door-to-door salesmen or something. As I recall, in my dream she was pretty calm and she seemed to remember all the doors I was forgetting.

As for the intruder, he was none other than 80's pop sensation George Michael. You guys, he was one scary dude! (Not to mention, a very fast runner.) I was so freaked out in my dream because I couldn't believe this guy I was in love with in elementary school wanted to kill me! (Even though I secretly thought he was just dying to get in because he was hot for me, as is usually the case when my vain subconscious is running the show) And I felt kind of cheated, because if George Michael is going to be in my dream, even as a psychopath, couldn't he at least be singing something while he's trying to break in? But no, I didn't even get"Kissing a Fool."

In the end, Ellen and I got all the doors locked and George couldn't get in. So that was good. But I sincerely hope that the next dream I have with Ellen and George is something a little more relaxing, like a tupperware party maybe. Because I really want to get to know those guys!

Friday, September 30, 2005

RIP Michael Vaughn

Oh J.J., how could you be so cruel?

We figured it was coming, but did you have to do it in the first hour of the new season, after we had waited patiently, devotedly, all summer long?

And Michael, why didn't you wear your vest, why? You never leave home without it. And why did you just stand there? You can always find a hatch or a vent or a weapon. You've cheated death hundreds of times before. For what? To die so uneventfully?

And Sydney, why Ben Affleck, why? Oh wait, never mind. Different blog.

But I still blame Ben Affleck for everything. It's just easier that way.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

My Little Molly

I have a concern. Mila, my five-year old, is going through a phase. Not long ago, while we were working on her spotlight poster of favorites for school, I asked her if she wanted me to include a picture of her from Halloween because she loves it so much.

She replied, "Mom, I loved Halloween when I was a little girl. Now that I'm older, I love Christmas because it's Jesus' birthday."

"How precious," I thought, as I patted myself on the back for being such a good parent. (Hey, give me a break, I can't feel totally insecure and frustrated all the time.)

Now, by itself, the above incident should indeed be classified as one of those moments I "have to write down." However, put alongside the following incidents, I no doubt feel you will share my concern.

1) So, a few weeks went by and my friend Rachel and I were out walking with our kids. Rachel casually asked Mila what she wanted to be for Halloween.

Mila said, "Well, I really don't want to say because people might laugh at me."

I said, "Mila, you should probably tell me so I can assemble your costume."

"OK...I'm going to be the Holy Ghost."

As I struggled to contort my face to have a perfectly normal look of curiosity on it, I asked, "Why do you want to be that?"

"Well, I just really want to tell people what these holidays are really about!"

2) The next day was a Saturday and we were just driving in the car, going nowhere interesting.

"Mom, are you thinking about the Last Supper?"

"Um, no..."

"On Saturdays, you should think about the Last Supper, so you better start."

3) The next day, Sunday, we were getting ready for church at noon and I was getting the kids snacks. I asked Mila what she wanted.

"Just bread and water."

"Are you sure? I'm cutting up an apple."

"I'm sure, I only want bread and water."

I didn't even catch on until she was eating her bread and water and smiling secretly. I should have known!

4) We were watching Prince of Egypt (Mila's choice) and during the opening sequence, Mila started to "pretend" cry.

"Oh you guys, I'm just so happy because this movie is about Jesus."

"It's about Moses."

(Pause in crying as she thinks) "He knew Jesus."

So there. I rest my case. My daughter is either a full-blown religious freak, or this is just some "thing" all kids go through. She's my oldest, so I have no idea! Parents, help me out here. Is this normal, or should I start swearing more to balance the equation?

You know, truth be told, I'm not too worried...yet. She still laughs way too hard at poo jokes.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Happy Birthday to You

He's the first to laugh at my jokes, and the last to criticize my cooking.

He's the first to say I love you and the last to let go of a hug.

He's the first to say I'm sorry and the last to judge my drama queen tantrums.

He's the first person I see in the morning and the last person I see before falling asleep.

He's handsome, funny, brilliant, patient, and loves the three of us more than anyone could measure or know. He's 30 today.

Happy Birthday, Baby. I love you.

Monday, September 19, 2005

to Tivo, with Love

OK, so maybe I'm just way too excited for the upcoming weeks, but I just want to take a moment to say thank you to whoever it is out there that invented Tivo! Tivo is my best friend. (So sad, but so true.) I really cannot remember what my life was like before it. But I can guess that it was much more stressful, contentious, and productive! Stressful because I had to miss so many shows when I had to be somewhere, contentious because I had to yell at my kids to get into bed before 8 or else, and productive because I couldn't watch every show on the planet! Seriously, though, how do people live without rewinding, fast forwarding and pausing stuff? Nine times out of ten, I'm too deaf to hear what someone just said-- now it's just a rewind button away! Before, I had to just say "Huh?" and move on. I never even know what products are in stores these days, because commercials? What are those? I fast over 'em. And the pause button. I'm in love. Gotta pee? Need 2 minutes and 35 seconds to pop popcorn? Two-year old creeping down the stairs? No problem. There is one downside to being too accustomed to this Tivo lifestyle, however. I find myself trying to find the rewind button in my car on the radio, so I can hear a part of a song one more time. Crazy. So, technology people, that's your next project. But overall, I'm overwhelmed with gratitude.

I'd have to say that this feeling goes for most modern technology. Where would I be without it? And what does the future have in store? I can't even imagine all the little toys that my spoiled kids and grandkids will "need."

I just know I'm going to be that grandma some day who says things like, "When I was a kid, if we wanted to record something, we had to put this tape into this machine called a VCR...." and "I know you kids have Ipods the size of a quarter now, but I got a Bananarama tape for Christmas once and I played it in my boombox," or "The only computer game we played when I was a kid was moving this little triangle around that was supposed to be a turtle."

And then my grandkids will go home and write in their blogs, "My grandma is hilarous..."

Monday, September 12, 2005

Those Crazy Smiths! Episode "Circle of Enemies"

Do you ever feel like your life is some real-life sitcom? I know, it's so cliche, but seriously, at some moments I feel like someone up there, maybe a departed loved one (or enemy) has popped some popcorn, taken the phone off the hook, and is all settled in to watch my "episode." Episode is a great word, because it so perfectly sums up the fifteen minutes of trauma I endured this morning while trying to take Mila to school.

Everything was lovely this morning at about 9 am. The sun was shining, we were both neatly groomed as we got into the car to leave for school. Mila was going to be spotlighted at school, so she looked very nice and I was holding her picture poster/collage we'd worked on for three hours last night. We drove the two-minute drive to school and turned into the kindergarten drop-off circle, five minutes before school was supposed to start.

Before I go any further, I need to mention that I hate people. Well, just people who don't follow instructions. OK, so I hate people who don't follow instructions whose kids go to Westfield Elementary in Highland. For those of you who aren't familiar with drop-off circles, they are simply that. You pull in one end of the circle, drop off your kid, then pull out the other end. Nice and smooth. Sounds easy, right? Well, some parents at Mila's school seemed to have gotten together to figure out exactly the best way to turn the sweet, efficient drop-off circle into Dante's seventh circle of hell, because that's what it is. Instead of following the above procedure, these people commit heinous acts such as parking in the circle and disappearing into the school for mysterious amounts of time. Then some try to expedite the whole process by passing you up in some inner circle they've created, just so their kid can be, like, ten seconds earlier than my kid.
So, we were waiting our turn in the circle and I noticed lightning off in the distance. I was not worried as I was only four cars back and it was almost time for the line-up whistle. It took me a few minutes to realize that this line was not moving, but darned if I was going to be the "inner-circler," so I continued to wait patiently. "They're probably just waiting for the whistle because their kids are afraid of lightning," I told myself. It began to rain. The circle still was not moving. I noticed, to my dismay, that there was a "circle-parker" at the very front, blocking the whole dang line. Inner-circlers were beginning to form ranks alongside of me. Mila's teacher came out and skipped the whistle, because of the rain I suppose, and brought the kids inside. I decided, because I wasn't going anywhere anyway and because it was Mila's special day, that I would escort her through the rain to her class and carry her project so it wouldn't get wet. I didn't want her to be late, but I figured all of these other cars surely had kindergartners in them as well, so at least she wasn't the only one. As I got out of the car, it began to hail. I ran around to Mila's side, carrying her project in front of me as I went, only to find that the door was locked on that side. I ran back around, opened the door, mumbled something like "Silly me, the door was locked," and unlocked the door. I ran back around to find the door locked again and Mila mouthing the words, "I unlocked it!" By this time, I was soaked to the skin. I ran back around to the driver's side, but of course, she had locked both doors, so back to her side I went, dropping a picture in the rain-filled gutter on my way. "Unlock the door!" I yelled as she looked at me like I was speaking another language. This is the part where I said some words I never learned in kindergarten as I retrieved her picture and banged on the window. Finally, after what seemed like a wet, freezing eternity later, she unlocked the door and I began to pull her out of the car. However, her foot caught on my purse strap and down into the puddle she went. On her special day. I snatched her up, we ran to the classroom and burst in on a serene, dry group of kindergartners listening to the morning announcements. I handed the soaked poster to the teacher and apologized for Mila's tardiness, (as well as for the puddle I just made on the floor) I turned to my drenched daughter, pushed her wet hair out of her eyes, said "Have a great special day," and ran back outside to the now completely sunny weather. The circle was empty except for my car and I thought it was strange that no other kindergartners had entered the class in that whole time. Mila was the only one. That's when it hit me. There is a third group of circlers who are committing perhaps the most heinous of all circle crimes. They are using the kindergarten drop-off circle to drop off non-kindergartners. I blame this entire episode on them because if they hadn't held up the dang circle I would have been able to drop my daughter off before the five-minute hailstorm began. This is the part where the sitcom probably ends because the part where I went home in tears, blubbering to Ben about "stupid circle people," probably ends up on the cutting room floor. It's just not funny. But then maybe the part where Ethan hands me a box of pregnancy tests to comfort me is in the closing credits or something.

So anyway, tune in for next week's episode, when Hailey takes a plane trip across the country with two children under four. While trying to turn off the overhead light over her seat, she actually touches the light and burns the crap out of her finger. She proceeds to wave the afflicted finger in the air while blowing on it, inadvertently flipping off the entire plane.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Ready, Set, Read!

You guys, I totally have a confession. I think that my favorite thing about Mila being in school is that now I get those Scholastic book catalogs again. You do know what I'm talking about, right? If you don't, maybe we shouldn't even be hanging out. No, but seriously, Mila pulled out her flyer for the book fair along with the catalog and my mouth started watering, a knee-jerk reaction. Tonight, after I put my kids to bed, I actually popped some popcorn and sat at the table with the catalog for an hour (the TV fall line-up needs to come now!) But, do you remember how exciting it was to order your books, completely forget about them, and then one day you walk into class and you go, "Wait a minute! I smell new books--are the Scholastic baggies here?" Well, maybe it wasn't quite like that, but I loved tearing open that bag and feeling and smelling those brand-new, albeit discounted, paper back books. I was very pleased to see that many of the same books that I used to read are all in there. But now they come in box sets, people! Roald Dahl, Beverly Cleary (refer to previous blog), The Chronicles of Narnia, they're all there! Plus some new ones that look equally compelling. After I finished thumbing through the catalog and marking my favorites with a pen, I exclaimed, "There are so many books in here that I want!" Ben's reply was, "For you or Mila?" Dang. Was I that obvious? "Uh, for Mila, of course... " (Note to self: make sure Mila goes through said catalog tomorrow and is "gently persuaded" to mark the same books I did.) It's a good thing she is reading now or how else would I justify feeding my Scholastic book habit? And where am I going to get the extra cash? Those 1.95 books add up. Of course, now that I think about it, it might be a lot cheaper to just ransack my mom's house for all my old books, but then A) My mom would get mad at me for not leaving a literary future for my 5-year old brother and B) Hello! They so do not have that new smell.

Now it's your turn to fess up. Does anyone else share this passion? (Please don't let me be the only nerd...) And if so, what books were your favorites as a kid? Or what are your kids' favorites now? And finally, if you wanted to hide $100 in the monthly budget for Scholastic books, how would you do it?

Friday, August 26, 2005

Hailey Jones, age 8

As you know, we recently moved, and though there are few things that I can think of right now that are not hellish about the whole process, there is one redeeming factor. You have to go through tons of old stuff. OK, before I completely lose you, that is not the fun part. The fun part is that, while going through said old stuff, you occasionally stop and look at what you're going through and you find little gems. Now usually, I stand in my basement chuckling to myself, but I thought, why not share my secret mirth with others? Also, it is becoming apparent to me that the "precious" stuff in boxes that I am constantly moving and restoring serves only one purpose: to be looked at and chuckled at every two years like some sad old clown. So I thought I might give some of these poor box-doomed items fifteen minutes of blog glory.

The first item I offer you is entitled The Ramona Quimby Diary, a little book that serves as a diary for little girls and also has the bonus of featuring little excerpts here and there from Beverly Cleary's Ramona series. Now while I'm sure it would be amusing to share some of those excerpts from those books here, this blog is about me so I'm more interested in the little girl's diary part, namely, my diary. There are lots of blank spaces in the diary to write your feelings. I guess I wasn't interested in those, as they remain blank. My favorite parts were seemingly the questionnaires, and those are what I'd like to share with you. The following are sample questions from the diary, along with my answers: (my 28-year old comments are in parentheses)

This is what I like about myself: how I can read and spell and draw, and that way I'm almost the smartest kid in my class. And also make-up the best stories.

(Almost the smartest? Dang. I wonder who was smartest. I also find it amusing that I did not "make up" the best stories, I just put "make-up" on them.)

I don't like these things about myself: my length and my face. And how I'm the oldest in my family because I have to set an example for my little brother and sister.

(My length? Er... Easy there, Smith boys, you know what I meant...)

This year I hope this wish comes true: that my cat will follow me wherever I go.

(All my cats have run away, so fairy godmother, you are so fired!)

These are the foods I really hate: Hash, onions, meatloaf, floats, peppers, squash, and spices.

(I have to explain the "floats." I used to have to take penicillin for my heart murmur. For whatever reason, I couldn't swallow it as a pill, so my mom chopped it up and put it in a root beer float once. I have only recently been able to drink a root beer float without gagging.)

Sometimes I would like to write an angry letter to David Sheldon and complain about how stupid and dumb he is!

(David Sheldon lived two houses down from me. In truth, he's the one who should have the complaint with me. In fifth grade, we "went out" for a while, and then I abruptly dumped him in the middle of social studies class. Across the room. Twice. I mean, I actually mouthed the words "You're dumped," then "J/K" then again for reals. I think he may have started crying. Not one of my proudest moments. You guys, please still be my friends. I will never dump you, I swear.)

The nickname I hate most is: Bun-Buns

(My mom gave me this nickname as an infant. How she had the foresight to know about my future "junk in the trunk," I will never know.)

All in all, the conclusion I draw from my responses above is that I was vain, insecure about my butt, shirked responsiblilty, and thought boys were dumb. Oh, and vain. Hmm. Some things never change.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The call is coming from inside the house!

Hey, I have been in a horror movie, apparently. And not a very good one, by the looks of it. So, my brother-in-law instant messaged me the other day, "Nice, Hailey..." I responded with the usual, "Oh great! What have I done now?" He replied most unusually, "Why haven't you ever told us about your horror flick?" I was a little perplexed now, "Jake, please explain..." He instructed me to go to my name on where I found, to my surprise, that I had, in fact, played the role of Martha in Urban Legends: Bloody Mary. This discovery was a bit unnerving. Who was this other Hailey Smith, and why was she trying to be me? OR, even more disturbing, what if it was me, and I had no recollection of it? Has anyone ever been abducted by aliens before and forced to make B-horror movies? That would explain a lot, actually, about where they find their bad actors. So, for all I know, I am in Urban Legends: Bloody Mary, and for all I know, it's a delightful little family film for all to enjoy. All I'm sayin' is I better not take any clothing off in it, that's all I'm sayin'. Just FYI, I have submitted a complaint to the lovely people at, but they have yet to make any changes, so you can still go to the website and see proof of my horror film debut.

This reminds me, have you ever googled yourself? If not, you should. It's always fun to see what kinds of crazy things you've been up to. Ben found out that he is a women's hockey team coach, a drummer, a man who went on a killing spree, and my personal favorite, a fashion designer. He also found his real self, in a quote from and as a Provo Linux user (that's my little computer sports geek for you) I appear most often in theater reviews written by the lovely Eric D. Snider (love ya, man), and on horror film webpages (thank you, some crew guy from Urban Legends) I am also a member of various softball and dance teams and win lots of elementary school competitions. What a well-rounded person I am!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Keeping up with the Joneses

Ben and I just moved into a new house, new neighborhood, new ward, the whole she-bang. Well, this past Sunday I got this little weekly newsletter in Relief Society and they had listed names and addresses of new families in the ward, along with little "capsules" describing them. Next to our name it said, "Just moved in, and already landscaping." Well, Ben and I spent a little while trying to figure out how one might read into that little gem of a statement. Here were some of our thoughts:

"Who do you think you are, Smiths, putting in grass, when everyone else clearly has dirt. You think you're better, do ya, skipping the year grace period?"

"The Smiths must have green thumbs--landscaping and gardening must be their special talent. We should keep that in mind for future enrichment lessons."

In my mind, the most likely scenario is some poor woman sitting in front of her computer asking her husband, "Honey, who are the Smiths?" He replies, " I don't know, but I can see their house from here and some guy is planting a bush."

Don't get me wrong, I think our new ward is swell, and I appreciate their effort to make us feel welcome. But I am just not quite comfortable with being associated with landscaping. I would have been much more satisfied if they had put "She looks like a snob and he's pretty cocky, but dang, they have cute kids."

Hello friends

Welcome to my blog. Everyone's doing it, ok? And I just love the different reasons people have for having one. Some of my friends miss writing and so it's great for them to flex those muscles. I have one friend who said she has one just so people will post comments. I'm not quite sure why I want one, but I think it might just boil down to plain old peer pressure. My husband has one now, all my friends have theirs going strong, and for all I know, my 5-year old daughter has one somewhere, simply called "Mila." And her only entry says "momistackganapdad" because that's what she instant messaged Ben last week when he was trying to get me, so I know she can write that much.

The title of my blog comes from a family expression used to describe any sort of markings left on your skin when you, say, sit on the grass too long, or lie on the carpet, or make too tight of a fist and leave fingernail prints in your palm, you know. Well, when I was in high school, I fell asleep one night doing my trig homework and woke up feeling a strange sort of soreness on my backside. It turns out that I had fallen asleep on top of my calculator. After enduring the expected "princess and the pea" jibes from my family, I went to inspect myself and found that I, in fact, had a calculator imprint on my skin. Let me tell you, I have never lived that one down. It is my stepdad's favorite story and he didn't even join our family until four years after it occurred. So, since then, those little imprints are forever known in our family as "hailey tracks." I think it was pretty much my mom's way of keeping a part of me close after I moved away to college. Feel free to dub your own imprints hailey tracks. It's not like those guys have another name.

Oh also, I don't know if it's "cool" to have your own name in your blog title, but I like my name. I also feel bad that I offended my name once. I was little and I complained to my mom that I hated my name, and why hadn't she named me something beautiful, like Elizabeth. She told me that I'd thank her for it one day, and I do now. However, I don't know who to thank for making it the number one name in America from like 2000-2005. I can't walk in the store without being screamed at 100 times from different women who want me to "get back to their cart now!" It's quite disconcerting.

Well, thanks for reading my blog, family and friends, and especially you lovely ones who hang out on "that inter-net" all the time (you have to say "that internet" like an old 80-year old lady in my ward who told us about her web discoveries one day in Relief Society)