Tuesday, December 18, 2007

(There's bound to be lots of) The Writing on the Wall

(Red eyes were left in photo for dramatic effect)

Give me a T! Give me an E! Give me an A! Give me an M! What does that spell?

One terrified mom.

The girls have known for a little while now that lifting up a toilet seat is hard work and therefore not really worth their time. However, as they discovered this morning, lifting up a toilet seat with four hands is not really hard at all and is, in fact, instantly gratifying. The prospect of them using teamwork horrifies me to no end. You don't understand. My number is up. I'm doomed. Let me explain.

My first two children have never really gotten into stuff. "Whoa, wait a minute," you're saying, "No destroyed make-up, no flour all over the floor, no lotion smeared all over the house?" I am totally serious. For whatever reason, they have pretty much ignored all of the tempting household items surrounding them. I remember once when Mila was not even two, we had a big ol' space heater right in the middle of her room. My sister-in-law, Melanie, was shocked when she saw it and asked, "You don't have to put that away?" all the while eying her own one-year old. But Mila had never even given the thing so much as a second look, let alone touched it.

I was pretty sure that Ethan would change things. I mean, he's a boy, right? But I never even put locks on the cupboards when he was toddling around. No interest whatsoever. Don't get me wrong. There have been trade-offs. We've had relatives tell my kids they don't need to shout when they're standing right in front of them. Repeatedly. They both have quite the flair for the dramatic. But I've never had to clean electric blue lip-gloss out of the carpet or anything. So I've listened to my relatives' stories about Sharpies on leather couches and Desitin all over the mirror with mixed feelings of horror and relief.

I'm sure that you hate me now, but let me get to the point. I am bound to have a troublemaker, sooner or later. The odds just don't add up. But now I'm wishing it had been Ethan, because I just know that it's my turn, and it just so happens that I have TWO. Is that fair? Probably. But that doesn't mean that I can't lie in bed and envision all sorts of schemes that my little team might think up with their two little blond heads. Like climbing out of cribs. Taking off dirty diapers. Opening doors, climbing counters, dumping cold cereal, tearing apart books, eating chalk, cutting hair, breaking priceless family heirlooms, punching holes in walls, beating up smaller, defenseless children, have I forgotten anything? So by all means, feel a little sorry for me. In an earlier post, I said that the best is yet to come. But that was just crazy talk. It's totally the worst. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?

I AM going to buy leashes. I saw them at Wal-Mart. They're have cute little furry dogs on them or something.

OK, so maybe I'm over-reacting. Maybe they will be complete angels. But when I call you in tears in a few months, I want to be the one who can say, "I told you so!"

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Stuff for a Winter's Night

I got out of performing at a doctor's office Christmas pajama party tonight (wha?) and I'm also an LSFWW (Law School Finals Week Widow), so I put my sweatpants on and I have Dove chocolates with caramel and The Carpenters to keep me company. And it's currently snowing. Can you say COZY? Okay, now let's dish about books and movies.

I am almost finished reading Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Oh. My. Why I am so fascinated with post-apocalyptic subject matter I will never know, but I love this book. I just can't stop thinking about it. I also can't stop thinking about how grateful I am for heat and power and running water and the sun! And my healthy, well-fed children. If you read it, you will know what I'm talking about. Then there is the rumored news that Viggo Mortenson will be playing the lead character in the movie version. So great.

Speaking of rumors, supposedly Ryan Gosling was supposed to star in the film version of Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones, directed by Peter Jackson, but when he showed up for the first day of shooting, he was fired for being overweight! So Mark Wahlberg got the part instead. Cruel Hollywood. I'm pretty sure it's a true rumor, too, because my friend Chris hung out with one Mandy Gosling in New York. Who happens to be Mormon AND an RM, and who also happens to be her brother's manager. (Awesome job, by the way.) I started reading The Lovely Bones recently and I have to admit, I'm hooked. Which is refreshing since I have not been hooked by some other books I have been reading recently. But Mark Wahlberg? Poor Ryan.

Speaking of Ryan, have you seen Lars and the Real Girl yet? It has been my favorite movie of this whole year and maybe last year as well since I don't see many movies. I laughed and I cried, then I laughed until I cried. The acting was A-MA-ZING all around. Emily Mortimer had one monologue that made me cry just because it was that good. Basically, it had everything that I could ever want out of a movie.

A movie with a similar title is Dan in Real Life. This movie was also very good, although I like Lars better. But Steve Carell is awesome, and I like that when I read interviews with him, he is a normal dad guy, not some crazy-ha-ha-in-your-face comedy guy. I like to think that I am that kind of comedian and so I like people like that. He shows up to work, does his job (which happens to be making the funny) then goes home to his family. I would not call the movie a romantic comedy because that would be insulting it. I would prefer to call it a family dramedy, a la The Family Stone.

Remember The Family Stone? And remember that Rachel McAdams was really great in that? She is set to play the lead role in The Time Traveler's Wife, opposite Eric Bana (remember Eric Bana's biceps in Troy?) I hope The Time Traveler's Wife is a good movie because, I have to confess, when I was talking earlier about books that have not had me hooked, this was one of them. It got kind of boring, and the language bugged me. I have issues with language. And they are not Mormony issues. More like childhood scarred-for-life issues. So I stopped reading it. Another book I can't seem to get through is The Amber Spyglass. The Golden Compass was charming enough, and I made my way through The Subtle Knife, but now, with Spyglass, I'm just sort of not into it. And I'm somewhat confused about whose side I'm supposed to be on as a reader, and that annoys me. I'm going to give it another shot, though. I refuse to mention the title of third book that I'm not that into because I'm having sort of an identity crisis about why I can't just be like the rest of the world and root for a lackluster heroine with no hobbies or interests, whose only thoughts are of a gorgeous guy who is manipulative and could potentially harm and/or kill her. But now I've said too much. (Please don't hate me.)

So, um, speaking of The Golden Compass, my mom and I went to see it last week and I liked it. I was expecting not to, because of the horrible reviews, but the girl who played Lyra was perfectly cast, Nicole Kidman was perfectly gorgeous, and I actually understood a couple things more clearly that I didn't fully get while reading the book. And I assume they plan on making the rest of the movies in the trilogy because, if not, that was the lamest excuse for an ending of a movie that I have seen in a LONG time. Other fantasies that I have yet to see? Stardust and Enchanted, both of which look really good.

Other books that I bought at Costco today for myself? The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I am looking forward to reading the first two and I already read Tale, but it was my sister's copy and I wanted to have one of my own. It is a must-read if you have ever loved a book by a Bronte sister and/or have twins in your life. I devoured it when I was pregnant with the girls. But I devoured a lot in that time of my life...

Sorry if any of this was hard to follow. Those of you who know me know I have no qualms about talking a lot and changing subjects as quickly as the thoughts enter into my mind, sometimes even before. That's why it's good no one can interrupt me on my blog. I would love to hear your recommendations of other books and movies. Or gossip. Well, this was fun! Maybe next time we (meaning I) can talk about TV! Oh. Now I just remembered the writer's strike and I'm going to go cry myself to sleep.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

You'll have to excuse me and my sentimental ramblings, er, journaling...

At this time last year, I was preparing for the end of the world. Armageddon, if you will. The Apocalypse. You see, I had never had twins before and so I had no idea what to expect. I made lists and lists of things that I would need to live off of for the next year, as I would surely not be going grocery shopping ever again. I bought obscene amounts of toilet paper and paper towels and macaroni and cheese. I made sure to get the house decorated for Christmas the second we finished our pumpkin pie because I had so much uncertainty about what my life would become in the near future. I was thinking about my state of mind at that time recently, and I just couldn't think of any other time that I have felt that way. I always have things to do, whether it's things I need to do or should do, but I have never felt such an urgency in my life as I did during that pregnancy.

It was even more surprising when the girls arrived even earlier than I had expected. I went to my scheduled ultrasound the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, and we discovered that there was some twin to twin transfusion occurring. Everybody's reaction went from "Oh, aren't you just the poster child for twin pregnancy?!" to "OK, it looks like these girls need to come out come out ASAP!" I went to my doctor that afternoon and we scheduled my inducement for Thursday. He said he'd prefer to avoid Wednesday because it was his anniversary.

"Sorry about your anniversary..." were my first words to my doctor when I saw him at the hospital the next morning. I had awakened at around 6 am feeling extremely uncomfortable, even on top of my carpal tunnel syndrome and case of the "crazy itchies." I decided to just kind of ignore it and when that didn't work, I got up and decided to take a shower. I came out of the shower saying, "Ben, we should probably get the kids out of bed and get them a very quick breakfast." I was trying to remain calm, while at the same time acknowledging the fact that those spurts of time between contractions were not getting any longer. We dropped off the kids at my amazing neighbor's house, who answered the phone at 7 am like she had been waiting by it for our call.

The rest is just your typical labor and delivery story, except this time I asked for more drugs and I had to deliver in the freezing cold OR with twenty people looking on. The extra drugs were as a result of my delivering Ethan, after the epidural had long worn off, to a nurse, because no doctor was yet present. My anesthesiologist this time around told me after I asked for more of the good stuff, "You're not going to be able to push." To which I replied, "Oh, you better believe I will." I'm sort of a champion pusher. Maybe it's even my special talent. As for my fears of there being no doctor this time? The good thing about having twins is that nobody messes around. The experts bring in "people" who, in turn, bring in their "people." At least that's how it seemed to drugged-up me. Luckily, I was able to deliver them the old-fashioned way, and yes, I probably pushed a total of five times for both. Take that, guy! Lucy was out at 11:49 and three minutes later, after a very red Lane emerged at 11:52, it was all over. (Except for the part where the respiratory specialist started pounding on Laney's chest to get her to breathe, but that turned out OK as well.)

My girls, born four and a half weeks early, were "amazingly healthy" for preemie twins, as everyone in the Level 2 Nursery where they spent their first week commented. Going home from the hospital without my babies was the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. However, I have never been so grateful as I was to those nurses who took care of my girls 24 hours a day. I would sit in there and listen to a nurse calling people to get shifts covered, and I realized that if these women (and one man) didn't show up for work, my babies would not live. I owed them the lives of my children, literally. I loved being behind the scenes and seeing how the nurses would joke about certain pediatricians who were "all business" and how they would give so much love and attention to each and every infant in that room. It was a glorious place. Laney got to go home one week after she was born, and little Lucy made it to her benchmark birth weight of 4 lbs. the next day, not wanting to be left behind. The nurse assigned to Lucy on the day she went home even teared up a little as we were getting her ready to go, admitting that she had gotten somewhat attached to her in the past 24 hours.

Once the girls were home, I worried that they were not staying warm enough. They had to try and maintain a temperature of at least 97 degrees. Usually, parents worry about their child being too hot--this was my first experience with it the other way around. Because of the twin to twin transfusion syndrome, and because of their difference in size, it was easy to tell them apart. Lucy was the little white baby, and Lane was the big red one:

I lived in constant fear of illness those first few months. As my doctor lobbied to get my girls the RSV vaccination ("A common cold for your kids means three weeks in the hospital for the babies," she warned me), I strategically placed hand sanitizer all over my house and turned into a germ Nazi. I didn't take them out of the house until March, except for doctor's appointments. Oh yeah, and brief car trips for sustenance.The nights were hard, but most of the time, I truly felt like I had been invited to a party that was going strong 24-7 with no end in sight. It was just such an honor and privilege to be around these amazing, tiny human beings. They were, and still are, awesome little people.

They will be one on Thursday, and so this week is a celebration. Of surviving a year. Of being a part of a world-wide "twin society" and loving every minute of it. Of the unexpected surprise that it has not been as hard as I had feared. Of knowing that the best years are sure to come. Of being able to buy the cutest coordinating clothes and having good cause. Of having the best family and friends that any mom could hope for. Of having two older children who adore their sisters and help out every day. Of only 6 months until Nursery! (I age three years every week at church. By the time they are 18 months, I will be an 80-year old woman...)

Happy Birthday, my angels! Thank you for always keeping the "party" going!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Flyin' SOLO, Take 2

I did it again. I up and left my entire family, the whole kit-n-caboodle, last Friday night for a whirwind trip to Boston. Why, you might ask? To torture my husband? Of course not!! Well...maybe just a little. He is gone A LOT. Just ask our sad un-cleaned-out garage. But that wasn't the main reason.

The main reason was:

OK, so to be fair, there were two other guys involved. We're talking about the Police, people! At this point, some of you are not at all excited about this. My mother-in-law said "Hmm, I've never heard of that group..." Well, you must know that I was raised on the Police. They provided the soundtrack for many a family road trip. I remember, as if it was yesterday, reading Roald Dahl's "George's Marvelous Medicine" to Sting's album The Dream of the Blue Turtles. (Not the Police, but still that same glorious singing voice, etched permanently in my brain) That book and those songs complemented each other very well, in the opinion of my eight-year old self. In junior high, in Chicago, I went to a party and someone got The Police: Greatest Hits CD as a gift. We listened to it and I felt so cool listening to music at a party. I also felt cool for knowing every song on there! And "Every Breath you Take" is still my number one pick for most haunting song EVER.

So back to my weekend. I drove myself to the airport on Friday night after putting all the kids to bed. I was a little nervous because this is the first time I have flown since they have implemented all of the liquid restrictions. I anxiously re-examined my one-quart bag with all of my precious less-than-3-oz. toiletries. I scoffed at someone in the line holding a gallon-size ziploc bag. Well, so maybe scoffing isn't my thing, but I got really worried for them. Luckily, getting through security at 10:30 pm is not all that bad, although I was surprised when they asked me to remove my cardigan sweater. I was wearing a turtleneck underneath, but what if it had been a tank top? I was horrified at the thought. (I'm sure many of you can imagine why...) What would they do to me if I said no? I tried not to think about it too much as I went to the gate.

My stay in Boston was brief, but memorable. I got to see the play my mom had directed about Robin Hood, I got to meet my brother's girlfriend, Meg, who is super-cool and super-smart. I also saw my awesome friend from BYU, Christina Davis. We graduated in Acting together and I miss her!

We made time for this special place:

This store rocks. You need to go there if you are ever in a city where there is one. And I got the cutest pink and brown plaid dress coats for the girls that you have ever seen! I am actually glad that I don't live near one because it would destroy me financially.

Brinna, Aydan and I made time to take ridiculous pictures of ourselves:

Isn't Brinna beautiful? (BTW, I'm going to start calling my blog a brag, and instead of blogging, I will be bragging, because that's what it is in this post, let's be honest...Although I was sure to put some not so lovely pics of us as well--look at Brinny in the background of Aydan's pic--ha!)

We ate dinner at Red Bones, where Clayton and Meg both work (Meg is the lovely brunette girl on Clayton's right):

See? Not pretty, but I love dining pictures, because that is where I am in my element! Bring on the food!

And of course, the concert! For another account of the concert, read my mom's account here. We were bummed because we didn't bring our cameras but they didn't even check and we were in the 10th row! (On the side, but still!) So I took this pic with my camera phone. My mom is looking up at Sting on the monitor above us, or rather looking at his biceps, which were not small. (I am so not attracted to him...)

For those who want to know, here is the setlist:

Message in a Bottle
Synchronicity II
Walking On The Moon
Voices Inside My Head
When The World Is Running Down
Don't Stand So Close To Me
Driven To Tears
Truth Hits Everybody
Hole In My Life
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
Wrapped Around Your Finger
De Do Do Do De Da Da Da
Invisible Sun
Walking In Your Footsteps
Can't Stand Losing You
King Of Pain
So Lonely
Every Breath You Take
Next To You

I know what you're thinking. No Roxanne? It WAS strange, considering every time that I've gone to see Sting solo, HE sings it. Here is one of many videos I took with my phone, but I only had 15 seconds a pop, and so this is my favorite:

In conclusion, this trip would not have been remotely possible without the help of Clayton, Ben, Heather, and Lisa. Clayton bought my mom the tickets. He is my hero. Heather is my friend Jenny's sister and she watched the kids so Ben could go to the library. Lisa talked me into going after I had decided it was silly, and I didn't feel TOO bad about her volunteering to watch three of my kids for one morning because she had a concert experience of her own that very weekend. Read about it here. It's a good one! Ben is a trooper as well. Lucy threw up numerous times on Saturday night and I felt horrible! I abandoned my children, and so they got sick. But don't worry, I got major payback after I arrived home. Within ONE hour of my return, Ethan threw up all over his bed. And eight times after that. Then when he finished, Mila started. Nothing like jumping back into the trenches to make you feel at home!

Finally, this is for you, Mom:

Thanks for a great weekend!

Friday, November 09, 2007

My Faithful Steed

I took this picture in October because my car looked so happy under that tree. Then, I just read this and it inspired me to give credit where credit is due. Make fun of me all you want. The truth is, I love this car and could not function properly without it. Here's to you, Minivan!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

It needs to be said

Dear Laundry,

I officially declare war on you. You are trying to take over my house. You and your piles. Well, I am sick of the piles! There are piles of folded clothes that are clean, piles of unfolded clean clothes, piles of "for sure" dirty clothes, piles of clothes that might be dirty, and then piles that I have no idea where they came from or what they are. Enough is enough! I will drown in your filth (and possible filth)if I do not take action now. So here's my plan. If you are on the floor, you will go into the washing machine, no questions asked. I do not have the time or the energy to spend half my life smelling crotches and armpits. I don't care if I will be wasting water and detergent. It is a price I am willing to pay. I might have to put away more clean clothes, but if my only pile is a ginormous clean one, then at least I can contain it in one area and there is no mystery. I love suspense and surprises, but in a good book or movie, NOT from a urine-stained pair of jeans, thank you very much.


The Queen of the House

Sunday, November 04, 2007

What else to do at the crack of dawn?

Thanks to lovely Daylight Savings, it is 5:45 and I have already been up for an hour. The girls are happy and awake and crawling around playing while the rest of the world is celebrating an extra hour of sleep. Well, good for you, world. For some of us, it just means we get one more hour we have to somehow stay awake until church at one. Awesome. So, since I'm awake and so happy and chipper, I thought I'd better post some Halloween pics! I wish I could say that Halloween went by in a flash--but it was a really long day! After running around from one place to the next, I had to crash at 9:30. No late night haunting for this girl. But good times were had by all, so it was totally worth it. (Speaking of crashing, I am so going back to bed right now)

Halloween Party at the Law School (it was a rager--I ate four frosted sugar cookies--I just kept going back, saying they were for my kids--oops!)

Mila (Winnie Witch) and the director of her Halloween play, "A School for Scaring"

Mila at her class party

Quite the motley crew: a Ninja, Scooby, Little Bo Peep, and Batgirl (Scooby's sad because he wants more Tootsie Rolls)

Who knew that 2 roomates at BYU could have 7 kids between them in 10 years?

Sweet Sheep

Little Bo Peep found her sheep, and one was a little grumpy

The whole gang

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I think I was at least a 7 when I was in my Prime

OK, it's 11:30 and I should really be in bed but I had to check my e-mail and Ben had forwarded this video to me. Apparently, it's comedian Dwayne Perkins doing stand-up and then someone has made this little animation to go with it. The animation is cute and all, but the stand-up is awesome. Watch for yourself:

I especially love the part about going to the store. Whenever you go out looking like death warmed over, you just want to tell people as you walk by, "I can look hot when I want to. I really can! Look! Here's a picture!" Or maybe I am just the vainest person on the planet.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Trauma and Drama

My kids were talking about this today. I thought I would share it again for those of you who weren't around two years ago when it happened.

Because we are still talking about it, I assume we are still traumatized, and rightly so! Although Mila seems to disagree. She said this morning, "That was so awesome." I said, "Hmm, I remember you screaming like a little 5-year old girl!" But then again, so was I...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Stalking Santa

I have been waiting to see this movie for three years. Seriously. Two of my good friends, Chris and Lisa (who happen to be husband and wife), star in it, and when I say "good friends," I don't mean like minor acquaintances or a friend of my cousin's brother's wife sort of thing. We actually watch TV together and gossip and braid each other's hair! Anyway, there are going to be FREE screenings of the movie before it is released on DVD in Salt Lake, LA, and New York. Go to www.stalkingsanta.com for more info on the screenings. You better believe I'll be at the Utah one on Nov. 5th at 7 pm. If you come I might even introduce you to the stars, aka my friends. And if you can't come, show a little Christmas spirit and buy the DVD already! (Now I'll know for sure if Chris ever checks my blog, because he can't resist commenting on subjects about HIMSELF...but hey, I'm the same way!)

I'm IT

I don't usually play "tag," because I'm a bad runner, but I'm going to indulge my sister-in-law Jenni (www.hootieshowl.blogspot.com), because I think she's awesome and because I'm about 5 loads away from catching up with my laundry (a veritable miracle, I tell you!) So here are the rules:

1-Link to your tagger (like I did with Jenni) , and also post these rules on your blog
2-Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird
3-Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs
4- Let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog

OK, here goes...

1. I can be an extremely impatient driver. I may even exhibit acute symptoms of a condition known as ROAD RAGE.

2. I know I am the ONLY woman in America who feels this way, but I found the movie "The Notebook" offensive. So sorry.

3. I am addicted to OJ (calcium-enriched, of course!) I have it every morning, and if I don't, I can get cranky.

4. A little part of me dies inside if I ever have to pay FULL PRICE for something.

5. I like to eat lunch all by MYSELF (or with my friend TIVO.)

6. I studied FRENCH for ten years and I still have never set foot on French soil.

7. I have seen STING in concert three times and I will be seeing him a fourth time next month when I attend--wait for it-- the Police concert in Boston! I cried when a friend of mine told me he shook her hand at the Winter Olympics. I was so surprised at myself that I cried when she told me that, that I cried even more about crying. Seriously, what is wrong with me?

So embarassing. Now comes the part I don't like. I'm supposed to "tag" other people. But it's hard for me because I like to be the one who is pursued. And Jenni already picked everyone I am related to, so I am just going to have to pick from the rest of my three readers and people who need to update their blogs! Aargh! The anxiety! What if I get rejected?

1. Rachel (or Travis)- http://www.travisandrachel.blogspot.com/
2. Lisa- http://ohjudy.blogspot.com/
3. Kelly- http://diversifiedbeeson.blogspot.com/
4. Josh (or Petie)- http://singlepot.blogspot.com/
5. Angie- http://blondemama98.blogspot.com/
6. Matt- http://fatbluetuesday.blogspot.com/
7. Christa- http://1ststar.blogspot.com/

Done and done.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Life of a Warrior

Ethan: I'm going to be a warrior when I grow up.

Me: What does a warrior do?

Ethan: Um, follow the Prophet and work.

Me: Cool. Are you going to have a wife and kids?

Ethan: Yes!

Me: Is your wife going to be nice to me?

Ethan: You're going to be my wife! We will have 1 million kids!

Me: I can't take care of that many kids.

Ethan: I will help you lots!

Me: Will one be named Hailey?

Ethan: Yes--you can take care of that one.

I love that he thinks I'm the ideal woman (capable of raising a million kids!) I wonder how many years before this sentiment wears off...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Painted Veil

Wow. We watched this movie last night and I can't stop thinking about it. It was a heart-wrenching, beautiful love story. The people who write lame romantic comedies could take a lesson from the screenwriters of this. In my opinion, they depicted two flawed people falling in love very realistically. The acting was incredible. Maybe I want to be Naomi Watts just a little bit too much (I think we have the same teeth-does that count?) And I might be in love with Edward Norton now. The music was awesome. Now I know why you gave me the soundtrack, Mom! So, just my two cents about a movie nobody saw last year. Watch it and tell me what you think. But just a warning-you sort of need to have a high tolerance for scenes showing cholera patients--yikes!

Also, if anyone knows the meaning behind the title, let me know because Ben and I never really figured it out. Maybe I should read the book...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My Peeps

Maybe I am writing this post because I am having a particularly grumpy day. Mila had picture re-takes today and she said she brought home some form to fill out for them like a million years ago. Well, since I am so organized and on top of things, I went over to my ginormous stack of papers that I "need," and started to go through them. Since we were already running late to pick up a neighbor for carpool, the rummaging turned into throwing and high-class drama. Ethan went and tattled on me to Ben right as I was yelling at Mila, "Just tell the photographer your mom is crazy and has four kids and she doesn't know where to put stupid forms that come home from school! Wait...no, don't say that for reals!" It was that kind of a morning.

So, I am reminding myself today that I am a very lucky person. Not only do I have a great family and a great job (said without a hint of sarcasm, seriously), but I get to go out at night and "play" with my friends. My improv troupe, the Thrillionaires, got to perform recently at the opening Gala of the Covey Arts Center in Provo. It was a thrill (no pun intended) to perform for the Who's-Who of Provo and even get to meet some of them. Lavell Edwards came up and sort of stood next to my friend Brett with his arm on his shoulder like he just wanted to "hang." Then I met the Mayor without knowing he was the Mayor. When I did find out who he was, my friend Matt went over and asked him if he could have the key to the city, because Matt can get away with saying stuff like that. He declined the key, but promised us a pothole. Many people told us we were the highlight of the show, which included other acts such as the Utah Ballet, Utah Lyrical Opera, the Utah County Symphony, and the Wasatch Chorale. So we fit right in with that group! (What the heck were we doing there?) If you don't believe me about all this, just read what it said in the paper the next morning:

"A cultural buffet of violins, ballerinas and beautiful voices christened the theater of the new Covey Center for the Arts in downtown Provo on Thursday night — including a surprise appearance by pianist James O'Neil Miner.

The Provo Arts Council offered a sampling of coming attractions at the Grand Opening Gala, and a Utah Valley society-page audience roared with laughter at an improvisational play that lampooned center namesakes Steven R. and Sandra M. Covey, who donated $2 million.

An audience member suggested the name "Seven Habits" for the spontaneous musical by the improv group Thrillionaires, who did not disappoint.

"I want to sharpen your saw," the lovesick loser of a protagonist told his chosen after changing for the better in the wake of reading Steven Covey's "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People."

One of the biggest laughs came after the young man asked the girl to be his and she swooned, "I've been waiting for a proactive question like that my whole life."

The quartet and pianist did so well that Steven Covey stood at the end and signaled a touchdown."

He did, indeed!

I can't say enough about how much I love performing with these people. They are all as kind, generous, and loyal as they are talented and hilarious. Thanks for brightening up my crazy life, guys! OK, I'm so over the love-fest now. Back to diapers!

P.S. We are doing a Western show on October 22nd featuring Nashville band Jane Deere. On the 29th, we have our second annual Halloween show(my first, considering last year I was GREAT with childs), featuring live accompaniment by the incomparable Dave Tinney. I will be in both shows. See you there!