Friday, July 16, 2010

Veggie Tales

Behold the salsa garden:

Ry and I spent a good chunk of the early summer digging, chiseling, building, planting and conquering.

And in just a couple of weeks we'll be harvesting. Then we'll have salsa. Lots of salsa! We planted sixteen tomato plants (plus two rogue plants, which we didn't plant, but celebrate nonetheless), six pepper varieties, four rows of corn, etc.

Stick it, Pace Picante Factory; I have a canner and I know how to use it!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bethanyisms (Stranger From the Past... part 3)

You thought I forgot to finish my story, didn’t you? Ha! Not so! I was just building some literary suspense. So much, in fact, that you’re probably baffled as to which story I am referring.

Yup, I’m that good.

Go refresh your memory here and here. Then, pour yourself a glass of Dr. Pepper and meet me back here in a couple minutes. I’ll be waiting…

So… yeah… freeze outs. My girls and I had just YMCA’d ourselves silly at the Stake Dance and had to stop at the pump to re-gas before truckin’ it home for the night. Don’t you worry now; we hadn’t started the freeze out yet. We were young women of scruples, remember.

A truck full of guys pulled in at the pump beside us. They were strangers. They were cute. We made googly-eyes at them and they at us. Two of the guys went inside the 7eleven to get Slurpies while their buddy, we’ll call him Chet, stayed outside to flirt with us through our unrolled window. Our tank full and our curfews impending, we blew the handsome chap a farewell kiss and pulled out of the gas station.

I’m not sure who had the idea—certainly not me… no, certainly not—but someone proposed that we begin our freeze out immediately. We were far enough from the gas station that no one could see into our car, but close enough that the boys would know we were up to some mischief. We pulled off our shirts and waved them out the windows like hankies—giggling like crazy, knowing that the guys would NEVER be able to catch up with us.

I learned an important lesson that night… about teenage boys. In one fluid movement, Chet knocked the gas-hose from his car, popped his keys in the ignition and, VRRRROOOOOOMMMM, skidded onto the main road.

We shrieked with terror and delight as Chet gained on us. “Faster, faster!!!” we coaxed our driver, but her car was no match for the willpower of a warm-blooded 16-year-old male. He veered into the lane beside us and rolled down his window—both cars traveling at an unpardonable speed.

“Wooooh!” He yelled, leaning his head out of the driver’s window and revealing that he had somehow, while racing to catch up with us, also removed his shirt.

“Ahhhh!” we replied.

Next thing we knew, Chet had pulled off his trousers as was swinging them out his car window like he was fixin’ to lasso himself some dinner. “Woooooohweeee!” he hollered. I still don’t understand how his was able to do this while keeping his foot on the gas and eye on the road… but it is what it is.

Now, us girls, we continued shrieking and wailing as though our innocence was being vacuumed from us in the most deplorable manner (though, admittedly, this was the most interesting and exhilarating thing that had happened to us in quite some time). We did our best at covering ourselves and made a quick-thinking turn onto the highway, thereby losing Chet, in all his pantless glory, forever.

“This is not a story to tell our parents,” I said as we made our way down C-470, our heartbeats beginning to settle. “Not ever.” And everyone agreed.

…but back to the service line at Gandolfos, nearly five years later.

“Don’t I know you?” the handsome, scruffy customer asked.

Hmmm. “I… don’t… think so?”

“No, I swear. You look very familiar to me. Do you go to UVSC?”

The line of customers behind him began to grumble. My boss gave me the move-it-along-woman look so I gestured to the next customer. “Welcome to Gandolfo’s. What can I do for…”

“Now I remember!” the scruffy customer gave his finger a satisfied snap. “You’re that girl! You know, the one without a shirt!”

I felt the blood drain from my face because I knew exactly what he was talking about. He was Chet. All of the thirty customers in line fell silent and gaped at me.

“Bethany?” my boss asked, a concerned furl to his brow. As long as he’d known me, I had always seemed so innocent, so virtuous. How on earth was I going to explain myself out of this one?

Especially after what I said next...

“Oooooh yeah!” I accused Chet loudly. “Well you didn’t have any pants!!!!”

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sierra: Hey Bethy. Just called to talk about the Bachelorette. Ali’s dress. Thoughts?

Bethany: The idea was good, but the execution was lacking.

Sierra: My thoughts exactly.

Bethany: We are so sisters.

Sierra: Well, gotta go to work. Love you.

Bethany: Love you, too. Bye.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Fourth

The Fourth of July is one of my all-time favorite holidays. Parades, barbecues, fireworks, an excuse to dress the family in matching outfits... what's not to like? This Fourth was especially awesome because my folks came in town to help celebrate. Nothing reminds you how spectacularly adorable your children are more than Gampa and Gamma fawning over them...

...and can you blame them?

Here we are getting ready for the Sugarhouse Bike parade.

Oh my, it is a fun event. Hundreds of kids ride down the street on their bikes, throwing candy, and feeling like celebrities.

Kiana won the "best decorated bike"category. Personally, I think she won for being the cutest girl in the parade, but since I decorated both the bike and Kiana, I felt mighty proud of myself either way.

Here's me accepting a gift certificate for a personal pan pizza on Kiana's behalf. I am either proclaiming "I DID IT! I REALLY DID IT" or pretending to be a chipmunk. I can't remember which.

Here's the bike. I thought the stuffed "aminals" on the back were a patirotic touch.

Doug let the parade business go to his head. Here, he struts down the street followed by his doting entourage.

Bring on the fireworks.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday Behavior

Have you ever felt like a sacrament sermon was given specifically for you—that the words were inspired to give peace and comfort, guidance and enlightenment on a trial you were facing in that exact moment in your life? It’s a warm/fuzzy feeling, that one.

Have you ever felt like a sacrament sermon was given specifically because of you… and not because of something you did right, but because of something you did wrong? That’s a whole different feeling entirely.

Today the stake presidency came to our ward with a very urgent, very specific message. Three talks, one full hour—the topic: sacrament meeting reverence (translation: “controlling your children during church”).

Upon hearing the subject matter, I rubbed my nose and shuffled my feet from side to side. My mind flashed back to the time Doug yelled “Are you going to spank me, Mom?!” at the top of his lungs right after the sacrament prayer. It was our first week in the new ward and set a firm precedence for things to come.

My kids struggle at church. They struggle loud and they struggle big. The Stake presidency must’ve caught wind of it. I’d always romanticized the idea of being someone’s muse, but somehow, this is not what I had in mind.

One of the counselors spoke about arming our diaper bags with reverent, spiritual activities: family photo albums, BOM storybooks, blank paper for children to draw pictures of temples and portraits of the bishop. I looked over at Kiana’s coloring book. Holy Hannah! The Little Mermaid is naked! Princess Jasmine is dressed like a harlot! How had I never noticed this before?!

Next, the counselor told up to make sure the snacks we brought for our children were clean and non-distracting. I looked over at Doug. There was a tootsie pop stuck in his hair.

I spent the whole meeting hypersensitive of every move and noise my children made, my shushing noises sounding like a windstorm in Kansas more than a motherly reminder at good behavior. I could feel the ward’s eyes on me—judging me, rebuking me, pitying me. And then, just as the stake president concluded with his testimony on Sunday reverence, THWACK. A Disney’ Princesses coloring book had sailed through the air and beaned me right in the noggin.

It was too good. I had to laugh. And I did.

Friday, July 9, 2010

My Personal Chew-Toy

I often express myself with my teeth.

Ask any of the ballpoint pens in my house. They’ll tell you it’s true. Pocked bottoms, flattened caps, they’ve all been mutilated in a horrific, gruesome manner that would cause the most enthusiastic horror-film buff to run to the bathroom with his hands cupped over his mouth.

It’s that bad.

Sigmund Frued would’ve suggested that my chewing-on-things problem was a result of not having my oral needs met as an infant—to which I respond “ew” (But I respond “ew” to almost everything Frued has ever proposed). Personally, I believe that I chew on pens, and other household items, to keep myself from chewing on humans.

And no, this post is not a salute to Twilight.

If you are truly loved by me, you have, at one point or another, been munched upon by me. Whether a victim of a spirited velosiraptor attack of just a casual good-to-see-ya nip, you can’t help but feel bathed in the warmth of my love—even while massaging the teeth-shaped indentations from your skin.

There is one person, however, who has been chewed-upon more than any other. Ryan. He has endured exactly six years of my insatiable teeth (six in a half if you include our courtship) and, I must say, is better for it. I could write a whole book about how much I love this good-natured, hard-working, ruggedly-handsome, ridiculously-forgiving man. I love him so much and, even still, I can’t believe he chose me.

Thank you, Pooh Bear, for all that you are. These have been the best fang-dulling years of my life!

Happy Anniversary!