Saturday, November 17, 2012

All My Dreams Came True

As I'm sure many of you know, Jason and I have taken the very adult step of moving into my dad's basement. Every time people ask me where we are living now I feel like I am obligated to add a sheepish grin when I say we live two bedrooms down from the room that I once draped in purple and filled with beanie babies.

But the truth is, the move has been awesome. We have a house that stays the same temperature all year, a magical dishwasher, and a fatty couch that never disappoints. And all this without our dear bank account losing a cent. It has been great.

There has, however, been a downside. Throughout the years, our basement has become a receptacle for things we are too lazy/sentimental/frugal/lazy to throw away. In fact, the half of our basement that isn't finished looks like the Room of Requirement when it turns into a place for hiding things. Except there are fewer horcruxes. And sherry bottles.

So I've taken it upon myself to slowly tackle sections of the house to get rid of things like a 30 year old printer, baby-sized ski boots from before the age of plastic, and even an extra trampoline set. My cleaning sprees have gotten so furious, in fact, that I threw out my beloved American Girl Doll, Samantha -- whom they no longer make. Even though I deeply regret getting rid of Samantha (Jason even went down to D.I. the next day to see if they still had it) I don't regret all the extra space it gives us to store and access things we actually need. Imagine that!

During one of my projects today, I stumbled across a huge box that was filled with my old stuffed animals. Some of them, at least. And while I was throwing them all in the D.I. bag -- even the beanie babies with their tags intact -- I stumbled across this gem:

Adorable, right? Not only is he a perfect mix of a bear and a puppy, but he is also taking style tips from Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Waiting for his significant other by a piano, no doubt.

But if you think he is nothing more, you are sorely mistaken. Just take a look at this!

Growing up, I thought this was the sneakiest hiding place in the world. I thought it was so good that if the Nazis were to come after me, I would probably try to hide in the back of this bear-dog. It was so good, in fact, that I wouldn't even be able to find the things that I put in there. Dogbear just had a way of looking so inconspicuous I would never think to look in him.

This sneaky quality of his made it zero surprise to me when I saw that something had stayed in his zipped up bowels all these years.

Inside I found the long-lost key to a diary, which is also long-lost. But even though the key and the diary were never reunited, I am pretty sure I savagely ripped all the pages out of the diary's spine in order to read what was in those locked pages. I may never have learned how to pick a lock (not even one as complex as a diary from Pebbles in My Pocket) but I still knew how to get a job done.

But the best part of the discovery was this crumpled up paper. Was it a treasure map to more beanie babies? A dirty secret that I tried to get off my chest? A darling note written to my loved ones?


In very terrible cursive, the paper reads:

"I like a positive but sensitive buff guy but he still has to be hot and a good kisser"

That's it. No particular person I was writing to, no reason for writing it, not even a period at the end of the sentence.

At first I was embarrassed that I would think this was the most important thing I could leave for all of my posterity. After all, dogbear was the best time capsule any one could ask for. But then I realized that I got everything I wanted. I bet dogbear-note-writing-me would have given current-me a big ol' high-five and even a good-game-smack-o-the-bum for landing a "positive but sensitive buff guy" who is still "hot and a good kisser."

So, dogbear-note-writing-me, this blog post goes out to you. Thank you for shaping my taste of the opposite gender at such an early age, and making sure my tastes survived the test of time.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

No Spare Parts

It all started around 11am when I started to get sharp pains in my stomach, which for the majority of my life has been a signal to shove food down my mouth. So I self-medicated by eating all the food that was around me. 

Big mistake. 

I should have known that my instinctual medication wouldn't have been the best treatment. I'm not a dog that magically knows to eat grass after it eats an entire container of rotten cottage cheese (not that I did eat, or have ever eaten, an entire container of rotten cottage cheese).

So by this time, the pains had progressed from aggressive hunger pains into pains that felt like someone was using my intestines to make origami.  

When Jason got to my office I was balled up on the lawn, in a dress, and not caring about the poor children that were passing me to go into the dentist's office next door. Hopefully my mournful moans made them feel better about their fillings. 

My origami intestinal pain had now turned into a pain that made me feel like Hercules when Hades zaps his power. Except Hades, for me, was the massive slices of pizza that I had eaten for lunch to make me all better.

I was trying to figure out where to put my arms and my legs so that my muscles wouldn't have to hold them up, meanwhile telling Jason that I didn't need to go to the doctor. All I needed was a hot compress. I wasn't going to shell out a copay just to have someone in a white coat tell me I had really bad gas. 

Luckily, though, my dear husband spiritually guilted me into going to the ER by giving me a sweet blessing that said we should do all we could to get rid of my pain. I figured "all we could" meant a little more than curl up on the ground and watch Netflix. 

Once at the ER, it was barely lickety split before they found out that it was my quiet little appendix that was making all this hubbub in my body. However, lickety split had about 3 hours of intermittent waiting dispersed but I was enjoying the daydreams induced by dilaudid too much to care. 

I was definitely coherent enough to know that an appendectomy ranks barely above a hangnail when it comes to things that most people go to the ER for, but there was definitely a little part of me that wasn't really excited to hear that my little appendix would be leaving me so soon. After all, I had only had the guy for 22.9 years, you would think that the manufacturer would have a better warranty than that. 

Especially after I saw this little cutie on the old interweb:
Doesn't he look like something you would want to hold on to forever? Something that you might even be able to add to your constantly appreciating beanie babies investment? Granted, there were definitely some less savory pictures that I found, i.e. the bacteria filling that makes your appendix turn citis-y, but I was still feeling a little preemptory nostalgia for my appendix.

As I was preparing to get rid of my appendix (this mainly consisted of keeping my hospital gown somewhat in the closed position while multiple doctors were telling me that I couldn't wear my toe-rings into the OR) I realized that I have about reached the end of my spare parts. 

Way back in the winter of '98 I got rid of both of my tonsils and my adnoids; then in '08 I nixed all four wisdom teeth. Now, I'm typing this without any help from my appendix and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Like a kid who got his training wheels taken off too soon. 

To commemorate this loss of appendix, I composed this crappy haiku. I wish I could say that pain meds make me suddenly poetic, but I think they just make my face swollen. 

My dear appendix,
I hardly knew you were there
Til you screwed me o'er. 

Completely untouched image of me on pain meds

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Protecting Yourself From Sadness

8 years ago today my mom died. And 8 years ago I started feeling sorry for myself.

Even though I don't necessarily think it is natural for my personality, I kind of started seeing myself as some sort of victim. In class when we would be reading some book where a kid's parent dies, I always thought everyone was looking at me, or in church when we would talk about eternal families, I was sure that the teacher was sending side-long glances at me as if to silently tell me, "You know this lesson is for you, right?"

I've never liked being a victim; in fact, I don't even really like it when people hold the door open for me. I like to do things myself, I don't like to feel pitied and I don't like to feel like I am being looked down on. But for some reason, ever since I became this little half-orphan, I kind of expected it.

When I was going to Prom the first time I remembered thinking that people probably felt sorry for me that I didn't have a doting mother to help me find a dress or do my hair or take a thousand pictures that I would pretend to be embarrassed about but secretly adore.

Or when I went away to a different country for 4 months and I didn't have anyone to tell me how much they missed me and wanted me back home, I started to feel sorry for myself. Started telling myself that even though everyone didn't know my situation, they would pity me if they did.

And then I started being proud of my unfortunate self. "Look at me, I'm adopted and I planned my own wedding without a mom." "Yeah, I'm the only one in my family with brown eyes, but I still got into college." "Aren't you impressed that I didn't breastfeed and yet I'm still a fully-functioning adult?"

As embarrassed as I am to say this, it really wasn't until tonight that I realized what a complete idiot I've been.

A year ago I read the book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Buy it. You'll love it. And I did love it. But I think I had so much on my mind a year ago that I couldn't really give the book my full attention, although I did remember the quote that says, "you cannot protect yourself from sadness, without protecting yourself from happiness."

If you haven't seen the movie/read the book, I'll give you a little teaser and just tell you it's about a kid who lost his dad on 9/11 and goes all over New York looking for clues from him and during the process, he meets all different people and learns about so many different lives.

Tonight, as we were watching the movie, I finally realized why my mom died. It's not so that I could prove to myself and everyone around me that I could grow up without a mom, it's not so that my dad can hit golfballs alone in the garage, it's not so that my little sister could grow up largely ignored and my older sister could have three beautiful children without a mom to brag about them for her.

It's just because that's life.

Life is good and bad! Being sad didn't make me unique, in fact it's the opposite--feeling sadness is the deepest connection we have with each other. There are happy times and there are sad times because without the sad we can't have the happy. Just like on a swing, you can't have your very best time at the peak of your swing without being at the very bottom. The good and the bad is what makes us human! It's what we all share with each other! The fact that we can let people both in our lives and out of it is the absolute best part of life!

I left the dinky old dollar theater absolutely in love with all of humanity and feeling so in tune with the human experience. Even though I didn't lose anyone in 9/11, I still feel a huge loss and deeply connected to those people. Just like my heart breaks when I see homeless people coughing at a bus stop, or an old person alone at a restaurant.

I love being sad because I love being happy! Each day is a miracle and each person in this world is miraculous!

The main criticism that Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close the movie got was that it was overly sentimental and a melodrama. As is this post.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

To All Those BYU Students Who Say Utah Isn't Beautiful...

I give you THIS!!!


And maybe this,

But most of all, THIS...

Isn't he just the sweetest thing you've ever seen? Forget for a moment that he's probably rubbing his fur in some sort of wild animal's feces and just bask in his cuteness.

While Jason has meetings on Sunday I get to take my Hanky-poo for walks. All alone. Consequently, these couple of hours have turned into somewhat of a lovefest for him and me. Unfortunately, Hank loves his walks more than he loves me, so I spend most of my time chasing him, but all I ask is that he lets me adore him.

Luckily, the Bonneville Shoreline trail usually doesn't have too many passersby on these occasions, because sometimes my love for him can get a bit fierce. Like when I was standing by the fence and I yelled something like "cootsie boy!!!" as he was doing something particularly adorable, and the sound of my voice actually caused snow to actually tumble off the chains. Actually.

It kind of reminds me of this scene in Love Potion Number 9 when the trampy girl coughs in the back of the chapel and all the guys freak out with their lust. Except I don't lust Hank. No. I don't lust my dog.

It doesn't get good until at least 2 minutes, but this whole movie is a gem.

Despite the fact that I was kind of embarrassed that my love for my dog can reach such powerful decibels, I've never been one to hide my obsession with animals under a bushel. In fact, quite the contrary. Ever since I've been able to talk I've been shouting and pointing at animals around me, especially those of the four-legged variety.

And when Hank sticks his face in the snow like this:

coming up looking like he's a wolf wearing a grandma costume, I'm not at all embarrassed to say something like "my what big poopies you have!"

But this love for animals wasn't at all influenced by anyone around me growing up. In fact, I wanted a dog so badly that I finally resorted to acting like a dog, on all fours, meals on the ground, collar, tail and all, until my parents finally gave in.

It wasn't until a couple of years ago when I read a little paper with some information on my birth parents that I saw that of all the interests my birth mother could have written about herself, she wrote that she loved animals.

So even if I'll probably never meet the woman who baked me in her oven, every time I freak out about a dog on the side of the road or google image search "happy puppies" when I'm at work, I can remember that there is some lady out there who passed on this unconditional love for things that defecate in inconvenient places.

And who also made me wall-toed:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hey, Sweetie 3.14!

The title of my post today is a little homage to my inner nerd that is sometimes not so inner.

In fact, I'm actually pretty proud of the fact that I have more trophies for spelling bees and quiz bowls than I ever got for cheer or dance. And whenever I wander through the juvenile fiction section of the library or a bookstore, there are very few of them that I didn't bring up into one of the Heaton's trees and read.

Growing up I always kind of hoped that I would marry someone who was nerdy all his life but then magically blossomed into a hot and socially adept adult once he got to college. Jason, however, didn't really go through the nerdy phase that I did and was just always really cool. Just ask him about his entirely baby blue ensemble complete with visor and gold cross necklace. Way out of my league.

But when I read him this pickup line:

"If I move my lips half the distance to yours… and then half again… and again… etc…. would they ever meet? no? Well in this specific case I am going to disprove your assumption."

and he knew that it was based on Zeno the geometer's posits on the theory of motion, I knew that I had truly married my nerd charming. Oh yeah, he's a math major. 

Even though math majors are famous for the pocket-protectors, coke bottle glasses and spelling out "boobs" on their calculators, I just realized that some of the things I've been doing the past couple of weeks have been bringing out the English major nerd in me. 

At work, I have to help urge people to write comments by making fake ones and posting them all over the place. At first when I started doing it I thought the hardest part would be lying about how much weight I've lost, (diet pill websites) or trying to come up with different euphemisms for poop, (colon cleanser websites) or even what someone would sound like who has finally found a successful male enhancement, (self-explanatory) but the hardest part is coming up with a name. That's why a lot of the ones I've written lately have been from names I already know. No, don't worry, none of your names are on any male enhancement sites; instead, I've been taking some of the ones from my book friends:

Been trying to lose weight for years and even though I'm really into taking long walks outside, I haven’t ever reached my goal weight. Then, I tried Fenphedra and I couldn’t believe what a difference it made! I still try to exercise and eat healthy but it’s so much easier when you actually see results!
Char Bronte Jan. 13, 2012

My mom's been telling me to lose weight for years and I've never really cared to. Then my cousin showed me Fenphedra and the weight has just been magically coming off me. Now I'm boxing and feeling great! Three cheers for Fenphedra!
D. Dursley Jan. 27, 2012

I used to be really in shape when I was younger and more active, but as I got older the only thing that's in shape any more is my legs. At my wife’s request, I tried Fenphedra to see if it could help me get down to a healthier weight and sure enough, I’ve already lost 30 pounds! I feel so much better and Anne loves the way I look! Thanks!
Henry T. Jan. 30, 2012

I tried Fenphedra after reading about its more scientific formula, and sure enough, just like the research said, I started losing weight and feeling better. In fact, just weighed myself this morning and voila, I’ve lost 13 pounds!
Maria Curie Jan. 31, 2012

I've tried to tell myself that I'm just big boned for years, but when a special lady came into my life I decided to drop some pounds. With Fenphedra I've been losing weight so fast it's almost like magic!
R. Hagrid Feb. 1, 2012

I know that sending out comments under literary monikers is not exactly on the same level as learning elvish or dressing up as Jack Sparrow, but at least I know that the years and years I've spent reading haven't been in vain.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

TMI 2 Soon?

Ever since I got married I have found myself sharing little snippets of privy information to anybody that will listen, even though they should probably should be kept private.

Like, for instance, the guy bagging our groceries probably doesn't want to know that the Fiber One cereal we bought is now indispensable because it keeps me doing the deed regularly, though still not when I'm on vacation. Or in a public place. I've even turned into that girl who doesn't mind changing into or out of her swimsuit when she's in the RB locker room. Just as long as no one makes eye contact. I think it's due to the fact that the majority of my conversations are with Jason so I just assume that if Jason wants to hear it, everyone does.

All that being said, I'm about to share something with you that I never thought I would an hour ago. I give full disclosure that you might never look at me the same again.


Early this morning I had that kind of awakening start where your eyes pop open and nothing else on you moves, your head is completely awake but your body is still kind of asleep. Usually this happens when I remember things I have to do in the day. Not good kind of things like "Oh it's Christmas morning!" but the kind of things like "That project I have known about for months but I have done zero work on is due today!" Waking up like this is usually the start to a frantic morning running on adrenaline and morning breath, but was probably the only reason I passed fourth grade. There's a really good story there, but I'll save it for a later date.

Anyway, this morning's early wake up call wasn't due to a forgotten assignment, and it definitely wasn't due to presents waiting under a tree, I thought I was peeing.

My eyes popped open and I thought to myself, "am I peeing?" and then I told myself, "no, you can't be peeing, you're not on the toilet." Instead of having a shoulder angel and a shoulder devil, my subconscious is made up of a worrier who likes everything perfect and thinks it's the end of the world if it's not, and the other half has the general disposition of someone who has smoked the ganja root (that's a real thing, right?) all their life and doesn't get worked up about anything. It's kind of like the mayor from the Nightmare Before Christmas.
Fortunately, my scary frown face was the own who won the rest of my body over and I quickly sprung out of bed to find out that, sure enough, I was peeing. Real pee. In my bed. At 22.8 years old. With the man I'm most sexually attracted to lying next to me. 

So I run to the bathroom to try to get some of that real pee actually in the toilet, you know, where it's supposed to go. But then I'm sitting on the toilet and I start to actually process what happened. It went a little something like this: "I have pee underwear around my ankles, I have pee on my legs, I have pee on the bed, there's pee everywhere, the pee will never stop, I'm a pee girl, all I do is pee..." That's about when I let out a sound somewhere in between a moan and a dry sob which caused Jason to say, "Alex...?" 

Up until Jason spoke words, I kind of thought that I would be able to clean up this whole mess and wake up beside him like the full grown adult that I was last night. But as soon as I realized that he was awake I knew that I would have to face this catastrophe head on. That's when I started to fall apart. 

I don't think it was so much that I was embarrassed of wetting the bed, obviously I'm putting all this information on the old world wide interweb, (bet you wished I was protesting SOPA now) I think it was more the fact that I have always prided myself on having an ironclad bladder. When I was little, I was potty-trained so fast my parents actually thought I was autistic (there were other reasons too...). And, besides one incident at a haunted house in middle school, I really have no memory of having accidents down there. 

Until now. So I started to freak out. Telling Jason he couldn't come in the bathroom, jumping in the shower, yelling about how disgusting I am, frantically scrubbing any surface, telling Jason he'll never love me again, practically sobbing that I would be afraid to ever go to sleep ever again, you get the picture. 

Throughout it all, Jason was a champ and was trying to console me with his saged wisdom from his bedwetting past. You see, Jason was on the other spectrum of bladder control that I was, and he was unfortunate enough to wet the bed well past when it was adorable. So he had years of experience to know how to handle the situation. I, on the other hand, was still an emotional wreck who thought her body was falling apart. 

Even though there were some tears and Jason had to tell me almost every good thought he's ever had about me, I did end up getting back in bed and letting him spoon me, despite my many warnings that I may lose all control and pee on him. I have no idea why I wet the bed. Maybe because I was really cold when I was falling asleep, or because I was super tired, but the lesson I've learned is that sometimes you have to do really gross things in order to find out how much the people around you truly care about you. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sexy Cougar Kittens

Believe it or not, my new enthusiasm for eating better (aka less) and working out more was not really prompted by the guilty resolutions made on the first, nor was it from the fact that being married just for 6 months has already started to make me soft, it was Planet Earth.

Because I work from home, it's easy to get distracted as I madly type away each day. So I keep Planet Earth running in the background so that I don't get too stir crazy, even though it means that I have to hide behind my laptop anytime a predator actually catches its prey. The only exceptions are the dolphins. I always root for them.

But watching about all these animals who don't eat for months at a time because they're hibernating and such made me realize that typing for 8 hours a day while lounging in my blankets is probably not too different from the hibernation of the Polar bears in their ice cave, (we rarely turn our heat on) yet I feel the need to eat 3-5 meals a day.

Since any of my plans to eat less usually involve me yelling at myself like Liz Lemon before she goes to a party where she doesn't know a lot of people, I decided to up the ante on how often I drag myself out of our house. Or even out of the TV room. So I signed myself up for this triathlon.

This is how I found myself at the BYU gym in the Smith Fieldhouse.

As soon as I walked in I couldn't believe how out of place I felt. Not because some of the machines absolutely mystify me, (I have a rule that if I can't figure them out by walking by them then they're not worth my time) but because the whole situation felt like a middle school dance.

All the girls seemed to be clumped together and trying to look cooler than they actually felt, and the boys were kind of wandering around hoping that they weren't the shortest ones there.

I was trying to do everything I could to make sure people could see my ring, not because I was worried anyone would be picking up on me, (if you saw how much my entire head sweats when I work out then you would know that I wasn't worried about that) but for the same reason I wanted to wear my 2002 EFY shirt or get my degree tattooed on my forehead: to show people I'm old!

Listening to the girls on the ellipticals to my left recap their first semester of freshman year just made me so happy to be done with that phase of my life. Don't get me wrong--I LOVED freshman year. Probably too much. I met three of my best friends that year (one of them I now share my bed with), I never cared about when I went to sleep, classes were more about meeting people than learning things, and don't even get me started on the glories of Dining Plus, but all good things must come to an end.

And as the girls next to me were constantly looking over their shoulder to make sure guys noticed how well their Nikes matched their gym shorts I just wanted to lean over and tell them that they were both getting sweaty butt cracks.

But it wasn't just the girls either, there were guys there in Sperrys and V-necks with more mousse in their hair than I've cumulatively used in my lifetime. And if they weren't hipster boys on the treadmill they were muscle-men that looked around the entire gym after finishing a set as if expecting a round of applause.

I suppose this phase of life is just like anything else that comes and goes; as soon as you're not wearing butterfly clips and jeans with holes in them you start wondering why you ever did in the first place. Can't wait for 5 years from now when I think I'm an idiot for ever writing this post.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Are You There Blogger? It's Me, Alex...

Usually, when I don't blog for almost a year, I start the rebirth post with a sappy "Forgive me blogger for I have sinned, it has been yada yada days since my last post..." type of apology to the anonymous blogging world and, of course, an iron-clad promise that I'll do better next time.

But I decided I'm not going to do that today. Instead, I'm going to start with a silent pat on my own back and a "you're welcome" to absolutely no one in particular.

Although I'm not going to apologize, I do feel like I have to do somewhat of a recap of the last... 8 months? that I've been ignoring this blog. Plus, I just did my annual camera to computer picture upload so I've suddenly got all these memories that I have to archive.

P.S. these will not be done in chronological order because I'm not a machine.

I made one of the most platypus-like faces known to mankind. Oh, I also ran a marathon.

We watched the most epic, and last, installment of the Harry Potter movies. Stay tuned for when Jordyn Canady and I remake the whole series into movies that actually do the books justice!

I went on a honeymoon! Of which this is one of the only pictures. Since I can't fully document it I'll just say, it was beautiful, we got tan and ate a lot of beans.

Our honeymoon tour spanned from Provo to Phoenix to Mazatlan to Portland to Island Park to Provo and since Jason's mom was nice enough to load us up with a ton of house stuffs, we had a most epic Budget truck ride from Portland on. Jason is pictured because he did most of the driving.

We celebrated my third favorite holiday with a totally legit pumpkin carving fest. Thanks to some overachiever on pinterest, we even carved SANDVIK in the back of it.

We were murderers!!! Well we went to a murder mystery party anyway. My character was this awesome heiress who was also a bootleg driver who knew how to handle a Tommy-gun. Jason was a sexy gambler who ran the bootlegging business. Needless to say, our characters also had a steamy romance.

We got a Kinect and Jason got a little too competitive and completely smashed the light fixture. With his head. So we spent one of our first nights in our new house cleaning up glass off the carpet and out of Jason's flesh.

 Oh, and I got married to my favorite person.
 Which is most likely the best thing that's ever happened to me.