Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The only things I have made with my hands

So, many moons ago I posted pictures of my first quilt here. Since then I have made 1 and 8/9ths of a quilt and I thought I would regale you with them now.

This elephant quilt is Jojo's.



I started it back when we had decided her name was going to Lucinda Maxine Lewis. That is why it is monogrammed L M L on the back. Obviously, we did not name her that, but what is sewn is sewn. Kind of like when I dedicated my thesis to Sophia R Lewis, but I named my daughter Sophia Jane. Oh well.



For the record, we almost named Jojo, Lucinda Hero Lewis as well. What stopped us was the actual mythological story of the girl Hero, which is not very inspiring. Even Shakespeare's Hero was a bit of a sissy.

Here is the quilt I am almost done with now. I had planned to be done with it by the end of Nablopomo, but I forgot how much teaching University of Spleenex sucks the soul out of you. Still, I have seven months to finish it, so I should finish it in time for mini-me #3.



Here is a close up of the monkey.



I'm super proud of this one, and I'll tell you why--I designed the whole thing AND it's entirely hand quilted. What this means is that I am a genius.

Happy Nablopomo everyone!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Day Boy and the Night Girl

When I was in high school I read this charming fairy tale and promptly forgot the name of it. It was about an evil witch scientist who performs a terrible experiment where she essentially kidnaps two babies and raises one in darkness and one in light. Eventually the two, a boy and girl, meet and have to defeat the witch, helping each other overcome their fears of darkness or light. It's just a cool story and I've thought a lot about it since then. I was reading a book last night that quoted that story! So I looked it up. The story is called "The Day Boy and the Night Girl" and it was written by the pastor George MacDonald in the late 1800s. You can listen to it online here. I couldn't find a nice online copy to read, though I found a lot of comments by people saying there is one. Anyway, it turns out he's written other stories that I really liked as a kid, like "The Princess and the Goblin."

It was kind of cool.

Monday, November 28, 2011

NABLOPOMO is going so slow this year...

Seriously, it's killing me.

Here's some fun news. My friend Diana Smith (who is awesome by the way), told me about a poetry contest on Goodreads, so I submitted and I got honorable mention. So I thought I would honorably mention that to you all. Here is the poem (I wrote it soon after Chris and I were married):


Elegy for my husband not yet dead, or even ill

After I paint the house black,
not just the walls,
but the screen door, the refrigerator and the toilet seat.

After I throw your finches out the third floor window,
put the gold fish and bowl in the freezer,
and ask the mortuary to bury Rufus the kitten with you.

After I have poured rubbing alcohol into the soil of the houseplants
raked 15 pounds of salt into our vegetable garden, and the neighbor's yard
maybe after that, I will be able to forget this Thursday morning

the white kitchen curtains
the blueberry bagels growing cold on the table
your lemon-blue eyes smiling at me over orange juice.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

First Advent

We celebrated our first advent tonight. That means we had a lot of goodies out and invited some friends to come over and celebrate with us. In retrospect, we think we may have jumped the gun. First Advent may be next Sunday. Oh well. It was fun, and since this is the last of four days Chris has off until December 16th, it might have been the only chance we have to celebrate with him.

So I just looked it up and today is the first Sunday of advent so, we did it right. Ah, the wonders of Google. Anyway I have nothing to say except it was a lovely evening. We had cinnamon rolls, cookies, pineapple, shrimp,chips and guacamole, Brie and crackers, juice, and cocoa. We played Settlers of Catan and the kids did not go crazy.

Hooray for the Christmas Season!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Guest Post by the Husband

Anna remembered that she hadn't posted yet today, so I told her that I would write one for her. I didn't have anything in mind, so I think I will cover my last year quickly and then write a little bit about how things are going now.
Sep-Nov 2010 was Basic Training. Horrible stuff. I don't recommend it unless you need to deflate your ego or lose lots of weight.
Nov-Mar 2011 was Officer Candidate School. Meh. It was better but I was glad to live with Anna again when it was over.
Mar-July 2011 THE BEST. The Armor School hadn't opened on Fort Benning yet so I was sent to be a temporary staff officer at OCS. I took a lot (A LOT) of naps and read a lot of books. WHen I wasn't doing that I was watching TV or planning how to go home early.
July-Nov 2011 THE WORST. Becoming Armor Branch qualified at the Basic Officer Leadership Course (Armor BOLC). Long days and late nights writing operations orders and giving presentations.

Now I am in a course called the Army Reconnaissance Course. I am learning how to do recon and surveillance work and how to train others how to do it on a tight budget. It is the only really useful school I have gone to yet. The Department of Defense is undergoing some huge cuts (projected 1 Trillion dollars in the next 10 years) and we are going to have to learn to do more with less.
We just finished a field exercise where we conducted day and night land navigation for four days, eight hours of sleep total, carrying everything you would need except for water (supplied once every 24 hours). It was fantastic training and only required three 5 gallon water jugs and a couple of radios.
But I am excited to be done with training and move out to Germany.

Additionally:
1)I am finally reading the Lord of the Rings. I have been meaning to start it since 2001.
2)I recently splurged and bought myself a pack of Toaster Struedel but realized when I got home that we haven't had a toaster for about a year now. I am trying to think of other ways to cook them.
3)I have been watching this video a lot lately. Dubstep+robot dancing= chris/soapy/jojo dance parties.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Chris got his Stetson


Chris got his Stetson today. As you can see, it is pretty sweet. You can tell he likes it because I can NEVER get him to pose for a picture and I got him outside (where anyone could have seen him). He's also been wearing it around the house all day. I think it's awesome.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What we did tonight

1. We ordered pizza.
2. We went to Barnes and Noble to use some 40% off coupons for Christmas presents.
3. Sophie taught us a cool new game. Jojo enjoyed it especially.

video

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Charity Fail

Today I told a friend we wouldn't be joining their group to go carolling at the nursing home tonight because the thought of old people made me want to vomit.

The joys of perpetual morning sickness.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Awesome pictures from my youth


The only regret I have about this picture is that you can't see the whole glory of the feathered hair clip I was wearing. I think this is fourth or fifth grade.

This next one of my mom and me shows my baby charm to the max, I think.

And here's one of my dad and me for good measure.


Here is me with my winning smile.


Showing off my yellow dress.

And finally, this one is here only for Bryan and Katie who don't believe I really do have a family. This is Christmas my freshman year of college with my Mom, and my brothers Matt, Erik, and Joe. My brother Tom was on his mission. Oh, and that's my murderous dog Moby Dick. It's actually not a flattering picture of my brothers at all, but it's the only one I seem to have right now. I promise they are all quite good looking and not thugs in real life.


I hope you have enjoyed this journey down memory lane with me. Maybe tomorrow I will steal some pictures off facebook and you can see what my family looks like now.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

When what you want is not really what you want

I'd like to take this fine Sunday evening to talk about the negative revelation I get from God. By negative, I don't mean he tells me that I am an ugly-faced stinker, I mean the revelation in which he says, "No."

I get more "no's" than "yes's" and I think that makes sense. I'm more likely to give clear guidance to my daughter if she wants to go play in the street than if she is quietly reading a book or playing with her ponies. So it makes sense that my Heavenly Father would be most emphatic in his "no's." Mostly I get this negative revelation when I have firmly decided on a course of action. It happens sort of regularly but here are the clearest times in my life:

1. When I already had a slot in the Peace Corps to go teach bee-keeping in Africa and I was told no, I needed to go on a mission. By the way, the Peace Corps was pretty angry with me backing out. Not so peaceful in their use of language

2. When there was no way in this world I was going to let my husband join the army.

3. When I had decided we wouldn't have any more kids...at least not for a long time.

For all these things I got a "No" and the reasoning I understood from it was (and continues to be the same): "What you think you want is not really what you want."

Have you had this experience too? It's a little frightening. You do the best you can to figure out what you want in life. You look at the experience of others. You evaluate yourself to find what really makes you happy. You do some research. You pick your goals and you go after them...only to find out your choices are wrong. You've somehow forgotten that what you want in life is not to be happy, it's to be like Christ.

(Caveat: Okay, I know that man is to have joy,but by the way, joy and happiness are different. And Christ is definitely not happy all the time. We have lots of his sad moments in writing.)

I am grateful for each of the "no's" I have received. My life is better and I am a better person because of them. I hope I continue to receive them. Still, each time I get one it shakes me up a little. I hope to eventually be more like my mother who has spent more time in study and prayer than I have, and has a more open conversation with God. I think this makes his comments much less of a surprise to her than they are to me.

To conclude this slightly too introspective blog post, I am posting a poem about prayer I wrote as a freshman or sophomore in college, which I hope will let you forgive me for my weird use of the term "grapeshot."

Prayer

When you kneel

your prayers, clear and light,

sing forever upwards.

My words, like grapeshot,

shoot out in all directions.

Hitting the walls, they echo and reecho until

They bounce back around my ankles.


You say God speaks to you in warmth.

“Like cocoa on a cold night, like

stepping out of a shadow into the sun, or

the hot weight of a baby asleep against you.”

This heat, this rise in temperature, is God.


Sometimes you hear a voice like

pages being turned, like

someone calling you in a library

like your mother saying goodnight or

a flock of birds taking to flight in the next field over.”

Soft but so noticeable.


God, you say, is everywhere,

and he loves

everyone.

Your arms stretch as wide as your smile

encompassing not only me

and every other lost soul in the world

but also our coffee table, the houseplant,

and your box of Wheat Thins.


As for me,

I almost see God all the time.

Lurking in the corner of my eye he

unravels the soft curls of ferns

tears flowers open

pushes chicks out of eggs

and he is always in the wind.

When it blows, cold and thorough, sounding out each of your bones,

that's God.


I come to my knees,

like a gazelle to a water hole

terrified of hidden danger

but compelled to drink.

Every possible spiritual sensation

makes me jump

(was that God or a hiccup?).

And every so often

I squint through my eyelashes

to reassure myself there is no ambush,

no shower of gold waiting to make my life a calamity

of divine responsibility.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tetris...oh, and some news

So I spent a good hour or so today starting, measuring, and pricing car seats because (SPOILER ALERT) I am pregnant. I was actually planning on revealing this to my wide blog audience at the end of the month but I feel pregnant and tired and I have been thinking a lot about car seats and I think you should too.

So here's the deal about the car seats. We have a Corolla (Sport) and it is pretty cramped in the backseat but we don't want to get a new car because, by golly, we bought this one cash and we don't want to have to get out a loan if we don't need to. And it turns out you can you can fit three car seats in the back of a Corolla (according to the interweb) you just have to get the right car seats. FYI I think you all should know that despite the fact that we now have a steady income we are doing an awesome job of living the poor life to save our money. Nebraska will do that to you.

We already have three car seats (well, two carseats and a booster) so I went to Babie's R Us, or however you freaking misspell that store's name, and measured and juggled and I am pretty sure we need to buy the most expensive car seat in the store to make this work. $300 for a car seat. It's not that it is smaller, it's just that the base is smaller and the carseat doesn't widen until it's like two feet above the seat. I didn't try them out in the car because after all my calculations, I noticed that the store was super busy and there were no available staff to go out and watch me play Tetris. So I'll be going back some early week day morning.

FYI and unrelated to car seats, I want to be clear that I am excited to be having a baby. Who would not want a child with such excellent genes? We planned to have this baby, but only after getting kicked in the pants by Heavenly Father. Seriously, were it not for the eternal truth that Heavenly Father answers all prayers, we would definitely not have planned to get pregnant now. Maybe never again. Still. There is divine revelation, there is interaction between deity and mortals, angels speak to man, and as a result Lewis #3 is coming. Think about that, and be careful what you pray about.

Baby is coming in July. We'll have a Utahn, a Nebraskan, and a Bavarian.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hooray for Grandparents!

Man, Grandparents are so great. Trish was here a few weeks ago and my parents came today and my girls are in heaven.

So, when my parents showed up they gave me a bunch of pictures of me when I was a kid. Some of them are pretty classic. I was going to take some pictures of a few of them and upload them, but I can't find our camera and my parent's camera is being weird. So, here is a picture of me and the Soap-star that my mom took today.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Christmas Christmas Christmas!!!

Man, I am super excited for Christmas. SO SO EXCITED! Our Christmas plans are uncertain because we are leaving to Germany so soon after Christmas and the Army definitely wants us to do a lot of stuff before we leave, but they won't tell us what until we have certain slips of paper. So we don't know when we will get to leave this state to visit family for Christmas, nor do we know when we will return.

Still, it doesn't matter because Christmas is terrific no matter what. I am excited to put up our tree and wreath right after Thanksgiving (don't mock me, it's perfectly awesome to do that). I have got some excellent present ideas this year. I am even doing well at figuring what to give myself (I relieved Chris of that responsibility last year). The only thing I regret about Christmas 2011 is that this awesome song no longer applies to us.



Man, I love Nebraska. Seriously, it is my favorite place to have lived. I'm not even joking. I should do a post on Nebraska.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

True story


Today, instead of eating lunch, I had eight Kit Kat bars. Word of Wisdom what? I would have had eight more for dinner but I didn't have anymore so I had leftover roast beef and veggies instead.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Best Husband Ever

So the girls and I have been sick for...well, forever. Chris has been so awesome at taking care of INCREDIBLY GRUMPY little girls and of me. (Of course I haven't been grumpy. I have been an angel. A sweet, dying, phlegmy angel of kindness.) He's cooked and cleaned and made funny jokes and taken a lot of hits in the face from Jojo (seriously, that girl loves hitting too much).

Tomorrow he starts Army Reconnaissance Course (ARC) and he'll be gone a lot and we will miss him. Who will make us quesadillas? Who will buy us nice quacamole? Who will give us nice long hugs when we feel vomitous? Who will take us on fun outings to the Atlanta Art Museum or to watch raptor shows? By the way, having hawks and buzzard repeatedly skim your hair as they fly super close to your head makes you forget about being sick. (Also, I was really proud of how unafraid my little girls were of having large, dangerous birds swoop around them--proud and nervous. Why are they only afraid of non scary things?) (Also, FYI, Soapy loved the Art museum. Who would have thought a 3 year old would like an art museum? It kind of makes sense though, she loves colors and pictures and she's too little to be freaked out by all the naked people. Also, she really liked stomping loud on the hardwood floor. She also set off an alarm. Oh well.)

So, in conclusion--Chris is the best. We will miss him tomorrow.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Van Gogh and stuff

Remember all you know about my shy high school self from my previous posts. Now, you should knowthat I was the most sought after babysitter in the ward for most of my high school years. I like to think this was because of my overall awesomeness with children. Seriously, before I had my own kids I was like the Pied Piper (not with rats but with kids). Now that I have my own kids I am still like the Pied Piper, but instead using sweet music to entrance children, I'm like the other story of the Pied Piper where he has an AK47 that he shoots over kids heads to try and get them to run away and leave him alone. And if he hits one, oh well. You remember that story.

Anyway, part of the reason I was a sought after babysitter was that I was awesome- for sure. Another reason was propbably that I had a lot of free time on my hands since I didn't really talk to people my own age. If I couldn't babysit for you, then I was probably babysitting for someone else. In retrospect I feel really sorry for all the parents who picked me up to babysit their kids. I was kind of hard to have a conversation with sometimes, uh all the time. My parents used to frequently say to me, "Penny for your thoughts, Anna." I always thought this was an awkward phrase and finally when I was home for college one Summer I asked my dad why they always said that. My dad laughed and said, "It's because you just stopped talking one day and we never had any idea what was going on in your head. It's better than saying 'TALK ANNA!'" So, I remember a lot of awkward silences going to and from jobs. Still these nice folks kept hiring me and a lot of them took great pains to help me against my will.

For example, the Evans family. At one point, I was very into photography and in fact, that was my first major in College. I almost went to Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) because they emphasized their photography program. I applied there and got in and everything. I was sure it was a good school because I had heard of it before...although it turns out I hadn't. I'd heard of MIT and had gotten them confused. Seriously, I applied and almost went to RIT under a misconception. It's a wonder that anyone lives through their teenage years.

Anyway, my point. Oh yes. I took an awesome picture of the Evans kids and gave a copy to their parents. They really liked it and decided to help me in the artistic world. They did this in two ways. First they started getting me wedding gigs. They told people I had never met to hire me as their wedding photographer, and when I turned them down, feeling terrified, the Evans ignored me. Not rudely but they just insisted somehow, and suddenly I was a wedding photographer. Not a terrific one, I'll see if I can find some of the pictures I took and post them up here sometime (not tonight though). Still, I tried really hard.

It made me feel really cool and grown up to be a wedding photographer in high school. It was especially nice of the Evans to do this even after I sort of accidentally/on purpose poisoned their son. HE got better, but they told me not to do it again. That's another story.

So the other thing they did had a lasting impact on me. There was a HUGE Van Gogh exhibit in DC and the Evans bought me a ticket to go with them to see it with them. I turned them down because I would have to talk to them and I didn't like talking to people. Sister Evans frowned at me, and brought it up again later. I turned her down again. Finally when she dropped me at my house after babysitting she told me they would pick me up on Saturday and I should be ready. So I went. Against my will. And it was so awesome. I really think it changed my life. Seriously, I think differently after seeing that exhibit. It's not like I hadn't seen all those paintings in textbooks or as prints before, but I never realized how different it is to see them in real life. That was one of the greatest gifts I received during my high school years. After that exhibit I checked out tons and tons of books about Van Gogh's work and his life. I worked as a shelver in the library (kind of the ideal shy person job) and I would always try to shelve books in the art section so i could just put the books I wanted to take home on the second row of the shelving cart while I shelved the others. FYI, when you work at the library you don't get charged fines. Nice, no?

So, here are the Cliff Notes to this post in case you couldn't be bothered to read the whole thing:

The Evans are awesome. Van Gogh is life changing. I no longer like small children unless they share my genes.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Speaking of Chris's creativity...

So here is a picture from of Chris's scriptures. I first saw this while he was missionary and it may very well be when I first started falling in love with him.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Coloring

So, Chris was coloring with Soapy tonight. He showed me his work. Originally, this was a picture of Elmo giggling through his fingers. No longer.


It's pretty impressive.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A blast from my spiritual past

I have mentioned before on this blog that I was a pretty shy kid growing up. I spent a lot of time in middle school and high school hoping people wouldn't talk to me. I was especially shy about talking about the Gospel. Mormons were very cool in my high school thanks to some good looking and socially amazing older kids in my ward. I actually think I got coolness points for being a Mormon, but that didn't mean I liked talking about it. After all, I had enough trouble carrying my end of a conversation about the weather. How was I supposed to share of defend my burgeoning beliefs about God and eternity? No way. I steered clear of any religious discussion.

So, with that in mind, here starts today's story of the first time I bore my testimony. It was against my will.

I was a sophomore and I think the math class I was in was called Integrated Math 2. I don't know exactly what we were supposed to be learning but we used our graphing calculators and things like sine and cosine stuff. If you can't tell by my awesome description I was a total failure at math in high school. Seriously, I tried but it baffled me.

Our teacher said that if we wanted we could do our classwork for the semester in a group. I never joined groups if I could help it. I wasn't planning on joining one this time, but inexplicably, from across the room, a girl and guy came over plopped themselves next to me, and told the teacher that we were a group. Emily was a cheerleader and Nick was a quarterback. I didn't know them at all. I was totally confused and incredibly anxious by this development. Seriously, it stressed me out.

In retrospect, I think they picked me because they mistakenly assumed I was smart. I seemed like one of the quiet, smart kids. I've always appreciated the assumption that if you are quiet it means you know something. Little did they know that my smartness was compartmentalized. I scraped by that class with a C. I'm pretty sure they failed or almost failed-- probably because htey were in my group. Oh well.

Anyway, one day in the middle of the semester we were sitting in our little group, fairly depressed. After getting three different answers eight different times we all made a silent agreement to give up for the day. I was looking at the clock when Emily suddenly turned to me and said, "Hey. You're Mormon aren't you?"

I stiffened, "Uh, yeah. I guess."

Emily went on, "So, like Jimmy, and Jason, and Megan go to the same church as you? You know them? And Tom Kohler? Do you know him?"

"I know them a little." I said. Tom was my brother.

"So, what do Mormons believe?"

Oh man, this was the one question I did not want to answer. "Oh you know, we're Christian."

She shook her head."No, I mean, I've heard about some guy. Smith. Some guy named Smith."

"Well, that's a long story." I protested. "And it's a boring story. Really boring."

"Please, tell me about this guy Smith."

"Maybe we should try number 3 again?"

"Please?"

I gave up. This was going to be a disaster. "Okay, fine. There was this boy named Joseph Smith. He was fourteen years old and he had a lot of questions about religions. He was confused about..."

Suddenly Emily interrupted. I swear her eyes were shining. "I'm fourteen years old and I have a lot of questions about religions!"

This annoyed me, "Look do you want to hear the story or not?"

She was quiet so I continued and told her the story of the first vision, that God and his son had appeared to fourteen year old boy because he had good questions and the courage to ask them. He wanted to know which church to join and they had told him that none had all the truth. They told him they were going to restore the true church to the earth, and they picked him to lead it.

When I finished, no one spoke. But it wasn't an awkward silence...it was nice. After a minute Emily said, "I don't know why, but I feel really good right now."

"Me too." I said. It was weird, I really was incredibly happy. Not laughing or giddy happy, but a weird sort of peaceful, full happy.

"Me too." Nick said. We'd forgotten about him.

Emily looked at me. "I really want to come to your church."

"Uh, well I'm going there on Sunday at ten. I guess you could come."

She arranged for me to pick her up. Nick volunteered that he couldn't but he would ask for another Mormon football player to take him to seminary.

Later that day, when I got home, my Mom asked me how my day went. I told her that I was really happy. Not just normal happy, but weird happy. I told my mom what had happened and she told me, or I guess I should say she taught me, that what I was feeling was joy. That when we share our testimony we are actually doing God's work and we get to feel the joy that comes with sharing his message of salvation.

I've been a missionary and I have a whole storage unit full of missionary stories. But this is the one I hold the dearest because I think it illustrates some important truths. Missionary work is not necessarily fun. In fact, I wouldn't use fun to describe any of my missionary work, though I am sure some people do have a lot of fun doing it. For me it is often awkward, hard, and painful. But for all that, there is this joy that fills me when I do it and lets me know that it is a really good thing. And that's why I do it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A little bit crazy-angry

I like to think that I am pretty level headed. I don't think I rush to conclusions, or get carried away by emotion. In fact, the more tense or emotional things get the more likely I am to try and change the subject or leave. But it turns out I have my buttons. There are a few subjects that can make me go a little crazy. And by crazy, I mean angry. It turns out that a lot of those buttons were pressed on my mission.

Here are the ones I know for sure about, though who knows what other ones lay beneath my seemingly calm exterior.

1. anti-feminist digs
2. teasing girls about weight gain
3. having my friends yelled at


Okay, so admittedly, number three is probably a button for most people. I had never had it happen to me before I went on my mission because my friends tend to be, well, totally awesome and therefore people don't usually yell at them. But Mormon missionaries aren't the favorites in Greece and we all got yelled at a lot. I didn't start getting angry about it until I really learned all the words they were saying. I didn't start yelling back until I was almost done with my mission. Anyway, it's pretty obvious that a missionary shouldn't be screaming at potential investigators so that's what I mean by crazy.

So number two hasn't happened since I stopped hanging out with boys in their teens. I feel there might be a misconception among insecure adolescent boys that telling girls, particularly girls that you like and intimidate you, that they are fat is a form of flirting. Has anyone else ever come across this? I had a bunch of friends in high school and on my mission fall victim to this. It's a weird thing that I think is just a result of not really knowing how to interact with someone you like. Maybe it's a form of trying to put someone down to make yourself feel better and at the same time get closer to them. I don't know. But it really gets to me. I threw a dictionary at a boy's head once for doing it. Honestly, I think I mostly just confused him. I don't think he realized what he had done.

Number 1 still gets me every time. Oh man, women's issues are huge for me. I am really sensitive to them and can get irrationally angry really fast. Now that I have two daughters it is even a bigger deal. The tiniest things can set me off. Back when I was in Sunday School and not in Primary I would sometimes have to say long prayers to have the spirit before I could make a comment after someone brought up some damaging folklore about our Heavenly Mother. Every time, EVERYTIME someone makes a joke disparaging women I have to take a deep breath and make sure I don't make a disproportional response. Just about all of them are done without hurtful intentions and my automatic response (pull out my machete and hack them to pieces) is rarely appropriate. Good grief, when I taught at BYU I gave one of my classes such a stern lecture on writing using non-sexist language that at least five mentioned it specifically in my teacher ratings (FYI the non-sexist language I talked to them about was that instead of just "he" or "she" you have to use "he or she" or pluralize it to "they" if it is not referring to a specific person. It doesn't seem like it should be a big deal...except it turns out it is to me.)

So there you go. If you are ever bored and you want to see what it is like for Anna Lewis to get foamy mouth mad go ahead and push one of those buttons. Probably a good idea to wear a helmet.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Red heads are more sensitive...for real

So it turns out that people with red hair may feel more pain than the rest of us. My friend Liz Cramer linked to this article and I thought it was interesting enough to share with you all. Also, I have a lot of work to do before I go to sleep tonight so that's all you get.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Blast from the past

I couldn't think what to write tonight, so I told Chris what I really wish is that I had one of my old journals from middle school in front of me so I could copy out an entry from it, but it's up in a box in our attic, and that is TOO much trouble for a blog post. Guess who immediately and cheerfully went up to go get it? All I have to say is that if marriage is a game, I won. And you are getting a journal entry.

Okay, so he didn't find the one from middle school,but here's a beauty from fifth grade.

This was in 1992.

I looked into a mirror today early in the morning and I saw a child's face of that ugly woman who is taller than her husband. Will I turn out like that? I hope not. I mean, at least let me be super plain, bu unliked, and everything, bu don't let me be kissing people all the time or giving them bear hugs that break their bones.

People say they like my hair. That's all they say. No nice hands. No nice looking face. NADA. I wonder why I got this hair? I would feel it's some thing that came from outerspace except for the tangles. They remind me of my room.
Hello, on Saturday I'm going to clean my room. I hope I will do it throughly. In other words do the usual stuff then take the stuff on the dressers and put it in the drawers - I don't usually stick to jobs. I haven't cleaned my room in 2 weeks.

Also, for your viewing pleasure, here is a picture of me from kindergarten. The blond boy pictured directly below was a total jerk who used to color on my pictures.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Short scary conversation

Me: Sophie, I'm going to give Jojo a bath. Do you want one too?

Sophie: No Mama, I am going to punch you in the face and then kill you.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Daylight Savings Time kicks our trash

What a day. I don't do well with Daylight Savings Time. This one was especially bad. I suspect it was all the result of me convincing myself it was okay to stay up to 1 a.m. reading a book because really it was only 12:00 a.m. Not a good way to start a day guaranteed to mess with the girls nap times. Whatever, we survived. I'm bored of talking about Daylight Savings Time. I want to talk about what a fast reader I am. Because I am a fast reader. Super fast.

Last night at 10 p.m. I picked up a book that was 358 pages long and I finished it in 3 hours (well, two hours if you count the magic of Daylight Savings Time). That is fast, no? That's a little more than 119 pages an hour. It was a young adult novel, so I was going to count all the words on a page and compare them to an adult novel to see if there were less words, but I lost count around eighty and then I got bored. Which is kind of how I feel about writing a blog post tonight in general. I'm going to go put Sophie to bed and then go to sleep myself.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I dare you to read four poems.

My friend Becky is having a Read Aloud event tonight (or it might have been yesterday--I'm pretty sure it was this weekend). It sounds like it's kind of like an open mike night with mostly poetry and some other stuff.

I graciously volunteered to supply her with some poems that I thought would be fun to be read aloud and she said, "Well, I guess that's okay." So you, lucky readers, will now get to see the few I selected for her. I picked them because I think they are fun and readily accessible to an audience. Some poems you have to study to get their awesomeness, and those do very poorly in a read aloud setting. So the ones I picked are easy to get from one out loud reading. Also, they are from top notch authors (with the exception of St.Vincent Millay who I think is considered not as serious as the others).

Hate poem by Julie Sheehan
I always presented this one to my BYU freshman on Valentine's day. It cracked them up.

Adam and Eve's Dog by Richard Garcia
This is funny and then awesome.

Archaic Torso of Apollo by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Stephen Mitchell
This is my current favorite poem. When I first read it I thought, "Ugh. There is nothing more boring that a poem about a work of art. Especially when it's just of a torso of a statue. Lalalalala so boring." But then I got to the last line and that last line is killer. I should have expected it to be awesome because Rilke rocks everyone's socks off. Even though he's dead.

Intention to escape from him by Edna St. Vincent Millay This is a fun break up poem. My freshman girls really liked it. I memorized it my freshman year in preparation for my heart someday being broken. maybe if Chris ever leaves me we can all get together and wear all his extra berets (he won't take them because he'll have his Stetson) and read this poem while sipping nonalcoholic wine. I was going to say sparkling cider, but that doesn't seem so appropriate for the mood.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Chris graduated today!

Hooray! Chris graduated from Armor Basic Officer Leaders Course (ABOLC). He did well enough to be on the Commandant's List (top 20% of his class) and got a shiny coin as an award. He also put his order in for his Stetson. Perhaps you are not aware that in the Army the formal headgear is a beret. I think it's hard for anyone these days to pull off a beret without looking weird, but I think it's especially hard for soldiers to do it because you'd think they'd be the most likely group to beat up anyone else for wearing a beret. Anyway, Chris is in Armor which is descended from the Calvary so he gets to wear a black Stetson which is waaaaaaay cooler than a beret.

They had a tank and a stryker that we could climb around in so we got some pictures. First of all, I thought the two fountains out front were going to be the highlight of the girl's day; however, I was mistaken.


This was Sophie's favorite part. The tank. She cried when we left it. Later at home she told me she missed her tank.


Here's a good picture of Jojo picking her nose by the Calvary statue.



I wasn't going to include this funky family photo, but we don't have a lot of them. So here are the Lewises in front of the Angel of Death.



As you can see, it's really called the Angel of Death.




Here is Soapy inside a Stryker, which is the vehicle that Chris will be in. Soapy is sitting right where Chris will be sitting. The screen above her is a thermal imager. It's really cool because the picture is made from heat that objects give off. It was really clear; I could see the fountains gushing water (note: I don't like the word "gushing.") It's really cool.


The rest of these pictures are from the stryker



We are super proud of Chris today!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Wasted Day

So much for my self discipline. What a wasted day. I spent the entire morning reading a book and waving away little girls like gnats. Sometimes kids are a little like gnats because they won't go away unless you deal with them or outrun them, and if you leave something out (like raw meat) they get into it. Luckily they can't fly. That would be terrifying. Also, it would be terrifying if they crawled in your ear. We had a fun afternoon though, so hopefully they won't remember this morning and use it as an excuse for later becoming drug addicts or serial killers or something.

Speaking of little girls, I have often wistfully thought how terrific it would be to be able to send Soapy and Jojo to an all girls school when they got older. I figured it would be nice for them to have an environment where answering the teacher's questions wasn't only a "boy thing," and where science and math would be something that they could encounter with fewer gender related preconceptions. I mean, I wanted them to never think they weren't good at math because they were girls. I thought an all girl school would help with that. Becky R. just sent me a link to this Slate article, and it was pretty persuasive. I don't think I want my girls in an all girls school anymore...which is convenient because they are PRICEY.Link

Also, I have to say I was delighted with all of your responses. I don't know if I will use them, but it totally helped to have other ideas--I'll start writing that part this week so I'll let you know how it all plays out.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Daily blogging is cramping my style

So, it turns out that as a thirty year old I am more disciplined that at any other time of my life. This makes me feel really awesome about myself, and really excited for the person I will become as I get older. Also it makes me pity anyone younger than me. (You little, undisciplined, lazy slobs. Don't cry, someday you will be like me.)

I just got a little embarrassed because, okay, if you know me you know there are a lot of areas that I am not disciplined in; however, I have come a long way. Compared to what I was, I am a superhero now.

The goals I am most proud of are exercising every day, and writing my book for an hour every night. Come on, that's impressive, right? Who has that kind of discipline? Me, that's who.

So here's my problem, daily blogging is cramping my style. I exercise with the girls in the morning, during their naps I do my University of Kleenex (Phoenix), and after they go down for bed at night I write my great American high school love story. And then I go to bed. I don't know where to fit in this blogging junk.

So I thought I'd use this for a little bit of research. I'm having a little trouble not finding corny solutions to one of my characters problems. Feel free to answer the question below and if you make fun of my plot I will kill you.

Let's say you are a devastatingly good looking high school boy and perhaps you have a sort of charismatic personality that makes everyone like you. You just moved to a new high school. The problem is, if you make friends it is likely that a lot of people will die. So, you know you have to ostracize yourself from all these people who want to be your friends. How would you make a whole high school hate you?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Best Halloween Ever


Who would have thought that Jojo would wear her costume the whole time...no complaining.


And Soapy is a princess...of course. (Though, last minute she begged to be a jaguar. Can you believe it Trish?)


Side note: an unexpected bonus to being married to Chris is that he gets progressively hotter every year.

It really was the best Halloween ever. There were pumpkins, there was candy, and there were two unbelievably excited little girls. Trick or Treating was soooo fun. We were out knocking on doors and I thought,"Wow! This is awesome! I could do this all night! I don't remember trick or treating being this fun. Is it more boring when you are younger?"

But then I remembered, I only went trick or treating once as a kid. I spent most of my elementary school days in Honduras. Halloween is not so big in countries where people don't have any money. One year, a few American families banded together to try and give us kids the real experience of Trick or Treating. We only visited the houses of other Americans who knew about the outing...or that was the plan. I don't know if we went to the wrong house, or if this American family had forgotten to tell their guards. (Note: In the area where the Americans and the wealthy lived everyone had guards.) So we came up to the gate, rang the bell, and sang out "Trick or Treat!!!" presenting our charming, costumed selves to the guards. At first they were confused by our costumes, but then they saw our little arms reaching out and they knew exactly what we were: beggars. That's when they started yelling curse words at us and brandishing their weapons, telling us to leave. I'm pretty sure they looked exactly like this:



Uh, except they were Honduran, not Somalian. And there may have been only two. And they may have not exactly pointed their guns at us. But that was the feeling my eight year old self got.

After bursting into tears, we got out of there as fast as we could. I guess the parents decided that was enough rick or treating for us because they took us back home after that. Happy Third World Country Halloween.

Anyway, this Halloween was tons better. Our next Halloween will be in Germany. Chris doesn't remember what trick or treating was like there, but I know some of you do. Is it as fun?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Nablopomo

Okay, Bridget posted her clarion call for Nablopomo. So of course I am doing it. Who else is in?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

In which I am awesome, not awesome, but eventually awesome again

Awesome: I made six crock pot freezer meals in one blow. I was so excited for all the free time I would have when I wasn't making dinner.

Not awesome:
I did not take into account that when you freeze a meal that is meant to be transferred into a crock pot, it needs to be frozen in a shape that fits in a crock pot. I thought I was being clever by freezing it flat so it would fit better in my freezer. I wasn't.



Awesome: I hacked that little stinker to pieces with my knife until it fit.

Not awesome: As it was cooking I decided to clean up the kitchen.I did the dishes and I noticed that my knife now looked like this:



That's right. The tip broke off. It was lurking somewhere in that barbecue chicken meal, waiting to rip my children's guts to ribbons. AAAAAaaaaaggghhhhhhh!

Awesome: After feeling angry, betrayed, frightened, frustrated, and finally peaceful I got the brilliant idea to search the whole meal with a magnet. If I didn't find it then I figured we would have to throw the whole thing out.


More Awesome: Look what I found! It was actually inside of a drumstick. INSIDE!



We ate, we were happy, and I saved absolutely no time by making that meal. I've learned my lesson. From now on we are eating Cheetos and Koolaid for dinner.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I am so famous

Here are some links that talk about my play:

First, this is my actual play/thesis.

This article was in the Provo Herald. It has a picture.

This article was in the Salt Lake Tribune. You have to scroll to the bottom. The other play "The Plan" is my favorite LDS play ever. If you are in Provo right now, you should go see it.

This is from the Association of Mormon Letters. Mostly I love that my work is being included under the heading: Mormon literature in the 21st Century- Dawning of a Brighter Day. You'll have to scroll awhile to see find me.

This is also from the discussion board of AML. It's something my teacher posted in 2007.

And of course, how could we forget the Daily Universe, who published this article, full of typos and misquotes. Okay, only one misquote that I know of. I never said "Audiences will have a good time. They’ll laugh and maybe cry, and they’ll really think about what would Jesus really do." I hope no one cries at my play. That would be inappropriate and weird.

Here
are some pictures of the cast.

And this is from A Motley Vision, which I think I already posted about, but I'm putting here to keep my collection together.

Feel free to start a fan club. And please don't ask me how many times I have Googled my name lately. It's pretty embarrassing. Luckily, whenever I think I am too awesome (The Daily Universe--swoon), Jojo blows her nose in my hair.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

"brazen and possibly blasphemous"

These are words from a mini review of my play script here

Exciting, no?