Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Winter Semester 2008
ENGL 420 001 Literature for Adolescents 3.0 B
ENGL 495 004 Senior Course 3.0 A
HFL 260 002 Family Finance 3.0 A-
SEM HR ERN 9.0 HR GRD 9.0 GPA 3.57

Obviously not my best semester, that would have been last semester, but a pretty decent GPA nonetheless.

I am going to the library today. I have decided to start a reading list of classics wherefrom I can learn and hopefully challenge myself, on my own terms. I am feeling hopeful and excited about the future.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hail To The Chief (the song I kept humming when I thought about graduation, because for some reason I couldn't get pomp and circumstance to play)

Okay, I've been putting this blog off. I have been tired, exhausted really, and yesterday I started feeling sick, kind of an all over achy feeling. I think I am a bit depressed really. Having school behind me makes me sad. I am excited that I am finally done, and excited to have been through graduation, but feel a little lost as to what I can do to progress from this point forward. During the past two semesters I felt like I was moving towards a goal, a worthy, wonderful goal. Now I don't know what I am headed for. I know that there are a multitude of projects to do, things in my house that have been neglected for quite some time, but there isn't that same end goal in the day to day living of being a wife and mother. Does any of this make sense? I know that enduring to the end is a huge deal, and I plan on doing that, but I believe that enduring means that you are moving towards something, exercising your spiritual, emotional, and educational muscles.

Instead of going on and on about that, here is the promised post about graduation.

Thursday's commencement was really good. Elder Bednar spoke about learning to love learning and I really appreciated his comments. As I was lining up in the processional I ran into old classmates, old mission buddies, old ward members. It was pretty fun to see so many people that I know. I have spent so much time on campus feeling like I only knew 3 people or so, so to finally have a day where I felt like I had a network of friends was great. I wanted my family at the convocation on Friday so the bigger crowd gathered at 5 p.m. on Friday at the Marriott Center.

As I waited to get into my assigned seat I talked with some girls from my Nonfiction class who were also graduating. We took a picture together and promised to send it to our professor. As I got into my seat I asked the boy next to me what his plans were. He was leaving the next day for Uganda, for two months, on a research trip to prelude his master's program in Education. Sweet, dude! That pretty much trumps my Disneyland adventure!

As we marched in I looked up to where I knew my family was sitting and there they were. The crowd was much smaller this time in the Marriott Center so it was pretty easy to see everyone. I felt so loved and so blessed to have so many people there who have supported me through the years, not just in my education, but in my life. Count your many blessings and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

This was the first (and probably last) time I ever sat on the floor (on a chair) of the Marriott Center. It was pretty cool. Our speakers were decent, but lets be honest, the end game to convocation is to get to march across the stage, and the speakers didn't quite understand that. When we were asked to start filing towards the stage the crowd was asked to withold applause until everyone had made it across the stage. The guy (Uganda boy) who I was sitting next to commented to me that it must be pretty embarassing for the graduate whose family and friends disobey the admonition to keep quiet. At this point I knew he was going to see me differently, because I was SURE my family would holler. And they did. I don't care if I am a college graduate, there are some rules that are meant to be broken. Thanks everyone, I heard you loud and clear.

When we met up after the ceremony, I was so happy, and when I finally got my arms around Harold I cried and cried. 21 years is a long time to take to graduate, he has been there for about 14 of them. I know, you are all getting sick of me going on and on about my great husband, but the reason I can't stop the praise is because he really is an amazing man.

On Saturday the party was stinkin' sweet. I had so much fun with everyone. The food was yummy, the company was perfect, and having no kids there really made it fun for everyone. I felt a little guilty about not including kids, but I had some guests tell me how great it was that they could have fun with other adults, without the noise of children. The one party glitch was that there was one critical piece of the chocolate fountain missing, but lets face it, who cares if the chocolate is flowing from a fountain or you just dip like a fondue pot, as long as its chocolate...

Monday, April 28, 2008

My Aunt Susie

I need to spend a moment on my Aunt Susie. I know a lot of people call her Sue or Susan, but I started calling her Aunt Susie when I was little and I have never been able to call her by any other name.

During this time of self reflection-post graduation-I have had some time to think about all the people who loved, helped and supported me for the past 21 years, especially with my education. Aunt Susie is one of the first to be there fore me. All those years ago as a new freshman my Aunt Susie offered for me to live with her family while I attended summer school at BYU in 1987. I lived in her home, ate her food, became even closer friends with her children, and probably gave her some grief because I was young and foolish. But if I did cause her any grief, my Aunt Susie has never said so. She is too fine a woman to do that.

Then when Harold and I had a flash of inspiration/whispering of the spirit that we needed to return to BYU so he could finish his degree, we called my Aunt Susie again. She never hesitated. "Come any time, whenever you need to." We came all right, within 2 weeks I believe. We lived in an upstairs bedroom, again eating her food, sharing her space, causing her grief. But, again, she never said so, we never knew it, because my Aunt Susie is too fine a woman to do that.

So today, April 28, I honor my Aunt Susie on her birthday, and thank her for the years and years of love and support she has given to my family. I don't say it often enough, but Aunt Susie-I Love You. I admire the woman you are, the wife you are, the mother you are and the grandmother you are. Your children and grandchildren are blessed to call you theirs. And I am blessed to call you My Aunt Susie.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Toot, Toot!

I had to announce the final grade on my term paper, Capote v. Grisham, was 100/100 points. I am on track to receive all points possible for my nonfiction class, plus 1. I believe that is an A+ in my senior course.

There is an amazing satisfaction that comes from accomplishing something that you weren't sure you ever could accomplish. Not just graduating from a university, but I haven't received a straight A on a paper in a very, very long time, if ever.

The party was terrific, but like I said, I have to wait to post until Monday. I have feet that are literally aching, but it is a happy ache.

I'm Gonna Leave You Hanging

I just needed to check in quickly to let you know that I am now officially a graduate of Brigham Young University, with a baccalaureate degree in English from the College of Humanities.

I have been having a bunch of fun with family and friends, with the party being tonight. I will post a big, long post on Monday with all the nitty gritty.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Wednesday: I got up early (5:30), worked for 2 hours, got ready for the day, drove Harold to work, went to the store for some OJ, ran over to BYU to pick up my cap and gown (and as it turns out they weren't "open" yet, whatever), dropped the OJ off at Grandma B's place, and drove up to my mom's house.

I offered to do some house cleaning for my mother so I vacuumed her place which made my arms sore. As I was vacuuming I realized I don't do much of that activity any more. My kids usually do that, and I reserve the tougher cleaning jobs for myself. There is so much carpet in my parents house it seemed like it kept on going and going and going. I also cleaned up a couple of bathrooms. All right, I wasn't going to tell why I did house cleaning for my mother, but the reason is that they have me on their cell phone plan and I singlehandedly took us over the 700 minutes we share in the month of March. They only explanation that I have for me using twice the minutes I normally use is that we were on vacation in March, though I don't remember using the cell phone all that much. So in an effort to help them NOT regret adding me to their plan I offered to do house cleaning to make up the difference they had to pay for me going over minutes.

After that we went to shopping (to try to find me a new outfit), Rumbi Grill (for lunch), Costco (to price out the things I need to buy for the Par-tay), and further clothes shopping (to see if we could find cheaper outfits for me-some of those 'big-girl' shops really try to rip you off!). Sure enough we found some pretty cute clothes for way less. We bought these super cute cropped pants, not high enough to be called capris but not full length pants either. I really like them. I am sure I will be sporting one of the new outfits at the par-tay.

Dale ended up picking up my cap and gown, for which I am grateful. I was so stinkin' busy that I don't know when I would have made it back to the Hinckley Center to pick it up. Poor Dale even had to fill out my "Join the BYU Alumni" information card. Thanks Dale!!! Don't forget to iron my gown! :)

I came home and went to the park with the kids and Karen and her kids for about an hour. After that I went to pick up Harold and while I was on my way back up to Provo I got a call from Savannah telling me that Chardonnay (her cousin who lives in Denver) was on our front porch. Turns out the Jason and the 3 kids drove all day yesterday and arrived last night. We were surprised and delighted that they made it so we currently have a houseful.

Today is all rainy and gray out. It will probably turn to snow at some point. But the cold, wet weather cannot dampen my spirits. Pomp and circumstance, here I come.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Celebration Week: Day 2

How do you like my new shirt?

I took my final final yesterday afternoon and walked out of the Joseph Smith Building a new woman. I was waiting for Dane to finish his final and as I stood there it hit me that I really was finished. As I thought about that and how long it has taken and how good it felt, I started to cry. It felt a little odd because somewhere inside of me I was waiting to exhale. I still felt this huge weight on me that I really didn't know was there.

The funny thing was that when I got home it was business as usual. The job of a mother is never done really. I had to start thinking about dinner, which I have spent about 9 months avoiding. After Harold got home I ended up fixing French Toast. No bacon, sausage, eggs, or hashbrowns. Just French Toast with OJ. Oh, and no syrup because we were out. I'll admit that dinner was a little anti-climatic after my big day, but that is life really. I remember President Hinckley saying something about life being like a long train ride with nothing much to see with the occasional beautiful vista to break up the journey. (That is of course a paraphrase, I am kind of a stickler for quoting directly, especially from a prophet, but Harold is in the shower and when it comes to quoting prophets he is way better at remembering than I.)

I am headed out to watch Sav at the Hershey Track Meet for 6th graders today. I have no idea which events she is participating in, me being the really focused mother that I have been lately. Next week is Mack's meet, which he has been waiting for, for months. And, I have agreed to be a parent escort that day, so that should be fun.

To My Mother-In-Law: That is funny that you mention graduating in 1968. Harold also mentioned that he graduated in 1998. Me in 2008. So then I figured out that Sav could possibly graduate in 2018. That "8" must be a lucky number!

Also, I have been admitted into the "Young Alumni" association. I have been seeing signs around for it and I had no idea what it meant. Of course I am thinking Young from Brigham Young. Nope, it turns out that it means those who are within 10 years of graduation. So officially Harold is no longer a Young Alum, but I am!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Graduation Week

I am well aware of the fact that I have been tooting my own horn for some time now. I refused to be ashamed, but I admit that sometimes I overdo it. However, this week I am dedicating to my graduation. After 21 years of trying to get this monkey off my back it is time for me to celebrate. This week I will be posting my activities, big and small, to commemorate my big day.

First off: Today I have my final finals. I finished one this morning and I am going to take my last final today around 3 p.m. I have a study session with Dane and Andrew, after which I am off to the JSB to take the test. I am a little sad that I cannot take the test in the actual testing center. Now that would be a fitting end to my auspicious beginnings. The testing center is a horrible place. Someone said the testing center was like the Dementors on Harry Potter, it sucks all the happiness out of you.

After selling my books and receiving a VERY small percentage of my hard-earned money back I purchased three things from the bookstore.

1. Chocolate-covered cinnamon bears, appr. 10 of them.
2. Chocolate-covered malted milk balls, appr. 20 of them.
3. A t-shirt that says Alum '08 on it.

I spent about $7 on my loot. (I got a 20% discount on my goods, but only after the little girl at the counter had me identify that I was indeed a student and not faculty.)

I will take a pic of me in the shirt for later blog material. Then you can see how the shirt looks on me, as well as the chocolate!

P.S. This past weekend Brice, Judy and kids came for a visit and a pre-graduation celebration. We had a lot of fun. We went bowling, went to the Kennecott Copper Mine, ate some great food, the kids swam and we had a great time. Thanks to B&J, we are so glad you came to help us celebrate.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Post Script

Harold informs me that what I wrote below about who the flower arrangement is from sounds like it is from a secret admirer. Um. Nope. It's not. It is from a lovely cousin who lives far away and is always super thoughtful of others. Thanks Holley!

A Mystery Graduation Gift

So I am in my laundry room, switching the clothes from the washer into the dryer, trying to get Savannah to sort her laundry by colors, when Savannah says, "Um mom, someone is at the door for you." Who? "Just come see." Who is it? "A guy with flowers."

Okay, so with a shy smirk that I am trying to quash I head for the door. Who could possibly be sending ME flowers. Is there a mistake? What is the occasion? And there stands a young gentleman with the bouquet you see here:

I remember watching the movie Bed of Roses where Christian Slater tells Mary Stuart Masterson how much he loves delivering flowers, and how he loves the reactions he gets. Surprise, grief, joy. I wonder if my delivery boy likes delivering flowers and I wonder what he thought of my reaction. Surprise and inquisition(Let me get to that card and see who they are from).

Who are they from, you wonder? I have decided not to tell, because I am sure this person would want to remain anonymous and not have me telling his/her secrets.

You know who you are and you know I love you. I am so blessed to have you in my life. I really am speechless today, these beautiful flowers were so unexpected. But I should have known that you would honor me in this way, being the thoughtful person that you are. They are gorgeous and lovely. Thank you for the beauty you bring to me, today and every day.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Speechless.....Yea Right!

Today I read my term paper in front of my Senior Course classmates, the paper was entitled: Capote V. Grisham: A Study In The Nonfiction Novel.

I had a great time researching and writing this paper, and I worked it and worked it. Then when I was done I had a feeling I had a solid B paper on my hands. I was pretty nervous to read my paper aloud. I really do like turning in my papers and having the professor read it in the privacy of his home or office where I sometimes picture them laughing their heads off at the stuff that I and my classmates come up with. Because I am never there to see their reactions, it makes me feel better and I can continue to look my professors in the eye.

Reading my paper aloud to the entire class made me feel naked, vulnerable. I read it and felt the heat rising in my face but just kept on going. After it was over I sat back, relieved, as the next contestant got his turn.

After class the teacher has a little mini conference with the two of us who "presented." The Prof. tells the guy what a great job he did and how there are just some very minor improvements he could make. Then he turned to me, and because I do not have Capote's 95% accuracy when recalling conversations my paraphrased account goes like this:

Prof: You did an excellent job. Your prose comparisons were terrific.
Me: Really? (Picture me with my eyes squinted up, head cocked to the right, and a look of pure shock on my face.)
Prof: Have you ever read a scholarly review?
Me: Um, I don't know. What is a scholarly review?
Prof: It is a review done on a book, but longer than what you would read in most newspapers. Since Grisham's book is still on the bestseller list I am thinking you should contact some places that publish scholarly reviews and send out some feelers to see if they might be interested in your review.
Me: What? Really? (and there is the dialogue in my head that continues with "SHUT UP! Are you kidding me?! I cannot believe this!)
Me: Seriously?
Prof: Yes, absolutely.
Me: Um, okay. How do I go about doing that?

Because we have to complete applications to submit our papers to a conference, as a class assignment, I asked if I could instead send out these feelers as my assignment instead. He told me that would be fine.

I am still so stinkin' happy about this development. I was so, so, so happy, and completely pleased. I am not being modest when I say that I am sure I wrote a solid B paper, nothing more, nothing less. I still stand by that, but having my professor who I consider to be pretty intelligent and knowledgable suggest that my paper is good enough and interesting enough to publish? This was the perfect way for me to end my time at BYU.

I have tears in my eyes as I type this, I am just so happy. There is no other way to say it. I have 100% loved this entire experience. I hope that I can instill the love of learning into my children and that they will learn from my mistakes and love learning while they are young and appreciate an education starting now.

To my reading public: Thank you for being so supportive of me and always cheering me on, even when I felt like I didn't measure up to all the smarty pants on campus. I have the best family and friends a girl could ask for.

No more classroom, No more books, No more Teacher's...

I am not going to wax poetic today, because I simply don't have the time, as it is 7:07 a.m. and I have to bolt outta here to campus in just a few minutes.

Today is my last day of class as an undergrad. Talk about a bittersweet experience. I am so very excited and a little sad too. Going back to school has made me feel even younger than I already feel, despite being pegged as one of the "old ones" in my classes. I don't feel old or anything, but before I went back to school I just started feeling like I wasn't all that young any more.

I will be turning in my last two papers as an undergrad, and will be presenting my paper to my Nonfiction class. Wish me luck!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Touchy Feely, Part II

(This entry may be seen as further effort to procrastinate my paper.)

I am sitting in the Harold B. Lee Library, in the "No SHH Zone." This is an area where there are multiple computers and tables, where groups go to study together, and where I can hook up my laptop and I can print my papers to the library printer. I love this area, mostly because I have never been one to study in silence. I prefer the chatter.

As I sit I am facing two young men. They are studying some sort of science and are obviously friends. How do I know they are friends? They keep touching each other. Not manly shoves, but weird touching, like girly touching. In addition to the touching, they are semi-giggling about it. They look like your average BYU student. One is wearing a wedding ring. They seem normal at the moment. But a few minutes ago I was seriously wondering what the heck was going on. They would also look at each other and give these knowing smiles.

I know these two aren't affiliated with the opposite team or anything, but I wish they would stop. Ewww.

I find this an appropriate end to my stay here, since my stay began with the girly touchy thing.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Righteous Brothers

Okay, we all saw it coming. We did.

All that energy and enthusiasm has waned and I am down to the very last paper I have to write as an undergraduate and I have lost that lovin' feeling. As I sit here at my laptop I am reminded of a scene in "You've Got Mail" where Meg Ryan is sitting at her laptop trying to figure out what she would have said to Tom Hanks' character, the mean Joe Fox, when he was being rude to her, and even as she sits there she gets this blank look and says, "Even now..." she doesn't know what to say/write. I'm there people. I have that forlorn look on my face, I'm dazed and confused, please don't make me do this, please, please, please?!

Define Young Adult Literature by isolating its various characteristics in the three novels you chose.

I have 3 pages. I need 7-9. It is due on Monday. At 9 a.m. [whining] Please, don't make me. I wish this professor posted our grades on blackboard, so that I could see what would happen if 1. I didn't turn the paper in at all, or 2. I completely bombed the paper.

That is it. I am taking matters into my own hands now (as if it were never in my hands in the first place), after an entire day of wishing I didn't have to write this paper, and feeling guilty for only writing 1 page the entire day today, I am letting it go. Go away little paper, fly like the wind, float away, and DON'T COME BACK UNTIL TOMORROW!

This 38-year-old senior is officially trunky. Okay, I am mixing college and mission metaphors here, I know this, who cares? I dare anyone to cross me right now, I dare you!!!

And, I don't have a car that will take me to Chevron where they have the right kind of ice, and Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi, NOT COKE. Not the Chevron nearest my house, the one down on the other end of town. Why, oh why must I be stuck when I am having a crisis of faith?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Giver

Has anyone out there read this book? I have to write a 7-9 page paper, defining young adult literature, as demonstrated in three books by the same author. Therefore, I chose to write about The Giver, Gathering Blue and The Messenger, by Lois Lowry.

The Giver was so life changing that when I was only about half way through and I was telling Harold about it, that I started bawling. There are so many gospel messages in this book. This is the kind of literature I want my children to read, the kind that will open their eyes, help them to appreciate life with all of its ups and downs. Good literature should illuminate the human condition and stretch your mind and your soul. The Giver did that for me. It was a beautiful book, absolutely beautiful.

Brief Synopsis: Jonas is an almost 12-year-old boy living in a utopian society where no one lies and everything in life is decided for you. Everything is peaceful and beautiful. When he turns 12 Jonas will receive his assignment, the job he will do for the rest of his life. He is chosen to be the Receiver of Memory, from the Giver of Memory. Jonas will learn everything about color, weather, history, emotions, war, etc. When he discovers these truths, his life will never be the same.

Go buy it or borrow it, but just read it. Then tell me what you thought.

Monday, April 7, 2008


On Saturday night I went with my sister and my mother to Deseret Book. During the General Priesthood Session of conference the bookstore holds a "Ladies Night." I don't go every six months, maybe once a year, or once every 18 to 24 months. The bookstore gives away books, stickers, pictures, candles, statues/figurines, etc. There are usually a pack of women in the store and women with children and strollers are in for a bummer of a time trying to get around.

As the three of us drove to American Fork to the store we were commenting on how we were sure we would win something. We seem to have a bit of a lucky streak, but I prefer to call it positive energy. I have really started trying to use this positive energy in all facets of my life, but it seems like whenever I enter some sort of drawing my personal positive energy ignites. We entered our names into the plexi-glass box and as we did so I made a fan out of my paper. I know this makes me a freak, but I have heard that there is something to do with more surface area, thereby making it easier for the person drawing the cards out to find and pick my card. Amy and I both used the fan approach.

As we watched names getting called my mother commented that she thought the women pulling the cards out were specifically avoiding the fanned cards. I have actually been at drawings where the person doing the drawing has commented out loud on how they WILL NOT pick the fanned cards. Come on! Every person who entered wants to win, that is why they enter. If it makes someone feel better to fan their card out, so what?

They did a drawing every 15 minutes or so and as I was waiting in line to purchase a new Book of Mormon for my son (he spilled something sticky on his old one, thereby rendering the first 1/3 of the book useless, kind of like the 116 pages that were lost) I hear the name Amy Coat called. Well, as most of you know this is not my sister's name, but pronunciation be darned, Amy won! She got a John Bytheway CD. She assures me that she will listen to it and then pass it on so that my family will have something fun to listen to while we drive to So. Cal next month.

Since Amy won we were satisfied that our luck appetite had been satisfied and we trooped over to Pet Smart. There we met a nice female ferret named Willow. She was cute, but freaked me out a little bit. Amy and her family have just purchased a rabbit and so Amy was trying to find a leash for Snickerdoodle, which is a whole different blog entry but who has the time? While we were watching Amy choose a leash I said to my mother, hey let's run back over to DB for the next drawing. So we did.

Sure enough, there had been such a large exodus out of the store after the previous drawing that they were picking name after name after name to claim the prizes. Sure enough, my name was called. I won a book about mothers with pictures by Greg Olsen. Okay, I said I was lucky, I didn't say I always win cool prizes. The book is nice and all, and has a retail value of $15.95, but I don't get in to picture books. I want a book I can READ, something of substance, not just cutesy quotes about motherhood.

Now that two out of three of us had won we decided to go get some dinner. We walked into Applebee's and there were people strewn all over waiting for tables and priesthood session was getting out in 10 minutes so I was worried about our seating wait time. We walked up to the podium, told them we were a party of 3, and lo and behold, they immediately sat us. Okay people, that made our lucky streak 3 for 3.

We had a great time together and commented on how lucky our husbands were that they married such lucky ladies.

In the future, when I call upon my positive energy powers, I will be more specific as to the items I want to win at the DB drawing, but in the mean time I will bask in the positive energy that seems to flow from within.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Amendment To Prior Blog

Harold, I will NOT need this Saturday to myself. I pulled it together and got so much done yesterday that I am feeling better about due dates and my progress thus far.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Crunch Time

Yes, I bought a box of Captain Crunch the other day. I know, it lacerates the inside of my mouth but I love it. The berries are the best. Didn't they manufacture a box with the berries only once? I wish they would do that again. I dig that stuff. I had to fight off Mackson for control of the box, and even though he had several bowls, I got what I needed from it. Namely love and comfort in the form of food.

I also have 12 days until everything is due, finals not included.

Note to Harold: I will need this Saturday and next Saturday to myself. Alone, no husband, no children. I need to spend some serious time with my computer, pumping out papers. I regret that it has come to this, and that I am a terrible time manager, but I know you will understand. Because, in exactly 23 days I will be walking down the aisle at the Marriott Center, wearing a black cap and gown, with a pretty tassel (of what color I am not sure), prancing along to get a piece of paper I have been striving to obtain for over 20 years. And despite the fact that I am about to gross out the other readers of this blog I need to tell you....I LOVE YOU! You have been the best husband, friend, supporter any girl could ever ask for. I know these past 9 months haven't been easy, but we are rounding the last corner of a 26.2 mile marathon, can you see the finish line? My body and mind hurt but are numb at the same time, I have soiled my clothes, my carb storage is depleted (work with me here), and I have sworn off any marathons in the future. But I can see you there, cheering, loving. You rock.