Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pizza Anyone?

You are probably all very familiar with the $5.00 "Hot and Ready" available at your local Little Caesars Pizza. It is considered the "Greatest Value in America" as toted by one of their neon orange billboards.

However, you may not be so familiar with the Hot and Ready dancers, which I have never seen in Minnesota but are all over the place in Utah. In fact it is not just Little Caesars who employs individuals to shake their money makers on street corners. I have seen oil change places, fruit stands and other fast food establishments try the same method.

The video below though is of my favorite street corner to drive by. I brought my Bloggie with the hope that I would get a red light and catch some footage. The dancing has never led me to buy a pizza, but it sure cheers me up to see these kids work so hard for their paycheck. I guarantee they are not getting paid enough for their incredible talent.

It always makes me wonder what song they are listening to on their I-pods that inspires all the pelvic thrusting and twirls?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Beyond the Superficial

Life is changing in some pretty profound ways for my little family. I have been wanting to talk more about these changes and the things we are learning. So for those of you seeking updates these next few weeks of posts will probably do a little bit more justice to the events that happen below the surface.... but for those of you who can't read a post without some sort of eye candy, I have included pictures as well.

A Bit About Chuck

Here he is... summer buzzed head and enjoying one of his GIGANTIC lunch salads (the greens are hiding below the layer of blue corn chips and rice). I have found that in order to fill him up with a plant based diet... I have to feed him A LOT of plants. But look how happy he is!!!!

"Develop faith in your purposes. Part of nurturing your purposes requires that you have the vision to see what doesn't yet exist, what others cannot yet see. As you work at your gifts and talents, you will recognize those that come from the inner depths of the soul, because you will not need the vote of confidence of others, and you will be willing to work alone for a long as is needed. You will sow the seed, water the crops, and have patience to allow others to catch the vision, to see the light, even if it means several years of working completely alone. When you have the vision of soul and eternity, go forward."
- James Simmons (Original Fast Foods)

I am learning that my husband is what I would like to call "a visionary man." If you are familiar with the Book of Mormon that phrase will probably remind you of Lehi, who left behind his wealth and status to follow a dream or vision from God... into the wilderness and across the sea on a dangerous journey.... much to the dismay of his oldest 2 sons and wife who had not had the same dreams and who questioned his game plan.

We are not quite in the wilderness... Utah is pretty tame. Yet Chuck is leading our family down uncharted paths into unknown territory. He tells me that he knows it will all work out and has faith in the vision. I am learning to have new trust in what I can't yet see.

He has made a decision to not finish the remainder of college, or to go the typical schorarly route of counseling. Currently he is working with my brother in law Daniel on a form of emotional healing that is "Christ Centered" (meaning that it helps people utilize the healing power of the atonement) and does not require a degree or any type of certification. It is actually a profoundly spiritual process. I am benefiting from it currently. Often when you talk about "Faith Healing" or healing through the power of God people often conjure up these types of images...

No... not even close. The type of Christ centered healing Chuck is doing is done on a one on one basis and with the help of the facilitator you are able to uncover negative emotions or experiences that have been stored or kept inside and release them through, talk, guided imagery, prayer and mediation. These negative emotions or experiences can hold up our progress in life and sometimes make us physically ill. It is like having someone guide and help you lay your burdens down at the Saviors feet. A lot of times we hold onto stuff and have a hard time letting go.

The desired outcome is for Chuck to have his own practice with clients who utilize his services... in addition he has a few other business ventures that he is pursuing, including a way for him to utilize his musical talents :)

We have been income free for almost a year now, and have somehow managed to stay out of debt (besides school loans) and feel extremely blessed. Food, Shelter, Love... ya we have all the essentials. When I am feeling financially stressed out Chuck usually brings this scripture to calm my mind...

"Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say to you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?"
-Luke 12:27-28

You may ask, What does Chuck do with all of his time?

Well... he has personal sessions with my brother in law where he receives counseling, and then sessions where he gives it in return.

He has martial arts lessons. Which is not what I thought it was at first. He does not go to learn how to karate chop people and stuff. It is more like learning a discipline or way of life. Self defense is only a small part of it. It is called Wu Ji Chyun Fa (?? I think that's how you spell it).

He paints thousands of feet of white picket fence. We consider this his Mr. Myagi time, and it is an exchange that he is making for rent this summer.

He meditates for about an hour or so a day... he usually retreats into nature, but sometimes mediates at home if Fiona and I are very very quiet :)

He reads a lot of books, listens to CD lectures and reviews notes from his sessions to gain further insight and knowledge... basically he studies.

He goes on walks and hikes to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Lately he has been recording music on his guitar and piano to make a birthday CD for Daniel... which I heard turned out amazing, I have yet to hear the finished product.

He eats delicious food prepared by yours truly. And he spends lots of time loving and taking care of me and Fiona.

This week we are starting the hunt for a new place to live as we have to move out of our little mountain paradise before the baby comes. Chuck is considering finding a part time job until his other business ventures pick up...

I posted that quote above because it really reminds me of Chuck right now. He is having all of these really profound experiences where he feels like he is discovering his true path and purpose in life. It is really fulfilling and satisfying to him... I am amazed at his ability to not care what other people think about his choices, because deep down he knows he is doing exactly what he needs to be. I am really excited to watch all of this unfold and to see prayers answered and miracles happen each and every day.

So if you were wondering about Chuck, he is doing great. More exciting news to come.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cures for the Summertime (pregnancy) Blues

Does the hot weather ever make you want to scream! Somedays I want to lock myself in my freezer ( but I don't quite fit). I do have to say that so far I prefer to be pregnant in the summer over the winter (compression stocking and all!!!) thanks to some helpful coping mechanisms. These are a few of our tricks to surviving the summer heat with a big ole belly!

Breezy Cotton Dresses
I just picked the below one up at Target. It is not maternity... but fits over the bump quite nicely. I wear a short sleved tee underneath to make it nice and modest :) I could wear something like this every day... so comfortable and stylish. If anyone knows where to find other dresses like this let me know!!!

Water Time

At least once a day we play in the water... splash pad, pool, hose, buckets, bowls... you name it. It is a must and I try not to care how soggy, or muddy we all get in the process.


Hands down has to be the most refreshing wonder of nature. Chuck and I can throw down an entire melon between the two of us in just a couple of days, needless to say we have purchased quite a few in just the few short months we have lived here. I will add eating other fresh fruit to this as well. I have never understood why on HOT summer days people want to throw meat on a HOT grill... nice cold fruits and vegetables for me please.

Unashamed Dusty Butt

Sorry no picture with this one. I have learned to not care how dirty my backside gets throughout the day. When I want/need to rest my legs I just sit where ever I please. Sandbox, rock pile, wood chips, gravel, grass, cement... you name I'll sit there and rest my tired dogs (oh, shade is also a must with this one).

Visiting Sesame Street

Or as Fiona would call it, "Sunny Day." She likes being outside so much that it is hard to keep her indoors, but I save my secret weapon (an episode of Sesame courtesy of instant Netflix) until the most brutally hot time of the day. Then I load her up with snacks and as much Elmo as she desires.

So there you have it... 31 weeks in the middle of the summer and doing great. Do any of you have any strategies for summer survival?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Noteworthy Convo

I keep thinking about the following conversation that Chuck and I had last week and it keeps making me laugh... so I thought I would document it on the internet so that I can remember it forever and giggle.

Noticing the hair party that was bumpin' on the bathroom floor, Tacy ran to the kitchen to grab the broom and take care of it once and for all. However, upon returning to the bathroom she found a toddler splashing in the toilet water and felt the need to exit the bathroom immediately. So she set the broom and dustpan against the bathroom wall and said to herself, "This broom is my reminder to sweep the floor as soon as I have a chance." And off she went to distract Fiona

About 30 minutes later she found herself in the kitchen preparing breakfast, when Chuck enters the kitchen holding the broom.

Tacy: (with a bit of excitement) Did you sweep the bathroom floor?
Chuck: No
Tacy: Oh, I left the broom in there because I was going to sweep the floor.
Chuck: I cleaned the bathroom by removing the broom.
Tacy: Ummmmmm
Chuck: That made absolutely no sense.

Then he put the broom away in the kitchen.

The floor never got swept that day.

The end.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My Little Pony

Another milestone was reached in our house this week. Our very first pony tail. Here are some other cute bathtub smiles as a bonus!!

Fiona has two molars busting through... but is handling it remarkably well. Her vocabulary is also exploding, everyday it seems like she learns a new word. Last night it was "hiding" which came with a long came of hide and seek. I have a new video I will post soon of her talking.

In pregnancy news I am now 29 weeks along. I feel like a million bucks, but contribute it mostly to my diet changes this pregnancy. I try to eat mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, almost no meat and no refined grains, no milk products and very limited added sugars (cold cereal has been one of the hardest things to let go of). I am not having the nasty swelling, excessive weight gain, arm numbness and mood swings that I did last time. I am learning in new and profound ways just how much what I eat effects the way that I feel, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Life is never without a few bumps though, because I have increased my physical activity so much chasing around Fiona, I am getting nasty varicose veins!!!! You know those bulgy purple and blue veins on your legs.... Not fun and they ache at the end of the day. SO, my midwife prescribed me to wear compression stockings..... nothing like adding an extra layer of clothing to your legs and feet in the summer time! Chuck gets to be the lucky one to help me squeeze into them each morning when I wake up. I think it will remind him of his old job working with wheel chair bound adults because they all wore them too. Once I get them it will be full length pants and closed toed shoes till mid September.

I need one of those battery powered fans that squirts a mist of water in your face. Or maybe Chuck will just have to add hosing down pregnant overdressed wife to his daily to do list.

Friday, July 1, 2011

A miserable Les Miserables

With anticipation and excitement after finishing the novel Chuck and I rented the above movie version of the book by director Bille August. The first half half of the movie was great... Uma Thurman and Liam Neeson were great in their respective roles of Jean Valjean and Fantine.

Geoffrey Rush played a good Javert but towards the end of the movie he did a ton of stuff that was totally made up and not in the book... like meeting Cosette or having some kid spy tell him about Jean Valjean and the revolution....

I knew they were going to have to cut out a lot of the story to make it a 2 hour film, however this movie completely changed the story... and the essence and nature of two of my favorite characters.

Cosette played by Claire Daines is portrayed as a rebellious teenager looking for love and a different life. There are heated arguments between her and Jean Valjean and there seems to be this element of distrust until Jean Valjean reveals his past. In the book Cosette is pure innocence and devotion to her father, she does not know his past (nor does she ever find out from him) but she doesn't care, she loves him unconditionally and is willing to follow him to the ends of the earth. PLUS she would NEVER sneak away from home to go see Marius....

Marius is the other character they completely changed. He was not the leader of the revolution... he was too busy following Cosette around secretly and spent most of the book daydreaming and longing for her and the chance to talk to her. Plus they completely left out any character development of Marius and his father and grandfather.... which made up hundreds of pages of the book.

The ending of the book is also extremely different. The movie leaves you with the "Happily Ever After" feel as Jean Valjean runs away free through a flock of flying birds... the end of the book is his death... (you will have to read it for details).

Oh my!!! Toni or someone if you have seen this movie tell me how it compares to the Broadway show... If the show is like the movie I don't know if I can bring myself to see it. Oh tell me they didn't butcher that too.

This movie does not do the book any sort of justice, in fact it is a miserable imitation.