Friday, February 13, 2015

At the moment

At the moment:

My back is twitching up a storm. After way too many reverse flyes at the gym this morning, my back is pissed. And I didn't drink nearly enough water today and I think that is why it's pissed.

I am wearing the PERFECT long tee from Target. Today I bought it in blue and gray. I am going back for all the other colors tomorrow. It's soft, comfortable, long enough to cover my booty when I wear leggings and the neckline is just low enough for people to question whether I wear garments or not (Mormon undies) and judge me for it. My kind of tshirt.

I am also wearing my Grandma Sally's delicate gold and diamond engagement necklace. She gave it to me when I was probably 12 years old and told me not to tell my sisters so they wouldn't get jealous. And of course I told them.

The boys and Ethan are video gaming it up. And it's 11:00 pm. But it's also Friday night and we did our Saturday jobs this afternoon after school. So play video games because the house is clean and you guys get to sleep in.

The kitchen trash and recycling need to be taken out before I go to bed. This last week, I finally got us all settled to be environmentally responsible and recycle. And it is SHOCKING to see how much we used to just throw away. Like 3/4ths of our usual trash is now in the recycling bin in the pantry. We used to easily fill up our 13 gallon trash can in the kitchen everyday. Now we barely fill it at all. But I still take it out every night because HOUSE TIP: to get your house to not smell gross, take the trash out every night whether the bag is full or not. Be wasteful! Empty that nearly empty trashcan!

Hiding in my closet, there are little bags of chocolate tied with red and white ribbon for my three little Valentines. There are also three cute cards that are signed "Love, Dad and Mom", but let's be honest, Ethan had nothing to do with it. I carry on my mom's Valentines tradition of chocolates and a love note for my kids. It's nothing extravagant, just a little traditional V-Day lovin'. I also got Ethan a card that says "I love you more than bacon". Which is true love.

I am still laughing about Ethan's work story from today. He "chefs" for a local assisted living center when we don't have catering events. Tonight, while cleaning up the kitchen before leaving, he goes out in the hallway and what does he see? Some nice old confused lady wearing nothing but her Depends. Topless and diapered. Please let me die in a car accident or something else quick and dirty so I don't have to endure of Alzheimers.

I am always finding something to be bothered about or complain about. Currently, I am bothered about people posting about the service they do on social media. Like a selfie at the food bank with the caption, "Service on a Saturday morning! #goandserve #soblessed". I was always taught by my mom that if you tell people about the service you do, it makes it invalid. And whenever I see a post like that on Facebook or Instagram, I always think, "This service you speak of probably needs you to work harder and take less pictures."

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Dear Diary

Dear Diary,

Holy bananas, what a day. It's 8:09 and the house is quiet and clean and my kids are falling asleep. I texted my husband at work and said something to the effect of "the kids are jerks, they are going to bed at 8. Don't plan on playing video games with them when you get home." Except my real version included profanities. Big surprise there.

All was well until about 5:00pm. It's when Violet kept yelling Van's name like she was throwing up. "VAH-ANNNNN!" She has perfected the art of making Van a two-syllable name. Jack began huffing and puffing about not being able to sketch the flower vase very well and acted like he was freaking Picasso with a deadline. Like a real diva. And then Van was happily in the middle of all of this, just being a jerk.

Luckily, they ate dinner well. I used up the arugula in the fridge and made some pesto. Pasta with pesto and roast chicken and then some steamed green beans. All three cleaned their plates I felt peace and serenity for about 5 minutes. Then they were back to their old selves.

Today, I went grocery shopping and did the traditional January 1st shopping trip. You know the one. The one where you buy all sorts of vegetables and fruit and swear off treats forever. Well, that lasted real long because here I sit with the rest of my Haagen-Dazs chocolate peanut butter ice cream.

Well diary, I am now going to watch some mindless television, do some internet window shopping and then gear up for another day of probably the same thing as today.

Love, Whitney

p.s. No one really watches "Deadliest Catch", right?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

CHRISTMAS and DECEMBER (you care, I am sure you do)

What a month, eh? For us, it was wild. Our catering company is always bustling during December, which is of course very awesome. We did many a company holiday get together, like Boostability and Ikea Draper. We also did our largest event to date. 1200 people! Go Rockwell Catering! With our company having a busy month, that means Ethan is MIA for most of family life during December. People get all sad at me and say things like, "Oh how sad! He can't be there for all the fun holiday traditions!" and I says, "Oh it's fine. He's fine. We really like money."

Along the lines of money, we said goodbye to our little car of 11 1/2 years. Little Red. The car that we bought two months after we got married. The car that we brought babies home in from the hospital. The car that moved us from California to Utah. The car that hauled Jack to baseball practice, Van to preschool, Violet to singing group. Are you sensing a theme? I am overly sentimental about things that don't deserve it. Like a cherry red 2003 Hyundai Elantra that I have the VIN memorized to. FYI, KMHDN45D53U571109.

 Of course we took a selfie with our car before we sold her. Of course.

Anyways, we parted ways and bought a new car. And I will say this, I take back everything unkind, judgmental thing I ever said about minivans. Mine is black, has an automatic tailgate and a DVD player. It sounds more like a celebrity car than a kid hauler.

And then:
"Christmas came! It came just the same!"

Here is Christmas in small increments:
Waygu filets shipped to me on ice from my new brother in-law
5 sheet pans of peppermint bark for the neighbors
Scraping mountains of cream filling from Oreos for said bark
Anna and Elsa
Flemings for our Christmas Date
A decent citrus juicer from Sur La Table afterwards
A great Christmas program at church the Sunday before
Electric Razor scooter
Blueberry lemon muffins the morning of
Flippin' sweet Adidas D Rose shoes for Jack that nearly fit me
Amazing Sole Sundae. Get some. Seriously. 
Snow on Christmas morning! Joy! Rapture!
A spy kit for a boy who WILL spy on you
Call of Duty Legos that Dad enjoyed more than the boys
Peppermint shakes from Chick Fil A. You must!
Very old silver dollars from my dad
Creamy butternut squash soup straight from heaven
Palace Pets
Getting WAY BEHIND on work

And of course, a really teary viewing of "Mr. Kreuger's Christmas". Every time Jimmy Stewart visits Baby Jesus and says that he has always been there for him... Heaven help me. I don't last for a single second.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Meekly Weal Plan

It's been a while since I wrote out my meal plan, but I have had a few friends talk about being in a rut with cooking. So maybe my ideas can help give them some of their own. I type this as I sit in bed and watch "Love Actually". It's Christmas man, I am doing what I should be doing. The house is quiet and clean. Ethan is finishing up a catering event for Ikea's Christmas party and I have a pint of peppermint bark ice cream waiting for him in the freezer for when he gets home and unwinds in front of the TV.

MONDAY: Sweet soy chicken and rice and roasted broccoli. The chicken is in my cookbook. I am not sure what page and I am too lazy to go downstairs and check.

TUESDAY: Turkey chili and cheddar cornbread. The chili will be a new recipe I have been wanting to work on. If it's a winner, I will post it here.

WEDNESDAY: Turkey burgers and roasted sweet potato fries. Who cares if it's winter, I am still making some burgers.

THURSDAY: Skillet-roasted chicken thighs, steamed broccoli and roasted potatoes.

FRIDAY: Church Christmas party. I signed up to make a soup. I haven't decided what to make. Chicken noodle? Red curry carrot? Ham, kale and white bean?

SATURDAY: Butternut squash soup and garlic crostinis for dipping. Do yourself a favor and spend the extra bucks to buy the squash already peeled and chopped. If you have to peel, gut and chop it, you are more likely to not make dinner at all.

SUNDAY: Braised shortribs with polenta and creamed horseradish and butterleaf salad with shaved fennel, oranges and pomegranates and some kind of dressing I haven't decided on. And a lemon cake with vanilla bean whipped cream. I have a dandy of time trying to find good shortribs, so I am sending Ethan to get me some from his fancy catering warehouse store in SLC.

Monday, November 10, 2014

If I could rewrite the song, "The Family is of God".

I am about to go out on a limb here. Make some enemies. Make people mad. But I have to write my feelings out. I just have so many of them!

The yearly Primary Program for church goes on at this time of year. The kids at church sing their little hearts out and all the primary leaders are stressed out of their minds. I have taught primary for 2 1/2 awesome years. I have loved it. I have gotten to know my kids so well. I know all the little things that make them tick. What they were for Halloween, when they lost their first tooth and who got a new bunk bed. I have gotten to know their siblings and parents and seen first hand that these kids are all loved.

This year in Primary, the theme has been families. The Family is of God. Which is something I have a testimony of. At the beginning of the year, the kids were taught a song called, "The Family is of God". And from the moment I heard it, it gave me a horrible pit in my stomach. Here are two verses from it. 

2. A father’s place is to preside, provide,
To love and teach the gospel to his children.
A father leads in fam’ly prayer to share
Their love for Father in Heaven.
 

3. A mother’s purpose is to care, prepare,
To nurture and to strengthen all her children.
She teaches children to obey, to pray,
To love and serve in the fam’ly.

Guys, I have such a hard time with these lines. And it's because I am very aware of some of the kids I have had over the years in my classes. A lot of these kids don't have the dad that does the proper Mormon "preside, provide". Some don't have dads that are members of the church. Some don't have dads at all. The ones that have dad's that aren't members, I know these men are really good men. They don't teach the gospel to their kids, but they are hardworkers, kind and loving. So when I see the kids in Primary told to belt out this song that I know don't have the dad that "leads in family prayer", I get so bummed. They are forced to think about their dads and get to figure out they are not what the church wants for them. That sucks.
The 3rd verse is hard for me too because in this house, the dad does the exact same thing as the mom. Ethan has just as much responsibility as I do to nurture, teach and serve. Where's the verse that talks about the girl in my class where her mom does both roles? Who burns the parent candle at both ends? Why can't this song talk about roles instead of purpose and place? Inside the church, the family has changed. Both parents provide, lots of parents are divorced, some are inactive. This is a reality for a lot of families. Many people have told me that it's good the kids are singing this song. It teaches them what they should strive for in their families someday. Guys, these kids are tiny. Let them strive for this when they are teenagers. 

In my perfect world, the song says, "A parent's place is to preside, provide" and "A parent's purpose is to care, prepare." I would say in most homes, it's a pretty equal share of presiding, teaching and preparing. I have heard so many people rave about how much they love this song. And every one of those people has the exact family situation they are referring to in this song. None of them have an inactive spouse or are divorced. Trust me, I have been paying attention.

Please don't crucify me over this. Don't rip into me. This is just how I have felt for about 7 months. Every Sunday. As a primary teacher to 12 strong, smart and eager-to-learn kids.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

7:30, Kindergarten, Hoarding

1. Rhea Pearlman as Danny Castellano's mom on "The Mindy Project" is just the best.

2. Since Daylight Savings ended (or started. Which one is it?), I have had my kids in bed and house clean by 7:30. I told Ethan this was my new plan. Make bedtime an hour earlier because our growing babies need more sleep. It has been MAGIC. And the kids haven't fought me on it. They have gone to sleep because SURPRISE, they are tired.

3. Van started Jr. Jazz basketball and here we see where his age and height give him an advantage. He is an older kindergartener. He went into K being an old man at 6 years old and already having lost 4 teeth. He is the tallest in his class and the oldest. So in basketball, he shines. It has been good for him to have confidence in this.
      a. I have had many people ask me about how I held Van back a year from kindergarten and if it was good for him. Absolutely. Best choice by far. Since he is a June birthday, we could have gone either way. But I am finding that it isn't so much that he is smarter having had two years of preschool as much as it is that he is more mature. He doesn't fight me on homework and is even eager to do it. He doesn't get in trouble at school because he is mature enough to know when to quit. And he doesn't give up on things that are hard. It's a drastic contrast from his brother's kindergarten year. Oh Jack in kindergarten. Worst year for all of us. 

4. It's November. Which means I get giddy to get Christmas shopping done by December 1st. The lists have been made and I already found an Elsa and Anna for like $16 on Amazon a few weeks ago. Bahzam! Early Christmas shopping is socially-acceptable hoarding. That and food storage and emergency preparedness. Speaking of emergency preparedness, I am working on a post about that. I have learned so much in the last few months and I am feeling great about an earthquake or grand flood happening. Wait, first I need to get that big water filter I have had my eye on.

5. I took the two littles with me to vote today. And maybe I got all weird and weepy when I told them why we are lucky we get to vote and who George Washington and Susan B. Anthony are. With my job, I write short video scripts about anything from Hurricane Katrina to alligators to President Kennedy. I have written A LOT about the Revolutionary War and all that built up to it. And I am often in awe of what people went through to give us the rights and privileges we have.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A few things

I am known to not be very good at watching TV. People say, "Oooh, what shows are you watching right now? I need a new show." And I'm all, "Um, 'You've Got Mail' for the 398457934857 time while I fold laundry?" But guess what guys, I am watching "The Voice" like a seasoned tv-watching pro. I know they care, but I approve of the judges this season. I mean, Gwen. Come on. How many of you have bought the "Tragic Kingdom" album after seeing Gwen on "The Voice"? Because we did.

Tonight I had a conversation with my friend who is a high school teacher. She talked about a kid who got caught smoking while on campus and I asked her opinion, as an educator, how do you avoid having your kids smoke weed. She said a few things:
1. Inform them about drugs. Talk about them. Talk about the effects. Talk about reactions. Talk about addiction. Educate yourself so you can educate your kids.
2. Know their friends. Be aware of who they are with and get to know the kids they are around.
3. Don't think your kid will never get involved with drugs or alcohol. Don't be the parent that says, "My kid would never do that." Because teenagers can be dumb, be honest with yourself.

A side story along those lines: I have a friend who's daughter was up to no good with her boyfriend. My friend found out what her daughter was doing and she went to the boyfriend's parents to let them know what their son had been doing. The parents said, "I don't believe you. Our son goes to seminary." And guess what, 2 years later, their son was a baby daddy and in jail for heroin possession.

Tomorrow my clefty nephew Walt has surgery on his soft pallet. Send up a prayer, will ya? I will have Walt's big brother Sam tomorrow during surgery and Sam has asked for three things: nuggies, root beer and fries. DONE! Anything for you, Sammy.