For Your Halloween, Something Truly Scary

i made this little photoshop masterpiece for the holbsy's birthday.
 obviously he thought it was an incredible piece of art.


Epic Flying Mount!

I work with a bunch of nerds, did I ever tell you that? My company specializes in the very nerdliest of nerdly engineers. And I love nerds, did I ever tell you that? I love nerds in a way that is difficult to explain. I suppose I love nerds in the same way you would love a puppy with three legs, or a duck in an oil spill, or an orphaned baby. I love them because they need me. I love them because I wonder how they've lived all their life in such nerdly glory. I love them because they are fantastically awkward and goofy and really really smart, but in a way that completely hinders any kind of social interaction. I love them, I tell you, I love them.

I have one nerdly engineer friend at work who is a funny nerd, the kind of nerd that somehow retained enough of a sense of humor to be functional in society. He does an amazing Kevin from The Office impression and he beats me soundly at the crossword puzzle every Friday. (One day I will win! One day!) Together we like to laugh at the most ridiculously nerdly of nerdliest of nerds: the World of Warcraft-ers.

There is a contingent of WoW players where I work. They are a big group. Something tells me they even bigger than they themselves realize, since they don't, like, talk to people when they're not online. And about once a month or so, one of these WoWers will go public on our company bulletin board and try to sell their account. Usually for something asinine like $800. When an account goes on the bulletin board we get excited like it is Christmas. It is my very favorite thing.

I have learned a whole new vocabulary from these wonderful WoW nerds, and I would like to share it with you. And so I present:

Funny World Of Warcraft Things To Say
In Your Every Day Life:A Primer

By Nat The Fat Rat

For the Horde! This seems to be what you shout while playing WoW, from what I can tell. It is also how you sign your emails. My nerd friend and I have found that shouting "For the Horde!" at each other at random points throughout the day is highly satisfying. It works both in triumph - "For the Horde!" and in frustration "FOR THE HORDE!" You should try this.

Epic Flying Mount! I have no idea what this means. For this reason it is my favorite thing to say. It is the 2008 equivalent of Cowabunga! I have decided. It seems to be better than Epic Mount, by virtue of that it is Flying. This is all I can work out.

Epic Netherwing Dragon! If something is an Epic Netherwing Dragon it means that it is really, really cool. You would use this in a sentence as such: "That girl is such an Epic Netherwing Dragon, man, and she don't even know it!"

And Now For Your Reading Pleasure
I will post a WoW account ad I have found
And I will translate

(Chances my translation is correct: something like 23%)

World of Warcraft Account for Sale
Please to be helping me for I am a nerd. I cannot break this addiction, and I am broke.

Gorgganash PVP Server
A Gorgganash seems to be a type of vegetable, squash-like in nature. When you are in this server you are orange, your avatar has largish pecs, you have many women admirers. Your mother makes you meatloaf for dinner, because she knows how much you like it.
Name: Okrushero
I want to know if these names are assigned or if you make them up. When you are a nerd are you born with this naming instinct? Do you just know how to string random letters together to make them sound nerdly and vaguely exotic? Okrushero is very similar to Eragon, yes?
70 Human Warlock
70 is a level. I don't know what it means. But you are a Human Warlock as opposed to a Toad Warlock. But is it better to be Human? Something tells me No.
Epic Mount + Epic Netherwing Dragon
Super cool!
4/5 Season 4 Arena Gear + S3 Weapon
Full Epic gear plus tons more in the bank for PVE
He has a lot of clothes and accessories, including winter wear.
375 Herb
375 Alchemy ( Elixiry Master)
Knows how to cook!
~4500g + lots of mats
Gymnastics nut.

70 Night Elf Warrior
Directs suspense movies in which there is a surprising twist at the end. Happens to be an Elf.
Epic Mount + Epic Netherwing Dragon
V. Cool
Geard in all blues (DPS and a Tanking Set)
Used him as a money maker mainly
I say this about my husband, as well.
375 Mining
360 Inscription
Can make pretty, customized jewelry.
~1700g + ~1500g worth of Inscription stuff, inks, and herbs
Likes to make crafts.

I have both the WoW and the BC Expansion CD's & Boxes, with CD Key's. If you are interested email me a fair offer, and I will contact you ASAP.
I am very serious about selling this before WoTLK is released.
(Help me feed the addiction, for I am a nerd! But I am broke!)

Someday I will look back at this particular time in my life and remember it as The Nerd Era. And this pleases me greatly.

I may have to make this a recurring feature.

For the Horde!

For The Boy I Imprinted On

Dear Husband,





My Mother Says If I Vote For McCain I Will Get Pregnant

That is tempting.

remember when i cut bangs?

growing them out is a pain, yo.


I Am Turning Over A New Leaf

As I walk down the street with my two manic puppies straining eagerly against their leashes I kick over leaves. They are yellow and red and gold and they flee before my feet. The leaves that do not escape crunch and break. Barnaby gets them stuck to his nose and I laugh.

I am turning over a new leaf, myself.

On Friday night I was at a party where we were discussing the odd names people give their children. I shared a personal story relating to one college roommate (Rachael Dick!) and our unfortunately paired last names that fell flat. I realize now it is because it was dirty, and I was the only dirty-minded girl in the place. Oh the crickets in the room. I was mortified! So I picked up my chin and pretended it never happened.

But it haunted me all weekend.

And then. At the Stake Conference adult session on Saturday night, whie eating chicken noodle soup, I was able for the first time in my life to contain my subconscious humor when I was asked by a friend whether I knew which sport contained the fastest ball speed.

My sex life, I said in my head.

"Lacrosse?" I tamely offered.

I am turning over a new leaf, my friends.

(But if you ever need a good, innuendo-filled one-liner, you know where to come.)


Things My Dog Has Eaten

a christmas-print handkerchief

a whole banana - peel and all

my sister's thong underwear

a sample packet of kiehl's oil-based makeup remover (is it any good? now i'll never know...)

an entire loaf of chocolate chip zucchini bread

cargo lip plumping lip gloss

a package of sour punch straws

my sister's thong underwear (no, this happened twice)

half a loaf of sara lee whole grain white bread

seven hair elastics

dearest peter pan, sometimes i fear you're touched.
mama loves you, ya weirdo.


The Very Best Kind Of Day

today i would very much like to be back in bedford, pa, sipping cider and touring covered bridges in my very favorite vintage dress with my very favorite mr. holbrook.


An Apology To My Body

Dear Body,

I am sorry for biting the insides of your cheeks when I am nervous. I am sorry for not always washing your face at night, and I'm sorry for all the sugar I put in you, (especially the minimarshmallows).

Please forgive me for all the tanning I did last summer.

I deeply regret that one time I dyed your hair red. And I'm sorry for cutting your hair last summer and then resenting you for it, when really it was my bad idea to begin with.

I am sorry for thinking bad things about your knees.

I'm sorry I fell out of that tree that one time last summer and got that dent in my leg. I am sorry for picking at that chicken pock on my left temple when I was six.

Sorry, too, about all those high heels.

I'm sorry that I always forget to give you enough sleep.

And I am sorry for the skinny jeans.

I am sorry for ever talking smack about you.



My Onesies Are Famous

The Chief, wearing the Giraffe Custom Onesie,

over at cjane's blog

In March or April this year my good friend Brit went to Utah for a baby shower and writers retreat. The baby shower was for a writer I had recently discovered, whose blog had been helping me through a very tough time in my life.

So I made some onesies for this write (her name is Courtney) and I sent them off with Brit.  Apparently they were a hit, says Brit, who returned with the message from everyone there that I should sell them. And I went - Oh?

So. Here we are.

From now until Saturday, October 17th, 
50% of my Onesie-Twosie proceeds will be going to

Stephanie Nielsen (Nie) (Courtney's sister) and her husband, Mr. Nielsen, were seriously injured in a plane crash in August along with Mr. Nielsen's flight instructor, who passed away soon after. Their medical bills are into the millions as they undergo skin graft surgery and rehab. Mr. Neilsen is awake and recovering, while Nie is still in a chemically-induced coma, but she is showing signs of improvement and strength. You can read more about it here and here and here and here (my very favorite). The writing that Courtney has done on her blog in this time has been some of the most beautiful, moving, and sincere writing I have ever read.

Finding Court's blog has been such a blessing to me, and her family's strength has uplifted me in ways I cannot describe. I'm lucky to count Courtney as one of my friends, and I'm thankful to my Heavenly Father for her influence in my life when I really needed it. Even if I never see her face in person, Courtney will be counted among my very best friends and guardian angels in this life. Is that cheesy? You'd tell me if it was I am sure.

Thanks guys! I'm excited to make you some onesies!


Substitute Babies

In between General Conference sessions last Sunday, I decided it was high time to give my substitutes for babies a hair cut. The Holbs had just bathed them and they were looking especially scruffy and ridiculous.  Time to haul out the doggy clippers!

I would show you a picture of Peter Pan being groomed, but Peter Pan is the world's most melodramatic puppy, and grooming him always involves whining and crying and this look of extreme terror on his face.

It is basically the same look The Holbs makes when I inform him I am ovulating.


Grumpy Old Men

So it comes up in conversation from time to time that I have a little thing for older men. I'm always met with weird looks and I tell you honestly I don't understand it. What is so wrong with loving crusty old men I ask you? Here. Try this and tell me if I'm crazy:

All The Crusty Old Men Whom I Have Loved.
I defy you not to find these men sexy.

The Carrot Peeler guy from the corner of Montague and Court Street.
He is famous now.
And he is grand.

Wait, how did this one get here?



I am having a day. (and a dirty mirror)

But then, really randomly, in the middle of feeling angry and sad I felt blessed.

I was walking to a meeting in a herd of engineers I work with. There I was, ensconced deep in the trenches of nerddom, and as I looked around at these guys my heart suddenly wanted to burst inside my chest. I am so lucky. I am so blessed. A lot of these nerds are my good friends. Sometimes they tell me I am cool by comparison. Sometimes I believe them!

I keep this blog so that I can keep a tangible record of the lovely things, no matter how small, and so I can look back someday and remember the best of the good times. And so I am going to count my many blessings. You know... When upon life's billows and all that. And truly, I am tempest-tossed.

1.) I have a good job in a really crummy economy. Somehow I am supporting my family. Okay, not very well, but I am!

2.) I bought a house all by myself, based on my earning power, and I can pay for it.

3.) At any moment I have five people I can call who care about me and will listen to me sob and snorfle and hiccup through my tears.

4.) I have a husband who is working his cute little bum off to get a good education so he can take care of me and our little family. He doesn't expect me to do anything other than what I want to do. He encourages every misled and crazy dream I have. I am so lucky to have him.

5.) I have a nice, reliable car. In the winter, I have 4WD and a good, strong heater. Brandon lets me park it in the covered carport so I don't have to scrape ice off the windshield in the mornings. He drives poor old Besty the Flying Potato with holes in the floor so you can see the road underneath and hornets nests in the engine while I cruise in comfort.

6.) I have a fantastic family who I love so, so, so very much (and miss almost constantly!).

7.) There is a gaggle of teenaged girls that I am called to lead in church who seem to look up to me, despite the obvious and many reasons they shouldn't. They lift me up more than I could ever have expected. I also get to flirt with 16-and 17-year-old boys, a past-time at which I have always excelled.

8.) I have always wanted a dog, and I have two!

9.) I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and looks after me. And he knows. I know that He knows, and I know that someday I will be a mother.

All this time I have been counting and planning and hoping, thinking bizarrely that I have any say in anything at all. People tell me to have faith, it's on God's timeline, relax, and I want to really feel that way too, except the sceince part of my brain fights with me.

But then I remember my patriarchal blessing. I was 17, and I was blessed to know that I would be a mother someday. At the time I figured of course I'd have a family "one day," but it wasn't terribly important to me at the time. But there was this blessing, with talk of motherhood, getting enough sleep as a mother, finding joy as a mother, and all of that garbage. Afterwards I swear my mother looked at me differently, like maybe I was someone she could suddenly relate to on a whole other level. Remembering this blessing this morning helped me to realize that I should have faith. My Heavenly Father has already promised me this blessing. I have nothing to fear.

"After all that we can do," we are blessed. I am already blessed. I will keep doing, but I think from now on I'll also try to trust a little more.


a few scenes of idaho the past few months

(i know, who AM i?!?)

(brandon got me these shoes when we were dating as a present when i passed an econ test) 

old mining towns

drivin' rigs

state fairs and junk

check it, yo!


A Very Bad-News Day

Today I had a bad-news day.

When one is having a bad-news day there is nothing to do but watch a Meg Ryan movie. This is a well-established fact.

You've Got Mail has been my go-to Meg Ryan movie for Bad-News Days since I was in high school. But I watched it and it wasn't working and I needed more! So when Tom Hanks said, "Don't cry, Shopgirl," and I was still crying... went Sleepless in Seattle.

I think Sleepless in Seattle is easily one of the most wonderful films on the planet. If you don't agree there is clearly something wrong with you.

I cried through the radio phone call and the "breathing in and out every day," I cried during the dramatic retelling of The Dirty Dozen.

When Tom and Meg held hands at the top of the Empire State Building and I was still tear-streaked, I realized this was serious business. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I put on When Harry Met Sally.
I had a full three-course Meg Ryan meal.

The Meg Ryan Trifecta, if you will.

When Harry Met Sally is for serious business Bad-News Days.

If When Harry Met Sally can't fix it, then nothing can.

And what do you know? By the time Meg and Billy are arguing over Casablanca and Meg is spraying hairspray in the car (a classic Juliemom move, I'll have you know), and they are debating whether good sex ("humpin' and pumpin'") is possible with a guy named Sheldon, and days-of-the-week underpants, I felt better.

I also find that blubbering like a baby whenever a Meg Ryan movie shows a classic shot of New York City tends to help get the last of the weepies out. Meg Ryan movies are always shot in the city. I wonder if that is in her contract?

The leftover birthday cake and the cinnamon-swirl bread helped, too.

And then I bought some Mint Julep cups online. I am still not sure why.