The world is your oyster!: August 2009        

These are a few of my favorite things:

pina-colada flavored italian ice
dance parties
dressing up
love :)


My name is Heather.

I am 22 years old.

I am an East Coast girl
who also loves Utah.

I love my life. How could I not?

The world is my oyster :)
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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Goodbye summer??

In 5 days, I will be leaving Maryland to go back to Utah. I amm really excited....I love Utah, and I love school....but I am also starting to get kind of sad about leaving! It looks like this weekend will be another bittersweet time.

This whole week has been totally crazy as we try to cram everything into the last two weeks of the summer that we kept putting off earlier. On Saturday, we had a sister day at Six Flags. This was an absolutely necessary trip because Six Flags is going bankrupt and so clearly we had to go! We left at about 10:30 and rode all the rides that we wanted to right away, which was such a good decision, because after lunch at Johnny Rockets it started raining. At first it wasn't so bad, when we were on the octopus ride, but then it just started pouringg. We were soaking wet so we decided to just get a funnel cake and call it a day. I was pretty much ready to go home anyway, but the rain just reiterated this.

Today Caitlin, Kelly, Jenn and I all went to single's ward for the last time this summer. That ward has really been good for us this year. I've always learned a lot from the lessons and I've gotten to meet a lot of really cool people. A lot of them are going to BYU so that will be fun to know some random people there.

Then Holly and I had a piano recital for our students at my house. This summer I just taught my brothers, sisters, mom, and the 7-yr-old neighbor boy across the street (who is literally a child genius and so cute) and Holly had two students who were there. So right when we got home from church, Kelly and I had to get the house ready and prepare some refreshments. It was a very good recital which started out with my Uncle Jacob and Aunt Devon knocking on the door unexpectedly during my introduction and welcome. I don't think anyone minded but it was still pretty funny timing. All of the students did a very nice job but I don't know if anyone did their whole song without a single mistake. I remember when I took lessons, instead of just teaching them, and I would get sooo nervous before recitals. I only remember one recital that I did my whole song perfectly and other than that I made at least one mistake every time.

At this recital, probably the award for Most Memorable Performance would have to go to Jacob. Apparently he missed the memo that recitals are a little more fancy than your everyday pickup baseball game, and he performed in shorts and a t-shirt. I guess he also missed the memo that both my mom and I told him to change. Either way, he decided at the last minute that he wanted to sing his song while he played. It was a lovely demonstration of all his musical abilities. Both Jacob and I had to have tubes put in our ears when we were younger so that we could hear better, but I think the tubes worked better for me, because Jacob is still a little bit tone-deaf. He sings songs very deliberately, sticking loyally to one note the whole time. Hearing him sing and play was certainly an experience. He is turning out to be quite the class clown!

My mom was the last performer. She took lessons for a short time as a little girl but other than that, she just started this summer. I was a little nervous about teaching her...I mean, she's my mom....but she was suchh a good student. She listened to every every everything I said and practiced really diligently every week. It was really cute I thought :)

Anyway this was her first recital and I know she was so nervous for it. Sometimes at her lessons she will mess up and get flustered and explain to me that she's usually so much better at this song, and that's just with me there. So considering this, and the fact that I remember feeling nervous before my own recitals, I was feeling some sympathy anxiety as she sat down, about to play. Joseph has swine flu (.......yeah. i know! Kinddd of ridiculous. We are all very irreverent about it. We call him pig, pigman, and piglet every time we address him and oink at him whenever possible. We've also started referring to his room as the pigsty. A few nights ago at scripture study, he read a scripture that said, "I say unto you, Nay," and I whispered to Julie, "Did he just say nay? I thought he was a pig!" She replied, "Oh, he's just confused." We thumbed up our noses at him and oinked appropriately, reminding him of his true biological identity.) The reason this all is relevant is because Joseph performed right before Mom, and she insisted that he disinfect the piano keys before she played. So we had a brief intermission while he wiped them down and she introduced her song.

There's something about being a piano teacher at a recital for your students that makes you feel a little like a lifeguard tied to their chair. During lessons, you can jump in and save your student if they make a mistake. During a recital, you just have to sit back and let them fend for themselves. If they make a mistake, you just have to send them telepathic encouragement to take a deep breath and pick up wherever they feel comfortable.

My mom sat down and lifted her hands to the keys. She went through the first few measures beautifully, fumbled a little, and stopped. "I'm going to start over," she said, smiling. Everyone smiled back. I noticed her hands shaking a little and I quickly remembered being a student about to perform and being absolutely positive I would mess up and completely embarrass myself. Going through her song the second time, my mom made a few more mistakes and I know she wasn't very happy with her performance. That made me sad because I know how hard she has worked and I know how well she is able to play that song. As a piano teacher, you see all the little struggles a student has with their songs. You learn how their mind works as they correct their mistakes and you being to root for them when they get to a part of a song that has always been tricky for them. My mom stopped having piano lessons as a little girl because her first teacher was old and smelled bad and she just didn't want to deal with that. Now, years later, here she was, coming back and wanting to learn something, wanting to improve herself. I admire that so much. Even if she can't be proud of this particular recital, I want her to be proud of how she picked something for herself to work on and then really did work on it. I know it must have taken a lot of courage for her to go up in front of her children, the most important people in her life, and her peers, and perform in a situation where it was possible that she would make mistakes.

After this final performance, which actually was quite good, Holly and I each said a few words about how much we enjoyed teaching, etc., and then we invited everyone to the kitchen for refreshments. At each recital I like to give my students a Symphony chocolate bar and this time as I was passing them out, I discovered that I had one extra. I stood there holding it for a minute, trying to figure out why I had gotten one extra, and then I suddenly realized that I had forgotten to include Julie in the program! She had a song and everything and I just completely forgot to put her on the program, so she never got a chance to perform it! So I felt a little bad about that but she didn't seem too concerned. People milled around, snacking on the refreshments, and then when everyone had left, we had dinner with Charlene.

Charlene babysat us when we were younger and we can all very clearly remember laying with our butts to the wall, flailing our legs and arms and singing at the top of our lungs, "Charlene the famous babysitter, whoo!" No one knows how this got started but we loved when she came to babysat and enthusiastically advertised her to all of our friends. At any rate, she was kindly able to overlook our childhood devilishness and come over for dinner and is always sweet and fun when we see her now.

After dinner we moved into the living room again to give Julie a chance to perform her recital piece. She did a lovely job and then we were paid a visit by Ecoli Imishi (pronounced Ee-cull-ee Ee-mee-she).

This is where my family gets weird again.

Ecoli Imishi is Nicole's alter-ego opera singer. Nicole likes to read Nancy Drew mysteries to my mom when they are driving in the car together and one day while they were reading, Ecoli Imishi was born. Nicole decided to announce the Nancy Drew Story Hour with a song by her and she's been a frequent visitor in our home ever since (when she is not otherwise detained by world tours, etc.). Ecoli Imishi is best known for her shrillness of voice but the shortness of her temper is also legendary.

Needless to say, we were delighted to have such an esteemed guest in our midst (once again).

Following her performance, the rest of the family felt that this would be an appropriate time to reveal their alter-egos as well. Sarah made an appearance as the famous salsa dancer, Senora Sali. After she burned up the dance floor with her never-before-seen tricks, Delia and Edeline graced us with an impressive rendition of the long-lost vocals to Tchaikovsky. At this point the small extension on the recital that everyone had been expecting was just spiraling out of control and taking on a new form as an impromptu circus. I was glad when no more unexpected special guests showed up and we could all go our separate ways.

On a completely different note, I recently realized that I go to great lengths to protect myself from feeling sad. I try not to put myself in situations that will make me sad. I avoid them at whatever cost. A few nights ago I went over to Caitlin's for a movie and she wanted to watched P.S. I Love You. I have only ever seen previews for this movie and I know it would make me cry. I know it. I picked Win a Date with Tad Hamilton instead but the whole thing made me think. I am so afraid of feeling sad that I wonder if I miss out on a lot because of it. Is it just sadness that I am missing out on?

Anyway I realllllyy should be getting to bed. Good night all :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My nose is defective. (Also, more on my job.)

I have come to this conclusion kind of gradually, and now, after several years, I am able to just say it. My nose is pretty much the most dishonest part of my body. (Sometimes I smile when I'm really mad, so I guess my mouth is kind of dishonest too, but what can ya do. My nose still takes the cake.)

I've always really likedd my nose. I mean it's not huge or embarrassing, I don't have terrible allergies, and I've never broken it so it's still the same nose it's always been. But I've started to realize over this past year or so that my nose is just very unreliable. You know how people say things like, "Just follow your nose" and "Your nose knows," etc.? Well they've obviously never met my nose. Because it hardly ever knows what it's smelling.

For example. One time in September or so, I was in some friend's apartment across the street from where I lived and suddenly I smelled French toast. I knew I was smelling French toast. I was sure of it. And they were using cinnamon which is the best way to make French toast. I was in a boys apartment and I thought it was very admirable that one of them was doing something so domestic as making French toast. I decided to commend them on this by saying, "Oh! Who's making French toast?" and then praising the chef. But no one came forward. In fact, everyone kind of stopped and said, "No one's making French toast." So then I thought they were joking because they didn't want to share. Then I discovered that what I was actually smelling was fried eggs. UM. Howww did I mix these two things up?

Another time I was nannying, just hanging out with Malan. She had these little "Magic Grow" sea creatures that we were going to try out. You just put them in warm water and they grow to 4x their original size. I was wondering how they do this, and so, being the scientific-minded person that I am, I took one out and smelled it. I immeditely identified the smell as tanning lotion and gave myself a mental pat on the back (even though this still gave me no clues as to why it grows in warm water). Then I handed it to Malan, who smelled it as well and said, "Why does it smell like play-dough?" I hastily retracted the pat on the back and told her I didn't know why. Seriously, why is my nose so inept?

In other news, I am at telemarketing today and I would just like to take this time to describe a little bit what goes on in this office. I work in this executive park in Columbia; it's very nice and even though I'm just telemarketing I have to dress up and look professional. I work Tuesday nights all by myself, Wednesday nights with just me and Dave, and Thursday during the day with everyone. I guess I should start out by introducing the characters.

First of all, there's Dave. Dave has been doing telemarketing for about 15 years, so I'm assuming he's in his 40's. He is about 300lbs, likes gardening, and is incontrovertibly political. He could talk about politics............forever. I have sat in my chair dialing numbers for literally 45 minutes while he tells me his take on anything and everything remotely related to American politics that has taken place in the past 2 decades. He gets himself all worked up about it and needs hardly an encouragement from me to just keep talking for however long I will give him before someone answers their phone and I have to talk to them. He's like a car with really good gas mileage in this way. When I first started working here, Dave trained me. He had all these catch phrases that he would try and teach me, his favorite being: "fair enough?" We practiced that one for about a half hour because, apparently, there's a right way to say it and a wrong way to say it. (The inflections, I guess, make a difference.) When I would get on the phone with someone Dave would get really excited and wheel out of his cubicle to watch me and whisper helpful little things, like, "Go get 'em Heather. You're a good telemarketer. Fair enough? Say, fair enough?" Rather than encouraging me as I'm sure Dave was intending to do, it only got me more flustered. So someone would be telling me that they had Type 1 diabetes and I would respond stupidly with, "Fair enough?" Eventually Dave calmed down about that and now he just offers advice and direction when I specifically ask for it.

I sometimes feel like I am Dave's life coach. He is dating this 28-yr-old girl who has a baby, several drug addictions, and like 5 other boyfriends. He's broken up with her about a hundred times, but somehow he keeps getting back together with her and buying her new clothes, food, baby diapers, etc. He's convinced that she doesn't really like him, she's just using him for his money, but for some reason he answers the phone when she calls. She's very white trash, from the sound of it. One time when Dave broke up with her he did it by emailing her a poem called "Heart's Door." Every time he used the phrase "Heart's door" in it, he had gone through and made each letter a different color. He read it to me just before he clicked send, beaming the whole time. So my job, whenever Dave talks about this girl, is to tell him how bad for him she is. I remind him that they are broken up. I tell him to stop buying her things. I tell him not to answer his phone when she calls, wanting him to take her shopping. Dave's job, as it turns out, is to get back together with his girl whenever possible and then report to me how stupid he is being.

I am also Dave's diet counselor. The only thing he likes talking about as much as politics is his garden. He is very proud of his zucchinis, corn, peppers, and carrots. He's trying to eat healthily for his diet, and you would think that with such an enormous amount of pride in his garden this would be a piece of (metaphorical) cake. But somehow, the drive-through worker at the local McDonalds still recognizes Dave on that's how his diet is going. However, a few days ago, Dave informed me that he's stopped gorging and he only ate half a pizza and two hamburgers the night before. So no need to worry.

So that's Dave. Then there's Veronica. She is the secretary and, really, she's in charge of a lot that goes on around here. She has bright red hair, her own office, a jar labeled "Prozac" that she keeps filled with chocolates, and a deep-seated, unadulterated hatred for Dave. He kind of bumbles around, and his wide eyes and sloppy manner combined with his loud, irrelevant comments create a person that Veronica can barely bring herself to be civil to. Every word that she directs at Dave is biting and acidic. She picks on everything from his grammar, to his food, to his work ethic, to his social life. When Veronica talks to me on the other hand, she has always been very nice. When I started working here, she introduced herself and offered a standing invitation to her Prozac jar. Now our interaction is limited to when she gives me checks, I enter numbers into her computer for the Do Not Call list, or she's yelling at Dave and she looks to me for agreement. I think that Veronica has a sad life and she takes it out on Dave because she doesn't respect him. But she can be so nice when she likes you.

So even though Veronica is in charge everything, technically, Steve is the boss. He is the nicest boss you could ask for. He has never asked me anything about my erratic hours. He doesn't say much and I only see him when I come in on Thursdays, but he has alwas been pleasant and I think his even temper is good for the office.

The agents who actually go out and try to sell insurance will pop in occasionally and it is always nice to meet them, I think. When I meet a grouchy agent, I just don't make as many calls for them. When I meet a nice agent, I loveee making calls for them. It's very simple with me. Sharon is my favorite. She is this 50 or 60-something black woman who is an aMAZing sales rep. She could sell hymn books to an Atheist, I'm sure of it. She is super-knowledgable about the insurance and whenever she talks to me after going to an appointment I set up for her, she tells me what a great job I'm doing. So whenever I get to pick the agent I give an appointment to, I almost always pick Sharon.

Sue comes in every Thursday morning and she makes everything so much fun. When I first met her I thought she was mayyybe in her 30's at the oldest, but then she said that her favorite age was 29, and she has a teenage son. Her face just looks very young. She is super-tan, super-toned, and super-funny. She is the smoother-outer when Dave and Veronica get into a tussle. She will come and make a joke about Dave (usually about his weight) that makes both Veronica and Dave laugh and then they'll each go back to work. My first time meeting Sue was when Lizzie still worked here, and she was telling us how much she loved the feeling of being naked. It was an interesting first impression, to say the least.

Anyway I really should be getting back to work. If that's what you want to call this.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Kelly............yap :) this one's for you!

I just got home from a most fabulous girls' night with my favorite girls in the whole world: my sisters! We went to see The Proposal and then did a little shopping at the mall. I lovvved. The Proposal. It was so funny and even though I didn't think Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds had super-good chemistry, it's actually like one of my new favorite movies now. I also love my new purchases! We saw one little sign for a sale at 5.7.9. and we walked in to check it out, and all of a sudden, it was like an explosion of sales! So of course I had to buy two necklaces, a dress, and two shirts. Actually, we all spent an admirable amount in our excitement.

I would just like to take this moment to blog about Kelly. She was reading my blog the other day and noted, a little bit distressed, that she wasn't mentioned at all in my blog about things that make me happy. So I told her I would write a blog all for her :)

I don't think it's any secret that Kelly and I are really close. In fact, she is my best friend in the whole world. I think we are very complementary together! For example, I love driving. Kelly hates driving. So whenever we go anywhere together, it's pretty much a given that I will be the driver.

But besides just driving, our personalities mesh really well together. We genuinely enjoy one another's company, so we always have fun when we're together. We have so many inside jokes and since we've known each other our whole lives, we have so many stories and little things we can laugh about. I always think it's so much fun to go on double dates with Kelly because that way I know I will have fun, no matter what.

Kelly is the nicest older sister a girl could ask for. Or a boy, for that matter, in my brothers' case. Sometimes, I kinddd of feel like I am the older sister, just because Kelly is so easy-going and she's willing to let me make decisions on things like, where we should live next year, how we should spend the weekend, things like that. I mean she'll totally plan things when she sees something she really wants to do, but for the most part she will just happily go along with whatever I want. So sometimes it feels like I'm older. But at the end of the day, it is obvious to me that Kelly is the oldest.

All throughout my life, Kelly has been a great example for me to follow. I watched her go to kindergarten first, then go to middle school, go to girl's camp, go to dances, start high school, graduate high school, and then move out and go to a college 2,000 miles away. We're only 16 months apart, so I've been close behind her all along, but this situation has always suited me. I love knowing that whatever I'm about to do, Kelly has already done it. I have been watching her for nearly 19 years, and having someone one step ahead of me at all times has made a huge difference. Just knowing what is about to happen, from the point of view of the one person who knows me best of anyone else in the whole world, is something I am immensely grateful for.

I remember one year when we were at Girl's Camp together and for one of the activities with the young women in our ward, we passed around this rock, and then everyone said what they liked about the person holding the rock. When I was holding the rock, Kelly said something like this: "Well I love Heather because I think she's really nice, she's like the nicest sister, and I like talking to her.....and that's all I'm going to say because I don't want to start crying." Which I thought was a joke at the time. But it actually wasn't, because then when I started saying what I loved about Kelly, I started crying. We had always been best friends, but I guess actually trying to put into words how much I appreciated her made me realize how much I really did.

I can remember only a handful of times that Kelly and I have fought in my life. Looking back, one of them was actually really humorous. We were little, probably like 10 and 11, and it was bedtime. "Bedtime" meaning "bonding time!" We used to talk for literally hours when we should have been sleeping, about absolutely everything. We got in trouble countless times for talking too long and laughing too loudly hours after we had been put in bed. For some reason, tonight, we got in some little argument, and one of us....probably mad at the other and poured water on them and then stormed back across the room and into their own bed. Of course this escalated and got a little out of hand. What started out as a little sprinkling of water turned into chunks of ice being thrown on beds, then whole glasses of water, and finally I found myself marching determinedly into our room with a huge pitcher of water, past the bathroom where I could hear Kelly filling up her newest container with water from the faucet in there, and dumped the whole pitcher of water on her bed. Feeling some sort of sick satisfaction at myself for this horrendously bratty act, I stood by my bed, wringing water out of my night shirt and waiting to defend my own bed against Kelly, the obvious villain. Before Kelly could extact her revenge on me, Mom intervened. I heard the water in the bathroom snap off in a distinctly un-Kelly like fashion. I can remember how my heart jumped to my throat as I crashed down on my bed and scrambled to get under my covers. I frantically squeezed my eyes shut just as I heard Kelly come skittering into the room and dive into her own bed. I heard a small gasp of surprise and the squish of her soaking-wet matress, and then I heard my mom say, in her meanest, hoarsest voice, "It is bedtime. I am trying to sleep. If I hear another word out of either of you, if I hear a trickle of water for the rest of the night, I'm going to come in, and I'm gonna make you take a cold shower. Go to sleep." Then she left. When we finally worked up the courage to talk again, it was in our quietest voices possible, and I was standing next to Kelly, helping her flip her matress over so she could sleep on a dry bed. I think we probably ended up going to sleep that night pretty quickly after Mom's terrifying threat, but I have no doubt that the next night we were back to our old tricks again. Although it was a few months before we had water in the bedroom again.

I have always been able to talk to Kelly about absolutely everything. At BYU this year, I remember her calling me one night at like 11 so we could figure out what time we would have lunch together the next day, or something like that, and we ended up talking on the phone for about 2 hours. We see each other every day at college, but somehow we still had so much to say to each other.

Another time, we met up for lunch and both of us had so much to talk about. We had about 15 minutes before Kelly had to go to her class. In that time we had to eat and discuss everything that had happened over the weekend and everything that was coming up. It was a very difficult task we had ahead of us, but we were determined to rise to the challenge! So for 15 minutes, we talked back and forth as fast as we possibly could. We had made up a list of things we needed to discuss, and we would yell out one of the items on our list, babble about it for about 2 minutes, and then yell out the next item. While one person was talking, the other person was frantically eating and trying to process everything the other person was saying. It was a little draining, admittedly, but we talked about everything we needed to and Kelly was on time to her class.

One of my favorite games to play with Kelly is the "What if I smiled like this?" game. Origin: unknown. It's very simple: one person just says, "What if I smiled like this?" and then twists their face into the most grotesque, ridiculous smile they can muster. Then the other person tries to match it. The smiles evolve, and the game would not be complete without head rolls and shoulder shrugs in all the appropriate places. It isn't a competition. No one is the winner or the loser. Showing one's teeth is optional.

I am fiercely protective of Kelly, and she of me. One time at the beginning of my freshman year at BYU, I went to a sports event and met up with some friends I hadn't seen in awhile. The company and the game turned out to be devastatingly less than I had expected them to be, and I left in the middle of it, fuming. Kelly had been planning to meet up with me there with some of her friends, and we ran into each other just outside the stadium. I guess I was just feeling stressed by the newness and disappointment of everything, and when I saw Kelly and started to tell her what had happened, I almost started crying, I was so upset. Kelly listened to my pitiful little tale, gauged my level of distress, and asked me if I would go back in the game with her, promising that she would take care of everything. I told her I didn't want to go and that I would just see her later. She made sure I got to my ride and then walked resolutely into the stadium where she found my friends and told them exactly what she thought of their behavior.

I think one of the things that makes me more mad than anything else is when I find out that someone has been talking about Kelly, or being mean to her. Furthermore, when people mistreat her, specifically boys, I will fondly nurture a personal vendetta against that person. I will think of the stories Kelly told me about things they said, or did, and I will spend time considering what I could say to them. It seriously makes me so mad. I think I spend more time thinking about how mad I feel at the people who are mean to Kelly than I spend thinking about the people who are mean to me. When people are mean to me, I typically will just want to talk about it and then get it out of my system that way. When people are mean to Kelly, I mull over the situation and work up this indignation until I am more upset about the whole thing than she is. I wonder if, maybe, this is because Kelly doesn't really get mad, so I feel like I need to compensate for her apathy with however much annoyance I think the situation warrants.

When I see people who aren't really friends with their sisters, I honestly feel sorry for them. I used to wish that I had an older brother, one who could be protective of me and have hot friends and tell me what guys were thinking when I got confused. But ohmygosh! I adore Kelly and I wouldn't trade her for anyyything!

We have way too much fun.
We laugh way too hard.
We have way too many good memories.
We share way too many clothes.
and I love her way too much.

Olive juice <3>

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Recipe for Happiness

I had the best. Day ever yesterday. Looking back on it, it was a pretty mediocre day. But I felt so insatiably happy for almost every single second of it. Therefore, I am now going to compose a list of all the things that happened yesterday that made me happy. I figure if I do this, I will be able to pinpoint all of the things that make me most happy and then it'll be a little like I've discovered my own personal recipe for happiness!

When I was a senior in high school, I did a year-long research project on Abraham Maslow's theory, which basically states that there are 5 different categories of needs, and if a person has all of their needs met in one category, they will move on to the next level and try to have those needs met. From the most basic needs on up, the categories are: physiological (having enough to eat and drink and enough time to sleep, etc.), safety (having stability in your life and routine), emotional (gaining the approval and acceptance of others), esteem (feeling good about yourself), and self-actualization (doing things just because you want to do them, not because you need to for any reason). I am going to put everything happy from yesterday in one of these categories just to see if all of my needs were met.

1. I got an email from Jake! Of courseee this made me happy. So, okay, I'm going to put this under two categories: safety and emotional. (Safety isn't really as drastic as it sounds. I just get an email every Wednesday so it's apart of my routine, so every week that I get an email, the security I feel in that routine is reinforced.) So okay, those needs were met.

2. Owen took a long nap. Which is always so nice. Poor Owen, he had a huge doctor's appointment earlier this week and they gave him an anesthesia to put him down for whatever tests they had to do. He came back all loopy and tired and he hasn't been hungry since then. I've tried feeding him throughout the day but he has only eaten a few puffs, a couple handfuls of cheerios, and about a jars worth of baby food from me from Monday afternoon to Wednesday evening. Aside from being sluggish on Monday, he has been happy and alert and hasn't seemed to wantt food, although he has started drinking juice and milk like a champ. Anyway this isn't a doctor's report, so back to his long nap. I think this belongs under physiological. Since Owen's naptime is my naptime :-) and I need my sleep. Like, holy cow. Sometimes my day revolves around naptime a little bit.

3. I got a letter from Jake!!! This never happens on Wednesday! He only writes me on P-day, so I get an email and then the letter usually arrives on either Friday or Saturday. Occasionally it'll be really late and arrive on Monday, but typically, I only hear from him two days a week. I guess this would go in the emotional category, but I just want to say it's a surprise. Surprises make me happy.

4. Winnie texted me and told me a really funny story. I don't think she thought it was as funny as I did. But I laughed when I read her txt. It didn't have anything to do with me, but I'm going to say that belongs in the esteem category. Just because when your only contact with people for several hours of the day is the two kids you babysit, it's nice to know that you still have friends, and it's easy to know that when they txt you random little tidbits that you thoroughly enjoy.

5. I had a, ehm, fantasticcc day at telemarketing. After nannying I went home, got dressed in nicer clothes, ate dinner, and drove down to telemarketing. I called lots of people and I set up two good appointments, and even though this sounds pretty boring, when I make appointments, I feel great. I get paid hourly and by appointment, and when I don't make any appointments, I feel incompetent and undeserving of the money I am paid just to be there. I guess I will say that this goes under the category of esteem, because I would get paid whether I made the appointments or not, but I feel better about myself because I did make them.

6. I shaved my legs. Today is Thursday and I do telemarketing all day on Thursdays, so I have to dress up. Otherwise it's just me and Dave in the office and I hate dressing up just for Dave. Especially since none of the customers can see me...I mean, I'm talking to them over the phone. But on Thursday, I see my boss, and the agents come in and out, and I have to look professional. I like to wear skirts on Thursdays, so I had to shave my legs. I like having a reason to dress up and look nice. This summer has been kind of frustrating in that way because I am nannying all day, and Malan and Owen don't care what I look like, so why should I care? Then I go to telemarketing, and I feel about this much need to impress Dave. So the only times I really try to make myself look nice are when I hang out with people my age, which is every Sunday and random days throughout the week. Anyway, my legs. I did a really good job this time. When I was done I watched Rush Hour with my sisters and TJ (a frequent visitor now) and I just kept touching my legs the whole time because they were so smooth haha :) This will probably go in the esteem category. No one else really cared. Just me.

7. I exercised. It was like midnight, and I found myself getting ready for bed. Deciding quickly that this was entirely too early, and noting that Kelly was still not ready herself, I started doing some little exercises in the living room. Just, you know, toe touches, and squats, and a few crunches, and some plies. I really like exercising. I feel sore today, which I love! I just feel like soreness validates what I did. Maybe this goes under physiological needs, since everyone needs to exercise, but it could also be esteem. I feel better about myself when I exercise.

8. I ate Belgian waffles with syrup and cool whip, standing on the table bench in my kitchen at midnight. I just wanted to. I was a little hungry, but my main motivation for doing that was because I just thought they would be good and I wanted to do it. The minutes I spent in that kitchen I will definitely classify as self-actualization.

Nicole and Julie joined me in the kitchen and we just chatted and pranced around, eating and laughing, just being sisters. True to form, Dad came in to put an end to all the nonsense going on in his house. He told Nicole and Julie that they had to go to bed because they slept in until 1:00 in the afternoon today and that was unacceptable and blablabla. Right when he said this, they both earnestly protested, "I was up at 9:30....." to which my poor father had no response. Which, I'm assuming, means it was true, but he just didn't want to say so. His point still stood! He wanted them in bed. I guess we were all feeling really silly after watching Rush Hour, and when Dad turned to Julie to reprimand her for her sleeping habits, Nicole suddenly shouted, "Huh-DAD!" and then started laughing uproariously. Apparently when she did this my dad jumped, startled, and then tried hastily to regain his composure. Unfortunately for him it was too late. There in the kitchen stood a ruffled and slightly disoriented father, surrounded by three daughters who all found him hilarious rather than intimidating as he might have hoped.

As I joined in the laughter, a piece of Belgian waffle caught just the right way in my throat and I kind of started choking. I still thought the whole situation was quite funny, but instead of laughing, I found myself coughing and stuggling to catch my breath again. I guess choking isn't that big a deal in my family because the most anyone did to help me was when my dad put down the watch he was holding in case I would need to have the Heimlich maneuver performed on me. Julie and Nicole were still cracking up laughing and this only made it more funny. Julie, who had sat down on the floor because she was laughing too hard, looked up at me and kindly demonstrated the universal sign for choking and suggested that I use it if I felt like I really was in an emergency situation. Nicole started blaming Dad for my current state, but she was still more helpful than him, in my opinion; all the time that I was choking, Dad watched my face with interest as it change colors and made comments like, "Whelp, she's choking." "Look at that, now that's what happens when you eat Belgian waffles at midnight on the kitchen table bench." "It's all funny until someone starts choking." "Julie, you should stand up off the floor." "She might have gotten a piece of Belgian waffle stuck in her throat." "Now you know you should listen to your daddy, see what happens when you don't?" etc.

My dad has terrible bedside manner. I guess I've known this all my life--when one of us was being born, he brazenly asked the doctor where an outlet was so he could plug in his laptop and finish up some work. When I went in for a surgery on my ear when I was 7 years old, he off-handedly asked the nurses where another bed was so he could get some sleep while I was having the procedure done. I remember another time, when we were on vacation in Florida, and I threw up suddenly after having drinken like 2 1/2 bottles of water. (Ohmy, thattt's another story.) While I sat miserably outside the car, trying to recover, my dad came over and started questioning me on what I thought it could be that triggered my sudden sickness. I don't recall him asking how I felt now, but whatever. He's still the best daddy.

So in conclusion, here are the things that make me happy:
1. Jake makes me happy. Even when he is 2,000 miles away, he still makes me happy.
2. Naps make me happy.
3. Surprises make me happy.
4. Also mail. Mail in general makes me happy.
5. Professional success makes me happy.
6. Friends make me happy.
7. Looking nice, or feeling like I do, makes me happy.
8. Belgian waffles make me happy.
9. My sisters make me happy.
10. Laughing until I choke makes me reallyy happy :-)