Category Archives: Family

The Art of Doing Nothing

There are days when I think I’m going to do a whole lot of nothing.  I’m like, “I’m going to stay in my pajamas all day, watch lots of reality TV and surf Pinterest for hours.”  Then, 9:00am hits and I’m like, “I should get dressed and get stuff done.” It’s a curse, I’m telling you.  Just call me the ‘Queen of Getting Things Done.’ I mean I’m really good at it.  To be honest, by 9:00am I’ve already cooked and cleaned up breakfast, fed the animals, started a load of laundry and vacuumed up lots of dog hairs.

Is there such a thing as being too productive?  Because I think I’d like to diagnosis myself with this rare disorder.  Granted, I’m lucky enough to spend a lot of time at home (without human children) and have the time to get stuff done.  There are days, however, when I wish I would just stop accomplishing already and chill the fuck out.

Or, honestly, I’d like my husband to be able to take a day off work and chill out with me.  I think nothing sounds better than curling up in bed all day, watching movies on the laptop, reading, playing games, scouring every home decor magazine in the house (my favorite activity) and eating.  Yes, all in bed. Of course Jack will need to be right there with us, shedding his many dog hairs, but he’s so cute that we’ll allow it.

Next week I’m on the road again for work, so I suppose that whole day-in-bed thing will have to wait.  Maybe I can convince Rob to do this for my upcoming Birthday though (March 26th for those of you that would like to send me a gift)?  In the meantime, I’ll get some shit done.

Money Maker

I had every intention of writing this post yesterday, but somewhere between the total starvation and raging headache, I forgot.  Ok, it’s not really that bad.  Rob and I are doing a 3 day juice cleanse, so I did get a bit of a headache and felt a little hungry yesterday late afternoon, but the truth is that I feel pretty good overall. Rob, on the other hand, said eating a shoe sounded good to him.  I’ll write about it more when it’s all said and done.

In other news, I’ve come up with a new money making venture.  The freelance thing has been slow for awhile now, so I’m looking into other ways to bring in some money.  This idea happens to be one I stole from the awesomely funny television show New Girl.  It’s just such a perfect fit!

In their apartment (on the show), they have what’s called an “annoying jar.”  Every time one of the roomies does something considered annoying by any of the other roomies, the annoying one has to put money in the jar.  You might be thinking, but she doesn’t even have roommates, so what good will this do?  I do have one roommate though; my husband.  And because I love him very much, I can tell you that he is the king of annoying.  Wait, let’s capitalize that; King of Annoying.  That’s better.

In just one evening at home I guarantee you I could make a shit ton of money. Like every time he makes one of his super annoying noises, that’s like $10 in the jar. More if he’s already been asked to stop making these obnoxious sounds.  It sounds weird, I know, but Rob likes to make high-pitched noises and make other loud outbursts on a regular basis.  For some reason it’s especially bad when we’re playing Word With Friends against each other, which we do almost daily.

Rob also likes to call me all kinds of nicknames that really aren’t that cute.  I mean yes, they are pretty comical, but if I can classify them as annoying, well, money! Some of the most common names he calls me:

Slip N’ Slide


Poop Pickle

Stink Biscuit

Smoke Screen

There are many more, but you get the idea.  Romantic, eh?  They are if they equal money in the jar!  Of course, I’m looking at other “job” options, but I think this could be very profitable.  Profitable, for me.  I guess Rob could end up poor.  Damn, I didn’t really think that through.

Operation Socialization

My dog has some issues.  If you’re familiar with this blog you’ve read about them in entries such as this.  That was a dramatic day for sure.  I’m kind of dramatic though. Yes, Jack either wasn’t socialized as a puppy or he suffered some sort of abuse/neglect.  He was a stray and was rescued only minutes before being put to sleep, so we know nothing of his history.  He is such a lover though, and I know that the nips and bites he’s taken at people are out of fear.  He is beyond skittish and simply doesn’t know how else to respond. And he deserves to learn how to respond. He really has been doing great, but I want him to have more exposure to new people.

So, we’re going to have people over at least once a week for him to meet.  Some of the people he’s already met but doesn’t see on a regular basis.  Others might be brand new.  Is this scary for me?  Absolutely.  I’m really excited though.  I’m excited for people to see how great he’s doing and get to know him.  I’m excited to face my fears head-on.  I’m excited to actually have people over.  I love cooking for friends and family and yet I never do it.  I mean I cook for our little family every night, but I’m talking more along the entertaining lines.

I’m determined to make 2013 a year filled with happiness and success.  What I need to remember is that things aren’t always going to go perfectly and that’s OK.  The ups and downs are all part of the journey.  My therapist would be so proud to hear me say that.  I’m also going to remember all the stellar things about Jack, because they far outweigh the negative ones.  Like take his report card from doggy daycare last month.  He stayed a couple of nights while we were in Deer Valley with the family and he got an A freakin’ +!  They couldn’t say enough good about him, how much he loved playing with his friends Winston and Nixon (great dog names, by the way) and how sweet he was.

So here’s to new adventures!

Jack playing with his cousin, Noki

Jack playing with his cousin, Noki

Birth Control

A couple of weeks ago my sister told me she had a dream that I had a baby.  I was immediately like, “Oh no!  Was I a nervous wreck in the dream?  Did I check on the baby every 30 seconds to make sure he/she was still breathing?”  Jess assured me that it was all good.  It was a boy and things seemed great.  Her dream has no idea what the reality would look like.

Ever since she told me that I’ve been a little bit panicky.  Like what if something crazy happened and I got pregnant?  That would not be good, my friends.  No, I do not hate children.  I actually really like kids.  Rob and I have just decided that it’s not something we’re going to embark on together.  We’ll enjoy his daughter and our pets.  I mean Rob is not a spring chicken.  He looks like a spring chicken and acts like a spring chicken (totally rides his bike like one), but his drivers license says otherwise.  And remember, I’m a bit of a neurotic mess, so there’s that.

Who can afford kids these days anyway?  I get together with my girlfriends and they talk about all the lessons their five kids are in (yes, I said five) and I start getting heart palpitations.  I mean they obviously have a yearly income of like a million dollars.  How else is all this possible?

So in light of this new worry, I’ve been extra diligent about taking those magic pills they call birth control.  My doctor prescribed a new brand though and the tablets are chewable.  Chewable birth control?  What the hell?  So I’m chewing them, but I’m worried because little pieces are getting stuck in my teeth.  I’m (obviously) obsessively picking them out and swallowing them.  What if enough doesn’t make it into my system?  Good lord.  It is not necessary to have these pills be chewable. They are itty bitty!

Anyway, there’s my latest and greatest worry.  I’ve already brought it up with my therapist.


So the trip was a huge success.  I’m talking fits of laughter, clapping and cheering and spontaneous dancing in the kitchen.  We ate amazing food (if I do say so myself), played in the snow, watched Christmas movies, colored, read, decorated cookies, soaked in the hot tub and just really enjoyed each other’s company.  Even Heath had a rockin’ good time day two after we introduced him to Fireball Whiskey. He was feeling so good he threw my sister in the hot tub with all of her clothes on. After threatening to do the same to Rob, Rob voluntarily got in the with him.  I later learned they set up some sort of obstacle course in which they would roll in the snow three times, run to a tree and then run back into the hot tub.  I’m pretty sure the neighbors were thoroughly entertained by us.  That or really scared.

I know this is going to sound really sappy, but there were moments when I felt overwhelming love for my family.  I’m serious.  I really like being with these people. We have our issues and don’t always see eye to eye, but everyone came together for this trip.  And I’m serious when I say that spending a holiday weekend with my family was the best gift I’ve ever received.  We’re strange and some of us (Dylan) decapitate gingerbread men and turn the gingerbread house into a zombie house while others of us wear our pants pulled up to our boobs (Heath), but we’re funny as shit and know how to have a good time.

Here are some pics Rob took that capture the moments perfectly.  Not that you want to see a family slideshow, but, well, too bad.

Dylan romping in the snow

Dylan romping in the snow

Stevie braving the elements

Stevie braving the elements

Mom of the Century

Mom of the Century

Surprise attack!  Jess is going in the hot tub clothes and all.

Surprise attack! Jess is going in the hot tub clothes and all.

The cooks in the kitchen!

The cooks in the kitchen!

Proof of the pants

Proof of the pants

My dad is stoked about something and the gift isn't even open yet!

My dad is stoked about something and the gift isn’t even open yet!

Mom and Dyl; best buds

Mom and Dyl; best buds

My bro is too cool for words

My bro is too cool for words

Em getting her sled on!

Em getting her sled on!

Cookie decorating!

Cookie decorating!

How's that for happy?

How’s that for happy?

The photographer actually made it in a shot.

The photographer actually made it in a shot.

Family Togetherness

I know, I know, I haven’t blogged in FOREVER!  I have no idea what’s wrong with me.  I mean I have been busy with holiday stuff.  I’ve been shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking, buying way too much food (I get really excited about comfort, holiday meals) and making endless lists of things that I must not forget to do before this coming weekend.

This coming weekend my family (siblings, parents, spouses, kids) and I are headed to a luxurious getaway home in Deer Valley.  Which means that I have to have everything ready for Christmas by Friday so that when we return on Christmas Eve we don’t have to venture out with the hoards of procrastinators.

Anyway, back to the getaway.  Months ago I had this great idea of spending a couple of days at a snowy Christmas cabin or condo.  Not too far from home, not too close. Enough room for everyone.  A kitchen to cook amazing food in.  Ummm yeah I have high hopes.  Doesn’t it just sound so Christmasy though?!  And expensive. Lucky for us my brother-in-law has clients with lots of money.  And this money translates to second homes in Deer Valley that they are willing to let us stay at for FREE!  Who are these people, right?  I don’t even know them and I love them.

The first place we were supposed to stay at ended up flooding, so Heath (my bro-in-law) was like, “Hmmm who else do I know that has a place up there?”  And then he randomly called some client and asked if we could stay at her place.  He is so brave. She said yes even though they don’t even rent the place out.  Again, who are these people?

So, we’re heading up with the whole gang for a couple of nights to pretend like it’s our place and live the life of luxury.  I know it won’t be perfect.  That’s why we’re bringing a lot of alcohol.  How else do you think we’re going to make it two and half days under the same roof?

If I don’t make it back to the blog before then.  Who am I kidding?  I won’t.  Happy Christmas to all of you!  I hope that this holiday season is filled with love and togetherness (and Xanax if that helps take the edge off).


This last week it’s come to my attention that there are too many people in this world.  And most of these people really bug me.  I realize in the great valley of Salt Lake that we’re not jamming people in like they do in New York City, but there are people everywhere!  Part of the problem is that we’re trying to squeeze a bunch of people into the same space at one time.  The other part of the problem is that most of these people are idiots.  Hold on, I can back it up with cold hard facts.

The other night my sister, her two kids and I ventured out to the Festival of Trees. This is an event that takes place every year to benefit Primary Children’s Hospital. People decorate really cool trees (and gingerbread houses!), put them on display for others to see and then the trees are purchased by people with more money than me.  All proceeds go to the amazing hospital; the hospital my niece Stevie has spent far too much time in.  Anyway, it’s a great cause, but it’s also a major log jam of people trying to get a look at the trees. Between the strollers, wheelchairs and dumb people, it’s too much.  Oh and the parking!  Two different people were trying to get our parking spot when we left, which caused a line of about six cars behind each of them.  My sister has serious driving skills in her big rig, because honest to God, I would have hit at least three vehicles on my way out of that spot.  Actually, if I’m being honest, I wouldn’t have attempted to get out.

Then yesterday I made the Costco trip.  I do love Costco, and I felt that a Thursday afternoon would be safe.  Nope.  People everywhere!  And what is it with people waiting in line for a god damned sample!  Move out of the way and I will buy you a whole box of those donuts!  It is not worth jamming up the entire aisle.  The problem, I think, is that people have no awareness of other people also shopping.  If they did, they wouldn’t stop in the middle of a walkway.  Would they?!

Listen, I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking that I do all that stuff too.  I don’t though.  I am highly aware of my surroundings at all times and therefore am courteous of people around me.  I just sigh a lot and say things under my breath like, “Are you kidding me right now?”  You can thank my mother for this learned habit.

In the spirit of the holiday season, GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY!  Oh, and kindly consider adoption.  You know, to help with the too many people in the world problem.  Quick detour story about adoption, if you don’t mind.  My nephew has decided it would be really cool to have a brother.  So, he asked my sister if they could adopt one for him.  My sister was like, “Well, your sister has a lot of needs (holy understatement!).”  She was telling me about this in the car when my nephew yelled from the backseat, “Hey Mom, if we adopted a brother, Dad would be really mad if he found out.”  Yes, yes he would.


I’m in kind of a reflective mood lately.  Maybe it’s the time of year, maybe it’s the doings of my therapist (yes, I have one) or maybe I’m just getting old.  Whatever the reason, I’m happy about it.  In fact, I want to actively spend more time reflecting.  It doesn’t always need to be about something big.  Small things matter too, people. So, I’ve been reflecting on the last couple of weeks and I’ve come up with my “learning list.”

Bowel movements make everyone feel better –

In this case I’m referring to my dog’s bowel movements, but I do think (and know thanks to Dr. Oz) that they are important for everyone.  Jack managed to get one of his toenails ripped off last Sunday, which has turned him into a total gimp.  Before we took him to the vet to get him hooked up with some pain meds, the poor little dude didn’t want to do much of anything.  Which meant no walks.  Walks are when Jack poops, so no walks meant no pooping.  We tried and tried to get him to just go in the backyard but he would just stare at us and eventually sit down in the snow. On Tuesday he basically pulled Rob out the door to walk, and thank God, because he took a massive dump.  A dump which we celebrated.

Spending time with someone you love is therapeutic – 

My sister, Jessica, has the most challenging life of anyone I know.  Having a sick child with difficult behavior issues (this is an understatement) requiring 24-hour supervision would send most people to the nuthouse immediately.  Not Jess.  Nope. She’s a warrior.  And despite her crazy life, she manages to listen to my problems, support me and make me smile.

Playing and laughing with my nephew brings incredible joy –

Dylan, my 9-year-old nephew, and I don’t get to spend a lot of time together.  When I’m at their house, I’m usually watching his sister (the one requiring 24-hour supervision).  That and he doesn’t like me telling him what to do, so we clash a lot of the time.  Last week my sister had an appointment and Stevie was asleep, so Dylan and I actually got to play.  And it was so fun!  I always have stories to tell after I hang with Dyl.  This time he told me about a deaf kid in his gymnastics class, so I was like, “Oh, that’s cool.  Maybe you can learn some sign language.”  Dylan responded by telling me that he already does sign language to the kid and then proceeded to flash me some gang sign to prove it.  Pure awesome right there.

So there you have it.  Don’t worry, these sappy posts won’t continue.  I’ve got plenty of negative, sarcastic script just waiting to be written.

Out of the Mouths of Babes

I seriously love some of the things that come out of the mouths of my niece and nephew.  Yes, there are times when the words that come out of Stevie’s (my niece) mouth make me want to do other things besides laugh, but she’s pretty damn funny a lot of the time.  Last weekend I babysat for a few hours and Stevie loves to pretend like she’s going out on a date and I am the babysitter.  So, she hands me her doll and says, “I’m going on a date with my husband.”  When I asked her who said husband was, I thought for sure it would be Justin Bieber.  Instead Stevie’s response was, “Kevin Bacon.”  Not bad.  I mean yes, he’s a little old for her, but he’s a pretty big stud if you ask me.

Babysitting her doll while she goes out is something I can get behind.  What I can’t really seem to get into is her wanting me to pretend like I’m pregnant and then go into labor.  Listen, the kid has seen a lot of “medical” shows on TV.  She’s fascinated by them because of all of her health problems, I suppose.  Anyway, she may or may not have seen a few episodes of TLC’s A Baby Story.  You know, the one where they show the woman giving birth.  Yeah, that one.  This is how it went down the other night:

Stevie:  “Aunt Sonie, pretend like you’re pregnant.”

Me:  “OK.”

Stevie:  “Call me on the phone because you’re excited you’re pregnant.”

Me:  “Ring ring.  Hi, Stevie?  Guess what?!  I’m pregnant!”

Stevie:  “Ok, now push.”

Me:  “Oh, I’m in labor now?”

Stevie:  “Yes.  Ok, you are dilated to 6.”

Me:  “Oh God, you know about dilation?”  She’s 7.

Stevie:  “Push Aunt Sonie.”

Me:  “Ok, this is a little weird actually.  How about we pretend like I adopt a baby.”

Stevie:  “OK.”

Me:  “Do you know what adoption is?  Some people can’t have babies and other people can but aren’t able to take care of them.  So, you can adopt someone else’s baby.  It’s a long process and you pay money.”  Listen, it was the best explanation I could come up with.

Stevie:  “Ok, here’s your baby.  $6 please.”

What a steal, right?!

My nephew, Dylan, can also be quite comical.  We were trick-or-treating with the kids last week and there was some dude hanging out in his driveway.  Apparently he does that every year.  It’s a little creepy if you ask me, just sitting there, but whatever.  Anyway, Dylan was walking with my brother when he saw him, pointed and said, “Hey look, a redneck!”  When Spencer told him to keep it down he was like, “What, he looks like one.”

I’m not entirely sure where Dylan has heard about rednecks but I quickly informed him that his dad is also a redneck.  There are levels of rednecks and his dad happens to be at the classiest level, but as my brother put it, “He really enjoys redneck culture.” Is he anywhere near the redneck level of the family on Honey Boo Boo? God no, but he does like to take in the occasional demolition derby or monster truck crawl.  That and his trucks are jacked up, and once in awhile he sports a mullet.

My family is awesome.

Putting the Fun in Dysfunction

My family is extremely dysfunctional.  I’m talking drugs, depression and a bunch of other stuff I’m hoping one day I can write about without people yelling at me.  Our dysfunction is nothing we’re too ashamed to openly talk about though.  My siblings and I  can be found at family gatherings talking about things that occurred in our childhood that others have only heard about on news stories and Lifetime movies. At the end of the day though, we all love each other.  And we’ve worked through the trials.  Not that they’re over or anything.  Oh no, they are not over.

I love getting together with these people because we make each other laugh.  And even when my brother-in-law is making mixed drinks for my Mormon grandpa and my mom is sighing loudly for the millionth time, we’re all still (usually) smiling.  No, it’s not because we’re all drunk.  Usually only a couple of people are drunk.  The rest of us are just happy to be there; sharing stories, laughing and spending time together.

Here we all (minus my little sister) are last night at our annual pumpkin carving event.  Is everyone looking at the camera?  No.  Is someone (Mom!) hiding?  Yes. Does my nephew Dylan have a pumpkin on his head?  Of course he does!