In our continuing series: Adventures with Children!

This weekend I went to Richland, WA to spend the first serious quantity of quality time with the children of my FormerBoyfriendNowFriendButStillWithTheSameFeelings.

Don't ask.

World, Jocelyn and Adam. Jocelyn and Adam, World.

Jocelyn, Adam and FriendsJocelyn, Adam and Friends Hosted on Zooomr

Jocelyn started this amazing trend while trying to think of a new way to carry the bunny while we were waiting for "Dad" to finish learning what was wrong with the plane. I though the weekend was off to an awful start when everytime Bas said to me, "Ok. Now throw the plane." was followed by, "Wow. Who knew model planes could nose dive like that?"

Here were the moments just before that happy event.

Maiden FlightMaiden Flight Hosted on Zooomr

You'll notice that while Adam has given up the StuffedAnimalAsHat look, Jocelyn has managed to convince herself it's the new black. This would continue for another 30 minuets or so until she discovered Beanie Babies. Then she made families for each of them and insisted on a photo so they could remember who their families were. "Because! How else do you knoW!?" she said when I asked why that was so important.

Far be it from me.

Jocelyn and FamiliesJocelyn and Families Hosted on Zooomr

After some quality time in the hobby store, we headed home for brunch, a movie and a nap for Dad. I've decided I love to watch Jocelyn when she's enthralled.

Jocelyn and BasJocelyn and Bas Hosted on Zooomr

I tried to get some pictures of Adam but, as one would expect of Superman (shh. Don't tell. He has a secret identity to maintain but it's really good cause you'd never expect Superman to be blonde and 8. It's all part of the master plan.) he's never motionless long enough for my pathetic little camera to catch him. These are the moments I envy Dooce.

In the afternoon, we went swimming. Perhaps the best part of my day was when Jocelyn and I were alone in the deep end. She touched my left breast and said, "What are these?"

I replied, "Those are breasts. You have some too. So does your Mommy."

With a quick downward glance and an authority in her voice she responsed, "Not like these she doesn't."

Is there any question why I love her?

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Lo Lo

Two Saturdays ago I was sitting in Manuel's listening to The Power of Now while he worked his mojo on my hair. If he wasn't batting for the other team, I would be in love with this man. He treats me like a queen. Kisses all over my face and hugs every time I enter and exit his shop. Not to mention his biceps, chest and abs. Sooo nice.
While I was mentally digesting the idea that the mind is a machine that controls our lives, Monica walked in.
The majority of Manuel's clients are Latino. Spanish is the predominate language spoken in the salon. I have never seen another white woman or man while I have been there. I do know Leah Fagan and Heather Armstrong (?) are also clients. Leah, is actually responsible for introducing me to Manuel. God bless Leah Fagan.
As Manuel was styling my hair he began chatting with Monica. Listening to their conversation I gathered she was a mother who had just returned from a family vacation to Hawaii. She lived in Maryland and had an alter ego named Monique.
Intrigued, I asked how she met her husband and prodded for an explanation about Monique. She explained prior to meeting her husband she had dated a divorcee with a child. She was in that relationship for three years but could never commit. Refusing to wait any longer, he broke it off. She was devastated. A few months later she was attending a party and her husband walked in. Simple as that.
Monique, she explained, came out when she was in Manuel's shop. Monique was her naughty, adventurous self. "What you need," she offered, "is a Monique." I laughed and asked, "you really think so?"
By this time Manuel had finished styling my hair. He seriously made me look like a 1960's movie star. It was awesome. All I needed was a pair of fake eyelashes, stilletos and a killer cocktail dress. Seeing my hair Monica said, "You are Lolita. That is your alter ego and Lolita needs to go out tonight. Lolita needs to get a man." I made a few comments about men and how that was the last thing I needed before leaving the salon.
Since then I have been thinking, perhaps Monica is right. Maybe I do need an alter ego. Why not? I often think I am way too serious. That I expect too much out of life and of others. That I need to loosen up.
So, I officially declare 2007 the Year of Lo Lo. I have so much to look forward to this year; graduation, finding employment, possibly moving, my brother's wedding, helping my dad build his new house, etc. 2007 has already been an eventful year and January is not even over. I have started dating again, I am babysitting Isla, I have been on a road trip with my friends, and started my last semester of graduate school.
For those of you who have not caught a glimpse of Lo Lo I have included two photos as an introduction. I know what you are thinking, "She looks like Amber," but don't be fooled. Amber would NEVER wrap a wolf pelt around her and pose for photos while an interpreter was discussing the importance of repairing canoes at historic Jamestown. Amber would quietly listen, taking mental notes, refusing to touch or climb on anything in the settlement out of respect. As you can see Lo Lo has an entirely different philosophy. Lo Lo even held John, the tour guide's hand, at one point and announced to the entire group she was doing so. Amber would never do that. While on the Mary Constance, Lo Lo made naughty poses while Rae took pictures. Amber would not do that either. Its amazing the things Lo Lo will do.
Another thing about Lo Lo is I never know when she is going to assert herself. It just happens. Will you be lucky enough to witness this? Who knows? But one thing I will say is, "Let the Year of Lo Lo begin!"

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Road Trip to Nowhere

My first Sunday home during Christmas break, my friend Desiree mentioned she was driving to Illinois for a friend's wedding. Worried about her traveling alone, I volunteered to go with her. I love spontaneous road trips and who doesn't want to visit Illinois when the opportunity arises?
The wedding date was December 27. Greenup, our destination, was only a five hour drive from Richmond (KY), so, we left at 7am that morning.
The drive up was awesome. Desiree and I haven't really talked since, I don't know, my freshman year at BYU, so we had a lot of catching up to do. She is such a beautiful person and I constantly marvel over the fact that she is still single.
In addition, her family is awesome! Her dad Marlow, is the stake patriarch and Christy, her mom, is the coolest lady. They have the ideal relationship.
Josh Blade, Desiree's friend, who is a first cousin of the bride, Erin, warned us, Greenup, is nowhere, USA. Oh my gosh. He was not joking. I mean Greenup's pride and joy, besides the courthouse, (photo above) is the Dollar General store which just opened! It was insane.
Since there wasn't much to do we drove to Josh's house first. Cyn Cyn or Cynthia, Josh's mom, is a beautician. She has the cutest shop ever and is a total babe. Seriously, the lady runs like 6 miles a day and is tiny. The minute I walked into her shop she had her hands in my hair. The only thing she really said to me all weekend was, "You have the most gorgeous hair." or "I just love your hair." For these compliments I loved her even more. Josh was out having lunch with his dad when we arrived so Desi and I hung out in the shop and watched Cyn Cyn do all the ladies hair. Erin looked beautiful. Ben, the groom, is such a lucky guy and the cool thing is, he acts like he knows it. Their story is also really cute. You could honestly say, it was love at first sight. Nice how that happens for other people.
When Josh returned we got a tour of the house and then of Greenup. Josh's grandma worked at the courthouse, thus the photo. While we were talking to her, I talked, Sherriff Bill Kline, into posing for a photo. At first he protested but in the end he agreed to put his hands on his guns while I snapped a photo.
In addition to seeing the courthouse, Josh took us to a warehouse where they build tour buses for country music stars. Sadly, Desi and I had just missed Rascal Flats, who had been by to pick up their new bus. It was really interesting to hear about the unique color combinations different stars chose for their bus interiors.
I didn't realize Illinois was the place for such a business. My first guess would have been, oh, maybe, Nashville.
On the way home, we had to pause for goats. It was awesome! After Josh begged me not to get out of the Suburban, I snuck around the side and got a few photos of a billie goat who had real horns. Josh kept screaming he was going to butt me but I knew better. Men think they know everything.
Erin was baptized into the LDS church in February of 2006. Converts are required to wait one year before they attend the temple. Erin's family is not LDS. This means they are not able to attend the temple. Erin and Ben have decided they will be sealed in the Salt Lake Temple this February. Not wishing to exclude her family, Erin and Ben decided to have a small ceremony that her family could attend. It was held in the local Methodist church and was lovely. Although I decided not to take any photos I did get one of Josh prior to the wedding with his white tennis socks and tuxedo pants. Men.
The reception was held in a barn that had been converted into a restaurant. I got some really cool photos of the table decorations and the revolving machine blades overhead. The food was fantastic and the dancing was really fun.
Josh's eight year old nephew is seriously the best breakdancer I have ever seen in person. He was so amazing. I felt like the biggest dork dancing next to him.
Josh's brother, Jesse, also made the evening fun. Skilled in the art of verbal banter, dinner was spent in debate. What made the dynamic even better was seeing him in his underwear earlier that day. It was an accident but I didn't complain. Little young for me though.
The next morning Josh, Desiree and I paid a visit to Josh's bull-riding champion cousin, and were attacked by dogs. We actually drove over in a golf cart. I love the country!
Ditching the golf cart we borrowed Jesse's truck and drove over to feed his pet deer, which the neighbors keep along with their pet deer. Its incredible. This photo is of Josh and Desi feeding Lucky, Jesse's deer.
After feeding the deer, Desi and I said our goodbyes and headed back to the "civilization" that is Kentucky. I don't know that I will ever see the Blade family again but I am grateful for their hospitality and will never forget Greenup as a result. If you are ever traveling through southern Illinois, give Greenup some of your time. You won't be sorry you did.

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The Face of Heaven

As those of us, whom you left behind, anticipated and discussed this day, I asked Stephanie if it would be appropriate for me to post your photo on our blog. She consented.
Last Sunday, the anniversary of Hair Washing day, I mentioned you in my talk. So many people remember you. Your life and memory has influenced so many people for good. Stephanie shared the talk with your Mom and Dad. Later that evening your Mom called. We talked about the hospital, how much you loved life, how many friends you have, and made future plans to see each other. You have such a beautiful family. Thanks for sharing them with me. They miss you so much and are striving to live worthy of seeing you again. God be thanked for the power of the priesthood, that binds us together as families, in holy temples.
I recently finished a book titled Make Gentle the Life of This World. Basically, its a compliation of Robert Kennedy's thoughts and favorite quotes. When I read this excerpt from Romeo and Juliet I thought of you.
...when she shall die,

Take her and cut her in little stars,

And she will make the face of heaven so fine

That all the world will be in love with night

and pay no worship to the garish sun.

You are not forgotten.


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My Brother--The Aspiring Attorney

My brother finally picked up his suite today. He has interviews scheduled in February for summer internships. Bored with his "ordinary" beard, Josh decided to shake things up a bit after Christmas and try the Martin Van Buren look. He was a president after all.
Anyway, I snapped this photo of Josh in Men's Warehouse while my dad was paying for his new duds. Its really telling how influential a person's appearance can be. Until I kindly asked the young clerk to assist my brother NO ONE would even speak to Josh. Once they discovered my dad was willing to lay down dough for two suites they changed their tune. Its unfortunate when people just can't "keep it real." The sad thing is, living in Kentucky, they probably all had at least one relative with a mullet (female relatives included).
As the karaoke photos demonstrate Josh shaved the lamb chops a few days later, into a moustache, resembling the Hispanic guy on City Slickers that hooks up with the blonde chick at the end.
Here's hoping the interviews bode better than the suite shopping.

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Def Leppard = Genius

The lyrics to this song perfectly describe love and the recent experience I have had with it, or what I thought was love.
Oh well, out with the old and in with the new!

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The awful, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Today I woke up. That was the first mistake.

I discovered, shortly after a good start to the morning, that my dog had peed all over my favorite (read: only) leather jacket. Enough that the carpet had to be sopped up with a towel. No, I did not kill him. Yes, it was an exceedingly close call.

After this, I decided that it would be best for the dog and I to leave the house on some errands and so that, if I did decide to kill him, I could throw him from a speeding car. I discovered a short time later that I was hungry. I went to Wal-Mart anyway. I bought what I needed which was all more expensive than I was planning.

Then I was really hungry so I decided to grab a Coke (as a reward for the dog still being alive) and a McMuffin. I did this. Feeling better. I turned right and another car decided to turn left at the same moment. I slammed on the brakes and the Coke (of course, a large) dumps into my "lap." Now I'm on the road so there isn't much I can do other than pull into the first parking lot (3 blocks later) and blot the 2 drops not absorbed into my "lap" with the only napkin they gave me. I do this.

We proceed to drive out to Blue Mountain (pictures available on the other blog) where we need to wait for Saundra and Matt with Sue. Duke, as usual, is a mess around other dogs. But not just any dogs. Boy dogs. Yes, it's true. My dog is gay. There's not a question. I'm fine. It's his life. But you'd think he would be able to contain his behavior when we're in public. He can't. And of course, he chooses to aim his "love" in the direction of a golden lab belonging to the only man (hot!) in the whole place. Of course, the rest of the people all had female dogs. You see my point.

Several moments later when the lab had finally tried to kill Duke, the hot man and his straight dog got in the car to go. Then Sue, Saundie and Matt got there. Duke proceeded to run around without regard to a single command, as usual. My stress level was not usual by this point and the silence and beauty was frequently broken by bellows to which Duke managed to remain oblivious. At the end of the run we had more fun trying to get him into the car. That accomplished, I figured it would be better for me to burn off some steam before I headed home with him.

So. The Gym. Usually a quiet, adult filled place. Not today. Today there where children all over the locker room. Male children. Not under 3. This hurdle passed and I got into the pool. Every time I took a break to change equipment, the sweet lady next to me insisted on talking to me about how great things were when "kids and people who couldn't afford it weren't allowed in." I got out of the pool after 20 mins and decided to shower.

While I was in the pool an edict had gone out to overweight women everywhere (of which I am one and, therefore, allowed to talk about.) This edict had dictated that they should pick a locker near mine and be naked and chatting when I arrived back at my locker. Normally this wouldn't bother me but it was the 5-6 male children of about the same age that really got to me. Especially when we started an anatomy discussion. I tried not to be rude and I growled and threatened to kick one.

Back in the car (wet, cold and more pissed--if possible--than when I got into the gym), we head home and realize that maybe one of the underlying stress points is the dirt, hair and mice that seem to be inhabiting my car. At this moment, the gas light goes on. We miss the next 48 gas stations due to traffic and my increasing stress. When we do arrive at one it's the most expensive in the state. We don't care, of course, because it's gas. We have become we now to cope with the stress.

We drive to a car wash where 3 other people with dogs are also washing their cars. Picture trying to vacuum while a leash is between your legs to avoid having Duke saunter over to pick up on the pitbull in the next car. As soon as the first three layer of hair are removed, I (see--less stress=less people in my head) pull forward into the carwash (not remembering, of course, that my dog has never been in one in the 11 years he's spent on the planet) where Duke jumps onto my lap and pees a little in fright. We're breathing steadily now as we try to find the peaceful place that the clean floor mats helped us find. Then the men who dry the car opened the door and helped me catch Duke as he made a bid for freedom.

As we drove home we came back to I as I decided that there were several hundred things with more grave consequences that could have happened during the day. Duke and I were both alive. We both had a chance to start again tomorrow. And home was on the horizon. As we pulled up, I finally had my anger pretty much under control. Then I opened my mailbox.

My heating bill had arrived. I was excited to open it since I've been freezing to death with the thermostat on 60, shrink-wrapped windows and generally conserving every bit of energy I can. I opened it to find that the bill was significantly higher than last month. All they would like is an arm, a leg, two of my future children for slave labor and a pint or three of blood.

I have now retreated to the virtual world. I 'm snuggled up in my bed, the dog is in his crate, I'm blogging away my anger and then I'm going to cry myself to sleep.

What did I learn from today? Ladies and Gentlemen, when you feel like it's a bad idea to get out of bed--believe in yourselves. Paula Abdul lies.

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This One Goes Out To...

my best friend Steph. Not only are we celebrating "The Promise of a New Day" but I can't be the only one with this song playing in my head. As promised, here's Paula, during her glory days.

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Feline From Hell

Have you ever wondered what Satan's cat would look like, if he had one? Well, here you go. Chef, my brother's cat, could be Lucifer's lap cat. Please do not misunderstand. I am not implying that my brother is evil or satanic but his cat...yeah you could say she is from the netherworld.
For those old enough to remember Azreal, the Smurfs, is a saint compared to Breznef or "Big" as Lauren likes to call her.
They say the eyes are a window to the soul. Well, here is photographic evidence its true. Chef, is the meanest cat known to man; man meaning the Kidd family and those fortunate enough to visit my brother's apartment. Posed next to the lion, the cutout came from my Mom and its freaking awesome, she even makes the lion look cowardly.
The only redeeming thing about her is her devotion to Josh.
Which makes me wonder... What if she is exercising some kind of power over my brother? This could explain his obsession with vintage "Members Only" jackets, swatches, and Chuck Taylor's or his insistence on wearing his hair in a mullet while attending law school. Who knows?
Anyway, Lauren, Josh and I thought it was a cool photo and I wanted to share. Hope you enjoy.

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I love quizzes that get it right!!


Hark, Ye scored 62!

You are Benedick from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing! Wryly sarcastic, but with a warm and loving heart, you look for love and happen to find it.. normally in the most unlikely of places.

You consistently need to assure yourself that you are not falling prey to love.. but everyone (including yourself) knows that you are.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on SC

Link: The Shakespearian Character Test written by LoudmouthLee on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

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I am not sure...

what it is about John's but I seem to have this thing for them and they for me. I wouldn't be surprised if one day I ended up with a John.
Let me introduce you to Lt Col. Jonathan Netanyahu, one of the F-INEST John's I have ever seen via photographs. I mean look at that hair and his profile. I also think he has amazing ears and a terribly sexy five o'clock shadow. The dimple in his chin is endearing and his mouth well, I could say a few words of praise about that too. If I have to wait until the next life to marry, let me just say right here and now, HE's MINE!
The first time I heard about John was last summer. Joy, Adam and I were walking around Philly when we happened on a memorial. The memorial was for Jonathan Netanyahu. It was located in a small courtyard to the side of a Jewish school or synagogue, perhaps it was both. I can't remember. Intrigued I asked a young guy, he was probably in his early twenties, if Jonathan Netanyahu was related to the famous Benjamin. Yes, was his response and he proceeded to tell me about how John or Yoni, died.
Naturally, I was touched by the story of heroism and self-sacrifice demonstrated by this man. Determined to learn more this is what I discovered. I wanted to share it with you because everyone who gives their lives for others is worth remembering often.
Yoni Netanyahu "was a member of the Israel Defense Forces elite Sayeret Matkal unit. He is regarded as perhaps the foremost Israeli war hero. His brother Benjamin Netanyahu was Prime Minister of Israel from 1996-1999, and currently serves as Leader of the Opposition in the Knesset.
Yoni was awarded the Medal of Distinguished Service (Hebrew:עיטור המופת) for his conduct in the Yom Kippur War. He was killed in action during Operation Entebbe at Entebbe airport, by Ugandan soldiers, where the Israeli military rescued hostages after an aircraft hijacking. He was the leader of the assault, and the only Israeli military casualty of the raid."
He has been described as a devoted and serious man, deeply dedicated to his country and the soldiers who served under his command.
"According to General Shlomo Gazit, a former Chief of Israel Military Intelligence, Yoni had a complex personality; on the one hand, he was a superb warrior and commander, brave and devoted; yet on the other hand, he was a man blessed with many other talents, with a rich and fertile imagination and an exceptionally analytical mind."
I have been meaning to share this for a long time. I have so many things to write about that are long overdue. I hope you were inspired by John's story as much as I was and that it increases your gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy.

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Tracy Bonham. Worth hearing.

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I Have a Dream

I honestly feel this speech was inspired by God. Every time I hear it I want to shout Amen.
When I was in high school I always complained I had been born at the wrong time in history. I should have been where I am now in the sixties; DC!
God be thanked for Martin Luther King and for the freedoms we enjoy under the Constitution of the United States.
My heart thrills when he mentions the "red hills of Georgia" and shouts "let freedom ring from Stone Mountain."
I lived within 5 miles of Stone Mountain until I moved to Washington.
We could hear the laser show every evening during the summer. Makes me a little homesick.
If you ever visit Atlanta there's a restaraunt the Rev used to eat at called Paschal's. I used to date a guy who drove me by there one night. He got turned off when I mentioned I had always wanted to eat there. One day I will eat at Paschal's.
MLK, Bobby, John, and countless others, thank you for living your dream.

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Introducing Isla

Leslie, was one of my first friends at GW. I began working as the Executive Assistant for Museum Studies in March of 2005. Leslie and Dustin moved to DC shortly after. Leslie applied for the Executive Assistant position in the American Studies Program where I am a student. Leslie had just been accepted into the Museum Studies Program at that time and would begin her graduate work that fall. We were opposites, we joked and we quickly became friends.
Our first year at GW we often had lunch together and went on ice cream runs. This may explain the difficulty I've had losing weight. We would vent our frustrations, share experiences and offer advice. Leslie would often patiently listen, and still does, as I told her about my problems with men and relationships.
Leslie would often join Aditya and I for lunch. Leslie and Dustin have the cutest German Shepherd named Eucie. Aditya had a German Shepherd that was living in India with his family. Leslie often brought Eucie to the office and Aditya would play with him while we ate lunch.
In August Leslie and Dustin married. It was so fun listening to her wedding plans, throwing her a bridal shower and seeing her photos afterwards. Dustin and Leslie are the coolest couple. They met while working in the Peace Corps. Their courtship covered Romania, Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, pretty much all of Eastern Europe. Looking at them you know its right. They just look like they fit together. I would die to have a relationship as chill as theirs is. They seem to be so content just being together. I really admire that and hope I can enjoy the same relationship with my husband one day. Whoever he is.
Last spring Leslie confided, I believe it was during an ice cream run, that her and Dustin had decided to have a baby. I congratulated her and naturally prodded for information about prospective baby names and what she wanted--a girl or a boy? Sometimes I think that is the dumbest question people ask and yet I do it all the time.
For two or three months we waited anxiously for the word that Leslie was PG. In March we learned she was. Leslie and Dustin considered several names before deciding on Isla. I won't share the others because they are really cool and she may want to use them for her future children. However, I think they made the best choice with Isla Naomi.
Although I had held Isla once before, yesterday Leslie invited me over for cake--see how much I eat when we are together--and training. Last semester I eagerly volunteered to watch Isla while Leslie went to class. I am not sure why but she agreed that I would be a suitable sitter. We'll see. I am so inexperienced with babies. Toddlers, kids, teens, I can handle, but babies. Humans that can't communicate except through screaming, crying or cooing frighten me a little. Maybe that is why I don't get along with men or emotionally distraught women very well.
However, yesterday holding her I didn't do that bad. When she cried I bounced her and when she really cried I gave her to Leslie for feeding.
Let me tell you, I think mothers must be the most patient people ever. Babies can spend hours--HOURS--breast feeding. That's crazy. Yet, Leslie is so good about it. It also helps that Dustin is very supportive; making her dinner, putting movies on for her to watch, etc.. Man if it were me I would be demanding the man magically grow female breasts and feed the baby himself.
Not only did I hold Isla I was able to catch up with Leslie. So many things have happened over the past few months. It was so nice being able to sit and talk. I look forward to seeing Leslie and now, Isla on a regular basis this semester, as I watch Isla twice a week. I just hope Isla is as content being with me as she is with her mother. Somehow I doubt that will ever be the case but it is kinda nice being referred to as Auntie Amber. Who knows? With my brother and Lauren marrying in August, and Lisa having baby Joshua in May perhaps the title is here to stay.

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Because I Want To

A= Available~ Perhaps.
B= Best Friend~ Duh. Stephanie Lee Harbour
C= Cake or pie~ Cake but I loves some "dirty" pie.
D= Drink of choice~ Coke on the rocks
E= Essential item you use everyday~ Dial Gold Soap, Dental Floss, makeup, lipstick, there are so many things
F= Favorite color~Red or Navy depends on my mood
G= Gummy bears or worms~ Bears so you can pretend they are people you don't like and slowly mutilate their tiny gummy bodies. First the feet, then the arms, the head, and last the trunk
H= Hometown~ I was born in the hometown of first ladies so I am destined to reside in the White House. Rome, GA is where I was born but I grew up in Berea, KY.
I= Indulgences~ Furniture for my apartment
J= January or February ~ anything is better than Feb. Can you say the 14th?
K= Kids and Names~ I don't have children but I love the name Elliott, Kennedy, Benjamin Asher, Christopher Harrison, Jett (after my Grandpa Kidd), etc. I know one thing's for sure. If I am birthing the babies I am naming them.
L= Life is incomplete without? ~ Family and friends. Could never live without either.
M= Marriage date~ Only the Lord knows that.
N= Number of siblings~ I have one younger brother, Josh who's a rock star at Todd's Karaoke bar.
O= Oranges or apples~ Oranges. My dad used to peel us oranges everynight before bed. I love that smell.
P= Phobias or Fears~ bridges. Architecturally they are fascinating but I hate driving across them.
Q= Favorite Quote~ Anything written or uttered by Pablo Neruda or Bobby Kennedy.
R= Reason to smile~ I applied for graduation this week
S= Season~ Spring or Fall…Love both.
T= Tag 3 or 4 people~ Is there anyone left to tag? Don't think so.
U= Unknown fact about me~ I like playing or watching people play horseshoes.
V= Vegetable you don't like~ Every vegetable that begins with an A
W= Worst habit~ I scratch my scalp in public sometimes without thinking how disgusting that is.
X= X-rays~ I still have some x-rays taken on my foot when I was in Nazareth. Pretty righteous.
Y= Your favorite food~ Papaleno's Pizza--hands down.
Z= Zodiac Sign~Cancer

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When Hope Dies

Have you ever longed for something or someone and then, through their actions or perhaps your own, something happens that compromises or even destroys the dream? This scene in Memoirs of a Geisha embodies that experience. The death of hope for a dream so long lived.

Memoirs of a Geisha - High Cliff Clip

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Two Years!!

Tonight Rae and I celebrated our two year anniversary. I can't believe its been that long. It seems like yesterday.
I distinctly remember the emotions I felt sitting in the back seat of a cab, nervously making small talk with the driver, looking out over the Potomac, tears streaming down my cheeks thinking, "Oh Lord what have I done?"
I couldn't go back to Georgia because I had nowhere to live. Kentucky was not an option because really, there is nothing for me there. Well, there wasn't anything at the time.
I kept trying to call Jerry but he did not answer. I didn't have a key to his flat (where I would live for the next two months) so I had no idea what I would do if he wasn't home. Not that Dupont is a sketchy area but I knew how stupid I would look and feel if I were sitting outside a rowhouse with a suitcase. As the taxi pulled to the curb, Jerry came down the steps put his arms around me and welcomed me to my new home.
I'm not going to say life in DC has been roses. It hasn't. Graduate school has been a challenge and life in Langley has not been easy either. I have learned some pretty difficult lessons regarding relationships of all sorts; not just romantic ones, but all those have sucked big time too. I know I would have never survived if it hadn't been for Stephanie, her family, and my other friends, Rae, Gwen, later Kate, Kim, Tara, Anne, Valerie, the list goes on. I know I don't express my gratitude for their friendship as often as I should but I love you all. I love you for who you are and the examples you have set for me. You are all such strong, patient, faithful women and I aspire to me more like you in so many ways.
To say that I am not the same person I was when I moved here is an understatement. I'm not sure this transformation has been an entirely positive one but everything happens for a reason, no? Despite all my flaws I have been so blessed, especially where my friends are concerned, and I hope these two years will be the prelude to a lifetime of shared accomplishments, desires, memories, heartaches and heartbreaks.
Vive la RAGS!

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O Christmas Tree...

"O Christmas tree, how lovely are your branches" are lyrics to a holiday anthem we are all familiar with. Growing up my parents insisted we trudge down to Lowe's or 84 Lumber (local business like Lowe's) and argue in front of strangers, who were too busy to notice we were arguing because they were arguing too, over which tree would look appropriate in our humble home. After my parents divorced my Mom purchased a "fake" tree. Looking back I think she did this for several reasons two of which were 1. Convenience and 2. to spite my Dad, who still came to our house for Christmas and other holidays despite the fact he was not married to my Mom. If you tell me my family is weird, its nothing I haven't heard say, like, a thousand times before. Save it.
The artificial tree my Mom bought was green. It looked pretty much like a "real" tree until the year of the winter Olympics, don't ask me which. I let go of a blanket, while playing tug-of-war with my brother, causing him to free-fall backwards into the tree's "fake" leafy branches. Needless to say, we both got gold medals across our backside for our performance.
After breaking the tree my Mom began buying real ones again. By this time my brother and I were in middle school and my Dad had purchased his first farm, with trees. Cedar trees and pine trees. So, what did we do? We had to help Dad cut down a tree and drag it over 25 acres into the house.
When my Dad moved to Georgia he purchased his first artificial tree. It was green, unlike the one seen in the photo. There has never been mention--EVER--in the Kidd household of purchasing a white Christmas tree.
So imagine my surprise when my Dad calls in November and says, "Hey Lucy, (remember my Dad doesn't know my name) I put up the Christmas tree today."
"Really?" I ask, proud that he did this on his own.
"Yeah. I got a white tree this year."
Almost choking, "a what tree? Did you say a white tree?"
"Yeah, but when I turn the lights on it looks pink. I am afraid my neighbors will think I am gay." I reply, almost in shock, "that's ok Dad, just tell them its for your daughter."
"Good idea, he offers."
When I repeated our conversation to Lauren, my brother's fiancee, she burst out laughing, literally. My father, one of the most conservative men I know, when it comes to discussing sex, does not utter words like gay.
When my brother was a young pubescent he loved to talk about sex at the dinner table. My Mom, being a RN and a major pervert, relished in discussing anything that embarrassed me or my father, who occasionally ate dinner with us, any chance she got. Instead discussing the upcoming week's schedule we talked about what causes males to get "excited" or why women bleed once a month. My Dad would either shake his head in disapproval, chiding my Mother or leave the room. I would either giggle or sit quietly taking mental notes. Hey, I needed to be educated too. Someday my husband will thank me and possibly my courageous brother because of the benefits of sex education at our family dinner table.
Anyway, to make the tree appear more masculine I decided to persuade my brother, someone who could be mistaken for a unabomber, to stand in front of the gay tree.
As you can see from my brother's facial expression he would rather blow up the tree than stand in front of it.
Lucky for us, there were no explosions or free-falling competitions into the Christmas tree, making it a safe and peaceful holiday for the Kidd family a phenomenon we can only hope carries over into the new year.

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My Fantasy

A Room with a View

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In Case You're Interested...

in getting to know me better I have decided to follow Anne and Tara's leads, at Steph's request, and post 100 facts about moi. Some of this information may be redundant but that just means you know me better than you thought you did, right?

1. When I was a little girl I had a teacher who raised bees in the classroom. They were contained and I used to watch them work together. My dad's family always said my great grandpa was a bee charmer. Since then I have always wanted to keep bees.

2. Needless to say, I love honey. I especially enjoy toasted wheat bread with peanut butter sliced bananas walnuts and honey drizzled over the top. Comfort food.

3. I have read every book written by Victoria Holt. She writes historical romances. If they were movies they would be G or PG.

4. When I was a girl I used to go to horseback riding lessons with my friend Kerry Lee Taulbee. I didn't take them but I watched her. There was a horse at the stables named Alf and I used to by him coke to drink. I loved watching that horse put the can between his lips and drink the pop like a real person.

5. When I was a baby, my parents had a two story home in Ogden, UT. I had a walker and one day as my dad was leaving for work, he had come home for lunch, I followed him down the stairs. Actually I fell down the stairs. My dad was so upset he threw the walker out into the street. We never had a walker again.

6. I used to wish upon stars all the time when I was a little girl. Once I remember wishing I were a princess.

7. I love to skinny dip especially on nights when there is lightening in the clouds.

8. When I was four I accidently drank oil, thinking it was Pepsi. Maybe that is why I prefer Coke. That and it just tastes better.

9. My mom and I used to eat Miracle Whip and Banana sandwiches.

10. I have seen every Elvis movie ever made thanks to my babysitter Marsha Matheny or PC porkchop.

11. I wish my Grandpa Kidd could have known me as an adult.

12. I painted the sealing rooms in the Salt Lake Temple. I also painted the Solemn Assembly room. It was righteous beyond belief.

13. I have always wanted to be a dancer. I used to take dance lessons as a kid but had to quit when my mom went back to school.

14. I really like older men.

15. I wish I had really long sexy legs like the women in ZZ Top's "She's Got Legs" video.

16. I have always wanted to be a Bond Girl.

17. I have always wanted to Hawaiian Barbie hair so I could walk to the mailbox without a shirt on and my hair would cover my breasts.

18. I prefer Katherine over Audrey Hepburn. I think a woman who can pull off dress pants the way she did kicks serious booty.

19. I hate hot dogs. I think its really gross to watch men eat hot dogs. Not sure why but I find it really weird and disgusting.

20. I love UK basketball. I would love to have season tickets one day.

21. I used to hate playing golf with my dad but now I cherish every word of advice he has to offer.

22. My best drives when playing golf occurs when I pretend the ball is a man I don't like.

23. I had a crush on the same guy from 6th grade to my Senior year. Brian Keith Simpson. He had blonde hair and brown eyes; a deadly combination. Now he is married and well, I have been with so much better.

24. I used to adore my mother now I fear her and that I will become like her.

25. I want children but I am afraid to have them.

26. I was chosen out of all the kids in my elementary school to play the lead role in the Christmas play "Boo Bear and the Night Before Christmas." Maybe that's why people have always called me Boo.

27. My dad gave me my middle name but he never calls me Amber Erin. Instead it is Lucy Lockett, Patient Pauline, Amber Lynn, etc.

28. A lot of people think I look like a Heather or an Amanda. I think I look like Blair from the Facts of Life.

29. My mother's stake president in GA was my patriarch in KY. My stake president in KY was his son.

30. When I was 2 1/2 I managed to get my baby brother out of his crib and carry him down the hallway like a football. My Aunt Nancy freaked but my brother stopped crying.

31. My dad bought me a Ronald McDonald doll when I was a baby. I loved that thing. My mom sold it in a garage sale. I wish I still had that doll.

32. I would love to take culinary classes in Charleston, SC even if I can't live there.

33. I would love to live in Charleston, SC.

34. I have always wanted to have a love affair with a university professor. Doesn't have to be my professor or at my university. I just want to have a relationship with a professor.

35. I love men who wear bow ties, glasses and tweed jackets with patches on the sleeves.

36. I got in a car wreck, that was my fault, on Valentine's Day. It was the worst V-Day of my life.

37. I sleep with a huge Winnie the Pooh that I bought for myself in High School. Pooh goes almost everywhere I go. When I travel Pooh wears a seatbelt.

38. I am terrified of bridges. The worst are the Bay Bridge in MD, the bridge in Charleston and Clays Ferry bridge in KY.

39. I love taking off and landing in airplanes.

40. When I was in Middle School my friend Jason Gay flashed me in home room.

41. When I was in kindergarten Jason Gay climbed a tree during his birthday party and refused to come down unless I kissed him. I never did. He came down. Now he's in jail.

42. I know Eddie Murphy's dentist. I have even dined at his home.

43. Two cartoonists for the Simpsons drew in the back of the Book of Mormon I carried on Temple Square. It is one of my most prized possessions.

44. I get a little turned on when my professor moves his hand over the handrails on a staircase. The way he caresses the rail is a good indicator, in my opinion, of how he would touch a woman. I would like to be touched like that.

45. When I was 15 my dad bought me a horse named Lucy. She was a retired pacer at the Red Mile.

46. All of the men in my family, on my dad's side, except for him and my Uncle Gary were/are coal miners.

47. My Grandma Kidd listens to a police scanner she keeps in her living room. She never turns it off, even when she goes to bed.

48. I always wanted to break my arm as a kid. I tried so hard when I was little to break it on purpose. I even made my parents take me to the ER once after I had fallen off the bed insisting it was broken.

49. I would love to live in Cuba and work at the Ernest Hemmingway house in Havanna.

50. I have a thing for men named George... George Bailey, George the sailing instructor, George Emmerson, etc.

51. I prefer Robert Kennedy in looks and policy over John anyday.

52. I love that Ellen Wilson was from Rome, GA. I was born in Rome so it makes my dream of being First Lady a little more realistic. If she can make it so can I.

53. I can quote every line of the movie Its A Wonderful Life and Goonies. I cry everytime I watch the former.

54. I am lactose intolerant and hate it.

55. Everyone in my immediate family suffers from severe gas. My brother is the worst.

56. I hate it when people lie.

57. I hate it when men play games.

58. Seat warmers in cars turn me on.

59. Foreign cars turn me on. I especially like Porshe Carrera convertibles.

60. My dad bought me a '64 Ford Falcon convertible Sprint when I was 12. When I turned 16 he bought me a Sunbird convertible because I couldn't drive the Falcon; no power steering.

61. I pray every night that my Grandma Kidd will live long enough for me to finally bring a man home to meet the family.

62. I know my dad is worried I will never marry. This bothers me because I have almost no control over the situation.

63. My dad suggested I freeze my eggs, "just in case." I am seriously considering it.

64. I shave my legs every night. When I was young Chris Lawson used to yell out the bus window, "Hey, spider legs." I will NEVER be spider legs again.

65. My mom calls me pumpkin doo-doo.

66. I wear perfume to bed just in case prince charming calls at an inappropriate hour for a little passionate necking.

67. I honestly believe I could be the next Ingrid Bergman.

68. I would love to meet Bill Clinton for several reasons but the main reason is to see if he would hit on me.

69. I believe one can know the person they are going to marry without knowing them. My grandma and Aunt Linda are living proof.

70. I love to laugh and appreciate people who can make me laugh.

71. I hate watching love scenes with my parents. My mom always teases me about it.

72. I have only been kissed the way a woman should be kissed by one man. I hope my husband kisses me that way because I don't think I could marry someone who doesn't.

73. I would love to attend kissing classes with my spouse or significant other.

74. I have National Geographic magazines dating back to the early 1900's. I LOVE National Geographic.

75. I used to have a crush on my Anthropology professor.

76. I made out with a guy after hours in the Anthropology department at BYU and got caught by the janitor.

77. My boyfriend's mom caught us making out in his dad's old bed once. She screamed, "Ben what are you doing to her." Needless to say, I was mortified.

78. I want a one carat Tiffany diamond engagement ring. If I don't get married I will buy one and wear it anyway.

79. I wish I wore glasses. Sometimes I wear fake ones just because they make me look more intelligent.

80. I love men's boxer briefs. You know the longer briefs. I don't know what it is but I love them.

81. My first kiss was the captain of the HS football team and also Mr. Best Looking; Jeremy Ballard.

82. I ran for Homecoming Queen in HS. I felt like a failure when I placed third runner-up because my Aunt Anna and cousin Regina were both Homecoming Queen of Oceana HS when they ran.

83. I wish I had more good guy friends.

84. I wish I were a linguist and could speak French, Italian, Spanish, Ukranian and Hebrew.

85. I wish I could fake accents.

86. I hope my friend Desiree makes the Mormon Tabernacle Choir when she auditions this summer.

87. I wish I had an exotic or unique look. Instead random people approach me all the time thinking I am someone they know.

88. In fifth grade a kickball hit me in the head and knocked me off my feet. My gym teacher, Mr. Tate, or tattertot, was one of my favorite people in the entire world. He called me Carebear.

89. My dad looks like Santa Claus or the Colonel of KFC fame with his straight white beard.

90. My parents eloped to Elko, NV after I was born. They were married in a courthouse.

91. I used to have fantasies about Chris O'Donnell.

92. I wanted to attend Duke University until I was 15. Desiree's family changed that.

93. Sometimes I think I am living someone else's life.

94. The president's wife of the Bank of Guam gave me a ring when I was little with the seal of Guam on it. It was a present from her husband to her but she gave it to me.

95. I want a vintage Schwinn beach bike with a basket and a bell on it.

96. My goal for 2007 is to buy a couch and make out on the old Clays Ferry bridge. Desiree said its a must.

97. I have never been on a cruise but hope to take one someday.

98. I have always wanted to Honeymoon on the Isle of Crete. My dad said its one of the most beautiful places on earth.

99. The older I become the more I believe love and marriage are miracles.

100. I love the colors red and navy.

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It's Official...

I am a Todd's Karaoke Rock Star! It occurred on Saturday, January 6th around 10:30pm EST. My audience, a room full of drunk Kentucky rednecks. As I took the microphone something came alive within. All the fear and trepidation I previously had fled as my brother and his friends gathered around the stage. My words, Air Supply's All Out of Love, because Air Supply is freakin' amazing and as my Dad theorizes, "in the 70's love songs became really serious."
The words came forth in all my tone deaf glory. You think Cameron Diaz was bad in My Best Friend's Wedding or Lucy was unbearable in 50 First Dates? You haven't heard anything until you have heard me sing karaoke at the top of my lungs. It was so totally boss. Did I stop there? Oh no. I sang at least three times. My other choice was Band of Gold (The Supremes) and I did backup for Janet on another song that talks about being a "sinner and a saint."

My brother is the karaoke king of UK's law school. Janet is a close second but Josh, my kid brother, is the king. He performed at least three times and everytime he got up the crowd went wild.
Lauren and Josh sang a duet to Chicago's Inspiration. I snapped a photo of Josh singing to Lauren here. Notice the shaved lines and mullet, coupled with the mustache. Think that is redneck, you haven't seen nothing yet. I have a portfolio of photos documenting the evolution of Josh's facial hair throughout the holidays. That is for another blog. Back to karaoke.
Karaoke is so amazing I propose we start a karaoke club, right here, right now. It's all about starting a tradition and keeping it real. Karaoke is one way we can accomplish both.

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Babysitting: The next 20 years

On Friday afternoon Tristin called. She and Ben wanted to head out to a movie and would I baby-sit.

Everyone, meet Mason. Mason, everyone.

Mason is a gentle, laid-back, red-headed, amazing child. I love him. I call him lizard because he has a funny little habit that makes him look like one. It's a flicking tongue thing.

The first little bit of of our evening looked much like this...

I love him. I was so excited to be with him. He clearly woke up from this angelic moment and thought, "Bring it on."

The next two hours were spent crying nearly hysterically. Many problems probably contributed. Tristin isn't fluffy. I am. He had gas. He wanted to be held. I needed to use the restroom. He wanted to sleep but didn't want to. I wanted to drop him on his head but didn't want to.

Eventually, after trying everything I knew, I called everyone I knew. They were all busy. But then we got Amber. Just as I was going to give up, put him in his crib and cry--he paused. I called Boo. He seemed fascinated by her voice, the phone--something. I didn't care. There was quiet. Except for the really amazing fart from Mason.

Then, after some nice gossip and perspective, we headed upstairs for bed. Another 20 mins of crying made the little tyke yeild to my will and sleep.

And I thought to myself, "Oh! This is why I stopped."

But I have to admit. I still love him.

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It was over a year ago that I sat in a dark theatre with Steph, Rae and Gwen laughing my butt off watching Elizabethtown. Although I am a true Georgia GRIT, I was raised in Kentucky, about two hours away from E-town. My only regret in seeing the film was that my dad had not been with me. I made a goal that we would watch it together.
Over one year later my dad and I sat down and watched Elizabethtown. I laughed until I cried while my dad barely cracked a smile. No worries, he is notorious for this. Love his heart, but my dad only gets excited about two things 1) money 2) spending or saving it. Don't get me wrong, he is very supportive and I couldn't ask for a better father but he doesn't show emotion easily.
Claire is an obnoxious, attentive flight attendant who falls for Drew as they are flying from Oregon to Kentucky. Although Drew tries to blow her off, Claire persists in her attempts to flirt with him. Not only is she witty but very bold. Her heart is clearly attached to her sleeve, an easy target for rejection if not annihilation. This is not something she would do for any man; just those she felt a connection with. I can relate.
Claire is also successful in carrying out long phone conversations. For those who are familiar with the movie, Claire manages to keep Drew's attention all night long as they discuss a variety of subjects over the phone. I used to be the same way. While I was a student at BYU guys would call me and we would talk for hours. However, after they met me they never called again. I always teased, as Claire does in the movie, that perhaps it would be best if I did everything over the phone. Thank goodness my situation has improved somewhat.
Claire, in true southern fashion, is openly self conscious. She honestly admits to Drew that she is the substitute person in relationships. I often feel the same way. I have often found myself in relationships where I was the stepping stone. Men used me until they found something better or they were able to get over someone else. Being the substitute sucks.
After sleeping with Drew, Claire listens as he clumsily explains why he can't be with her. Tearfully she says, "Geez, I was hoping you were going to tell me how much you missed me." How many times have I been in a relationship with a man where I just wanted him to say I miss you or I like you and its not all about him and his problems? Too many times to count.
Although Claire and I share many similarities, there are also personality differences. For instance, I would have dropped Drew flat on his butt long before she did. I also would never lie about being with someone else if I really wasn't.
Another difference is Drew honestly tells her how he feels about her. Of course, this was before they had sex and he was probably just trying to seduce her, but his confession is still very sweet. In the end, Claire's story ends with a "happy ever after," something I have yet to experience. Perhaps its about timing, or maybe I should be more patient with the men I date. Who knows? I just couldn't help sympathizing with Claire and her struggles in understanding a man she felt a connection with.

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If I was going to have an adventure

THIS would be it.

I can't believe I'm so far from NY! This is unfair. Tara and I would so be there.

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If you can help, this is an awesome cause.

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