From Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale

People disappear when they die. Their voices, their laughter, the warmth of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living mempry of them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continut to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humour, their tone of voice, their moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy. They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this, even though they are dead. Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is, by the miracle of ink on paper, preserved. It is a kind of magic.

--Diane Setterfield

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Yesterday I saw Erin at Walmart... and acted like a complete retard.

I could have struck up a conversation and gotten to know her a bit better. I'd really like to. BUT my brain effectively shuts off when I should be making intelligent conversation.

The worst part is that right as she was walking out the door, I got an explosion of things that I actually wanted to say and get an answer back about.

Now, cross your eyes, tilt your head and drool... that's about how I feel.

I'm officially adding "making smalltalk" to my list of skills to relearn when I'm not going insane because of work!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

ah hah moment

Moment of truth: I heard stories of how much a fastidious housekeeper Jen was, and I was appalled when I saw her house. There was always a mess everywhere! I mean everywhere. I kinda resented her for keeping her house so messy (how horrible is that???).

Then I heard her days of keeping tidy were before she had kids. I could NOT understand this. I nannied for years and was always careful to keep the kids and their environment clean. I assumed that when you had kids, the maternal instinct included the desire to keep your baby safe from choking hazards on the ground and infections / unclean dirt around their play and eating areas. But I was shown to be wrong.

When we moved to our new apartment I kept it clean. Not sterile, because ya know, I'm kinds a sloppy person. I was proud of the fact that I could keep house, even when James was living with us (and I was effectively living in a bachelor pad....)and most especially when his boys came over. I was determined to show them that living like they were was not the only way. (Again, how conceited was I??)

Then I got very really terribly stressed out and even though I was taking antidepressants, I felt that the task of keeping house on top of everything else was just too much. I tried to tell myself that I'd be able to get it done if I didn't ork all the time. But them Saturdays (and Sundays) would roll around and I could not make myself do it.

One day as I was searching through the pile of laundry that had not been washed in a month for something to wear, I had my epiphany. DUH! This is what happened to Jen! I know living with James was no picnic for her. I heard about it in her words and I got confirmation from James. It was stressful and she really tried to do her best. She weathered their storms so much better than I could have. James was a monstrous ogre to her ( and I love James, he is my brother by choice... not because I had to live with him.. :P ) and he treated her like crap. You could ask him and he'll tell you. He was trying to deal with his own demons and instead of beating those demons he took it out on Jen.

Through this ongoing trial she didn't fall away from the church, she didn't even break out in pimples like I always seem to do! SHe raised some of the most amazing little boys I know, got a little reclusive but was always willing to do the right thing and was a very diligent Visiting Teacher and feeder of missionaries. Really the only thing that suffered was her housekeeping. That's about it!

Now not to paint the roses red... she did get bitter and angry... but who wouldn't? Honestly?!

I can't believe how easy it is to let the things slip when life is so out of control. I'm grateful for the teaching moment, because I really don't resent her dirty house any more. I don't like it... and I certainly don't want to wake up and find myself in a similarly dirty house, but I feel like I understand so much more about life now.

And yesterday I started on the laundry that has been sitting in the closet for about 2 months now. And I had a wonderful helper come over and help me with the vacuuming that has not been done in about as long. Thanks Janika!! I feel like I'm on the road to recovery. AAh, bliss.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Also found on the baby's blog - Names

I was bored a while back... way back in the 'desire' stage and we came up with some baby names. Actually they are person names but we will use one of them to name our baby... :P (meanings to be added next lunch break)

Category - Family names Arren likes: (most of them are one name from each family)
James Dwayne (supplant ; dark)
John Roy (God is good ; king)
Charles Oliver (man ; elf army/ olive tree)
Peter Eugene (rocky/ stone ; well born)

Emma Hazel (strength ; commanding authority)
Carol Janelle (freeman ; God is gracious)
RuthE Megan (Firend ; Pearl)
Laura Bethany (crown of laurels ; God's disciple)

Scott's picks:
Jared (descent)
Marcus (martial/ warlike)
Archiantus ()
Brandon (hill/ high spirited)

Katherine (pure/ unsullied)
Catrina (pure/ unsullied)
Olivia (olive tree)
Bernadette (brave)
Chloe (blooming, verdant)

Arren's (not family) picks:
Tobias (God is good)
Gareth (gentle)
Cody (cushion)

Bianca (white/ fair)
Marget (pearl)
Miereal ()
Ortensia (gardener)
Jael (Hebrew for high climbing)

Other Unusual Names:
Braden (open minded)
Brice (strength)
Damien (to tame)
Devlin (brave, fierce)
Landon (plain, old fashioned)
Rowan (tree with red berries)
Brandt (dignified)
Gavin (white hawk)
Johan (God is gracious)
Nigan (ahead)
Zarek (may God protect the King)
Haydenv (hedged valley)
Hamon (leader)

Zoe (life)
Aniktah () OR Anitra (gracious, fill of grace)
Ester (star)
Arabella (eagle; a hearth)
Gemma (precious stone, jewl)
Aaliyah (to ascend, highly exalted)
Nadine (hope)
Abril (open; secure, protected)
Seraphina (highest 'level' of angel)

Comments and OPINIONS are strongly encouraged!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


They are a bit... random... but if you ask me about them, i'll tell you a story!

One of these pictures is from our anniversary.

Also see the others in my photostream

Today has been a pretty good day

I got e-mails and calls from three family members. Woo!

I successfully made it through the day meeting with important people and doing new hire orientations and my *hopefully* last set of bills and stuff. AND I got home an hour earlier! WOO! And I got to bring home leftovers from the food stuffs we had catered in to work. Yum, Yum, Yum. Then I took a nice 3 hour nap and that was so wonderful!

Now I am uploading pictures from our phones to enjoy on this very blog.

Monday, June 2, 2008


I forgot I am trying NOT to be a whiney-baby.

Today i met the CEO of our company. And he said, as I was leaving the room (and he kinda interrupted another conversation he was in) 'nice to meet you'. This evidently is a big deal. Woo! I made a favorable impression in like 3 seconds. :)

Then I made him laugh as everyone was leaving. And everyone was very nice about everything.

AND I had leftovers from the big meetings that our CEO and CFO and COO and other important people were at, and I feel like I might burst from so much fruit and fruit dip and more fruit and oh I had a roast beef sandwich and chips and birthday cake and salad and more salad and chicken pasta primo and cookies and water. SO MUCH FOOD!

AND I get to do it all over again tomorrow. Tomorrow also comes with breakfast. Wow.

And tomorrow which will be a very busy day, I get to do the new hire orientation for our new Senior Staff Accountant. This may not sound so exciting, however I have been doing staff accounting in the interim between accountants. Ugh! I'm excited I had the opportunity to learn what I did, and now I have another spiffy thing to add to my resume, but I am TOTALLY glad it will be over tomorrow. I will have lots more time to do my actual job.

Today I was helping out Paul, who is the Environmental Protections guy for the Texas and Colorado Region, and I didn't finish inputting the permit information until like 5:30 or 6 this evening. By that time Tom who works with Paul on these permits had called and left e-mails and stuff that I had not received because I was upstairs sitting there. 'Dat very boring.' and refilling the coffee carafes and re arranging the cookie trays and other very important tasks that are partly my responsibility when we host the regional operation reviews. So I sent it to them at 6:30 and Paul asked if he was not an 'important person' because i said I was babysitting important people instead of getting this project done for him within the hour (which usually happens) HA! I told him that he was important because i actually did the project. He replied that he is extremely grateful for helping him out. I don't know why but it made me smile.

I was going to but then I didn't

This just might be the story of my life. But what frusterates me most is that I feel like I am getting encouragement to 'don't' from those closest to me. What a bummer.

I was going to visit friends and family in Houston over the weekend...
I was going to do laundry...
I was going to call you up...
I was going to have an amazing post...
I was going to help out at work today...
I was going to plan a trip to visit family...
I was going to make a vacation budget...
I was going to take a leap of faith, even though it was not solid, but it sure sounded dang fun...
you get the idea?

I feel like a loser. I'm not strong enough to make a difference. I hear that I have the greatest influence over certain people... but I think that's crap.