Tag Archives: General

Phrasing: How to use “but” before the ellipsis

If you read my articles, you know that there are many (most) times when I make grammatical errors and/or spelling mistakes so you may not believe I have much to say about how to use the English language. I hope you will indulge me and read my little observation about phrasing and how it has changed my life.

I recall a time not so long ago when I was talking to another mother (I was barely beginning my foray into motherhood), and the sentence went something like this, “Well, I’m sure she is a great mother but…” And that ellipsis was a slew of uncomplimentary comments that ground the ladies parenting down to nothing. Had she heard me, she would have thought I wanted to send her and her “great parenting” off to social services!

So… I was told many many times that phrasing is important and although I am not perfect at this yet, I find that the simple turn of phrase is a great way to change your way of speaking about things and therefore looking at things. For example, “She makes mistakes like we all do but she does this amazing thing…” And THAT ellipsis builds up. THAT ellipsis includes. What comes after that ellipsis tends to take her to new heights and give hope.

What do you think? Can phrasing change your life?

Small Town Life – The Conversion Factor

Here in Small Town there are alot of Mormons. There seem to be missionaries everywhere! They are riding their bikes and walking and talking and well, we have a large Mormon population anyway but then there are the missionaries and we are saturated. Every 6 months or so, a new crop of missionaries will come in. Inevitably they will come to the house and strike up a conversation. They usually start with asking if they can do anything for us. For some reason, they always show up just around dinner time. I don’t know if my mom’s kitchen (which is huge) is a legend in the mormon world or if the scent of her homemade cakes wafts down the street to the ward only two blocks away but those Mormon’s know just when to come and knock. My mom can’t resist inviting a young person to eat. So in they come and then they come back and are invited in again and well… we aren’t Mormon so the success rate of their conversion attempts is clear. The usually leave a little bit fatter and we have yet another copy of the Book of Mormon.

Truth: I consider myself a churchy person. Why? Because all my friends are at my church. I love my church. I’m involved in my church and I regularly attend my church. However, I don’t feel the need to create baptized members of my church for the books.

Small Town Life – A Four Year Old Pedicure

You may see my husbands photos of the four year old’s fashion choices sometimes pop up.wpid-IMAG1911.jpg (Today she is wearing white capri leggings, pink patent leather dress shoes and a tie dye t-shirt. If I wore that I’d be featured on the next “People of Walmart” video but somehow, she looks CUTE!) The other day she wanted to give me a pedicure. She pulled out all the colors and proceeded to do a bang up job of making my toes look like Revlon threw up all over them. She changed her mind about the color several times and never bothered to take off the previous choice before applying the new polish. Therefore, it was not only amazingly multicolored (not in a nice way), but also quite uneven and thick. It should also be mentioned that I wear flip flops all summer… even to work.998885_10151630014975902_199275613_n

So I didn’t “fix” her pedicure.

She also mopped the kitchen floor the other day and I didn’t “fix” that either.

What I’m saying is, my child is good enough. I might suggest things to her like, “Maybe it would be a little easier if you held the paint brush like this,” or, “We need to mop here also because it is sticky from your juice.” But if it’s not perfect, I’m going to let that go and I’m not going to go behind her and fix it because then she will know that she wasn’t good enough. Mommy will always be better at it than her and she will always be in competition with me.

I don’t want to compete with my daughter for anything. I want her to rise above me and go beyond me and be better than me and be more than me. I want to lift her up and have her be comfortable in my presence and know that I am comfortable in hers. I want her to trust me and know that I trust her.

Therefore, my toes will stay crazy pink and weird green and everything mixed together.

Fun With Sparklers…

For our Saturday night fun I had the girls play with some Sparklers, which were  leftover from the 4th. I was able to take some Long Exposure shots of them spinning and twirling around. I even jumped in on the fun. We had such a great time!!! Hope you enjoy!!!

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This one was me wanting to get in on the action!!!

fun with sparklers flat fun with sparklers2 flat fun with sparklers3 flat fun with sparklers4 flat fun with sparklers5 flat fun with sparklers6 flat fun with sparklers7 flat I like the ghostly effect of the girls in some of the pictures.

Small Town Life – Independence Day

4th abby flat 4th firework ring flat 4th firework ring2 flat 4th fireworks flat 4th fireworks2 flat 4th fireworks3 flat 4th with grandpa flat4th cate flat 4th fireworks4 flat 4th fireworks5 flatIf you live in a small town, it may be hard to find out what the schedule of events it for special days like the 4th of July.

When we first moved to Small Town my parents and siblings and I drove around that year in search of fireworks hoping we would just see some and drive in that direction. It was rough. There were a few here and a few there but it was disappointing to say the least.

Over the years we have figured out the Small Town 4th of July drill. Parade down main in the morning. Snack at a local cafe. Hotdogs and other BBQ on the back porch. Fireworks on our block for the kiddos including at least one person being burned by a sparkler. Then off to the fair grounds for the big fireworks.

When we were teenagers, and mom and dad got the hankerin’, we would skip the whole Small Town thing and go up to Itty Bitty Tourist Town. It was a mining town and now just a little tourist trap. There is a street fair complete with turkey legs and a fireworks show that you can basically just stop where ever you are in the town and watch as the fire department lights it all off from a cliff overhanging the town. Itty Bitty is little ways away though so it’s a drive.

Now that I have kids, I’m realizing what poor timing all this celebrating is. The parade is in the morning so we have to get up and get ready. I like to paint the kids faces because I’m “that” mom. Then we eat all day and then wait and wait for the sun to go down for the fireworks and toddlers are basically a mess by the time the good fireworks show is going.

I seem to remember a time when seat belts weren’t such a crime to forgo and my dad put a mattress in the back of the pickup and we all watched the fireworks in our PJs and sleeping bags and he just drove back home with us all asleep back there and left us in there all night. We loved it. Now, you would think we were abusing our kids if we did that but… that’s how I grew up and in Small Town, it was GREAT!

Small Town Life – Love at First Sight?

Recently I was reading Kylie’s blog and she wrote asking whether love at first sight existed.

The answer is no.

Like at first sight exists. Sex appeal at first sight exists. Attraction at first sight exists.IMG_9963 8x10

I remember reading a romance novel (Don’t do it. They are full of lies!). It proclaimed that the lovers had been together for years and heatwaves still engulfed the heroine every time she touched her hairy chested man.


When I first met Andy, I wanted to kiss him. When his hand first touched mine, there was a shock that went through my body. But none of that was stuff that hadn’t happened before with other boyfriends.31987_1486326247153_5297469_n

Attraction is not a choice. Attraction is an instinct and those shock waves will subside like they do with every other relationship.

What makes my relationship with Andy unique from all the others is the CHOICE to love him. I choose everyday that I’m living with someone other than me in a manner that is not my instinct to LOVE him. To cherish him. Our LOVE is not shocking. It’s comfortable.

It’s him getting up in the morning and making coffee for me because he knows I can barely function without it. 405776_10151962178803475_1628966439_nIt’s me taking time out of my day to look at his photos every time he posts them. It’s him setting up the tent, doing all the camp work, and then taking down the tent all while I sit in the car with the kids because he knows I hate camping. It’s me tolerating camping. It’s him cleaning up the house when it’s not what he wants to do. It’s me not getting mad that our work and leisure hours rarely line up. It’s us snuggling in bed with three wiggly children together. It’s me ignoring hair in the sink, socks on the floor and food left out on the counter.

It is him sacrificing himself for me and me sacrificing myself for him. If I’m giving 100% and he’s giving 100%, we are both getting 100%. Love is not 50/50.5060_98478695901_5897601_n

Love is a conscious choice. It’s not hard… at least it isn’t for me. But it is a choice every day because infatuation wears off and what is left can be tossed aside as you search for those fireworks again in a different relationship or you can stoke the embers of love (there is still hot and heavy every now and then, it’s just not the same) with choices to sacrifice yourself everyday.

Small Town Living – Lazy Day

Nestle Tollhouse has taken the ? out of the perfect chocolate chip cookie.alg-cookie-dough-jpg They found it and printed it right on the side of their impossibley awesome chocolate chips. Not only did they find the recipe but they put it right in the spot where you will always be able to find it and never lose it or even have to look it up in your favorite cook book.

People still had trouble so they went a step further and made the dough, packaged it and put it in the refrigerator aisle so all you have to do it buy the dough and bake it off. You can buy it by the tub. You can even skip the baking and just eat the dough!

But people still didn’t want to take the time.

Several weeks ago, Nestle Tollhouse put in a OUTLET where all they do it make this refrigerated dough up into the actual cookie and serve it with milk. Yup… That used to just be grandma’s house.