Close Call

June 30, 2010

It's a ridiculously beautiful morning and Maine, so Jared and I were both up early. He walked the dog, I made pancakes from scratch, James got himself dressed--it was all very idyllic. We were both scooted up close to Maggie's high chair, feeding her little pieces of pancake, snapping some pictures and taking turns singing verses of a made up song with an off the cuff melody.

I couldn't duplicate the song if the life of my ten-year-old dog depended on it, but for the sake of the story, I'm about to try.

Jared: Maggie has BIG BIG BIG blue eyes!

Me: Maggie's gonna ride a pony someday!

Jared: Maggie likes pancakes sooooo much!

Me: But if she tried it she'd like pudding way better!

Jared: Tomorrow is m'birthday!

Me: {silence}

Jared: I said tomorrow is m'birthday!

Me: Of course it's Daddy's birthday and we're so excited to do lots of the surprises we've been planning for weeks!

And that's when the singing morphed into talking. Jared flatly said, "You forgot my birthday."

And with all the exuberance in the world I was like, "No! Why would you say that?"

"Because you overcompensated on the last verse of that song."

Okay fine, Jared's birthday snuck up on me this year. But you know what? It's his fault, not mine. The man hates parties, hates cake, and strongly opposes most varieties of food. He doesn't even like presents--only accepts cash. It's to the point that when I buy him a card, he usually turns it over, glances at the price and says something like, "You should've added this four bucks to my cash. And now that you wrote in the card I can't even return it."

The man wants to see a bank envelope--nothing more, nothing less.

Maybe I'll use the money to whip up a sentimental scrapbook instead. I've still got time.

And for the Aunts and Uncles out there, here are the pictures from this morning:

She's looking more and more like a troll every single day!

Can't Complain

June 26, 2010

Vibes successfully received.

Against all odds, and oh my word were there ever some odds, I took my age group and set a new personal record in the half marathon today--1:45.38. An 8:04 pace. That's down from 1:47.something back in 2007. I'll get a full race report out tonight or tomorrow, and be prepared for it to contain way too much information (if you know what I mean).

Here's picture with some friends from my local running club:

Left to right we have Damien (who also set a PR and took his age group), Anna (paced a friend today), Seth (sat this one out to pace Damien), Me, Jala (that girl ran 1:40 and change and also took her age group), and Darcy, the 5k superstar!

Now you'll have to excuse me while I wear my medal to the grocery store.

Half Marathon Vibes

June 25, 2010

If you read this between now and 9:15 in the morning tomorrow, send 'em my way.

Thanks a million times over.


Jimmy and the Violin

June 24, 2010

Last year at this time, James was taking violin lessons. And last year at this time, violin lessons were going terribly, horribly wrong.

James had just turned four and his violin teacher was some random, mature gentleman who really didn't have a way with children. Actually, in all of his many years on this fine earth, I'd be shocked to learn if he'd ever even laid eyes upon a child. That's how bad it was.

He used to say things to James like, "We're not progressing as fast as I hoped we would, Jimmy," and "Jimmy, it's imperative that you bend at the second knuckle."

I don't know about you, but I can spot about forty-seven problems with each of those statements. First, my kid was four, he didn't have the motor skills to bend at the second knuckle. Second, his name is James, not Jimmy. Third, this child doesn't even know what 'don't pee the bed' means, is he really supposed to be familiar with the definition of the word 'imperitive'? And so on and so forth.

But it was the name thing that really rubbed my kid the wrong way.

He'd be like, "My name es James, not Jimmy."

And the teacher would be all, "Okay Jimmy, let's take it from the top."

Honestly, I could feel the tension rise each and every time the teacher used the wrong name. Even the creepy portraits with the following eyes were more aware of the situation than the instructor was.

And then one day, it finally happened. Mr. Violinman told Jimmy to take two, and James cocked his arm back, paused, and violently stabbed the teacher square in his geriatric schnuts.

Apparently, it hurts just as much to get clonked in the gnads when you're eighty. Who knew?

We promptly packed up the violin case and never stepped foot in that dusty old studio ever again.

Today, while James and I were driving home from Dairy Queen, do you have any idea what the kid asked me?

He goes, "Mom, I'm pretty sure I want to be Jimmy. Or maybe Jim. Haven't really decided yet."

And I was like, "Whatever you want, buddy. Either way, I'll have Daddy wear his cup."

It's Not Just a Saying

June 22, 2010

It's true, we joined a CSA this summer. Long story short, we paid a farmer a couple hundred bucks at the end of the winter, and now that it's growing season we head to the farm every Thursday to pick up a big basket of just picked, organic vegetables.

Last week, when I got home and unloaded the bags, here's what it looked like.

Um, yeah--that's a frig load of vegetables, especially for a single week. And that one on the bottom there? You can bet your ass I had to google it to figure out that it was a head of bok choy--same stuff that you pick around in your Chinese takeout. Huh. Who knew?

Yesterday, while I was on my run I counted up my fruit and veggie servings for the day, and believe it or not, I lost track at fifteen. FIFTEEN! When's the last time you ate fifteen servings of vegetables in a day?Probably two nevers ago. Am I right or am I right?

So last night I was out for a run, and the whole thing was moving along just beautifully--a warm night, a setting sun, birds bobbing around on the water. And as for me? Well, I felt fantastic. Even at mile seven, when it suddenly felt like some sicko dropped a ten pound kettlebell into my colon, I felt like a jillion bucks and didn't break my pace.

I made it home with a smile on face and called for my dog. I was like, "Hey Gracie! Let's go for a walk! If you poop on the carpet I'll sell you to the glue factory! Let's go!"

She sauntered over and off we went.

We did exactly what we usually do--walked down the hill, past the lake, over to the trash can, up the other hill, and so on and so forth. I was plugged into a cooking podcast about ham and asparagus, and I was one happy girl.

While I was walking up the second hill, I was totally and completely surprised when a truck came speeding up behind me and laid on the horn.

So surprised, that I pooped in my shorts right there on Sandy Hill Road.

Apparently, if you eat enough vegetables, you literally can get the sh!t scared right out of you. I should know, I'm an expert.

Happy Tuesday.

Theworldiscomingtoanend Syndrome and a Running Update

June 21, 2010

What's that? You came here for a nice dose of humor? Well that's too damn bad!!!

You guys, I feel like a big 'ol sissy saying it, but I'm stressed up to my chin right now.

Another project is about to fall through at work, and I swear at this point, I could save a bunch of guys some writing and fill out my own performance review. It would say something short and sweet like: AMY LAWSON SUCKS BUTT.

On top of that, we have half day kindergarten up here, and James ended up in the class that just won't work for us. The teacher is fantastic, and I'm so SO happy on that front, but the time of day is a big, fat problemo--like a hundredsofmoredollarsspentonchildcareeverymonth kind of problemo.

Thank goodness I don't have real problems, because these problems, in the grand scheme of things, are absolutely nothing. But still, for reasons most likely having to do with hormones, they feel like they're all consuming--how totally and completely dumb.

On a running related front, I have a half-marathon coming up this weekend. It's on Saturday morning and I'm aiming for a time of 1:45 or less. My PR is 1:47 and chage, so we'll just have to see. I don't usually taper for a half, but I skipped my long run this weekend, so guess what? I'm officially tapering. Convenient, huh?

In order to prepare, I plan to do some light running this week and cut way back on my peanut butter m&m intake. That's about all.

Rapidly Falling Standards

June 18, 2010

On the first day of school, James wore plaid shorts, a golf shirt, a polo sweater, and a braided leather belt. He had gel in his hair, a brand new pair of sneakers, and had an overall snappy look. See?

On the last day of school James wore a muscle shirt, and elastic ankle sweatpants cocked to the left.

We like to go out with a bang.

Sunday Whispers

June 15, 2010

On Sunday morning, Jared and I were sitting in church when he pushed his lips up against my ear. When it comes to Sunday services, my husband and I are constant whisperers, so I wasn't expecting to hear anything new, urgent, or off the charts.

Usually when we whisper, it's a earful of excellent, complimentary phrases like, "Wow, she sings like an angel!" and "What a beautiful, well behaved child he is." And we're never being sarcastic. I'm not being sarcastic right now, either.

So like I was saying, Jared stuck his lips against my ear and softly said, "It's time to bleach your upper lip. Your mustache is getting dark."

I let that piece of news sink in for a second, finished the verse of How Great Thou Art, and during the brief piano interlude, I whispered back to Jared. "Girls don't have mustaches."

Another verse went by, and at the next piano interlude I heard my husband say, "My girl does."

And with that phrase, my denial phase had officially passed.

It's needless to say that I was unable to focus on anything for the rest of the meeting. Uplifting stories? Spiritual enlightenment? The miracle of grace? I missed it all. The only phases floating through my mind were things like electrolysis, and circus side show, and Sally Hansen beauty products. Charity and service would have to wait.

Now don't get me wrong here, I'm trying to be like Jesus as much as the next guy, but definitely not in the way of facial hair.

During the middle of the next hymn, I stepped out of the chapel and walked to the bathroom. I flipped on the light, stood two inches from the mirror and was instantly consumed by complete mortification--I actually had to stifle a scream. Jared was right, I was rockin' a stache.

Before I returned to the chapel, I practiced a few different faces in the bathroom mirror, hoping they'd pull the attention away from my facial hair.

I really wanted this:

I thought about this:

And I finally settled on this:

When I slipped back into the pew, I leaned to Jared and said, "We have to go home."

He leaned back and said, "We can't. You have to teach Sunday School--and you can't act like you're smelling your hand the whole time."

DAMMMMNNNNNNNNN. That was really bad news, but I managed. Sure I faced the blackboard for the entire hour, but trust me, I was inspirational.

After church was finally over, I dashed to the car, strapped on my seat belt, and resolutely announced that we were headed straight to the store. I know what you're thinking, and it's true--Mormons don't typically shop on Sundays. But people, Sabbath or not, my ox was stuck in the mire and I wasn't about to let him tarry.

We squealed out of the parking lot and drove straight to Rite Aid. The details of this part are a little bit fuzzy, but I'm pretty sure I swung open the door and rolled out of the car while it was still in motion. I ran toward the entrance and the store's automatic door was beginning to open when I had a horrible revelation--A WOMAN WITH FACIAL HAIR CANNOT BUY MUSTACHE BLEACH FROM A REAL LIFE PERSON.

So I got the hell out of there and made haste to the grocery store across the street--after all, they have a self check out. And now I'll give you one guess what they don't have. That's right, mustache bleach.Why me???!!!?!?!

I was limited to two choices--mustache wax or hair removal cream. After some heavy deliberation, I chose the cream. The wax just seemed so, I don't know, barbaric?Well let me clear the air here folks, the hair removal cream is no walk in the park on a fresh spring morning either--and I have the chemical burn to prove it.

I followed the directions to the finest detail, and to be fair, my mustache is completely gone--but guess what? So is my upper lip.

The End.

Does this New Header Make Me Look Fat?

June 14, 2010

Happy Monday, everyone. If you're reading this from some kind of a blog reader, click on over to the real thing so you can check out my new, improved site. It's got a lot of tabs, and most of them are still under construction (and are scheduled to be for the next five to seven years), but you'll get the idea.

I know it's a million times better than my old blog look, but to be super honest with you, I'm having a really hard time getting used to it. Aside from a few of the kinks that still need ironing-out (screw you link and title color!!!), it's just...well...different. And I don't do well with change. That's why I couldn't part with the very outdated Mardi Gras picture up in the corner. It's also the reason I've stayed with Jared for all these years.

But I like my new header--especially the baby hanging on the clothespin. And guess what? I made it myself. Actually, I made the whole new site myself--so if it crashes your computer, or blinds you with ugliness, or reaches out and slaps you, you have no one to blame but me.

In other exciting news, I unveiled my new [other] blog on Friday. If you haven't seen it yet, you can check it out here. It's called The Lawsons Eat Local, and it's all about our adventures as members of a CSA. If I had to sum it up in five words I'd say: Lots of pictures of vegetables.

It might seem seriously boring at the beginning, but hang with it, those food blogs are strangely addictive. Somehow, knowing the ins and outs of what someone eats is very private, very intimate. Actually, it's second only to having sex--and just to set the record straight, if I ever decide to do that, it'll be with my husband.

So check it out, and if you're feeling really wild, you can follow it. C'mon, everybody's doing it! Well that's not true, thirty people are doing it--but if you hurry you can be the thirty-first, and that's a huge deal.

I'll be back later today to tell you all about the chemical burn on my upper lip. Honestly, why aren't mustaches socially acceptable on ladies? If I'm ever elected to public office, I plan to make that my first order of business.

Come, Follow Me!

June 11, 2010

Well guys, I'm busting with excitement over my new blog, The Lawsons Eat Local! Come check it out and follow me. The first one to follow my new blog wins the best prize of all--a permanent place in my heart.

And the 20 miler? Well, it went off without a hitch. I swear I could feel your vibes, so thanks.

And seriously, what are you waiting for? At least go and see the header--I made it myself, and I must say that it's 100% delightful.

Have an awesome weekend, everyone!

Your Assignments

June 10, 2010

1) Don't forget to check back tomorrow, when I plan to debut my brand spankin' new blog. I made the header all by myself, and I honestly think it's cuter than my kids.

2) I have one million meetings today, and one trillion hours of work to finish up in preparation for those meetings. If you know me in real life, please don't call unless you're contacting me to let me know that you've found my body double.

3) I've got a 20 miler planned for tomorrow and I'm thanking my stars that my friend Kim is coming along for the last 12. Your good vibes have been working like a charm, so if you could spare some more between 9:30am and 12:30pm EST, I would appreciate it more than you'll ever know. And remember, that's tomorrow, not today.

And one last thing. I don't know you, but I love you.

Happy Thursday!


June 9, 2010

This post is dedicated to a long time reader who needs a good laugh--a real laugh. I don't care what science says, the fake stuff just isn't as potent.

When you're a Mormon, Sunday mornings are really, really long. Regular old church lasts about an hour, Sunday School takes up a second hour, and then, the men and women split into their own Sunday School type classes for the last hour. That's three hours, you guys. I could drive to StoryLand, digest a soft pretzel, and catch a ride on the caterpillar roller coaster in the amount of time in takes me to formally commune with Jesus.

We pass by the Catholic Church on our way to church in the morning, and I always feel so jealous. I mean, c'mon--they've gone to one single hour of church, they get to pick what time they feel like going, and more often than not they get donuts after all is said and done. On the house.

Obviously, I'm missing the boat.

Anyhoo, on Sunday morning, after the first hour was done, my friend's husband (who doubles as the branch clerk--or something like that) came up to me and said, "The Branch President wants to meet with you and Jared after church today."

"Awesome," I replied, "I bet he's gonna give us a bill for something."

He laughed. I didn't. Everybody's billing me these days.

Now let's dive a little deeper into Mormon Doctrine for a second. When you're called into the Branch President's office, it means you're about to get a calling. When you and you're spouse are called into the Branch President's office together? Well, that means that one of you is about to get a big ass calling.

In this case, it was me.

But wait, let's back up. In most churches, you volunteer for additional duties. For example:
  • I like children, I'd like to volunteer to teach the third graders.
  • I'm friendly, I'd like to volunteer to greet people at the door.
  • I'm chatty, I'd like to serve on the social committee.
  • I'm really strange, I'd like to sit in the back corner, stare for a little too long, and make the women feel uncomfortable.
You get the idea.

Welp, among the Mormons, this is not the way things happen. We get callings. In other words, church leaders have a role that needs to be filled, they think about it, they pray about it, and they pick you. For example:
  • You have working arms and you're good at running--you've been called to teach the second graders.
  • You're tone deaf, but you have great taste in clothing--you've been called to direct the choir.
  • You have a hard time saying no, so you've been called as the Young Men's President.
  • I get the feeling you partied way too much in college, we'd like you to use those talents as the activities coordinator.
Get it? And actually, I've written about this before--back when three people read my blog. See? But all kidding aside, there's no doubt that this system moves you out of your comfort zone and pushes you to new heights as a human being. It's funny, I've heard that magic mushrooms can do the same thing.

Anyway. This calling was coming to me.

The Branch President said, "Amy, we have a new calling for you, and I think Jared should be here to help you decided whether or not you can accept it."

And without a moment of hesitation, in 100% seriousness I said, "You should know that I have a swearing problem. It's moderate to severe and I'm not willing to work on it. Not at all."

He laughed.

I didn't.

"You're funny, Amy."

"Funny with a pretty nasty swearing problem. Just ask Jared."

Jared nodded, "Oh yeah, she says 'em all. I mean ALL of them."

The Branch President tossed his head back, laughed, and affectionately said, "I love you guys."

We sat straight-faced. No response. We did not return the love.

"Well, swearing problem or not," he continued, "you've been called to be the......"

I know, the ...... is kind of cruel, but I'm not ready to go public with this one yet, I'm still digesting this assignment. It might take a while, like the time my sister forced me to eat paper and grass--lots of farting, not a lot of pooping.

So anyway, Jared and I looked at each other and shrugged. The Branch President cleared his throat and asked, "So will you accept this calling? You'll get a lot of blessings from this type of service."

"Physical and temporal blessings? I think that's what we'd enjoy the most."

More laughter, more love. Once again, we did not return the love. But I did say yes. And now, I'm the new ......

I'll tell you when I'm ready.

The Story of a Sundae

June 3, 2010

Yesterday afternoon, while I was walking the aisles of the grocery store, I made a very impulsive decision. I decided, with certainty, that I should eat a lot less dessert-type items--and in order to do so, from that point forward, I would only buy organic junk food.

The logic behind this move was twofold:

First, it's no secret that organic junk food is really freaking expensive. So I put two and two together and decided that maybe, if I spent $4.59 on a little package of cookies instead of $2.39 on a big ass box of cookies, the sheer cost would encourage me to savor three cookies instead of inhaling fifteen.

Second, we all know that organic foods are good. They're good for the babies, the dolphins, the song birds, the happy farmers who whistle in their fields, the Disney princesses, and so on and so forth. It all boils down to this--if organic foods are good and I think that I'm really good, I won't eat so much candy.

That makes sense, right? If not, read it again--because I swear, I'm a highly enlightened woman.

So, fifteen minutes and one $20 bill later, I left the store with two packages of Newman's Own sandwich cookies, a pint of chocolate flavored coconut-milk ice cream, some organic m&m knock-offs, and a new lease on life.

I'm not exactly sure what I was trying to accomplish with my sudden lifestyle shift, but I'm sure we can all agree that I was on my way to something excellent.

When I got into my car, I snatched up my iPod and silenced C&C Music Factory as fast as I possibly could. "This racket is not conducive to my new way of life," I thought, "so I will play some Indigo Girls instead. I bet they don't shave their armpits either."

And just for the record--I really want to shave my armpits, I'm just short on time these days.

When I got home, I laid my collection of organic junk food on the bar and went to get Jared. "See this," I commanded, "it's expensive, and organic, and it's mine. Don't touch any of it." And just to drive my point home, I wrote AMY across every single package in thick, black marker.

"Why'd you buy all that?" he asked.

I rolled my eyes, let out a sigh and used the most adolescent tone I could muster, "To change my life, Jared."

"Again? I think you try to change your life every day, Amy."

"Because I'm an exceptional person, Jared."

With that, he grabbed a can of coke, cracked it open and held it up to make a toast. "I'm gonna sit in my chair and watch some 24 reruns on Netflix. Just like I've been doing for the last five months."

"Well I think I'll use portion control, and self-love and sit here and eat one scoop of this high-fiber coconut-milk ice cream. And I'll probably think about God while I do it."

So I did. And it sucked.

So I jazzed up the ice cream with some of those organic cookies. Six to be exact.

It was okay, but it sure as hell didn't launch me into Nirvana or anything.

So I added some organic m&ms. Well, actually, all of the m&ms. Not bad, not bad at all.

Then I added half a cup of generic chocolate syrup--you know what I'm talking about.

I topped it off with three scoops of Edy's rocky road, and finally I had myself a sundae.

The End.

Random Things

June 2, 2010

I feel like I need to let you in on a few random things today:

First, thanks a zillion for the good vibes on Sunday. I ended up logging 18.2 miles at a 9:33ish pace. The route was pretty stinkin' hilly, so I feel nothing but proud of what I pulled off. I can't tell you why, but good thoughts from internet friends really, truly help.

I know. I seem to be losing touch with reality. And I'm so out of touch, that I 100% don't care.
Second, someone asked me about the details of my next marathon--I don't know, I think they want to come and trip me or something. It's in the end of July in Northern Massachusetts. I'm hoping that the third try's a charm and I'll end up with my BQ (BQ=Boston Qualify). If I do, I'll eat a half-gallon of ice cream to celebrate. If not, I plan to drown my sorrows in a half-gallon of ice cream.

And finally, I don't think I've posted a picture of Maggie on here in one million years. So, without further ado, here she is:

Maggie like ice cream.

Maggie is a very serious soul. She'll probably do her assigned reading for high school English class without spitting in my eye, and I'm already freaked out over how to handle such a situation. Things like that are thoroughly unfamiliar to me.

This is Maggie with Auntie Alicia and her girl cousin who is scheduled to make her debut in the end of July. They'll have a nine month age gap, and I'm really excited because my favorite cousin is nine months younger than I am. We had so much fun growing up together. Her name is Harriet and she lives in Munich, Germany.

Have a great day everyone!