All posts by Melanie

Family, Isn’t it About, Time?

While those of you who know me may be surprised by this, I’m actually a bit of a sentimentalist. Most would never guess it from looking at my tough exterior. (Remember how when I took weight training in college it took me a month before I could bench press the bar? No weights, just the bar. Hey, it weighed 30lbs! Luckily I had discovered in high school that being a little goofy and making friends with the teacher can get you a good grade in situations where your wussiness is not only apparent, but generally frowned upon.) Ok, while I’m not necessarily physically tough-looking, or even physically tough if we’re getting nit-picky, I don’t feel like I let my emotions show very often. Well, someone can correct me if I’m off on that one. Please, by a show of hands, how many of you have ever seen me cry, get really angry, or laugh? Put your hands down, that last one doesn’t count!

Anyway, my point is that I probably don’t let people know often enough how much I appreciate them. Take my family, for example. I’m the youngest of six kids and was four years behind my next oldest brother in school. That meant that I was home alone with my parents for four years. I think the solidarity of the quiet house has made me appreciate and love the pandemonium that results when everyone gets together. Plus, it helps that everyone in my family is really funny. From my dad and his Laffy-Taffy-esque jokes and puns to my mom and her ability to laugh at herself when she exclaims things like “Hot, my eye!” to, well pretty much everyone else and their witty ways. But I generally don’t think to tell them how much I appreciate them and love being around them.

I have also recently rediscovered the joys of extended family. With the exception of the fun two years my cousin Pam and I were roommates, I haven’t ever spent a lot of time around extended family – especially not around extended, extended family. But, over the last few months I have enjoyed getting to know some of them better. I guess it started with second-cousin Katie (she’s the one asleep on the wall in the last post) and then moved on to her sister Allyson, then Dave, then Jenkin, and the rest of the clan, and then has branched out to others that I have maybe seen once before ever in my life. The conclusion I’ve come to is that family is fun! Either we’re all a fun-loving and funny bunch that is a blast to be around, or we’re kind of odd and only truly understood by our “own kind.” Either one of those explanations is a possibility, really.

Well, it’s for all of the above reasons that I am glad we have now instituted a monthly “Cousin Night O’ Fun” (some of you may better know it for its former name “Cousin Love Fest” personally, I prefer steering clear of anything that sounds like it could result in jail time, but that’s just me). Hopefully one day we can get more than five people to show up for it, but for now, I’ll take what I can get.



I’m 28 years old and until last weekend, have never been to Disneyland. I’m not sure if this was due to a lack of interest on my part as a child, a deprived childhood, or the number of hours that my parents spent convincing us kids that spraying each other with the hose in the backyard was just as fun as Splash Mountain. Well, it turns out they were right about that one at least.
So, it was off to Disneyland with my cousin Katie (who had also never been) and some of her friends from work. Fast forward to our Disneyland arrival. We got to the park around 9:30 and went to ride the Matterhorn. When we came off we were handed a tag and told we had just won in the Year of a Million Dreams and were given fast passes (tickets that move you to the front of the line) for every major ride in both parks. Lucky day! So day 1 was off to a pretty good start. We packed in 15 rides without even trying that hard and we still had two days to go. Now for the rest of the highlights:

1) I HATE Splash Mountain! It sounds pretty harmless, right? Just a little splash, a sprinkle if you will. We had just gotten on the ride when it donned on me – I hate getting wet in my clothes. This was going to be a problem, especially since Katie’s friend Nate, who had met us at Disneyland, was in the front of the boat and we were bottoming out on every little bump. Too late to turn back, I decided I was going to beat the system and duck down. Well, on the first little hill I got into position only to watch a wave come over the side of the boat and my head and drench me. No one else got wet on that one, just me. Good work, Mel! By the end of the ride I was soaked from head to toe (I was still wearing jeans and regular shoes too since we hadn’t checked into our hotel yet). Everyone was pretty wet actually, but I was wet AND angry. Can someone explain to me why the Disney people think it’s fun to get people soaking wet and then send them into an air conditioned cave for a couple of minutes to watch bunnies dance and sing? I was not amused. Sadly we didn’t get any pictures of us all wet, but I did snap this one of Katie asleep on a wall when we all stopped to dry out (notice the wet pants).

2) On day two we took the morning to go shopping at H&M. Unlike Splash Mountain, I LOVE H&M! At H&M I guess Katie decided we looked too much like tourists. Enter the sunglasses, you know, the kind you put on and all anyone can see of your face is your nose and chin. Good find, Kate. The rest of the trip we were California stylin’ fo sho! We hit the park around 5, went to see Aladdin, and still made it on quite a few rides.

3) I thought it would be funny to get a picture posing like these bears in the California Adventure park. I got on Katie’s shoulders and we took the picture, but the top bear got cut off. It just looked silly without the top bear, so we decided to try again. The problem is that this time when I, genius that I am, jumped to get on Katie’s shoulders, I jumped head first into the bear’s paw. End of photo shoot, beginning of concussion. Ok, it wasn’t that bad, but I was a little dazed and immediately got a huge bump and a sore head that eight days later is still sore.
4) Sunday was pretty chill. Our cousin Tara came and got us and we went to church with her, took a walk down the pier (it was a short walk and a long pier, not the other way around) and went to Mick and Jenny’s (my brother and sister-in-law) for dinner, playing with the kids, and talking. Oh, and Katie slept – again.

5) Back at the hotel we discovered that while we were gone, Joey, who’s phone gave up the ghost on Splash Mountain and followed the path previously travelled by her computer and camera (apparently technology hates her), had started a computerless blog – aka, some writing in a notebook. What? Now everyone is starting a blog?!? The pressure to start a blog mounts.
6) Monday we hit some more rides and enjoyed the aforementioned turkey leg. Really, it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, but it sure smelled delicious! Gimme a “T!” Gimme an “Urkey Leg!” What does it spell? Turkey Leg! Really, everything is better when you cheer it.
7) When we were leaving the Tower of Terror (after riding on it twice in a row) I saw Paige Davis! I am a huge fan of the TLC network, and love Trading Spaces (a design show that is hosted by Paige Davis). After getting all giddy, taking her picture, and excitedly saying hello, we left to take naps on some benches.

8) Nap time was rudely interrupted by some Disney security guards who informed us that while sleeping on the benches was ok, sleeping on the walkway was not. He asked if we would all climb up on benches to take our naps. Done, and done! Actually, by then it was almost time to leave for the airport, so we called it a day.
9) Oh, I nearly forgot about flip flop skiing while waiting in line at Space Mountain. Trust me on this one, it’s going to be the next big thing.

Well, there you have it. Fast Passes. Wet clothes. Shopping and sunglasses. A concussion. Family time. Turkey legs. Paige Davis. And naps on park benches. I’m sure I’ve left tons of stuff out, but you get the idea. I tried to be brief, really I did. Conciseness is not my friend.

Mission: Accomplished!

I got home from work on Friday to find that my tasty little peanut buttery friends had been returned!  They were sitting on my front porch just waiting for me.  When I looked inside the bag I also discovered that they had brought two extra bags of chocolate peanut butter goodness with them.  Now normally I might have been thrown off by this – I mean I wasn’t expecting company, I hadn’t cleaned or tidied up or anything.  But, given the joyful reunion, I didn’t let this bother me.  Instead, I wasted no time getting acquainted and reacquainted.

Thanks to Katherine for coming through with those.  And thank you to everyone who expressed your condolences for my loss.  I would invite everyone over to have a treat, but I don’t think they’re going to last that long.  If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go wipe the chocolate off my face now.  Not to worry though, even though I have my chocolate back, The Blog Will Go On!

Under Pressure

I’ve discovered that blogging is actually harder than it seems.  At first glance you think, “I can write whatever I want, sort of like a journal.”  But then there are several realities that begin to sink in:

1) Do I really want everyone reading my journal about how I had a bad hair day, forgot to brush my teeth before leaving the house, and developed a crazy crush on . . . (What?  Like I was really going to say who.  Good try.)

2) While I generally tend to be long-winded when I write, blogs are built for brevity.  You see, if I blabber on in detail about every day occurrences then pretty soon the reader gives up only to awake a half hour later and discover that, in addition to the puddle of drool that now is her keyboard, she has the alphabet semi-permanently imprinted (in reverse, mind you) on her left cheek.

3) My journals tend to be overly dramatic, but mostly blah.  On a blog there is a lot of pressure to be funny.  Now, this shouldn’t be too hard since I embarrass myself multiple times on a daily basis.  Still, it’s a lot of pressure.  So, if one day you hear on the news that a girl was found wandering the streets of North Salt Lake, with only one shoe on, her shirt on backwards, carrying her laptop, and mumbling “It’s not funny.  Gotta update the blog.” you’ll know that I finally cracked.  (Now that I think about it, the shirt on backwards thing isn’t that strange.  I actually do that on a far too regular basis.  And now I’ve said too much . . . )

Well, don’t worry because there is still a Disneyland post to come.  Just thought I’d give you all something to live for.


PS – Does anyone else love that song by Queen?  Maybe it’s just me.  Personally, I love how the beginning sounds like Vanilla Ice.  Who doesn’t love a white guy that can rap?

Save the Chocolates!

I’ve been kicking around the idea of starting a blog for a couple of weeks now, but I’ve had a hard time finding that magical reason that would push me over the edge so that I couldn’t help but start one. Enter – this weekend.

So this weekend I took a trip down to California for my first ever trip to the magical kingdom that is Compton. (What other “magical kingdom” could I possibly be talking about?) Ok, ok, I went to Disneyland. It’s a true story that I’ve never been before, and yes, the trip was magical, but I’m going to have to save all that for another post.

It was on this magical journey to the land of the giant, delectable turkey legs (as if that’s not the first thing you think when you think of Disneyland) that I was encouraged by my fellow turkey leg devouring trip mates to start a blog. Now I wasn’t wholly convinced that this was for me until today, the day after the trip.

You see, as I was unpacking my suitcase I discovered I was missing a very important item – a partially eaten bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups that I purchased the day after Easter. It didn’t take me long to guess which turkey-legger had them, and a quick phone call confirmed it. But then I heard the words that stopped me in my tracks, “You start a blog, and I’ll return the chocolates.”

How could this be? What did my chocolates ever do to deserve being separated from me in such a fashion? It was at that point that I could only see one way out. So, in an attempt to save my little chocholatey friends from being devoured at the hands and mouth of a merciless stranger, I give to the world . . . MY BLOG!

Enjoy the blog everyone! And to my chocolates I say, come home soon!