Friday, May 29, 2009

Fam Friday: Summer Lovin'

Today my firstborn child graduated from the second grade.  As is tradition, the family congregated down at Wasatch Elementary to watch the end-of-school dance celebration.  Keep in mind that the Glediator went to Wasatch and these dances haven't changed in more than twenty years.  Jackson did a flawless routine to "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and made his momma all kinds of proud.

Now, the question remains:  WHAT IN TARNATION AM I GOING TO DO THIS SUMMER????

I wish I were the funnest mom in the world, overflowing with fanaticism over child development.  I know some moms who are beautifully gifted at that.  But let's be honest:  I have anxiety about my kids being home 24/7 this summer.  And while in the past I have been envious and have wondered what might be wrong with me, I have finally come to terms with the fact that I have different strengths.  So, to  all you moms out there with brilliant ideas on how to pass the time with your kids at home for the next few months, I invite you to bring your good wisdom to the table that we might sup together.  May your summer be filled with lemonade stands, slip 'n slides, sidewalk chalk, and meltdown-free road trips.  Godspeed.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Bloomin' Tree Streets

Gasp!  Whose garden is THAT?! ;-)


The Tree Streets are awash in color.  Spring blooms are ever changing.  Like mini-motion pictures, they're here for a few weeks and gone in a flash, making room for exciting new features.  Oh, the common threads we share!  I feel like a spring bloom, alive with one idea from each moment to the next, eager for what the summer has in store.  The Glediator rolls his eyes as I flutter about, enrolling in school, taking guitar lessons, interning in recording studios, revamping the back yard.  I can't sit still no matter how hard I try.  "Do what you want.  You will anyways!" is Gleddy's mantra for me.  We laugh, but secretly he knows that he is exactly the same - always a bee in his bonnet.  However, the Glediator does not wear bonnets; just a really dirty Red Sox baseball hat.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Have you had a hard day?  Are you feeling BLUE?  Would you rather eat worms than look at another pile of laundry?  Me too.  I say we take a seat, take a moment, and have a good laugh together.  Here are a few things that have made me laugh lately:

1.)  Thatcher stole a Squirmle from Walmart on Monday.  We returned it of course, but he wasn't happy about it.

2.)  Jackson told me that "poop chunks" was graffitied on the school playground.  I tried to keep a straight face, but we both started laughing uncontrollably.

3.)  Recently, Thatcher discovered the tampons in the bathroom cabinet and insisted on making crafts with them.  Again, he wasn't happy about my insisting that he didn't.

4.)  Jane Nielson brought a dead bee in a ziplock bag to our voice lesson this week.  "I collect bugs that look good after they're dead," she explained.

5.)  I went skateboarding with my kids over the weekend.  I felt super cool when I went off a little ramp without falling.  I tried it again, feeling like hot stuff and turfed it right on my derriere.  Every twelve-year-old boy in sight was staring at me like I was the dorkiest parent alive.

What funny stories might you have to share with me, my darlings?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tree Street Tuesdays: Steve Clark for Mayor

Guess which Tree-Streeter is running for mayor?  Steve Clark, yo.  You may know Steve as Nie and Cjane's Dad.  Yesterday at the neighborhood park there was a big shindig where Steve officially announced his candidacy.  Let me tell you reason Numero Uno you should vote for Steve if you live in P-Town:  he gives the BEST hugs.  Reason Numero Dos is that there are always chocolate dipped rice crispy treats at his events.  Imagine that!  A mayor who gives awesome hugs and serves you rice crispy treats?  Unbeatable.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Classes with Camilynne

This is my sister-in-law, Cami.  She's beautiful.  This is me when I got so paranoid about my mono-brow that I tweezed a football field's length in between.  (Photograph my Mark Anderson, Rubberball Productions, 2001)

I love photography.  Out of all my material possessions, family photographs are the most valuable to me.  One thing I really believe is that beautiful photography is worth the money.  I've been blessed to have several photographers in my family.  Last week on my post "The Mississippi on Mother's Day," someone commented on how they wished that a photographer would follow them around so they could have awesome pictures all the time too.  Well, lucky for me, the photographer that always happens to be around is in my sister-in-law, Cami Neslon.  She is FABULOUS and now YOU TOO can learn how to be a fabulous photographer.  She will be teaching Photoshop classes for all levels, right here in Utah come June.  This is a rare opportunity because Cami recently moved to Florida and isn't all that available anymore.  I myself am planning to attend so that I can morph my awful point-and-shoot pictures into works of art.  To read about dates, times, and cost, visit Cami's blog,  If you sign up by Wednesday, you can receive $25 off tuition!  Enjoy a few of my favorite photos Cami has done for my family over the years:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fam Friday: Meet Dustin Gledhill

I was sixteen when I first met my now brother-in-law, Dustin.  He was a seventeen-year-old (twelve-year-old looking) young man with a haircut that resembled a foam microphone windscreen.  In fact, my sisters and I called him "Microphone Head."  (Girls can be so mean!).  I might also add, just for visual interest, that he was also wearing knock-off Birkenstocks with socks.  Why am I telling you this?  Because by looking at this GQ babe now, you would never know it.  Yes.  I just called my brother-in-law a babe.  Get over it.

Me and Dustin at Le Pavillon Hotel in New Orleans

I've known Dustin for a long time (even longer than the Glediator) and he is one of my very best friends.  My initial mockery of his hair and Birks with socks was chastised when I heard him play the piano in my home a few weeks after we met.  There is nothing in this world that compares to seeing and hearing Dustin play the piano.  Your jaw will fall to the floor in marvel.  

Dustin started playing at the age of three and gave his first recital to a sold out crowd at a three hundred seat auditorium.  Twenty-six years later, after scores of competitions and soloing with symphonies across the globe he is still at the top of his game at the Manhattan School of Music.  Our family just returned from attending a solo concert he was invited to give at Loyola University in New Orleans.  He was incredible.  (To purchase Dustin's album "Live at Wigmore Hall," head on over to itunes or Napster!)

We are so proud of you Dustin.  Way to go!  Enjoy these highlights from Dustin's killer performance:

The Mississippi on Mother's Day

Photo courtesy of Camilynne Photography

Mother's Day evening found me floating down the Mississippi on a steamboat.  The suns rays fell like a cloak over my shoulders then faded into the twilight.  I sat at the railing on the boiler deck (the middle deck) surrounded by some of the people I love most, doing what I love most:  traveling the world. 

I think I'm just as much of an anthropologist as I am a musician.  Different peoples and cultures fascinate and fulfill my heart.  I'm not sure why, but the toothless black gentleman that drove my cab to church in New Orleans pulled at my heartstrings (c'mon, not in that way).  I wanted to know all about him:  where was he raised, how he got out of Katrina, why he was still driving a cab at the age of seventy six and what happened to all of his teeth?  I asked him everything except for the part about the teeth.  

Saturday through Tuesday offered nonstop jazz on every corner in the French Quarter of one of the U.S.A.'s most romantic cities.  Jambalaya, Poboys, Muffulettas, Red Beans and Rice, Fried Gator and of course, Pralines were served followed by trips for fresh diced pineapple at the French Market.  From the gator infested bayou on the Pearl River to the tomb of Voudou queen, Marie Laveau, my nomadic little soul was in wanderlust heaven.

However, I didn't go to "Nawlins" just to satisfy my inner nomad.  You can read all about the REAL reason in the next post!

Photo courtesy of Camilynne Photography

Garlic Bread Brulée

I am thinking about starting a cooking series on my blog because I am so awesome at it.  Today I ingeniously came up with a recipe called "Garlic Bread Brulée."  It is simple and so delish!  All you need to do is put a few pieces of left over garlic bread (preferably from take out) under the broiler and forget about them for thirty minutes.  At first, when you smell fire, you may panic momentarily while thinking, What on earth are the kids burning THIS time!?  About ten seconds later, you may utter a few colorful expressions as the garlic bread under the broiler comes to your remembrance.  Don't worry!  That's part of the process.  At this point, your bread should be good and ready to take out of the oven.  Don't forget those hot pads!  (You are a bit forgetful sometimes).  Allow to cool fifteen to twenty minutes.  When cool, enjoy the crunchy texture as you allow the ash to mellow on your tongue for a moment.  The smokey flavor is out of this world!  Bon appetit.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Automatic Response

I am out of the office and will return by Friday.  I'm currently eating Jambalaya, getting my palm read and floating down the bayou in New Orleans.  Woohoo!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Fam Friday: Meet Grandma Rose

Girls' Weekend at Grandma's 2008: (left to right) Mindy, Vicki, Angi, Lindsey, Grandma

My father's mother and last living grandparent is the most resilient woman I know.  When grandma feels any kind of illness coming on she locks herself in the closet and talks her body out of it.  She can't afford to be sick when her life mission is to bake rolls and pies for everyone that walks through her door.  You haven't lived until you've tasted one of Grandma's pies.

I recently stayed with Grandma on the way home from my trip to Newport Beach (yeah, the one where I had a royal meltdown).    She ordered me back to bed for several hours, insisting that she take care of the boys.  It's one thing to be nurtured but it's a real treat to be nurtured by Grandma.  It's the way she calls me "DARLING" with her voice nearly yelling.  It's how everything she makes (even plain old grilled cheese sandwiches) tastes like Comfort with a capital "C."  It's how she offers her two cents about your life when you didn't even ask for it.  It's lovely to be fussed over by Rose.

Grandma loves the Glediator.  While I stayed at her house I confessed to her that Gleddy and I were having a bit of a disagreement.  Grandma quickly came to Gleddy's rescue, singing his praises and how he is "so darling, such a gentleman to me and it's so lovely to make up!  Always be the first one to say sorry!"  I called Gleddy whilst sitting in a pile of towels in the laundry room, hidden away from the children.  We did make up and it was lovely.

Happy Mother's Day Grandma!  And Happy Mother's Day to all you lovely ladies who frequent this blog.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Tree Street Tuesdays: Lou Lou Pays Me a Visit

Awesome Metal Sculpture by Esemeralda Valentine (I added the Christmas lights)

Nachos are delicious.

Lou Lou does my portrait

Finishing touches.

The final masterpiece!

Yesterday I hid out in my car.  (Sound familiar Noni?)  The boys jumped on the trampoline while I reclined at 180 degrees in the front seat, doors locked.  I laid on my back and stared at the fabric above, wondering what my next move in life would be:  Finish school?  Another baby?  Change my name to Minnie May and play the keytar?  I want one so badly, you know.

A text beeped in.  It was Lou Lou.

"I'm in Provo."

I love Lou Lou.  She has a new advice column on her blog called "Ask Lou Lou" and if you want to laugh really hard you should go read it right now.  (I will confess that the second question posed on her column is by yours truly and it is NOT a fabrication).

After I put the boys to bed, Lou joined me for an evening of chill time at my office downtown. Just the thing I needed.   We ate nachos, strummed our guitars, and Lou even did a chalk portrait of me on the wall.  You might be asking yourself what this has to do with my Tree Street Tuesdays series and the answer to that is:  nothing.  

Smile, embrace your scatter-brained life and have a lovely day.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Fam Friday: Meet My Mother-In-Law!

Photo courtesy of Cami Lynne Photography

You might hate me by the end of this post.  So allow me to apologize in advance for all the bragging I'm about to do:  Forgive me, but I have the best mother-in-law in the world.  

Leslie Gledhill, mother to my husband, The Glediator, lives across the street from us.  I know what you're thinking.  You would never live across the street from your own mother let alone your mother-in-law.  God knows I don't deserve such a blessing, but for whatever reason, he has shown me mercy with the sweetest mother-in-law I could
 ask for.  

Not only is she sweet, she also has a sense of humor (don't be jealous!).  She is famous for her "fish face," her nick name "Lester," and is also known by her kids as "The Hunchback of Cherry Lane."  She's a good sport.  Her kids joke with her about her bunions.  For her recent birthday, we played a swell game of "Pin the Bunion on the Foot."  We were all in stitches.  

Leslie's yard boasts the most beautiful tulips every spring, her lawn always lush (but watch out for the Great Dane's land mines), and she even has chickens in the back yard (Hooray!  They're legal now!).  Walking into her home feels like you've walked into a magical gingerbread house deep in the woods.  There is always a fire when it's cold, yummy things to eat, quilts galore and cinnamon sticks boiling on the stove.  

One of my favorite memories with Leslie is of our girls' trip to NYC - roaming through the Flea Market and "Olde Good Things."  Things I will always love about her are how she makes every holiday so special, the books she reads to my boys, her chickens, her home-made grape juice, her strawberries and pumpkins, trips to Puerto Vallarta, her collectibles, her wanderlust and best of all: her son, The Glediator.  (The man treats his mother like a queen.)

I love you Lester!