Meet The Nat Pack!

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The Nat Pack: The super fashionable, super mod, super hip family consisting of Nat, Pete, Jakob, Brock, Troy, and Ivy. Like The Rat Pack, only younger, cuter, and not as rich or famous.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

When It Freezes Over


Brock: Mom, what happens when Hell hits your head?
Me: ..Whaaaa...???
Brock: What happens when Hell hits your head?
Me: Um, I'm not really sure what you're asking, Brock.  When... what? hits your head?
Brock: You know. (making hand gestures, repeatedly touching the crown of his head with his fingers pinched together)  When Hell hits you with those little white dots.
Me: (finally realizing I really shouldn't take every sound of words my kids say at face value) OH!  You mean when HAIL hits you?
Brock: Yeah. (Like, duh, that's what I've said three times now.)  What is it made of?
Me: (explanation of what hail is)
Brock: So, is it bad?  What happens?
Me: No, it just hurts a lot if you're outside and it lands on you.

So glad he was asking about weather!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Money Money Money By the Pound!

Check it out:

These are some of the bills from Pete's kidney stone adventures.

And here's a list:
First emergency room trip: $1,160
Second emergency room visit where they didn't help Pete in ANY way: $973
First surgery that didn't work: $13,238
Second surgery: $15,377
One doctor bill: $5,056
Another doctor bill: $926

We're still waiting for 3 or 4 more bills to come from that whole awesome week.  But the total so far is...wait for it...

No, I did not misplace my comma.  And the photographic evidence shows I'm not lying about the numbers.  It's too bad we have to pay, even when we don't get anything out of it.  Grrr about that.

So, to sum up:

Kidney stone week: $36,730, plus pain and agony and stress.
Aftereffects: still agony and stress
Health Insurance: priceless

Monday, October 25, 2010

Memory Monday: A No Good, Very Bad Date

The summer after my junior year in high school (1996), I had a boyfriend.  Named Ned.  (Not joking.)  We were together all of two months.  Anyway, another one of my friends named Ahren was dating a guy named Sean (which, when I was younger, I thought it was pronounced "Seen".  One of those weird spellings.  Like Seamus is pronounced "Shay-mus".  Didn't know that for a long time, either.)

But I digress.  So Ahren and I decided that we'd plan a double date for our boyfriends, and it was going to be awesome.  We had a candlelight dinner at the park planned, and making homemade ice cream...the whole romantic nine yards, I guess.  Or something like that.  We had our other friends drive them around for a while blindfolded while we set some things up, then met them and took over.  We drove around for a while, then went to our candlelight dinner.  Which, if I'm remembering right, was going to be, like, cold cereal.  I don't know why we thought that was a good idea, but whatever. 

Anyway, I grew up in Idaho Falls, which is a very windy place to live.  We tried time and again to light our candles and keep them lit outside, and it just wasn't working.  And then Sean and Ned decided to start...sabotaging our date.

I don't know what it was.  Maybe it was our poor planning.  Maybe it was 17-year-old boys and their awesome maturity level.  Maybe it was just in the air.  But our date went from bad to worse.  Both Ned and Sean kept making dumb snarky comments, and just acting like idiots.

We ended up at Ahren's house, where we wanted to make homemade ice cream.  The way we learned is you mix a few ingredients in a bag, set it in a bag of salt and ice cubes, wrap it in newspaper, and then shake it for a long long time.  We did it successfully in Young Women's or something, and thought it would be a great idea.  So Ned and Sean, being as awesome as they were, started throwing the bags of ice cream around really, really hard, and really high up in the air (we were outside).  Well, Ned threw the bag of ice cream to Sean, and... it hit my car.

Now, my car was not a fancy car.  It was a light blue 1983 Honda Accord.  It had been my dad's, and it got passed down to the girls when we were in high school.  There were so many things wrong with it.  The tape player wouldn't work-it would make the sounds all garbled.  We had to plug it in in the winter so that it would start up.  Someone had stolen the head rests, so we found some from a car parts place that were brown, and the car parts place spray painted them blue to match the rest of the interior.  It had plastic thingies sticking out on the sides of the seats.  It was a beater, but it was my beater.

So when the ice cream hit my baby (which we had dubbed the Ocean Car, because of some lame Disney Australian show called Ocean Girl, and the fact that the tapes playing sounded like underwater music-oh yeah, and it was blue), which, mind you, it barely tapped my car, I just LOST it.  I grabbed the ice cream bag, whipped around, and threw it as hard as I possibly could.  I wasn't even aiming at anything, I just threw.  Well, my boyfriend Ned just happened to be standing a few feet away, and the bag full of hard ice cubes and everything else hit him right in, shall we say, a delicate nether region.

I should have felt bad.  I kind of felt bad, but only a little.  But I kind of started laughing, too, when he crumpled to the ground and starting moaning and rocking back and forth.  It actually felt kind of good to get back at him for being such a jerk on the date that we had planned, even though my throw was unintentional.

I don't remember the rest of the date.  I don't know if we ended up eating the ice cream or not, or if we just called it a night (a very weird, frustrating night).

But I will always love my Ocean Car.

(Dude, I can't believe I found a clip of the show Ocean Girl on youtube!  Watch out, it's a super awesome show!  Actually, I never watched it, but I always saw the previews:  "Did you see that?"  "What?"  "There was a girl!  A girl in the ocean!"  Good times, my friends.)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mr. Passive Aggressive

Jakob is definitely gaining skills in the passive aggressive department. 

Here are just a few examples:

1) "I wish..."  If Jake wants something, he'll start a sentence with this phrase.  Like if he wants a snack: "I wish we could have snacks right now."  "I wish we could finish watching that movie."  And on and on.

2) He posted this note on our wall.  And it's not the first one that he's put up about cleaning the toys.  (If only it would occur to him that his brothers can't re-read it after he's read it to them.)

Here's the translation-it's a bit hard to read: Putting Back Toys If you're done with a toy, put it back.  If it's clean-up time pick up all the toys.  If your name is Brock or Troy get three toys.  Thank you.  Sincerely, Jakob

I love how he's silently blaming his brothers for making the mess.  And the picture is awesome.  He's also kind of ordering his brothers around, but then is trying to be all nice about it (thank you, sincerely).

3) Jakob likes to play a couple of games on Pete's iPod.  The other day Jakob came up to Pete and said, "So Dad.  How's your iPod doing?"  Like trying to suggest in a round about way that he wants to play on the iPod without actually asking.

4) At lunch time Jakob wanted a Sunkist to drink, but we were out.  Sunkist isn't a regular buy for us.  But then Jakob says, "Looks like someone needs to go grocery shopping."  Well, then.  He did say "just kidding" afterwards (though, that's also passive aggressive-to say something you actually mean and then try to back out of it by saying just kidding right after to soften the blow).

I just wish someone would grow out of this phase...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Memory Monday: Engaged

This post is a shout-out to my cute sister, Lex, who just got engaged on her birthday two days ago!  YAHOO!!

Lex and Chris
After years of drama, of him liking me, of me not being ready, of us flirting and trying to leave each other alone but not able to, of us being best friends and then even enemies, Pete and I finally got our act together and started dating.  Sure, it was long distance, but dating nonetheless.

We started dating in October of 2001, and really weren't sure where it was going, or how fast.  We would chat online till all hours of the night, every night.  After one trip down to visit Pete in January, I felt all squirmy inside-just... really uneasy.  Until that point, I kept holding Pete at arm's length, not ready for the next step.  I liked where we were at, and I wasn't quite ready to move forward.  But we were at the "fish or cut bait" point-we either needed to commit all the way to our relationship (marriage), or say goodbye and part ways.

I thought, and prayed, and realized, I don't ever want Pete out of my life.  I felt the most like myself when I was around him.  He took care of me, and I took care of him.  I could talk to him for hours.  When I was with him, I felt like I was home.  You know?

So, the next time Pete and I were talking on the phone, I basically told him that I needed to get proposed to.  I think it took him a bit by surprise, especially since a couple of weeks before that I was telling him how I wanted to take a road trip and live back east all summer.  But he had been ready for the marriage step of our relationship for a long time.

Anyway, we started looking at rings.  It took about two seconds to find the one for me, but Pete was a little more picky.  Pete came up one weekend to talk to my dad.  It ended up kind of being a group talk (my dad, my mom, Pete, and me).  Pretty much my dad asked how Pete was going to take care of me (what his major was in school, what the plans are, etc.). 

The next week was Valentine's.  Pete sent me a dozen long-stemmed red roses.  They were SO pretty!  I love getting flowers.  Two days after that I went down to visit Pete.  He was going to school at USU (I had graduated the year before).  On Saturday, February 16, we had plans to go down to his parents' house.  I hadn't had anything to eat that day.  After Pete was done with work, we headed down.  I told him to stop and get something to eat on the way out, and he insisted we stop at a gas station about an hour down the road.  I was so hungry, but all they really had were some nasty hot dogs, with even nastier buns.  Seriously, the bun tasted like sawdust.  Blech.  Pete kept saying, "Oh, we'll eat with my family when we get there."

When we got to his parents' house, they had already eaten and cleaned up.  I was like, "Pete, let's go get something!"  And he's all, "No, no, we'll get something pretty soon."  I was STARVING at this point.  He went upstairs, came back down, and blindfolded me.  He put me in the car, drove around for about 10 minutes (like I knew where he was going in the town that I had been to all of twice before-he could have driven straight to our destination and I wouldn't have known where we were), and then we got out and walked into his brother's house.  He had a candlelight dinner all set up, and his brother Jim was our waiter.  His other brother (Pete has 5 brothers, and 2 sisters) Jeff had made a menu for us.  We ordered the chicken (I think his mom cooked), and the meal was topped with sparkling apple juice.  Jim had also made a romantic songs CD that played while we ate.  It was awesome.

At the end of dinner, Jim brought out two little boxes-one for each of us-that contained an after dinner chocolate.  I suspected the ring was in there.  Sure enough, when I opened my little chocolate box, there was my engagement ring!  I went "Awww, awww," a few times.  Pete and I stood up, and he asked me to marry him.  I said, "Of course!" 

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mirror, Mirror

I can't decide if it's a cool thing that Brock can write his name so it looks like it would in a reflection, or if I should be worried about dyslexia or something.

This isn't the first time he's written his name mirror-image, either.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Thermostat is on Crack

I love fall.  But with the awesome weather comes some not-so-awesome thermostat fiddling.  You know, because it's cold in the morning (I need heat!), then warm in the day (uh oh, too hot-better flip on the a/c), then cold at night again (and back to the heat).  Not that I'm constantly flipping back and forth-I try to either hold out when it's too cold and don a sweatshirt and/or blanket, or just stay a little bit warmer than I would like.

But yesterday it was cold in our house at the kids' bedtime, so I decided to turn on the heat.  Now our downstairs vents are still closed (because we've been mostly on a/c, and if the vents are open then I would have to wear a parka).  I thought nothing of it, because the thermostat was set to turn itself off after reaching a certain temperature.  Pete and I watched a show, exercised, etc.  When I came upstairs, though, I felt like I was stepping into a sauna.  The temperature?  83 degrees!

WHY did the thermostat not kick off?  Dude.  It's done this every once in a while (like three times ever), but I've caught it before it gets too high.  So then I flipped it to a/c. did nothing.  So then I forced it to blow cold air.  We also opened a few windows to try to cool it down even just a little bit.  We slept with the windows open, which means that this morning-you guessed it-it was freezing cold in our house again.

But I didn't dare touch my thermostat, because I didn't want it to do the weird stay-on-even-though-I'm-supposed-to-turn-off thing.  Also?  I don't know where it senses what temperature it says that it's at.  There are times when I am boiling, and it says it's 66 degrees, and times when I'm shivering under a blanket when just the air in the house should keep me warm enough on its own.  What's up with that?

My only conclusion: crack.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Memory Monday: Molten Chocolate Cake

This may not have been the first time I had Molten Chocolate Cake at Chili's, but it's the first time I really remember having it.  Which is weird, because dude.  It's chocolate.  You'd think I'd remember the very first time I tasted this yummy gooey goodness.

Chili's was one of the hot new restaurants to land in beautiful Cache Valley, Utah, when I was in college.  So it was a given that when one of the roommates suggested we eat there, we were all over it.  We invited some of our guy friends to join us, and for some odd reason, Pete was the only one that took us up on the offer.  Yep, Pete was pimping it with 5 very hot women.

When we sat down, Pete ended up sitting across from me at our table, and we were on the end.  Good food, good company.  When the waiter asked if we wanted dessert, I looked at Pete and asked if he wanted to split a Molten Chocolate Cake with me.  He had never had one, so sure, why not.

As we waited for our dessert, we started talking.  And...clicking.  The group conversation became a me-and-Pete conversation.  Rachel, the roommate sitting next to me, had to basically snap us out of our connection.  "Um, hello!  There are four other people sitting here at this table!"  I realized that we had been leaning into the table, eyes completely fixed on the other's.

When the dessert came, we split the cake, halfway down the middle, and pushed the ice cream to the side.  That's how we still do it.

Molten Chocolate Cake had never tasted so sweet.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Memory Monday (Yeah, I know it's Tuesday)

So, I've been wanting to do this for a while, but every Monday comes and goes, and then I think, "Dangit!  I'll start it next week!"  And, I'm tired of missing Monday, so even though I missed Monday again, I'm going to start.....

Memory Monday (Monday, Monday, Monday)

(That's an echo, by the way.  I was trying to make it all announcer-y, so it seems way cool.  Because even though it may not be cool, I'm okay with pretending.)

Hey, now that I'm halfway into this post, maybe I should explain myself, eh?

I have never kept a journal.  Wait, that's not true.  I kept a journal when I was in 8th and 9th grades.  And then I went back and read it, and it was all, "Oh, so-and-so boy looked at me!!!  AUGHH!!!!  I can't believe he looked my way in the hall!  AUGHH!!!!  He is SOOOO CUUUTTTEEE!!"  Yeah, total worthwhile journal.  And I was embarrassed, and never wanted anyone to read it, so...I threw it away.  For real, yo.

I have kept scrapbooks, though.  And I've written what's happened, and some of my thoughts and what-not.  But if I die, what will my kids know about me, my childhood, my thoughts?  They'll have some pictures.  But I wanted to write down some of my memories.

I like to blog (it may not seem like it because the posts are few and far between these days).  It's awesome to catch the moments as they are happening.  But I'm going to try this Memory Monday, so I can reflect back on some of the things that have happened to me, or what I've done, in the hopes of someday putting it all into a journal-esque thing.  And even if my kids don't give a flying crap, I still wanna do it.  I'm hoping to shoot for Mondays on this (off to a great start, huh?).  It may end up being "Memory of the Week", or "Sentimental Tuesday", or "Therapy Thursday"...but for now I'm sticking with Memory Monday.

So, without further ado, my first Memory Monday!

My mom recently reminded me of this event.  When I was a senior in high school, I was applying for college and scholarships and whatnot.  Utah State (Hey! Aggies all the way!) had a scholarship program called University Scholars.  As a senior, you go to Utah State, hang out, and then take a test that's a lot like the SATs.  I've never felt dumber in my whole life as when I took that test.  They gave you an example of "Black is to white as big is to.... a) clothes, b) little, c) green, d) humongous".  Then the actual test question would be "Egregious is to flagrant as vestigial is to... a) some other big word that I don't know the definition of, b) how do you even pronounce that?, c) relic, d) better not mark any answer unless you absolutely know for sure, otherwise guessing wrong gives you negative points!"  Good times.

Anyway, I was pretty nervous to go down and take the test.  And I have never been a morning person.  So we had to wake up really early.  My awesome mom drove me down, and my two younger sisters went with us.  I think we stayed overnight, but I stayed in a hotel room with a few other girls while my mom and sisters stayed elsewhere.  So, Brianna and Alexis were in the back seat, and I was attempting to get a little shuteye in the front seat while making the 2 1/2 hour drive.  And Beej and Lex were fighting over some Elmo toy.  I have no idea why, but whatever.  And my mom kept threatening, "If you don't stop fighting over that toy, I'm going to take it away!  I'll throw it out the window!"  And they would just not stop fighting over it.  At least, that's what it seemed like in my sleep-deprived brain.  So finally, I sat up, rolled down my window, grabbed the Elmo toy without saying a word, and threw it out onto the side of the highway.  I closed the window, and laid my chair back down and attempted to sleep again.

And my sisters were all, blink blink.  Blink.  Jaw drop.

They could not believe that I had the audacity to actually follow through with throwing the toy out the window.  I don't think anyone was expecting that, including myself.  I just...wanted silence.

I remember my mom promising to try and find it later on.  I don't remember if that ever happened, though.

I did not get the University Scholarship (though I got offered a different one).  I did end up going to Utah State.

But I have never really liked Elmo.