Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I have enjoyed having half the day off today and reading all of the 2010 updates our friends and family included in their Christmas cards. I feel inspired to write my own. Here it is. Right now. Let's go.

Bella Rose is a silly, funny, wonderful little person. She loves her big brother so much she can hardly stand that he is a whole 4 years older, thus rendering her unable to be more exactly like him in every way. She is very creative. Her room is full of little toy dioramas she has created out of food boxes, candy wrappers, anything she can find. She can create a game out of a stick and a bar of soap. She says she loves Kitty, Mommy, Aidan and Daddy. She also loves styling outfits for school, reading, counting in French (she's in French immersion) and watching The Wizards of Waverly Place. But her favorite thing ever is to play video games with Aidan. She learned to ride a bike this year and loved riding to school. She does not like hearing she looks like Scarlett Johansson, yams, cat scratches, being asked if her curls are real, raisins or bees. She has to play at someones house EVERY day. It's a sad day for Bella when her friend Aubrey can't play. She hates the word, "no" more than any living human I've ever met.

Aidan is a kind hearted, tender old soul. He enjoyed "ski school" a lot and Aunt Jen said she could forgive him for learning snowboarding instead of skiing. He has upgraded from playing the recorder to playing the clarinet. He has read everything. Seriously, everything. He reads four or five books a month and loves The Far Side in the interm. His future consists of him living alone in a small apartment with no furniture and books everywhere like Will Hunting. He loves video games to an unhealthy degree and I would be more concerned but he wants to be a game programmer one day and is taking an auxiliary programming class three times a week. He also loves Cheezits, Kitty Jane and balloons. He is very good at expressing himself. A lot. All day long. He finds the unexpected shouting of random silly words to be the height of hilarity. His favorites are "Cheese", "Peanut-butter" and "Eyelid." He does not like Mommy working, our dog Nigel most times, being too broke to go to the pharmacy for candy and the smell of coffee.

At the beginning of the year Brett was Freddy in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (the part Steve Martin played in the film) and he loved every minute of it. Well, except for the minutes he held live goldfish in his mouth. And those few minutes in rehearsal that he broke his ribs prat falling over a fence. He did love the chiropracty sessions that came after to align the broken ribs, though. He is still happily employed at Solution X and working with his brother Rodger making Internet magic for MLM clients. Brett enjoyed all of the amazing improv shows he performed in, being home with the kids while I worked (I like to pretend he did), playing his MORPGs or whatever they are called and being a social networker. He is challenged by, but enjoys, teaching his Sunday school class. He hates, but is a good sport about, how close he came to taking everyone at work in their fantasy football league, cleaning our dog's ears, having the kids touch his face, the cat meowing at the crack of dawn and his sister Kristen being sick.

At the beginning of 2010 I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease called Hashimotos. It was a huge relief to find I had a real medical issue making me feel the way I was. It's an ongoing process to get feeling normal, and some shoots are a lot harder than others, but it's an amazing realization to make about yourself. That much of who you are is not just spiritual but physical and somewhat out of your control. I was able to Art Direct a film this Summer called Wes and Ella and it was an amazing experience. I did miss my 20th class reunion due to rescheduling the shooting days, but I see almost everyone on Facebook anyway. I am grateful to the guys at Rivetal and Sorenson who were understanding about me taking a month and a half off to do the film. I'm grateful they still hired me back when the process was all over considering how capable my replacement, Dawn, is. I have loved the days I do get to be with the kids and walk them to school. I enjoy my church calling and the amazing people in our ward. We live in a wonderful neighborhood. So wonderful I keep convincing people to move here. I'm super grateful for the friendships we have made. I love our kids will grow up with these amazing people around them. (See: Ivie/Gardner and Clark families.) I love watching the kids be so much better at school work than I was. They're speaking languages and playing instruments like I wished I could. I enjoyed volunteering at Bella's class and meeting her friends. I didn't love having moles scraped from all over my body on two separate occasions this year and having minor surgery to remove "suspicious" skin on my knee. (Still have the stitches. They haven't melted just grown out through the skin, one knot at a time.) I also didn't love getting dressed in the dark most working days. But after getting an iPhone with a flashlight app, I'm set. I also didn't love gaining weight but it's par for the Hashimotos course and it could have been worse, some people in my condition gain far more than I have. Since the only mirrors in our house are situated over sinks, it makes it a lot easier not to care.

Our whole family loves swimming at the Lindon Pool, looking up talking cats on YouTube, Merritt Wellness Days, the trip we took to Disneyland (the first for the kids), Adventure Time on Cartoon Network, reading Harry Potter before bedtime, hitting 5 Guys or SmashBurger before a movie, the Freedom Festival and our new Honda Element (it happily replaced Brett's old white car that smells of gas and exhaust) and doing a family jig every time we paid off a debt. We collectively did not enjoy being sick, our lawn, the condition of our house, Charmin's "Enjoy the Go" commercials, the rain on Halloween and seeing multiple big huge hairy butt cracks while eating (or not) at the State Fair.

We look forward to paying off more debt, fixing up the house and having new family pictures taken. We pray we get to enjoy more of the little things that make us happy like being with family, riding bikes, dancing in Aidan's room after dinner, Brett singing his own words to "A Whole New World" while flying the kids to their beds and summer days spent playing in the sprinkler. We also pray for big, miraculous things like another little Merritt around and Kristin's total wellness. But as I get older I realize what a gift every day is and to be grateful for whatever comes. But I'd sure be grateful if what came was a truck full of tools.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hooked on Social Networking Does Not Work for Me.

My bestie and I used to call one another and talk about a mutual friend's blog. I am sure we all know a blog like it. Her house looked perfect and her kids looked perfect and she looked perfect and she had this mock humility like, "It's not much, but it's home!" And here it's a professionally decorated mansion. I know. So I quit reading blogs because in the words of my dear old college friend Allyse, "People with big houses just make people with little houses feel bad." Which is funny because she lives in a big gorgeous house now.

So after a few weeks of long shooting days I found myself back on some social networking sites looking to reconnect with my friends. I read what was going on and just asked myself, what was I hoping to find? What was I doing on here? What was I hoping to contribute? I felt like what I was looking for was not going to be had on these networking sites. I have felt that way before but never mixed with such a huge sadness. Maybe it was the memory of the wonderfully fun dinner parties we have been able to attend this year. Maybe I was feeling like that was what I needed and I was hoping for that kind of connection to occur upon my return via computer. But you know, that's impossible. I realized today that what I wrote about it on Twitter was not 100 percent what I was feeling but it's hard to pour out your heart in 140 characters, even though we certainly all do try to, don't we Twihards?

So here is what I am feeling. I want more human interaction. With you. I want to get into people's hearts and find out what they really need and what I really can do for them and for crying out loud let's connect on a human level. I'm tired of the quality of communication that takes place. I am tired of wading through the unending unhappiness people feel being spewed out in the comments they make on friend's blogs and FB status updates. Even in the comments on the silliest of little cat videos on Youtube there is just a butt load of this...mental graffiti. I'm tired of having "conversations" that are disjointed and misunderstood and most of all, conversations that would never take place in real life. I am appalled at the things we say to one another through the filter of the computer. And I'm tired of the collective goal feeling like it's 100% about self promotion and who ever promotes his or her self the best wins. What do we win?

Now whether or not you are guilty of this is for you to judge. I have been guilty of it. Totally. And especially at first when I thought it was cheeky. Kind of naughty and clever to be bold and outspoken. I feel stupid about it now. Much like how I feel about myself from about 21 years of age to 33 years of age, when most of what I did and most of my interactions with adults took place with a buzz on. Drinking never did anything for me and plenty against me. I would say the same is true for my experience social networking. I did meet some good people. It's true. But who's to say we would not share a better quality of friendship were we to meet outside the interwebs? I think we would. My bestie Jules and I met face to face at a Thrillionaires show. We very rarely read each other's blogs, even though we do talk to one another about them. We rarely comment on each other's Facebook status. We talk on the phone nearly every day, and we see each other in person. I love her and right after my husband she's my best friend.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Taking Ownership.

We bought our house during the bubble. Had we waited another 6-9 months to buy we would have probably gotten this house for a song. That is, if we had wanted this house and if we had been able to get a loan with what we made. We got our loan approved back when they were handing them out like fliers. My point being, we bought during the bubble and while I hate the word "victim" we fell "that word" to the falsely inflated market because we thought it was what we had to do to be owners.

We both have wanted to be home owners our whole lives. When the rest of you as kids were probably nestled in your beds having your parents read you bedtime stories and making you cookies in the house you were raised in from birth or at least toddlerhood, my husband and I were probably packing up our things for the 18th time. I do not make that number up, both Brett and I moved about 30 times before we turned 30. Let's talk about how much stuff you have after you pack up that many times and move. Let me tell you, you become light. Those boxes of your art work from kindergarten and plaster imprints of your hands and class pictures? That stuff is the first to go. I tried to save those things. My ten year old moved 6 times before he was 8. Bella, 3 times in 4 years. That is if you don't count the 2 times I loaded a moving van by myself while I was pregnant with her. If you do, then 5 times. This house is the longest my kids have lived...anywhere. I lived in Wisconsin then moved to Iowa then back to Wisconsin then here to Utah. Once here, I moved from house to house within the school district so no one really knew how much I was moving unless we were good friends. Then you knew. You knew how I lived at friends houses and in neighbors basements and garages. In places we would sometimes have to pay for by giving away things. In order to try and stay in a house for just three extra months once, my grandmother gave a man the deed to some land she owned and could never convince anyone to develop. That land is now called Traverse Mountain.

Brett moved from state to state more than I did but he similarly lived in garages and basements and other people's houses and was essentially homeless. (I think I have him beat with the few months I had a cot in a potato cellar with a microwave as my headboard, so I woke up every morning to, *ding, smack*, but I wasn't there to see some of the basements he lived in.) So knowing the kind of pain and fear that comes with homelessness we wanted to buy a home as soon as possible to prevent this from being "us". I am sure for most people buying a home is about making a wise investment and having something that will gain equity over time to help to pad your retirement nest egg or whatever. For us, it was about our children never wondering where they were going to sleep that night and trying to do better for our kids than our parents had done for us and having something that no one could ever, ever take away from us. So you know how desperate I am when I say I am considering having someone take it away from us. We are looking at making a strategic default. LOOKING AT. Don't get all excited...

And don't judge me. If you bought at a time when the market was boasting a false price, you know how cheated you feel. And if you don't, I feel cheated. People that I will not ever get my hands on decided to pretend houses were worth a crazy amount and we were all forced to pay it if we wanted a house. We wanted a house like anything. Brett and I didn't leverage ourselves and buy a huge house on an ARM like people were telling us we could, we set a realistic budget and bought a normal sized piece of crap house that was pretty much the only thing we could find in our decided price range. Sure there were houses for less, but they were two bedroom 1,000 square foot houses in West Valley. Not that this is why we would ever default, just because we were bitter about losing equity. And not because our house payment could buy us a 400,000 house in today's market. Not even that.

When I came to look at this house the first time it had been listed for about a half an hour. I was in the car on my way south to look at another house and got the call to come see it. My agent said it would be gone in 24 hours. I drove down but we couldn't get in, the parents weren't home, so we just looked around the outside. Three guys in black BMWs pulled up and tried to muscle their way in past the children who were home alone. That made the renters and the owners mad, we found out later, mad enough not to want to sell to them. My agent and I watched these idiots for a while when unexpectedly the owner showed up with a handyman. She happened to park by me so I began talking to her. She liked me because I had lived down the street. I didn't tell her I have lived down every street in Utah County, I let her dream. Our realtor told me if we somehow won the bidding war that was sure to happen with the BMW guys there was a friend of his that would buy it from us sight unseen for 10 grand more than we bought it for. We said no. Am I kicking myself now? Sure. But our answer was that we wanted a house, the house we never got to have as kids, to give to our children. A place to live without someone throwing us out on a moments notice because A. They sold the house, or B. Because their cousin/sister/friend was getting married and they were giving the house to them to rent/buy/lease or C. They went through an awful divorce/financial period/bankruptcy and decided to quit paying your rent money to the bank or D. They wanted to start parking their car inside for the winter. We wanted to raise our family and grow old in a house for a change was our answer at the time.

Our agent knew a guy that did appraisals. A friend of his. This is a huge no-no if you were wondering. They pretty much sell you on the house as a team because one hand washes the other in this scenario. They told us certain things would be easy to fix, that our home owners insurance would cover a new 15,000 dollar heating system and that we didn't need a mold test. The house was being rented by hoarders so much of our home inspection reads, "Can not see (floor/walls/ceiling) to make full assessment." The renters told me of a toilet upstairs that broke and ran for an entire day and that the shower downstairs dripped badly for over a year. Every single door had been kicked in. It smelled and had muppett blue carpet EVERYWHERE. Were there huge red flags? Yes. But walking immediately into 70,000 in equity...how big could that red flag appear? Very small. Like a Barbie sized flag. And not even red. More like watermelon. And not even a flag. More like a scrap. Like a very little bit of watermelon Barbie yarn.

I worked on the house tirelessly in the beginning of our ownership. Then I slowed down. I thought it was because I was losing motivation to do it. I had energy one day and spent it tearing out carpet strips when I found the mold. We sealed up the downstairs. Then we tore the moldy drywall and paneling and base molding out and dealt with it ourselves to save 6 grand. And then it just sat, torn up. It's been like this for years. And I began to become successful in my job. And I began to continue to gain weight and sleep a lot and get sad and overwhelmed and in general my body began to act weird. And then I found out I had a rare disease. So we had some medical bills. Not too many but enough. We looked into Loan Modification and the company we gave our money to went out of business right after we paid them. We were very lucky that Steve Andrus has a lot of integrity because he worked his butt off and paid us back every red cent after a just few months time. We have had over 20 construction/handy men/contractor guys come look at the house. They all somehow stop returning our calls and just disappear. When I told that to the last construction guy, Jordan, he just laughed and said, "Are you scaring them away or something?" I said, "I think so, yes." He said, "You look tired. You look tired while talking about this." I am tired. I am just to the bones and soul tired. And so overwhelmed I wish I could explain what it feels like. I don't think you can imagine the stress and pain unless you have gone through something like this on your own for a few years. I am grateful for having a roof over our heads, I am. I am grateful for the people I work with that keep hiring me and are loyal and kind and fun and wise. I am grateful for having had such huge help with our kitchen and the miracle that that was. I am grateful to friends that offer advice and offer to help. It's just not possible to accomplish. I don't have a week anymore to have friends come over to help me. I work every day now so I won't begin something I can't finish. I don't have the physical energy either. I can't keep showing people what we need to do on our house over and over again. I can't keep living with it like this. I'm at rock bottom, folks.

As you go about your day, opening your doors without thinking about them, ask yourself what it would be like to have to yank repeatedly on that door to get it to open, dozens of times every day, every day for years. Or have it just one day fall off it's hinges. As you go about your day breathing in and out ask what it would be like to know your air quality is equal to living in the everglades. Or as you walk your deck stairs ask what it would be like to have to watch every single person that uses those stairs, every time they use them because there is a stair missing and the dog/neighbor's kid/your nephew almost fell through. This Thanksgiving when you sit with your family eating turkey and watching football on the couch imagine after cooking for two days you kiss your family goodbye, put on a coat and go out with a rented industrial paint sprayer and paint your entire house in order to take advantage of the free day you get renting equipment through Home Depot on a Holiday weekend. When you plug in your hair appliance/phone charger/laptop does it fall out of the outlet, two or three times during the course of you using it? Mine do. I just lost a ton of changes on this blog post alone after the laptop unplugged. Imagine crying for two hours while tearing out a bathroom floor after spending an entire day working on it, only to find you did it wrong and have to do it all over again. Imagine laying in bed wondering if your kids are breathing in gas from the pipe leaks. Imagine fighting and praying your way through a situation that was going to be so easily taken care of by a simple construction loan you could get with your 70,000 equity that no longer exists and never really did. Imagine working strenuous 17 hour days for weeks on end and finally coming home to a day off that is filled with the need for more physical labor. You fight that fight with your broken body for three years while being a wife and mother and holding a calling in your ward and throw in there a crazy mother and some mole removal then stir that all up in a pot with some loved ones fighting cancer and losing your dear Grandmother that raised you. After you do that, why don't you think of all of those things that I bet you take for granted day after day for being easy, that I have to deal with year after year, then you tell me if I am being immoral for considering a strategic default on an inflated loan on an arbitrary amount that was doled out under pretense by greedy succubi. You live in my shoes. In this house. Then you judge.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

More Moley

I am scraping the asbestos off my ceiling yesterday when I get a phone call from the Dermatologist's office. I am wondering why they are calling me for the second time in as many days. I answer and listen to a girl who can't be more that 19 try and talk to me in a language she doesn't understand and seems excited to be using in front of another grown-up. She tells me about the kind of mole the lab said was on my left arm and then she tells me about the mole on my thigh.

I ask confused, "My thigh?" She says yes. I tell her that the mole on my thigh was removed a few months ago, does she mean for certain the one on my thigh or the one on my knee? She mouth breathes for a second and says, "Uhm...the one on your knee..." I explain that indeed, that one was removed during my last visit. She is surprised by this. She says that if it's already removed not to worry about it. We hang up.

She calls me back three minutes later. She says again, it needs to be removed. I say, "Why am I removing something that isn't there anymore?" I continue, "My knee had a questionable mole recently removed, it was being sent out for a second opinion, it was on my left leg. Your doctor removed it last visit. IS this the mole we are talking about?" She sits for a second and sort of goes, "Yeeeahh the one on your knee." She's not sounding too sure. They need to have it excised and I need to come in and have it removed. I slap my hand to my forehead. "I did have it removed." "You did?" "Yes." "When?" "When I was there last." "On the 24th?" "Yes, exactly, on the 24th." Inhale. Exhale. "Oh. Mkaaay. Uhm, hang on a second." She puts me on hold. I'm sort of enjoying this now. She gets back on the line. "Uhm you need to come back and they need to do it again because of the cells. Because it's (Insert type of cell here) and they need to take them all out and make sure they are all out." I tell her I am totally lost. I ask if I am supposed to come in and do it now while my stitches are still in there or wait until it heals up and come back in to be re-opened or what. And she goes, "Uhm, hang on." I can tell she's getting someone else to help me this time. Sure enough another older voice comes on the line and begins with a slightly impatient and condescending tone, but not terribly so. "Hi, you aren't understanding something..?" I bluntly say, "Yes, actually, your girl there didn't understand what she was saying to me and so I didn't understand what she was saying to me." She sort of laughs and then explains it to me. They did what is called a "punch". What I gather is that when you do one of these punches, you are hoping that some cells are the bad changing into cancer cells and that the ones at the bottom of this core sample of cells will be clean so you know you got it all. Mine were all bad. They didn't get enough skin. So they have to go back in. So I ask when. They can't take me until the 13th. I am now shooting this day so I have to push it some more, which means I unfortunately will be all healed up just in time to be cut open all over again. Hooray. Also, I have to go in after they see their regular day time clients because I guess what I am doing is considered "surgery" and their surgery clients come at the end of the day. So they thoughtfully go about their day getting all nice and exhausted for their surgery patients who come in somewhere after what I am hoping is their 3:00 Starbucks run. Thankfully there was no mention about my butt mole. She hangs up. I go on scraping my ceiling.

She calls back. Do I take any blood thinners? No. We hang up. I scrape. She calls back. Did the last girl explain about the mole on my arm? Yes. Hang up. I stared at the phone for a good two hours before relaxing, realizing there would be no more phone calls. And then it hit me.

Do I have cancer?

I call her. Do I have cancer? No. I have cells that are in the process of making bad "changes". Sometimes these changes can become cancer and sometimes they go in for surgery and find the cancer in the skin beneath the changing mole cells, so it's good to be sure and get it all out just in case. Got it. I don't have cancer. As far as she knows.

What a relief.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Holy Moley

I am a moley person. I have a lot of moles. My mother tried to put a spin on them by calling them "beauty marks" but how beautiful are they when that same woman kept thinking one on your bum was a fleck of poo when you were a baby and would try and wipe it off? Every time I see a new one on BR's little body I just say, "We need more sun screen on you." My son on the other hand is translucent. His freckles freckle. Still, I don't try and spin it by going around telling him they are angel kisses. But I digress...

My first trip to see Dr Stone a few months ago he looked me over and found some moles that were needing to be removed and a few to watch. He scraped them and I was surprised at how little they hurt at the time and how much they hurt later after the local wore off. Some time after it's over I get a call from the Dr's office. Two of my moles came back from the lab as pre-cancerous. I am like, whatever, I have irregular pap smears every time. Every time. They tell me that if any moles they scrape actually reappear, to call them immediately. They do. So I do. And three days ago I went back in.

I stupidly think, I'm here so they can look at the moles that came back. They're gonna look at them. And see them. So they can tell if later they need to remove them. I wear loose pants and a loose shirt so they can get a look at these moles they wanna see. And while they are discussing all of these things, "This one we need to burn off again, this ones fine,"...I'm thinking..."OK later when I come back they can do that." He wants to know if there are any other moles any where on my whole entire body that might possibly have escaped our mine sweep last time. And then I remember. My poo mole. I tell him that my Mom used to try and wipe one that is on my bum. Because it looked like poo. He is very interested in the poo mole and wants to see it. I tell him I have no idea where it is. He says no problem what will happen is that I will get a drape and the nurse will locate it and then they will come in and the drape will be torn just so and all they will be able to see is the mole. I picture in my head the position a baby is in to have a butt change and I sort of lose my breath. Ankles at my ears? Oh no way.

The nurse drops the table cloth on my lap and I shout, "We're doing this NOW?" And to her credit she just says, "Yep." I'm like, "But I didn't shower. I've been reading Mockingjay all morning." She has a wipe for me. I ask to use the bathroom where I take a spit bath and cross my fingers. She tells me she wants me to disrobe and cover with the cloth and wait. While waiting my imagination runs wild. I had not mentally prepared for this. For any of this.

I have a moment to take off my pants and then I realize I can leave my shirt on. Which is super awkward. It's what Mr Merritt calls "Donald Ducking." I sit on the end of the table and wait. She comes back in and tells me I can lay face down. I exhale. She tears a hole in the paper and goes hunting. She is looking...around...pretty closely...and doing a...pretty thorough job. And she says, "I don't see it". I tell her, "I wish I could help you." I just know it's around there somewhere. She looks on the outer cheek area and pokes me. "Oh, It's just right there." I drop my head. Then she says, "Oh, there is a little hair in it, let me get it." And I feel a tiny, PING. And I say, "You did not just pull a hair out of my butt mole." She says that she figured I would rather it be her than the doctor. And just when I finish thinking how I actually would rather have not ever known I had a butt mole hair at all, the air conditioning kicks in and my entire drape just simply lifts up...and blows away. I am now on the table. Butt up. Naked as a jay bird. The nurse leaves the room faster than I have ever seen someone exit a room in my life, and I know it's to laugh. I can not fault her that.

I pick up the drape, lay down and try and adjust the hole in the paper over the approximate area she poked with her finger, then I securely tuck it under me. It's a long while before anyone comes back in. They are glad to see the poo mole, they aren't super concerned but since it's on my hiney they feel I should scrape it now to avoid having to come in and drop trou every single visit I have. I agree wholeheartedly with that. In total, they re-scrape moles on my rear, my arm, my chest and my knee. On my inner left leg they took some kind of core sample of skin that looked like a small gummy worm and then stitched me back up and told me not to do anything or go anywhere or get wet for a couple of days.

I immediately called Brett and Julia and told them the entire story. And then I laid down in bed and read the rest of Mockingjay wondering how she could handle big injuries when I couldn't even handle four stitches and some gratuitous nudity. I am no Katniss Everdeen. I wasn't even about to re-tell this story EVER but I realized that if my good friend was brave enough to tell her story of Manhattan and Friday the 13th here: http://www.jetsetcarina.com/ I could tell my tiny little doctor story. Enjoy.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wes and Ella: Day Seven.

I am no longer processing information well. I stopped for gas and fell asleep behind the wheel. I had my front door ajar and my mouth totally open. I woke up and saw some people staring at me, probably wondering if I was alive. I had a dream I died in a nuclear explosion last night. I felt my body fall away from me and I was at peace.

I had heard a couple of weeks ago while I was on set that Chelsey was in remission and while on set this week I found out she has another tumor. I took a break and called her and we cried and got caught up. I couldn't believe it had been over 3 weeks since we talked. In total she has gotten rid of four tumors. One in her brain, one in her lung, two in her spine. The new one is also in her spine and she has a bulge there that they are watching. She's responding well to an alkaline diet, whatever that is.

We had a bit of rare family drama that was a nightmare and a half but it was resolved. I had to bring down the hammer. I have a zero "mess with my kids" tolerance policy. No matter who you are. (To clarify, it was NOT Brett!! He's a great Dad.) That is as much as I'm going to go into it.

Today was a gorgeous day on set and I am learning things every day. I feel tired but so blessed. My assistant Jeramey is kicking hiney, working really hard. Things are coming together. I wish I had done certain things differently but there are also some things I am really proud of.

I need a full nights sleep and to get the art installation "yurt" done and then I will feel 100%. I'm in love with this process. We're making art.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wes and Ella: Day One.

Everything on my body hurts. Art Dept went into overtime on Sat. 17.5 hours. And I didn't even get to clear out two locations because they locked up and I couldn't get in to clean them so I have to go tonight. I have slivers that I can't see. I wore Ebony stain splatter on my leg to church today. I fell soundly asleep in Sacrament. I accidentally wrote Bella's name on Brett's Father's Day card. I'm already behind on my massive schedule of things to do. My house is a royal total mess. I have nothing left in my budget but more props to get. Nancy told me (I think) she is recommending me as a teacher in some new Sunday School class but I didn't EVEN understand the conversation as it went. Are these my fingers?

I can't wait to do it again tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wes and Ella

Today I grabbed lunch with Jules who is not only the only girl best friend that I have but pretty much the only girl best friend I have ever had. At least since High School. You can read Blondecanary.blogspot.com to find out about her, but it's not as awesome as who she is in real life. She is helping out with the graphic stuff for the film we start shooting in 2 days. (Gulp.) So we are talking about movies and if I may share her personal stuff with out her permission, we were sharing experiences we have had at the movies where we sat at the end of a film, even a mediocre one, and thought to ourselves...how? How does that become a part of my life? How do I get to do that? She is an actress of much rapport and talent so I can see how she can watch a film and think, I can do that. I look at a film and think, could I do that??

I'm about to find out. Last November I turned down doing a couple of films. I've made no secret of why, but I just couldn't bring myself so sign off. I agreed to do one film without reading the script because I know the filmmakers. The second film was shooting at the same time so I had to say no since I thought I was booked. Then I read the first fim's script. I couldn't get behind it. So I said no, again. This was not easy for the reason before mentioned. Not many people would recall this... (Julia did, which is a part of why we are good friends...the short hand is awesome) but when the film "Once" won Best Original Song at the Oscars, Glen Hansard said "Make art!" I remember taking in that moment. And thinking how great it was that a group of folks got together with little more than the desire to make art, and totally succeeded. This is why I'm doing Wes and Ella. And believe me, there have been times when I have not been sure how it is going to happen with the little time and money we have. An then I talked to Jules and she reminded me. I am doing it to make art. And yeah, I'm losing out on other work with the Rivetal crew that I love and yeah I'm getting paid less and working waaaay more hours, but I am doing it for reasons I can get behind. I want to shoot a lovely couple hopping on a train to nowhere and slow dancing in an industrial park and talking about death while folding laundry. I can't say why other than that I am hoping we make art.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Brett Merritt is the Bomb Dot Com.

And now for a public thank you. Thank you so much, Bret Merritt. I think I will cry for a couple of weeks every time I see you knowing that you think all of those nice things you wrote about me on your blog. The kids asked me to read it out loud to them and they seconded some points and gave me big hugs and made me cry even harder. That was the best Mother's Day gift I could ever, ever ask for and there is no way you could have guessed the kids would also be so cute about it and make it that much more special. I love you very much. I'm glad we're forever.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Insert Cheesy Theme Song Here.

We knew that in April we had to pay for our Jeep or we would risk paying huge lease penalties for being over our miles. We leased back when we had another good car and lived in SLC. Then that other car had issues, we moved to Provo, I started commuting and the mileage became just mountainous. So Brett did some research and found we had to pay off one of our debts in total because our debt to income ratio was just a hair over where it should be and we couldn't get a car loan. Now, we knew this was happening. We knew we had a deadline with the car. But we also knew we were going to Disneyland and we also knew we had our taxes coming up so we planed for those two things and I really just thought I had to let the chips fall where they may on the car thing. This is where I think paying tithing pays back in enormous ways. I could probably have sat down and calculated how to handle this situation in the same way I calculated and slowly saved for our Disney trip. But I really didn't. To be honest, It kept going out of my mind. Brett once texted me and said that we had a week to buy our car but I could not for the life of me picture how that was going to look, how that was going to happen. The day before we had to buy the Compass I got done with work and the thought came to me that I should stop by TMG and drop off some of my invoices. When I got there they said they had a check for me and a check for Brett. I had just gotten one in the mail a couple days before so I was shocked. I told them they couldn't possibly have another one for me since I had just gotten paid for three. The check I got in the mail had three invoice numbers on it so TMG had combined them into one BIG check. Which was unexpected. As was getting paid again so soon. (Keep in mind I'm on about a two month payment lag with TMG so I sometimes lose track of what's coming to me from two months ago...) I took the checks from TMG to the bank and that was when I noticed the checks were both under my name instead of one being for Brett like I thought. So we had one extra. I then asked for my savings balance which was HUGE. I asked how that could possibly be, and realized at the same time the teller said it out loud that we had gotten our tax return electronically. I also had another check auto-deposited that same day from Cosmic Pictures. I took it, put it all together and paid off the remaining balance to our consolidation loan that we had outstanding with our bank. After paying it off, they said Brett had the right debt to income ratio to turn around and get a car loan to pay off our lease. So on the very last day of our lease we dropped the consolidation loan payment that was almost 400 dollars and the car lease payment that was almost 400 and got one payment of 230.00 at a better rate. I know.

My friend Chelsey and I got together and started this website a while back. www.blackhoneyvintage.com We both love vintage to an insane degree and we had both always wanted to have a store. We were having fun getting everything going. About the same time we found that we were having trouble balancing lives and our families and friends (she's single) and our demanding full time jobs. Well her full time job at Adobe. My...sometimes full time job. I just found it interesting that for whatever reason I could not get anywhere on a business plan. I am getting used to the kinds of things like the story above occurring when something is meant to be. And there was that swimming upstream feeling instead of that happening without me feeling like what went down with the car. We both didn't have to say anything to one another we just both slowly ran out of steam trying to manage our lives. The web site sort of fell by the wayside. Then here we are down the road and I just found out I have this auto-immune disease and in the last month of feeling better I have wondered if the dream could come back to life. And then I got a text from Chelsey saying that she was starting chemo. I will respect her privacy and just say that she has a rare form of cancer and she is doing great considering. She sounds like she has a great doctor and her family and friends and ward are there for her. I'm so impressed with her strength. I am also amazed at how perfect God is. If we had not let the business idea drop...I don't know. I can just see that the idea was a good one but it wasn't in the cards. And a year ago it just faded away because it needed to and no ones feelings were hurt. I praise God. Once again. Only he can see around corners.

I have been adjusting my own meds. Like I said I might. I have been taking one and cutting one in half. I feel amazing. I am so grateful to everyone that said, in a nutshell, don't listen to the nurse...do what you need to do. I need to take 75mg. And it's meant everything. I haven't lost weight, but I don't cry in my sweats on the couch over a bowl of cereal every time I have a crappy day. If I don't feel great, I take it in stride and I find I feel great soon. My attitude is back to its normal unrealistic level. Meaning I still think I can do everything and accomplish everything and to a silly unrealistic level which is just the kind of irresponsible denial I like in myself.

The other day I saw on Facebook my cousin's status and it read something about how he felt that nothing ever seemed to work out for him. I felt like that all of the time about ten years ago. The mojo I have going on now is exactly what I always wanted and always wondered how to obtain. I had no idea that it was a blessing that came with following commandments. This is why we are given commandments. So that we can have this kind of flow. To hear Chelsey's story is further testimony about what happens when you turn your life around. She did. And not only has she caught this thing early but she has told me about six stories all intricately woven together about how she has been blessed with everything from medical insurance to having the money already in savings to use to pay her medical bills to having a ready collection of gorgeous vintage scarves. And her hair hasn't even fallen out, yet. I am in awe. I am amazed. I am baffled at how much God loves us. We give so little and get back 10,000 fold. I pay 10% but I have had the windows of heaven open up and dump blessings down on my family, just like is promised. I am happy to see where this next year leads. I'm grateful for Chelsey and ask you pray for her and that she will be strong through her treatments. And please also pray for her roommate, her cousin Cat. Cat watched her father die of cancer. It's a lot to go through again for her. Especially since there are two other members of their family with cancer. It's been a tough year for them.

As for our little family we are excited for Disneyland coming up and celebrating Bella's Birthday there, Brett's Birthday in Vegas, our 4 year Anniversary in June. With all of this going on I'll try and check back in here before August.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Self Medicating.

I called to talk to the Doctor today to ask some questions about myself and Brett. Brett also went in to have some blood tests done, now that we're all paranoid that something can be wrong with you and you don't even know it.

I got the nurse on the phone that "helped" me before. The one that has Hashimoto's also. I told her that I wanted to know how this process works and if I needed to set an appointment for three weeks from now to discuss my levels or whatever. She said no. No. N-O. She started talking about my levels but I didn't understand her. So I asked her what they were anyway, and she told me, TSH 4.270 the first test. TSH 4.550 the second test. Which is not off by much. And T4s .98 which IS NORMAL. NORMAL. I told her about how the first week on my meds were amazing and how I felt so perfectly back to normal for me. She said, "Oh I know. It's just the bump of hormones that makes you feel good and then you go back to the way you were before." I am now crying my eyes out and probably will for a couple of months which is when they told me to come back in. Because I am not going back in to check my levels until June. JUNE. J.U.N.E.

She said my levels weren't that off so I need to be on a lower dosage. She said the doctor put me on them at all because they found I had Hashimotos and that Kevin is just trying to thwart it early on.

I am now faced with the fact that this horrible depression and anxiety and lethargy and overwhelm-ed-ness are my reality. For the rest of my life. And will only get worse. All I can say to you, dear reader, is that if you take your sweet and lovely reality for granted, there is a special place in my hell for you. Because not only am I jealous of you for functioning just fine but you don't even appreciate it. I am considering self medicating to a point where *I* feel better and say screw them for using some medical test to determine that and not whether or not I actually freaking feel any better. If I have to continue on like this I will fall the hell apart sometime at the end of April.

And I totally forgot to ask any and all questions related to Brett's tests I was so angry and upset. Sorry, B.

Monday, April 5, 2010

I should have known.

Since nothing can ever be easy, I should have known. The meds have stopped doing anything and I am back about where I started. I now can see exactly how this is going to go. I will take some meds, I will feel awesome until my body acclimates to the drugs and then I will feel myself slide back to where I was, almost. I will do this for a few months to get the hormone levels right. I do find I have a teensy bit more energy but I am not feeling like I did the first three or four days on the meds. I probably won't feel great all the time like that, but I won't feel back to the way I did entirely either. I will, after a roller coaster of emotion that won't be real, find myself a spot somewhere in the middle of awesome and totally in the toilet. So on the one hand I'm grateful there will be progression but on the other hand I have seen what it would be like to live in a total state of nirvanna and I won't get to have that as my every day reality. Do some people get to live like that every day? Do they know how lucky they are??

But I can't feel sorry for myself. I mean I *can* but I will be mad at myself if I do. It's not like I have cancer. At least so far. I had two moles come back iffy and they are being "watched". I told Brett that would figure. He said it would be the icing on my recent poop cake. I said I should just get Cancer, the Ebola virus, and pregnant with a Downs baby. He said that the baby part would be fine, since they are really sweet kids. I had to agree, that part would not be so bad. Especially since he agreed he would be the one to stay home and take care of it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Arigato Gozaimasu, Mr Hashimoto.

So I got the blood tests back and I have something called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. It's an auto-immune disease that is not curable. It's where your immune system attacks parts of your thyroid thinking it is not a part of your body but foreign antibodies and must be destroyed. So I go through bouts of Hyper and Hypothyroidism depending on how Mr Hashimoto is feeling and what part of my thyroid he has his pudgy little hands around.

This explains...well everything. The Nurse that gave me the news also has it. She said I could have had this for five to ten years without ever knowing it. Some people go undiagnosed until they can't get out of bed and are so depressed they seek medical attention. Other people that have it get diagnosed improperly with things like Bi-polar Disorder and Depression and Anxiety. (Or in my case ADHD, but he wasn't a real doctor. I digress.) I am glad that really the worst of it, the energy loss and the over sleeping and the depression and the weight gain were within the last two to two and a half years or so. (Poor Brett, we've been married for three.) She also then told me the meds would not make me feel any better. I cried for a whole day.

Well. Day one on the meds was like someone had flipped on a light switch. I cleaned the house. The whole house, and it didn't seem overwhelming. I made dinner then put the left overs away and then did the dishes and then made cookies and then cleaned the kitchen. Like a normal person. And I did the laundry and played with the kids. And raked he leaves. Bella threw a fit and I let her and it didn't bother me. I was like, ain't-no-thing-but-a-chicken-wing about stuff that used to send me over the top. My quality of life was back to normal. Day two was even more interesting. I went to my presidency meeting and I noticed an amazing thing. Where before my calling made me feel super nervous, left me guessing and second guessing every move I made and feeling confused and fearful (all of these things a more self aware person would probably recognize as anxiety), all of these emotions were just...gone. I didn't worry about saying something stupid or talking at the wrong time or sounding dumb. It was all just, peace. I do have one negative side effect, however. I am feeling a little manic. Less stable. Like I am piloting a paper airplane of emotions. I noticed that when something strikes me as sad I well up straight away. If something makes me mad I will rant about it and get more and more excited until I am nearly frenzied. I freaked out on my Mom about holistic medicine last night, sorry Mom, and then Brett and I had a big conversation this morning about politics in Utah where I just escalated into a raving nut ball. (Mmmm, I love raving nut balls but they are like 600 calories.) I hope this part levels off.

Speaking of calories, I can't eat. On the first day I sat down to eat three crunchy tacos and ate two and a half. I tried some tortilla chips. The chips tasted super salty and I had to stop. Oh, and I ate a couple jalapenos and I was amazed at how hot they were. I used to eat them with everything. I felt after dinner like I was going to explode. I was like Thanksgiving Day style full. It didn't stop me from eating oatmeal cookies later though and I got even sicker. I can't eat like I used to. Food just looks uninteresting to me now, which is how I used to be my whole life. It's nice to have that back and not have this insatiable and ever present desire to eat my face off every hour. I have back that little voice in my head that says, "You should probably stop eating, that will be enough." He's been gone for so long , I forgot what he sounded like. Whatever your name is, I missed you. Just find a nice quiet place to read when I go to Smashburger. I won't be needing you then.

I feel my old ambition back, my old fire back, my old can-do attitude back. I have a sense of optimism back, a sense of joy, and a lightness of being. I am so amazed that I went on for so long not knowing that I didn't have to feel the way I did. Not knowing anything was even wrong with the way I was feeling. Never did I associate the tiredness, weight gain, overwhelming dread, joint pain and endless stress with an actual physical issue. I thought these things were psychological or spiritual or just plain old age. I am so thankful that my Doctor figured me out. I'm grateful Brett's employer decided to give us health insurance so I could get the Aetna cards in the mail the day I decided to make the appointment. I'm glad I got this stupid rash, that still hasn't gone away, because it got me in to the doctor. I'm grateful his nurse has Hashimoto's so they thought to check for it. I'm glad he is cool enough of a guy to sit and talk to me about life and then put the pieces of our conversation into a diagnostic frame work. I am grateful for God who I know shifts these things around into place on our behalf. Because he loves us. I could be negative and mad and want the last ten years of my life back, but I don't care. I am so happy I found it out and that my little Bella Rose won't have to worry. I'll get her checked out the first teeny, tiny sign of depression so she can maintain her quality of life. Which will be high.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sticking out my big fat neck.

In pictures of me over the last couple of years I noticed a few different, very upsetting things. One, my arms that have always looked slim and muscular from constant work and workouts, got really flabby. Two, my abdomen that I have been secretly pretty proud of got poochy. Three, my neck seemed to get more manly. I have always been kind of "athletically built" as one person put it. I'm not curvy and busty, I have been pretty long and flat my entire life. Like an adolescent boy. So for me to look at a picture and see I was getting a manly neck to me was just a part of getting older and one more bit of evidence that I was not a girlie girl. This is how I framed it.

This year I quit soda (More like cut back on) and stopped eating sugar and after dinner snacks and started running. I was doing great, running about 2-3 miles to start out with and getting up to 5-6 by mid February. I was on track for the half marathon I committed to run with some friends from High School days. The guys I work with and I were talking about running relays and racing bikes together. I realized how much I missed having that in my life and was looking forward to this summer for these reasons. But I noticed I didn't lose any weight and wasn't putting on any muscle. Instead I was getting muscle twitches. I then (TMI ALERT) had my monthly visit from Aunt Flo. And for many, many months now, I have been having *ahem* unusual circumstances with Aunt Flo. She has gotten aggressive in her old age. (Dudes, I don't blame you if you just...close the browser.) It was less like a typical expected cycle of nature and more like a surprise attack. If regular periods are a kind stranger asking you for a dime at the bus station, what I had going on was a group of drug addicted gang members attempting a home invasion. I had so many issues that once in the middle of a pre-production meeting I had to spend a good amount of time in the bathroom and what was I wearing? White jeans. Someone asked me if I was OK. How do you say, I think I am losing my internal organs? I had to sneak out of the production office while everyone was shaking hands and saying their goodbyes and go and buy new pants to drive home in. You get the idea. So here I was a couple of weeks ago, in this same boat. Getting mugged by Aunt Flo. I forced myself to the gym and ran a mile and a half before I felt like dying. I cried the whole way home. For bout ten days at odd times I felt like all of the blood in my entire body would leave my head and go find something better to do. I almost blacked out while driving, which had happened one other time about six months before. I couldn't even climb the stairs at my house without feeling light headed. I had a rash on my thighs appear. I got a stomach bug. At home, I swept the floor and my hands would not leave the handle. I had to uncurl them slowly and they hurt, from way inside. I would sleep ten hours a night or more if I wasn't working.

So last week I went to see my Doctor in Salt Lake about this rash. I love him, he's been great to my kids and I. I drive up to 3900 S to see him. This love runs that deep. So we talk and catch up. We just talk about running and training and we talk about my rash but it's my other symptoms which he seems to be WAY more interested in. It all comes out in what seems to be casual conversation. He tests me for Strep for the rash and it's negative. He decides to do what he calls "a s___ load of blood tests". He calls me on set the next morning and says that it's my thyroid. I have no idea what this is exactly. I know it's a gland. I go home and look it up on www.tooloffear.com, otherwise known as Web MD, and it all makes so much sense. I mean all the way back through my whole life I can see how I have had these types of hormonal issues and they seem to have been getting out of control over the last two years. Now, I do not mean to make this sound like a lady disease. Along with this comes things like crippling exhaustion, joint pain, irritability, memory loss, cold intolerance, dry skin, hair loss, depression, weight gain, infertility, and the coup de grace, an enlarged neck. I am now totally assured I have Hypothyroidism. Yesterday I went in and had more blood drawn to determine if I have Hyper or Hypothyroidism or something else entirely like Lupus. So we'll see what's what. After hearing last week that a friend who has been fighting with two types of cancers has been back in the hospital with a terrible infection, finding out I have something totally treatable, I'll take it. And I actually feel really proud of myself that I have still been able to accomplish the things I have been able to, and am trying to be kinder to myself about the things I have not been able to. It's kind of a relief, really.

If you or someone you love has a neck that looks like it is smuggling a potato, please see your doctor.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Thanks, Asparagus, I Feel the Spirit.

We all stayed home today. Bella was up coughing all night and woke up with a fever and Brett's ribs are still on the mend. I didn't have to take roll or hand out newsletters today so we all stayed in our jammies and watched Veggie Tales.

In one episode Madame Blueberry has pictures of stuff that she wants and cries about what she doesn't have until some chives show up in suits telling her they are the owners of Stuffmart and she just needs more stuff to be happy. On their way to Stuffmart they see a little girl vegetable with her beatnik looking parents and it's her birthday. She has one piece of pie and a candle in it. They live in a hovel. The little girl looks around at what little she has and could be sad but instead she sings,

I thank God for this day,
For the sun in the sky,
For my mom and my dad,
For my piece of apple pie!

For our home on the ground,
For His love that's all around,
That's why I say thanks every day!

Madame Blueberry and the chives continue on to Stuffmart and stock up. While eating there they see a little boy who wants a big toy train but his Dad tells him they can't afford it. He says that they can get a ball, though. The little train kid sings another verse of the Thankfulness Song and that's when I start to cry. The blueberry's house gets so full of stuff it is destroyed and she ends up sharing pie with the beatnik family and her butlers. Then she sings a verse of the song.

So for the rest of the day we have been making up our own verses. "I am thankful for my pug, for the cocoa in my mug, for the brand new kitchen rug, but not that Bellsa has a bug..." You get the idea. We were just having fun, but I really am thankful for so, so, so many things. I am terrible at standing up in front of people and bearing my testimony, I do the ugly cry thing. It's horrifying. But I would like to share my testimony, just not in a way that makes me want to pee my pants.

When my heart began to change and I began this process, I made a commitment. I realized that I had botched things up for myself so horribly that I was no longer allowed to be "in charge". I realized I was not able to run my life because I didn't know what God knew. I was making choices based on my very limited knowledge and if I could be humble and have faith, I could run my life on God's infinite knowledge instead. I vowed that no matter what the end result, be it good or even be it bad, I would spend the rest of my life inside of the church and following the gospel. So here I am, and everything from that moment on has changed. Slowly and painfully, but it has changed. I do get upset and frustrated that my life isn't the same as other people's. That I don't live in a nice new beautiful house, that I don't get to stay home with my kids, that I can't seem to get pregnant by the man that I'm actually married to. But I also have moments where I am simply overwhelmed by all of the good things. I found the right guy finally, he's loads of fun and a lot better looking than I would have asked for. I have two great kids that are just so much fun and in spite of my not being home with them are great kids and have good hearts and are witty and smart. I have found wonderful people to take care of them, Jessica Harrison, Amanda Bakly and my Mom. My Mom has become active in the church and is almost unrecognizable as a person. The ex-lesbian reverend mother goes to AA every week and works in the temple every Saturday and reads the Book of Mormon with her sister every day.

The atonement is real. It is the ultimate wellness program. The church itself is true, I accepted the calling of Relief Society Secretary at the end of last year and since that time I have experienced a huge pouring down of blessings on me and my family. The gospel principles are true. I have always paid my tithing first before any other bill as a way of showing my gratitude to God and time and again I found that I am never without money. I can get down to three dollars in my account and money will come in from somewhere the next day. I turned down a movie gig that I always wanted but felt just wasn't something I could be involved with as someone in the RS Presidency, as cheesy as that may sound. I just couldn't be making calls looking for negliges and hookah pipes while scheduling new member visits and enrichment activities. I was blessed with a new client the month I should have begun production on the film and I have made three times what I would have on that film and we are on track to be out of debt by June in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the great depression. It stuns me to think about. We finally have a plan of attack for the construction that needs to take place on our house and the means by which to begin it this Summer and hopefully have it done by the end of this year or at least Spring of 2011. We are building something. And it didn't happen all over night, it didn't happen in a year, it's happening little by little over the course of many years but it IS happening. I am so grateful that I made that commitment. That I decided to just...try. I'm not perfect, God knows I am SOOOO far from perfect, I just try. It's 100 percent about not giving up. It's about having some steps to take that make it so that you are not sinking and not on a treadmill, but slowly going forward and upward. Even if I am going two steps forward and one step back, I am trending upwards.

I know without a single solitary question that these things that I have been afforded in my life are gifts from God. I listened to the still small voice and found a great man, a great job and a great neighborhood. I followed council and now have a great career, great kids and a calling that is waaay over my head but I love intensely and blesses my family. I have a mother that does provide the kind of advice that my Patriarchal Blessing says I will receive from her. (It told me to listen to the council of my mother and I was just sure it was a mistake.)

God can see around corners. Bad things happen to us, sometimes because of the bad choices of people that have lost the spirit or because of the natural consequences of our own choices and actions. God blesses us at these times with strength and hope. If we maintain in faith, in His own due time, He blesses the faithful with the desires of their hearts, as long as our will is aligned with His. My life is unquestionable proof of that. It really is.

I am thankful for my spouse,
and our silly mold filled house.
For our dog and our cat,
and our hamsters, fish and that,

we are all doing well,
even though this house is hell.
That's why I say thanks every day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I told Brett that Alexander had died and he said that he knew that he was a fashion guy but wasn't sure who he was really... I told him it was like waking up to find that LeBron James had died. Love him or hate him he was an icon. There are not words, but there are pictures.

Alexander was rumored to have stitched the words "I am a ____" in the sleeve of a jacket for Prince Charles so I think Diana probably was pleased to see him.

RIP you magician.