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.