Lovely Lists

A slice of today

A list of things to remember about this day/time:

  • When dropping the kids off at school, Gabriela ran off without her mask on so I called her to stop. I hopped out of the car to hand it to her. It had a flower print.
  • I sipped on Starbucks hot cocoa mix made with oat milk for my breakfast.
  • Gabbi and I lunched today (she had a Kindergarten-carpool ride home) on peanut butter sandwiches with strawberry-rhubarb jam.
  • I listened to part of a webinar about IoT security. The presenter was dull and spent much of his time selling his consulting business. I closed my laptop on him.
  • We have Young Women’s tonight, but the Governor recently switched things over to a new high/moderate/low transmission level guidance. So we’re meeting over Zoom.
  • I setup a trial Salesforce account than defined an allowable IP range for logging in, which was the IP address from my AWS VPN server. It worked. I documented it and passed it on to Johan in the Netherlands for a tech review.
  • I sipped on Dr. Pepper with some vanilla syrup and coconut creamer. On ice.
  • Pogi sneezed on my feet.
  • Our HelloFresh box arrived. It’s not better food than we make. It’s easier.
  • We have a small hole in our roof from the windstorm a while back. I didn’t think the hole went all the way through. I was wrong. The insurance estimator guy took a pic of it. We made a claim. Moises will come this week to plan the fix. He did our roof this summer.
  • Dominic did successfully put in his 15 minutes of piano practicing this morning without fighting me. He’s learning a simplified piano solo arrangement of The Water is Wide. It’s pretty. Eli is his teacher (15-year old neighbor boy).
  • I voted yesterday by dropping my mail-in ballot in the drop box in front of the library.
  • We hit up Yellowstone and Island Park last week. I still scroll through the pictures of all the beauty.

A random list of my current open Chrome tabs

I just counted. I have 29 open Chrome tabs across my two monitors. I randomly chose ten of them and this is what I do online:

  1. My Gmail, of course
  2. Slack, where I do communication type things with my hubby
  3. The Great Work Study, because I think I’m going to take the time to read this and learn how to produce work that others LOVE
  4. A replacement key for a Toyota RAV4 2006, because they’re crazy expensive from the dealership and I have to pinch mine between my fingers to turn on the car or it comes apart
  5. Several Airtable tabs, because it’s a new part of my life and I’m so happy about it
  6. ERP applications under fire, because I read riveting articles about cybersecurity and business software so I can write nifty posts about it
  7. Your 7-day meal plan for RA, which stands for rheumatoid arthritis and I can’t always remember why I pull up what I do and leave the tab open and when I look at it later, my memory is foggy
  8. Columbus Travel Vacations, because it’s January and I would so rather be sailing away on a cruise, but I’m not, so I just look at the tab and bask in the glow of the monitor
  9. Hubspot stuff, because sometimes I read their things about the things that I might use and try to apply it to things I do for other businesses with their social media things
  10. and specifically buying TurboTax, because it’s that time of the year to begin putting together 1099s to mail out, yay!

Also, I have really random pictures littered throughout the folders of my computer. Let me share four of them with you. You’re welcome.

That time (ages ago) my little brother tried to drive my mom’s car but everything turned out okay in the end.

The snow and a Volvo: beauty.

The snowman I made for a snowman craft contest at work. It was baked modeling clay that I painted a wee bit.

This one time I was stepped on in a soccer game back in 2007 and documented it with a cell phone pic sitting in my cubicle at work.

And now, I shall log off.

Go close some of your tabs. They use so much memory!

My 2019 hashtag: #rootedlife

Neltiliztli is a word from the Aztecs and is their philosophy for living a worthwhile life. It means rootedness. It’s the reason I’ve chosen my 2019 hashtag, #rootedlife. I want to do things this year to live a more rooted life. First, a few paragraphs on last year’s hashtag and then, the scoop about what it means to live rooted, based on that Aztec word.

My hashtag for 2018 was #becausehappiness. Generally thinking, it felt like a pretty happy year, in spite of life (like unexpected household costs and auto repairs). But, my goal wasn’t to be happy all of the time. That’s unrealistic. Especially home with kids who stick a McDonald’s gift card in the Wii, cry during the night because they’re scared that their closet door is open a wee crack, or put a lot of effort into poking and prodding and irritating the other sibling as much as possible at those moments when I’m already spent because I just dealt with cat puke. #becausehappiness

Instead, my efforts were more along the lines of trying to live after a manner of happiness. (2 Nephi 5:27) I did my best and thus, I count it a good-enough year.

On to Neltiliztli!

I learned about this term reading an article called, “Life on the slippery Earth,” which went into great detail about this Aztec philosophy. Here’s my bullet list version for your enjoyment:

  • The term means rootedness
  • Living a rooted life means to manage your mistakes well, not try to avoid them
  • The reward is a promise of a worthwhile life
  • Focus on the virtues of moderation, justice, prudence and courage
  • To choose virtue means to follow the middle path, strike the mean (tlanepantla)
  • Our actions are virtuous when aptly expressed
  • Moral education is ongoing
  • Look to others for advice and listen most to practical experience (ixtlamatiliztli)

When we focus on the middle path and choosing virtue, our lives are worthwhile. Also, we need each other to travel safely along this “slippery earth” (tlaticpac). We aren’t perfect. Far from it. We slip up no matter our virtues. I like these sentences specifically from the article:

Wisdom in human affairs consists in the recognition that the best that we can do is to learn to stand with the help of others, to alter our circumstances for the better, and to clasp hands so that we can pull ourselves back up when we fall. This is the fundamental insight behind the social dimension of Aztec ethics. As challenging as it seems to ‘Western’ sensibilities, perhaps there’s enough that’s right about it to help us lead better, more worthwhile and rooted lives.

The Aztec’s philosophies differ from those of Western culture, as mentioned in that quote. These “sensibilities” referenced come from the words and thoughts of Plato and Aristotle. I studied these in several of my classes in college. I couldn’t possibly give you a good, brief summary right here. Instead, here’s one of the comparison’s from the article: “While Plato and Aristotle were concerned with character-centered virtue ethics, the Aztec approach is perhaps better described as socially-centered virtue ethics.”

As I read about the Aztec philosophies, they hit home. They tie in to my concern that my children will have others in their lives that they can turn to, like I did, when they don’t want to go to a parent.  It relates to my thoughts about “companion planting” in my life to supplement it with good people. And it ties in to how I turn to others to build me up, for my “health regeneration“.

This year, my hashtag is #rootedlife. Here’s my plan for learning to do this a little bit better this year:

  1. Love myself when I make a mistake, small or big (positive self-talk)
  2. Write some lists of what makes my life worthwhile (gratitude)
  3. Find moderation in work, sleep, diet, and self-care (seek balance)
  4. Be intentional about aptly expressing myself (show respect)
  5. Spend time on my moral education (study)
  6. Seek out others for advice (ask and listen)

I won’t attempt to focus on or do these all at once, but little by little, throughout the year. We’ll see how it goes!

Monday musings on why I don’t blog

Either I think too much or expect too much to post blogs these days. I want to say profound things. To post meaningful content. Or maybe I’m without keywords to focus on. That’s the fault of doing work that’s search engine optimized (SEO). When I write for those, I keep a tally of the number of times I use the keyword, using it enough, but not so much that it’s flagged as spam, among other rules.

I’ve forgotten how to blog for enjoyment.

Also, my life feels rote. I feed my family, take kids to school, go to the gym, have some set hours for work, and take kids to a few activities like piano and dance. Who wants to hear about that?

These are some of my enjoyments these last few weeks:

  • Creating database tables in Airtable for Opus 26
  • Putting together process improvement tools for Flagship Publishing
  • Interviewing a master chef at UVU
  • Watching my son do gymnastics
  • Listening to him learn to read music
  • Watching my daughter at her swimming lessons
  • Late night conversations about the intricacies of our lives with my husband
  • Game night with friends
  • The soothing balm that is my writers’ group
  • The connections of family
  • Jesus
  • Listing good things

Random lists are good enough.

And now I’ve blogged.

A list for this day in October

  1. I told a bunch of writers at a conference that they should still blog because practice is good.
  2. I don’t blog lately because all my writing energy goes to other people.
  3. Sometimes that’s good, sometimes it’s draining.
  4. At that writing conference, I taught one of the classes and it was a blast!
  5. I received an email today that this same presentation wasn’t chosen to be on the schedule for another writing conference. (hang head)
  6. I have my writers’ group tomorrow night.
  7. I love my writers group.
  8. I spent FIVE hours raking leaves today so I damn well expect to sleep soundly.
  9. I will probably toss and turn.
  10. The giant tree in the backyard has only dropped half of its leaves… bring it on.

Last thought, but I didn’t number it because 10 is a safe number to end on: this year, I learned about something called #inktober and I’ve been doing it a little here and there; I want to do it every year because I don’t doodle very often and because practice is good!

Ode to my foam roller

foam-rollerI spent quality time this afternoon with my foam roller. The kids were in their rooms, napping or quiet timing, so I went to my room, too.

While on vacation last week, I truly missed my foam roller. I missed it many times, in fact. Times such as:

  • While waiting at the airport to catch another flight
  • Sitting on a flight for several hours with a small child on my lap
  • Sitting on a flight for many minutes with a small child asleep on my lap (don’t move!)
  • Sleeping in various beds with differing degrees of firmness
  • Falling asleep on a couch
  • Riding in the car

This afternoon, I laid down on the roller with it running along my spine, threw my arms out to my sides, and just gave in to the slightly tippy resting position. My posture thanked me and asked me to stay a while. At this point, Dom came down out of his room because his little alarm clocked had beeped, letting him know that quiet time was over. He came over to the gate, which keeps him from entering my room, and talked to me.

“Oh hi, mom.”


“My clock beeped so I’m all done.”

“Yep. Good job. Your Kindle is over by the computer.”

“Oh yeah. I see it.”


“I’m just going to play my Kindle now because I’m all done with quiet time.”


“I’ll just play my Kindle while you get your back to feel better.”

“Right. Okay.”

“You can come out when your back is better.”

“I will.”

“And I’ll just play my Kindle. And when your back is better, you can come and work on the computer.”


“And I’ll just keep watching the computer to make sure it stays on for you while I play my Kindle.”

“Oh. Okay.”

Finally walking away to play on his Kindle, he looked back over his shoulder and added: “Oh, and Mom.”


“I love you.”

“Love you, too.”

I also love my foam roller.

hypocritical mom statements

In honor of the one-year anniversary of my new career as a SAHM, here’s a list of hypocritical statements by me or some of my mom friends. Do you have one to add?

  • Don’t pick your nose.
  • No candy before lunch.
  • Stop yelling.
  • Stop reading and go to bed.
  • Don’t get naked.
  • People don’t like to hug when they’re naked.
  • You have to comb your hair every day.
  • No electronics before 10 a.m.
  • Don’t just step over it, pick it up!
  • No swearing.
  • Make your bed.
  • Go to bed on time.
  • Get off the computer and do something else.
  • Put away your laundry.
  • You need a healthy breakfast before eating a cupcake.
  • Stop whining.
  • Don’t say that word.

19 things this mom wants to teach her son


I’m a mom. I have a son. There are things that I want to teach him: 19 things.

Okay, so I wrote this really long blog article about the things that Dom has learned and the things he’s learning and the things that I want him to learn because he’s a BOY. But I was only a third of the way through my list and it was already getting lengthy. So I started over. Instead of a long blog post that most won’t read through, here is a list. I like lists. Lists are good. Lists are easier to read.

These are the things that Dom has learned, is learning, and will learn (hopefully), so he can grow up to be an upstanding man, husband, father, son, etc.


  1. Tell me his feelings. The hardest part about this is teaching him the words for his emotions, but he’s learning and definitely tells me when he’s FRUSTRATED.
  2. I will be his cheerleader. I was never one in high school, but I will be one for him, thanking him for things like being my big helper with the dishes and not worrying about all of the water on the kitchen floor.
  3. He got out of bed at 4:00 am to read a book and I had to remind myself that at least he likes to read.
  4. I cannot dance, but I want him to feel confident about moving his body to the music.
  5. Have strong male role models. Be like his dad, his uncles, his grandpas, and I will teach him about other good male role models.
  6. Know that women are strong and beautiful because of their minds. I want him to learn this.
  7. His mom is strong and beautiful because of my mind. I hope he thinks I’m a smart mom.
  8. Have good manners. He does this so well he often reminds us: “say, ‘YOU’RE WELCOME’!”
  9. Remember his prayers. One day, I hope he’ll feel like he can pray by himself not just because we ask him to at bedtime or before eating a meal.
  10. Get dirty. Be a kid, be a boy, play in the dirt, climb trees, jump off fences (but hopefully not roofs), and get messy.
  11. Play sports. Throw a football, dribble a basketball, kick a soccer ball, skate on the ice, swim laps, leap off of a diving board, and just try it all, in spite of whether he’s naturally athletic or not.
  12. I keep trying to draw with him and I often get, “I can’t”, or “I’m too small”, but hopefully one day he’ll think, “I can”.
  13. Get outside. Utah is beautiful so let’s hike, camp, splash in the streams, ride our bikes, and just be outside in nature.
  14. Help others. I don’t want to force him to help so I want to learn how to present it as an opportunity for him to help others.
  15. He practiced a song with me over and over until he could spell his name so I hope he’ll learn that repetition will pay off.
  16. Ask why. Obviously he can do this just fine (over and over and over) so it’s my job to keep answering, keep giving honest answers, and keep encouraging his desire to learn.
  17. Build forts. Because blanket forts!
  18. Be loving. He still loves to give kisses and big hugs.
  19. I will always love him. No matter what happens, no matter his choices, no matter his struggles, no matter how far away he goes, no matter how far away he feels, I will always be his mother and he’ll never have a relationship with anyone else that will be the same as what we have.

What would you put on a list of something for a mom to teach her son?

I’m the mom; I am not in charge

Gabbi-the-boss10 clues I know that Gabbi’s in charge here:

  1. My clothes don’t fit and she has a basket full of adorable outfits in her size, plus another bin in the next size, and the next, and the next…
  2. She sleeps 20 hours and I try to remember not to check my sleep logged by my fitness tracker
  3. She demands I change her poops immediately, then waits until the diaper is off to poop more
  4. She cries and I leak
  5. She gets both me and her dad out of bed at 3AM
  6. She starts to doze off mid afternoon so I set her down to write something, and “pick me up again!”

Can’t finish. Somebody wants to be picked up.