Friday, October 30, 2009

I Couldn't Get Married, So...

Eight years ago tomorrow, I entered the MTC. Armed with my dork-dot and way too much luggage, I embarked on the most incredible 18 months of my life. I got in a lot of trouble in the MTC, for everything from the length of my skirts to the way I wore my hair. Before I adjusted my attitude, I referred to it as "spirit prison." I was already missing my family, and luckily two of my brothers, Dustin and Nathan, entered the MTC two weeks later. I even had a childhood friend in my district. My husband was there, too, though I didn’t know at the time that that's who he would be (contrary to popular belief!). I left for Ecuador the following January. I’m currently writing an essay for one of my classes about the time I was robbed at knife-point, about a year after I arrived in the country. It was exciting! It was lame at the time, but it sure is a good story. So, maybe that’s the one I’ll tell right now.

I was serving in the middle of Quito with Porter at the time, and she was going home in about a week and a half. We were walking to our chapel for the Christmas Conference broadcast and we were less than a mile away. Not two days earlier, we came up behind someone on the street and greeted him with the typical “Buenas noches!” He could see that we were not townies, so he explained to us that you should never greet somebody that way from behind or in front. He said that only bad people do that. I thought the advice strange as I had been in the country for almost a year and had never heard that before. We thanked him and went about our missionary duties, not thinking another thing of it.

Until a couple of days later.

As we walked down that busy road, which was full of cars and devoid of Good Samaritans, two men walked ahead of us. When one of them turned around and said, “Buenas noches,” I stopped dead in my tracks. I then noticed the knife he was holding; the handle was in his hand and the blade extended up to his elbow. This was no butter knife.
Suddenly Porter and I were against the wall behind us (which fenced an Abbey, as it were) and the machete-man was yelling, “Dinero! Dinero!” Then, just in case and as an extra bit of salt in our wounds, he translated for us, “Money! Money!” So, we pulled out our cash ($13 between the two of us) and handed it over. This wasn’t enough. He screamed at us for our watches. Porter’s was a yellow plastic watch she had just bought for a dollar. Mine was a black plastic men’s watch that an acquaintance had given me in my first area. We handed over about $1.50 worth of plastic. My comp dropped her watch as she passed it to him, she was so terrified, and asked in a trembling voice, “Que mas quieran? (what more do you want?)” Seriously? I guess it was easier for me because I was not yet being held by machete man. My assailant seemed to be a mute, doing only what he was directed to do. The next demand was for our bags. We took them off and while Porter handed hers over, I took out my scriptures first and said, “You don’t want these.”
Machete-man was tired of my antics, I guess, and he ran over and pressed his knife to my neck. “Te mato! Te mato!” he screamed (translated: I kill you! I kill you!) My bag now held only my schedule, one tore-up knee high, and a few tampons. Somehow, they were not yet satiated. Poor guys; they were just trying to make a living and let's be honest: this couldn't have been their most lucrative hit! We were next obligated to give them our jackets. I was taking my sweet time because it was my only way to defy them. I couldn’t risk my life over a $12.50 Old Navy jacket, but I was sure pissed. He screamed at me to do it faster and reminded me that he would kill me. I screamed back, “I’m doing it!” He again issued his threat to kill me. Once our things were in his hands, he handed them to his mute goon friend, who ran them across the street. Machete-man then wished us a good evening, with a smile, and ran to join his friend in the darkness of the night.

I saw machete-man a couple of weeks later. He was on my street and he recognized me as I recognized him. He smiled at me, of course, and I was still helpless. I smiled to myself, imagining that he was wearing one solitary, tore-up nylon knee-high under one of his pant legs. Bastard. I also imagine that he read Porter’s scriptures and joined the church. She had her scriptures all marked beautifully and he couldn’t have helped but read the really powerful passages, had he opened the book. So, you know. He’s probably a bishop somewhere in Ecuador, strengthening the stakes. Right?

What’s something scary that has happened to you?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Circle K Feet

Though that is NOT a picture of my feet, I find that with all the tile in my very own house, I just can’t keep the floors clean enough. No matter what I do, I always end up with Circle K feet (I totally stole that phrase from my dear friend Jamie, who is hilarious). I love my new house, despite my white-trash feet, and want to keep it clean. I’m not off to a very good start!

What are your favorite cleaning secrets?

Monday, October 26, 2009


We were called as Nursery Leaders at church. Probably because I don’t see small children enough during the week. Anyway, I pulled out a pack of play-doh and let the kids pick their own colors. The boys picked greens, the girls picked pinks, and Darby, of course, picked black. That’s right; black. Should I be worried?

What’s something weird that you did as a child or that your child has done?

Sunday, October 18, 2009


hang in there, people desperate for diversion. i'm in the process of moving. it's so nice to have my Dad here with us, even though i'm making him work like a slave. Darby is sure loving having Pappy around and so are Frankie and i. so, when things calm down, i'll be back (that might be a threat).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Monkey Breath

Do you ever catch the tail-end of a conversation or commercial or some form of communication and get the weirdest thing you’ve ever heard? That happened to me this morning. What I actually heard on the t.v. was this: “Now THERE’S a ship that couldn’t be sunk by monkey breath.” Come again? Is there a ship that COULD be sunk by monkey breath? And why do we allow this monkey to live? It seems pretty dangerous to me.

What’s something weird that you have heard out of context?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Scary Beyond All Reason

Is there anything that just gives you the willies? For me, it is lizards. I shudder at the very thought of a lizard. Don’t tell Adam; he’ll catch one, tie a string to its tail and then tie the other end of the string to me! Just ask Britney (it was mice for her, and Frankie was a culprit, too); it’s no bueno. Anyway, once my dear friend Jamie came over and a lizard got in when I opened the door. In that split second, I thought, “I’ll get a cup, put the cup on the lizard, tape the lizard cup to the floor, and wait for Frankie to come home.” Jamie, sensing my hysteria, boldly offered to remove the little beast. And I let her. I let my 8 months pregnant friend bend over and touch that nasty reptile. That’s the kind of person she is, and the kind of person I am, apparently. So, as I was trying to clean the new house (we all know I’m neurotic), I went into the small bathroom to scrub it clean. I saw motion, I flinched. I fought the urge to run. I looked a little closer, making sure it wasn’t a scorpion. The closer I got, the more the dark figure appeared to be, wait for it…wait for it…, a lizard! I screamed and ran out the bathroom. I shoved something under the door so that it couldn’t get out. I called Frankie, who had little sympathy, so I considered calling Jamie. I decided that was too much and I left the house. That was Saturday morning. On Sunday night, we went over to hang some curtains. Frankie bravely searched the bathroom for the intruder, but found nothing. I went over yesterday to finish the pre-move cleaning (thanks to Alisha for babysitting the Darbs) and as I stepped into that bathroom, of course I saw that nasty lizard! But I was all alone and I needed to clean that bathroom. I put on latex gloves and got a cup and a piece of paper. I chased that creepy thing around the bathroom, screaming all the while, and finally captured him! I put him outside, finished screaming, and ran back to the house and locked the door (you know, just in case). It was traumatic, but I was so awesome!

What gives you the willies for no real reason?

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Leap

We are homeowners. For finally! It took 4 months from start to finish, but Brett and Corrine were generous enough to let us live in their Mesa house while we went through the whole process, so we are very grateful to them for that. Also, Adam, Frankie’s brother, was our real estate agent and we put that poor boy to work! So, we are really excited! Our first house! I think we got a screaming deal and it has all the elements we were looking for. We’ll start moving in hopefully by next weekend. Because I don’t have an income, the lender had me sign a disclaimer saying basically that I have no legal claim to that house. I said, “so, if Frank takes off on me, I can’t get his house?!” She didn’t think I was funny. They didn’t think I was funny when we started the process either. They asked me to list my occupation and I said, “trophy-wife.” Come on, that’s hilarious. So, my daughter and I will soon be living in Mr. Parmenter’s house. Sounds a little scandalous, right?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Great Men

So, I love Elder Holland. He’s like, the Lord’s bouncer. "Don’t believe it, you schmuck? You’re out of here!" I loved his testimony of the Book of Mormon today. When he said that attempts to discredit the scripture were “frankly pathetic” I just wanted to cheer and cry out “hallelujah, praise the Lord!” He speaks so honestly and plainly and while I’d be terrified to meet him face to face, I am always impressed and emboldened by his words. What a great conference.

Also, today is my darling Frankie’s birthday. He is the most amazing person ever. I rank him with my own dad, and that is a pretty hallowed place that very few have ever reached. I am so thankful that he is my husband. Frankie is the most intelligent, hard working, and good man there is. He’s not too shabby of a kisser, either! I won’t extol him too much here as there are no words sufficient to describe him. I just love him and am thankful he was born.

What was your favorite part of conference?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

There Is No Middle Ground

What is your stand on denim shorts?

Once, when we were in high school, my brother Dustin and I went shorts shopping. Now, Dustin is no respecter of name brands and so he wanted to go to Wal-Mart. How sensible of him. So, there we were, perusing the aisles of possibilities when Dustin’s eyes landed on a pair of denim shorts. He picked them up and tossed them into the cart. We had moved on to a nearby rack when a chubby and otherwise unfortunate looking 10 year old ran over to the rack of denim Faded Glories we had just passed. “Mom! Cool!” he yelled as he grabbed the exact same pair of shorts Dustin had chosen and threw them into his mother’s cart. Without a word and without hesitation, Dustin removed the shorts from our own cart and placed them back on the rack.

When I recently recanted this story to Dustin, he laughed and added, “Wait, why was I buying jean shorts?” I said, “Dust, that’s not the point of this story.” He paused momentarily before asking, in truly confused tones, “yeah, but why would I buy jean shorts?”

And thus we know where Dustin stands on the matter. So now is the time for you to take a stand; there is no middle ground. Do you or don't you wear denim shorts?